Week 1: The possibi...
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Week 1: The possibility of decentralized networks in 2021

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Larry Sanger
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Posted by: @heksterb

The Goolag owns search and e-mail and obliterated competition.

Meh. Google dominates search, but there are usable competitors now and I don't feel a need to use them much anymore. That's something. I think we're going to see Goo search decline within a few years.

As to email, Gmail stopped "owning" an overwhelming market share a while ago. MS Exchange and GoDaddy together beat them:

When it comes to hosting (and clients, which Google also no longer dominates), Gmail is just the leading contender, not the only game in town.

And that's because email (SMTP) is an open, non-proprietary technical protocol.

Posted : 08/09/2021 7:50 pm
Active Member

@lsanger I understand that a common standard is a success in itself because it makes competition and outside opinions possible. It's just that one of the other questions was about naïveté and I am wondering if we are falling into that same trap again.

I realize that Facebook won’t last forever, and Google has real competitors in certain areas. But there are still ways for them to trap people inside their ecosystems, Google more than Facebook. In this respect, the rise of the Chromebook is perhaps the most nefarious development because everything, without choice, is now theirs to control. Windows has made a similar move recently by making the system default that programs can only be installed from the Microsoft Store, in order to ensure the “security” of the computer. Both are moves to exclude outside opinions and options; basically preventing works like ours from flowering. It is easy to imagine a world where Microsoft only allows Edge as the browser. Microsoft builds an Encyclosphere reader into Edge that is heavily biased. 99% of people use this particular reader (even though they don’t have to) because it is convenient, and because they assume that all Encyclosphere readers do the same thing. That puts us where we are now. People can use Duck Duck Go, but they don’t because it isn’t the default in the browsers that come pre-installed and that most people use.

There are bits of pending legislation in the US that might make such exclusivity practices illegal, and at least for now Microsoft allows you to turn off the installation restrictions (“at your own risk”, of course). Time will tell. But there is so much money that Big Tech stands to lose from people taking control of their data and their minds, that we would be foolish to believe they aren’t planning to obviate our and other similar works. This is not to say we should not do our work. Only to say we should keep our minds a few steps ahead as well.    

Posted : 09/09/2021 2:19 am
Active Member

Meet the Self-Hosters, Taking Back the Internet One Server at a Time


Posted : 09/09/2021 4:47 am
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