back to article Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

The growing scepticism around web3 can be summed up by the titles of a few recent blog posts. Web3 is B*llsh*t. Web3? I have my DAOts. Web3 is not decentralization. Or how about: Web3 is not Decentralisation — it's a Ploy to put Crypto Bros in Charge. Or Keep the web free, say no to Web3. For balance, let's look at what some …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Overly smug article, but "Dunning-Krugerrands." was mildly amusing.

    1. Francis Boyle

      "Mildly amusing"?

      I'd call it too good not to steal.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Mildly amusing"?

        Stealing them seems to be part of their circulatory mechanism.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Mildly amusing"?

          Not enough upvotes.

  2. oiseau Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant!

    ... "a myth, a fairy story. It's what parents tell their kids about at night if they want them to grow up to become economists."

    Thank you for putting into words what I have thought about virtual* currencies from the start.

    *According to Merriam-Webster's

    virtual: very close to being something without actually being it. (my emphasis)

    It's an elaborate world-wide scam.

    When it comes down it will wreak havoc.

    In the meantime, it is the playground of scam artists.

    O.

    1. Deanamore

      Re: Brilliant!

      If they were just called cryptoassets I wouldn't mind because that's how they've been used ever since major players like Coinbase arrived. How many people holding Bitcoin today have even typed in a wallet address or ever plan on buying stuff with it? The thing that consistently amazes me about crypto fanatics is that they brag about how valuable it is whilst ignoring the fact that it's only valuable because it can be exchanged for something else - you know, an actual currency. Nobody is buying their groceries, paying their bills or trading in their car for Bitcoin because it's an asset so hodl up until it crashes and burns or get out whilst the pyramid scheme is still growing.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Brilliant!

      very close to being something without actually being it. (my emphasis)

      Virtual servers come pretty close to "actually being it" though

      I mean they're as good if not better than real servers , as opposed to being a load of overhyped bullshit like virtual currencies

  3. Len
    Headmaster

    Forget technology

    To me this article confuses two separate layers, or abstraction levels, or means and ends. One is the technology used to achieve something and the other is the objective (or in reality, more the unintended effect).

    Web 1.0 wasn't about HTML, that was just a means to achieve an end, call it microbroadcasting if you will. Thanks to the Internet suddenly all sorts of niches could consume and create niche content that was previously unviable through traditional media. Anyone could create a blog about hamsters wearing leather outfits and all five people in the world that were always interested in hamsters wearing leather outfits could find an audience or read up on the latest on hamsters wearing leather outfits. It brought good and bad things.

    Web 2.0 wasn't about AJAX, that was just a means to achieve an end, call it interactive community forming if you will. Web apps, social media networks, etc. turned the internet into a place beyond broadcasting (I'll send and you will receive) to everyone constantly sending and receiving at the same time. It brought good and bad things.

    Web 3.0 will not be about the blockchain, or some protocol or API, that will just be a means to an end. It might be about decentralisation (that is a hope, not a dead-cert so far). Circumventing decades of banking processes and safeguards or ways to store and transfer wealth could mean decentralisation. Taking power away from a handful of tech platforms (or "gatekeepers" as EU policymakers call them quite appropriately) and making the internet about direct interaction between people is also a form of decentralisation. Forming a community on your own terms. This could bring good and bad things.

    Is there a lot of bullshit spoken about decentralisation and some of the potential underlying technologies such as the blockchain or federated services? Without a doubt. Focusing on the technology, however, is missing the big picture of what may or may not happen. Decentralisation could very well happen without the blockchain (that technology unmistakeably has its uses but it's also definitely overhyped).

    So, the big question is whether decentralisation is going to happen, whether it will be using the blockchain, torrents, federated services or some other technology is much less interesting. I get that it's interesting for a tech site such as El Reg but to dismiss the risks and rewards of decentralisation, or base the likelihood of it happening on a large scale on a view of the underlying technology is a mistake.

    1. Andy 73

      Re: Forget technology

      I think the question more accurately is what are the practical benefits of this miraculous new form of decentralisation, when web 1.0 already provided decentralisation?

      As with Bitcoin, what can I do now (better, faster, cheaper) that I couldn't do before?

      People are using "web 3.0 terms" as though they're bringing something new to the table - but smart contracts and decentralised platforms are meaningless unless there is a use case that end users actually value.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        Re: Forget technology

        Smart contracts ( ie: software that executes on a trigger) sounds suspiciously like CGI as far as the user experience is concerned.

        Ie: it doesn't add anything that hasn't been around for around 30 years in terms of user experience.

      2. Len
        Headmaster

        Re: Forget technology

        I don't think Web 1.0 provided decentralisation to the extent that we're now talking about. It still relied on servers run by third parties. Third parties with Terms & Conditions (don't post child pornography, don't slag off the country's ruler etc. etc.)

        In a truly decentralised world my computer could speak to your computer directly, without an intermediate server or company to safeguard or police (like I said, full decentralisation will have good and bad sides). In a world of IPv4 depletion and everyone behind complex NAT systems that is very hard to do but the rise of IPv6 might change that.

        As for Bitcoin, I'm not a believer. From this side of the Atlantic Bitcoin feels a cumbersome, slow and expensive way to transfer money as European banking systems beat Bitcoin on all those fronts (free transactions in seconds at the click of perhaps three buttons, even to other banks). For an American I get the appeal. My father in law lives in Texas and the quickest and cheapest way for him to transfer money between his accounts at two different banks is to get cash out in one branch, drive to the other side of the street, and deposit it into his own account at a branch of the other bank. In a world with such antiquated (and partially corrupt) banking infrastructure, Bitcoin is revolutionary. That says very little about Bitcoin, however, and more about US banking infrastructure. Personally I don't think cryptocurrencies are going to disappear but they are not going to replace existing currencies (I think cryptocurrencies created by central banks actually have more potential).

        As for the blockchain as a technology, if you see it as a public and immutable record of things then it certainly has its revolutionary use cases (keeping track of ownership in a world without trust for instance). If you wade through the current NFT hype then parts of the NFT premise are definitely very valuable and likely here to stay long after the last scammer has moved onto something else.

        But, there is a lot of shit happening in that space. I have never fully believed in the business adage that "If you don't know who is the mug at the table, you are the mug". I do believe in mutually beneficial agreements and transactions. In the blockchain space, however, 95% of the actors are either deceiving someone, are being deceived, or are not smart enough to notice which cog they are. The other 5% are intelligent and honest people trying to do a good thing in a sea of shouty chaos.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Forget technology

          "I don't think Web 1.0 provided decentralisation to the extent that we're now talking about. It still relied on servers run by third parties."

          The third parties came along later. It started with places like CERN running their own servers; or does that count as Web 0.1?

          1. Len
            Happy

            Re: Forget technology

            When CERN was the only place in the world to have the World Wide Web that was obviously extremely centralised. ;-)

            I would argue that Web 1.0 started somewhere in the second half of the 1990's when, for the first time, millions of people, even non-geeks, could get their hands on affordable internet. That site about hamsters wearing leather outfits probably started at Geocities or Angelfire.

          2. PerlyKing Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Web 0.1

            Shhh, you'll attract jake!

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Forget technology

          > In a truly decentralised world my computer could speak to your computer directly, without an intermediate server or company to safeguard or police (like I said, full decentralisation will have good and bad sides).

          That's existed for a very long time, it's called FreeNet. And yeah, it ended up absolutely awash with undesirable content.

        3. LDS Silver badge

          "It still relied on servers run by third parties."

          No, actually everybody could run its own server. The real problem was (and is) to have an always-on internet connection with enough bandwidth (and a public IP). Even when connection became always-on they were mostly asymmetric for many users that weren't business large enough, and dynamic IP (even when the IP is kept 24x7...) do not help.

          And of course you need to keep a server always on. I did for a while until my connection became too slow for actual web sites traffic - and I had to move to a VPS. But if the hardware became centralized, I still run my own web servers and sites.

          With FTTH and xPON connections (and IPv6) it becomes possible again to run easily your servers from your dwellings, if you like. Especially now the hardware requirements are far cheaper than twenty years ago. But ISPs do still put roadblocks to avoid people starting to run servers from home - because their infrastructure is not designed for a truly "decentralized" internet.

        4. aronfiechter

          Re: Forget technology

          How can my computer talk to yours directly? There's WebRTC, solidproject.org, and many others. None of them use a blockchain, and absolutely not crypto "currency".

          There's also Mastodon, a completely decentralized social network, and the Matrix protocol, which enables completely decentralized rich communication. Also here: no blockchain, no crypto bullshit.

          1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            Re: Forget technology

            There's also OpenBazar.

        5. msobkow Silver badge

          Re: Forget technology

          Oh, yes, well I sure do want to connect to Joe's Malware Emporium because it is a "blockchain-authenticated malware distributor"... :(

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forget technology

        I have been involved in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) where you create your own cryptocurrency and persuade other people to put real money into buying your freshly minted currency.

        People buy it for two reasons. Either 1) they believe in your vision or product and wish to support you, or 2) they just want to get in on the ground floor by buying your coin early before its valuation takes off but they don't give two hoots about you or your product.

        We did a lot of publicity, going to events, speaking to media etc. There are three questions we always hoped we would never be asked by the public or regulators and that could smash the foundations underneath your whole offering because it demonstrated an internal conflict.

        The first one tackled 1), if you wish to get investors (or invest), why not just sell shares privately? The reason is that startups wish to avoid all the scrutiny of real investing with rules, regulators and a prospectus. As an ICO backed startup you have to make a point about your product or service only working using the blockchain and so investing using the blockchain makes sense.

        This brings us to the second question, also tackling 1), what can the blockchain do for your product that could not be done by 10,000 public Excel spreadsheets linked to each other? That question destroys 90% of all blockchain investment drives as usually a big public database can achieve the same but without a blockchain.

        The third one is about whether your coin is a 'Security' (aka a share in the company), or a 'Utility Token' (a unit that is required on your platform to buy and/or sell things). Securities are supposed to increase in value hence the people from category 2) love to get in early. They are also heavily regulated so much harder to pull off scams or do on a tight budget. A 'Utility Token' that is only used on your own platform doesn't benefit from a massive fluctuation in value as the cost of things would change all the time making them extremely impractical. This means that you need to convince the regulator that your coin is a 'Utility Token' while convincing investors that your coin is going to increase heavily in value (making it behave like a security). That question is very hard to square without deep pockets and expensive investment bank consultants.

        In about a year of us working on it and promoting it we have been asked the second question only once(!), when it's probably the most important question of all. But, you know, the guy on the opposite stand has driven a Lamborghini to this event. He pulls the crowds (and investment) and nobody wonders why he is manning a stand in a shitty conference centre on a rainy Saturday to spend the day talking to weirdos and eating crap sandwiches if he can drive a car like that (oblivious to the fact that hiring the stand for the day cost four times as much as hiring a Lambo for a day).

        Were we successful? Meh. We raised a 7-figure sum but had to spend over half of it on promotion to raise that amount. Could we have been just as successful using traditional routes? Likely yes. Would I do it again? Hell no.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Legal opinion

          It's relatively easy to get legal opinion to prove a utility coin is a utility coin, having just recently done it myself on a project I work for.

          It was required for listing on a US-based centralised exchange - because when it comes down to it most people don't want to trade through a decentralized exchange (particularly ones named after food) and are far happier / more comfortable going through a centralised exchange.

          Of course they then ARE using crypto but definitely not web3 (or at least not the web3 library).

      4. bitdivine

        Re: Forget technology

        Bitcoin is technically a dinosaur. It was great in that it showed the world that a Blockchain can be robust. Hats off to them. It still has a role as digital gold, I guess, but the most applications need faster, cheaper, more capable platforms. Ethereum 1 was more capable but is eye-wateringly expensive to use, and still slow and a great glacier-melter. So it had limited use cases. Maybe Eth 2 will be faster and cheaper. I wish them the best of luck. There is at least one other platform that is fast and cheap to use. Time to start building on it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Forget technology

          Not sure why this post got downvotes, it is accurate. Bitcoin is getting all the attention, but cannot be meaningfully be used as a currency at volume. The transaction cost on that network is simply impractical for scale.

          1. spireite Bronze badge

            Re: Forget technology

            Ironic that it cannot scale, yet the underlying infrastructure does scale by definition.

            Just proves the platform has a finite life, and then perceived welath disappers into the ether(eum)

          2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            Re: Forget technology

            I doubt this is why, but Bitcoin has a major software update coming that will address some of its biggest deficiencies.

            Also Etherium has a major update coming that will apparently reduce the transaction cost to something less ludicrous.

            ( You're talking over a hundred dollars to convert one Etherium token to another. It's crazy. ).

    2. dazzerrazzer

      Re: Forget technology

      Excellent post.

      Web3, for so it is named, is about shifting from the current web 2 model where internet users are effectively working for the tech giants producing content for the likes of Google, Facebook, etc.

      It is those companies that benefit by far the most from the users work, whilst the users, if they are lucky, get a tiny percentage in reward.

      Web3 is a catch-all for the move to greater returns for creators. No longer will creators be given the kind of commission rates the likes of Google offer: compare the profits from a self-hosted Adsense click-thru to the cost Google charges the advertiser - a huge and i mean HUGE difference.

      But not only that, because Google have got away with paying people less than 1pc of profit then all the others have joined in paying commission rates that would of been laughed out of the room in pre-internet days.

      Web3 isn't b**sh*t. Some of the tech is, or rather immature, but it offers a possible future where we aren't all Google ad IDs.

      Whether we get there is up to us, I guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @dazzerrazzer - Re: Forget technology

        What's preventing creators today to bypass web tech giants and retain 100% of the return ?

        Also, who's that "us" you're referring to ?

      2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Forget technology

        That's a nice idea, but you don't actually need blockchain for that. There are already micro-payments providers - where they fall down is, user's don't like paying for content (or, more generously, don't do well with interruption to the workflow they're used to).

        Of course, in the Web3 vision, there's another reason micropayments don't work: a lot of content is posted on platforms like Facebook, Insta, Youtube etc, but you can't use micropayments there, and if you self-host to enable micro-payments then you don't get same level of views.

        The problem is, Web3 suffers from exactly the same issue - it falls outside the platforms, and so won't get the views/uptake.

        If you search for info on Web3, you find a lot of speel like that you've rolled off - Web3 let's creators own the proceeds of their work etc - but no real meat on how it'll actually work in practical terms. Perhaps you can embed something on your site that allows easy/seamless micropayments via ethereum, but you still suffer from the issue that you're outside the platforms and getting little-to-no traffic. You're no better off than with a non-blockchain solution.

        TL:DR - the ideals that Web3 is being sold on are praise-worthy, but it seems to lack any real technical definition, instead being comprised of aspirations and hype. Almost like it's intended solely to drive up the value of assets that some already hold.

        1. dazzerrazzer

          Re: Forget technology

          'TL:DR' blimey, you can talk, literally.

          Not everything is hype. Good things get overhyped but they are still good.

          Web3 is more than just crypto so you need to expand your Google searching a bit.

          Good lord, man, we'd still be in the trees if it were for ones like you.

          No one knows for sure. We are all making it up as we go along, defining the models to follow. Give it a go one day before you sit ringside booing the boxers claiming to be able to do better.

          Web3 will come whether you like it or not.

          1. dazzerrazzer

            Re: Forget technology

            Oh, loving those downvotes. Lol. Honestly made me laugh so much. Reminded me of how a few of us back in 1999 saw the potential of internet on your phones and set about creating what you use today.

            If you lot had upvoted me tons I would be seriously worried.

            We have a huge storeroom out back for the dinosaurs, just down the corridor there. Please close the door on your way out.

            1. msobkow Silver badge

              Re: Forget technology

              You expect upvotes for raving fanboi nonsense that all the technically astute people here can see through as easily as sheet glass?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Forget technology

              There will be a web 3.0, 4.0 and so on.

              The question is whether this publicised definition with their hype and meme qualities is going to be the real web3.0, that actually gets implemented and works. with all this loose hyperbolic definitions, anyone can say "look my web3.0 happened." I'm rather confident my web3.0 will happen.

              There are issues with web2.0 particularly around revenue attribution and renumeration commensurate with value addition. Blockchain/smart contract could help solve that. For now it is just a glorified distributed database, that the "smart contract" updates. It can be solved today for less cost.

              I accept micropayments are not a solution, as it is a manual step rather than renumeration being intrinsically linked to the value extracting action (such as playing a track or watching a video).

              What is being defined today are nice concepts about empowering creators, but nothing in these tools actually allow for this to be in a fair way, just a different way.

              For eg there is a "smart contract" to attribute value to the "owner" of say every single song play of a track, how do I, the user, know the smart contract is bug free when deducting from my wallet? How does an artist know that the smart contract isn't "embezzling" to the contract developers account?

              Who do I contact in that anonymised world? There is a fundamental contradiction when the anonymity and verification are being coupled in a decentralised model to me. If it is anonymous, how can it be regulated to be fair and correct? web3.0 does not answer how a unregulated world would work.

              Frankly social media toxicity is a creation of the anonymity of web2.0, I do not want to think of what a world where financial transactions are also anonymous would mean.

              The hype is around anonymity then, and equal power to all to overcome the web giants (apparently - you still are at the mercy of the crypto platform you have to choose... shh...details.. ).

              the web3.0 hype promises an unregulared world as a positive, "smart contracts" anonymously "fair", "ethical" web away from the web giants.

              So who exactly in this anonymous utopia actually make sure all this anonymous tech is "fair", "ethical", "honorable", "good". web3.0 is being hyped by people who either so naive to think that every programmer is ethical, or so arrogant to think that they are such good programmers that can actually program the perfectly fair and ethical platform, that has foreseen every issue.

              Imagine a world where the computer really does says no, or rather "smart contract says no". And there is nothing, not even a megacorp, to name and face.

              This technology will emerge regardless, I'm unconvinced for the wider good. It is just going to make a different set of elites richer, this time without accountability and with anonymity.

              Deliciously exploitable. web 3.0 FTW.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Forget technology

              >> Reminded me of how a few of us back in 1999 saw the potential of internet on your phones and set about creating what you use today.

              To be fair until Apple put a big capactive touch screen, with an onscreen keyboard, on a phone, it remained a shit idea.

              So if you can point to the "big screen" of web 3.0, sure web3.0 is good, great, and will power time travel technology.

          2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Forget technology

            > 'TL:DR' blimey, you can talk, literally.

            I think you've missed the point of that line...

            I wasn't saying yours was too long, I was providing a TL:DR for mine, it's not an uncommon thing to do.

            Normally, if someone's complaining yours is TL, then the TL:DR will be somewhere near the top of their response, not after they've been responding to points you've raised.

            > Not everything is hype. Good things get overhyped but they are still good.

            True, but good things also get missed amongst the hype. Given most of Web3 currently appears to be aspiration and hype, it doesn't bode well for any actual innovators lost in amongst the fog.

            > Web3 is more than just crypto so you need to expand your Google searching a bit.

            Funny, everything I've read says that blockchain is key to the decentralization that Web3 aims for. Blockchain relies on crypto (as in proper crypto, not digital dollars).

            Of course, cryptocurrency also seems to be baked into it, even down to the idea that your reward comes in the form of a crypto-token.

            It's a bit like saying that there's more to the Internet than TCP/IP - it's true, but it's pretty damn important all the same.

            > Give it a go one day before you sit ringside booing the boxers claiming to be able to do better.

            I think you need to check your reading comprehension - what I said was that crypto/web3 brings no benefit vs other existing solutions. I didn't claim the other solutions were better, just that a crypto-web3 is no better.

            > Web3 will come whether you like it or not.

            I'm sure it will, that doesn't mean it'll be good, or even an improvement. At the moment, though, there doesn't seem to be much technical substance to it.

            It's not just the technicals either - Web3 "will" save us from the Web2 overlords (the distribution channels/platforms - i.e. YT, Facebook etc). Except... how are creators going to attract users? Ultimately, in the Web3 utopia, we may well end up with those same platforms dominating, just with blockchain mixed in - and that's assuming there's some kind of cutover. In reality, users will probably stay within the web2 channels, and web3 only creators will see very little.

            I'm more than happy to get excited about Web3 when there's an actually viable plan involved rather than smoke and magic.

            As an easy example, here's

            - a Twitter thread in favour of Web3: https://twitter.com/cdixon/status/1442201621266534402

            - Ethereum's page on Web3: https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/web2-vs-web3/

            - a post not in favour: https://www.stephendiehl.com/blog/web3-bullshit.html

            Note that complete lack of technical arguments/detail in the "pro" examples. They're all "this'll be better", but it's all entirely surface level. Meanwhile, "Web3 is bullshit" advances *actual* technical arguments.

            You don't need to be "better" to gain adoption - sometimes the worst solution wins. What's often needed where users are concerned is convenience - Web3 has to fight against the convenience of apathy (users already in their facebook bubble, for example). But, utility is also important.

            Something crypto-currency supporters seem to miss is that some of the "faults" they point to in the fiat system is actually seen as a benefit.

            An easy example is the idea that there's no way to reverse a transaction:

            - to cryptofolk this is good, it means there's no central authority dictating movement of your money etc

            - the rest of the world looks at how many chargebacks are issued *every single day*, the protections we get from s31 etc as well as the protection we get from the bank in some circumstances

            It's hard to believe that the same naivety isn't going to surface in Web3, existing as it does as a bunch of "if we say we'll build it, someone'll figure out how to"

        2. Confused of Tadley

          Re: Forget technology

          'If you search for info on' ...anything then what do you use? Most of the world uses Google or Bing. Without search then how do the leather-clad hampster fans find each other - classified ads in a newspaper?

          Until a decentralised but widely useable search system becomes available then the web remains tied to gatekeepers who exist to monetise searching.

          Even if a decentralised search did become available it would still need paying for, either by micro-pay per search or 'free' searching that depends on monetisation of search to pay the bills. However it may get done, most of the income would end up with one or two businesses, so no change here then.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Len - Re: Forget technology

      Stinking rich billionaires wanting to bypass banking and finance regulations to store and transfer wealth. What can possibly go wrong ? Direct interaction between people, forming a community and all that blah,blah, did you really fall for that trick ?

      1. Len

        Re: @Len - Forget technology

        Decentralisation can come in all kinds of ways. I have very little time for Libertarian shysters who only care about their own liberty (from paying taxes) but not other's. I am not a big believer in the benefits of cryptocurrencies, because of those shysters but also because I believe in having protections and safeguards in a financial system.

        Decentralisation, however, can also mean people running their own Mastodon instances to not be reliant on Twitter, their own Diaspora instance to not be reliant on Facebook, or their own Matrix instances to not be reliant on Whatsapp (though that is not also not without its issues, look at how Telegram became a popular al-Qa'ida hideout).

        1. mistersaxon

          Re: @Len - Forget technology

          Nobody (let me repeat that - NOBODY) is "reliant" on FB or Twitter. Neither platform provides anything essential to life. In fact I would say that both provide something that is detrimental to life overall, even if you don't use the platform (because of the environmental impact).

          But, as others have already noted, the issue is basically that in a "decentralised" world (of Samsung and iPhone mainly) is still gatekept(?) by the OS suppliers. And besides all that, a truly decentralised (==Libertarian) world is one where barter is the only realistic means of exchange. It's anti-social in the most basic sense of the word, and none of us are actually really ready for that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Len - Forget technology

            "a truly decentralised (==Libertarian) world is one where barter is the only realistic means of exchange."

            What? Why? Because there is no decentralized currency?

            Hmm.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Len - Forget technology

          >>Decentralisation, however, can also mean people running their own Mastodon instances to not be reliant on Twitter, their own Diaspora instance to not be reliant on Facebook, or their own Matrix instances to not be reliant on Whatsapp (though that is not also not without its issues, look at how Telegram became a popular al-Qa'ida hideout).

          What makes crypto the technology gap here? Alternates are possible in web 2.0, and nothing of crypto tech implicity gives user adoption.

          I mean if this where true every twitter user would be on mastodon?

          So the response is hype too - it is confusing the hype of an alternative implementation but forgetting that they still lack with practical utility.

          There needs to be a killer feature that web2 cannot do, that users will turn over to use. It can be its own new concept (as social media was to web2.0) or it has to be so good that peoople turn to choose web3 implementations.

          A bunch of sites running decentralised does not make a next gen internet with billions of users. So far blockchain looks nice as a database replacement with the queries "bound".

    4. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Forget technology

      We had the interactive community forming stuff before Web 2.0 with the likes of usenet and irc. In fact, usenet predates web 1 by about 10 years.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Forget technology

        And before that, dial-up BBS.

        The last damn thing we need is more layers of crap. The Internet is unstable enough as it is.

  4. F0ulRaven

    We are in strange times where nonsense becomes reality if enough people believe it.

    I gave up on bitcoins as a serious idea around 2013, and gave up on blockchain about 3 years later, but then realised that facts are irrelevant if enough people are involved, and keep convincing themselves that they are all on the bus to endless riches.

    Web3 will happen, if only so you can use a simple term instead of gullible millennial with a gaming habit. But as for becoming rich? Only if you are willing to sell up and walk away, and none of those involved wants to point at the naked man.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      We are in strange times where nonsense becomes reality if enough people believe it.

      ... facts are irrelevant if enough people are involved, and keep convincing themselves that they are all on the bus to endless riches.

      Quite so.

      But hasn't the world seen this before?

      Think the Dutch tulip craze in 1634/1637 or the stock market frenzy in the US in 1929.

      In both cases it was firmly believed by hoi polloi that the market value of tulips/stocks would continue to rise and rise (and rise) and that there was real money to be made buying low and selling high.

      Seems that nothing much has changed: it's just human nature.

      But not at its best.

      O.

    2. very angry man

      Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

      if only so you can use a simple term instead of gullible millennial with a gaming habit.

      Cant we mix in covid, nanobots, 5g, and get the microshaft meta, ect to just wipe out the gullible millennial and start over again , without making those same mistakes?

    3. msobkow Silver badge

      Nonsense has been spun as reality since the first Politician ran for election...

  5. Tom7

    The thing is, web3 should be a thing and it should be completely decentralised... it just shouldn't involve cryptocurrency. It should involve cryptography.

    OpenPGP has had almost everything you need for years. Here's a brief outline of how a decentralised social network works:

    You start by installing an app on a device which we'll call The App. When you first start The App, it creates as self-signed OpenPGP identity.

    Next time you see a friend of yours, you convince them to install The App. You use NFC to cryptographically sign each other's identities - in OpenPGP terms, this is a "Positive Certification". On each of your phones, The App notes at which IP address they found each other.

    Once you have a circle of friends created in this way, you might accepting remote friend requests by certifying someone else's identity (and them certifying yours). These work in the same way as NFC certifications, but they are "Casual Certifications" rather than positive ones. You can gauge how likely it is that a friend request really came from the person it claims to come from by seeing how many of your friends have given them positive certifications or casual certifications; their identity can be given a score by The App on this basis.

    The App keeps track of how it contacts your friends (ie their IP addresses). Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed." You use your OpenPGP identity to sign this message so they can tell it's really from you.

    Whenever you post new content, The App sends a signed message to inform all of your friends. The App on their devices can decide whether to download the content immediately from you or wait until a later time or ignore it entirely, based on user preferences, network conditions etc.

    If The App tries to contact a friend and gets either no response or a response not signed with the right key, it starts asking all your other friends in turn, "Do you know where this identity is?" If no-one has a valid location for them, it means that everyone's device has changed IP address simultaneously (or close enough that the address change notifications didn't get through). It's not entirely impossible - say if everyone in your circle turned their phone off overnight or there was a really major internet outage or something. But on the whole, it's pretty unlikely to happen. And it's mitigated in two ways. Firstly, The App on devices on the same subnet uses IP multicast to find each other and check whether they've signed each others' identities. And secondly, friends who are physically next to each other can use NFC to reconnect. If one person falls off the network somehow, it only takes reconnecting with one person to then reconnect with your entire network.

    This is proper social networking. It's not mediated by anyone; you decide who you trust, what you want to see, what you share with whom. Nothing is stored on a server anywhere; the only server involved in the whole damn thing is the one you install the app off of. There is no way for advertisers to advertise on it. There is no way for political parties / conspiracy theorists / antivaxxers / whatever other nutjobs to push their content unless you actually know them. Implementing end-to-end encryption of all the content is trivial, if that's what you want; at any rate, it's all signed. Decided you don't like your identity and want to start fresh? Just uninstall the app and reinstall it. You'll have to reconnect with all your friends with your new identity, but that's what starting fresh is actually like.

    There are three problems:

    * Almost every device is behind a NAT gate these days. This makes direct connections between devices impossible to do with any reliability. Once IP6 is universal and every device has a publicly routable IP6 address, this problem will go away. We are not there yet. I would not be surprised to find that Facebook is actively discouraging ISPs from implementing IP6 to prevent exactly this sort of thing.

    * There is no way to monetise it. Or not that I can think of. You could perhaps sell the app. But someone will just write a compatible client. It will be worse and have crypto backdoors and will inject advertising into the network but it will be cheaper than yours and people will use it. Which leads to the third problem:

    * No-one has done it yet.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      That's worse in every way than what we have now.

      1. Tom7

        In what ways exactly? Not having Facebook scrape all your data for advertising? Not having advertisers insert themselves into your communications with friends? Not having nutjobs promoting content to you? Being able to communicate without people without a corporation trying to make money off it? Only sharing content with friends instead of friends+platform? Having granual levels of vouching for someone's actual identity? Being able to "delete" your identity without pleading with some corporate department?

        I sure there are downsides, but there are some hefty upsides, too.

        1. dazzerrazzer

          Your first paragraph hits the nail firmly on the head

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Tom7 - For your information

          Facebook began exactly like that.

          Now to get down from our high horses, who is going to develop and maintain the App, on what infrastructure will it be published and how much hosting would cost, who can guarantee the app will not be hijacked by some entity with an appetite for financial gain ?

          I think we're spending too much time on our mobile phone without having even a basic understanding of the underlying technologies and their associated costs. GAFAM clouds are an enormous mix of technology and people, all working to make sure apps get into our mobile phones out of thin air, effortlessly and most of all, free. So don't expect them to allow us to play in their garden with us dictating the rules.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed.

      Depending on the rate at which IP addresses change the whole thing falls apart as such messages cross each other in the net.

      You cease to become you if you lose your devicephone and somebody else becomes you if the phone gets stolen.

      1. Tom7

        Yes, if everyone in your "circle" changes their IP address while the IP address change notifications are all in flight, you lose connectivity. Excuse me being skeptical whether this is a realistic situation. If only one person's IP address doesn't change while the notifications are in flight, they'll receive all the notifications and then everyone else will (eventually) ask them where to find everyone else.

        True that a lost/damaged/stolen phone poses problems. At least someone can't social-engineer your phone company into giving them your ID.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          I think a phone is more likely to be lost and picked up or stolen than the phone company being socially engineered unless the victim is being specifically targeted.

          I really don't like the idea of a phone being used as personal ID irrespective of whether it's via mobile number or IP address - there seems to be too much opportunity for stuff to go wrong. Even something simple such as a flat battery at an inopportune moment could stuff up your urgent 2FA driven transaction.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Having said all that Signal delivers a good deal of what Tom suggested although in different ways. Being free with no promotion budget, however, it doesn't get the same publicity as the big tech services.

        2. KSM-AZ
          FAIL

          Ummm, Do you work in IT?

          -- Yes, if everyone in your "circle" changes their IP address while the IP address change

          -- notifications are all in flight, you lose connectivity. Excuse me being skeptical whether

          -- this is a realistic situation.

          'That'll never happen' heheheh Famous Last Words . . .

          1. Tom7

            Re: Ummm, Do you work in IT?

            If you have one friend, it's possible but unlikely. We're talking about both of you changing your IP address at exactly the same time.

            By the time you have five friends, it is vanishingly unlikely.

            Recovery involves either being physically close enough to a friend for NFC to work or being on the same subnet as them.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed." You use your OpenPGP identity to sign this message so they can tell it's really from you.

      Congratulations, you've done a shitty reinvention of DNSSEC.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Web3

    "Web3 refers to the addition of the power of blockchain to the web"

    That seems a waste of an increment on the "web X" moniker.

    Given Google's prevalence as the dominant browser, and their decision to break so many things with Manifest 3, we should hope the real "Web 3.0" in some way takes some (or much) of that power away from Google and gives it back to the community and end-users.

  7. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    Why does reading this article immediately made me think of "Millicent" (DEC's failed plan to replace web advertising with micropayments), or "Brave Rewards"?

    Bringing "the power of blockchain to the web"? Of course, a more sinister version of that might be that every page view is recorded in the website's blockchain, so the entire world can see who read what web page, forever?

    I don't see that Web3 is any more than a marketing gimmick for those selling cryptocurrencies and I want no part of it. Some might say I'm cynical because my meagre investment in cryptocoins has so far failed to make me a millionaire, and to those people I would like to say that I was already cynical to begin with and it can't have made it much worse...

  8. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    Wait a minute, So we had Web 1. Then we had Web 2.0. Shouldnt the next one be Web 3.00?

    1. dazzerrazzer

      No, the fashion for labellising version numbers past years back.

      web3. Just that.

      It included many parts, like above where u have social networks not exploiting users, layers of identity.

      But the overall idea is to stop being exploited to near slavery level by the big media tech companies into doing their work for them and then they getting paid for it.

      It is an evolutionary step in the internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @dazzerrazzer - You mean something like

        a Bolshevik revolution for the Internet ? Cool!

        1. dazzerrazzer

          Re: @dazzerrazzer - You mean something like

          More like the Israelites exodus. Tbh, it will not have a precedent. It will as, www, them mobile was, be unprecedented.

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      No. It'll be Web 3.11 for Workgroups.

      Bit Torrenting a 3Kb text file will require the entire power production output of South America, as a blockchain entry is added on to each packet.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        I was thinking web 3.141592...

        "Pi are not square, Pi are ROUND!"

      2. dazzerrazzer

        You so funny. I laughed at your cleverness. So hip. On the ball. Not.

        Honestly, you and your ilk complain relentlessly about the evils of big media tech but never do anything about it.

        And when those more imaginative than you suggest a possible better future you try to pull them down to your base level.

        Web3 is a little misleading as a label as it suggests just web2.0 updated

        It isn't just that, or even just crypto.

        It isn't even really web. It serves many purposes and fits the needs of the many and the few.

        One of the aims is to destroy this ad based monster that is called the internet. To fight back against the bottom feeding w*****rs from marketing is a good enough starting point for many.

        The skill is to see through the marketing b******s to the true value the technology is offering and try to get rid of those waste of space marketing ars*holes who are only doing that job cause nobody with a soul would.

        So far, there have been a select few excellent post on this subject which have far outshined the naysayers. Cheers, reg for the story. At least thee neanderthals know a little now.

        Downvotes. Bring it. I luvs it.

        1. msobkow Silver badge

          Arrrrgh, Matey, this one have the gift for big and baffling words that in the end mean little to nothing of substance, the same as all the "Web 3" hype.

          There is no "big idea", just a lot of potential technologies with varying degrees of baggage and handicap that could have been built even in the era of Web 1, as they do NOT rely on dynamic browser/JavaScript capabilities at their core at all!

          There is absolutely no benefit to imposing the expense of blockchain calculation on internet services in general. Period.

          I stand firm in that belief, and do not consider it up for debate. Blockchain is an interesting theoretical experiment that has failed abysmally to scale to the degree necessary for global adoption for any purpose.

    3. Len
      Coat

      It is Web 3.00 but the second 0 is silent.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Long Runs the Fox from the Hounds of Hell, but with Nowhere Safe and Secure to Hide ....

    ....... is Capture Guaranteed Either a Bloodbath and/or a Bloodletting

    Pyramid schemes do work, for a while, as long as people keep buying into the scheme – pouring new money in, inflating the fund, and so tempting new investors.

    Amen to that scam truth ..... they work for a while, and some work exceedingly well too, but eventually inevitably they always fail and spectacularly explode and implode to wipe out trapped collateral and suckered investors alike.

    And what other than a pyramid scheme and global scam does one see whenever one ponders on the present plight of the Federal Reserve and the fiat US dollar ....... which worked for a while while foreign folk were buying up Gilts marketed in Treasury auctions, but everything quickly collapses and turns to just so much dust whenever empowering interest and foreign capital wanes and disappears and one is then forced to buy one's own poisoned chalice product to try to remain a leading player.

    And some here think Bitcoin is a fad and bad and totally rad. They be completely blinded and blindsided by that paper dollar mote in their eye, methinks.

    Uncle Sam and the SWIFT Fractional Reserve Banking System say .... Been there, done that, got the crappy T shirt, now desperately trying to avoid national bankruptcy and violent global payback ‽ .

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

      https://youtu.be/6aZzVnOmGtY

      should have been posted @untangledbluetooth , but better not

      Symph #5 vs Galvanise

      /DJs From Mars Bootleg

      55 73

      ps: https://youtu.be/F7XGIKUY7Fg , but you know

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

        :-) ..... the tales told in those musical trailers, AC? ...... Don’t mess with Global Operating Devices for there be unintentional consequences freely available to be avoided or exercised?

        Yeah ..... I agree.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

          EEEXXXactly, Doc

          Thank you for your patience which others could turn Hell for others and, what's much much worse, for themselves, if they had been even a tad more nervous/less Seen Everything... for one Being Easy and Comfortable with This of That... ...*generously* Easy and Comfortable, inspite of Doubts Undoubtefly crawling In... SemaFlow Is Tuned Absolutely Correct, that is

          https://youtu.be/ajVoeX4eqIQ

          U2 - Invisible

          55 73

  10. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Web 1" never existed

    "Web 1" was just the world wide web. The first 'official variant' was Web 2.0.

    But I'm convinced that the primary motivation for these labels is the promotion of churn - to force users to keep upgrading so they can access the 'new stuff'. I'm constantly finding online services that suddenly completely or partially cease to work except in the latest browser version. In most cases, analysis shows that the changes are not necessary for delivery of the service - they're just made to 'keep up with the leading edge'.

    The fundamental principle of client agnosticism the Tim Berners Lee defined on day one has been entirely abandoned.

  11. aregross

    Why has nobody said the word...

    Vaporware. It's what it seems like to me, though I do like the Pyramid-Scheme analogy.

  12. msobkow Silver badge

    Sounds like "crypto-desperately-in-search-of-a-purpose" to me. I cannot fathom one single reason why I'd want to see the internet subjected to such a heavy, bloated disaster of energy waste.

    1. bitdivine

      Energy waste - proof of work is so last gen.

  13. bitdivine

    Ignore the price

    I work on a blockchain. I frankly personally don't give much of a toss about the price. There are far too many people with a get rich quick mentality in the space and they make a lot of noise. It's froth. Ignore. The value will come when it produces real outcomes. The tech is extremely interesting and sure, the UK might have a stable regulatory system but plenty of countries don't. I personally worked in the foreign office and to me one of the most interesting battles of the moment is between the democratic leaning forces in Ukraine and the oligarchic ones that will do pretty much anything to retain their power. In particular, if Ukraine succeeds as a democracy, Russia is likely to follow. If Ukraine folds, people on all the other ex Soviet states will point to Ukraine and say: Democracy is not worth it. Public records that cannot be fudged are a valuable tool in combating corruption, of which oligarchy is a particularly nasty type. It's not a silver bullet but it's jolly useful! But it needs slow, hard work, not shills and cheap shots.

    I know there are other applications of a similar nature, e.g. tracking fishing and forest usage but I'm not involved in them. There are also really interesting use cases around user-owned user data platforms. E.g. a Facebook clone where you get a vote on how data gets used. A Google drive where the contents of the drive are not mined for data about you. And so on. These things are much lower profile than the latest price bubble but if you actually do your research and look for the real use cases the projects are there. I'd love to see a good voting app built on blockchain. Maybe not interesting in relatively stable Britain but a big deal in places where ballot boxes are full before voters arrive. Or maybe you would like a more direct democracy, instead of delegating decisions to some bloke in Westminster?

    I understand that high performance Blockchain can do wonders for things like finance. Great. And if it needs the same tech that I need, I will help to build it. But that's not my game.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the price of a right dog and bum steers is increasingly costly/prohibitively expensive

      How very odd, bitdivine, that you would say Britain is relatively stable rather than like a Ukraine of wannabe oligarchs.

      Who/What has been feeding you that intel whenever there is so much unavailable scant evidence at source?

    2. dazzerrazzer

      Re: Ignore the price

      Nice.

  14. josvaz

    Whether you want to recognize it or not, centralization today is a problem, both in the Internet...

    For example: https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/aws-us-east-1-outage-brings-down-services-around-the-world/

    And that happens now every other Wednesday

    And on the monetary system...

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M1SL

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WM2NS

    The current international monetary system sits on a Single Point of Failure, the Fed. As people versed in technology, you should understand a SPOF is quite a bad thing, and that the monetary system is quite a critical one, so you should know the grave danger we are all in.

    All crises are now centralized, worldwide and systemic, and they happen more often each time, and with worse starting positions. For instance, gov debts in 2008 were relatively low, specially compared to today, many over 100% of GDP. And that avoids certain maneuvers. Fiat money printing cannot be infinite or forever.

    https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/

    So maybe there is a lot of crap and hype in Web3, not unlike what was happening during the dotcom bubble, BTW. Maybe no meaningful decentralization will be achieved, and most of the projects and cryptos will be temporary fads or scams.

    But we should hope that there are still some successes behind all that noise, as there also were after the dotcom bubble (Amazon, Google, etc).

    We need a way to reverse or somewhat compensate excess in centralization in the Internet and in our money. For instance, have you heard of CBDCs? maybe you think that is a good idea...

    Today the stakes are much, much higher and in early 2000s. This is not just about a bit of better or worse technology going forward, it is about avoiding a global collapse.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      AWEsome is as AWEsome does. What else do you have that compares and competes?

      Today the stakes are much, much higher and in early 2000s. This is not just about a bit of better or worse technology going forward, it is about avoiding a global collapse. .... josvaz

      That is exactly as may currently be, josvaz, with very near future global collapse only being avoided and averted and diverted with the prime premium help of Novel Ennobling Technologies and Artilectual Methodologies which many would not unreasonably presume and view as being akin to some sort of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated IT and Advanced IntelAIgently Designed Magic given the remote virtual nature of its practically real product deliveries supply chains.

      It should also be well noted, for it be equally as easily done, can such also simply cause and ably assist in catastrophic near future global collapses ..... which one surely has to admit is a Pretty AWEsome Ability/Facility/Utility/Security/Application of Otherworldly Proprietary Intellectual Property.

      Be careful not to test out its Dark Side Use though if one doesn't Own and Control Command of ITs AWEsome Reins and Reigns and Rains. Recovery from mistakes made in abuse and misuse there is not possible.

      And you might like to accept that all of the above freely shared content is a major part of what Web3 is all about providing .....and mentoring ....... and monitoring.

  15. streaky
    Terminator

    Yikes

    Rumour has it you couldn't edit web 1 and you certainly couldn't own bits of it (this was actually said, in testimony to congress, by a supposed expert, I shit you not), or something (presumably the infra was all owned by aliens and the lizard people and all the content was written by AI, or something).

    I hate people and don't want to live on this planet any more - it's these sorts of morons who don't know what they're actually doing who are advising governments on a pandemic that should have been over last Northern Hemisphere summer but for the dragging it out with explicit intent of feeding cash into the mouths of the likes of Pfizer.

    Sigh.

  16. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Blockchain seems, to my (admittedly inexperienced) mind, to be a solution looking for a problem.

    Virtual currencies can, in theory, be a good thing, but there needs to be some sort of regulation. At the moment, it seems as though any Tom, Dick or Harry can set up a Virtual Currency, probably named after a meme, take a fair bit of money, then sell all of their own holdings, thus crashing the market, and vanishing with potentially a lot of real currency. I realise regulation goes against the nature of virtual currency, but there are enough con artists in the world that I think it needs to be regulated.

    The other problem I have with Virtual Currency is that the "mining" process uses a hell of a lot of electrical power. You can mitigate the environmental impact by using renewable energy, but it would be better to reduce the usage. There is also the environmental impact of building thousands of mining computers, disposing of them and building thousands more. Those processes can be massively damaging to the environment,

    Finally, NFTs. In theory, a good idea. But it seems open to scams. Especially as there no protection stopping people uploading copies of the NFT everywhere, unless the NFT itself includes some sort of copy protection. At least with physical objects, you have to buy them to keep them.

  17. SundogUK Silver badge

    The thing about Web1 and Web2 is that we defined what they were AFTER they had happened. All this defining what Web3 will be before it happens is just pissing in the wind and setting yourself up to look like a pillock.

  18. Deanamore

    42

    If ever a technology could be summed up as an answer in search of a question it's crypto. All the advantages it purports to have can already be done or don't offer enough of an advantage to change from existing systems. I used to work for a blockchain insurance startup and the company rode that crypto hype train for two years before the investors finally realised that having insurance backed by blockchain offered no advantages over regular insurance and they were competing with behemoths like Lloyds. Crypto has a niche role as internet cash (assuming you remember to wash those coins and don't leave a trail) but that's about it. Eventually the world will catch on and, when that happens, the only way crypto will survive if it becomes so entrenched that people view it as an asset rather than a currency - which is already how people treat it for the most part.

  19. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    I thought the pyramid scheme was the best analogy in the article.

    People thing virtual currencies are "those things you buy to make money"

    No one seems want to actually use them as money.

  20. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    3?

    web 3.0 ?

    never heard of it .

    I've only just worked out what the web 2.0 buzzword was all about thanks to a recent Tom Scott video on APIs

    ..and it wasnt the same as the definition given in this article

  21. JimmyPage
    FAIL

    Web 1.0 -> Web 2.0 was NOT a technical development

    it was social. The idea of non-tech people using the web to communicate with each other.

    If there is a Web 3.0 step change it would be IoT in my opinion. But notice I said "if" ....

  22. dazzerrazzer

    This,

    https://youtu.be/l44z35vabvA

    from 3 years ago will show it isn't marketing bollocks. And it is way out of date but bang on for then.

    We have been at this for quite a while now.

    Don't let the marketing a-holes drag it down to their cease pit level.

  23. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    It always strikes me as weird when people use "trust" and "blockchain" in the same sentence. As if anyone with sense would put any trust in an opaque technology used almost exclusively by criminals.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It always strikes me as weird when people use "trust" and "blockchain" in the same sentence.

    You could say the same of "safe" and "rocketry".

  25. IGnatius T Foobar !

    decentralization and federation?

    "decentralization" and "federation" will only happen once people start ACTUALLY USING sites that decentralize and federate, instead of trusting facebook and twitter with their eyeballs. We understood decentralization and federation decades ago, when most Internet discourse was on UseNet.

  26. Omnipresent

    Highly entertaining to say the least.

    Not the article.... The new internet of things.

    Lets sum it up. There are criminal entities that harvested the power of the internet to get filthy stinking rich off ponzi schemes that have become so big they have gained legitimacy (including extremists and Steve Bannon). This is because they don't involve a certain class or group, but the entire worlds population (that's a massive ponzi). The old schoolers recognize it and are rebelling, but the ones who got rich already have the power to make the rules now because... the old schoolers are old now, and well, the criminals got rich.

    kill your interwebz if you want peace and normalcy again people. It's like watching skeksis eat themselves alive. You don't have to be emperor. You can just be normal humans you know? You might find you're much happier.

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Re: Highly entertaining to say the least.

      Your calls for balanced living make me uncomfortable, and I think your adherence to your humanity shows us all who the real monster is.

      (For serious, though, you nailed it. Skeksis was just the perfect rancid icing on the putrid cake.)

  27. kschrock

    Bravo

    Speaking about value... Whatever the value of the Reg is, 90% of it comes from the user comments on articles like this.

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