Tag - evil

War is peace, love is hate, and Verizon/Google's "net neutrality" is open internet

I’m not sure if Big Brother’s peering out at us right now through our LCD monitors. Or maybe it’s just Little Brother, but when it’s Google and Verizon … it’s big enough.

Net neutrality is a core concept underpinning the foundations of the entire internet. Everything that goes through the “pipes” is treated equally: data packets to route to a destination.

Google has always been in favor of net neutrality … mostly out of fear that big ISPs with ties to media companies would slow down traffic to a bandwidth hog like YouTube while preferentially passing packets from, let’s say, CBC’s online TV offerings.

Now Google and Verizon are talking about net neutrality as if they are maintaining it … but are in fact talking about building new services over or above the existing open internet. To those who think this sounds familiar, this is precisely the kind of “embrace and extend” strategy for destruction that we have grown very familiar with from Redmond, WA.

Soon, the apps and services that are built on this new layer could get so compelling that people will want to, or would maybe even almost be forced to use it. At that moment, you’ve killed the internet and you’re back to AOL in the 90s.

A link you send to me may not work. Or, it maybe access a resource so slowly as to make little difference. An app or slice of media meant for some will not be accessible for others.

We already have enough of this trouble with geo-location and the transference of archaic locale-based TV broadcast rules onto the existing internet. We don’t need another entire layer disrupting this web we all live in.

Google, remember your unofficial motto: don’t be evil.

Going pro on LinkedIn: this is evil

Today I paid for a subscription to LinkedIn (site, me) for the first time.

I’ve been using LinkedIn for at least 3-4 years now, and never needed any pay features before. But now I’m looking for sales agents for my company, and want access to more search results and increased ability to contact people not in my network. So I upgraded.

It’s the usual payment form, with this at the end:

The two checkboxes are off by default … but you cannot buy the subscription without checking the first one.

In other words, LinkedIn is gaming their payment page to screw people. You cannot subscribe without selecting the option to automatically re-up … and you cannot change the automatic re-up without emailing customer support.

Notice how it’s not even a link to a web form? Not even a link to pop open an email?

This is designed to take unfair advantage of people. It’s designed to make it hard to unsubscribe. It’s designed to maximize revenue for LinkedIn.

In other words, it’s evil.

This is evil (or, rage against the Captchas)

Those of use know live and contribute online know what captchas are and what their purpose is. And we all, uniformly, hate them with a passion usually reserved for Nazi war criminals or past US presidents.

But, generally we accept that to keep blogs and other social spaces on the web free of spam, we’ll submit to the hassle of typing in some nonsense word that purports to communicate that we are, in fact, human and not Martian.

But this captcha is not just annoying. It’s pure, unadulterated evil. In fact, you can almost see the vitriolic green acid oozing out:


It stands to reason, therefore, that this is a captcha from Google, the company whose founders have famously promised to do no evil.

Somebody call Sergei and show him this!