back to article Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?

Do you remember Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and so forth? It's marketing terminology that was popular at the turn of the millennium and was as used and abused as "cloud" is today. Underneath all the fluff, however, were solid and reasoned ideas about how technology would evolve and the benefits they'd bring. To understand where …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Web 2.0 then focused on letting us actually do something with that information."

    Web >=2.0 is all about making it impossible to do anything without going online.

    Case in point in the last few minutes. SQMBO (but not by large cinema chain!) tried to book tickets over the phone. They will no longer do that, have to to it online. This gets to be like the old Adventure games in that it's a mass of obstructive menus. e.g. go to the specific cinema site, select day and film, click Book and promptly get asked for what cinema. Confirmed purchase at least twice on successive screens.

    Do the idiots who run these businesses never try running this maze occasionally and ask their minions hard questions such as "Couldn't you make it simpler?"? Evidently not. And no, I will not set up an account for them to leak. They can have a temporary email address that gets torn down in about a month, or sooner if they decide to spam it. At least I got away with only having to allow 2 Javascript sites, including Visa verification.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Semantic Future Web Developments ........ Virtual Machine Networks Openly Internetworking Sublimely

    The abuse of technology by bad guys – whether state sanctioned or not – is leading to a lot of investment in technologies that isolate content and communications.

    The abuse of technology by bad guys – whether government actors or not – is leading to a lot of investment in technologies that isolate content and communications [and today would I be thinking of an Amber Rudd type wannabe internetworking thing/entity doing such acting] and that will both embolden and embiggen the free radical revolutionary being taught not to be terrorised by all manner of abusive bad guys and gals with no deep understanding of their perilous individualised state situation.

    Does the mainstream media picture machine not see the dangers and abusive actors that lurk in plain sight within and thus be ably excused from not sharing the many catastrophic outcomes which always result from ignorant support of arrogant fools on an ever more plainly evident, self-destructive folly?

    I, for one, am interested in seeing what everyone comes up with.

    Yes, most everyone will surely come up with that ….. and serial intellectually challenged and retarded abusers will have no place to hide from increasingly sophisticated and deadly angry MOBsters. …….. Mother of Bombes.

    Good to have you back for a while, TP? How's it been out in the brush and bushy wilderness? Predictably dull and thoroughly unexciting, I'm sure, for paid for news tells one no more.

  3. Dark_Ronius

    GW is almost active!

    Does anyone remember MGS2? I played it again recently. It is quite frightening how much of the automated information tagging, context and control plotline, which seemed impossible and was a bit too tinfoil to actually happen in real life back in 2001, is now the norm on a daily basis. That one, giant, mind-screwery conversation near the end of the game seems to pre-date everything from the growth of social networking, to the next stages of the web described in the article... Even to fake news and the actions of the current administration:

    (From MGS2):

    "in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. All this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate... What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context... The digital society furthers human flaws and selectively rewards the development of convenient half-truths... The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate in the sandbox of political correctness and value systems. Everyone withdraws into their own small gated community, afraid of a larger forum. They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever "truth" suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large."

    TL;DR Hideo Kojima created Donald Trump

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge

      Sod MGS2

      I remember Deus Ex

      (like The Matrix, there was only one Deus Ex)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news - Palantir

    The Guardian refers to US spooky tech giant Palantir as being like the Google or Amazon of "special ops" - slurping up all data clandestinely, and running projections, making associations and unmasking the concealed - correlations that are then acted on by governments and corporations contracted with Palantir. If the Borg has a mind, it is a next level machine-only Palantir.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: In other news - Palantir

      Methinks, AC, and Palantir have shown no overt signs at all at being enabled and able to do anything constructively creative for live virtual presentation in media productions, that the only necessary important future skillset worth anything, and it will be rewarded in the sum of billions and trillions, is in what you can do with newly discovered and/or uncovered information/metadata/intelligence rather than just being any sort of a stealthy hunter employed, or simply employing oneself and hawking ones wares to undereducated others, looking for it ....... and thinking you have found something valuable.

      It aint nothing new though, for that Great Game has been going on since forever, However, and you will maybe just have to blindly accept it as so, what is totally different in the here and now and forever more, is that that and/or those now playing with futures and derivative plays are significantly smarter than was ever thought possible before, and they aint playing by no stupid establishment rules nor are they confined by any regulations.

  5. TheElder

    Web 1.0 was all about content. Bare bones web pages

    I wrote one like that 20 years ago. It was for some very good friends of mine. It runs on my server on a special name. I just had a letter from them. It has earned them over half a million dollars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Web 1, 2, 3

      Web 1.0: Document oriented content

      Web 2.0: Tricking users into submitting content to a centralized farm, then tracking the resulting consumers.

      Web 3.0: Tracking you without the pretext of offering anything useful in return.

      Web 4.0: Hope you like living in a William Gibson novel.

      1. Oneman2Many

        Re: Web 1, 2, 3

        You getting something in return for being tracked, all those 'free' services, you are not having to part with money just your information.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Web 1, 2, 3

          "You getting something in return for being tracked, all those 'free' services, you are not having to part with money just your information."

          There was lot's of free (actual free) information before Google elbowed in.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Web 1, 2, 3

            Google is a symptom, not a cause. To offer a NSFW example: in the early days, porn was freely available for downloads (albeit at really lousy resolutions...). Look around today if you wish --- it all subscription/paid-for, they record your IP address and spam you, what was a free (if arguably objectionable) information flow has become monetized and weaponized.

            "Cleaner" example: Tim Berners-Lee invented Web 1.0 to distribute academic material, as an improvement over predecessors such as gopher. Today, much of that kind of content is behind paywalls, or you have to offer salable personal info in exchange for it, or at the least you get adverts attached to it. Academic institutions maintain subscriptions to databases so they can provide the material to their researchers.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really new technology

    Almost all of the emerging technology mentioned in the article is stuff that we were playing with 15-20 years ago at the top end of the finance industry. Back than most firms were still at the antivirus and firewall level of InfoSec but some of us were working on the problems that are prevalent today.

    Some of the technology worked, some of it was snake oil and most of it was very hard to maintain. Network isolation at more than a token level was a real killer as the underlying business process were not designed with isolation in mind.

    Sadly a lot of the vendors, even those with good products, fell by the wayside because the market for their products back then was too small.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Security problems

    I think quite succinctly, one of the big security problems at present is the trend to run absolutely everything over port 80.

    In years past, your web server would be on port 80 serving up web pages. That custom service you wrote would be on another port. That other machine-to-machine service? Another port. So, it was completely normal to restrict some port, either entirely (if it's expected to be only be used on the local machine) or to whatever machines are supposed to use that particular service, along with rate limiting and so on. Now? The regular web pages, custom service, and other machine-to-machine service would most likely all be running over port 80.

    This is by no means some insurmountable problem, most web servers can certainly be set to block URLs by pattern (and so block certain services) based on requester, throttle based on requester, and so on, and they should for services that aren't meant for dog+world to access.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "I think quite succinctly, one of the big security problems at present is the trend to run absolutely everything over port 80."

    And the usual reason, when one is given, is because it's the one port that won't be blocked. Convenience continues to override security.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whilst I agree with you, using specific ports could potentially be an identifier.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Many years ago (in the last century) I wrote some M2M applications for a company Intranet that used oddball ports. Not initially for security reasons, but to keep various functions logically separated. The added benefit was that our Intranet was pretty well firewalled from the Evil Outside World. All the ports used were blocked, keeping script kiddies (but not internally infected machines) from probing our stuff.

  9. Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate
    Black Helicopters

    Web 4 all, web sees all.

    The main new change is that most people have a smart phone so they are very frequently using the internet. The previous Web versions were about removing walls between people and companies but now the people are feeling too exposed so they want to build walls. For example software can be purchased at an online Microsoft store or an online Apple store but the store takes a significant percentage of the gross before passing on the rest to someone else. They have replaced the physical mall walls with an electronic mall walls. Apple has done very well at its walled garden.

    Has the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon been reduced by a couple of degrees because of the connections online? If so, are people trying to regain their privacy by building barriers in the next version of the web.

    As a side note I would suggest that the Web 4.0 is the quickly updating applications which automatically download new versions. I no longer seem to have full control or understand of what is happening on my computer or phone.

    1. yossarianuk

      Re: Web 4 all, web sees all.

      > I no longer seem to have full control or understand of what is happening on my computer or phone.

      Which is why you should run Linux

      Aside from systemd where no one seems to understand how it got there or what its really doing.

  10. Robert D Bank

    its not our decision to make?

    I suggested some time back on el reg that the web would likely fracture into perhaps three parts. Its a logical progression, even more likely with all the increased security risks emerging. There'll be gov't and mega-corp and essential services web, business level web and a pleb web. There may also be a comms web to allow more granular control over data exchange. TPTB are not going to allow their plans to be compromised as clearly revealed here.

  11. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Web 3.0 was the world looking at Web 2.0 and seeing that it was a disorganized mess."

    Was it? I think it was about monetising the web.

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