Bookmarked Gopher: When Adversarial Interoperability Burrowed Under the Gatekeepers' Fortresses by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

The Gopher story is a perfect case history for Adversarial Interoperability. The pre-Gopher information landscape was dominated by companies, departments, and individuals who were disinterested in giving users control over their own computing experience and who viewed computing as something that took place in a shared lab space, not in your home or dorm room.

Rather than pursuing an argument with these self-appointed Lords of Computing, the Gopher team simply went around them, interconnecting to their services without asking for permission. They didn't take data they weren't supposed to have—but they did make it much easier for the services' nominal users to actually access them.

Paul Linder‘s retweet of a post by Cory Doctorow ()
Read Gopher: When Adversarial Interoperability Burrowed Under the Gatekeepers' Fortresses by Corey Doctorow (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
When Apple's App Store launched in 2008, it was widely hailed as a breakthrough in computing, a "curated experience" that would transform the chaos of locating and assessing software and replace it with a reliable one-stop-shop where every app would come pre-tested and with a trusted seal of...

The Gopher story is a perfect case history for Adversarial Interoperability. The pre-Gopher information landscape was dominated by companies, departments, and individuals who were disinterested in giving users control over their own computing experience and who viewed computing as something that took place in a shared lab space, not in your home or dorm room.
Rather than pursuing an argument with these self-appointed Lords of Computing, the Gopher team simply went around them, interconnecting to their services without asking for permission. They didn’t take data they weren’t supposed to have—but they did make it much easier for the services’ nominal users to actually access them. 

Annotated on February 23, 2020 at 08:39AM

Today’s Web giants want us to believe that they and they alone are suited to take us to wherever we end up next. Having used Adversarial Interoperability as a ladder to attain their rarefied heights, they now use laws to kick the ladder away and prevent the next Microcomputer Center or Tim Berners-Lee from doing to them what the Web did to Gopher, and what Gopher did to mainframes. 

Annotated on February 23, 2020 at 08:40AM

Legislation to stem the tide of Big Tech companies’ abuses, and laws—such as a national consumer privacy bill, an interoperability bill, or a bill making firms liable for data-breaches—would go a long way toward improving the lives of the Internet users held hostage inside the companies’ walled gardens.
But far more important than fixing Big Tech is fixing the Internet: restoring the kind of dynamism that made tech firms responsive to their users for fear of losing them, restoring the dynamic that let tinkerers, co-ops, and nonprofits give every person the power of technological self-determination. 

Annotated on February 23, 2020 at 08:42AM

👓 Facebook sold a rival-squashing move as privacy policy, documents reveal | the Guardian

Read Facebook sold a rival-squashing move as privacy policy, documents reveal (the Guardian)
Documents from a 2015 lawsuit allege that the tech giant’s policies were anticompetitive and misrepresented to the public

👓 Thousands of leaked Facebook documents show Mark Zuckerberg as ‘master of leverage’ in plan to trade user data | NBC News

Read Thousands of leaked Facebook documents show Mark Zuckerberg as ‘master of leverage’ in plan to trade user data (NBC News)
Facebook’s leaders seriously discussed selling access to user data — and privacy was an afterthought.
The story somehow just gets worse and worse and still they just apologize and continue on as usual… It’s shocking to see so many who raised ethical issues along the way are remaining silent now, ostensibly because they are still on the gravy train and are enriching themselves by staying silent.

👓 How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated | WIRED

Read How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated (WIRED)
Internet companies used to grow big and die—fast. But now a few of them are huge and entrenched, because regulators didn't foresee their dominance.

📑 How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated | Wired

Annotated How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated by Tim Wu (WIRED)
When a dominant firm buys its a nascent challenger, alarm bells are supposed to ring. Yet both American and European regulators found themselves unable to find anything wrong with the takeover.  

🎧 Should We Break Up Amazon? | Crazy/Genius | The Atlantic

Listened to Should We Break Up Amazon? from Crazy/Genius | The Atlantic

Has the Everything Store become a dangerous monopoly threatening the U.S. economy?

Some time later this year, Amazon could become the first trillion-dollar company in American history. Its valuation has already doubled in the last 14 months to about $800 billion, and Jeff Bezos, its founder and CEO, is officially the richest man on the planet.

There are ways in which Amazon seems to be the greatest company in American history. It’s revolutionized the global shopping experience and expanded into media and hardware, while operating on razor-thin margins that have astonished critics. But some now consider it the modern incarnation of a railroad monopoly, a logistics behemoth using its scale to destroy competition.

So what is Amazon: brilliant, dangerous, or both? That’s the subject of the latest episode of Crazy/Genius, our new podcast on technology and culture.

To build the case for breaking up the Everything Store, I talk to Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at NYU and an outspoken critic of big tech, and Lina Khan, a researcher at the Open Markets Institute and a leading expert on antitrust policy. Both of them encourage me to see how a company famous for low prices can still behave in an anticompetitive manner. Making the case against heavy regulation for Amazon are Rob Atkinson, the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a tech think tank, and Michael Mandel, an economist with the Progressive Policy Institute who researches technology and e-commerce. Both encourage me to focus not only on the hidden costs of Amazon’s largeness, but also on the hidden benefits.

hat tip: Atlantic Interview podcast feed

👓 How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions | The Daily Beast

Read How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions (The Daily Beast)
Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’
A great little story here. I can see why Matt and Ben bought it.

👓 Fox, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Win Hot Package On Multi-Million Dollar Theft Of McDonald’s Monopoly Game | Deadline

Read Fox, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Win Hot Package On Multi-Million Dollar Theft Of McDonald’s Monopoly Game by Mike Fleming Jr.Mike Fleming Jr. (Deadline)
EXCLUSIVE: Fox is poised to win the hot lit property in the marketplace at the moment, a giant Happy Meal that everyone wanted. Ben Affleck is attached to direct and Matt Damon to star in a true-crime story written by Jeff Maysh and published in The Daily Beast several days ago about an ex-cop who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game, allegedly stealing over $24 million and sharing it with an unsavory group of co-conspirators who offered kickbacks to the mastermind. The Pearl Street partners will produce with David Klawans, latter of whom got rights to the article and was exec veep on the Affleck-directed Best Picture Oscar winner Argo. Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese will write the script. Deal was a $350,000 option against $1 million if the film gets made. Affleck, Damon and the screenwriters get paid a lot more than that.

📺 “60 Minutes” The Real Power of Google, The Theranos deception, The Spotted Pig | CBS

Watched "60 Minutes" The Real Power of Google, The Theranos deception, The Spotted Pig from cbsnews.com
How did Google get so big; then, the Theranos deception; and, Mario Batali and the Spotted Pig

👓 Save Barnes & Noble! | New York Times

Read Opinion | Save Barnes & Noble! by David LeonhardtDavid Leonhardt (nytimes.com)
It’s in trouble. And Washington’s flawed antitrust policy is a big reason.
There are some squirrel-ly things that Amazon is managing to get away with, and they’re not all necessarily good.

📖 Read Loc 261-443 of 6508 of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

📖 Read Loc 261-443 of 6508 of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

The section here on the election of Rutherford B. Hayes as president with significant help by the communication incumbent (Western Union) of the time sounds eerily like the influence which Facebook likely had on the election of Donald J. Trump. The more I read this the more I’m scared and can’t wait for yet another disruption of communication technology.

The Master Switch by Tim Wu