MediaFile

Tech wrap: The Web is about to get some new domains

June 17, 2011

Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web — such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro — if the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded is approved.

Today, just 22 generic top-level domains exist — .com, .org and .info are a few examples — plus about 250 country-level domains like .uk or .cn.

The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites — and a danger for those who fail to take advantage.

Research In Motion’s dismal results and failure to offer a clear strategy to arrest its decline pushed its shares down more than 20 percent, drawing parallels with other technology stars that have fallen from grace.

Earlier in the day Samsung Electronics and other Asian technology stocks also tumbled on fears the sputtering global economy will crimp demand for computers and TVs and hurt earnings at chip and panel makers for the rest of the year.

The tech sector serves as the bellwether for global consumer demand and its outlook has been soured by the debt crisis in Europe and sluggish U.S. job and housing markets.

Yesterday we told you about how the government is attempting to stay one step ahead of cyber attacks like the one that brought down the CIA’s public website.

Now comes a story that a breed of cyber pranksters known as “hacktivists” appears to be on a campaign to embarrass the government, but such types of attack are unlikely to breach the computer firewalls that protect important official secrets, independent analysts say.

In other cyber warfare news, software widely used in China to help run weapons systems, utilities and chemical plants has bugs that hackers could exploit to damage public infrastructure, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The government agency issued an advisory warning of vulnerabilities in software applications from a Beijing-based company that hackers could exploit to launch attacks on critical infrastructure.

Oracle is seeking damages “in the billions of dollars” from Google in a patent lawsuit over the smartphone market, according to a court filing.

Oracle sued Google last year, claiming the Web search company’s Android mobile operating technology infringes Oracle’s Java patents. Some see the lawsuit as a sign of a growing business rivalry between the two companies.

Alison Frankel breaks down the unique way in which the news broke.

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