“The Mission to Decentralize the Internet”
The key to adoption for anything like decentralized and secure communication is simplicity and ubiquity.
We added secure messaging to Outlook in the late 90s. It could be enabled by default. It was pretty easy to set up. The problem was that anyone who used something other than Outlook (and the latest version, only on Windows) would have a really hard time enabling security. We had passed the simplicity test but failed the ubiquity test.
What happened of course was we all sent/received secure email. And then one person couldn’t read the email because he was on a different client for some reason. So we would send another copy in plain text. Which defeats the whole purpose. And soon, no one used secure email and we were reduced to least common denominator.
So something like BitMessage could be wonderful. But it needs to have a fallback and accept that for many recipients, especially at first, there needs to be a backup. Somewhat like how GroupMe or Glympse will fall back to SMS BitMessage (or another secure, decentralized system) needs to understand that falling back to email isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a temporary step to getting more adoption
One of my resolutions for 2014 is reducing the amount of email I get. Part of that goal is simply unsubscribing from email I don’t read.
This morning Spotify sent me a useless note that a playlist I subscribe to had tracks added. Not only do I not care, now I need to delete the email. So I click deactivate. And then need to log in which is difficult since I have a million passwords. Okay, fine, I log in. And am not taken to the page where I can unsubscribe. Now that I am logged in I go back to email, click deactivate and am finally taken to the correct page.
Why is this so hard? Pizza Hut in France has a simple unsubscribe link and it was so easy I didn’t even need to speak French to sort it out. Other sites allow me to click unsubscribe and it just works.
Total failure for Spotify, this isn’t hard, most mailer companies support a simple unsubscribe link.
Republicans against evolution – Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net
Republicans are increasingly skeptical of evolution. All in all, a third of Americans reject evolution.
What is truly shocking in this article is not that a bunch of ignorant people don’t understand science, but rather that a large swath of Democrats (33%) don’t either.
“The poll showed 43 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats say humans have evolved over time, compared with 54 percent and 64 percent ”
Kauai’s historic anti-GMO bill blocked by mayor
Natasha Lennard, salon.com
The mayor found legal problems with the bill, which would regulate GMO disclosure and pesticide use
In mid-October, Kauai’s city council passed a bill that would toughen regulations on large agricultural companies testing genetical…
A very interesting thing on Kauai is how common anti-GMO signs are. I don’t recall seeing those 18 months ago when we were here. Good for Kauai if they can eventually get this through. I am not completely opposed to genetics in foodstuffs but I do want to know when they are present and I want farmers to be able to use their own seeds.
How much is your privacy worth? About five bucks.
“[T]he representative consumer is willing to make a one-time payment for each app of $2.28 to conceal their browser history, $4.05 to conceal their list of contacts, $1.19 to conceal their location, $1.75 to conceal their phone’s identification number, and $3.58 to conceal the contents of their text messages. The consumer is also willing to pay $2.12 to eliminate advertising.”
Ooh look, more lazy and crappy reporting… The authors of this study ask people how they would spend their money… which is about as useful as asking people about their diets.
Quick question: if people would pay $5 for privacy, why aren’t they flocking to Path? Or any of the other services that actually offer this (heck, email worked!) Answer: because in fact the deal isn’t that simple nor do people actually do what they tell researchers they will.
Argh… in this season of bogus “Facebook is dead to teens” studies can we get one skeptical news agency to poke holes in this crap?
Amazon’s best-selling holiday items reveal the American id
Roberto A. Ferdman, qz.com
Amazon just wrapped up a successful holiday shopping season. It sold 36.8 million items on Cyber Monday alone, or 426 items per second.
The company also revealed the most popular holiday purchases in a range of categories. So…
Good to see Fitbit do so well during the holiday season. Could it mean people are going to get healthier this year? Nah, but still good to see fitness gadgets doing well.