Posted on December 13, 2011 by Jingles | No Comments
What!? Why would you want to stop the future of the internet!? Because the internet, PCs and technology in general is becoming more closed, we are drifting back to the walled gardens of the 80s internet services.
In the 80s a time before before the World Wide Web (WWW) existed there were services like AOL, Prodigy, Compuserv etc… that were essentially walled gardens i.e. you only had access to the resources that AOL, Prodigy or Compuserv put on their systems.
Then in the late 80s and early 90s Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web which came along and disrupted everything in a major way, now anyone can publish anything they want if they have a PC and the know how.
Now billions of people are using an open internet in a way that was never foreseen. Some really wonderful things are happening thanks to the internet and the web, a few unfortunate things have happened too.
Criminals are using the internet for their own financial gain, people are infringing copyright in ways that are questionable (piracy) and other ways that are good for culture (video/music mashups). The internet and the web is has created all sorts privacy, security, copyright, moral, ethical problems and other issues that were never foreseen that we don’t really know how to deal with.
The open internet is to a corporation an open Pandora’s box that they are trying to close because they think that the internet is causing them financial loss and other problems that they never foresaw. Instead of dealing with the problems their solution is to try and close the internet and the web by moving us back to a walled garden type of internet and web, or by trying to force the internet and web to work with their old out of date business models instead of trying to make their business model work with the internet and the web.
It started with the iPhone and the Apps store, now Google and Microsoft has jumped on the “Apps store” band wagon. I worry if our internet and computers will one day be controlled by corporations who decide what we see and what we can do with the internet and our computers.
Jonathan Zittrain is a Harvard law professor and author of “The Future of the Internet—And How To Stop It.”, a book about the exact thing that I worry about. What I worry about is only a part of what “The Future of the Internet—And How To Stop It.” is about. It’s a great book that anyone who likes the internet and the web should read.