Doc Searls

How the cookie poisoned the Web

Doc Searls

Have you ever wondered why you have to consent to terms required by the websites of the world, rather than the other way around? Or why you have no record of your own of what you have accepted or agreed to? Blame the cookie.

Making useful photographs

Doc Searls

I guess (though I don’t yet know) that we drive a bucket of lithium around in the battery our new hybrid Toyota.

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Trend of the Day: NFT

Doc Searls

NFTs—Non-Fungible Tokens —are hot s**t. Wikipedia explains (at that link), A non-fungible token ( NFT ) is a special type of cryptographic token that represents something unique.

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A toast to the fools standing high on broadcasting’s hill

Doc Searls

In Winter, the cap of dark on half the Earth is cocked to the north. So, as the planet spins, places farther north get more night in the winter. In McGrath, Alaska, at close to sixty-three degrees north, most of the day is dark. This would be discouraging to most people, but to Paul B.

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First iPhone mention?

Doc Searls

I wrote this fake story on January 24, 2005, in an email to Peter Hirshberg after we jokingly came up with it during a phone call. Far as I know, it was the first mention of the word “iPhone.” ” Apple introduces one-button iPhone Shuffle.

Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act

Doc Searls

As quarantined millions gather virtually on conferencing platforms, the best of those, Zoom , is doing very well. Hats off. But Zoom is also—correctly— taking a lot of heat for its privacy policy , which is creepily chummy with the tracking-based advertising biz (also called adtech ).

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Apple vs (or plus) Adtech, Part II

Doc Searls

My post yesterday saw action on Techmeme (as I write this, it’s at #2) and on Twitter ( from Don Marti and Augustine Fou ), and in long from blog posts by John Gruber in Daring Fireball and Nick Heer in Pixel Envy. All pushed back on at least some of what I said.

My podcasts of choice

Doc Searls

As a follow-up to what I wrote earlier today, here are my own favorite podcasts, in the order they currently appear in my phone’s podcast apps: Radio Open Source (from itself). Bill Simmons (on The Ringer). Fresh Air (from WHYY via NPR). JJ Reddick & Tommy Alter (from ThreeFourTwo).

Enough with the giant URLs

Doc Searls

A few minutes ago I wanted to find something I’d written about privacy. So I started with a simple search on Google: The result was this: Which is a very very very very very very very very very very very very very way long way of saying this: [link].

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Be the hawk

Doc Searls

On Quora the question went, If you went from an IQ of 135+ to 100, how would it feel? Here’s how I answered :::: I went through that as a kid, and it was no fun. In Kindergarten, my IQ score was at the top of the bell curve, and they put me in the smart kid class.

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Why is the “un-carrier” falling into the hellhole of tracking-based advertising?

Doc Searls

For a few years now, T-Mobile has been branding itself the “un-carrier,” saying it’s “synonymous with 100% customer commitment.” ” Credit where due: we switched from AT&T a few years ago because T-Mobile, alone among U.S.

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A half-century of NPR

Doc Searls

The antenna for KPCC/89.3. NPR, which turned 50 yesterday, used to mean National Public Radio. It still does, at least legally; but they quit calling it that in 2010. The reason given was “…most of our audience — more than 27 million listeners to NPR member stations and millions more who experience our content on NPR.org and through mobile or tablet devices — identify us as NPR.” ” Translation: We’re not just radio any more. And they aren’t.

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The eventual normal

Doc Searls

One year ago exactly (at this minute), my wife and I were somewhere over Nebraska, headed from Newark to Santa Barbara by way of Denver, on the last flight we’ve ever taken. Prior to that we had put about four million miles on United alone, flying almost constantly somewhere, mostly on business. The map above traces what my pocket GPS recorded on various trips (and far from all of them) by land, sea and air since 2007. This life began for me in 1990 and for my wife long before that.

On the persistence of KPIG

Doc Searls

On Quora , William Moser asked , Would the KPIG radio format of Americana—Folk, Blugrass, Delta to modern Blues, Blues-rock, trad. & & modern C&W, country & Southern Rock, jam-bands, singer/songwriters, some jazz, big-band & jazz-singers sell across markets in America?

Bad $20

Doc Searls

I once tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Actually, twice. The first was when I paid for a lunch at Barney Greengrass in New York, about two years ago. After exposing the $20 to a gizmo at the cash register, the cashier handed it back to me, saying it was counterfeit.

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Time to unscrew subscriptions

Doc Searls

The goal here is to obsolesce this brilliant poster by Despair.com : I got launched on that path a couple months ago, when I got this email from The_New_Yorker at e-mail.condenast.com: Why did they “need” a “confirmation” to a subscription which, best I could recall, was last renewed early this year? So I looked at the links.

About a pretty pole

Doc Searls

The tallest structure in Santa Barbara’s skyline is a 200-foot pole painted red and white. It stands in a city equipment yard, not far from the ocean and the city’s famous Wharf. You can see it in the photo above, with the Wharf behind it.

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Time for advertising to call off the dogs

Doc Searls

Is this the way you want your brand to look? Digital advertising needs to sniff its own stench, instead of everybody’s digital butts.

How anywhere is everywhere

Doc Searls

On Quora , somebody asked, Which is your choice, radio, television, or the Internet? I replied with the following. If you say to your smart speaker “Play KSKO ,” it will play that small-town Alaska station, which has the wattage of a light bulb, anywhere in the world.

Comparing cameras

Doc Searls

On the left is a photo taken with my trusty old (also much used and abused) Canon 5D Mark III. On the right is one taken by a borrowed new Sony a7Riii. Below both are cropped close-ups of detail. The scene is interior, illuminated by incandescent track lighting. It is not an art shot, though it does contain photo art by our good friend Marian Crostic , of whose Sony a7R she has kindly offered to let me take over. She has replaced it with an a7Riii like the borrowed one I used here.).

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Will our digital lives leave a fossil record?

Doc Searls

In the library of Earth’s history, there are missing books, and within books there are missing chapters, written in rock that is now gone. The greatest example of “gone” rock is what John Wesley Powell discovered in 1869, on his expedition by boat through the Grand Canyon.

More on Zoom and privacy

Doc Searls

Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act , which I posted yesterday, hit a nerve. While this blog normally gets about 50 reads a day, by the end of yesterday it got 15000. So far this morning (11:15am Pacific), it has close to 8000 new reads.

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So far, privacy isn’t a debate

Doc Searls

Remember the dot com boom? Doesn’t matter if you don’t. What does matter is that it ended. All business manias do. That’s why we can expect the “platform economy” and “surveillance capitalism” to end.

Saving the Internet—and all the commons it makes possible

Doc Searls

This is the Ostrom Memorial Lecture I gave on 9 October of last year for the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University. Here is the video. The intro starts at 8 minutes in, and my part starts just after 11 minutes in.)

Higher education adrift

Doc Searls

In Your favorite cruise ship may never come back: 23 classic vessels that could be laid-up, sold or scrapped , Gene Sloan (aka @ThePointsGuy ) named the Carnival Fantasy as one those that might be headed for the heap.

Radio 2.x

Doc Searls

On Quora , somebody asks, How can the radio industry stay relevant in the age of streaming music and podcasts? Here’s my answer: It already is, if you consider streaming music and podcasting evolutionary forms of radio.

How early is digital life?

Doc Searls

Bits don’t leave a fossil record. Well, not quite. They do persist on magnetic, optical and other media, all easily degraded or erased. But how long will those last? Since I’ve already asked that question , I’ll set it aside and ask the one in the headline.

Coming From Every Here

Doc Searls

To answer the question Where are SiriusXM radio stations broadcasted from? , I replied, If you’re wondering where they transmit from, it’s a mix. SiriusXM transmits primarily from a number of satellites placed in geostationary orbit , 35,786 kilometres or 22,236 miles above the equator.

Do you really need all this personal information, @RollingStone?

Doc Searls

Here’s the popover that greets visitors on arrival at Rolling Stone ‘s website: Our Privacy Policy has been revised as of January 1, 2020. This policy outlines how we use your information. By using our site and products, you are agreeing to the policy.

Just in case you feel safe with Twitter

Doc Searls

Just got a press release by email from David Rosen ( @firstpersonpol ) of the Public Citizen press office. The headline says “Historic Grindr Fine Shows Need for FTC Enforcement Action.” ” The same release is also a post in the news section of the Public Citizen website.

Social shell games

Doc Searls

If you listen to Episode 49: Parler, Ownership, and Open Source of the latest Reality 2.0 podcast, you’ll learn that I was blindsided at first by the topic of Parler , which has lately become a thing. But I caught up fast, even getting a Parler account not long after the show ended.

Why the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl

Doc Searls

I think there are more reasons to believe in the Bucs than the Chiefs today: better offensive line, better defense, Brady’s unequaled Super Bowl experience, etc. But the Chiefs are favored by 3.5

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Reality 2020.05.08

Doc Searls

In The Web and the New Reality , which I posted on December 1, 1995 (and again a few days ago ), I called that date “Reality 1.995.12,” and made twelve predictions. In this post I’ll visit how those have played out over the quarter century since then.

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How we save the world

Doc Searls

Let’s say the world is going to hell. Don’t argue, because my case isn’t about that. It’s about who saves it. I suggest everybody. Or, more practically speaking, a maximized assortment of the smartest and most helpful anybodies. Not governments. Not academies. Not investors. Not charities. Not big companies and their platforms. Any of those can be involved, of course, but we don’t have to start there. We can start with people. Because all of them are different.

We haven’t seen this movie before

Doc Searls

Three weekends ago, we drove from New York to Baltimore to visit with family. We had planned this for awhile, but there was added urgency: knowing the world was about to change in a big way. Or in many big ways.

The universe is a start-up

Doc Searls

Earth is 4.54 billion years old. It was born 9.247 years after the Big Bang , which happened 13.787 billion years ago. Meaning that our planet is a third the age of the Universe.

We’ve seen this movie before

Doc Searls

When some big outfit with a vested interest in violating your privacy says they are only trying to save small business, grab your wallet. Because the game they’re playing is misdirection away from what they really want.

Wonder What?

Doc Searls

Our Christmas evening of cinematic indulgence was watching Wonder Woman 1984 , about which I just posted this, elsewhere on the Interwebs: I mean, okay, all “super” and “enhanced” hero (and villain) archetypes are impossible. Not found in nature. You grant that.

Going #Faceless

Doc Searls

Facial recognition by machines is out of control. Meaning our control. As individuals, and as a society. Thanks to ubiquitous surveillance systems, including the ones in our own phones , we can no longer assume we are anonymous in public places or private in private ones.

Is Flickr in trouble again?

Doc Searls

I have two Flickr accounts, named Doc Searls and Nfrastructure. One has 73,355 photos, and the other 3,469. They each cost $60/year to maintain as pro accounts.

A simple suggestion for Guilford College

Doc Searls

Guilford College made me a pacifist. This wasn’t hard, under the circumstances. My four years there were the last of the 1960s, a stretch when the Vietnam War was already bad and getting much worse.

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On fire

Doc Searls

That above is the Bobcat Fire , in the San Gabriel Mountains , against which Los Angeles’ suburban sprawl (that’s it, on the right) reaches the limits of advance. It makes no sense to build very far up or into the mountains, for two good reasons.

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On humanity, surveillance and coronavirus

Doc Searls

Just learned of The Coronavirus (Safeguards) Bill 2020: Proposed protections for digital interventions and in relation to immunity certificates. This is in addition to the UK’s Coronavirus Bill 2020 , which is (as I understand it) running the show there right now.

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