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3 steps to .africa

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Domain Name Registrars (RaRs) hoping to capture a slice of the new (‘dotAfrica’) .africa gTLD (geographic Top Level Domain) will have to comply with three requirements prior to being allowed to submit a domain name application.

Trademark owners have already started applying for .africa domain names matching their protected trademark rights. This is done during the Sunrise Phase, which precedes the public launch of the domain during General Availability (GA) Phase (from 4 July 2017) where domain names are allocated on a “first-come-first-served” basis.

RaRs are the customer-facing entities through which the public typically purchases domain names.

According to Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR), the Sunrise Phase is technically different from the General Availability Phase during the launch plan of a new domain name space. “During the Sunrise Phase, domain names are allocated in terms of a limited rights protection process and not on a first-come, first-served basis. This is intended to provide priority protection to established and verifiable brands.

“In order to receive Sunrise Applications from our customer-facing partners, we need to ensure that certain minimum criteria are met.” They are as follows:

1) RaRs need to be ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) accredited, i.e., be able to provide the Registry with an official registration number issued by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority);

2) Finally, in order to actually submit a valid Sunrise Application, RaRs will most likely need to engage with the Trademark Clearing House (http://www.trademark-clearinghouse.com/) and/or the Mark Validation System (http://markvalidation.co.za). This is to ensure that Sunrise Applications submitted to the Registry actually correspond to a validated trademark right.

3) RaRs have to integrate with the .africa Registry System and this means either completing the onboarding process from scratch or activating your ability to provision .africa domain names within your current account held with the Registry. Part of this process requires ICANN Accredited Registrars to accept the .africa Terms and Conditions applicable to RaRs. More information on the criteria is published on the Registrar Portal http://nic.africa/en/home/.

The aforementioned processes are explained in greater detail on http://nic.africa. RaRs are encouraged to log into their Registrar Portal Account.

.Africa is the new top-level domain for the African continent. “It is an African initiative created by Africans for the international Internet Community. In order to ensure responsible growth, we will place special emphasis on securing the rights of intellectual property owners during the Sunrise Period. Ensuring that RaRs comply with the prescribed requirements is key to a successful Sunrise Period,” concluded Mr Masilela.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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