What the hell is Web3 anyway?
"Web 3.0" is a trendy buzzword with a vague definition. Everyone agrees it has to do with a blockchain-based internet evolution, but what is it?
Yet, the meaning and prospects for Web3 have become hot topics in crypto communities. Big corporations use the term to gain a foothold in the space while avoiding the negative connotations of “crypto.”
But it can't be evaluated without a definition.
Among those criticizing Web3's vagueness is Cobie:
“Despite the dominie's deluge of undistinguished think pieces, nobody really agrees on what Web3 is. Web3 is a scam, the future, tokenizing the world, VC exit liquidity, or just another name for crypto, depending on your tribe.
“Even the crypto community is split on whether Bitcoin is Web3,” he adds.
The phrase was coined by an early crypto thinker, and the community has had years to figure out what it means. Many ideologies and commercial realities have driven reverse engineering.
Web3 is becoming clearer as a concept. It contains ideas. It was probably coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. His definition of Web3 included “trustless transactions” as part of its tech stack. Wood founded the Web3 Foundation and the Polkadot network, a Web3 alternative future.
The 2013 Ethereum white paper had previously allowed devotees to imagine a DAO, for example.
Web3 now has concepts like decentralized autonomous organizations, sovereign digital identity, censorship-free data storage, and data divided by multiple servers. They intertwine discussions about the “Web3” movement and its viability.
These ideas are linked by Cobie's initial Web3 definition. A key component of Web3 should be “ownership of value” for one's own content and data.
Noting that “late-stage capitalism greedcorps that make you buy a fractionalized micropayment NFT on Cardano to operate your electric toothbrush” may build the new web, he notes that “crypto founders are too rich to care anymore.”
Many critics of Web3 claim it isn't practical or achievable. Web3 critics like Moxie Marlinspike (creator of sslstrip and Signal/TextSecure) can never see people running their own servers. Early in January, he argued that protocols are more difficult to create than platforms.
While this is true, some projects, like the file storage protocol IPFS, allow users to choose which jurisdictions their data is shared between.
But full decentralization is a difficult problem. Suhaza, replying to Moxie, said:
”People don't want to run servers... Companies are now offering API access to an Ethereum node as a service... Almost all DApps interact with the blockchain using Infura or Alchemy. In fact, when a DApp uses a wallet like MetaMask to interact with the blockchain, MetaMask is just calling Infura!
So, here are the questions: Web3: Is it a go? Is it truly decentralized?
Web3 history is shaped by Web2 failure.
This is the story of how the Internet was turned upside down...
Then came the vision. Everyone can create content for free. Decentralized open-source believers like Tim Berners-Lee popularized it.
Real-world data trade-offs for content creation and pricing.
A giant Wikipedia page married to a giant Craig's List. No ads, no logins, and a private web carve-up. For free usage, you give up your privacy and data to the algorithmic targeted advertising of Web 2.
Our data is centralized and savaged by giant corporations. Data localization rules and geopolitical walls like China's Great Firewall further fragment the internet.
The decentralized Web3 reflects Berners-original Lee's vision: "No permission is required from a central authority to post anything... there is no central controlling node and thus no single point of failure." Now he runs Solid, a Web3 data storage startup.
So Web3 starts with decentralized servers and data privacy.
Web3 begins with decentralized storage.
Data decentralization is a key feature of the Web3 tech stack. Web2 has closed databases. Large corporations like Facebook, Google, and others go to great lengths to collect, control, and monetize data. We want to change it.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Huawei, according to Gartner, currently control 80% of the global cloud infrastructure market. Web3 wants to change that.
Decentralization enlarges power structures by giving participants a stake in the network. Users own data on open encrypted networks in Web3. This area has many projects.
Apps like Filecoin and IPFS have led the way. Data is replicated across multiple nodes in Web3 storage providers like Filecoin.
But the new tech stack and ideology raise many questions.
Giving users control over their data
According to Ryan Kris, COO of Verida, his “Web3 vision” is “empowering people to control their own data.”
Verida targets SDKs that address issues in the Web3 stack: identity, messaging, personal storage, and data interoperability.
A big app suite? “Yes, but it's a frontier technology,” he says. They are currently building a credentialing system for decentralized health in Bermuda.
By empowering individuals, how will Web3 create a fairer internet? Kris, who has worked in telecoms, finance, cyber security, and blockchain consulting for decades, admits it is difficult:
“The viability of Web3 raises some good business questions,” he adds. “How can users regain control over centralized personal data? How are startups motivated to build products and tools that support this transition? How are existing Web2 companies encouraged to pivot to a Web3 business model to compete with market leaders?
Kris adds that new technologies have regulatory and practical issues:
"On storage, IPFS is great for redundantly sharing public data, but not designed for securing private personal data. It is not controlled by the users. When data storage in a specific country is not guaranteed, regulatory issues arise."
Each project has varying degrees of decentralization. The diehards say DApps that use centralized storage are no longer “Web3” companies. But fully decentralized technology is hard to build.
Some argue that we're actually building Web2.5 businesses, which are crypto-native but not fully decentralized. This is vital. For example, the NFT may be on a blockchain, but it is linked to centralized data repositories like OpenSea. A server failure could result in data loss.
However, according to Apollo Capital crypto analyst David Angliss, OpenSea is “not exactly community-led”. Also in 2021, much to the chagrin of crypto enthusiasts, OpenSea tried and failed to list on the Nasdaq.
This is where Web2.5 is defined.
“Web3 isn't a crypto segment. “Anything that uses a blockchain for censorship resistance is Web3,” Angliss tells us.
“Web3 gives users control over their data and identity. This is not possible in Web2.”
“Web2 is like feudalism, with walled-off ecosystems ruled by a few. For example, an honest user owned the Instagram account “Meta,” which Facebook rebranded and then had to make up a reason to suspend. Not anymore with Web3. If I buy ‘Ethereum.ens,' Ethereum cannot take it away from me.”
Angliss uses OpenSea as a Web2.5 business example. Too decentralized, i.e. censorship resistant, can be unprofitable for a large company like OpenSea. For example, OpenSea “enables NFT trading”. But it also stopped the sale of stolen Bored Apes.”
Web3 (or Web2.5, depending on the context) has been described as a new way to privatize internet.
“Being in the crypto ecosystem doesn't make it Web3,” Angliss says. The biggest risk is centralized closed ecosystems rather than a growing Web3.
LooksRare and OpenDAO are two community-led platforms that are more decentralized than OpenSea. LooksRare has even been “vampire attacking” OpenSea, indicating a Web3 competitor to the Web2.5 NFT king could find favor.
The addition of a token gives these new NFT platforms more options for building customer loyalty. For example, OpenSea charges a fee that goes nowhere. Stakeholders of LOOKS tokens earn 100% of the trading fees charged by LooksRare on every basic sale.
Maybe Web3's time has come.
So whose data is it?
Continuing criticisms of Web3 platforms' decentralization may indicate we're too early. Users want to own and store their in-game assets and NFTs on decentralized platforms like the Metaverse and play-to-earn games. Start-ups like Arweave, Sia, and Aleph.im propose an alternative.
To be truly decentralized, Web3 requires new off-chain models that sidestep cloud computing and Web2.5.
“Arweave and Sia emerged as formidable competitors this year,” says the Messari Report. They seek to reduce the risk of an NFT being lost due to a data breach on a centralized server.
Aleph.im, another Web3 cloud competitor, seeks to replace cloud computing with a service network. It is a decentralized computing network that supports multiple blockchains by retrieving and encrypting data.
“The Aleph.im network provides a truly decentralized alternative where it is most needed: storage and computing,” says Johnathan Schemoul, founder of Aleph.im. For reasons of consensus and security, blockchains are not designed for large storage or high-performance computing.
As a result, large data sets are frequently stored off-chain, increasing the risk for centralized databases like OpenSea
Aleph.im enables users to own digital assets using both blockchains and off-chain decentralized cloud technologies.
"We need to go beyond layer 0 and 1 to build a robust decentralized web. The Aleph.im ecosystem is proving that Web3 can be decentralized, and we intend to keep going.”
Aleph.im raised $10 million in mid-January 2022, and Ubisoft uses its network for NFT storage. This is the first time a big-budget gaming studio has given users this much control.
It also suggests Web3 could work as a B2B model, even if consumers aren't concerned about “decentralization.” Starting with gaming is common.
Can Tokenomics help Web3 adoption?
Web3 consumer adoption is another story. The average user may not be interested in all this decentralization talk. Still, how much do people value privacy over convenience? Can tokenomics solve the privacy vs. convenience dilemma?
Holon Global Investments' Jonathan Hooker tells us that human internet behavior will change. “Do you own Bitcoin?” he asks in his Web3 explanation. How does it feel to own and control your own sovereign wealth? Then:
“What if you could own and control your data like Bitcoin?”
“The business model must find what that person values,” he says. Putting their own health records on centralized systems they don't control?
“How vital are those medical records to that person at a critical time anywhere in the world? Filecoin and IPFS can help.”
Web3 adoption depends on NFT storage competition. A free off-chain storage of NFT metadata and assets was launched by Filecoin in April 2021.
Denationalization and blockchain technology have significant implications for data ownership and compensation for lending, staking, and using data.
Tokenomics can change human behavior, but many people simply sign into Web2 apps using a Facebook API without hesitation. Our data is already owned by Google, Baidu, Tencent, and Facebook (and its parent company Meta). Is it too late to recover?
Maybe. “Data is like fruit, it starts out fresh but ages,” he says. "Big Tech's data on us will expire."
Web3 founder Kris agrees with Hooker that “value for data is the issue, not privacy.” People accept losing their data privacy, so tokenize it. People readily give up data, so why not pay for it?
"Personalized data offering is valuable in personalization. “I will sell my social media data but not my health data.”
Purists and mass consumer adoption struggle with key management.
Others question data tokenomics' optimism. While acknowledging its potential, Box founder Aaron Levie questioned the viability of Web3 models in a Tweet thread:
“Why? Because data almost always works in an app. A product and APIs that moved quickly to build value and trust over time.”
Levie contends that tokenomics may complicate matters. In addition to community governance and tokenomics, Web3 ideals likely add a new negotiation vector.
“These are hard problems about human coordination, not software or blockchains,”. Using a Facebook API is simple. The business model and user interface are crucial.
For example, the crypto faithful have a common misconception about logging into Web3. It goes like this: Web 1 had usernames and passwords. Web 2 uses Google, Facebook, or Twitter APIs, while Web 3 uses your wallet. Pay with Ethereum on MetaMask, for example.
But Levie is correct. Blockchain key management is stressed in this meme. Even seasoned crypto enthusiasts have heart attacks, let alone newbies.
Web3 requires a better user experience, according to Kris, the company's founder. “How does a user recover keys?”
And at this point, no solution is likely to be completely decentralized. So Web3 key management can be improved. ”The moment someone loses control of their keys, Web3 ceases to exist.”
That leaves a major issue for Web3 purists. Put this one in the too-hard basket.
Is 2022 the Year of Web3?
Web3 must first solve a number of issues before it can be mainstreamed. It must be better and cheaper than Web2.5, or have other significant advantages.
Web3 aims for scalability without sacrificing decentralization protocols. But decentralization is difficult and centralized services are more convenient.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin himself stated recently"
This is why (centralized) Binance to Binance transactions trump Ethereum payments in some places because they don't have to be verified 12 times."
“I do think a lot of people care about decentralization, but they're not going to take decentralization if decentralization costs $8 per transaction,” he continued.
“Blockchains need to be affordable for people to use them in mainstream applications... Not for 2014 whales, but for today's users."
For now, scalability, tokenomics, mainstream adoption, and decentralization believers seem to be holding Web3 hostage.
Much like crypto's past.
But stay tuned.
More on Web3 & Crypto
1 year ago
Welcome to Integrity's Web3 community!
11 months ago
195 countries want Terra Luna founder Do Kwon
Interpol has issued a red alert on Terraform Labs' CEO, South Korean prosecutors said.
After the May crash of Terra Luna revealed tax evasion issues, South Korean officials filed an arrest warrant for Do Kwon, but he is missing.
Do Kwon is now a fugitive in 195 countries after Seoul prosecutors placed him to Interpol's red list. Do Kwon hasn't commented since then. The red list allows any country's local authorities to apprehend Do Kwon.
Do Dwon and Terraform Labs were believed to have moved to Singapore days before the $40 billion wipeout, but Singapore authorities said he fled the country on September 17. Do Kwon tweeted that he wasn't on the run and cited privacy concerns.
Do Kwon was not on the red list at the time and said he wasn't "running," only to reply to his own tweet saying he hasn't jogged in a while and needed to trim calories.
Whether or not it makes sense to read too much into this, the reality is that Do Kwon is now on Interpol red list, despite the firmly asserts on twitter that he does absolutely nothing to hide.
South Korean authorities are investigating alleged withdrawals of over $60 million U.S. and seeking to freeze these assets. Korean authorities believe a new wallet exchanged over 3000 BTC through OKX and Kucoin.
Do Kwon and the Luna Foundation Guard (of whom Do Kwon is a key member of) have declined all charges and dubbed this disinformation.
Singapore's Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) manages the Terra Ecosystem.
The Legal Situation
Multiple governments are searching for Do Kwon and five other Terraform Labs employees for financial markets legislation crimes.
South Korean authorities arrested a man suspected of tax fraud and Ponzi scheme.
The U.S. SEC is also examining Terraform Labs on how UST was advertised as a stablecoin. No legal precedent exists, so it's unclear what's illegal.
The future of Terraform Labs, Terra, and Terra 2 is unknown, and despite what Twitter shills say about LUNC, the company remains in limbo awaiting a decision that will determine its fate. This project isn't a wise investment.
1 year ago
Why Is Blockchain So Popular?
What is Bitcoin?
The blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that helps businesses record transactions and track assets. The blockchain can track tangible assets like cars, houses, and land. Tangible assets like intellectual property can also be tracked on the blockchain.
Imagine a blockchain as a distributed database split among computer nodes. A blockchain stores data in blocks. When a block is full, it is closed and linked to the next. As a result, all subsequent information is compiled into a new block that will be added to the chain once it is filled.
The blockchain is designed so that adding a transaction requires consensus. That means a majority of network nodes must approve a transaction. No single authority can control transactions on the blockchain. The network nodes use cryptographic keys and passwords to validate each other's transactions.
The blockchain was not as popular in 1991 when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta worked on it. The blocks were designed to prevent tampering with document timestamps. Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta improved their work in 1992 by using Merkle trees to increase efficiency and collect more documents on a single block.
In 2004, he developed Reusable Proof of Work. This system allows users to verify token transfers in real time. Satoshi Nakamoto invented distributed blockchains in 2008. He improved the blockchain design so that new blocks could be added to the chain without being signed by trusted parties.
Satoshi Nakomoto mined the first Bitcoin block in 2009, earning 50 Bitcoins. Then, in 2013, Vitalik Buterin stated that Bitcoin needed a scripting language for building decentralized applications. He then created Ethereum, a new blockchain-based platform for decentralized apps. Since the Ethereum launch in 2015, different blockchain platforms have been launched: from Hyperledger by Linux Foundation, EOS.IO by block.one, IOTA, NEO and Monero dash blockchain. The block chain industry is still growing, and so are the businesses built on them.
The Blockchain is made up of many parts:
1. Node: The node is split into two parts: full and partial. The full node has the authority to validate, accept, or reject any transaction. Partial nodes or lightweight nodes only keep the transaction's hash value. It doesn't keep a full copy of the blockchain, so it has limited storage and processing power.
2. Ledger: A public database of information. A ledger can be public, decentralized, or distributed. Anyone on the blockchain can access the public ledger and add data to it. It allows each node to participate in every transaction. The distributed ledger copies the database to all nodes. A group of nodes can verify transactions or add data blocks to the blockchain.
3. Wallet: A blockchain wallet allows users to send, receive, store, and exchange digital assets, as well as monitor and manage their value. Wallets come in two flavors: hardware and software. Online or offline wallets exist. Online or hot wallets are used when online. Without an internet connection, offline wallets like paper and hardware wallets can store private keys and sign transactions. Wallets generally secure transactions with a private key and wallet address.
4. Nonce: A nonce is a short term for a "number used once''. It describes a unique random number. Nonces are frequently generated to modify cryptographic results. A nonce is a number that changes over time and is used to prevent value reuse. To prevent document reproduction, it can be a timestamp. A cryptographic hash function can also use it to vary input. Nonces can be used for authentication, hashing, or even electronic signatures.
5. Hash: A hash is a mathematical function that converts inputs of arbitrary length to outputs of fixed length. That is, regardless of file size, the hash will remain unique. A hash cannot generate input from hashed output, but it can identify a file. Hashes can be used to verify message integrity and authenticate data. Cryptographic hash functions add security to standard hash functions, making it difficult to decipher message contents or track senders.
Blockchain: Pros and Cons
The blockchain provides a trustworthy, secure, and trackable platform for business transactions quickly and affordably. The blockchain reduces paperwork, documentation errors, and the need for third parties to verify transactions.
Blockchain security relies on a system of unaltered transaction records with end-to-end encryption, reducing fraud and unauthorized activity. The blockchain also helps verify the authenticity of items like farm food, medicines, and even employee certification. The ability to control data gives users a level of privacy that no other platform can match.
In the case of Bitcoin, the blockchain can only handle seven transactions per second. Unlike Hyperledger and Visa, which can handle ten thousand transactions per second. Also, each participant node must verify and approve transactions, slowing down exchanges and limiting scalability.
The blockchain requires a lot of energy to run. In addition, the blockchain is not a hugely distributable system and it is destructible. The security of the block chain can be compromised by hackers; it is not completely foolproof. Also, since blockchain entries are immutable, data cannot be removed. The blockchain's high energy consumption and limited scalability reduce its efficiency.
Why Is Blockchain So Popular?
The blockchain is a technology giant. In 2018, 90% of US and European banks began exploring blockchain's potential. In 2021, 24% of companies are expected to invest $5 million to $10 million in blockchain. By the end of 2024, it is expected that corporations will spend $20 billion annually on blockchain technical services.
Blockchain is used in cryptocurrency, medical records storage, identity verification, election voting, security, agriculture, business, and many other fields. The blockchain offers a more secure, decentralized, and less corrupt system of making global payments, which cryptocurrency enthusiasts love. Users who want to save time and energy prefer it because it is faster and less bureaucratic than banking and healthcare systems.
Most organizations have jumped on the blockchain bandwagon, and for good reason: the blockchain industry has never had more potential. The launch of IBM's Blockchain Wire, Paystack, Aza Finance and Bloom are visible proof of the wonders that the blockchain has done. The blockchain's cryptocurrency segment may not be as popular in the future as the blockchain's other segments, as evidenced by the various industries where it is used. The blockchain is here to stay, and it will be discussed for a long time, not just in tech, but in many industries.
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Ari Joury, PhD
10 months ago
7 ways to turn into a major problem-solver
For some people, the glass is half empty. For others, it’s half full. And for some, the question is, How do I get this glass totally full again?
Problem-solvers are the last group. They're neutral. Pragmatists.
Problems surround them. They fix things instead of judging them. Problem-solvers improve the world wherever they go.
Some fail. Sometimes their good intentions have terrible results. Like when they try to help a grandma cross the road because she can't do it alone but discover she never wanted to.
Most programmers, software engineers, and data scientists solve problems. They use computer code to fix problems they see.
Coding is best done by understanding and solving the problem.
Despite your best intentions, building the wrong solution may have negative consequences. Helping an unwilling grandma cross the road.
How can you improve problem-solving?
1. Examine your presumptions.
Don’t think There’s a grandma, and she’s unable to cross the road. Therefore I must help her over the road. Instead think This grandma looks unable to cross the road. Let’s ask her whether she needs my help to cross it.
Maybe the grandma can’t cross the road alone, but maybe she can. You can’t tell for sure just by looking at her. It’s better to ask.
Maybe the grandma wants to cross the road. But maybe she doesn’t. It’s better to ask!
Building software is similar. Do only I find this website ugly? Who can I consult?
We all have biases, mental shortcuts, and worldviews. They simplify life.
Problem-solving requires questioning all assumptions. They might be wrong!
Think less. Ask more.
Secondly, fully comprehend the issue.
Grandma wants to cross the road? Does she want flowers from the shop across the street?
Understanding the problem advances us two steps. Instead of just watching people and their challenges, try to read their intentions.
Don't ask, How can I help grandma cross the road? Why would this grandma cross the road? What's her goal?
Understand what people want before proposing solutions.
3. Request more information. This is not a scam!
People think great problem solvers solve problems immediately. False!
Problem-solvers study problems. Understanding the problem makes solving it easy.
When you see a grandma struggling to cross the road, you want to grab her elbow and pull her over. However, a good problem solver would ask grandma what she wants. So:
Problem solver: Excuse me, ma’am? Do you wish to get over the road? Grandma: Yes indeed, young man! Thanks for asking. Problem solver: What do you want to do on the other side? Grandma: I want to buy a bouquet of flowers for my dear husband. He loves flowers! I wish the shop wasn’t across this busy road… Problem solver: Which flowers does your husband like best? Grandma: He loves red dahlia. I usually buy about 20 of them. They look so pretty in his vase at the window! Problem solver: I can get those dahlia for you quickly. Go sit on the bench over here while you’re waiting; I’ll be back in five minutes. Grandma: You would do that for me? What a generous young man you are!
A mediocre problem solver would have helped the grandma cross the road, but he might have forgotten that she needs to cross again. She must watch out for cars and protect her flowers on the way back.
A good problem solver realizes that grandma's husband wants 20 red dahlias and completes the task.
4- Rapid and intense brainstorming
Understanding a problem makes solutions easy. However, you may not have all the information needed to solve the problem.
Additionally, retrieving crucial information can be difficult.
You could start a blog. You don't know your readers' interests. You can't ask readers because you don't know who they are.
Brainstorming works here. Set a stopwatch (most smartphones have one) to ring after five minutes. In the remaining time, write down as many topics as possible.
No answer is wrong. Note everything.
Sort these topics later. Programming or data science? What might readers scroll past—are these your socks this morning?
Rank your ideas intuitively and logically. Write Medium stories using the top 35 ideas.
5 - Google it.
Doctor Google may answer this seemingly insignificant question. If you understand your problem, try googling or binging.
Someone has probably had your problem before. The problem-solver may have posted their solution online.
Use others' experiences. If you're social, ask a friend or coworker for help.
6 - Consider it later
Rest your brain.
Reread. Your brain needs rest to function.
Hustle culture encourages working 24/7. It doesn't take a neuroscientist to see that this is mental torture.
Leave an unsolvable problem. Visit friends, take a hot shower, or do whatever you enjoy outside of problem-solving.
I get my best ideas in the morning after working on a problem. I couldn't have had these ideas last night.
Sleeping subconsciously. Leave it alone and you may be surprised by the genius it produces.
7 - Learn to live with frustration
There are problems that you’ll never solve.
Mathematicians are world-class problem-solvers. The brightest minds in history have failed to solve many mathematical problems.
A Gordian knot problem can frustrate you. You're smart!
Frustration-haters don't solve problems well. They choose simple problems to avoid frustration.
No. Great problem solvers want to solve a problem but know when to give up.
Frustration initially hurts. You adapt.
Famous last words
If you read this article, you probably solve problems. We've covered many ways to improve, so here's a summary:
Test your presumptions. Is the issue the same for everyone else when you see one? Or are your prejudices and self-judgments misguiding you?
Recognize the issue completely. On the surface, a problem may seem straightforward, but what's really going on? Try to see what the current situation might be building up to by thinking two steps ahead of the current situation.
Request more information. You are no longer a high school student. A two-sentence problem statement is not sufficient to provide a solution. Ask away if you need more details!
Think quickly and thoroughly. In a constrained amount of time, try to write down all your thoughts. All concepts are worthwhile! Later, you can order them.
Google it. There is a purpose for the internet. Use it.
Consider it later at night. A rested mind is more creative. It might seem counterintuitive to leave a problem unresolved. But while you're sleeping, your subconscious will handle the laborious tasks.
Accept annoyance as a normal part of life. Don't give up if you're feeling frustrated. It's a step in the procedure. It's also perfectly acceptable to give up on a problem because there are other, more pressing issues that need to be addressed.
You might feel stupid sometimes, but that just shows that you’re human. You care about the world and you want to make it better.
At the end of the day, that’s all there is to problem solving — making the world a little bit better.
8 months ago
Small Pieces of Code That Revolutionized the World
Few sentences can have global significance.
Ethan Zuckerman invented the pop-up commercial in 1997.
He was working for Tripod.com, an online service that let people make little web pages for free. Tripod offered advertising to make money. Advertisers didn't enjoy seeing their advertising next to filthy content, like a user's anal sex website.
Zuckerman's boss wanted a solution. Wasn't there a way to move the ads away from user-generated content?
When you visited a Tripod page, a pop-up ad page appeared. So, the ad isn't officially tied to any user page. It'd float onscreen.
window.open('http://tripod.com/navbar.html' "width=200, height=400, toolbar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no, target=_top");
Simple yet harmful! Soon, commercial websites mimicked Zuckerman's concept, infesting the Internet with pop-up advertising. In the early 2000s, a coder for a download site told me that most of their revenue came from porn pop-up ads.
Pop-up advertising are everywhere. You despise them. Hopefully, your browser blocks them.
Zuckerman wrote a single line of code that made the world worse.
I read Zuckerman's story in How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World. Torie Bosch compiled a humorous anthology of short writings about code that tipped the world.
Most of these samples are quite short. Pop-cultural preconceptions about coding say that important code is vast and expansive. Hollywood depicts programmers as blurs spouting out Niagaras of code. Google's success was formerly attributed to its 2 billion lines of code.
It's usually not true. Google's original breakthrough, the piece of code that propelled Google above its search-engine counterparts, was its PageRank algorithm, which determined a web page's value based on how many other pages connected to it and the quality of those connecting pages. People have written their own Python versions; it's only a few dozen lines.
Google's operations, like any large tech company's, comprise thousands of procedures. So their code base grows. The most impactful code can be brief.
The examples are fascinating and wide-ranging, so read the whole book (or give it to nerds as a present). Charlton McIlwain wrote a chapter on the police beat algorithm developed in the late 1960s to anticipate crime hotspots so law enforcement could dispatch more officers there. It created a racial feedback loop. Since poor Black neighborhoods were already overpoliced compared to white ones, the algorithm directed more policing there, resulting in more arrests, which convinced it to send more police; rinse and repeat.
Kelly Chudler's You Are Not Expected To Understand This depicts the police-beat algorithm.
Even shorter code changed the world: the tracking pixel.
Lily Hay Newman's chapter on monitoring pixels says you probably interact with this code every day. It's a snippet of HTML that embeds a single tiny pixel in an email. Getting an email with a tracking code spies on me. As follows: My browser requests the single-pixel image as soon as I open the mail. My email sender checks to see if Clives browser has requested that pixel. My email sender can tell when I open it.
Adding a tracking pixel to an email is easy:
<img src="URL LINKING TO THE PIXEL ONLINE" width="0" height="0">
An older example: Ellen R. Stofan and Nick Partridge wrote a chapter on Apollo 11's lunar module bailout code. This bailout code operated on the lunar module's tiny on-board computer and was designed to prioritize: If the computer grew overloaded, it would discard all but the most vital work.
When the lunar module approached the moon, the computer became overloaded. The bailout code shut down anything non-essential to landing the module. It shut down certain lunar module display systems, scaring the astronauts. Module landed safely.
POODOO INHINT CA Q TS ALMCADR TC BANKCALL CADR VAC5STOR # STORE ERASABLES FOR DEBUGGING PURPOSES. INDEX ALMCADR CAF 0 ABORT2 TC BORTENT OCT77770 OCT 77770 # DONT MOVE CA V37FLBIT # IS AVERAGE G ON MASK FLAGWRD7 CCS A TC WHIMPER -1 # YES. DONT DO POODOO. DO BAILOUT. TC DOWNFLAG ADRES STATEFLG TC DOWNFLAG ADRES REINTFLG TC DOWNFLAG ADRES NODOFLAG TC BANKCALL CADR MR.KLEAN TC WHIMPER
This fun book is worth reading.
I'm a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and Mother Jones. I've also written Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World and Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds. Twitter and Instagram: @pomeranian99; Mastodon: @email@example.com.
11 months ago
Here's How I Built A Business Offering Unlimited Design Services in Just One Weekend.
Weekend project: limitless design service. It was fun to see whether I could start a business quickly.
I use no-code apps to save time and resources.
TL;DR I started a business utilizing EditorX for my website, Notion for client project management, and a few favors to finish my portfolio.
First step: research (Day 1)
I got this concept from a Kimp Instagram ad. The Minimalist Hustler Daily newsletter mentioned a similar and cheaper service (Graphically).
I Googled other unlimited design companies. Many provide different costs and services. Some supplied solely graphic design, web development, or copywriting.
Step 2: Brainstorming (Day 1)
I did something simple.
What benefits and services to provide
Price to charge
Since it's a one-person performance (for now), I'm focusing on graphic design. I can charge less.
So I don't overwhelm myself and can accommodate budget-conscious clientele.
Step 3: Construction (Day 1 & 2)
This project includes a management tool, a website, and a team procedure.
I built a project management tool and flow first. Once I had the flow and a Notion board, I tested it with design volunteers. They fake-designed while I built the website.
Tool for Project Management
I modified a Notion template. My goal is to keep clients and designers happy.
My sister, my partner, and I kept this business lean. I tweaked the Notion board to make the process smooth. By the end of Sunday, I’d say it’s perfect!
I created the website after they finished the fake design demands. EditorX's drag-and-drop builder attracted me. I didn't need to learn code, and there are templates.
I used a template wireframe.
This project's hardest aspect is developing the site. It's my first time using EditorX and I'm no developer.
People answer all your inquiries in a large community forum.
As a first-time user developing a site in two days, I think I performed OK. Here's the site for feedback.
4th step: testing (Day 2)
Testing is frustrating because it works or doesn't. My testing day was split in two.
testing the workflow from payment to onboarding to the website
the demand being tested
It's working so far. If someone gets the trial, they can request design work.
I've gotten a couple of inquiries about demand. I’ll be working with them as a start.
Finally! I built my side project in one weekend. It's too early to tell if this is successful. I liked that I didn't squander months of resources testing out an idea.