India First Nation To Block New .XXX Domain

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), recently approved the creation of a “.xxx” domain for pornographic websites. Religious groups and even pornographers have taken issue with the assignation, and nations are now taking a stand, as well.

India has become the first country to block URLs ending in .xxx. The distribution of pornography is illegal in India and elsewhere, and other countries may follow India’s lead.

“India along with many other countries from the Middle East and Indonesia opposed the grant of the domain in the first place, and we would proceed to block the whole domain, as it goes against the IT Act and Indian laws,” said a senior official at the ministry of IT, according to the Economic Times. “Though some people have said that segregation is better, and some countries allow it. But for other nations transmission and direct distribution of such content goes against their moral and culture.”

Pornographers and free speech activists have already voiced concerns that the .xxx suffix will allow authorities to winnow out adult content more easily.

The Next Web contacted cyber lawyer and author of “The Fundamental Right to the Internet,” Vivek Sood, who pointed out that pornography can still be hosted on .com and .in domains in India.

Indeed, the application process for a .xxx domain is voluntary.

Sites seeking to join will be subjected to a set of standards that prohibit child pornography, among other restrictions, and protect consumers against Malware, TechSpot reports. The new domains will also cost as much as $50 dollars more per year than traditional domains, according to the AP

BMW Launches “DriveNow” Car-Sharing System in Munich

BMW Launches “DriveNow” Car-Sharing System in Munich

More signs that the era of the personal automobile may be slowly coming to an end: BMW is launching an interesting new car-sharing system in Munich next month, with plans to bring it worldwide.

Called DriveNow, the system will use about 300 cars—both Mini Coopers and BMW 1-Series models. After registering for the system for a one-time payment of €29 (about $41 at the moment), you can look up cars in your area, reserve a free one, unlock it electronically, drive it anywhere within the service boundaries, and drop it off wherever it’s convenient. For each ride you simply pay 29 cents per minute, up to €14.90 (about $21) per hour (you pay no extra for gas).

It seems like an especially simple system, and the price is reasonable. At $21 per hour, it would be cheaper than a cab—even cheaper than parking in some cities. The fact that every account is linked to a driver’s license will presumably deter theft and vandalism. Hopefully 300 cars will be enough to give Müncheners confidence that one will be available when they need it.

Here are a few videos demonstrating how the system works.

First 48 Hours of Firefox 4

Next Page »