I’m “fighting” back

I’m really not particularly convinced that Twitter is at all a sensible thing. However, today thanks to T’w’r, I discovered that it is “the day we fight back“, and (despite feeling that this is armchair activism at it’s most lazy) I have added the banner to my site. I dare say no one will see it, nor will anyone read this, but at least I know that I am rather annoyed that the lovely internet is becoming a nasty panopticon.

I don’t think this banner-adding could be called “fighting”, but as soon as it’s announced I will very gladly join the bicycle-based task-force that shall tour the suburbs installing wireless meshnet nodes and helping people become responsible for their own electronic communication. That’ll be fighting.

Facebook is NOT the web

Facebook wants to get people into their clutches, and obscure the fact that there is a world-wide web of stuff out there. They will probably succeed, too; more’s the pity. Still, I’ll continue to avoid them, just in case they do require my participation to ensure full world-domination.

Facebook and Google spread ‘their’ net across the mobile world, by John Naughton in The Observer, Sunday 24 March 2013:

It’s a smart strategy, and it will have one predictable outcome, namely, that many new users of the internet from poor countries will think that Facebook (or Google) is the Internet. This would be a particularly pernicious outcome for those who find themselves inside Facebook’s walled garden, because it’s much more comprehensively fenced than anything yet constructed by Google.

Why does this matter? Well, in a way, it comes back to the guys who won the Queen Elizabeth prize. The network that Cerf and Kahn built was deliberately designed as an open, permissive system. Anyone could use it, and if you had an idea that could be realised in software, then the net would do it for you, with no questions asked. Tim Berners-Lee had such an idea – the web – and the internet enabled it to happen. And Berners-Lee made the web open in the same spirit, so Mark Zuckerberg was able to build Facebook on those open foundations.

But Zuckerberg has no intention of allowing anyone to use Facebook as the foundation for building anything that he doesn’t control. He’s kicking away the ladder up which he climbed, in other words.

When Apache invents filename extensions and /index = /index.php

I have now had this problem about every year for the last three or four years, and every time have completely forgotten how I resolved it the previous time. It’s especially annoying, because usually involves searching for such common terms as index.php, apache, directory, etc. which result in almost entirely useless information.

So, here, for my own future reference, is how to stop a stupid Apache from serving /index as /index.php (at, of course, any depth of the path):

Options -MultiViews

So easy. The documentation explains it all.

I’ve just added it to the WebDB .htaccess.

(I have since discovered that this is, of course, already covered on StackOverflow.)

Marco Arment on why you should own your online identity

Own your identity by Marco Arment:

If you care about your online presence, you must own it. I do, and that’s why my email address has always been at my own domain, not the domain of any employer or webmail service.

Sadly, most people don’t care about giving control of their online identity to current or future advertising companies.

But there will always be the open web for the geeks, the misfits, the eccentrics, the control freaks, and any other term we can think of to proudly express our healthy skepticism of giving up too much control over what really should be ours.

I am reminded of that old thing: “if you do not pay for a service on the web then you are not a customer, but rather your content is a product that is sold to advertisers”.