Almost everything on computers is perceptually slower than it was in 1983

Source: Twitter thread on Thread Reader, Twitter thread on Twitter, by @gravislizard

almost everything on computers is perceptually slower than it was in 1983

You don’t even realize why the process is frustrating because it’s just The Way It Is.

Mice are for rapidly navigating through a complex and unstructured set of objects, like an app with dozens of options and input types

The reason mice are terrible is a matter of basic facts about human brains, hands, eyes and muscles. Hell, I think Jef Raskin covered it.

Keyboards present fewer possible discrete options. Mice present a continuum. One can be operated blind; the other requires feedback.

it’s worth noting that HYPERTEXT, specifically, is best with a mouse in a lot of cases. Wikipedia would suck on keyboard.

This is a FANTASTIC example of a mouse-optimal document. Any keyboard approach would be mediocre at best.

Your brain is GREAT at identifying points of interest here. From this array of 20+ unstructured links I can grab the ones I want.

I want to clarify that I am literally talking about the future of the human race and I am deadly serious about this. It’s not about me.

I am upset by the way that computers disenfranchise non-nerds. I wish it was better for me; I wish it WORKED AT ALL for everyone else.

GUIs are in no way more intuitive than keyboard interfaces using function keys such as the POS I posted earlier. Nor do they need to be.

GUIs require you to learn how to use a mouse, how input focus works, how multiple windows work, how modal dialogs work.

I believe well designed keyboard interfaces and well designed GUI interfaces have exactly the same learning curve.

Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web – Neustadt.fr

Source: Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web – Neustadt.fr

We’re very good at talking about immersive experiences, personalized content, growth hacking, responsive strategy, user centered design, social media activation, retargeting, CMS and user experience. But behind all this jargon lurks the uncomfortable idea that we might be accomplices in the destruction of a platform that was meant to empower and bring people together; the possibility that we are instead building a machine that surveils, subverts, manipulates, overwhelms and exploits people.

It all comes down a simple but very dangerous shift: the major websites of today’s web are not built for the visitor, but as means of using her. Our visitor has become a data point, a customer profile, a potential lead — a proverbial fly in the spider’s web. In the guise of user centered design, we’re building an increasingly user-hostile web.

[In the beginning], anyone could put a document on the web and any document could link to any other. It created a completely open platform where a writer in Nepal could freely share her ideas with a dancer in Denmark. A climate science student in Nairobi could access data from the McMurdo weather station in Antarctica. You could start reading about logical fallacies and end up on a website about optical illusions. Read about the history of time-keeping and end up learning about Einstein’s special theory of relativity. All interests were catered to. Information could truly be free: transverse borders, cultures and politics.

The modern web is different.

It’s naturally different from a technological standpoint: we have faster connections, better browser standards, tighter security and new media formats. But it is also different in the values it espouses. Today, we are so far from that initial vision of linking documents to share knowledge that it’s hard to simply browse the web for information without constantly being asked to buy something, like something, follow someone, share the page on Facebook or sign up to some newsletter. All the while being tracked and profiled.

In the guise of being user-centered, the modern web has become user-hostile.

Almost every website you go to today reports your activities to third parties that you most likely neither know nor trust.

The goal? Craft hyper-personalized messages to change voting behavior based on your individual personalities, and by extension, your attitudes, opinions and fears. … You become a manipulable data point at the mercy of big corporations who sell their ability to manipulate you based on the data you volunteer. … you volunteer yourself on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The little share buttons you see on websites aren’t just there to make it easy for you to post a link to Facebook; they also allow Facebook to be present and gather information about you from pretty much any website.

If you run a website and you put official share buttons on your website, use intrusive analytics platforms, serve ads through a third-party ad network or use pervasive cookies to share and sell data on your users, you’re contributing to a user-hostile web. You’re using free and open-source tools created by thousands of collaborators around the world, over an open web and in the spirit of sharing, to subvert users.

most of the time we spend on the web today is no longer on the open Internet – it’s on private services like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While Facebook provides a valuable service, it is also a for-profit, company. … To use their platform, you have to agree to whatever conditions they set, however absurd. If you replace the open web with Facebook, you’re giving up your right to publish and share on your terms. The data that you post there does not belong to you; you’re putting it in a closed system. If one day Facebook decides to shut down — unlikely as that might seem today — your data goes with it. Sure, you might be able to download parts of it, but then what?

This works because they know you’ll agree to it. You’ll say you don’t have a choice, because your friends are all there — the infamous “network effect”. This is Facebook’s currency, its source of strength but also a crucial dependency.

And this is what we often fail to realize: without its users —- without you -— Facebook would be nothing. But without Facebook, you would only be inconvenienced. Facebook needs you more than you need it.

What I’m against is the centralization of services; Facebook and Google are virtually everywhere today. Through share buttons, free services, mobile applications, login gateways and analytics, they are able to be present on virtually every website you visit. This gives them immense power and control. They get to unilaterally made decisions that affect our collective behavior, our expectations and our well-being.

the browser you’re reading this on (Chrome, Firefox, Links, whatever), the web server that’s hosting this website (Nginx), the operating system that this server runs on (Ubuntu), the programming tools used to make it all work (python, gcc, node.js…) — all of these things were created collectively by contributors all around the world, brought together by HTTP. And given away for free in the spirit of sharing.

The web is open by design and built to empower people. This is the web we’re breaking and replacing with one that subverts, manipulates and creates new needs and addiction.

It all comes down to one simple question: what do we want the web to be?

Do we want the web to be open, accessible, empowering and collaborative? Free, in the spirit of CERN’s decision in 1993 or that open source tools it’s built on? Or do we want it to be just another means of endless consumption, where people become eyeballs, targets and profiles? Where companies use your data to control your behaviour and which enables a surveillance society — what do we want?

For me, the choice is clear. And it’s something worth fighting for.

Which Internet registries offer the best protection for domain owners? | EFF

Source: Which Internet registries offer the best protection for domain owners? | EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Not every top-level domain is created equal when it comes to protecting the domain holder’s rights.

the new gTLDs contain additional protections for brand owners that most of the original gTLDs don’t. … The registries and registrars of some of the original and new gTLDs have created their own private policies to take down domains based on complaints by copyright owners, while others do the same on an ad hoc basis.

some domains allow content that’s legal in one part of the world to be taken offline on the basis of laws from another part of the world, at the request of a regulator or sometimes even just a third-party complainant.

André Staltz – The Web began dying in 2014, here’s how

Source: André Staltz – The Web began dying in 2014, here’s how

The underlying dynamics of power on the Web have drastically changed since 2014, and Google, Facebook, and Amazon (respectively, GOOG, FB, AMZN) are at the center of a fundamental transformation of the Web.

It looks like nothing changed since 2014, but GOOG and FB now have direct influence over 70%+ of internet traffic.

The original vision for the Web according to its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, was a space with multilateral publishing and consumption of information. It was a peer-to-peer vision with no dependency on a single party. Tim himself claims the Web is dying: the Web he wanted and the Web he got are no longer the same.

Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative. You could even be restricted from creating a new account. As private businesses, GOOG, FB, and AMZN don’t need to guarantee you access to their networks. You do not have a legal right to an account in their servers, and as societies we aren’t demanding for these rights as vehemently as we could, to counter the strategies that tech giants are putting forward.

The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.

Facebook treats its ethical failures like software bugs, and that’s why they keep happening — Quartz

Source: Facebook treats its ethical failures like software bugs, and that’s why they keep happening — Quartz

For years, tech has chased growth at all costs—and those costs have been paid by all of us.

every failure gets treated like an isolated incident, rather than part of a systemic pattern that needs systemic action. As a result, Facebook keeps making the same kinds of blunders, over and over again.

Facebook may not have intended to surface traumatic content, just like it didn’t intend to let advertisers post hateful or nefarious ads. But it did intend to prioritize rapid growth and user engagement over all else.
… These priorities have consequences—and those consequences are now more far-reaching than ever, spilling over from affecting our emotional state to manipulating our social and political infrastructure, too.