Back in the 2010s, web access was peculiarly gated in a dendritic configuration as ISPs provided all the single-points-of-failure interconnections between end users (including both content providers as well as consumers) and the true "internet", a multiway resiliently-routed interconnect of servers. As we know now, extending the peer-to-peer core of the internet down to the consumer has had lasting impact, including breaking up the routing monopolies of the ISPs as well as making it possible for anyone willing to spend a few grand a year on server capacity to host a new peer-to-peer router for nearby Internet users.
Many of you may not remember the origins of Google as a "search engine", a monolithic index of "every reachable page on the internet." Such a quaint idea has long since joined even further historic concepts such as Yahoo's "human-curated list of pages on the Internet". Ever since the Searchtorrent protocol was introduced and consumer searches were conducted on one of several competing distributed hash tables across the internet, no one entity has had to shoulder the responsibility of storing all the web content on the internet. This author gladly pays a small monthly fee to a local search cache provider for reliably fast localized caching of search results.
The web is here to stay. Remember your history next time you visit the local Homo Sapiens preserve and give thanks to the carbon-based beings that invented the Internet.
Individuals' devices will be the backbone of the web/internet, not massive server farms owned by Google and the likes. A small group of smart phones distributed across the region will be able to handle massive amounts of traffic with additional amazing cache protocols.
There are browser plugins for IPFS, if you don't want to use the ipfs.io gateway. That gateway is free to use, and fairly transparent to people who do not have IPFS set up.
> IPFS and the Blockchain are a perfect match! You can address large amounts of data with IPFS, and place the immutable, permanent IPFS links into a blockchain transaction. This timestamps and secures your content, without having to put the data on the chain itself.
While I'm at it, I should also mention the caveat that IPNS won't put an entry into the classic DNS system, so you won't get a yourdomain.com out of it. It just gives you a random permanent base62 name to refer to some updateable content. You could ameliorate that for yourself by running your own DNS service, and I actually like the idea of that - I'll name things for myself as I see fit.
I'll be i.pub, facebook.com can be troll.psych, and Google can be surveillance.borg. Can't wait for people to see that over my shoulder. Oh, and good luck to anyone at work who is blocking domains for me. Yes, names have power, I think I should be in control of them. I'm sure it will be worth the hassle of canonicalizing URLs before sharing or passing them to third party systems.
True that, but we (I work on IPFS) have support for DNS with IPFS. I guess the best example is the website for IPFS.
ipfs.io resolves to the following TXT record: dnslink=/ipfs/QmPCawMTd7csXKf7QVr2B1QRDZxdPeWxtE4EpkDRYtJWty
Which means the ipfs.io website is built on IPFS and can be accessed via the public gateways:
But, the dnslink record also means we can resolve ipfs.io via IPNS and get the same hash:
All three links actually resolves to the same content, but in different ways.
A little bit of magic :)
So, they renamed YaCy? http://yacy.net/en/Technology.html
The alternative is... dystopian.
sounds like there has been a lot of inflation in only 33yrs. what caused this?
I love how people misremember this motto. The original slogan was "Don't be evil" which is quite different and far more subjective to start with. Now they have updated it to "Do the right thing" and you can imagine how easy it is to dance around that.
But people seem to think Larry and Sergey were actually trying to be ethically meticulous. Nonsense--the slogan always had the subtle meaning of "Don't be Microsoft-level evil" and it turns out that was not an easy hurdle to clear.
The decentralized web is already a "successful" idea. The correct implementation for its wide use is not there yet. But it will be there.
It is just a matter of time before we have a bigger "dark web", a decentralized web, decentralized payment networks, and still have Google, Facebook, and the likes.
As the internet population grows, and as people move to more digital lifestyles; the people won't be limited (or gravitate) to a single portal. Instead, they'll spread over different networks/infrastructures for their different needs. Facebook can still be successful and grow while the decentralized internet happen.
The Internet is growing both in number (population) and in use. People today use the Internet to surf, chat, read the news, buy stuff online, book flights and hotels, pay taxes, work, study, find partners, buy drugs, etc...
You mean like cash?
> With only tiny fractions of the cryptocurrency-using fraction of society using them for other purposes.
Well, tiny datapoint from tiny fraction: I've only used bitcoin for totally legit stuff. But I concede that all the other transactions might have been financial speculation, fraud and illegal trade. But I can't prove it either way, and I suspect neither can you.
> I would not call that nonsense the embrace of a generation.
Well, I would not call it nonsense either. And it probably isn't the embrace of a generation. But it is moving the needle.
They have only made a lot of dollars when they sell their crypto currency. Until then it is all fantasy, which is something a lot of .com millionaires would agree with, especially the ones that sold their solid companies for stock in less solid companies.
I would guess that the OP means 'yes like cash, but cash is also used for other things whereas crypto currencies are not practically used for anything else.'
Again and again: no data demonstrates this claim.
The burden of proof is on the claim that non-speculation uses are greater than the speculation uses.
Says who? I agree speculators are a big fraction of crypto users, but you are making the even bolder claim that "crypto currencies are not practically used". Consider that lots of hard & anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15094514
Says the burden of proof. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof
- I live in a US city with a population over 1M.
- I have about 0.5 BTC
- I have never - ever - seen a place in the Real World where I can spend it.
- I cannot be sure of this assertion, but it's worth saying anyway: The only place online I can recall seeing that accepts BTC as payment is PIA vpn service. I cannot recall any other place (this certainly doesn't mean there aren't any!).
If a reasonably tech-savvy person cannot spend it in the real world, it does not meet my standards for something being 'practical'. Period.
Also you fail to realize it but Bitcoin's practicality extends to more than just payments: it's great for informal person-to-person transactions. I gift bitcoins to my family overseas, I pay back lunch money to coworkers in bitcoins, etc. In fact I think person-to-person transactions is one of Bitcoin's most promising use case...
Citation needed. You have no data to back up your claims.
In my circles, cryptos seem to be primarily used either for person-to-person transactions (housing rent, beer money, small loans between friends) or--interestingly--B2B payments (US company paying their Chinese suppliers; Bitcoin excels at fast international payments.)
I would be pretty miffed if someone as paying me their share of rent in crypto. No merchant I interact with accepts them, so it would be more than a hassle to convert into USD (fees, rapid valuation changes, etc).
Can you give details about those B2B payments?
LOL, maybe not the best source to post when we are talking about legitimate uses.
I would love to go to any country without needing to buy foreign currencies, and do conversion calculations on the spot. I would love to own a currency that is not controlled by governments and banks. I would love to wire transfer money on Friday evening and let it clear on Friday evening instead of Monday or Tuesday.
I'm sure it's also more convenient for a European airline to buy a Boeing without needing to time it right for their European bank to transfer the money first to a New York bank and then to Boeing, because of the time difference and bank opening hours. That's crazy, and reality.
What a retarded system are we living in? Time for some disruption! Then we will really find out which currencies are in a bubble.
* gold, diamond, stocks, paper money, etc. would also fit the bill
As I said elsewhere in this thread: you have provided no data to back up your "facts".
I am annoyed at people who constantly claim to know how are cryptocurrencies used, but... it's just what they think and have no data to show it.
I agree value appears to be driven a lot by speculation, but you are changing subject. We were talking about usage. It's pretty obvious from payment processors, from people in the industry (have you ever attended a Bitcoin conference and talked to users? I have), from usage metrics (increasing tx rate, which is normally not related to speculators, as buying and leaving coins on exchange doesn't create a tx), and from other sources, that usage of cryptos is growing.
So, no, you can't say you "just know" cryptocurrencies aren't used by anyone.
PS: I am a crypto dev, wrote miners, founded TAV (mining ASIC integrator), and have been in the Bitcoin industry for 7 years. I know a thing or two.
(Withdrawing and depositing BTC creates transactions, however most speculators do not do this, as most people leave BTC on exchanges.)
If the market cap of the top 500 companies is 17.4 trillion then that averages out to 17400/500 which is a bit under 35 billion each. Which makes bitcoin as large or larger than a good chunk of those F500 companies.
I'm sure you could have picked a better example to illustrate just how tiny bitcoin is.
Agreed. But think of it as my expectations of what Bitcoin would become being rather lower than where it is already. I'm absolutely amazed at how far it has come.
Who else would want to send censorship resistant transactions other than people who are at risk of being censored?
The modern era is still relatively free of censorship, and thus the people using cryto are pretty far on the shady end of the spectrum.
But trend toward censorship in the modern era, is worrisome. Perhaps a whole lot more people are going to have to protect themselves against censorship in the future. And by censorship, I mean censorship done by ANYONE, including both the government, AND ultra powerful corporations that may as well be the government.
Don't take this as an insult but what an ignorant comment... Financial, political & journalistic censorship (all inter-related) is rampant. Start by reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_press
Perhaps I just have a bleaker imagination of how bad things COULD be.
I worry that as bad as things are today, we will look back on this era as a comparative golden age of freedom.
As for cryptocurrencies, as long as they are dependent on ISPs, they aren't actually decentralized. They're quite vulnerable, and the only way out is to not depend on ISPs or the whole wired internet to be honest. Blockstream is a good way forward.
Basically, the new decentralized web must be wireless-first: http://ssb.staltz.com/view/%25a1xQAO6/UCC370Cq+HcWjEni1ziXH+...
I still fondly remember looking at Nike's newest shoe offerings in 1997, waiting for the photos to download and listening to my dad complain about the phone line being tied up. I looked at my girlfriend the other day in fact, and just went "god, think of how different the internet is now compared to when we were younger. What the hell will it look like in twenty years?" She called me a nerd, but still considered the question. Exciting and sightly terrifying thought to ponder, really.
If you're less clear on what this distinction is: HTML+CSS+JS transmitted over HTTP based on domains looked up via DNS -- this is the Web. Things like email and BitTorrent and peer-to-peer networks and older things like Usenet newsgroups have always existed on the Internet parallel to the Web, to say nothing of, say, SSH and ping and other developer-friendly utilities, or newcomers like BitCoin.
I've given a chunk of thought to how we might reboot the Web as a new service living on the Internet and I've come away with more questions than answers. What the Web has done extremely well is to convince a bunch of companies that they need to have a Web Server living on the thing and hosting their content. What it has done extremely poorly are these problems which maybe we don't even think about: link-rot, the fact that you can't throw a dime at a YouTube video you liked and trust that the content creator will get 8 cents and YouTube will get 2, the fact that nobody can directly advertise to you, "watch this video and we'll throw a dime at you!", the fact that you can't actually just fire up your browser and start publishing a feed of videos and articles that you like interspersed with a bunch of content you're writing -- you instead need to sign up with some social network or blogging platform and then play by their rules. The problem gets even harder when you think about systematically purging illegal content and discouraging spam and so forth -- indeed the key trait is to be able to say "I want to identify who is holding onto this content and go after them via non-technological enforcement measures" and such. One gets the impression that the Web is a very niche tradeoff in a vast configuration space and that there are many other possibilities -- but it's hard to see one that does something so fundamentally different to the Web that people will instantly be addicted, "THIS is what I want."
Now, how does that get us past the Web or to the "next" web? Well, if a web browser is all you need, we can go about designing personal computing architectures that are very different from the current offerings. This means we can experiment with new programming languages and environments. Imagine making a computer optimized for something like a Smalltalk system. Sure it would be hard to catch on at first, but if the system came with a web browser and internet access, you'd be ahead of the game.
At the risk of starting a flamewar, this is largely due to the profit motive. Profit inherently causes focus on specific areas that may or may not a) have lasting social benefit, and b) be technologically robust.
There's something to be said for purely philanthropic projects. They promote us to explore things that profit might not otherwise encourage.
The web won't look like it does now in 2050, and neither will the internet.
But it might very well be built on webassembly on browsing engines cum operating systems on top of hypervisors on top of verified microkernels, and the web will probably be delivered on top of HTTP/2 on top of TCP/UDP and so on. The layers probably won't change that much.
If someone solves the multicast problem during that time span things might change radically on several layers. And even if not some immutable, content-addressed protocols might make some inroads. SRI is planting the first seeds in that direction.
we're closer to 2050 than we were from 2017 in 1980 and yet people are still using emacs and telnet.
We've got a long way to go. They're not unbeatable. They're massive goliaths, yes, but they also bloated and slow to adapt, can't focus on any one thing, and don't have consumer loyalty. They can be beaten. Not saying they will, but they can.
Side note, Halt and Catch Fire, which has always tried to be technically accurate starts focusing a lot on the early web in season 3 and 4. CERN, NeXTcubes, and related all make an appearance. It's a fun watch if you are interested in that stuff. The pilot starts with them reverse engineering an IBM PC.
Where machine learning, social networks, and advertising have economies of scale, a tolerable future for the web would necessarily involve diseconomies of scale. Personal connection, concierge service, local long-term engagement with communities.
If someone has a genius idea for making a better engine, he won't work for google, he'll create his own.
Implicit in this fear of centralization is a kaczynskiist belief that "everything that can be invented has been invented".
People predicted some company taking over everything forever, and in fact even before the web existed sci-fi-authors imagined a centralized network, were from the servers to the software everything is provided by the government. It's never going to happen.
Programming skill and number of programmers is not a limiting factor to Product and social networking development. In fact, there is a vast oversupply of talent. If you look at the talent to opportunity ratio: it's enormous.
Look at product hunt. Dozens of potentially brilliant projects built and released everyday and yet only a tiny tiny percentage will ever be successful. Most fail because, either they've built something that too few people find useful or the market they're trying to address is too crowded (already has too many people offering similar services).
Google wouldn't exist without C++ (as opposed to assembly language). Facebook wouldn't exist without PHP (as opposed to C++).
LOL... he would run as a Democrat, wouldn't he?
Trump cultivated Democratic political connections as part of being an NYC-based real estate developer, but has been on the political right (and specifically the nativist/nationalist right) for quite a long time. His first Presidential run, which was abandoned early, was in 2000 when he threw his hat in the ring for the Reform Party nomination.
Who do you think the Democratic nominee will be? Clinton again?
AI is the obvious elephant in the room here.
If in 10 years Apple, Amazon, Tesla or some new startup has the better AI, then this AI will search and present content better. And market it better. And monetize it better. It might also produce its own content. Perfectly customized interactive 3D surround sound content.
Mayb it will be some decentralized autonomous organization that lives on a blockchain. Driven by AI, doing its thing. Outside of what a human mind can understand.
That's when I realised this article was Fake News!
Consider the development of phone technology. In the 70s and 80s, most futurists thought that video calling would replace voice. They thought that richer, higher-bandwidth experiences would dominate the market. In fact, the opposite happened - voice was surpassed by SMS and IM. Users overwhelmingly prefer to communicate in a medium that is less rich, but more convenient. Asynchronous messaging came to dominate because it's "snackable" and doesn't demand your full attention.
I think that the future is an Amazon drone dropping off a box of goodies that you didn't order, but is exactly what you wanted. It's Google Now booking you an Uber to a restaurant that turns out to be your new favourite place. It's Spotify using heart rate, galvanic skin response, pupillary dilation and a thousand other data points to compose the soundtrack to your life.
I will definitely opt-out of your future.
I'm on a 50 mbps internet plan (the best plan in this area), and I live close to the At&t router, i'm told! of course, i loose 70% of that cuz i need to use 5ghz in a super crowded CA neighborhood. But still, 15mbps should be enough for video chat, right?
But your comment isn't on topic. The article is about predicted changes in how content is owned, distributed, and made profitable. It's about the trend away from decentralization, and how that's going to hurt certain people while benefiting others.
You're only thinking about the interface to the web, not the web itself: You might as well be saying, "The only way to fix the decaying internet is this new keyboard I heard is in the early stages of development!"
The article's prediction is that the entire web--VR or not--is going to be controlled and owned by Google and Facebook, and because they'll have such total control over information, they'll have a dangerous and unregulated degree of control over the lives of their users
Since your response is, "nah, VR is going to give us a clean start", how do you reconcile that with the fact that Google and Facebook are the two biggest players in VR right now?
If anything, the way that the "VR revolution" is playing out is just reinforcing what the author is saying. If you buy an Oculus, you're strongly encouraged to connect the device with your Facebook account, and the only way to launch a VR experience with the Oculus is through a custom app store similar to Steam, complete with social media integration and all.
VR's current state is looking worse than any other introduction of computer hardware in history. Could you imagine buying a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc. and being forced to associate the device with a social network and app ecosystem?
Welcome to your new mouse! To install, please choose from the following:
[Express installation (recommended)] [Advanced]
Advanced Settings (WARNING: Advanced users only)
Share my mouse movements on Mousenet with:
[ ] Friends of friends
[ ] Friends only
[ ] Just myself
Hopefully this will not be the result of AMP but interesting take nonetheless.
what will replace it? a copy of all your favourite people stored on the implant in your brain. the interface will be a waking dream.
1. Most websites will get little to no traffic.
2. Consolidation will eventually result in a mere handful of verticals remaining, in the author's opinion, solely Google and Facebook.
3. At first, content framing tactics, like FB Instant Articles and Google AMP, will result in these providers obviating the need for users to navigate outbound links; instead, the content will be surfaced from within the ecosystem.
4. Content providers (i.e. "publishers") go along with the above because in truth they are desperate for revenue. Giving away content for free in exchange for the potential of display ad revenue due to high volume is seen as their only realistic hope for survival, making this a coercive relationship.
5. Some strange political speculation, but, notably, the two giants banning people and services who have presence on the other. Also, independent newspapers get bought out and absorbed.
Out of this distillation of claims, #5 is complete baloney more egregious than an industrially-processed slice of knockoff Mortadella; beyond even a fanciful fantasy of how these companies work. Claims #1 through #4, on the other hand, are very astute predictions, or rather, observations, as they're already here.
The long tail of websites is pretty long, and most sites indeed get very little traffic even today. One need not look further than the power of communities like HN and Reddit to slashdot all sorts of sites by overwhelming it with legitimate traffic. This brittleness and inability of some sites to scale to momentary demand, along with ISPs forbidding home servers and the risk of malicious denial-of-service means that the original way of self-hosting sites on the Web is largely dead , or at the very least, a risky call. This unfortunate fact means you probably want to pay someone to host your site instead. Though there are thousands upon thousands of professional hosting providers, it's a dramatically smaller number than the number of websites; so we're slowly walking up the tree of vertical consolidation.
#3 is well-documented, and #4 follows naturally from the tribulations of finding business models that work on the web .
I stand by the view that #5 is too much of a leap; willingly excluding potential customers seems like an act of folly -- Home Depot doesn't ban anyone who shops at Lowe's, but instead they'd love to lure them away. Orthodox airlines in the US at time of writing might as well be regarded as quadrupoly: they have suspiciously similar ticket prices for most non-hub destinations, and they have semi-secret programs to offer matching frequent flier status to the topmost tier of most profitable travellers if one wants to jump ship.
Nonetheless, there is in fact a real emergent phenomenon in the continued vertical consolidation of content silos. Apple -- mysteriously absent from the author's narrative -- is the exact sort of player whose excellent products, dedicated fanbase, and seeming benevolance will result in the sort of transformations that the author fears: Apple has doubled down on producing original content  for its captive ecosystem, following the tactics of Amazon and Netflix, but unlike them, Apple's presence does not extend horizontally to other platforms. In fact, we just had a trending article  which covered in-depth the different tactics companies use to achieve reach and retain customers.
It's more believable to envision a future similar to what happened to major US television networks: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and Turner; lots of mergers and intrigue, phases of ownership by movie studios, phases of ownership by seemingly unrelated enterprises that pivoted to holding companies from something else, acquisitions in efforts to form new verticals; and yet despite all this, there's still several of them. They're all deeply vertical now, but their valuations and regulatory pressure keeps them existing side-by-side.