The Buzz: August 20, 2001

Cybersquatting is becoming a problem in the land grab sparked by new domain names.

.info Signup Draws Criticism

Cybersquatting is becoming a problem in the land grab sparked by new domain names.

Afilias, a group of domain managers designated to oversee the registration of the new .info domain, has allowed trademark holders time to register for their trademarks before the public gets its chance at the remaining .info domains beginning Sept. 12.

But critics complain that during this "sunrise period," applicants have been able to grab the most popular .info domains—such as or—even though they hold no trademark.

Afilias last week announced it had set up the Sunrise Challenge to address questionable registrations.

That includes the ability for companies to challenge domain holders, which would have to give up their names if they cant show a trademark.

Infestation of Sites Growing

Web sites are alive with bugs.

A study by Internet intelligence company Cyveillance found that the use of Web bugs—graphics embedded in Web sites that cull information about visitors to the sites—has jumped almost 500 percent since 1998.

The Web bugs can gather such information as the visitors IP address, the type of Web browser the person used to visit the site and other details about the users computer. They can also glean information about the user from cookies on the visitors computer.

While most companies use Web bugs to personalize visitors experiences and garner data about the site, they also raise privacy issues because of the way they spy on users, Cyveillance said.

Founder Wants to Buy Buy.Com

Scott Blum must know something nobody else does. Blum founded Internet retail store and last year oversaw its IPO, which generated $209 million. Now Blum, through his company SB Acquisition, said he will buy back for more than $23 million.

That announcement came just days before, which has seen sales drop by more than half since last year, announced 50 more layoffs and saw its stock delisted from NASDAQ. Furthermore, it is awaiting a trial in its lawsuit against the PGA Tour for alleged violation of a sponsorship agreement and is facing a suit filed by shareholders.