Author Topic: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?  (Read 8673 times)

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #50 on: 15 August, 2023, 01:51:08 pm »
The Paprika app works well. There are iOS and MacOS versions and they sync.

Wander off to make internet kedgeree with the smoked haddock he bought this morning from the fish van.

Ah, Kedgeree, indexed under "B" in Delia's opus - for "Buttery Kedgeree" of course.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #51 on: 15 August, 2023, 02:23:11 pm »
Paywalls.
Anti-adblocker techniques.
Ceaseless ads if you can't use an adblocker (e.g. YouTube on TV)
Constant begging from content creators who think they're good enough to give up the day job (very few are).
The Facebookisation of everything, taking it offline for refuseniks.

I almost yearn for the days when you only had to worry about pop-ups and flashing banner ads.

Fast rewind to the start of days.

There was compuserve, and the wild west.

Compuserve worked for those of us who used it (relatively few in the UK). All tech companies had a presence that was easily found. All interests were represented in the forums. Chat was there as well. It was a service, we paid for it. In the days before effective search, you could find stuff as you could in a library.

And then there was the generation going through uni at the time (who you represent?): "Yay! the Internet is FREEEEEEEEE"

No it isn't, and never was. Someone somewhere has to pay, this day was always coming. You sowed the wind.

There's a difference between walled gardens, the open internet, and you-are-the-product advertising-funded services.

Compuserv and AOL were walled-gardens you paid for.  Facebook is a walled garden you fund by being the product.

The open internet can go either way.  You can use gmail, or you can pay for email hosting.  You can clog up your browser with Reach shitverts, or you can subscribe to the Torygraph.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #52 on: 15 August, 2023, 02:53:30 pm »
stupormarket
Every time I read or hear this word, I remain optimistic about the human race.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #53 on: 15 August, 2023, 04:40:11 pm »
I have paprika as my online recipe book and some bookmarks for ones which will not work with paprika.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #54 on: 15 August, 2023, 07:48:19 pm »
I used to collect those dial-up cds last century. I have a whole stack of them somewhere in the loft.  Lots of different providers of which AOL were the most aggressive.  I just tried to get the odd ones I didn’t expect to find.

Doubt if they work now.
Move Faster and Bake Things

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • cyclist, Cytech accredited mechanic & woodworker
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #55 on: 15 August, 2023, 08:10:35 pm »
I used to collect those dial-up cds last century. I have a whole stack of them somewhere in the loft.  Lots of different providers of which AOL were the most aggressive.  I just tried to get the odd ones I didn’t expect to find.

Doubt if they work now.

I have 3 or 4 "coasters" on my desk each made from 3 freebie CDs glued together - one is the original Windows 95 from the cover of Computer Shopper mag - and another is a promo from AT&T when I worked there in 1992.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #56 on: 15 August, 2023, 08:12:48 pm »
When I explained AOL CDs to CrinklyCub some years ago, I remarked that someone famously made a sofa out of them.  The look of disbelief after the pause for some mental arithmetic was hilarious.

Beardy

  • Shedist
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #57 on: 15 August, 2023, 09:00:17 pm »
I collected cover CDs and the like for many years, but eventually Dr B’s sensible rubbed off and I ditched the lot. And there were a LOT. I also remember when BT first rolled out its consumer internet CD, principally becuase I was one of 4 people who were to provided 24/7 second line supplier to the product. We had to go and sit with the first line help desk one week in four, which given its location at Colindale, was a shit. Trying to educate the help desk bods how to question customers to identify what family of modem they had so the first line could talk the customer through the setting up (and thus save us the trouble) was type II fun and was an interesting exercise in illogical thinking.
For every complex problem in the world, there is a simple and easily understood solution that’s wrong.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #58 on: 15 August, 2023, 09:28:18 pm »
My first personal* email address was fullname@btinternet.com in 199? on dial up  , I don't think I ever had to call Beardy on the helpdesk, we had decent expertise in the Liverpool office.  When ADSL took off, BT were a bit slow off the mark in my area so I defected to Pipex, again fullname@pipex.com.  When BT got around to offering broadband free of charge to staff I moved back,  only to find I was now fullname265@btinternet.com. 


*I once had a Telecom Gold address, as part of my teams job was pushing sales for it in the local area, when we were Liverpool District.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecom_Gold
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #59 on: 15 August, 2023, 10:50:56 pm »
Paywalls.
Anti-adblocker techniques.
Ceaseless ads if you can't use an adblocker (e.g. YouTube on TV)
Constant begging from content creators who think they're good enough to give up the day job (very few are).
The Facebookisation of everything, taking it offline for refuseniks.

I almost yearn for the days when you only had to worry about pop-ups and flashing banner ads.

Fast rewind to the start of days.

There was compuserve, and the wild west.

Compuserve worked for those of us who used it (relatively few in the UK). All tech companies had a presence that was easily found. All interests were represented in the forums. Chat was there as well. It was a service, we paid for it. In the days before effective search, you could find stuff as you could in a library.

And then there was the generation going through uni at the time (who you represent?): "Yay! the Internet is FREEEEEEEEE"

No it isn't, and never was. Someone somewhere has to pay, this day was always coming. You sowed the wind.
I remember a techie genius, back in the low noughties, who could do wizardry with various sorts of software & hardwar/software interfaces, who was rather militant about that.

When I asked hm how he thought the cables, servers, etc. needed for it it to function shoul be financed, he just got a stubborn look & said "It should be free". Press the point & he got angry.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #60 on: 15 August, 2023, 11:08:31 pm »
Subscription, of some kind, vs shitverts or/and "All your base are belong to us"

It is simpler than it looks.

ian

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #61 on: 15 August, 2023, 11:51:21 pm »
I think a good part of my career has been spent explaining why things aren’t free to people. Strangely they never seem keen to work for free.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #62 on: 16 August, 2023, 12:52:54 am »
I resent paying to be advertised to.
Thankfully itv and c4 have more than enough content funded through advertising that I don't feel the need to buy any of
Advertising rate streaming services
Sky tv
Youtube
Or even a TV license

On the plus side of adverts they're long enough to do various human tasks such as emptying bladder or adding content to glass that will form next bladder emptying.

Is the Internet for anything other than delivery of video content, I'm, the occasional email and ride with gps now?
The www is basically unusable.

Sent from my IV2201 using Tapatalk


Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #63 on: 16 August, 2023, 01:33:23 am »
Strangely they never seem keen to work for free.

Apart from the authors of a substantial portion of the software that makes the internet function, of course.

ian

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #64 on: 16 August, 2023, 12:51:06 pm »
That’s not even vaguely true.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #65 on: 25 September, 2023, 08:39:49 am »
If you think the internet is becoming less usable, check out what it could be like:


A tool of political control’: how India became the world leader in internet blackouts



I hope dishy Rishi doesn’t get to hear about it and get ideas.


Move Faster and Bake Things

Afasoas

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #66 on: 25 September, 2023, 09:07:23 am »
That’s not even vaguely true.

I think it is true. The majority of web servers are running Linux, which itself started as a hobbyist project. Many of the packages that constitute their operating systems have, historically, being authored by hobbyists.

The Internet building blocks that started out as unfunded side projects of academics and software developers are too numerous to even list. Also to consider, are the rampant exploitation of said projects, where-by licenses have been breached to incorporate them into other products or, the cloud giants have spun up 'as a service offerings' without recompense to the authors/projects.

I've no objection to the 'Internet' not being free, as in beer. It's important it remains free, as in speech. Built on open standards, and largely relying on FLOSS software.

Afasoas

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #67 on: 25 September, 2023, 09:27:47 am »
The Internet golden age is definitely over.

  • People are less inclined to go to the trouble hosting their own content - largely for reasons of cost/convenience. Instead they have switched to platforms that turn both the content producers and consumers into products.
  • So much more content has shifted to video - usually hosted on YouTube - which I find a lot harder to consume (unless it's for entertainment) and of course, is much harder to index in order to find in the first place.
  • Search engines increasingly prioritise the wrong types of results - commercial sites always come ahead of forum posts, for instance.
  • Too many giant walled gardens which cannot be indexed by web crawlers (relates to the first point)
  • All potential for the Internet to be a tool for mass democratisation has now been fully squandered
  • Using a VPN (alongside other tools and techniques) to get some level of privacy makes an increasing number of sites (usually ones that I have to begrudgingly interact with) unusable
  • An unfortunate by-product of the shift on-line is that it's next to impossible to find companies you can interact with on the phone, when the need to speak to a human being arises

TL;DR Searching for anything is 99% less useful than it was

sam

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #68 on: 25 September, 2023, 09:29:08 am »
It's important it remains free, as in speech.

Seconded.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #69 on: 25 September, 2023, 10:32:14 am »
That’s not even vaguely true.

I think it is true. The majority of web servers are running Linux, which itself started as a hobbyist project. Many of the packages that constitute their operating systems have, historically, being authored by hobbyists.

The Internet building blocks that started out as unfunded side projects of academics and software developers are too numerous to even list. Also to consider, are the rampant exploitation of said projects, where-by licenses have been breached to incorporate them into other products or, the cloud giants have spun up 'as a service offerings' without recompense to the authors/projects.

I've no objection to the 'Internet' not being free, as in beer. It's important it remains free, as in speech. Built on open standards, and largely relying on FLOSS software.

'Hobbyists'?

Sorry, but that is nonsense.

Nearly all of the fundamental building blocks were actually created by scientists, or engineers working in major corporations. Many of those engineers were paid to work on the open source software (and this includes Linux of course).

Linux started as private project, but even before version 0 came out it had major contributions from people who did this stuff as part of their job.

A lot comes from companies like IBM.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #70 on: 25 September, 2023, 10:43:11 am »
The Internet golden age is definitely over.

  • People are less inclined to go to the trouble hosting their own content - largely for reasons of cost/convenience. Instead they have switched to platforms that turn both the content producers and consumers into products.

Could someone, or preferably several someones, explain what is actually meant by phrases like this and "If you're not paying for it, you're the product"?

I think what is meant is that your data is harvested and sold, ads are targetted at you, and your presence is generally monetized in numerous ways by numerous people/organizations. But that's not really being a product, that's being a consumer.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #71 on: 25 September, 2023, 10:50:40 am »
The Internet golden age is definitely over.

  • People are less inclined to go to the trouble hosting their own content - largely for reasons of cost/convenience. Instead they have switched to platforms that turn both the content producers and consumers into products.

Could someone, or preferably several someones, explain what is actually meant by phrases like this and "If you're not paying for it, you're the product"?

I think what is meant is that your data is harvested and sold, ads are targetted at you, and your presence is generally monetized in numerous ways by numerous people/organizations. But that's not really being a product, that's being a consumer.

No, that's not being a consumer. The data collected ("Your Electronic Life") is harvested, much in the way of crops, and that is sold as a product to those who want to buy it to sell stuff to the right people. Your perspective determines if you think this is a good or bad thing, but you (that data anyhow) are very much a product. It is what is produced as a result of the content provider's efforts.

Afasoas

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #72 on: 25 September, 2023, 11:23:04 am »
It is what is produced as a result of the content platform provider's efforts.

People who create content and then upload or share it on many platforms, grant the platform provider (and often their parent company and/or subsidiaries) an unequivocal license to use that content as they see fit. Zoom back pedalled on this, but they were amending their privacy statements in order to use calls for AI training. It is an example of how some platforms go beyond harvesting data (for instance, including all your contacts and even your call logs, from your phone when you run an app on a smart phone) and selling it to data brokers. There are some organisations actually looking to model and using AI, even replicate, human behaviour. This is the ultimate end goal for some tech giants and more nefarious organisations. I don't think we are too far away from seeing, to some degree, the demise of content creators.

There's already evidence out in the ether, showing how data has been harvested and processed in order to generate and effectively target messaging in political campaigns. This enables political parties or groups with deep enough pockets to get their desired result at the polls.

At an individual level, there are concerns and possible harms that arise out of mass data collection. At a societal level, it can mean the death* of true democracy.

*should such a thing have ever existed.

Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #73 on: 25 September, 2023, 12:42:54 pm »

There's already evidence out in the ether, showing how data has been harvested and processed in order to generate and effectively target messaging in political campaigns. This enables political parties or groups with deep enough pockets to get their desired result at the polls.

At an individual level, there are concerns and possible harms that arise out of mass data collection. At a societal level, it can mean the death* of true democracy.

*should such a thing have ever existed.

Actually what you are describing is a feedback loop. Y'know, you might not like it (and I don't either) but it could be described as true democracy, you just have to convince the people what they want is what they want. Democracy has never and can never exist in a vacuum, a good orator and poor policy maker has always won more votes than a poor orator and good policy maker. Stinks, doesn't it?

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Is it just me, or is the Internet becoming less usable?
« Reply #74 on: 25 September, 2023, 12:43:37 pm »
Put it this way: YouTube wants £11.99/month to spare us from shitverts, which are now so numerous and annoying that their only purpose seems to be to force people towards the subscription.  The ads make me shout "f**k off" and "c**t" at the TV a lot and would not persuade me to buy a product any more than a kick in the nads would persuade me.

YouTube pays nothing for its content; it piggybacks on others' creativity (or lack thereof).

That's how the modern internet works.

There are more egregious examples: Amazon Prime is about to start running ads unless you pay them even more protection money.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.