Doc Searls

The Giant Zero

Doc Searls

Studying all this has also been my focus for a decade as a fellow with the Center for Information Technology and Society at UCSB. The world of distance. Fort Lee is the New Jersey town where my father grew up. It’s at the west end of the George Washington Bridge , which he also helped build.

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Apple’s content blocking is chemo for the cancer of adtech

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Safari converts the JSON to bytecode, which it applies efficiently to all resource loads without leaking information about the user’s browsing back to the app extension. The tide of popular sentiment is turning against tracking-based advertising — and Apple knows it. That’s why they’re enabling “content blocking” in iOS 9 (the new mobile operating system that will soon go in your iPhone and iPad).

Trending Sources

Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff

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These companies collect information about your activity – like the pages you visit – and use it to show you ads tailored to your interests; this practice is sometimes referred to as behavioral advertising. Advertising used to be simple. You knew what it was, and where it came from.

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After Facebook fails

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Tracking, filtering and personalizing advertising all compromise our anonymity, even if no PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is collected. That person does not require either a social network or absolutely-informed guesswork to know who he or she is or what they want to buy.

TV Viewers to Madison Avenue: Please quit driving drunk on digital

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Because voter data includes actual names and addresses, the same information the TV providers have for billing purposes, they readily can match up the lists.

Thoughts on privacy

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Some examples: Privacy by Design is a policy and code development movement led by Ann Cavoukian , the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. In Here Is New York , E.B. White opens with this sentence: “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.”

Debugging adtech assumptions

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Many marketers have collected the information, but have done a less-than-stellar job of putting the picture together. Most customers want the companies that serve them to have the information necessary for that service, but not much if anything more. (The original version of this post appeared in my Liveblog , on Fri, Sep 11, 2015.).

Take us to The Rivers

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The apps were, in the jargon of information technology, “ walled gardens ,” and although sometimes beautiful, they were small, stifling gardens. News rivers were a brilliant idea in the first place.

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The Data Bubble redux

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Meanwhile I have money ready to spend on about eight things, right now, that I’d be glad to let the right sellers know, provided that information is confined to my relationship with those sellers, and that it doesn’t feed into anybody’s guesswork mill.

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Remembering Big Davy

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Suspecting that we might be among the few who would know a world-changing business and technical hack when we saw one, he shared with us plans for Qredo, an architecture for sending and sharing data securely and privately between parties who could also, if they chose, connect anonymously — and then selectively disclose more information as purposes required. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi. I’m not sure if Gandhi actually said that.

PR’s problems, 20 years later

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If PR’s consumers — the press — were also its customers, you can bet the PR business would serve a much different purpose: to reveal rather than conceal, clarify rather than mystify, inform rather than mislead. The magazine Upside has been erased. Some bits of it still persist on the Internet Archive , but nothing before 1996.

Browsers should have been cars. Instead they’re shopping carts.

Doc Searls

Google once aspired to give us access to “all the world’s information”, which suggests a library. A browser should have been like one of those, and that was kind of the idea back in the early days when we talked about “surfing” and the “information highway.” I want to drive on the Web, but instead I’m being driven. All of us are. And that’s a problem.

Let’s help Airbnb rebuild the bridge it just burned

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Airbnb users can earn a “Verified ID” badge on their profile by providing their online identity (via existing Airbnb reviews, LinkedIn, or Facebook) and matching it to offline ID documentation, such as confirming personal information or scanning a photo ID. You claim that having people send some of their most personal information over the internet will make them safer. My wife and I are veteran Airbnb customers who have been happy with the company from the start.

Will Content Blocking push Apple into advertising’s wheat business?

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We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. On 8 July 2010, Engadget published iAds uses iTunes history, location information to target advertising. Nor do they want information about them known by first parties to be sold to third parties, or to anybody, with our without their knowledge, no matter how normative that practice has become.

Missing Elinor Ostrom

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Through my work over the years I have often been directed to the worlds of Elinor Ostrom , and toward speaking to her in person. Alas, the latter choice is now off the table. She died yesterday, at 78, of pancreatic cancer.

A sense of bewronging

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This got me into my Google Accounts page, which has a LOT of information in a lot of contexts — all provided by Google. But I would rather have my own way of keeping personal information straight with myself, and sharing it selectively and when I felt like it.

Do we really want the Web to be a strip mall when it grows up?

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We drove it around, “browsing” and “surfing” up and down the “information superhighway,” seeing and collecting only what we wanted to see and collect. On FlightAware I see three spaces filled with the same message.

The most important Kickstarter ever

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This is why the browser, which started out as a vehicle on the Information Superhighway , turned into a shopping cart that gets re-skinned at every commercial site you visi t, and carries tracking beacons so you can be a better target for advertising. If Fuse succeeds, it will be a critical first step toward building the fully independent vehicle for the fully independent human being on that same old Information Superhighway.

Time for digital emancipation

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Every Member promises to respect the right of every other Member to control the Member Information they share within the network and the communications they receive within the network. Civilization is a draft. Provisional. Scaffolded. Under construction.

For personal data, use value beats sale value

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People keep a single account with information about themselves. Without that information, we can’t say what people’s perceived value for their personal data might be. Think about all the personal data in your life that can be digitized and stored: photos, videos, letters, texts, emails, contact information for yourself and others, school and business records, bills received and paid, medical and fitness data, calendar entries… Today all of us use this data.

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Fred Wilson’s talk at LeWeb

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In the information revolution, the pollution is data. I’m bummed that I missed LeWeb , but I’m glad I got to see and hear Fred Wilson’s talk there , given on Tuesday. I can’t recommend it more highly. Go listen. It might be the most leveraged prophesy you’re ever going to hear. I’m biased in that judgement, because the trends Fred visits are ones I’ve devoted my life to urging forward.

Checking in, 16.5 years later

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It’s too bad Phil didn’t live to see the web become what he (before anyone, I believe) hoped to create with AMIX: “the first efficient marketplace for information.” Information is made by minds, not factories; and it tends to make itself abundant, not scarce.

Consumers can’t help health care. Customers can.

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HIE stands for Health Information Exchange , which Adrian and Michael describe as “a patient-centered health record based on the FHIR and HEART interoperability standards.”

How PR is as bad is it ever was

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If PR’s consumers — the press — were also its customers, you can bet the PR business would serve a much different purpose: to reveal rather than conceal, clarify rather than mystify, inform rather than mislead. In 2013 – Beginning Of The End For PR Boomers , David Bray actually says this… The media landscape is evolving rapidly, and baby boomers are about to be left behind because of their inability to keep up with technology and the changing times.

Android as a life management platform

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No personal information is revealed, except to vendors with whom you already have a trusted relationship. Nearly all smartphones today are optimized to do three things for you: Run apps. Speak to other people. Make you dependent on a phone company. The first two are features. The third is a bug. In time that bug will be exterminated. Meanwhile it helps to look forward to what will happen with #1 and #2 once they’re liberated from #3. Both features are personal. That’s key.

The Continuing End of TV

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While most sports talk shows sound like human beer cans yelling at each other, D&C is always thoughtful and informative, even (or especially) when it veers off the sports groove, as it often does.

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Won and done

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But I had hoped that somewhere along the way foursquare could also evolve into a true QS app, yielding lat-lon and other helpful information for those (like me) who care about that kind of thing. Okay, my foursquare experiment is over.

What can people do with data that companies alone can’t?

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Even when that data is open and exportable (as it is, say, with Zeo sleep data), you can’t easily pull that data into one place that is yours, where you can analyze them together, and make fully informed decisions based on that data. Most of those are informed by what can be learned only inside their own silos — or by the conventions that include enticements many of us don’t fall for.

World wide puddle

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Here’s Nick: On the Net, we face many information faucets, all going full blast. Psychologists refer to the information flowing into our working memory as our cognitive load. The stream of new information also plays to our natural tendency to overemphasize the immediate.

Curing the commercial Web blues

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And Google is leading the way — to the point where it is seriously at risk of failing its mission to “organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.&#. One is that we’re not always buying something, or looking only for commercial information.

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How Radio Can Defend the Dashboard

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The Future Of Traffic Information Will real-time, customized traffic reports delivered through online connectivity and apps usurp radio’s role? Dash — “the connected car audiotainment™ conference” — is happening next week in Detroit. It’s a big deal, because cars are morphing into digital things as well as automotive ones. This means lots of new stuff is crowding onto dashboard spaces where radios alone used to live.

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Bring on The Live Web

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Back when we still spoke of the Net as an “information highway”, we used “information” to label the goods we stored on our hard drives and Web sites. Today “information” has become passé.

Journalism is outlining

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Stories aren’t always the best vehicle for conveying information, for informing the public. In Journalism as service: Lessons from Sandy , Jeff Jarvis says, “After Sandy, what journalists provided was mostly articles when what I wanted was specifics that those articles only summarized. Don’t give me stories. Give me lists.” ” Journals aren’t going to stop giving us stories, because stories are the main attraction. But lists are the service.

Cast locally, stream globally

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Real Time Beach — It is absolutely essential that media companies understand that news and information is moving to real time, and that real time streams are what will really matter tomorrow. Here’s a great idea for local TV news departments: start streaming, 24/7/265, on the Net.

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An AR treat

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Show me the standard information sharing label for this. Enticedby Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald (aka @DutchCowboy ) in this tweet , I fired up Layar (an AR — Augmented Reality — browser from the company by that name, which he co-founded ), and aimed it at the cover of my new book.

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A way to see what you get

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So, Joe Andrieu and Iain Henderson think, why not eliminate the cost of that work by adopting a Standard Information Sharing Label — like the nutrition label you see on foods of all kinds? According to The Cost of Reading Privacy Policies , a paper by Aleecia M.

Thinking outside the pipes

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This by far is the most serious threat to sharing information on the Net, because it undermines and sidelines the Net’s heterogeneous and distributed system for supporting everybody and everything, and biases the whole thing to favor a few vertically-integrated ‘content’ industries. For several years now I’ve been participating with Pew Internet in research on the Internet and its future — mostly by providing by thinking on various matters.

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Earth to Microsoft: Don’t sell Bing.

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As Don Marti once said , “Information doesn’t want to be free.

Valley Fire losses

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Watch here for official information about the fire. Here is the current perimeter of the Valley Fire , according to the USGS’ GEOMAC viewer : As you see, no places are identified there. One in particular, however, is of extremely special interest to me: Harbin Hot Springs. That’s where I met my wife and made more friends than I can count. It is, or was, one of the most lovely places on Earth, inhabited and lovingly maintained by wonderful people.

World Wide Catacombs

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Google’s mission of “organizing all the world’s information&# is still satisfied. The problem is that most of that information — at least on the Web — is about selling something. What started as plain old Web search has now been marginalized as “organic&#.