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posted by mrpg on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:58AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the 404 dept.

Vint Cerf, the godfather of the Internet, spoke in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday and issued a blunt call to action for a digital preservation regime for content and code to be quickly put in place to counter the existing throwaway culture that denies future generations an essential window into life in the past. He emphasized that this was especially needed for the WWW. Due to the volatile nature of electronic storage media as well as the format in which information is encoded, it is not possible to preserve digital material without prior planning and action.

[...] While the digital disappearance phenomenon is one which has so far mainly vexed official archivists and librarians for some years now, Cerf's take is that as everything goes from creation, the risk of accidental or careless memory loss increases correspondingly.

Archivists have for decades fought publicly for open document formats to hedge against proprietary and vendor risks – especially when classified material usually can only be made public after 30 to 50 years, sometimes longer.

From iTnews : Internet is losing its memory: Cerf


Original Submission

Related Stories

On the Disappearance of Open Access Journals Over Time 28 comments

David Rosenthal discusses the last 25 years of digital preservation efforts in regards to academic journals. It's a long-standing problem and discontinued journals continue to disappear from the Internet. Paper, microfilm, and microfiche are slow to degrade and are decentralized and distributed. Digital media are quick to disappear and the digital publications are usually only in a single physical place leading to single point of failure. It takes continuous, unbroken effort and money to keep digital publications accessible even if only one person or institution wishes to retain acccess. He goes into the last few decades of academic publishing and how we got here and then brings up 4 points abuot preservation, especially in regards to Open Access publishing.

Lesson 1: libraries won't pay enough to preserve even subscription content, let alone open-access content.

[...] Lesson 2: No-one, not even librarians, knows where most of the at-risk open-access journals are.

[...] Lesson 3: The production preservation pipeline must be completely automated.

[...] Lesson 4: Don't make the best be the enemy of the good. I.e. get as much as possible with the available funds, don't expect to get everything.

He posits that focus should be on the preservation of the individual articles, not the journals as units.

Previously:
(2020) Internet Archive Files Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Publisher Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
(2018) Vint Cerf: Internet is Losing its Memory
(2014) The Importance of Information Preservation


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:33AM (#700564)

    An article about common sense! woooo

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:41AM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:41AM (#700566)

    The real problem is copyright. We absolutely must eviscerate current copyright laws, and return to rational - constitutional - copyright. You know, to encourage artists to create thereby enriching the public domain? That robust store of freely available and relevant ideas which anyone can draw from, reuse, remix, free of any obligations whatsoever?

    A lot of those things sound like the internet. And when copying has an incremental cost of zero, data and ideas want to be free.

    But, these laws are stymieing our ability to even archive the ideas that should be entering the public domain, for when they would be available. Well, at least for our great-great-great-grandkids in the 2200s (unless Disney manages to buy all ideas and enough legislators to outlaw the public domain itself).

    This is fucking insane, and has to stop. All the 'piracy' going on is in fact simply civil disobedience. Hopefully somewhere, some librarians are being similarly disobedient.

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:04AM (3 children)

      by anubi (2828) on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:04AM (#700595) Journal

      The unfettered internet will have a tendency to retain anything worth retaining, and stuff no-one deemed significant will be consigned to oblivion.

      I am grateful I was able to recover a recording done a long time ago... Begin the Beguine ( Artie Shaw ) and Tonight We Love ( Freddy Martin ).

      I am old. And this was my Dad's music!

      I remember playing the 78's of them when I was a little kid. I heard 'em again on an show the local PBS was airing... "Things that aren't here anymore". It was so wonderful to be able to find them, and hear them again. I mean, the original ones, just as I heard them as a kid.

      I fear the next generation of kids may be denied this.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:28AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:28AM (#700596)

        The unfettered internet will have a tendency to retain anything worth retaining, and stuff no-one deemed significant will be consigned to oblivion.

        So that's why the utterly worst rips have the most seeders, while perfect quality rips are seeded by just about no one!

        • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday June 30 2018, @10:20AM

          by anubi (2828) on Saturday June 30 2018, @10:20AM (#700607) Journal

          I am quite grateful anybody took the trouble to seed it in the first place.

          Especially now that our Congress is passing so much law about people trying to share. They seem determined to make us all part of the beast, whose only function is to generate economic activity that is trackable, profitable to certain entities, and detrimental to those not empowered to craft the law.

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:17PM (#700728)

        REM did it better

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Saturday June 30 2018, @11:03AM (8 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday June 30 2018, @11:03AM (#700616) Journal

      The real problem is copyright.

      For digital info, the real problem is the storage format.
      A closed and unspecified digital format and any creation will be lost once the provider of the technology doesn't support it any more, irrespective of that creation being in the public domain or still under the copyright.

      Unlike the paper, film, canvas or stone/metal

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:35PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:35PM (#700633) Journal

        Unlike the paper, film, canvas or stone/metal

        All of those are subject to degradation and destruction. Particularly paper, film, and canvas. They also have a low information density.

        Ultimately, we want to develop storage with an indefinite [soylentnews.org] lifespan [soylentnews.org] as well as an unprecedented density. DNA storage is on the table (455 exabytes per gram [wikipedia.org] or 215 petabytes per gram [wikipedia.org]?), and it can be replicated easily with PCR machines, but it doesn't look convenient. Wikipedia also gives a questionable estimate of 35 bits/electron ∴ 3 exabytes/in2 for electronic quantum holography. You could imagine some kind of crystalline medium being used for holographic storage while lasting many times longer than typical optical discs.

        As for the problem of unspecified or lost formats, if we manage to get exabytes of storage into the hands of every individual on the planet, and zettabytes or yottabytes in larger organizations, we could easily spread lots of knowledge and culture around*, which can be copied endlessly over the internet or whatever networks exist at that point, irrespective of format. Which returns us back to the problem of copyright laws making it harder (though far from impossible) to archive and share our ongoing history.

        *The entirety of compressed English Wikipedia can fit onto a 16 GB storage device. An exabyte is 62.5 million times larger.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday June 30 2018, @02:27PM

          by c0lo (156) on Saturday June 30 2018, @02:27PM (#700670) Journal

          All of those are subject to degradation and destruction.

          So it's the current digital storage media. Until the linked tech get into mass production, that's speculation.

          As for the problem of unspecified or lost formats, if we manage to get exabytes of storage into the hands of every individual on the planet, and zettabytes or yottabytes in larger organizations, we could easily spread lots of knowledge and culture around

          Uhu. Go read some Word documents from 15 years ago, with OLE-embedded [wikipedia.org] blobs. On 32bit CPU-es.

          Imagine how well those exabytes will read after 100 years if you don't have any format spec.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:48PM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @12:48PM (#700640) Journal

        A closed and unspecified digital format

        Such as encryption with an undisclosed key?

        Public domain content will much more likely be available in a well-documented, open format than proprietary content.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27PM (#700746) Journal

          Public domain content will much more likely be available in a well-documented, open format than proprietary content.

          ONLY if it is popular and replicated widely. And even then it ends up on someone's home machine which goes poof sooner or later.

          Worse is if the public domain content is stored in, say, Some old version of Microsoft Word. Resurrecting these files can be a nightmare because the structure was never fully publicly documented. The new tendency among clueless people to trust Microsoft with all of their documents (Office 365) is even worse.

          Yet local government records tend to be stored in electronic format all the time. Paper copies take up too much room. Its all on the server. They've got backup tapes. Its been decades since they tried to read those tapes, and the hardware has been replaced twice in the meantime. What could possibly go wrong?

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Sunday July 01 2018, @08:32PM (3 children)

        by darkfeline (1030) on Sunday July 01 2018, @08:32PM (#701046) Homepage

        It's not that bad. I can play wav, mp3, mkv, vorbis, mpeg, webm, etc etc on Linux just fine. These formats and their decoders aren't going anywhere anytime soon. While in theory some of the formats have private patents, in practice I don't see it possible to enforce; you can't ban something that everyone and their grandma is using, and Congress critters, corrupt as they are, also have family photos and videos they won't take kindly to not being able to view.

        I worry much more about reliable storage than reliable storage format. You can't really get reliable storage (protection from regular drive death and natural disasters and "oops") without building multiple dedicated storage racks around the world or resorting to the cloud.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 02 2018, @01:29AM (2 children)

          by c0lo (156) on Monday July 02 2018, @01:29AM (#701133) Journal

          It's not that bad. I can play wav, mp3, mkv, vorbis, mpeg, webm, etc etc on Linux just fine.

          For now.

          These formats and their decoders aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

          Define soon. 20 years from now? 50 years from now?
          Besides, note that most of these formats are documented.

          While in theory some of the formats have private patents, in practice I don't see it possible to enforce;

          OOXML is public standard. And yet, it allows OLE blobs.
          In practice, even open standards (much less patents) do not protect against "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" practices.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Monday July 02 2018, @04:10AM (1 child)

            by darkfeline (1030) on Monday July 02 2018, @04:10AM (#701195) Homepage

            Define soon. 20 years from now? 50 years from now?
            Besides, note that most of these formats are documented.

            Why do they have to be documented? I have a decoder that can play these files now, the decoder is going to continue to be able to play those files forever, and the decoder isn't going to just disappear. I can make effectively infinite copies of both the decoders and the files. Barring catastrophe, the ability to play said files is not going to disappear, and a catastrophe would endanger pretty much any storage format, analog or digital, especially if we lose written languages.

            The format could literally be a black box which nobody knows and it doesn't matter in the slightest. No one would be able to create new files using the format, but that's irrelevant for archival purposes. I can still play them and that's all that matters.

            --
            Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 02 2018, @05:01AM

              by c0lo (156) on Monday July 02 2018, @05:01AM (#701202) Journal

              I have a decoder that can play these files now, the decoder is going to continue to be able to play those files forever

              Z80 code is no longer used by any mainstream computers - has been only 40 years since it was extensively used.
              Any warranties you aren't going to have, as the mainstream default, quantum or neural computing in 40 years time with Neumann architectures a thing of the nostalgic past?

              Forever is a long time, don't bet on it.

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:44AM (2 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:44AM (#700567) Journal

    There are enough players that want to make content practically uncopyable. Which is incompatible with Cerf's goal. And unfortunately they are far more powerful.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @08:17AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @08:17AM (#700587)

      Hopefully, there will always be those who worked wearing the corporate noose, who find themselves laid off one day, and they reciprocate the kindness by coding transcoders that convert the secret sauce into public commodity file formats.

      I think its a good thing to know how to code. That way, you know good and well what your code does. Kinda like that feeling I got when I coded my own CRC and MD5 digester from odds and ends I found... when I had finally written my own C++ library under Borland Turbo C++ 3.1 for DOS, I could use it knowing good and well how to use it and what it did. I ended up using that program for years... to make sure no computer virus was messing with my boot sector or DOS system files. In those days, the "hard stuff", like reading or writing a disk sector or writing to the CRT was in boot ROM, unwritable by code, and could be trusted. Every computer shipped usually had two of these EPROMS ( like 27C256 or so ) in it, and they used to even document the source code in the "IBM AT Technical Reference" manual. I still have those.

      This was during the BBS days where warez groups and brain viruses were running rampant. Every run of an .EXE, .COM, and sometimes .BAT was a play of computational Russian Roulette on my machine. A little coding, and I could fix it to where if the code did anything persistent, like altering anything in the boot sector, startup, or system files, I would rapidly discover what it did, then run SoftIce on it and fix it, or just trash it if it wasn't worth the trouble.

      But, with the advent of Microsoft Windows and bloatware, things got so big and complex that it was damn near impossible to fix anything and know that you fixed it right. The whole game shifted to where the writer could place stuff in there that did the damndest things... just like reading some of today's businesstalk where the reader is pummeled with many words, but none of them making any sort of committment on the seller.

      Its quite apparent that our Congress considered a technically literate America to be a bad thing, so they have passed all this law to make things like I used to do illegal. Best to have people completely ignorant, and our computational infrastructure crawling with nasty code where only those people authorized to do so can inspect it.

      I am just waiting for the Medical Community to extend the business handshake to Congress to get them to make it illegal to discuss how AIDS is spread, to protect the business models of the caregivers to the sick. Knowing how Congress acts, they will probably sign it. Healthy people are "bad for business" for the medical community. Best if everyone was sick. Good for business.

      Slowly but surely we have gotten our computational infrastructure so fragile these days. I feel as if I am an old Roman engineer, knowing how vulnerable our aquaducts are to enemy attack, but the waggers of the pen, with political power, are having us build the aqueducts with little levers in the side, which if pulled, will collapse the thing. If you bring up how vulnerable we are, they will retaliate by dismissing you from your job. They wear badge-hats, and no one is going to dare disobey a badge-hat, or so they seem to believe. I would just as soon have the laws of physics backing up my claim, not some verbiage on a piece of paper, enforced by men who will go off and fire guns at another man in obedience to orders.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:32PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:32PM (#700749) Journal

        I think its a good thing to know how to code. That way, you know good and well what your code does. Kinda like that feeling I got when I coded my own CRC and MD5 digester from odds and ends I found... when I had finally written my own C++ library under Borland Turbo C++ 3.1 for DOS, I could use it knowing good and well how to use it and what it did. I ended up using that program for years...

        Then you quit using it, and it was never documented, and it dies with You or your hard drive, whichever comes first.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:51AM (14 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:51AM (#700568)

    I recently had an issue mounting a cifs share from my NAS to my pi. My biggest problem was old, outdated information on webpages that had neither a date, nor a version of Linux. Let alone the Linux distro.

    IMHO, if a webpage doesn't have a date or Linux version prominently displayed then it needs to sink very quickly to the bottom of the innertubes.

    I'm pretty sure this issue is prevalent outside of Linux.

    FWIW, that page that implied "smbclient //backup/Public/Downloads /media/Downloads -d 5 gives lots of debugging info" needs to die in a fire. I wasted hours on that before realizing that was an invalid set of parameters to smbclient.

    --
    The dishes in the sink are giving me dirty looks again.
    • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:07AM (2 children)

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:07AM (#700572) Journal

      IMHO, if a webpage doesn't have a date or Linux version prominently displayed then it needs to sink very quickly to the bottom of the innertubes.

      Sink but not disappear, that is a hard problem for the search engines especially with malicious actors like SEOs being out there. Novelty is not the only context in which items on the net have value. There are many examples, especially when starting to get into historical research. However, a simple technical example are specifications and standards. Those don't change often yet are important. However, because standards can be many years old, the can and do get deleted even from institutions of record.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:18PM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:18PM (#700764) Journal

        There are many examples, especially when starting to get into historical research. ... However, because standards can be many years old, the can and do get deleted even from institutions of record.

        Doesn't matter.

        The Same fate awaits all of them. Sooner or later someone abandons the content, and its gone. The web is fundamentally the wrong instrument for knowledge preservation.

        Stuff disappears and nobody cares, and probably NOBODY SHOULD.

        Late on the afternoon of September 11th I started a program (I don't even remember what software it was anymore) that archived entire web sites. I pointed it all the major news sites, CNN, Fox, MSNBC. Each amassed all linked pages, many levels deep (5 or 8 or something). I ran each for hours till I filled my server. I then burned them to archival quality DVDs.

        I read them every once in a while, to remind myself how unreliable early reporting can be, but also how quickly early truths can be buried by political correctness. Searching for those same pages on line to day (or even looking for the same text phrases) reveals just how fleeting anything stored on the net is. Even the WayBack Machine [archive.org] is hopelessly incomplete. My private archive probably dies with me.

        As a kid in the 6th grade, I had to do a presentation report of an incident in World War II . For some reason I chose the (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee incident. I had encyclopedias, library books, and newspaper archives at my disposal. The local newspapers of the day were just like the web. Some wrong and confusing stories, slowly being replaced by more complete and correct ones. But the point was the OLD and the NEWer were all there together in chronological order in the newspaper archives (microfiche in some cases). You could work your way through the story, separate facts from fiction, unmuddle the story (even as a 6th grader). Facts and chronology become clearer.

        Its very difficult to do that on the web. Historical information disappears. Conspiracy theorists come charging to the fore.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:49PM (#700787)

          "My private archive probably dies with me."

          It will have to stop being private. Maybe not fully public, if you find a place that accepts it under such terms, like some libraries do with writers' manuscripts. As for fully public, https://archive.org/ [archive.org] accepts uploads, it's not just "the wayback machine". https://archiveteam.org/ [archiveteam.org] is a different project, maybe it can give you some hints about what to do.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by NotSanguine on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:15AM (10 children)

      % man smbclient [die.net]

      Just a crazy thought.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Snotnose on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27AM (9 children)

        by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday June 30 2018, @06:27AM (#700576)

        Yeah, that's how I found out the webpage was either dodgy or way out of date.

        I'm a technically savvy guy, spent way too many hours debugging a simple problem, and webpages that give bad advice need to sink to the bottom of the google rankings. Cuz google led me there.

        --
        The dishes in the sink are giving me dirty looks again.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:16AM (8 children)

          Yeah, that's how I found out the webpage was either dodgy or way out of date.

          My point was that the man pages (already available on your system, or at least should be) should be the *first* place you go, not the last.

          There are definitely issues for which the man pages aren't so helpful, and some web pages are incredibly helpful.

          Too many people just google whatever it is they want and copypasta whatever the site tells them to do. I think that's the *wrong* way to do things.

          In that respect, I think that having the crappy pages (those with the most google ads on them?) near the top of search results may be better -- in that it may force people to actually think about what they're trying to accomplish and search more intelligently (no offense meant). I can't speak to the issue that you had, but if I wanted to do something with samba, samba.org would be my first choice -- after the man pages of course.

          That said, there's plenty of software whose online documentation is often worse than useless, even with common issues, and some enthusiast's blog does have the goods. VMWare is an excellent example of this.

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @08:49AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @08:49AM (#700593)

            Even if a website is outdated, or not completely correct in the example it gives, it should give a hint to how to get to the answer you need.

          • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by crafoo on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:30AM (2 children)

            by crafoo (6639) on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:30AM (#700597)

            Modern Linux has trained users that man pages are shit. Because modern Linux man pages are largely piles of shit. Don't be surprised when users go to them as a last resort.

            • (Score: 1, Troll) by Arik on Saturday June 30 2018, @10:33AM (1 child)

              by Arik (4543) on Saturday June 30 2018, @10:33AM (#700610) Journal
              If the command is internal to linux you're probably going to want to look at info instead of man for current docs.
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
              • (Score: 2) by KiloByte on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:59PM

                by KiloByte (375) on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:59PM (#700716)

                Info files stopped being updated around 2000 or so, they're used by nothing but some GNU tools. And usually come with a non-free license so you don't even get them without jumping through extra hoops.

                --
                Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:21PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:21PM (#700765) Journal

            He could have also simply used Google's date filter on his google search. He said he was "savvy". It doesn't rely on a date being printed on the page.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Sunday July 01 2018, @02:09AM (1 child)

            by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday July 01 2018, @02:09AM (#700829)

            My point was that the man pages (already available on your system, or at least should be) should be the *first* place you go, not the last.

            It's an embedded system with no man pages. If I was lucky I could "some_command --help", but that worked maybe 1/3 of the time. Google was how I figured out how to do stuff.

            --
            The dishes in the sink are giving me dirty looks again.
            • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Sunday July 01 2018, @08:33AM

              It's an embedded system with no man pages. If I was lucky I could "some_command --help", but that worked maybe 1/3 of the time. Google was how I figured out how to do stuff.

              A fair point. I could embark on a long diatribe about the shortcomings of UIs for embedded platforms, but you, apparently, are all too aware of such issues.

              Google, in my experience, doesn't do a very good job providing quality results to technical queries. I often find myself reformulating my searches to get what I'm looking for.

              Which brings us to the real issue with google and other search tools/information aggregators: they are not your friends and they do not exist to make your life easier. You (or more properly, your search habits and whatever other information they can glean from their interactions with you) are the product they sell to their actual customers. If they point you at poor quality information, it's because it benefits them in some way. Resolving your particular need/desire for specific information isn't even a consideration.

              And that touches on the larger point WRT TFA: we're losing stuff not because it isn't useful, but because it isn't making *someone* money.

              --
              No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01 2018, @02:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01 2018, @02:19PM (#700974)

            My point was that the man pages (already available on your system, or at least should be) should be the *first* place you go, not the last.

            In my experience that's more true for stuff like FreeBSD...

            Linux distros? Not so much.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:49PM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Saturday June 30 2018, @04:49PM (#700713)

    That might not be the only issue, a larger problem might as well be that we are creating so much content now it's near impossible to archive it all. Not to then even touch on the subject that most of it is pointless, bad and just rehashing of what other people have already said, done or written. We are just producing to much information and to much of it is shit. We either have to learn how to separate the good from the bad and just keep the good (good luck with that) or well I don't know. But I somehow doubt the future generation will want to see all the crap we produce on a daily basis as "content" or material. It just has no redeeming value for the future.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:48PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 30 2018, @07:48PM (#700767) Journal

      This !!

      The fact that the internet gives EVERYONE a voice, leaving us all with a warm feeling of egalitarianism, does nothing for civilization, science, or betterment of mankind or life on earth.

      Not only must we discard the bulk of human blathering due to insufficient storage, but we must do so for self preservation reasons, and simple sanity.
      Human civilization was never advanced by documenting the coffee table mutterings that should have disappeared when the cup was empty.
      (And yes, that includes stories and comments we post on SN, none of it original. Its merely a pass-time for those of us here and now.)

      Editors and peer reviews and the cost of printing presses use to filter wheat from chaff. Wrong and useless stuff still got printed. But far less than today.
      We've found peer reviews to restrictive, Editors easily corruptible, and cheap internet provides virtually no filter at all.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @09:52PM (#700788)

      The real trash, the shopping lists, the stupid details... all those give a good view of what the society is. Archeologists love that kind of things, instead of the official crap that some king decided to set in stone and pass as truth.

      Our society is one of rehash after rehash, big egos babbling about last breakfast or next pop concert.

  • (Score: 2) by suburbanitemediocrity on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:14PM

    by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Saturday June 30 2018, @05:14PM (#700726)

    Sounds like part of a B story he wrote.

    Just another step in evolution.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @11:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 30 2018, @11:12PM (#700800)

    the minute javascript started to be required to access to content

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01 2018, @01:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01 2018, @01:09PM (#700954)

    Well, the thing is related to what is a commodity in modern Internet. When in 1990s it was webpages business (making, maintaining, expanding), it was possible to use hosting, publish and read things published by other authors and even know authors by their style of writing. The thing not only did not wanted to disappear, but was repeated while being expanded. However, you can't do it if the "content" is not a knowledge, but a way to show advertisement (compare any modern "article" from well-established press with Usenet FAQ written by some anon from the forest!).
    Now, after strict division between producers and consumers of "content" being usually only a media of advertisement, the commodity is the contact itself, so it is not advisable to preserve any knowledge - we have to, like a late primates, use "spoken word" transfer over a new media all time. Of course commodifying inter-human contact has some side effects like collapse of a normal contact, creating dangerous subcultures of politically excluded people who cannot be used in other way than just for gain or rise of fanaticism, but until contact can be monetized, dangerous groups shown as bad_child_abusing_drug_dealing_terrorists ( Not from USA, have I forgot about someone :) ) and fanatics used to spread propaganda it's a normal consequence of information-based free market.
    In recent years my usage of Wayback Machine increased to over half of pages I look for information.

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