Hossein Derakhshan from The Web We Have to Save:
The rich, diverse, free web that I loved — and spent years in an Iranian jail for — is dying.
Why is nobody stopping it?
This shares a lot with The Web We Lost, which was posted almost three years ago. Since then, the use of the free web by most people seems to have decreased drastically. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become the primary access point to information on the Internet for many. As these sites evolve, they work harder to keep users from leaving. Rather than linking to information sources, tiny bits of information (pictures, short videos, animated GIFS) are replicated on the site–easy look at, easy to like, easy to share.
I won’t fault people for wanting easy ways to share things, be it an important idea, or a cat video. Sites like Facebook and their associated apps, have done a wonderful job making this sharing easy for so many people, but there’s a bigger world out there. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to only a couple “networks” when the technology we’re using can give us so much more.
Obviously, the drawing on the right depicts the superior reading experience.
Image from 2 Kinds of People
James Williams in Why it’s OK to Block Ads:
…the question should not be whether ad blocking is ethical, but whether it is a moral obligation.
I had the same reaction as Dave after reading this–it changed the way I thought about the ad blocking debate.
via Scripting News
Dave Winer talks about the origins of podcasting (M4A 20:44). I like hearing him tell the story, but if you’re not into listening, he’s written much of it in a podcast about podcasting.
In Don’t Hate the Phone Call, Hate the Phone, The Atlantic delves into the telephone networks of past and present.
I have long lamented the decline of voice quality on phone calls. As the article points out, mobile devices and VOIP have conditioned us to expect poor sound quality and dropped calls. The analog jumble of twisted, copper wire reliably delivered quality calls. There were many drawbacks, among them, one generally had to be tethered by some sort of wire in order to use it. Also, that old network of copper was expensive to maintain and use. Not so long ago, 10¢ per minute for domestic, long-distance calls was considered inexpensive.
I’m not so nostalgic as to call for ditching all we’ve gained to go back to the old days, I only wish the phone portion of my iPhone functioned as well as the old Nokia I used to have. I’m also happy that Verizon’s modern network still supports my old rotary, Western Electric phone.