Doc Searls

Is there a way out of password hell?

Doc Searls

Passwords are hell. Worse, to make your hundreds of passwords safe as possible, they should be nearly impossible for others to discover—and for you to remember. Unless you’re a wizard, this all but requires using a password manager.†. Think about how hard that job is.

Car design trends

Doc Searls

On Quora, here’s my answer to What are the worst design trends in modern cars?

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Beyond the Web

Doc Searls

The Web is a haystack. This isn’t what Tim Berners-Lee had in mind when he invented the Web. Nor is it what Jerry Yang and David Filo had in mind when they invented Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web , which later became Yahoo.

Speaking of character

Doc Searls

It seems fitting that among old medical records I found this portrait of Doctor Dave , my comic persona on radio and in print back in North Carolina, forty-five years ago. The artist is Alex Funk, whose nickname at the time was Czuko (pronounced “Chuck-o”).

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The Matrix 4.0

Doc Searls

The original Matrix is my favorite movie. Not because I think it’s the best. I just think it’s the most important. Also among the most rewatchable. Hear that, Ringer ? Rewatch the whole series before Christmas.).

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.

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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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 storage crisis

Doc Searls

The best new phones come with the ability to shoot 108 megapixel photos, record 4K video with stereo sound, and pack the results into a terabyte of onboard storage. But what do you do when that storage fills up? If you want to keep those files, you’ll need to offload them somewhere.

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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.

Apple vs (or plus) Adtech

Doc Searls

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Apple’s Privacy on iPhone | tracked ad. In it a guy named Felix (that’s him, above) goes from a coffee shop to a waiting room somewhere, accumulating a vast herd of hangers-on along the way.

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 happy 75th anniversary

Doc Searls

My parents (that’s them, Eleanor and Allen Searls) were married on 17 August 1946, seventy-five years and two days ago.

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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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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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).

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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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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.

The GDPR’s biggest fail

Doc Searls

If the GDPR did what it promised to do, we’d be celebrating Privmas today. Two years after the GDPR became enforceable, privacy would be the norm rather than the exception in the online world. That hasn’t happened, but it’s not because the GDPR is poorly enforced.

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.

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.

Dialog with a robot

Doc Searls

So I ordered one of these yesterday… …and got a notice that said, That was to my building in Manhattan. I’m on the third floor, so I went down to the front, and saw it wasn’t there.

Redux 001: BuzzPhrasing

Doc Searls

Since I’m done with fighting in the red ocean of the surveillance-dominated Web, I’ve decided, while busy working in the blue ocean (on what for now we’re calling i-commerce ), to bring back, in this blog, some of the hundreds of things I’ve written over the last 30+ years.

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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.

A side view of the Ranch 2 Fire

Doc Searls

What you see there is a cumulonimbus cloud rising to the north above Ranch 2 , a wildfire about fifteen miles east of here in the San Gabriel Mountains , just north of Asuza (one of too many towns to remember, in greater Los Angeles).

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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.

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.

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.

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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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?

Remembering Gail Sheehy

Doc Searls

It bums me out that Gail Sheehy passed without much notice—meaning I only heard about it in passing.

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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.

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.

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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An audio blog post

Doc Searls

I’m trying something new here, speaking instead of writing. Here it is: [link]. I recorded it last night while walking twelve thousand steps, briskly, on the deck of my house. Think of it as a kind of voice mail to readers. The topic I cover is one I’ve written about here; but I’m not going to provide any links—at least not yet. That’s because I want to see if what I’m trying to say comes across better in speaking than in writing.

Angel from Maywood

Doc Searls

John Prine and I are both from Maywood. Well, not the same one. His was in Illinois and mine was in New Jersey. So that wasn’t a connection. Instead it was just one of many small doors between souls with some common likes. One of those likes was country.

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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.