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Monday, May 07, 2012

"Good news, everyone!"

"Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years"

I'm not sure I buy this argument (as seen in Forbes), but a man can dream, can't he?

Basically, the author of the afore-linked piece says that each new generation of tech consumers -- and in this world, a "generation" translates to about ten years -- seeks a new way of communicating. That which is hip today becomes unhip tomorrow. Facebook is already showing signs of migrating into the unhip category.

The problem with this theory is that it doesn't take into account the role of money. Financial behemoths tend to roam the earth for decade after decade, changing function as needed. Warner Brothers still makes movies, and they do a lot of other stuff as well.

Personally, I want to call a halt to progress-that-isn't-progress. In some areas, technology is changing but not improving. Kids use phones to text instead of using keyboards to chat or to send emails. But keyboards are easier. Why don't kids get that?

The time may come when humanity agrees that some tech revolutions are more annoying than helpful. Take, for example, the problem of digital storage of movies for future generations. Formats keep changing, and digital media tend to degrade. It has been estimated that keeping a 4K digital copy of (say) The Avengers around for the next hundred years will cost about 11 times more than storing the thing on big, clunky cans of old-fashioned 35mm celluloid.

That said, I do welcome many forms of progress. Faster CPUs? Love 'em! Agreeing upon alternatives to Facebook and Google would constitute real progress. We have to convince the kids that privacy is cool.

We also have to convince our politicians. Have you read Glenn Greenwald's latest? Frightening stuff.
The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
Sanchez explains that the true value of requiring back-door access for all Internet communications is full-scale access to all communications: “If you want to sift through communications in bulk, it’s only going to be feasible with a systemic backdoor.” McCullagh notes that Joe Biden has been unsuccessfully attempting to ban encrypted communications, or at least require full-scale government access, since well before 9/11.
As readers know, I have long believed that this is what the NSA does already: It scoops up everything. Everything. What the government wants is a legal mechanism which would allow machines to datamine the daily haul, after which humans can build criminal cases based on those results. The tech is already in place; the law needs to catch up.

We must never allow that to happen.
Comments:
The Internet Kill Switch; With Global Wiretapping Capability
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http://www.pastie.org/3867284
 
"With the use of publicly available Web 2.0 data (...) go from a snapshot to a Social Security number in a matter of minutes"

And what was this 'carrot' worth, that they offered the sheeple?
 
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