Category Archives: Internet

The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 2

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In Part 1 of this article, we explored how the adult entertainment industry has evolved since the birth of the Internet. We saw that control of the business has shifted from male-run ‘production houses’ to female entertainers, working autonomously, often from home, with very low personal overheads.

Here in Part 2, we’re going to focus on some specific good, bad and ugly consequences of the new situation.

THE GOOD

BETTER BEHAVIOUR AMONG HIRERS

The de-centralisation of adult entertainment has broken down a lot of the malign power within the industry’s hire market. Continue reading The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 2

The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 1

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The future is female… That’s true in many areas of commerce, but the adult entertainment industry’s transfer of power from men to women has been truly dramatic.

Over the past twenty years, and particularly over the past decade, the business has evolved away from its old structure in which, typically, men hired, fired and made the decisions. The industry has progressively de-centralised, with many of the old centralised service/content vendors – basically ‘middlemen’ – not only losing power, but often either going bust, or refocusing on other markets.

Men still preside over much of the infrastucture, but it’s no longer so much an infrastructure that controls how women behave. Today, most women in adult services work independently and autonomously. So is this all good, or are there some drawbacks? And before we even get to that, how did such a major change come about? Continue reading The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 1

Is Flickr Guilty of ‘Freemium Extortion’?

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The clock is ticking for non-subscribing users of Flickr…

If you hit the Flickr Help Forum, you’ll currently find a thread of well over 8,000 posts relating to what some are describing as a blackmail scheme. Many of the comments do defend Flickr, although the defensive comments mainly come from a handful of supporters who post intensively. Whether that passes as credible support is open to debate, but there’s no doubt that a drastic policy change, announced by Flickr at the beginning of last November, has upset a lot of people. Have we really witnessed an extortion plot?…

WHAT HAPPENED AT FLICKR?

In May 2013, the then Flickr owners Yahoo scrapped a 300MB per month image upload limit for users with free accounts, and set an astronomical new maximum upload capacity of 1TB. Users with free accounts were told, at this point, that the new storage capacity was free to the photographer, and funded by the advertiser. No buts, no untils; that’s what they were told.

In spring 2018, SmugMug bought Flickr, expressing an intention to continue running the platform without significant change.

In November 2018, SmugMug U-turned on their previous assertion, warning that from January 2019, free Flickr accounts would have their maximum capacity limited to 1,000 photos in total, and threatening to delete all excess images after 5th February 2019.

In summary, users with free Flickr accounts were encouraged to upload a vast quantity of images on the basis that they would not have to pay, and then, after many had made major commitments to Flickr, they were told their work would be deleted if they did not pay. There isn’t even a way to put a positive spin on it. Continue reading Is Flickr Guilty of ‘Freemium Extortion’?

“Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

Private Search Engines

The “privacy” model has become a default business strategy for new search engines. Why? Because it sells. Given the typically inferior quality of their results, and their often uninspiring user-experience, “private search engines” routinely over-achieve in terms of growth. So unless they have a revolutionary new concept, anyone entering today’s search market is almost compelled to trade on privacy.

They’re all at it. Barely a week goes by without a new “private search” brand coming up in the #privacy tags on Twitter. Some are just a front for affliate marketers to peddle overpriced rubbish. Others, such as Search Encrypt – taken seriously by a lot of people – are listed as malware. Some, despite billing themselves as privacy protectors on Twitter, have no SSL and literally no privacy policy whatsoever. “Private search” has become a joke. It’s that same old bunch of shady chancers using the gimmick of the moment in the hope of becoming billionaires. But what about the few brands that manage to attract continuous applause? Have we not noticed that they’re in bed with the enemy?… Continue reading “Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

The Truth About “Link Tax” and “Censorship Machines”

Link Tax My Arse

We’re here again. The censorship card is at the top of the deck, as the internet’s freedom to steal content faces one of its stiffest challenges yet. Just from the collection of manipulative voices spouting highly-charged phrases like “link tax” and “censorship machines”, we know there’s a copyright-related bill in motion. That bill, is the revised European Union Copyright Directive, and the reaction it’s whipped up is almost surreal in its level of distortion.

Whilst I’m discussing the new Directive in this post, I really want to send out a general counter-protest against the cyber giants’ relentless playing of a censorship card, every time the internet’s freedom to steal comes under threat. It happened with SOPA, it happened with Net Neutrality. And it’ll keep happening as long as we’re stupid enough to accept that policing Silicon Valley’s behaviour somehow equates to censorship. Continue reading The Truth About “Link Tax” and “Censorship Machines”

How To Opt Out Of WordPress.com’s Internal Analytics Tracking

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Don’t you just love the way GDPR has forced the data mining giants of cyberspace to begrudgingly provide us with more detailed privacy disclosures and a little “Get Lost Peeping Tom!” button? A handy means for us to reclaim at least some of our privacy and limit the amount of our personal data the companies can collect or preseve?

Of course, most businesses are only telling us as much as the law says they have to tell us, and plenty of information about newer tracking technologies is flying under the radar. But GDPR’s tighter data regulation is a step in the right direction, and the general fuss it’s created has prompted a lot of us to pay more attention to web tracking. We’re better understanding our rights as site users and visitors, as well as our responsibilities as site administrators. Continue reading How To Opt Out Of WordPress.com’s Internal Analytics Tracking

Online Intolerables: Men Trying To Look Cute

Men Trying To Look Cute

Have you ever wondered how many of the men who use a smile emoticon at the end of an electronic message were actually smiling when they typed it? If your guess falls somewhere below three percent, join the club.

There are a numerous things I find profoundly annoying on the social web. But the worst of the very worst of them, I would suggest, is men trying to look cute. Not inadvertently just being cute. I’m talking about men who deliberately try to look cute, in a bid to manipulate or self-serve. Before anyone accuses me of sexism, I know that women try to look cute on the Internet too, and I’m not saying I find that particularly attractive. Indeed, women who sing in a deliberately cute, babyish, contrived voice on Soundcloud make me want to cut the plug off my speakers. But there’s something about men trying to be cute that’s just… worse. Continue reading Online Intolerables: Men Trying To Look Cute