EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.17.19

Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

Posted in Deception at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some power is used for more negative than positive (or as a source for good)

Pakistan earthquake

Summary: The vision of “happy world” (because each person has a so-called ‘smart’ ‘phone’) is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests

THE world has a lot of serious problems. Natural disasters, climate issues and inequality are among these. Human suffering ensues. These exacerbate things and partly contribute to intolerance, illness, and sometimes even war. But there’s that old myth that distributing so-called ‘phones’ (tracking devices) to everyone will make the world a better place. In reality, it may simply mean more policing and more discrimination.

“In reality, it may simply mean more policing and more discrimination.”Putting aside the privacy abuses associated with these ‘smart’ RFID-like devices with a growing number of sensors and cores (because Web pages and software rapidly become more bloated), there’s also a push to constantly ‘upgrade’, causing even more waste and a loss of social life (actual, real human contact). Some people in poor countries save to buy a ‘phone’ rather than sanitary facilities (e.g. toilets). Not a cheap, ordinary phone for making calls (such phones cost very little) but one of those so-called ‘phones’ that are small computers with minuscule screens and no input devices.

As The Register put it a few days ago, “Hulce has compiled a list of the third-party scripts residing in the top million websites and found that the 100 most common bits of JavaScript eat up about 59 per cent of script execution time.”

Much of that is malicious and not in any way intended to improve the experience of users.

“Giving poor people the ‘gift’ of technology often overlooks the real motivations, e.g. Facebook ‘donating’ Internet access.”Earlier today Booking.com sent an E-mail to everyone who ever used the site, saying: “we’re going to start sharing information between the Booking Holdings brands for the purposes described in our updated Privacy Statement.” Here they go with “data brokers”, surveillance capitalism in action. Companies update their privacy (or surveillance rather) policy and retroactively apply this abuse without asking for consent or giving one the option to opt out. They do this because their corporate lawyers tell them they risk lawsuits for not informing people in advance (even if those people aren’t given any other option). “Thanks again for using us in the past, and look out for an even better Booking.com experience in the future,” the concluding paragraph states. So they now herald that they’re selling all historical data, infringing people’s privacy even more.

In recent years many companies other than Google or Facebook resorted to this “business” model, which is passing around data (renting/licensing access to it) and this, in turn, is being exploited to deny people access to critical services (health, finance) and thus lower security (for people, not for corporations).

A lot of people would rather not know about — let alone understand — the ‘sausage factory’ that’s linking data and creating ‘dossiers’ about people. The “data brokers” ‘industry’, sometimes euphemised as “big data” or “deep learning” and other benign-sounding terms (or job titles like “data scientist”) would face widespread condemnation if not popular uprisings and a call for bans (see GDPR) if more people comprehended just what despicable things it is doing. Giving poor people the ‘gift’ of technology often overlooks the real motivations, e.g. Facebook ‘donating’ Internet access.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Canta said,

    February 17, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Gravatar

    You say “there’s that old myth that distributing so-called ‘phones’ (tracking devices) to everyone will make the world a better place. In reality, it may simply mean more policing and more discrimination.”

    It reminds my of the 90′s motto of having a computer. On here they said that with a computer you would “learn more and better”, even when internet wasn’t but a marginal fantasy. Decades later, Microsoft’s out saying that they put “a pc in every home”, and that it was “their dream”, and stuff like that. And when we finally were totally dependant on a bunch of tech enterprises to do our daily stuff and reached the point where there doesn’t seem to be possible to do anything productive without a computer, some other bunch of people started with this “put a mobile phone in every hand”. Today, it’s really complicated to have a productive (I don’t even mind “normal”, and try not to say “social”) life without some degree of contact with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Cloudflare, etc. I’m struggling trying to talk with my family without using WhatsApp.

    It’s frankly depressing. Specially when involved technology DO have the potential to do really grat stuff. But it’s again the old and well know dynamics of modern power: if you let the state having it, it’s authotitarian, dictatorship, and lack of freedom; if you let enterprises having it, it’s oligopoly, corporativism, and an infinite dumb selling machine which doesn’t seem to care about anything but its money. In both cases, every common person out there is powerless, and the best tool we seem to have is to try to “choose” between the least crappy alternative. And so far tech corporations seems to be winning almost every battle.

    IDK what’s a good path in front of all this. What I do know is that this is more a political and ethical problem than a technological one (unless one also call those things “techs”). And I fear that discussing the technological issues instead of the political ones may be giving more power to corporations: as it should be their responsability to solve the problems.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/3/2019: Microsoft Does Not Change; Lots of FOSS Leftovers

    Links for the day



  2. Just Published: Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office

    Iancu and his fellow Trump-appointed "swamp" at the USPTO are urged to consult academics rather than law firms in order to improve patent quality in the United States



  3. Microsoft Paid the Open Source Initiative. Now (a Year Later) Microsoft is in the Board of the Open Source Initiative.

    The progression of Microsoft entryism in FOSS-centric institutions (while buying key "assets" such as GitHub) isn't indicative of FOSS "winning" but of FOSS being infiltrated (to be undermined)



  4. Jim Zemlin's Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

    We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it's mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)



  5. Links 23/3/2019: Falkon 3.1.0 and Tails 3.13.1

    Links for the day



  6. The Unified Patent Court is Dead, But Doubts Remain Over the EPO's Appeal Boards' Ability to Rule Independently Against Patents on Nature and Code

    Patents used to cover physical inventions (such as engines); nowadays this just isn't the case anymore and judges who can clarify these questions lack the freedom to think outside the box (and disobey patent maximalists' dogma)



  7. Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

    There's no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there's nothing even remotely like that



  8. Links 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  9. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  10. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  11. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  12. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  13. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  14. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  15. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  16. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  17. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  18. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  19. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  20. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  21. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  24. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  25. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  26. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  27. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  28. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  29. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  30. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts