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posted by takyon on Monday December 10 2018, @04:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the giant-leap dept.

Aral Balkan has a blog post about taking small steps to end surveillance capitalism. In particular he focuses on the need for federated services. He points out that the move to re-decentralize the WWW is difficult and needs to start at the beginning, using a comparison of Apple's original computers to their latest generation of tablets as an illustration.

Five years ago, when I decided to devote myself to tackling the problem of surveillance capitalism, it was clear what we needed: convenient and beautiful ethical everyday things that provide seamless experiences1 on fully free-as-in-freedom stacks.

This is as true today as it was then and it will remain so. The only way to compete with unethical products built by organisations that have control over hardware + software + services is to create ethical organisations that have control over hardware + software + services and thus have at least the possibility to craft competitive experiences. We remove our eyes from this goal at our peril.

Related: Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web


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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:29PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:29PM (#772950) Journal

    Eh...gmail was popular initially because it was legitimately that much better. I used to switch email accounts about once a year, shuffling around to find who was offering the most storage this year. 2MB accounts to 5MB to 10MB to 20MB...and then all of a sudden someone starts offering 1GB plus? Of course I switched. And now I've switched to my own server, because gmail kinda sucks these days too.

    The thing is...Google invests in gmail as a loss leader. It's a great way to get people to register a Google account, which then pushes them towards other Google services in the future. Nobody is investing in gmail for the sake of gmail, and nobody really expects gmail to be profitable all by itself. But the battle to control email is already lost, so they try to monopolize the market as best they can so they can utilize that for surveillance efforts which can then bolster their other, more locked-in services.

    As I said before, nobody is investing in email. People might invest in closed ecosystems of which email is a part, but nobody invests in email itself.

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