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Trusting sources

2012-02-14 17:28:46.002168+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Occasionally I'll pop over to Scripting News to see what Dave's been up to recently, and one of the issues that's been on his mind is an application which uploads your iPhone address book without asking (a tempering of that, follow-up, noting that Facebook doesn't do what Path did, a link a NY Times article on the Path data mining, and..., and......), leading up to today where he asks "What info can iOS apps access?"

Two things jumped out at me.

That second to last "and..." was a link to Dan Lyons on how tech "journalism" has become a highly paid PR game is worth a read, and worth looking at with a view towards what other places journalists are likely looking to secondary income streams.

And the whole thing reminded me that there was a time where we trusted the vendors of our software. Where we felt like actual customers. It's worth at least reading that last link and thinking about notions of trust and ecosystems and costs of enforcement a bit. No conclusions, but I've got some thoughts bouncing around on this...

[ related topics: Books Games Weblogs Dave Winer Software Engineering Current Events Journalism and Media iPhone ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-02-15 01:14:13.02194+00 by: spc476

I get the feeling these days that we don't own a computer, we only rent it (or maybe lease). Windows isn't really for the home user, and Apple is slowly closing down on third party programs for the Mac (I have syslog forwarding from my Mac, and I've seen it log that a program or application I start isn't signed with a certificate).

I get the same feeling about our own data we create. I can't fathom the mindset that someone would have in uploading photos to Flickr (or Facebook) and not keeping a copy locally. And how long until Google closes off email to all but the big boys like themselves, Yahoo, hotmail, and the regional/national ISPs?

I'm not liking the future of computing.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-02-16 00:30:13.295786+00 by: Mars Saxman

I'm with you. This is not the revolution I signed up for.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-02-16 08:22:15.203691+00 by: ebradway

I constantly try to remember the scope of computing today. Sure, Microsoft makes a crappy OS for the home and Apple is closing down third party programs. But how many Linux users are there today compared to a decade ago? How about two decades ago?

There are big email providers like Gmail and Yahoo but how many people use email today compared to a decade ago? How about two decades ago?

Yes, you can be concerned about uploading your pictures to Flickr (or Facebook) and work to store a local copy. But how many of your pictures from 20 years ago do you still have?

I guess my point is at some point all revolutions have to become the establishment. This isn't the revolution you signed up for - it's the fomentation of some of the ideas of the revolution into an establishment. At the same time, the elements you loved from the revolution are stronger than ever.

I can walk into Radio Shack and buy an open sourced micro-controller kit for $35! I can buy a cell phone with an open source OS that I can root. I have 10Mbps bandwidth to my home - and that's the slowest plan my cable provider offers. As the establishment is established, some aspects of the revolution are adopted, wholesale while others remain a niche interest but even the niches are bigger than they used to be.

Just because Flickr exists doesn't mean you have to use it. In fact, there are hundreds of great image management projects out there. Even things like DropBox are seeing real alternatives, like PogoPlug.