Anti-Net Neutrality, Privacy, Cloud, Unified Service, and Other Utopian Concepts

I’m all for internet innovation that makes sense. Just because techno evangelists are talking so much about it, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. It is all about making more money for the shareholders … not necessarily you, the consumer. Internet business is not charity. Executives and consultants won’t be able to afford their yachts, fast cars, and lavish lifestyle if they just hand out their apps and services for free. Think about it for a second. So ignore the sugarcoating and evaluate what services you really need. Of course, if you’re a millennial … chances are, you’d care less about this stuff. You grew up with the internet, and probably haven’t started paying your bills on your own, or … your life revolves around peer approval, and what not… strong feeling of self-entitlement? (wow, that sounds really hateful) lol… it’s not, seriously, just an observation. It’s hard to avoid that generational tangent because one of the biggest influence in the direction of mobile computing, and the on-going internet evolution, are the consumers … and right now, the millennials are driving this.

Anti-Net Neutrality

When Comcast started lobbying for regulation over internet bandwidth, it was clear from the onset that they want to charge consumers more! Let’s face it, the era of cable entertainment, where you get billed for a bunch of channels you don’t watch or even understand, is at its twilight. The age of on-demand and streamed entrainment is here … it’s the future! Look, at a time when mobile computing is becoming the norm, people depend on their mobile devices for socializing, entertainment, and business – be it personal or other. Kids these days stream music all the time, watch videos online (high definition, mind you), network gaming, and not to mention getting tethered to social media almost every waking minute! The impact to one’s data usage is very high. Services are pushing for higher quality of service, thru rich media and high definition content … that means, higher data usage. Do you really think Internet Service Providers will just sit back while people eat up so much bandwidth and not make any extra money out of it? You’re nuts if you think otherwise. Without Net Neutrality they will be able to charge each consumer (end users and content providers) a premium on top of the “estimated average user consumption” … which is just a tad below the threshold. And this means what? MORE PROFIT!

Privacy

I respect online service providers who are honest about their User Privacy policy, this excludes Facebook. Facebook’s User Privacy is like a bait and switch tactic. They’d lure people with promises and as soon as you’re hooked, they’d change their tone to exploit you … e.g. make money out of you. Their Timeline used to be published based on security settings set by the user. Now, that’s out the window. Its searchable … so people can easily find you. Well, it is a social media … yes, that’s true. But people should be allowed to decide whom they want to socialize with … not Facebook. Suggest a friend? No thanks. I’ll decide on my own! Poke somebody? Why? It is one very annoying platform. It turns an ordinary person into an attention whore. It conditions the user to nag other people for something … endlessly. Privacy … it has lost its meaning these days. It’s being chopped off piece-by-piece to expose you more for profit … data are a gold mine. Companies that has accumulated so much data from people, they’d do anything to make money out of it. Then we have security leaks, and executives denouncing privacy. If these big Inc can’t be trusted, whom are we going to trust?

Unified Service

Ha! It is nothing more than a strategy to share information across applications so that a particular service can increase its profit by leveraging data accumulated from other applications. Screw improved experience. It’s like sharing membership information. Why start from scratch when you can make money from another treasure chest you already own, right? I don’t want my e-mail searchable in Google, Google Plus, or whatever “service” they will concoct in the future thank you very much! Some applications are meant to be in its own silo, for good reason… privacy! Google Plus is so invasive. It is by far one of the most invasive online service out there. The only time I would bend over for this kind of service is after they guarantee that their service is absolutely stable, and their privacy is bulletproof. These people who architected and wrote these systems are humans … meaning, their solutions are not fool proof! And what’s the use of having a flawless system? Consultants will ran out of work! See if Google really have good credibility, why have Chrome, Firefox, and Chrome Canary? Why not unify that for starters! There are cases when interoperability is essential … like with productivity applications such as Microsoft Office – desktop, offline … not online. With offline data you have full control over your intellectual assets … and this brings us to the last topic …

Cloud

LOL, what an absurd technology. The only applicaiton of cloud computing that I’m “sold” to are business-to-business. Cloud computing technology that are to be directly consumed by the end-users are … meh. Cloud storage … lol, sure! Put all your stuff online, your photos, private documents, etc. Make them searchable by government entities, corporations who store your data (remember Unified Service?), or even hackers and corrupt employees! Better yet, why not just surrender your freedom. Why would anyone have to pay to access data they own? Cloud requires connectivity. Not everybody lives in big cities with free wi-fi, etc. People do travel, then there are service interruptions. With data storage getting cheaper and form-factor getting even smaller … why pay more for something you can readily buy at the fraction of your monthly bill amount? Sure, it can get stolen. So are your data online! With offline storage you probably have one culprit, but with online storage … it’s open to the world! Web apps … right, why do I have to work on a document online? You’re just increasing your risk of loosing your work compared to doing it offline. Sure, cloud computing can augment capabilities of certain apps, but you know, computing power is cheaper nowadays too … for basic computing you have tablets, and for high-computing power needs … you have notebooks and desktops. Now, think of geopolitical limitations. The data you transmit to online services hosted by a company in a different country may be restricted by law in your country, like healthcare records and advanced technology. But then again, what do kids know? Cloud … it’s just another way to make money … think of it as a consumable. Well, it is. You pay for subscription fees … maybe not now, in the future … very likely. Companies still need to build your trust and increase user-base. Once they’re to that point where they have enough and the demand is high, they’ll start charging. They may not bill you … but you’ll be annoyed to death by ads imprint in every freakin’ page you open.

I suppose it’s not all that grim. These matters can still improve … and those at the helm can be honest people (giggling). What are consumers ought to do? Keep sensitive data offline. Storage is cheap and in tiny cute sizes. Sooner or later a one terabyte storage will be the size of a booger. Local access is fast! External access have wi-fi capability now too, so if you complain about spaghetti wires — well, there you go. Backup your data and keep the other in a safe deposit box, or in another safe location. And only publish on the web information you’re willing to expose publicly … information that you can live with if it gets lost. Well, you won’t lose it, since you have a local copy. So before you jump in the latest online fad … be mindful about what you’re getting yourself into. Use common sense! It is just unfortunate that common sense doesn’t really kick in until in your late thirties. In the mean time, people will just have to learn things the hard way.

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