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posted by cmn32480 on Friday March 18 2016, @06:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the like-AOL-in-the-good-old-days dept.

There's a a growing trend to close off publishing platforms by demanding a login in order to view the content. Which is a move away from an open web. In December 2015 Facebook launched its own in-app browser, which is basically a web-view that loads links you tap on using the Facebook app. It may provide convenience for some but the primary goal is to keep users inside the application longer. This opens up more advertising exposure and associated revenue. This poses a challenge to the open web because this overrides the user's default mobile browser keeps the eyeballs in a closed ecosystem. The feature Instant Articles for publishers is done such that it loads articles available nearly instantly in the app compared to a mobile browser. This opens up for monetizing viewing and privacy invasions by Facebook on users. The in-app browser lack decent privacy controls.

Facebook is trying to accomplish a closed version of the internet. The Free Basics initiative with Facebook as the gatekeeper offers users free access to select websites. This initiative made privacy advocates in India, who play an instrumental role in the makeup of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to vote on 2016-02-08 that all data pricing must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content. The decision favours net neutrality and essentially bans Facebook's initiative in that country. The Indian TRAI ruling states that pricing must be content agnostic. Facebook has become a monolithic platform that tries to mimic existing services by offering video uploads (YouTube), money transfers (PayPal) etc. Facebook is expanding like a invasive species similar to the Borg from Star Trek trying to absorb everything that touches their sphere of interest.

In the future, could resistance be futile because you will miss out essential information?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.

Washington Post

“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.

Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.

Los Angeles Times

Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.

O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @06:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @06:30AM (#319890)

    Facebook is expanding like a invasive species similar to the Borg from Star Trek trying to absorb everything that touches their sphere of interest.

    nah they're just taking advantage of idiots that don't know and don't care either way

    you can be sure that governments and other companies are doing all they can to follow suit

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Magic Oddball on Friday March 18 2016, @08:30AM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Friday March 18 2016, @08:30AM (#319912) Journal

      Or of people that would be interested, but aren't tech-inclined enough for reading sites like Soylent/Ars/etc. — without somebody 'in the know' to tell them what's really going on, their only real sources of information are basically television news shows. (My mother's in that category, so I spend a good bit of time here-and-there keeping her updated on, as I put it, "what's really going on beyond what ABC's news shows want you to think.")

      Not that everyone out there is willing to listen or learn... I know most of my maternal relatives certainly aren't, considering they're the kind of willfully ignorant people that put everything on Facebook, favor the FBI/CIA/police/etc. because "I ain't got nothin' to hide" and largely believe "people like them there Tim Kook an' Ed Snowman should be convicted of treason!" :-(

      • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @12:33PM

        by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:33PM (#319957) Journal

        In too many cases it doesn't matter if you tell them anyway. Did they even reflect on these issues when the snowman let the information free?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nuke on Friday March 18 2016, @10:17AM

      by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 18 2016, @10:17AM (#319927)

      they're just taking advantage of idiots that don't know and don't care

      Trouble is that the idiots are so numerous that they outnumber those with common sense, so the World becomes tailored to the idiots.

      I can see the web imploding into walled gardens whether the non-idiots (present company of course) like it or not. You wont be able to opt out, except maybe for some private sites created by those few enthusiasts still capable of writing raw html.

      Half the adverts you see these days (eg I have been looking at plumbing fittings) say "Get our free app!". It is a return to like the early days of Internet Banking where you had to run the bank's app; then in time you could bank with a general purpose browser; but we shall see a return to the special app because that way they have even more control and monitoring over you, and what you see.

      Expect to be able to see the Web only via Facebook, Disqus, MSN or Google, or else via a special app for each website you visit.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @12:37PM

        by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:37PM (#319958) Journal

        This is perhaps the general lesson:

        Trouble is that the idiots are so numerous that they outnumber those with common sense, so the World becomes tailored to the idiots.

        Expect to be able to see the Web only via Facebook, Disqus, MSN or Google, or else via a special app for each website you visit.

        So the future will be locked phones with buggy software that is overloaded with apps to view the walled garden(s) where your bank and friends camp out. What a perverted future.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:22AM (#320234)

          So the future will be locked phones with buggy software that is overloaded with apps to view the walled garden(s)...

          Hate to break it to you but, with Verizon, the future is now. Just thought you should know.

          • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:30AM

            by bitstream (6144) on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:30AM (#320236) Journal

            Let's hope customers (cattle) jump ship soon.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:06AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:06AM (#320293)

              Right, that will work. [dailymail.co.uk]

      • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Friday March 18 2016, @01:38PM

        by JeanCroix (573) on Friday March 18 2016, @01:38PM (#319973)

        ...those with common sense... ...Half the adverts you see these days (eg I have been looking at plumbing fittings) say "Get our free app!"

        You see ads? I'd have thought the common sense option these days would be running ad-blocking software/add-ons of some sort. I haven't seen ads online for years, even on Facebook.

        • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Friday March 18 2016, @07:35PM

          by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 18 2016, @07:35PM (#320138)

          You see ads? I'd have thought the common sense option these days would be running ad-blocking software

          I'm not talking about ads in banners and pop-ups, but ads I go looking for when I want to buy something. I don't think we have any problem with a car or camera maker having a website which displays their offerings, nor for that matter the local plumber and used car dealer.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday March 18 2016, @04:36PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday March 18 2016, @04:36PM (#320032) Journal

        These things come in waves.

        I fully expect, in five years time when the most of the web is divided into tiny walled gardens, some bright spark to "invent" interoperability and open web and so on. It will get a new name, and PHBs everyone everywhere will clamour to overpay people to implement the brand new thing that was standard decades before.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday March 18 2016, @04:13PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 18 2016, @04:13PM (#320024) Journal

      Yes, but idiots on Facebook don't have any 'essential information' that I need. So a closed prison camp, er . . ., um, I should put a more positive spin on it . . . um, so a walled garden won't affect me. Because it won't contain anything I need.

      Technical materials. Open source projects. Programming language and library tutorials and reference materials. News. Science news. Etc.

      And, there are plenty of other online forums. I think I have one open in my browser this very moment. And it's not within facebook's walled garden of idiots.

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Saturday March 19 2016, @08:11AM

        by bitstream (6144) on Saturday March 19 2016, @08:11AM (#320351) Journal

        It's a battle of eye balls. Because other services you need will be affected by this eventually.
        (so wreck any intrusion to the open web ecosystem)

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Friday March 18 2016, @07:06AM

    by c0lo (156) on Friday March 18 2016, @07:06AM (#319893) Journal
    If resistance is futile, try reactance instead (e.g. actively resisting change of your potential).
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @03:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @03:16PM (#320000)

      Capacitive or inductive?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Friday March 18 2016, @06:05PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday March 18 2016, @06:05PM (#320078)

        Was gonna answer, but my data isn't current.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @11:47PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @11:47PM (#320229)
          Capacitive for you, then
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @07:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @07:03AM (#320332)

        Huh? I... I don't know that.
        *aaaaaauuuuugh*

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday March 18 2016, @07:11AM

    by c0lo (156) on Friday March 18 2016, @07:11AM (#319895) Journal

    Facebook Moves in to Make the Web a Facebook Monopoly

    Isn't this a bit on the sensationalist side?
    Yes, FB would try to keep you inside their app for as long as possible (if you are stoopid enough to take their offer).
    But they aren't denying you alternative choices for accessing the Web.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @07:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @07:20AM (#319896)

      ...yet. Free basics obviously is the first beachhead. First you get preferred status and then move onto making other options illegal. Classic monopoly 101 stuff.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday March 18 2016, @07:37AM

        by c0lo (156) on Friday March 18 2016, @07:37AM (#319899) Journal

        If you reach between your legs, you'll find something that is the focus of a certain segment of the... ummm... entertainment industry.
        As long as that something is attached to human beings, I don't think FB will get monopoly over Internet [knowyourmeme.com]

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday March 18 2016, @07:50AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 18 2016, @07:50AM (#319901) Journal

          The internet != the web.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday March 18 2016, @08:03AM

            by c0lo (156) on Friday March 18 2016, @08:03AM (#319908) Journal

            The internet != the web.

            Ah, you still dial into a BBS for your daily porn needs?

            Maybe it's time someone tell ya that since you last looked on the Web, there are a huge number of Web sites dedicated to it.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:08AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:08AM (#319918)

              I believe one can find nearly anything out there.

              Even my favorite: Sthenolagnia

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday March 18 2016, @01:34PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 18 2016, @01:34PM (#319972) Journal

              Ah, you still dial into a BBS for your daily porn needs?

              BBSs were not the internet. But the internet predated the web, and still is far more than the web.

              And no, I don't have daily porn needs. But if I had, I'd probably first check if the binaries newsgroups still exist. There might also be some torrents available.

              Maybe it's time someone tell ya that since you last looked on the Web, there are a huge number of Web sites dedicated to it.

              And from what I hear, they usually infect your computer with malware, too. Something not that easily possible with alternative sources using protocols without scripting support.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:11PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:11PM (#320172)

                Disk-less virtual machine from a LiveCD. What's wrong with you?

        • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @12:40PM

          by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:40PM (#319959) Journal

          Yes, Facebook etc will see the light at least initially to have such things on their site in order to reach full market captivity.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Nuke on Friday March 18 2016, @10:01AM

      by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 18 2016, @10:01AM (#319923)

      Facebook Moves in to Make the Web a Facebook Monopoly

      Isn't this a bit on the sensationalist side?

      Whether Facebook monopolise it or not, I think a more important point is that they are doing it at all and that their rivals will do the same, until it is not possible to surf a large part of the web except though some advertising giant's portal.

      I am already finding sites such as general discussion sites and even specific company advertising sites (like I was looking to buy some car accessories) which would not even let you browse the site unless you came in via an account with Google Plus, Disqus or Facebook. If I were a business with a website advertising my stuff, I'd want as few obstacles as possible to people seeing it, so what are these companies thinking of? Has their web developer taken them for a ride, with bungs from Facebook and Disqus ?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @11:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @11:12AM (#319933)

        well, it is a good way of keeping out trolls. maybe they weighed the options, and decided that potential buyers motivated enough to create an account are enough to make them profitable (rather than expose themselves to all buyers + trolls).

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pTamok on Friday March 18 2016, @11:50AM

    by pTamok (3042) on Friday March 18 2016, @11:50AM (#319944)

    This on-going commercial capture of the Internet commons worries me. Already I have seen local government start to use Facebook as the primary means of interaction - and while I am pretty certain that it was set up by people who did not understand the full implications of what they were doing, the end result is that we are approaching a point where Facebook inserts itself into the ability to transact business, and people will have no other option to use as organisations will take the practical view of using Facebook rather than developing their own Internet capabilities. Handing the problems of authentication and data management over to a third party is very tempting, even though it is a Faustian bargain.

    Most people won't care that they are obliged to use Facebook to buy certain things online, and probably won't mind if they are obliged to use Facebook to pay local taxes or claim benefits from their local government organisation. So you can end up with a 'tyrannical' majority that mean that those who prefer not to use Facebook have no other choice. Which, of course, is what Facebook wants.

    • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @12:43PM

      by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:43PM (#319960) Journal

      Already I have seen local government start to use Facebook as the primary means of interaction - and while I am pretty certain that it was set up by people who did not understand the full implications of what they were doing, the end result is that we are approaching a point where Facebook inserts itself into the ability to transact business,

      I'll noticed the same tendency. Any ideas on how to counter this?

      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday March 18 2016, @01:14PM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Friday March 18 2016, @01:14PM (#319964)

        Avoid non-open protocols, formats, and APIs. Apple would have done the same thing if Android hadn't forced them to compete. Microsoft is pushing that way as well.

        • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @05:33PM

          by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @05:33PM (#320068) Journal

          The problem is market domination.

          • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday March 18 2016, @09:30PM

            by Nerdfest (80) on Friday March 18 2016, @09:30PM (#320179)

            More like the result, I think. If people continue to lock themselves into these walled gardens where a single company has complete control over everything it will continue to happen. People are still over-paying IBM for mainframes and that wasn't even quite as bad as some of the stuff going on now.

      • (Score: 1) by harmless on Friday March 18 2016, @03:38PM

        by harmless (1048) on Friday March 18 2016, @03:38PM (#320009) Homepage

        I'll noticed the same tendency. Any ideas on how to counter this?

        Sure. Refuse to use Facebook.

        If it's a government entity there are probably statutes that mandate that information has to accessible to everyone. Call in and demand to be given an option that does not need a Facebook account.

        If it's a private entity you can ask them; but you ultimately might just have to do without that specific offer. But if it's a corporation that is offering something they aren't doing that just to be nice. They want to profit from it in some fashion. So it might help to let them know that assuming everyone has a Facebook account just lost them some business.

        Of course, if you give in and create a Facebook account just for that occasion you just affirmed that this approach works and they (whoever they are) will continue doing it this way.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Friday March 18 2016, @03:34PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday March 18 2016, @03:34PM (#320006) Homepage Journal

      Not just Facebook. I don't enter radio contests but I listen to KSHE. "95th to call" became "950th to text", and they just announced that they're dropping their text line and will now have contests on TWITTER. What is a twitter? A device to turn normal people into twits.

      I'm only on facebook to get more readers of my books and stories, my daughter convinced me. But the free web is still in existence, my site has no ads, no cookies, and the only scripting is to redirect phones to the page that doesn't suck on a phone. Here's the code:

      <script type="text/javascript">
          <!--
          if (screen.width <= 500) {
              window.location = "mobile.html";
          }
          //-->
      </script>

      It suffers from a problem on an iPad -- a iPad unfortunately follows the rule I proposed for phones and loads mobile.html instead of index.html, and index.html is fine on a tablet and mobile.html is shitty on a tablet. I need to do more thinking and researching, I guess.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Urlax on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:49PM

        by Urlax (3027) on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:49PM (#320476)

        Thats a shitty way to detect mobile users, as most recent phones have full HD resolution, or higher.
        (Although the viewport has less pixels)

        It also breaks on browsers running without JavaScript.

        There's at least a dozen libraries that detect the user agent string and take 5 minutes to implement on the server side. Some can even distinguish the feature grade of the browser.
        (Example of grades:https://jquerymobile.com/browser-support/1.4 )

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday March 19 2016, @05:42PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 19 2016, @05:42PM (#320492) Homepage Journal

          All the ways I've found are shitty for one reason or another. Yes, it will break on browsers without javascript and on higher end phones, that's why I left the link to the mobile version.

          My host already has and offers jquery, but that would entail rewriting the entire site, hundreds of web pages, when I only need to redirect three of them. The rest are fine on any device without any scripting at all.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 2) by Geezer on Friday March 18 2016, @03:14PM

    by Geezer (511) on Friday March 18 2016, @03:14PM (#319998)

    Facebook wanting to pen users up in their particular proprietary corner of the web, a la AOL, scarcely qualifies as a web-wide monopoly. Google is a lot closer to that.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18 2016, @09:48PM (#320186)

    This is exactly what you want, isn't it militant ad-blockers?