Timely article about how awful it is online

Have you actually tried the links on this 2012 web site lately? A quick look at a few of them sent me to either

  • a 404 page not found error
  • a redirect to their desktop page
  • a page telling me to install the smartphone app.

I used to follow the mobile version of some different web sites a few years ago (news, weather, for example). Most of them stopped working around 2014-15.

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Dang. I use mainly the CNN one, and tried to find a site with more.

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People love to comment, yourself included. Why passively receive content when you can be part of the conversation?

Sadly, trolls feel the same way. Why can’t they invent a troll who gives us the silent treatment?


The internet is a tool for communication; like any other tool it can be used properly, or abused with impunity.


Last night I was struck by the uptick in articles in the Grey Lady that were overtly critical of the direction of the tech sector and the internets in general. First there was the long magazine piece on the spike in dehabilitating anxiety amongst youth, which they linked to the adoption of smartphones and social media. Then there was this article, warning of the big five tech giants. Then there was “Why Tech is starting to make me feel uneasy.” And then there was this article (which we are told is the first in what will be a series on “the Frightful Five” tech companies…)

So, is this an issue that the Times editorial board has simply decided to run with, or is it simply such a relevant issue that they are covering it?

EDIT: you can add this article to the list too…


Suggestions on how to raise the level of online discourse?


Welcome to BoingBoing!


Usenet is now full of alt-right bots, which seems like a pointless activity.


As a gay furry that’s been on the internet since 1990 I can say this is so true. I met my husband on a muck and been with him for over 20 years. The net is still wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it in just to get rid of the assholes.

Like all revolutionary technologies, there have been huge upsides to the net and a bunch of downsides. Did we get rid of books because people like Ann Coulter got to make them?

While I love Mr Stoll and his book “The Cuckoo’s Nest” (Hell, I even have a copy of the Nova episode about the book) he really did quickly turn into that old guy shouting “Get off my lawn!”

I just love a medium where I can end a post with weasels on a beach:



I had one of those that I needed to relocate, but I couldn’t find any place to put it.

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I was only recently reading the wikipedia entry for Aspidistra; the WW2 British project that subverted the Volksempfänger :smiley: I was tickled by the fact that the UK Goverment got a good deal on the big transmitter as it was 10 times more powerful than was allowed in the USA at the time, and so was gathering dust in a warehouse.

There were some sneaky wrinkles to the project. Another fine example of why one should never trust the British.


Sez you!!!


His divorce from Martha (post Cuckoo’s Egg) utterly devastated him. I was lucky enough to run into him at an airport once while he was on his way to talk about computer security (this was back in the 90’s). He signed an autograph and sat and chatted with me and a few others who’d recognized him and did yoyo tricks while we waited for our flights.

He was exactly as he seemed in the Cuckoo’s Egg tv version. A scattered, enthusiastic genius type, who talked a zillion miles an hour. He was bubbly. And then someone asked him about the woman from Cuckoo’s Egg, and it was like watching a balloon deflate. His shoulders slumped, his head drooped. The yoyo went down and stayed down. He looked like Charlie Brown dragging his busted kite home. He spoke very quietly about how his wife left him, how utterly unprepared he was, how he couldn’t even begin to imagine the woman he knew would be capable of hurting him like that… there weren’t a lot of details and no one in the gathered group wanted to ask.

And then, just as suddenly as he’d transitioned to incredibly glum, he snapped back to his formerly hyper and giggly self, getting back on topic about security and playing with the yoyo and making truly awful puns.

I think his crankiness and pessimism comes both from early indications of what democratization of the net would lead to, AND some pretty personal issues.

Cranky or not, he now makes giant Klein bottles, and I’d totally sit next to him at a party.


I don’t agree with this sentiment and have used the internet from the baud days.

I don’t use Twitter or Facebook, but otherwise find the internet still a great thing. Even for serious conversations. If I don’t like something, I don’t have to read it. Like de Sade I think of it as a banquet table: If I don’t like something, I don’t partake but am free to enjoy the rest.

I do enjoy different hobby forums, Reddit, IRC, Slack/Discord, some blogs and different news sites. Sometimes I check out Fake news from RT or Breitbart. I often find the Kremlin point of view thought provoking. I can appreciate the anonymous anarchy of 4chan and other image boards. Hell, I even enjoy Youtube comments on channels like AvE.

I think there are definitely different registers of speech between services and sites. I don’t expect the same from 4chan and a dedicated hobby BBS with a quality user base. Still both, in my opinion, have their place and right to exist.



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Cliff is one of my heroes.

ya can get em here - http://www.kleinbottle.com/

AND if you have not seen his TED Talk - it is v amazeballs - https://www.ted.com/talks/clifford_stoll_on_everything

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Thanks, that definitely puts things in context. The Klein bottles sound really awesome. I hope he’s found some measure of peace in the intervening years. I still recommend “The Cuckoo’s Nest” to ITsec people as a book that will serve them well however the technologies change.

I totally get why he thought this medium would be different from all mediums before it that were debased by commercialism and general human crappiness; for a while I thought it, too, and I wasn’t there near the beginning like he was. But it isn’t different in the opposite way, either.


I know a lot of people like to laugh at things like his prediction that e-commerce would never take off because of the security risks, but he was right about the security risks – I’ve had to cancel my credit cards three times over the last decade for breaches. It’s just that we’ve decided to accept that as a cost of convenience while in the 1990s it was unthinkable.


Don’t have to, I saw the screen behind him right away. :sunglasses: