24 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2018
    1. That would require embedding a access point document via iframe and obtaining a MessagePort from the access point service worker and passing it over to an own service worker

      https://github.com/tableflip/ipfs-postmsg-proxy takes care of abstracting this away in IPFS case, creating API instance that looks like the real thing.

  2. Dec 2017
    1. A second issue is that people who participate in a system of this time, since everything is free since it’s all being monetized, what reward can you get? Ultimately, this system creates assholes, because if being an asshole gets you attention, that’s exactly what you’re going to do. Because there’s a bias for negative emotions to work better in engagement, because the attention economy brings out the asshole in a lot of other people, the people who want to disrupt and destroy get a lot more efficiency for their spend than the people who might be trying to build up and preserve and improve.
    2. The behaviorists got pretty far in understanding the kinds of algorithms that can change people. They found that noisy feedback works better than consistent feedback. That means that if you’re pressing the button to get your treat, and once in a while it doesn’t work, it actually engages your mind even more —  it makes you more obsessive, whether you’re a rat, or a dog, or a person.
    3. This is an ongoing conversation and argument that goes back for years. If I’m in an environment with a bunch of technical men, and I say, you know, we’re doing this thing that excludes people, they’ll say, “What are you complaining about? At least you’re on the good side of it.” And my response is, “Actually, from a purely selfish point of view, it does hurt me because I’m in this weird echo chamber where I’m being told ‘you're a hacker, you’re a technical man, you’re a white man’” and it becomes this ongoing reinforcement where you’re that thing — but the thing is this total artificial bullshit classification that just happens to rise from the resonance of this stupid tool. So while I’m on the beneficial side of it, in some ways, it forces me into this box. I think this kind of thinking hurts everyone, even the people who appear to be the beneficiaries of it. They’re forced into a place where they can’t reach their full potential.
    4. So if you zoom ahead to the 1950s or so, Norbert Wiener, one of the founders of computer science after Alan Turing and Jon van Neumann, wrote a book called 'The Human Use of Human Beings,' and in that book he points out that a computer (which at that time was a very new and exotic device that only existed in a few laboratories) could take the role of the human researcher in one of these experiments. So, if you had a computer that was reading information about what a person did and then providing stimulus, you could condition that person and change their behavior in a predictable way. He was saying that computers could turn out to have incredible social consequences. There’s an astonishing passage at the end of 'The Human Use of Human Beings' in which he says, “The thing about this book is that this hypothetical might seem scary, but in order for it to happen, there’d have to be some sort of global computing capacity with wireless links to every single person on earth who keeps some kind of device on their person all the time and obviously this is impossible.”
    5. There’s this thing that happened which is that there’s more diversity of ethnicity and background perhaps, but less diversity of cognitive style. If you have a certain kind of nerdy, quantitative problem-solving oriented cognitive style, that will get you more friends, and that will get you along better than if you have a more contemplative, aesthetic center. 
    6. How I ended up at Microsoft is really simple. Sergey [Brin] told me, “We don’t want people writing all of these controversial essays,” because I’ve been writing tech criticism for a long time. I’ve been worried about tech turning us into evil zombies for a long time, and Sergey said, “Well, Google people can’t be doing that.” And I was like, really? And then I was talking to Bill Gates and he said, “You can’t possibly say anything else bad about us that you haven’t said. We don’t care. Why don’t you come look at our labs? They’re really cool.” And I thought, well that sounds great. So I went and looked, and I was like, yeah, this is actually really great.
  3. Nov 2017
    1. The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.
    2. Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative.
    3. The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It wouldn’t conceptually be anymore a “network of networks”, but just a “network of three networks”, the Trinet, if you will.
    4. Similarly, while AMZN’s business still relies on traffic to their desktop web portal (accounting for 33% of sales), a large portion (25%) of their sales happen through mobile apps, not to mention Amazon Echo. Like Google Home, Amazon Echo bypasses the Web and uses the internet just for communication between cloud and end user. In these new non-web contexts, tech giants have more authority over data traffic.
    5. As an index, people have different expectations on search result neutrality. Some want Google Search to be entirely neutral, some demand immediate action to remove some results. The European Union has both demanded GOOG to comply with removal requests, and fined GOOG for not being neutral in shopping queries. It is not beneficial for GOOG to assume the role of an impartial arbiter of content, since it’s not supporting their business model. Quite the contrary, they are under public scrutiny from multiple governments, potentially risking their reputation.
    6. The War for Net Neutrality in the USA won a battle in 2014, but in 2017 we are seeing a second battle which is more likely to be lost. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are probably soon going to dictate what traffic can or cannot arrive at people’s end devices. GOOG-FB-AMZN traffic would be the most common, due to their popularity among internet users. Because of this market demand, ISPs will likely provide cheap plans with access to GOOG-FB-AMZN, while offering more expensive plans with full internet access. It is already a reality in Portugal.
    7. GOOG promotes lock-in and proprietary technologies such as Firebase and Google-dependent AMP installations as much as it advocates open PWAs. GOOG does not consistently defend the open Web. They dropped XMPP in Gtalk, and Gtalk itself was deprecated, favoring Google Hangouts with a proprietary protocol. Chrome Web Store is a walled garden like App Store. They shutdown Google Reader based on RSS, an open standard. Google Cloud TPU is proprietary hardware that only exists in their datacenters, supporting their open source framework TensorFlow. Google Inbox suffers “proprietary creep”: non-standard, closed algorithms that promise to organize your life, an essential component of a lock-in based business model.
    8. The original vision for the Web according to its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, was a space with multilateral publishing and consumption of information. It was a peer-to-peer vision with no dependency on a single party. Tim himself claims the Web is dying: the Web he wanted and the Web he got are no longer the same.
    9. What has changed over the last 4 years is market share of traffic on the Web. It looks like nothing has changed, but GOOG and FB now have direct influence over 70%+ of internet traffic. Mobile internet traffic is now the majority of traffic worldwide and in Latin America alone, GOOG and FB services have had 60% of mobile traffic in 2015, growing to 70% by the end of 2016.
  4. Aug 2017
    1. Google in my experience knows that there are ambiguities, moral doubts, around some of what they do, and at least they try to think about it. Facebook just doesn’t care. When you’re in a room with them you can tell. They’re’ – he took a moment to find the right word – ‘scuzzy’.
    2. So Facebook knows your phone ID and can add it to your Facebook ID. It puts that together with the rest of your online activity: not just every site you’ve ever visited, but every click you’ve ever made – the Facebook button tracks every Facebook user, whether they click on it or not. Since the Facebook button is pretty much ubiquitous on the net, this means that Facebook sees you, everywhere. Now, thanks to its partnerships with the old-school credit firms, Facebook knew who everybody was, where they lived, and everything they’d ever bought with plastic in a real-world offline shop.[4]​4 All this information is used for a purpose which is, in the final analysis, profoundly bathetic. It is to sell you things via online ads.The ads work on two models. In one of them, advertisers ask Facebook to target consumers from a particular demographic – our thirty-something bourbon-drinking country music fan, or our African American in Philadelphia who was lukewarm about Hillary. But Facebook also delivers ads via a process of online auctions, which happen in real time whenever you click on a website. Because every website you’ve ever visited (more or less) has planted a cookie on your web browser, when you go to a new site, there is a real-time auction, in millionths of a second, to decide what your eyeballs are worth and what ads should be served to them, based on what your interests, and income level and whatnot, are known to be. This is the reason ads have that disconcerting tendency to follow you around, so that you look at a new telly or a pair of shoes or a holiday destination, and they’re still turning up on every site you visit weeks later. This was how, by chucking talent and resources at the problem, Facebook was able to turn mobile from a potential revenue disaster to a great hot steamy geyser of profit.
    3. Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them.
    4. What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads. I’m not sure there has ever been a more complete disconnect between what a company says it does – ‘connect’, ‘build communities’ – and the commercial reality.
    5. Particular segments of voters too can be targeted with complete precision. One instance from 2016 was an anti-Clinton ad repeating a notorious speech she made in 1996 on the subject of ‘super-predators’. The ad was sent to African-American voters in areas where the Republicans were trying, successfully as it turned out, to suppress the Democrat vote. Nobody else saw the ads.
    6. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.
    7. A version of Gresham’s law is at work, in which fake news, which gets more clicks and is free to produce, drives out real news, which often tells people things they don’t want to hear, and is expensive to produce.
    8. The mission to ‘connect’ turns out to mean, in practice, connect with people who agree with you. We can’t prove just how dangerous these ‘filter bubbles’ are to our societies, but it seems clear that they are having a severe impact on our increasingly fragmented polity. Our conception of ‘we’ is becoming narrower.