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News Technology

Amazon acquired KindleFireHD.com domain right before announcement

Kindle Fire HD

  • Unknown if Amazon shelled out big bucks or threatened legal action

  • Domain first registered on Sept 28, ’11, same day Kindle Fire announced

  • Amazon revealed as owner even though name anonymously registered

  • Has better domain record than Apple, which still doesn’t own iPad.com

In a smart move by Amazon, shortly before announcing the new Kindle Fire HD family of products to the world on September 6, 2012, the company acquired the domain name KindleFireHD.com.  According to Whois records, the name switched hands from its previous owner “Nathaniel Sawbo” to Amazon.

What is known (after some sleuthing) is that Amazon now owns the domain, but what isn’t known is if Amazon had to pay some money to the name’s original owner or whether the company threatened legal action.

On the very same day Amazon unveiled the first generation Kindle Fire in 2011, the company registered well over 500 domain names related to the Kindle Fire and Silk browser products, through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.  While Amazon managed to secure the rights to names like KindleFireScreen.com and KindleFireDisplay.com, it failed to obtain KindleFireHD.com.

Today, KindleFireHD.com is a blank web page and is registered anonymously through Go Daddy’s Domains By Proxy service, but it takes only a few simple steps using Go Daddy’s public account retrieval system to figure out who is behind the domain.

It’s what some might call a “slight flaw” in Go Daddy’s account retrieval system which allows you to figure out the owner of a privately registered domain as long as you know the e-mail address of the registrant.

On my first and only try, I used hostmaster@amazon.com, and was able to quickly confirm Amazon as the owner.

First, I went to Go Daddy’s Account Assistance page.

Go Daddy Account Assistance

Next, I clicked on Retrieve my Customer #, then entered kindlefirehd.com for the domain name and hostmaster@amazon.com for the e-mail address.  After entering the security code, I clicked Submit, as shown in the screenshot below.

Go Daddy Retrieve my Customer number

If everything is a successful match, and it was, a message stating, “An email with the requested information has been sent.”

Unlike Apple, one of its biggest competitors with a reputation for announcing products before owning the domains, Amazon has a much better track record.

Amazon owned KindleFire.com when it unveiled the tablet.

The company owns Kindle.com and other product names like KindleDX.com.

To this day, Apple doesn’t even own iPad.com.

Amazon may even have a shot at owning FireHD.com, which has surprisingly expired according to Whois.  If you browse Amazon’s website, you’ll notice the company uses “Fire HD” (minus Kindle) quite a bit, so it may be in the company’s interest.  The domain name will be available to the public on October 3, 2012, if the owner doesn’t renew the name in time.

I’ve reached out to Nathaniel Sawbo, KindleFireHD.com’s original owner for more information on the transaction and will update this post if I hear back.

(Image of Kindle Fire HD via Amazon.com)

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News

Facebook registers Studio Edge domains on the same day of Camera App launch

Facebook Studio Edge

Facebook just introduced Camera, a new mobile app that makes using Facebook photos faster and easier.  And on the very same day of the announcement, it appears Facebook privately registered Facebook Studio Edge domain names like FacebookStudioEdge.com.

On May 24, 2012, the dotcom, dotnet and dotorg versions of the names were registered through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor, of which Facebook is a client.

http://whois.domaintools.com/facebookstudioedge.org
http://whois.domaintools.com/facebookstudioedge.net
http://whois.domaintools.com/facebookstudioedge.com

The owner is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s privacy service DNStination, so there is a slight chance Facebook isn’t behind the names.  But considering MarkMonitor’s trackrecord with Facebook, it is unlikely anyone else.

At the time of this story’s posting, none of the domains resolve to a web page and Facebook has made no official announcement about Facebook Studio Edge.

Last year, Facebook launched a stand-alone website called Facebook Studio (facebook-studio.com), a platform aimed at agencies, PR firms and media strategy companies.

Update:  Robin Wauters has done a little digging and discovered Facebook Studio Edge is nothing more a than day long course in best-practice marketing on Facebook.

Talking about this story: The Next Web, Marketing Land and All Facebook

(Image of camera app via fb.com)

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News

Google was buyer of Wallet.com domain

Wallet.com Whois

Back in June 2011, DotWeekly editor Jamie Zoch spotted a change in the Whois records of the domain name Wallet.com.  Jamie speculated that either Zynga or Google was the buyer of the domain, which was privately registered making it difficult to know the owner’s identity.

As of today, the buyer is no longer a secret, thanks to another change in the Whois records

Whois Privacy was removed this week from Wallet.com revealing Google Inc. as the official owner, who paid an undisclosed amount of money for the name.

When you type wallet.com into your browser, you are taken to google.com. 

In May 2011, Google announced Google Wallet, a mobile app that allows users to make their phone a virtual wallet.  The web address for the site is <www.google.com/wallet>.

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News

What is Google’s RoboHornet?

RoboHornet.com Whois record

It may be nothing, it may be something.  But what is known is that Google privately registered the domain names RoboHornet.com and RoboHornet.org on February 17, 2012, then removed the Whois privacy and transferred the domains to its own name servers a week later.

RoboHornet.com (Whois) and RoboHornet.org (Whois) were both registered through internet brand protection company MarkMonitor. 

According to Whois historical records, Google chose to keep the registrant information private.  That is, until the record was updated on February 24, revealing Google Inc. as the owner.

So, what is RoboHornet?

I won’t bother speculating at this point, because Google buys new domain names all the time for a variety of reasons, including future projects that may never see the light of day.

However, after a brief internet search, I did come across a small piece of information.  On May 4, 2011, it appears a Google developer created a project called RoboHornet on Google Project Hosting, a free collaborative development environment for open source projects.  

As of today though, the RoboHornet project home page returns a 403 error.

Neither RoboHornet.com nor RoboHornet.org resolve to a web page.

Discussion: Marketing Land

Categories
News Video Games

Looks like THQ has registered some “Stick of Truth” domain names

THQ

THQ squashed rumors of its demise last month.  Now, the game publisher has apparently registered a handful of domain names related to something called “The Stick of Truth”.

On February 7, 2012, the domain names Stickoftruth.com (Whois), TheStickoftruth.com (Whois) and TruthStick.com (Whois), were registered with Go Daddy.

Of course, saying that THQ is definitely behind the registrations is speculation at this point.

All three domains were registered privately using Go Daddy’s WHOIS privacy service – Domains by Proxy.

But what leads me to believe that THQ is the owner, is the domain servers listed in the Whois records (NS1.THQ.COM, NS2.THQ.COM and NS3.THQ.COM) all belong to THQ. 

At the time of this story, none of the domain names resolve to a web page.

Discussion: GameSpot