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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    The Big Picture Why ICANN's Move to Geneva Is Good
    posted by michael on Monday April 01 2002, @02:30AM

    We at ICANNWatch are delighted to learn from the ICANN Blog that ICANN secretly removed all its operations to Geneva over the Easter weekend. You might think we'd be mad about this, but nothing could be farther from the truth. ICANN's move to Geneva is good for at least three reasons. Updated.

    First, by moving to Geneva, ICANN severs its links with the U.S. In so doing it will cut off all the tiresome and complex litigation based on the US Administrative Procedures Act. Instead, we will be able to bring cases under the far more responsive Swiss Civil Code. (And if funds are not managed more carefully, there is always the Swiss Criminal Code.)

    Second, being based in Geneva will permit ICANN substantial savings. True, rents, salaries and the occasional expense account meal will cost much more. But flights to Europe will be much cheaper. The cost of flights to America will be higher, but ICANN wasn't really interested in the US anymore, so that will not be a significant factor.

    Best of all, however, the majority of existing ICANN staff are probably not eligible for Swiss work permits. We look forward to substantial turnover in the near future!

    [Update: Yes indeed, "nothing could be farther from the truth" -- it's the Blog's April Fools joke, which Bret was kind enough to invite us to join in on.]

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    Why ICANN's Move to Geneva Is Good | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 10 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Why ICANN's Move to Geneva Is Good
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday April 01 2002, @08:33AM (#5664)
    User #2810 Info
    As with everything else ICANN does, there is always an ulterior motive. This means they'll be able to duck Karl's legal filing in California. This is typical ICANN, and ICANNWatch shouldn't fall into the trap. While this may make sense from a policy standpoint, from a technical standpoint it's a recipe for disaster. ICANN really should read ICANNWatch more often. As Michael was careful to point out recently, Europe uses the metric system. You can't just copy the root and plug it in over in Europe and expect it to function properly, or at all. What were they thinking, you can't even do that with an electric razor.

    First, the bitrate flow is entirely different, so the net can be expected to slow down considerably. Second, and much more dangerous, with millions of sLDs, you have to modify all naming conventions over one million. Failing to do this could, at the very least, delete most domain names. Finally, there are dozens of other conversions that have to be made. Unless this is done perfectly it could result in everything from colliders to cache poisoning to the internet crashing entirely. Perhaps it already has in Europe and it just hasn't propagated to where I am yet. It was the height of foolishness to do this over a weekend, even using all the gnomes of Zürich it would take weeks.

    Speaking of time, I'm reminded of an incident which occurred when Canada was switching over to the metric system about a quarter century ago that will give you some idea of the problems that can be caused. The switch to metric was quite controversial as it required everything from weigh scales to thermometers to gas pumps to road signs to rulers to be replaced, with a total cost well in the $millions (and that was when the Canadian dollar was worth more than the $USD, I kid you not). Some examples of the complexity and time required to make the changeover can be found here. It's taken half a century and it's not done yet. And ICANN, which took years to come up with an Independent Review Panel or show Karl the books or OK .web as a gTLD is going to do this flawlessly in a weekend?

    Actually, now that I think of it, the incident I am speaking of happened exactly 25 years ago today. Canada's largest radio station reported on its early morning newscast that the federal government had announced that quartz watches were being phased out and would have to be replaced with 1.1366 litre watches. This was due to the fact that after the switchover date quartz watches would no longer tell time accurately. So many irate citizens tried to call the subsequent phone in radio program, or their government representative, or their friends to find out if they'd heard the news, that it crashed the telephone exchange. That's just one example of the problems that can occur.

    Those in the US don't know how lucky they are that they never switched over to metric. And it gets even more complex. Canada was switching to metric from the Imperial system. The US has its own measuring system, where a quarz watch, for example, would be equivalent to a 0.9446 litre watch. This is why Canadians find life in the US so hectic, and why Americans think Canadians are mellow. Hey, we're just a little slow. Though this may explain why Karl Auerbach claims he actually likes Jonathan Cohen.

    Still, I suppose if anyone can pull this transfer off without a hitch it would be the Swiss because they already have plenty of experience and skill with watches. Failing that, I'm glad I'm using an inclusive alt root. I sure hope Marc Schneiders, Simon Higgs, et al get a patch written quickly. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Why ICANN's Move to Geneva Is Good
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday April 01 2002, @04:17PM (#5675)
    User #2810 Info
    More info is coming out on the move via the icann.blog. And if you don't know which links to trust, you may want to read what it says here, or what I had to say here. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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