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  1. The .org domain takeover has been delayed, at least for now. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) demanding more information about the private equity takeover of the .org domain registry. The attorney general is seeking answers to 35 questions concerning the sale as well as documents sent between ICANN, private equity firm Ethos Capital, and Public Interest Registry (PIR), which manages the .org domain. Ethos Capital disclosed last year that it was acquiring PIR from its non-profit parent organization, the Internet Society, for $1.135 billion. ICANN, the non-profit organization that oversees domain names, disclosed the letter on its website along with its own correspondence with PIR, informing it of the development. Previously, ICANN had until Feb. 17 to approve or deny the sale. According to ICANN, as a result of the California AG’s letter, it’s seeking to delay this deadline until April 20. ICANN says it's "fully cooperating" with the request. In its letter to PIR, ICANN gives a heads up that it will be providing the attorney general "confidential material" to comply with the AG's demands. As ICANN's letter states, it has terms in its contract with PIR which forbid the organization from disclosing information that the registry deems confidential unless required by law. ICANN clearly views the AG's letter as applicable. It’s a stunning development that certainly vindicates the concerns of non-profits, internet activists, and domain name holders. Many of the attorney general’s questions revolve around the removal of the long-standing price caps in ICANN’s most recent contract renewal with PIR. The price caps on .org domains allowed the registry raise registration prices no more than 10 percent each year. Without those price caps, the registry could raise pricing for registration and renewals as much as it would like. In addition, it could also add new pricing structures, such as deeming certain domains as "premium" and charging whatever it would like for those domains. Not long after ICANN’s price cap removal gave the registry complete control of .org domain pricing, Ethos Capital announced its acquisition of the registry. Many critics of the sale were concerned with the timing of these developments. Non-profit organizations, which previously galvanized to try and stop the price cap removal in the first place, worried that the private equity firm would raise .org prices in order to quickly recoup its investment. ICANN previously said that the organization was “powerless” to do anything about the sale of the .org registry. However, ICANN’s tune quickly changed as news spread of the private equity takeover. An ICANN board member told internet activists, who recently protested outside of ICANN’s LA offices, that the organization was taking the sale “very seriously.” There are currently more than 11.5 million registered .org domain names. Registrants pay a yearly fee to renew their domain registrations. PIR currently generates around $100 million a year selling .org domain names to registrars, such as Namecheap and Godaddy, for just under $10 per year. The AG’s office oversees nonprofits and charitable organizations in the state of California. Becerra has cracked down on nonprofits that break the law. Whether the acquisition is stopped remains to be seen. It all depends on what the California attorney general finds in his investigation. Source
  2. Doom Eternal joins this year’s game-delay club, will launch March 2020 For some reason, id Software is also delaying this year's port of 1997's Doom 64. Doom Eternal—the highly anticipated sequel to the hell-shooter series' 2016 reboot—has left our list of most anticipated games of 2019. On Tuesday morning, game publisher Bethesda announced that Doom Eternal needs another four months in the oven. That means it will launch on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on March 20, 2020. That list of supported platforms is missing a big name: Nintendo Switch. Tuesday's delay includes an additional, indefinite delay of the sequel's port to Nintendo's weaker console, thus breaking the developer's original promise that Switch buyers would get to rip and tear into Doom Eternal the same day as everyone else. "We will announce [the Switch port's] date in the future," the company's statement vaguely reads. Publisher Bethesda took the opportunity to delay another related game out of November 2019, as well: Doom 64. This first-ever port of the 1997 shooter onto non-N64 platforms is still coming to PC and modern consoles, Bethesda says, but it too will launch on March 20, 2020. Now, at least, that port will become a free pre-order bonus for buyers of Doom Eternal. But we're not sure why Bethesda and id Software couldn't get Doom 64 ready by this holiday season to tide series fans over during the bigger game's delay. (In the meantime, if you own a legitimate copy of the N64 original, we suggest ripping its files and launching them on PC via the incredible Doom 64 EX mod.) First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. The scope of the delay seems substantial, as the entire game won't even be ready by March 2020, according to today's statement. The new game's "Invasion Mode," which lets online players become the bad guys in other real players' single-player campaigns, will be delayed as "a free update shortly after launch." id Software isn't saying exactly how "shortly" that will be. This delay is a particular bummer, considering how polished Doom Eternal's gameplay world premiere felt at a pre-E3 event this summer. As I wrote: I don't often get as jazzed about an in-development video game the way I have about Doom Eternal. After playing its 20-minute E3 demo to completion for my first time, I yelled, "AGAIN! AGAIN!" like a child unwilling to get off of a rollercoaster (and was thankfully granted another go at the fun). Upon getting home and preparing this article before Bethesda's E3 press conference, I combed through a full playthrough video provided by the developers like a sad ex flipping through a photo album. I had to look again. I wanted to remember. I guess I'll have to watch those old video clips for another few months to wait out this return of the game. Here's to hoping the delay helps id Software fulfill the demo's promise: more of the same Doom 2016 action, only with more open skies, fewer claustrophobic corridors, and a perfectly ramped-up combination of new monsters and new weapons alike. If you're keeping score, Doom Eternal joins a high-profile list of games originally promised to launch in 2019. These include Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Wasteland 3, and Psychonauts 2. (We're still wondering whether Valve will join that list with its repeatedly promised "VR game," currently slated by launch in "2019.") Even though it's not a game, you're also welcome to add the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film onto that list. It too received a high-profile delay into 2020 after an outcry over its premiere live-action trailer earlier this year. Listing image by id Software Source: Doom Eternal joins this year’s game-delay club, will launch March 2020 (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  3. The company that owns Pornhub and YouPorn has developed a verification system called AgeID X-rated websites were set to be blocked on 15 July this year, but now the new laws have been delayed again. It is still unknown how far the porn block implementation will be pushed back, with an administrative error causing an indefinite wait. All internet providers will block x-rated websites when the new system comes into place, with users having to verify their age before they can proceed. Users will be automatically blocked from using free sites such as PornHub and YouPorn, unless they can prove their age. Age-appropriate content This automatic block, introduced under the Digital Economy Act 2017, is being put in place in an attempt to prevent children from seeing inappropriate content. The Act states that commercial providers of pornographic content should have age verification checks on their websites, in order to prevent children from viewing explicit images and videos. Proof of age The terms of the Digital Economy Act 2017 state that online commercial pornography services which can be accessed from the UK must use an age verification system. Mindgeek, the company that owns Pornhub and YouPorn, has developed a system called AgeID. James Clark, Director of Communications at AgeID, said: “First, a user can register an AgeID account using an email address and password, both of which are protected by a salted, one-way hash. The user verifies their email address and then chooses an age verification option from our list of 3rd party providers, using options such as Mobile SMS, Credit Card, Passport, or Driving Licence. The user then leaves AgeID and enters the details required to prove their age into the site of the third-party age verification provider. The third party will then pass back either a pass or fail to AgeID. Due to the intentional separation of AgeID and its providers, AgeID can neither see, nor store any of this age verification data.” “Once verified, users will be able to seamlessly browse between all AgeID protected sites and use multiple devices without the need for repeated verification. It is a one-time verification, with a simple single sign-on for future access. To clarify, if a user verifies on one AgeID protected site, they will not need to perform this verification again on any other site carrying AgeID.” Users will have to verify their age using a driver’s license, passport or credit card This AgeID system will then allow users to be able to log into any porn sites that uses this AgeID system with their username and password. Non-compliance The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the UK’s pornography regulator, states that pornographic websites which do the following will not be considered compliant with the new law: relying solely on the user to confirm their age with no cross-checking of information – for example by using a ‘tick box’ system or requiring the user to only input their date of birth using a general disclaimer, such as ‘anyone using this website will be deemed to be over 18′ accepting age-verification through the use of online payment methods which may not require a user to be over 18 – for example by asking for ownership confirmation of a debit card checking against publicly available or otherwise easily known information, such as name, address and date of birth Any porn site that fails to comply with the news rules will face a fine of up to £250,000, or a blanket block by UK internet service providers. The BBFC will also be able to block porn websites if they fail to show that they are denying under-18s access to their sites. A spokesperson from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said: “This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online. “The Government, and the BBFC as the regulator, have taken the time to get this right and we will announce a commencement date shortly.” Source
  4. Kim Dotcom has been told that his extradition hearing will be delayed once again. The Megaupload founder will now have to wait until at least February 2015 to discover his fate, not during the next few weeks as planned. The United States Government is keen to get its hands on Kim Dotcom. He stands accused of committing the biggest copyright-related crime ever seen through his now-defunct cloud storage site Megaupload. But their access to the entrepreneur will have to wait. According to Dotcom, his extradition hearing has now been delayed until February 16, 2015. Delays and postponements have become recurring features of the criminal case being built against Dotcom in the United States. A March 2013 date came and went without a promised hearing, as did another in November the same year, a delay which Dotcom said would “save Prime Minister John Key embarrassment during an election campaign.” Another hearing date for April 2014 also failed to materialize and now the date penciled in for the coming weeks has also been struck down. Dotcom also reports that he still hasn’t received a copy of the data that was unlawfully sent to the FBI by New Zealand authorities. Source
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