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The Internet Explained and Endangered

There are a lot of ideas about what the internet is. This is probably the best explanation out here.

The internet thrives based on the flow of information. You want information to flow more broadly, rather than to hoard it. Historical economics is based on worlds of scarcity, and in worlds of scarcity it makes sense to hoard resources, as they are valuable by themselves. Yet, in worlds of abundance you want the opposite. You want abundant or infinite resources to flow freely because they do something special: they increase the value of everything else around them.

Mike Masnick Tech Dirt 03/05/2015

We can embrace the original peer to peer design of the internet, or sink into a quagmire of thought control promoted by companies whose goal is to own you.

The poster child for the new control is Facebook’s Internet.org. Doc Searls notes:

Internet.org calls itself “a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have Internet access.” But what it offers is not the Internet, but a sphinctered fraction of it: Facebook plus a few chosen others.

Doc Searls

Over at Wired is this article about the folks who are the recipients of this Zuckerberg largesse questioning and rejecting Internet.org.
Backlash Against Facebook’s Free Internet Service Grows

The Last thing we need is to welcome newcomers to the web through Facebook.

Surveillance as a business model is the only thing that makes a site like Facebook possible.

I have been on the internet probably longer than majority of current folks today have had pubic hair. Some of the promises of universal access, universal information and something for everyone, like left handed pipe fitters who enjoy hamsters, is coming, but at a cost that is risking everyone’s privacy, safety and security.

If you want to understand how fucked up the internet is today, READ THIS.

Yeah it is this bad.

P.S. The title of this posting is a take away from the author Maciej Ceglowski posting from the link above. If you missed it here it is again. READ THIS.

Welcome to Our Social Network!

What You thought You were Getting

What You Thought

What You Thought You Were Getting

What You Got

Welcome to Our Social Network! Now SHUT THE FUCK UP and BUY!!!

Welcome to Our Social Network!

Welcome to Your OUR Social Network!

how private is your social network?

The Canadian Access to Social Media Information Project has a clear look at the Privacy Policies of 20 of the top ‘social’ media sites.
Follow this link and click on the icon of your social media site and see the results.

highly recommended

hattip Naked Security

Facebook is Not the Internet

Facebook’s latest assault on the online world is the introduction of wait for it…
Facebook Social Inbox: Always-On Messaging With People You Care About
Back before Mark Zuckerberg had pubic hair, AOL had the dubious distinction of being the web. You know how well that worked out.

Just think, an @facebook.com email address.
we are sorry that username has been taken, perhaps you would like fred987123?

If you think that Facebook is the Internet just bend over, turn around and press your cheeks to the screen. Advertisers are standing by!!

Quote o’ the day

Facebook is a charnel house of features that appeal to advertisers and businesses without actually being used, supported by tools that don’t work, for people who don’t care.
Jeffery Zeldman

Social Networks and Privacy #FAIL

There is no privacy on the internet. You post it, it becomes fair game and part of someone’s database by the time you finish reading this sentence. Social Networks have never been about privacy. N E V E R.

Think about it for just a moment. You are reading this because you pay for an internet connection. Lord only knows how you ended up here. Somebody offers you a place to post information about yourself, photos, and text, for Free. Do you really believe that there is a web fairy footing the bill to allow you to share this information to only a small group of ‘friends’?
There are no privacy controls that will ever work on any computer that is publicly accessible on the Internet. Not for long.

Facebook’s latest foray into privacy controls has created an entire cottage industry of explanations and step by step guides to actually afford you a virtual fig leaf. Good Luck with that. That may last until the next brain fart from Facebook Central.

Facebook is the poster child for OPM Other People’s Money and Other People’s Material A sort of New Math for the Advertising Targeting Complex.
Facebook uses Other People’s Material (yours) to populate their site. You lost control of your material and privacy as soon as you set up an account.
Exhibit 1.

Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
Source Facebook Terms

First they say that you own your material, then they tell you that you have given them a ‘royalty free world wide license’ to use any of it in anyway they want.

They use Other People’s Money to support themselves until they get enough advertisers to sign up to pay the bills. In order to get advertisers to buy in, they need to use Other Peoples Material to chum the waters. At the end of the day you and your material are bait for advertisers, to try to sell you shit.

There is no Privacy in Social Networks.
Social Networks are not about privacy. They are Social as in Pregnancy. There is no ‘a little bit pregnant’. This is why I laugh my ass off when I read postings like this,Facebook’s Privacy Move Violates Contract With Users
What bullshit! As I mentioned above, you have no privacy, nor do you have any control over the shifting sands of this weeks privacy rights to the material that you post there.  The author goes on about the dangers of this network and makes a leap that there is some contract about your use of their service giving you any privacy. Privacy settings are a Virtual Figleaf so you are not Socially Nude. And only show up in your browser, while in the back room, all your data is being collated, strained, prioritized, and shoveled into the sweaty hands of advertisers. Facebook makes no money by keeping things private.
Facebook, like the rest of the Social Networks are using Advertisers who should have more sense, building the Internet version of magazines. Having the ability to corral ‘users’ into smaller and smaller boxes to shoot ads at, is the electronic Midway Carnaval, and you are all rubes.
Social Networks and Privacy is an Oxymoron
Regardless of what sort of pixie dust you are snorting, Eric Schmidt of Google is right in telling you, If you want to keep things private, keep them off the internet.

Facebook’s Business Model – Panhandling!

The digerati, internet business ‘experts’ and venture capitalists have been muttering for some time about when Facebook was going to actually make some money and stop being a rathole for cash , getting ready to apply for some of that government bailout cash.

Well they have done it! Electronic Panhandling! You give Facebook a buck you get a hundred ‘credits’ to spend on your friends. I suppose this is a step above (a very small step) giving a buck to some rheumy eyed guy hanging outside the package store, knowing that you will be forgotten with the first swallow of that smooth white port, or the robust flavor of the 40 ouncer.

What a unique monetization strategy! You can gift your friends with credits, and they can spend it at the Company store! They take your money and they take your money! Move Over Bernie Madoff!

Facebook Follies

Facebook continues to amaze in its effort to be pure and make a buck by selling its members down the river. On the purity front we had the aureole-gate tits up lunacy, taking down pictures of breast feeding women. Stupid, but when you consider that the CEO is only 24 and a geek, he probably does not have enough sexual experience to understand sex, its consequences, or the bond that women have for their children.

Whopper-gate demonstrated that Facebook  ‘friendship’ is no more valuable than ,”you were worth less than one-tenth of a Whopper.”, in the words of the Matt Walsh, the creator of the Whopper Sacrifice Campaign. Friend em, fuck em, and kick them to the curb. This campaign ran for 10 days before Facebook figured out that it was the credit default swap of the digerati and wannabes. Not the message you want to send if you are trying to be the Boys and Girls Club of the internet.

The blessing of whopper gate was the resound silence of virtual PR agencies, who in a moment of clarity figured out that Facebook is not the place to run campaigns, because 99% of the people on Facebook  don’t give a shit about PR or advertising. They did realize that a vast number of people on facebook who are likely to respond, to a carefully crafted virtual media campaign  will sell your ass down the river for 24 bucks and a few beads,(the original cost of Manhattan) or a tenth of a whopper.  Probably not quite the demographic they were trying to convert.

The bad news is that this is providing ammunition for the Social Media Loons who are gonna use this to turn their time on Facebook into billables as ‘Brand Reputation Management’. BRM is just the annoying kid who runs screaming to mommy and daddy every time somebody says something negative. Positive remarks are billed separately. And PR still wonders why folks regard them with the same contempt usually reserved for used car salesmen and lawyers. Yes, it is getting crowded in the bottom of the barrel.

The latest attempt to monetize  is  Facebook Credits. This is where you can give virtual credits to your ‘friends’, who in turn may do the same for you. You get credits by buying them in Facebook’s virtual gifts store — $1 for 100 credits.

Holy Monetization PixelBoy!! Money will buy you love! I wonder if you can redeem your credits for  whiskey and hookers from the virtual gifts store?

Having folks toss virtual pennies at you is electronic lap dancing. It may feel good now, but you will have to do the laundry later.

Facebook Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, bullshit walks Take 2

The kids at Facebook are still trying to dig themselves out of the intellectual property hole they dug themselves. The latest episode in this saga is: Facebook Town Hall: Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities

This is their latest proposal. The cute thing here is calling it a Statement as though it is just folks talking. Make no mistake, this is a fucking Contract, and will bite you on the ass. This is a work in progress, but still falls short.
The most important section of this is Section 2, which deals with your stuff, and licensing it to them.

2. Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, including information about you and the actions you take (“content”). In order for us to share your content and provide you with our services, you agree to the following:

This is reality slapping them in the face, due to to Copyright Law in the US. Here is the problem with this. Currently if you have Copyright in one hand and shit in the other, you will need to have toilet paper handy. (Also in section 14, they make the point that they are bound by the laws of the State of California, so Federal Copyright applies. Cal hasn’t seceded, or fallen into the ocean yet)

2.1 You give us permission to use, store, and share content you post on Facebook or otherwise make available to us (“post”), subject to your privacy and application settings.

Here is where the rabbit hole opens up. “You give us permission to use, store, and share”. This opens the door to granting them a license in absence of any other statement they make. ‘Implied’ and ‘reasonable’ have won more contract lawsuits than you can imagine.
The only thing this needs to say is: You give us permission to store, because that is the deal here, you get space and they get numbers and data. They are providing space, but you are creating the page. There is no reason for Facebook to need usage or sharing unless they are going outside of this agreement.
The only one who is using or sharing your stuff is you, and the folks in your circle.

Privacy? This is the fucking Internet. There is nothing private out here.

2.2 You may delete your content or your account at any time with the understanding that removed information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be generally available to other users), and that content shared with others may remain until they delete it.

The gem here is the qualifier “(but will not be generally available to other users)”. If you delete your account, under what specific scenarios would it be kept? The internet is just like a neighborhood. Stuff appears and disappears just like neighbor who moves or the store on the corner that closes down. The space may be there, but nobody is home and you have to move on.
Content shared with others? let me see here… you write on somebody’s page, it becomes part of their page, you share a photo, it becomes part of their page, and no longer is yours, making this a bullshit argument. Creating a url to a picture or page on your page is leaching and is frowned upon. In a worst case, somebody’s page will show a busted link or a broken image. This is a pancake makeup argument. They want to have every bit of crap to be permanent, so they don’t have to explain that your page get busted links and a demonstration of churn, and looks like shit because your ‘friends’ left Facebook. Remember when I mentioned that these sharecroppers don’t publicize how many active accounts they have?

Before we get to the money shot part of this, let’s review Copyright. In its simplest form, Copyright covers original writing and creation, whether it be words, photographic, visual(painting, dancing, design, still or moving like video), or auditory such as music. As the Creator of stuff, your Copyright gives you a limited monopoly to license your work, such as copying , publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works. Licensing is what makes the book, movie, and music industries possible.
Do you really want to give all of these away for free?

2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. This license ends when you delete your content or your account.

Let’s start with they left out. Your writing. Everything you write is covered by copyright. Copyright got its start with the written word.
Here is where the bullshit gets deep. you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook.
They do not need nor should they be allowed to have a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post
You do need to grant them a license of sorts to play on Facebook.
This covers your ass and acknowledges you as the Copyright Owner.
They need a non-exclusive license to be able to display your writing and images, as this again notes that you are the copyright owner. The primary reason is that you may be one of those fickle people who has a MySpace or windows live account, as well as a Facebook account. They are smart enough in one respect of understanding that an exclusive license would put them in a world of hurt. Somebody would sue somebody, and there is no need to stimulate the economy with full employment for lawyers.

They do not need nor should they be given, any transferability as you are in a gated community, nor should it be sub-licensible, which gives them the rights to grant or sell your stuff without any permission or royalties.
They do not need a worldwide license as their servers are in California, and despite where you may be viewing from, at the end of the day, you are viewing things in California.
They do not need a license to copy except for backups which are not publicly available(hopefully).
They do not need a license to publicly perform or display, as this is a gated community and you have to be a member to see things.
They do not need a license to distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works. Distribution is your right as the copyright holder, modifification, translation and creating derivative works are also Your Rights as a copyright owner.

You really do not want to give these rights away.

Royalty Free
This is not an outrageous demand, since they are providing you with space for your cat photos.
Royalties are money and what you get when you license your stuff for money. Social Networks are not the place to make money. Besides, there are not enough accountants on the planet to track this stuff. They are all busy trying to figure out what credit default swaps are or where the ponzi scheme money is.

Here is what a fair license grant should look like:

In exchange for my uploading materials to your site, you will receive a Limited, fully revocable, License to Display my materials on your network in the Original forms as delivered to you, with full attribution to me as the author/copyright holder, for the duration of our engagement, being the period of time that we are entered into this arrangement, evidenced by my use of the username/password you have provided and the space on your network you have made available to me.

All others rights are Reserved including, but not limited to, reproduction, modification, distribution outside of the aforementioned space, subsidary public display, public performance, and or derivative works in any format, online or offline.

Anything less is bullshit. They need you a lot more than you need them.
Remember, without you, there is no them.