Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Net Futility

Technologists are making a lot of noise about net neutrality right now. The basic idea is that network providers should not be allowed to slow down traffic from sites they don’t like (i.e., sites that don’t pay them enough)

The fact is, the Internet is already dead. Or at least, the Web is. Most sites are so heavily laden with ads, videos, audio and other crap that it takes forever to get to the desired content. Pages take minutes to load, and during that time, portions of the page appear and disappear and scroll up and down in a manner guaranteed to frustrate anyone trying to read them.

A huge portion of all Internet traffic is Facebook, or pages that people have shared on Facebook. Sharing in this case means you mislead your friends into clicking the links to sites filled with ads, animations, auto-play noise, and listicles. A listicle is one of those pages that requires you to keep clicking Next to get through the content, while loading more and more ads, until you finally discover these were not the pages you were looking for anyway.

Forget net neutrality. Sites are slowing themselves down. You want faster Web pages? Leave out the freaking ads!

The other hot topic now is network security. People are talking about encrypting their data to prevent prying eyes from seeing which porn they’ve been searching, and using a virtual private networks (VPN) to hide which Web sites they’re visiting, though these sites already know what you’re looking at anyway.

And everyone is talking about covering your camera with a piece of tape, so no one can turn it on remotely to spy on you. Of course, that only protects you if you like to stand in front of your computer holding up a sign with all your private information on it. What you really want to block is the microphones in your computer.

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