Interoperability: Fix the internet, not the tech companies

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/11/make-big-tech-small-again.html

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or a DVR that lets you record anything available through your cable package, and that lets you store your recordings indefinitely.

I haven’t had cable in a decade and I’ve never owned a DVR, so I’m a bit out of the loop on these things. But this suggests that DVRs DON’T let you record anything available through your cable package.

Is it the case that DVRs will refuse to record some shows?

Yes it is possible to have a bit added to the content that blocks an otherwise compliant DVR from recording it.

More often than not when this flag is imposed it’s by mistake rather than intentional.

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At one time, there were digital musical instruments that had their own proprietary protocols. Some forward-thinking people came along and created a thing called MIDI, and then all of the instruments, from all manufacturers, could communicate together. Everyone benefited.

Later there was a thing called electronic mail. In those early days, you could communicate with another person, but only if you used their network–Compuserve, or something else. But that got changed, and then every person who had an email account could communicate with every other person, even if they used a different system. Everyone benefited from this.

When I see the way things are going now with walled gardens and vendor lock-in, I wonder why we ever thought this would be an improvement. A phone that you can’t put an SD card, a battery or an earphone plug into…why would anyone think this is a good thing?

I don’t get it.

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hear hear. CD for president.

OK, we have HTTP, TLS, DNS, TCP, IP and other standards on which the internet is based. All open, all supported, all interoperable. What aspects of the technology can we mandate as interoperable? A headphone jack isn’t going to get is very far.

what cory is arguing for is that you look at the big companies and what people are using their services for - and you force them to create interoperability.

let you talk to your Facebook friends without using Facebook’s tools

you make them common carriers of data. not a place you have to go to inorder to use that data.

there’s a million sms apps out there. and yet there’s one and only one that will let me read my facebook messages. i refuse to install it on my phone because i know it spies on me far beyond the words that are in the messages i write.