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The beginning of the end of the pioneer period

In my post the other day I was postulating  a new normal where every internet user was at least known to the service provider that they used so that they could be held accountable for the things that they said and did online. Reading the opinion piece in today’s age makes me think that my predictions/expectations may be closer to fruition than I thought:

A LITTLE over a decade ago, just before the masses discovered the digital universe, the internet was a borderless new frontier: a terra nullius to be populated by individuals, groups and programmers as they saw fit. There were few rules and no boundaries. Freedom and open standards, sharing information for the greater good was the ethos.

Today, the open internet we once knew is fracturing into a series of gated communities or fiefdoms controlled by giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and to a lesser extent Microsoft. A billion-dollar battle conducted in walled cities where companies try to lock our consumption into their vision of the internet. It has left some lamenting the ”web we lost”.

The same firm in some cases now provides not just the content we consume but the devices we consume it on and a plethora of other services to help manage our digital lives, be it email, online storage or e-commerce.

Increasingly, the web kings are expanding into each other’s turf and butting heads with smaller pretenders to the throne, such as Twitter, locking competitors out of their ecosystems but, more importantly, locking us, the consumers, in.

”There’s no question that we are witnessing a clash of the titans over ‘our’ data”, says Jennifer Zanich, serial Australian entrepreneur and now co-founder of start-up Paloma Mobile.

Data is the oil of the digital age, handed over willingly by consumers seduced by the latest flashy new web service. Big data is where the big money is made on the web today, and famous US venture capitalist Mary Meeker describes it as the ”Wild West” of the internet.

So much of the belief in the ungovernable nature of cyberspace is predicated upon the “wild west” view of the internet  but as it becomes a more organised and more commercial rather than Geek space the frontier town mentality will, like the old west fade away to be replaced by a more urbane and dare I say it “civil” environment quite simply because it is bad for business for it to be anything else. So if Asher Moses is correct the commercial imperative will drive a decline in the anonymity of users on the various conduits like twitter and blogs  to the owners of those platforms. Readers can obviously see that that this will be a boon for accountability as governments will pressured into ensuring that their online citizens are protected from both both commercial exploitation and online  abuse.
The online space is changing fast and not all of that change will be entirely beneficial or benign. Personally I find the idea of storing my data in “the cloud” rather unsettling and somewhat insecure (does anyone remember the collapse of “Haloscan” and the subsequent evaporation of millions of blog comments?). I find it hard to believe that everything online will be in anyway “eternal” or permanent as users create more and more content it seems inconceivable to me that we won’t  eventually find the older stuff disappearing  just as the graves in an ancient necropolis melt into the landscape with disuse.  It costs money to maintain an exponentially expanding online archive and the ones paying the bills for that storage won’t shell out forever to maintain those graves when the servers can return a profit by being re-purposed.
Of course like the decline of the old west there are people who just loved the anarchy and lawlessness who will truly morn the coming of civilisation to our online world but they will be very much in the minority as the Mums, Dads and their children outnumber the Geeks and scum-bags who first settled this new electric country and the Mums, Dads and their children  will neither celebrate nor mourn the passing of a period of utter lawlessness that the online  pioneers have had to endure.
Cheers Comrades



George Monbiot, millenarian prophecy and his desire to see western society back into an “energy dark age”

One of the reasons that I abandoned the left’s politics is its inability to see the obvious  and its wanton  ability to to be duped by its ideologues. One such issue has to be climate change and the extent to which humanity’s footsteps on the planet will impact on the environment.  One article that I read a few days ago in the Guardian has been republished in the Green Left Daily , sorry I meant the AGE,  and its a  call for the subversion of democracy to the to the needs of Gaia from that high  priest of the Green faith George Monbiot:


click for source

Of course what all of these minions of the watermelon left ignore is the complete equation, namely the human impact on the environment is a function of not only the things that humans do, but also the number of us that do it. So while the likes of George may whine about the industrial economy they also bemoan the loss of life from pestilence, famine and war. But here in lays the real problem when it comes to human impact on the planet. As a species we have become very adept at circumventing all of the checks upon our population and we are now reaping what this compassion for all has sown. Add to this the persistence of the cultural imperatives to have many children (especially in the third world) and it becomes clear that George is letting his leftist politics and hatred of the “elite” cloud his reason.

There are two ways to control an ever expanding population, either  limit the number of children that are made  to  that which will replace numbers with out increasing our population or we stop making extraordinary efforts  to constrain the four horsemen of death that have for so long controlled human  numbers.  This is of course an anathema to the left who think that every death in a struggle for resources or territory is an unmitigated disaster and requires sackcloth, ashes and the blaming of western culture.  Dare I suggest its not the successful western  cultures that are the problem for the planet because almost all of those have well and truly taken to heart limiting the number of children we make to replacement levels, its the countries of the third world who have unsustainable birth rates which combined with the compassionate “aid”  from the industrialised first world have seen rapid declines in childhood  mortality and subsequent population increases.

If our George really believes his own  apocalyptic doom-saying then why does he not even consider  the issue of population?  It seems to me that he is so in love with his own millenarian prophecy and his desire to see western society  back into a new “energy dark age”  that he is not seeing the real big picture at all .

Cheers Comrades


Cabbages, Kings, IPhones, and the way that the toys affect the interactions we have on the net

I’ve been thinking about blogging and its so called decline of late and it has just occurred to me that what it boils down to is that blogging is really a child of the PC, be it the desk top beastie  like the one that I use or the Lap top which the more wealthy have to play on,  and in they heyday of this social medium the Personal computer was the epitome of the human interface with the internet, Now far more people are interacting with the internet through their hand held devices like Phones or other display focused tablets. I have watched my brother using his smart phone to send text messages to his staff and it certainly is possible to send long messages but its also clear that it is poorly suited to writing long responses to something like a political piece in  a blog. A proper keyboard and a large display of the text that you are creating makes a huge difference if you want to make a substantive political argument.  Further the turn around time between posting something as a comment and getting a response to that comment either from the blog author or other commentators makes a difference as well. In the “old days”* the most lively blog threads happened when you had a few people all posting their comments at the same time of the day. Which for someone like me who is on the computer mainly during the day was a problem when the majority of readers/contributors to the conversation were there in the evenings. One other factor that is in play here is the fact that employers are becoming far less tolerant of their employees wasting work time on computer use that is not “work related”. It all adds up to less people reading blogs or writing them for that matter and to be honest if you take the time to brose through a lot of blogs as I have done over the years you will realise that there is a fair bit of chaff among the wheat and a fair few blogs that have just one (sometimes rather good) post and then nothing more. This humble blog and its precursors just sort of happened because I needed something to keep my brain working and it continues for exactly the same reason.

Today I hope to have an internet connection to my PS3 hooked up courtesy of my computer tech brother which will not only allow me to play games online (looking forward to that 😉  ) but also it will make it possible for me to respond to comments made in the evenings  when their authors are still online, heck we might even be able to get some banter going!

Cheers Comrades

The worry is that the as yet secret IPhone six is being developed with canine users in mind with nose print recognition smell based dialing and the ability to block all incidences of Cat blogging…

* How old does saying that make me feel!

What brings people to Chez Hall?

One of the fringe benefits of being a polioemic ground breaker of cutting edge news & views and guest blogger @ ‘The world according to Iain’ is I get to see Iains stats page. And I can tell you he is getting a lot of traffic here.

But best of all I get to see the google and other search engine search terms that bring people to Iains house of fun.

If you reckon I am a bit weird or dumb then you have no idea of how many whackos and idiots there are out there looking for stuff on the Internet.

This list of ‘top search terms’ over the past 7 days speaks for itself. But being the smartarse that I am I even answer them in italic writing (sloping) . Here.


Scroll down:

girls binge drinking at parties picturesThat would be Iains niece 20 y.o. Laura. Shes staying in my van at the moment. Shes still drunk.

danish hookerWhy would you pay for sex in a country where its free?

men without underwearPiss off poofter.

brizillian waxIf you could spell it I’d help you out. Oh okay I will help you out anyway. Lie down.

how do people make good fake celeb nudesTake one fake celeb, derobe him/her

max ernst painting of jesus being spankedWhat?

julia gillard breastsShe has two, idiot.

pwned pornIs that like when you find some really great porn and share it with your mates only to discover later that the chick is actually your sister?

how to shave privatesGenerally its done with a razor but if you are so dumb that you have to look it up on the net the answer is “carefully”.

Here is the tricky bit. You will have to go “over the  fold” to see the rest.

Just click on “continue reading”.

(Left click.) (more…)

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