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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?

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

    by mcgrew (701) <> 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";

    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.

    Starting Score:    1  point
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       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (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: )

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

      by mcgrew (701) <> 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.