[linux-elitists] What ever happened to the Open Web? (and other topics)

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Wed Jul 15 05:27:05 PDT 2015

begin Ruben I Safir quotation of Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 10:31:03PM -0400:
> On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 09:13:43AM -0700, Don Marti wrote:
> > 
> > Today, it's just as easy for a developer to do SaaS
> > or an app store app as it is to do Free Software,
> > and SaaS and app store apps are easier for most users
> > to get started with. The free side has lost some
> > friction, but the friction level on the proprietary
> > side is qualitatively different--low enough that an
> > individual developer or all-developer small team can
> > realistically be a "software hoarder", or more likely,
> > a brogrammer seeking primarily network effects and
> > using a mix of free and non-free licenses to get them.
> This is a decent summary.  There is some minor differences in my
> observation, but overall this is about what I see.  What is also fueling
> the movement away from free software is the complete lack of desire to 
> know how things really work but the new students/users, and the fuel 
> of the investment capital.

You have always had a choice of which skills to pick
up and use.  The difference now is that you can choose
the "credit card payments" skill and the "database
marketing" skill just as easily as you could pick up,
say, SQL.  Some people are choosing business skills
(because of low-friction opportunities to use them)
and choosing not to learn malloc/free or partition

The solution isn't to get people who are interested
in the business skills to do the bit-flipping skills,
it's to offer freedom-friendly tools in the areas
people have decided to learn and work in.

> Add to this is the economy of the "developer 
> and the user is your product" business model, and it gets really scary.  
> Free Software is not positioned to deal with this at all, and it was 
> not designed to.

Sure.  That's why there are projects at other levels
of the system.  One of the important things we can
do for the Open Web is to reduce the returns to the
surveillance marketing/malware model, in order to
help move the web to high-signal advertising--the
kind that pays for quality writing and photography.

This guy admits to paying for fraudulent ads,
which means he's a paymaster for malware.

The Open Web can protect itself by helping to inform,
nudge, and reward users toward lower trackability.

(That link goes to a freedom-promoting cut/paste for
webmasters that's just as easy as pasting in a "Like

Tracking protection doesn't have to be perfect in
order to make an impact. Even if it's just good enough
to make the marginal banner impression disappear from
the market, it's still a win.

(Giving up on advertising now, when most users have
mid-1990s trackability, is like giving up on Linux
because you tried a mid-1990s kernel and it didn't
support your hardware.)

More ideas on the business level at Project VRM:

Bonus link:
  The Web We Have to Save
  Hossein Derakhshan 

Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org>                   
Are you safe from 3rd-party web tracking?  http://www.aloodo.org/test/

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