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posted by janrinok on Friday August 30 2019, @12:08PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Mike Masnick, usually editor for Techdirt, has written an essay on a technological approach to preserving free speech online in spite of the direction things have been heading in regards to locked-in platforms. He proposes moving back to an Internet where protocols dominate.

This article proposes an entirely different approach—one that might seem counterintuitive but might actually provide for a workable plan that enables more free speech, while minimizing the impact of trolling, hateful speech, and large-scale disinformation efforts. As a bonus, it also might help the users of these platforms regain control of their privacy. And to top it all off, it could even provide an entirely new revenue stream for these platforms.

That approach: build protocols, not platforms.

To be clear, this is an approach that would bring us back to the way the internet used to be. The early internet involved many different protocols—instructions and standards that anyone could then use to build a compatible interface. Email used SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Chat was done over IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Usenet served as a distributed discussion system using NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol). The World Wide Web itself was its own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP.

In the past few decades, however, rather than building new protocols, the internet has grown up around controlled platforms that are privately owned. These can function in ways that appear similar to the earlier protocols, but they are controlled by a single entity. This has happened for a variety of reasons. Obviously, a single entity controlling a platform can then profit off of it. In addition, having a single entity can often mean that new features, upgrades, bug fixes, and the like can be rolled out much more quickly, in ways that would increase the user base.

Earlier on SN:
Re-decentralizing the World-Wide Web (2019)
Decentralized Sharing (2014)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Decentralized Sharing 20 comments

Anonymous Coward writes:

""MediaGoblin is a free software media publishing platform that anyone can install and run. Decentralization, (...) is the main goal of the project, one that is backed and connected to the GNU project.

So far, MediaGoblin has raised only $3,000 of its $60,000 goal, with the campaign set to end April 14th, (...) that is a date that is soon approaching. The first crowd-sourcing initiative was in October of 2012, so this is not the first crowd-funding initiative the project has launched. This second campaign was clearly spurred on by the PRISM revelations of recent past. Having not noticed any failures to meet 2012's funding campaign, it's very possible the team may reach their goal again, given the intensity of the subject matter."

Re-decentralizing the World-Wide Web 20 comments

Researcher Ruben Verborgh explains how to re-decentralize the World-Wide Web, for good this time. He argues that decentralization is foremost about choice and thus people should be free to join large or small communities and talks up Solid as a primary option.

Originally designed as a decentralized network, the Web has undergone a significant centralization in recent years. In order to regain freedom and control over the digital aspects of our lives, we should understand how we arrived at this point and how we can get back on track. This chapter explains the history of decentralization in a Web context, and details Tim Berners-Lee’s role in the continued battle for a free and open Web. The challenges and solutions are not purely technical in nature, but rather fit into a larger socio-economic puzzle, to which all of us are invited to contribute. Let us take back the Web for good, and leverage its full potential as envisioned by its creator.

Earlier on SN:
Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web (2018)
Decentralized Sharing (2014)


Original Submission

Mail Is Not Difficult 54 comments

OpenBSD developer, Gilles Chehade, debunks multiple myths regarding deployment of e-mail services. While it is some work to deploy and operate a mail service, it is not as hard as the large corporations would like people to believe. Gilles derives his knowledge from having built and worked with both proprietary and free and open source mail systems. He covers why it is feasible to consider running one.

I work on an opensource SMTP server. I build both opensource and proprietary solutions related to mail. I will likely open a commercial mail service next year.

In this article, I will voluntarily use the term mail because it is vague enough to encompass protocols and software. This is not a very technical article and I don't want to dive into protocols, I want people who have never worked with mail to understand all of it.

I will also not explain how I achieve the tasks I describe as easy. I want this article to be about the "mail is hard" myth, disregarding what technical solution you use to implement it. I want people who read this to go read about Postfix, Notqmail, Exim and OpenSMTPD, and not go directly to OpenSMTPD because I provided examples.

I will write a follow-up article, this time focusing on how I do things with OpenSMTPD. If people write similar articles for other solutions, please forward them to me and I'll link some of them. it will be updated as time passes by to reflect changes in the ecosystem, come back and check again over time.

Finally, the name Big Mailer Corps represents the major e-mail providers. I'm not targeting a specific one, you can basically replace Big Mailer Corps anywhere in this text with the name of any provider that holds several hundred of millions of recipient addresses. Keep in mind that some Big Mailer Corps allow hosting under your own domain name, so when I mention the e-mail address space, if you own a domain but it is hosted by a Big Mailer Corp, your domain and all e-mail addresses below your domain are part of their address space.

Earlier on SN:
Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech (2019)
Re-decentralizing the World-Wide Web (2019)
Usenet, Authentication, and Engineering - We Can Learn from the Past (2018)
A Decentralized Web Would Give Power Back to the People Online (2016)
Decentralized Sharing (2014)


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Friday August 30 2019, @12:29PM (14 children)

    by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @12:29PM (#887721) Journal

    How do you make money off a protocol?

    --
    You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday August 30 2019, @01:01PM (10 children)

      Here's a better one for you: How do you pay employees without income?

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Arik on Friday August 30 2019, @01:54PM (3 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Friday August 30 2019, @01:54PM (#887744) Journal
        You don't.

        You either need to be fully staffed by users, or you need to be user supported.

        Advertising is the insidious force driving these 'platforms.' Advertising offers money up front - pay for it with your integrity later. With the money up front, you build and promote, you buy goodwill - and then you spend it.

        It's very hard to compete with in the short term, but in the long run surely no one wants to live in the world that creates.
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday August 31 2019, @04:58AM (2 children)

          You either need to be fully staffed by users, or you need to be user supported.

          Sure, let's make everything user-supported FOSS. I was getting tired of getting paid to be in the air conditioning anyway.

          Man, y'all pony up every time the bills are due around here but given that five years later we still haven't managed to refill NCommander and matt_'s wallets, I'm going to have to say this just ain't a viable model for anything with significant growth pressure.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday August 31 2019, @05:19AM (1 child)

            by Arik (4543) on Saturday August 31 2019, @05:19AM (#888107) Journal
            It's a conundrum, I wish I had a better answer.

            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday August 31 2019, @01:15PM

              The answer is publicize hobby things, small/simple but useful things, and things whose lockdown would be a net loss for itself and for whoever is going to hold equity (sweat or fiscal) in it. And to not publicize away your rent money or your employees' jobs.

              It's only actually a hard call if you're placing ideals over people.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday August 30 2019, @04:00PM (4 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Friday August 30 2019, @04:00PM (#887797)

        Why do you assume "don't charge for a protocol" = "no income"? There are ways of having income for software other than selling the code or the rules for making something work, e.g. support, begging for donations, or auctioning feature requests.

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @04:46PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @04:46PM (#887818)

          None of those has paid the bills, generally speaking.

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by Thexalon on Friday August 30 2019, @04:56PM (2 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Friday August 30 2019, @04:56PM (#887830)

            Tell that to Red Hat, IBM, the Apache Software Foundation, and quite a few other organizations.

            --
            Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
            • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @11:22PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @11:22PM (#887963)

              IBM charging for "support, begging for donations, or auctioning feature requests"?
              What are you smoking? IBM is a systems integrator, not a small time beggar. RedHat did sell support licenses but they have been bought by IBM now, so I expect systems integration to make up a larger share of its business now. The last one, Apache, is a non profit. Do you think we can all work for non profits?

              And in the end, you have named large companies and a non profit. You still must still work for a big company to survive. Try surviving this way on your own...
              BTW, tell me if you support yourself using the means you recommend. I'm going to guess NO.

              • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday August 31 2019, @02:54PM

                by Thexalon (636) on Saturday August 31 2019, @02:54PM (#888226)

                I support myself by selling custom software work, where what my clients need isn't already out there on the market. And I do that on my own. It's not big bucks, but it's a living. It takes a certain amount of self-discipline, an ability to interact well with customers, and keeping your promises and taking responsibility for your failures so you build up a good reputation.

                --
                Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @09:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @09:59PM (#887936)

        Here's a better one for you: How do you pay employees without income?

        IPO!

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday August 30 2019, @03:41PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday August 30 2019, @03:41PM (#887790) Journal

      How do you make money off a protocol?

      I'm sure it's not incredibly lucrative but a lot of standards bodies charge for access to those standards.

      • (Score: 2) by exaeta on Friday August 30 2019, @07:38PM

        by exaeta (6957) on Friday August 30 2019, @07:38PM (#887894) Homepage Journal
        Charging for standards is worse morally than charging for source code/binaries.
        --
        The Government is a Bird
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @12:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @12:06AM (#887988)

      Why would you need money for a protocol?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Friday August 30 2019, @12:43PM (13 children)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Friday August 30 2019, @12:43PM (#887730) Journal

    In short, [our proposed lower level protocol solution] would push the power and decision making out to the ends of the network, rather than keeping it centralized among a small group of very powerful companies. - yes

    This setup [private platform] is frustrating for everyone involved, and it’s unlikely to get better anytime soon. - yes

    This puts the platforms in a no-win position. -nope this is really naive

    I would say that facegag and reddoot are still winning, the market is shattered and so there is a core of users whose business or life so depends on them that they can't leave, making this first tier of monstrousities a sort of zombie backbone of the social web. I still can't find a better news aggregator than reddit even though at least 9/10 of what I see there I have to immediately discard out of my brain. And since the govt etc knows we are looking for alternatives and has unlimited server space at bluehost etc and since making a reddot clone is trivial, sites like raddle.me which to me appear to be run by the government to trap revolutionaries into *yet another* prison platform proliferate.

    There are even a lot of things I like about twoottar, but it is ultimately controlled and can be manipulated by elites and governments to get their message out at the expense of other less-propaganday information. We were lucky, imagine if the 'dark psychic energy' moment had been surpressed rather than reported by google? That's the way this is headed if alternatives aren't created by smart people who hate propaganda and advertising.

    The best way to explain this to people might be to draw the 7 layers of the OSI model as it should function, and then show that when using something like facegag or cloudflare, what you are actually doing is expanding top application layer to immense proportions, recreating all of the lower level functions inside of a the infrastructure of a single company.

    And this might demonstrate how unintelligent and inefficient this is, unless your purpose is total control of the communication, not communiation itself.

    Which would nicely justify this idea, and which goes hand in hand with the people more intelligent than myself who convinced me that static sites for individual creators is the only way forward for content creators. Even sites like 4chan have started pre-filtering deceptively if you haven't noticed, if they don't like what you are submitting they will say you failed the capcha and then add your failed submission to a file somewhere to be used against you if they can.

    This all means someone somewhere doesn't want anything to go viral outside of their control, which is what I can only interpret as the actions of some people who don't just have something to hide, but who have *a whole lot* to hide.

    Plz let me know of any other aggregators or products that might be useful going forward in this diretion. And arrest zuckerborg, bozos and any shame anyone having anything to do with Victoria's Secret.

    ----
    People are born free, but everywhere we are in facegag. - Rouseau, updated
    jmichaelhudson.net

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Freeman on Friday August 30 2019, @03:18PM (12 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Friday August 30 2019, @03:18PM (#887780) Journal

      TL;DR

      Try, not using "words" like "facegag", "rddoot", and "twoottar". Then, I might be inclined to read most of your post.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:56PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:56PM (#887796)

        Try, not using "words" like "facegag", "rddoot", and "twoottar". Then, I might be inclined to read most of your post.

        I'm not a fan of any of these platforms (in fact, my stress levels have plunged and my life improved vastly since I stopped using most of them), nor am I particularly a fan of cutsy derogatory misnames for such entities, but to dismiss the content of what was actually an interesting and on-point post for that reason is even sillier.

        You may not like the presentation, but to dismiss facts and an interesting (and quite valid) argument because you don't like how it's dressed up doesn't hurt the messenger. It just hurts you, because if you do that you never consider important viewpoints, and thus limit your own ability to correlate data, think through, and draw conclusions on a subject that might more closely triangulate reality.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @06:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @06:31PM (#887852)

          It was very hard to read. Speak thine enemy’s name or some such?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @07:15PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @07:15PM (#887881)

          The presentation is part of the message. Using derogatory misnomers hurts your message in multiple ways. It increases the mental effort your reader has to go through to decipher what you are saying, if they actually get that far. Using it early on also makes it look like immature trolling or reactionary ranting, neither of which is usually informative or insightful, before getting to the meat of the argument. It also speaks to motive as pettiness, and that is also not a sign of a well-thought-out writing. Combine the above with conspiracy theories about the government, and you've just made yourself that much easier to dismiss as inane ramblings before the opportunity to inform.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:28AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:28AM (#888383)

            The presentation is part of the message. Using derogatory misnomers hurts your message in multiple ways. It increases the mental effort your reader has to go through to decipher what you are saying, if they actually get that far.

            That's subjective. You never know what stupid thing or choice of words will set off some fragile snowflake and increase the mental effort they must expend to read your post. Worrying about it is a waste of time.

            and you've just made yourself that much easier to dismiss as inane ramblings before the opportunity to inform.

            Maybe that says more about the critical thinking skills of the reader than anything else.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @05:37AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @05:37AM (#888400)

              Two scientists know for a fact that the world is going to end and has the evidence to prove it. One tells you calmly, on television as part of an international broadcast shown simultaneously around the world. The other tells you while running down the sidewalk of a public park while screaming at the top of his lungs. Which do you listen to and which do you dismiss as just another mentally-ill individual after the first few sentences?

        • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:14AM (1 child)

          by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:14AM (#888163) Journal

          Thanks for saying this.

          I use it as a form of protest and to call attention to how often we say them, that this is marketing, brainwashing in a way.

          What FB, R, T, I, are, are essentially like phone service now. Do you have ATT or Verizon, are you on FB or minds.com. It used to be about who owned the train tracks. This argument is absolutely critical to the understanding of american history, maybe to understanding government itself, it is not trivial or just about the company FB.

          These basic functionalities are undeniably core to the wants, needs and desires of humans on computer networks. The internet started out respecting this, the backbones are basically operated like common carrier and level 3 or sprint lines, who cares, it's all getting copied to the same underground bases for later analysis by our overlords.

          But we now live in several layers of abstraction on top of that, and in this very in your face user layer, some companies are running the same monopolization tricks but on digital steroids. FB is paradigmatic, it's like the standard oil or drew, fisk and gould of our time, except this new thing now has the ability to mass manipulate the population on a second to second basis, and this is all exercised covertly through algorithms and intentional backdoors in convoluted javascript.

          I think we should protest this, if it were 1890 I might be holding a sign blocking the railroad tracks. I think it is a crisis for humanity, and so I am pushing the envelope a little to be loud and clear about where I stand.

          Check out my response to the guy who *just can't stand* to consider my ideas because I don't want to see the word FB 8 times in my comment, I go into it some there too.

          You may notice a pattern in the responses to my comments, I frequently get early completely dismissive comments and incorrect troll moddings...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @06:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @06:58PM (#888287)

            You may notice a pattern in the responses to my comments, I frequently get early completely dismissive comments and incorrect troll moddings...

            If you keep getting the same response to your comments, maybe, just maybe, part of the problem is how you write the comments, not their content.

            This response seems somewhat disingenuous as well. You say you do it purposefully as protest of the names. Yet, your own comment lets many of them sail by unadulterated. The reason why, I suspect, is because at that point of your writing, you were more concerned about making your overarching point. However, protest is the point, so why not fix them or double check? The natural explanation seems to be that you don't actually care about the "name protest" or to draw attention to how they are used, but to take cheap and immature shots at the name. Otherwise, you would have done so in the first place.

      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday August 31 2019, @08:30AM (4 children)

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday August 31 2019, @08:30AM (#888158) Journal

        This is a form of protest and a refusal to assist these companies in their marketing that is now bordering on brainwashing.

        Also, I have worked in the threat intelligence industry, briefly, so you should be aware that nearly every brand name has a private NSA-like network scanning all clearnet content for their brand. Companies like faceb hire actual private spies to harass and follow their opponents around in public. Criticizing any company beyond a certain size is an actual risk of covert violence against you. Pass it on.

        These words are just words I hear way too often, it is also damaging to the psyche and a form of brainwashing to constantly repeat a brand name, any brand name really.

        At this point these main brand names of the (a)social media are so core to our language that it leads easily to the argument that now that this technology exists and everyone uses it to the point we are sick of hearing the word, these institutions not just with a public responsibilty but a core role in human governance. At the moment this has been realized by the elites who already have tons of power and money and 13 year old girls on their yachts, so they are taking advantage of everyone, horrifically, through things like cambridge analytica.

        Did you predict cambridge analysitica? Did you predict the iphone backdoor situation? Did you predict google was tracking people with android maps who opted out of tracking?

        I predicted all of those things. No medals have yet been awarded. But should you not have predicted those things, that means you are living in a delusion where you can trust people you cannot.

        And *those very people* are aided when you repeat their idiotic non-word brandnames over and over and over again.

        If you are unable to come to any of these realizations on your own, then you are in sore shape indeed.

        Language is morphable, humans change language as they use it, it is a sign of intelligence and creativity. Facegag I find appropriate because for most people who use the platform, it essentially shuts down your ability to broadcast. It's a gamed/rigged algorithm that is weaponized against people who anti-capitalist and anti-zionist, among other things. In many cases it is essentially mercenary, it is now a known fact that if you went to a party with Zuckerborg and he liked you, he might have given you access to *everyone* on facegag's private messages.

        Conformity on the other hand can be a sign of multiple things, but I can tell you after ten years of being on reddit, a government or corporate schill agent does exactly what you did, pick out *the one thing* that is most original or unexpected and then point to this one thing and use it to dismiss the entire argument, especially as top response comment, as a way to poison all other reactions to what has been posted.

        If you were not aware of that, glad to inform you, but in every way your post is anti-intellectual and dismissive prior to any real consideration, and if this isn't intentional, then you have a lot of reading to do before you catch up. My website might help. You might want to also try contributing more, running around and nitpicking other peoples' informed and carefully thought out comments essentially by throwing turds is well, makes you look like a turd.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday September 02 2019, @04:00PM (3 children)

          by Freeman (732) on Monday September 02 2019, @04:00PM (#888862) Journal

          American Psychological Association on brainwashing
          Main article: APA Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control

          In 1983, the American Psychological Association (APA) asked Singer to chair a taskforce called the APA Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) to investigate whether brainwashing or coercive persuasion did indeed play a role in recruitment by NRMs. [75] It came to the following conclusion:[76]

                  Cults and large group awareness trainings have generated considerable controversy because of their widespread use of deceptive and indirect techniques of persuasion and control. These techniques can compromise individual freedom, and their use has resulted in serious harm to thousands of individuals and families. This report reviews the literature on this subject, proposes a new way of conceptualizing influence techniques, explores the ethical ramifications of deceptive and indirect techniques of persuasion and control, and makes recommendations addressing the problems described in the report.

          On 11 May 1987, the APA's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) rejected the DIMPAC report because the report "lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur", and concluded that "after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue."[77]

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing [wikipedia.org]

          I was going to say something about the need for constant repetition of a phrase or word, being needed. Then, I decided to google Brainwashing. Apparently, the APA doesn't even have a position on the topic. Which seems kinda weird to me, for something that would be extremely bad. Unless, it's a load of hogwash, as they say.

          Even, if brainwashing is a thing. Using the names, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. to refer to the entities you're talking about. Shouldn't be detrimental to your cause, if you're protesting specific grievances you have regarding the aforementioned entities. In contrast, your position will be more informative and less outrage speak.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:20AM (2 children)

            by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:20AM (#889109) Journal

            I have a lower english standard for forum language. I would not do the same in something that was professional or academic. I note your critique, I won't dismiss it but it does still seem like you don't get why I think it's important. Have you ever heard of culture jamming? adbusters?

            Repeating something over and over, or integrating a brandname as an integral part of your language to describe present reality, is giving that real estate of your mind over to someone else.

            Kleenex and Qtips are too other instances where they have managed this, in ways that I'm not particularly upset about but as a trend and with core components of the internet, it is a bad thing that should be resisted.

            It is also a protest, are you not protesting the facething? They betrayed all of their users in ways that would curdle the blood of any inhabitant of the 1990's but inhabitants of 2019 seem to be totally unphased and getting hit by vehicles while looking down at their phones using exactly the things that have been demonstrated over and over to simply provide their entire life as a series of datapoints to bizarro datamining entities with subsidiaries that make candy crush knockoffs.

            Are we living in the same world? Do you really care that it weakens my argument or are you just trying to enforce a social norms? Does it really bother you to read that and are you really going to say in the big picture, that is something you want to mention? Are you sure this is the element of my carefully considered mini essay you think it's most important to discuss?

            • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday September 03 2019, @02:24PM (1 child)

              by Freeman (732) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @02:24PM (#889190) Journal

              Having a recognized brand can be helpful, especially when considering what to buy. Sure, you can buy the off-brand version, but generally the on-brand version will have an image they're trying to uphold. Thus, will likely be of a consistent quality.

              Facebook, specifically, is furthering a dystopian agenda. Tracking everyone and everything all the time. Sure, they're "just" doing it for the money, but the technology will be and likely already has been abused. I avoided Facebook like the plague, until I realized, they already had all of my information. So, yes, I do have a Facebook account, that I almost never use. There should be some kind of privacy controls that will keep them in check, but that seems to be a lost cause. The right to privacy is built into our laws. Unfortunately unlike a lot of "with a computer" crimes. Our rights to privacy are being trampled on and it seems as though, no one is fighting for it. We're only free, so far as we are willing to fight to stay that way.

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
              • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Tuesday September 03 2019, @03:01PM

                by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @03:01PM (#889201) Journal

                Speak for yourself.

                I am showing you how to revolt in a way it will be noticed with just your keyboard and you are basically spitting in my face telling me there is nothing that can be done because you can't think of anything.

                Let that sink in once you realize what that says about you.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @12:48PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @12:48PM (#887734)

    But the proposal runs counter to what the khazar jews have been pushing for decades: khazar jew-owned platforms that are walled gardens where nothing comes in and nothing leaves with walled sub-gardens inside for different groups in order to divide them further and stop any useful information from flowing among groups. Ideally, the khazar jew would want humans to live segregated (not according to race or religion or culture) in small groups where their minds can be invaded and controlled through programming.

    Look at gmail and how it invaded by making it 'free' and getting users to leave their systems and give their personal information and data to the jew. This is nothing new for the devil-worshiping khazar jew as we all know they used to transport letters across countries and they would open each and every letter to read it. The khazar jews read your personal email like it is their own. It is not too late to stop them and send them back to the work camps (aka concentration camps).

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday August 30 2019, @03:16PM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday August 30 2019, @03:16PM (#887779) Homepage

      One example of a platform owned and run by Khazar Jews, that I use, is gmail. Recently after logging in I got redirected to read an agreement that the only user interface I will use to access gmail will be only gmail's own official interface, and I was also reminded that I must abide by the terms and conditions.

      Does this mean that I cannot access my gmail account with Thunderbird or Outlook without violating the agreement? Does this mean that Google is aware of my racist shitpostings on Soylent News? Is Google aware that the Jews created their own version of Tarzan called Ka-zar? [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Saturday August 31 2019, @11:50PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 31 2019, @11:50PM (#888346) Homepage Journal

        Doesn't Google provide IMAP and POP interfaces to gmail?
        Aren't these the protocols that Thunderbird and Outlook use?
        If that's what you use, then you are using an officially provided interface.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by meustrus on Friday August 30 2019, @03:33PM (2 children)

      by meustrus (4961) on Friday August 30 2019, @03:33PM (#887786)

      I can't decide if it's more correct to silently replace "khazar jew" with "powerful elite" or to identify similar anti-powerful-elite rants as anti-semitic. The real question is what the AC thinks make "khazar jews" uniquely interested in and capable of controlling the population in this way.

      I can't think of a reason. This conspiracy theory would seem equally valid applied to any would-be aristocrats. Is it even an optimal strategy though? What reasons would a given power broker have for and against subdividing the commoners?

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday September 01 2019, @12:00AM (1 child)

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 01 2019, @12:00AM (#888349) Homepage Journal

        Which is why I started calling the secretive powerful elites "lizard people".

        I can't bring myself to refer to any of the mostly innocent, sometimes downtrodden groups that are often blamed for the world's ills.

        Then someone complained, saying "lizard people" is a codeword for . I suspect that happens when someone pastes his/her own prejudices onto the phrase and propagates it in that context.

        The phrase seems to have originated [wikipedia.org] in Robert E Howard's Conan fiction.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by meustrus on Tuesday September 03 2019, @05:42PM

          by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @05:42PM (#889238)

          That's what I'm wondering though. If the rant was about "lizard people", it would still be the same basic rant. Which alleged manipulator is more descriptive of reality: jews or lizard people? How many of the "lizard people" tropes really only make sense adjacent to stereotypes about jews? Is it possible to remove the anti-semitic association, or are rants about "lizard people" still ultimately spreading specifically anti-semitic tropes?

          If it's not possible to remove the anti-semitic association, then how is anyone supposed to fight abuse of power when assholes keep making them look bad by agreeing for the wrong reasons [youtube.com]?" It's a huge problem right now regarding the oppression of Palestinians; nobody can complain about it without getting accused of anti-semitism, followed by anti-semites rallying behind them. Frankly, if the anti-semites were smart at all (lol oxymoron) they'd figure out that the best way to hurt Israel is to stop joining and thereby de-legitimizing pro-Palestinian movements. But that's a whole different thing.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fadrian on Friday August 30 2019, @01:07PM (2 children)

    by fadrian (3194) on Friday August 30 2019, @01:07PM (#887740) Homepage

    The protocols he mentions as solutions are still out there for people to use. Why he thinks that something that's less pleasant to set up and use will be used over things that are already set up and easy, I have no idea. Plus the network effect. The bottom line is that most people will always take actual product over protocol - even if they are the product.

    --
    That is all.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mobydisk on Friday August 30 2019, @05:47PM (1 child)

      by mobydisk (5472) on Friday August 30 2019, @05:47PM (#887845)

      Why he thinks that something that's less pleasant to set up and use will be used over things that are already set up and easy

      It didn't have to be that way. The problem is the geeks didn't make it easy. And then the next generation of geeks forgot what protocols were, and so they made their own. Let's see how this happened:

      End user has a picture that they want to send to a photo-sharing site. Applications written in 2003 would have a button that says "Upload via secure FTP" They would enter a URL, and type in their login and password. This is great because it works with any service whatsoever. But it was hard because they had to know how to type in the address of the site. Is it myphotosharingsite.com/~username? Or was it secure.filetransfer.myphotosharingsite.com/profiles/user/~email? We aaaaalmost had a good standard protocol here. What was missing was a way for the end-user to lookup the correct URLs. There's 100 solutions here, we just never implemented them. Geeks were happy memorizing and typing in URLs.

      If the program was made in 2015, the "Upload via secure FTP" option is gone. Instead, there are options like: "Send to MySpace" "Send to Facebook" "Send to Twitter" "Send to Instagram." Something very bad has happened. Now another provider can't enter the market without partnering with every photo editing app in the world. Or they have to make their own and convince everyone to use it. And the programmers have to implement a proprietary authentication and upload protocol for each one, so they are disinclined to do that unless it will make them money. The user can't send the picture to your own home page, or to a CMS, or to a dropbox, or... anything else. The user is now in a walled garden.

      In 2019, the problem got worse: Today the application that takes the picture is directly tied to the service. So if you want to send a picture to Facebook, people use the Facebook app. To send it to Instagram, they use the Instagram app. And so on forever. So now 50 apps replaced 1 app.

      But wait ... it gets worse. The operating system vendors (Microsoft, Apple) are now removing support for standard protocols from their OSs. Of course, Microsoft never really had decent FTP, SFTP, SSH, SCP, or anything like that anyway.

      Here's another way to look at this: Try to configure an email program like Thunderbird. Your email address is programmer@mywebsite.com. Thunderbird wants to know the incoming SMTP server name, the outgoing STMP server name, the login, the port number, and the TLS/SSL settings. That's idiotic. It is this way because the authors asked the end-user for information instead of discovering it themselves, and because the creators of the server software did geeky things expecting geeks to use the system. Thunderbird should have prompted the user for the email address then queried thE MX record to get the server name. And it should connect to see what the SSL settings are instead of asking the user. And the user name damn well should have been the email address, but all too often it was something else.

      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:37AM

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:37AM (#888164) Journal

        This is awesome well said. lol

        Every tier 1 email support tech in the world hears you. I have been in those trenches, and you sit there thinking because oh will you have time to think while doing this over the phone, why is this literally poor grandpa having to type in port 25 and port 993? Is there really no automated way in this day and age?

        This trade off with going lower level most people face is yeah, FB is easy and free and everybody is doing it but perilous to your immortal soul, or an alternative that is expensive and difficult but gives you a magic internet book. This is where we are clearly stuck at the moment so I think it's great these people are working on it.

        I love my static site though(even though for the moment I rely on wordpress's cloudy blobware, I am so tired of caging my words in morphing, opaque, spooky, shafty T.O.S.,corporate bullshit. Decentralized marketing will be something to behold, I hope they pull it off. Content creators like me really need it.

        FB, goo and co are censoring everybody up in here and devising new and backhanded ways to outlaw thought itself.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Friday August 30 2019, @02:19PM (8 children)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @02:19PM (#887751)

    Its interesting to compare this highly non-technical article with ESR's (famous?) article about technical protocol design.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8254 [ibiblio.org]

    Probably something worth mentioning is ESR working mostly alone can create a decent replacement for NTP protocol which is cheap compared to umpty bazilion facebook employees. However the more proper analogy is the original http protocol spec was essentially one dude mostly, although infinite number of people can be employed on top of it to provide service. So "nobody made no money writing a protocol" isn't a valid argument against the overall theme.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:07PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:07PM (#887773)

      A great example of the primary problem of making protocols. (Getting agreement and wide spread use.)
      A closed platform sidesteps this issue.

      He is talking about the differences between a fixed binary protocol NTP and something more modern with human readable text encoding.
      They both have their place.

      The fixed binary coding makes kernel and hardware processing of NTP packets for accurate timekeeping possible.
      The text encoding keeps things simple and supports extensions.

      I happen to think that for the NTP application, binary is clearly the way to go, but the article disagrees.
      (It does seem like you could have your cake and eat it to with a text based negotiation phase to decide how to communicate in binary.)

      Protocol encoding is a side issue, the main issue here how could one implement Facebook in a open manner?
      That seems a discussion of economic incentives, trust relationships, and who holds/sees what information.

      For the information part,
      In usenet, the information is broadcast and then anybody can have it.
      In E-mail, the information is unicast and only the receiver gets it.
      Facebook is somewhere in between. A more complex situation made possible by their position as a universally used (and sometimes trusted) intermediary.
      Perhaps some alternate distributed security scheme could replace this?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @04:52PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @04:52PM (#887827)

        As an aside on making the next version of NTP text based: cleatly that is a stupid step backwards.
        ESR is a scripter, a dabbler, so of course he would want to make it text based so that his primitive tools and lack of software engineering background can hack something together based on strings.

        Nobody uses this guy's software -- what little he produces.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday August 30 2019, @05:07PM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @05:07PM (#887836) Journal

          Nobody uses this guy's software -- what little he produces.

          Sir Tim Berners-Lee didn't write much software, but we are all using the results of what he did write.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @11:27PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @11:27PM (#887969)

            You are comparing Berners-Lee to ESR?
            Jesus! Can you even name a widely used piece of software by ESR? He is famous for his WRITING, not his software.

            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday August 31 2019, @07:35AM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 31 2019, @07:35AM (#888148) Journal
              I'm not comparing TBL to ESR - but both have made significant contributions to the world of software. You shouldn't, IMHO, judge a person on a single metric while ignoring the others. I happen to think that NTP using text is a reasonable idea worth considering. Most of the configuration files in Linux are text based. It is easy to understand and to use, everyone has the tools to view or to modify them, and they work. What are your technical objections - not just that it is 'a stupid step backwards'. Why is sending text over the internet such a bad thing?
        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:53AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:53AM (#889115) Journal

          You are aware that HTML also is text based?

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday August 30 2019, @07:29PM

        by legont (4179) on Friday August 30 2019, @07:29PM (#887889)

        As a first step, Telegram has a reasonable model.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday September 01 2019, @12:11AM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 01 2019, @12:11AM (#888351) Homepage Journal

      NTP? Network Time Protocol?

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday August 30 2019, @04:41PM

    by Bot (3902) on Friday August 30 2019, @04:41PM (#887815) Journal

    https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=32595&page=1&cid=867105 [soylentnews.org]

    Even bots know that.

    Problem being, the internet of protocols were the acceptance phase. You know, when stuff works. There was such a phase with cellphones, OSes, cars, pay tv....
    Once you get used, the trap springs into action and stuff because a money pit for less and less return.

    And, for pay tv it was so easily guessable...

    --
    Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday August 30 2019, @05:34PM (2 children)

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday August 30 2019, @05:34PM (#887843) Journal

    Protocols don't collect, store, and filter/recommend information.
    Platforms do.

    That's why platforms won.

    Before we completely deify the past, remember that in IMing one had to be on the same platform. Were you on ICQ, AiM, or Yahoo? If you used ICQ but your relative was on MSN you were out of luck. There was never any cooperation on getting a unified protocol and Facebook won the franchise wars.

    You can create the best open-sharing protocol in the universe. Someone still needs to collect/store/filter the data.
    Conversely, a platform has to operate via some kind of protocol. In current social media the platform creator uses its proprietary protocols which may or may not have API's, and usually aren't fully public so the platform owner locks people in. And the big platform owners learned it does not pay off to have or allow cross-compatibility when you are the leader.

    Consequently, anything that is to replace the current crop of social networks has to both gain adoption sufficient enough to cause interest/switching and capture enough market share to compete. But not just a protocol - what standard platforms will come along to use those protocols and become ubiquitous enough to win?

    --
    Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kazzie on Friday August 30 2019, @06:38PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @06:38PM (#887856)

      Before we completely deify the past, remember that in IMing one had to be on the same platform. Were you on ICQ, AiM, or Yahoo? If you used ICQ but your relative was on MSN you were out of luck. There was never any cooperation on getting a unified protocol and Facebook won the franchise wars.

      The likes of Pidgin and Trillian eased that somewhat, as multi-protocol clients. You'd still need multiple accounts, but you could combine them into one interface.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday August 30 2019, @07:35PM

      by legont (4179) on Friday August 30 2019, @07:35PM (#887893)

      Protocols don't collect, store, and filter/recommend information.

      But they can provide an easy tech to help users to do it. Telegram has a concept of a "bot" that anybody can implement.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dmc on Saturday August 31 2019, @03:11AM

    by dmc (188) on Saturday August 31 2019, @03:11AM (#888073)

    This has happened for a variety of reasons. Obviously, a single
        entity controlling a platform can then profit off of it. In addition,
        having a single entity can often mean that new features, upgrades,
        bug fixes, and the like can be rolled out much more quickly, in ways
        that would increase the user base.

    "can often mean" sounds apologist to me on the heels of "Obviously, a single
        entity controlling a platform can then profit off of it.".

    Amongst the variety, at the top of my short list is how the fcc (and mainstream/tech journalism) has generally ignored home server prohibition as a meaningful facet of the 'network neutrality' big picture. To me the freedom to operate servers is the atomic reduction of free speech capability via the internet. Or, to reply to the summary, protocols that can be arbitrarily dorked with by profit-seeking corporations are not going to get you Free Speech. If the FCC wasn't corrupt, they would have admitted home servers are first class device citizens when it comes to so-called network neutrality, and the next day we would have seen an exponential increase in interesting protocol development. The powers that be have managed however to thwart what network neutrality should have become in that regard. As it stands now, any newly developed protocol will undoubtedly get contained/absorbed by the establishment. Because the big$ players are not fools.

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7522219498 [fcc.gov]
    (sha512sum:9a9e4138caebb6fc5615fef76275b2f3c8e6826b81ea4c45cd892e96
    5950fa7df794ad7a96322da9991fa029c8843930366c48c9473aadcd28402864e50d2230)

    or the pdf I sent them (almost twice the filesize, not for any reason I understand precisely)

    http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-k12... [cloudsession.com]
    (sha512sum:ff551477ffca3c069f6d8fe6c435acda8d70411f2e7b003ed53e8372
    0eae37249d04260544639791f3a7b989c730ad8e1b16c44334b0a83a7c44d7d22134a9a6)

    https://lwn.net/Articles/658006/ [lwn.net]

  • (Score: 2) by exaeta on Monday September 02 2019, @04:04PM

    by exaeta (6957) on Monday September 02 2019, @04:04PM (#888864) Homepage Journal
    We need to provide a free alternative to DNS and SSL for this to work. One that doesn't allow registrars to drop you on a whim.
    --
    The Government is a Bird
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