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The Internet Technology

Internet Is Having a Midlife Crisis (bbc.com) 173

An anonymous reader shares a report: The rise of cyber-bullying and monopolistic business practices has damaged trust in the internet, pioneering entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox has told the BBC. The Lastminute.com founder also called for a "shared set of principles" to make the web happier and safer. She said the internet had done much good over the last 30 years. But she said too many people had missed out on the benefits and it was time to "take a step back". "The web has become embedded in our lives over the last three decades but I think it's reached an inflexion point, or a sort of midlife crisis," she told Radio 4's Today programme. Baroness Lane-Fox co-founded travel booking site Lastminute.com in 1998 before going on to sell the firm for 577m pound seven years later. She described the early days of the internet as being "full of energy and excitement," and akin to the "wild West". "There was this feeling that suddenly, with this access to this new technology, you could start a business from anywhere," she said. However, she said that while technology had become a hugely important sector of the UK economy, it had not fulfilled its early potential.
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Internet Is Having a Midlife Crisis

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  • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:51PM (#55226611)

    ... I cannot think of a better way than imposing more regulation.

    And if she thought that the 'net was a "nice" place in its early days, well, I suspect that she missed huge swaths of usenet...

    With this said, she is right. The character of the 'net has changed. But her own response seems to be very midlife in and of itself: let's try to recapture a childhood that cannot be returned to.

    • I blame everything bad on the internet on advertising. Everywhere that vile filth goes, it ruins.
      • I blame everything bad -[on the internet] on advertising. Everywhere that vile filth goes, it ruins.

        FTFY: You were unnecessarily limiting the scope of your observation.

        • Eh, in the real world I've found there are also non-advertising-caused things that are bad. Like cockroaches and getting punched in the face.
          • Rejected; they're also caused [indirectly] by advertising :P

          • Cockroaches were genetically modified by bug pesticide companies in order to sell more extermination products.

            Getting punched in the face is caused by people being targeted by advertising to make them think they're more badass than they really are.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      That's assuming the "wild west energy" is something worth recapturing. Sure, a lot of people struck it rich in the dot com boom, but the lion's share of fortunes made were on the naivete and herd behavior of investors.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is now the surveillance and propaganda arm of the government, and the surveillance and psyops arm of corporate America

    You've lost

  • by Jahoda ( 2715225 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:54PM (#55226631) Homepage
    Well, she's 44. And, when I hear someone start talking about how things "just aren't the way they used to be" in that context, I think maybe it's she and not the internet who is having the mid-life crisis.
    • by mikael ( 484 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:32PM (#55226943)

      I think she is complaining it's not possible to create an Internet startup like she used to be able to do so, because there's always someone out there who is already doing something in the Amazon marketplace or elsewhere. Railway tickets? Done. Airplane tickets? Done. Car hire? Done. Alternative to taxis? Done. Retro merchandise? Done. Discount fashion show throwaway items? Done. Second hand books? Done. Antiques? Done.

      It's like academic research. What was once a hot research field topic, becomes one of a hundred books on that subject a decade later.

      • There's still a niche available of turning the rules of the internet into a multiplayer video game.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's most likely, certainly. There's also this myth that Lane-Fox was a wonderful business brain when actually she, like everyone else that made money before the dotcom bubble burst, was just in the right place at the right time; her only laudable business acumen was that she cashed out before everything went tits up and so managed to retain some of that newfound wealth.

        And for all the rightards claiming she's "left", AFAIK she's a supporter of Blair's New Labour, i.e. right of centre. The Overton windo

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:55PM (#55226647)

    The Lastminute.com founder also called for a "shared set of principles" to make the web happier and safer.

    Umm. Ok. Now compare to:

    She described the early days of the internet as being "full of energy and excitement," and akin to the "wild West".

    You can't have a vibrant, safe, wild-west. IMO, it's your "shared set of principles" that killed the Internet (or at least made it a lot, less interesting).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To add: what's more, the internet was a lot more interesting when people didn't even want to trust it.

      The internet started sucking when it became big business, when it became "serious," when it was somehow important to trust it.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:45PM (#55227051)

        The internet started sucking when it became big business, when it became "serious," when it was somehow important to trust it.

        This.

        Commercialization of the internet transformed internet culture into something very different, and worse.

        • The internet started sucking when it became big business, when it became "serious," when it was somehow important to trust it.

          This.

          Commercialization of the internet transformed internet culture into something very different, and worse.

          And it also made the Internet much more useful, because there's so much of it. Those things go hand in hand. It's like the difference between quirky coffee shops and bookstores in SOHO, or Mall of America. The former is going to be much more interesting, but you can't find most of what you need. The latter is big and sanitized and commercialized, but there's very little you can't find.

          You don't get scale and breadth without commercialization, because scale and breadth are expensive.

          Of course, the Intern

          • you just need to look for it.

            I always thought this was the reason for slashdot (back when it was popular). Now it replays the same 30 stories in an attempt to be controversial.

          • Of course, the Internet does still have the obscure, quirky and interesting, you just need to look for it.

            ...and that's part of what she's saying, but she probably doesn't realise it. The weird and quirky is indeed available, but it's too hard to find. The 'front doors' to the Internet (Google, etc) are all far too biassed towards the commercial end of things, so finding that one page of 'gold' information gets harder and harder. Thus too, that small business with some weird niche doesn't get the same (relative) exposure it once would have done.

          • And it also made the Internet much more useful, because there's so much of it.

            True, although I think this is overstated. But I was commenting on internet culture, not the amount of information available.

            • There's still quirky coffee shops and bookstores. There's still quirky corners of the net. I don't know that any of those has become rarer. (The older non-chain non-quirky non-used bookstores have mostly vanished, and I can't say I miss them much.)

              • Indeed, I wasn't claiming that they didn't exist. Those are the corners of the internet that are the most useful to me.

    • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

      Someone needs to visit a Disney park.

    • The bigger issue is she says people should play nice. That's the long and short of it: those trolls are bad and someone should inform them they're bothering us and should stop.

  • Is that a name or a title?

    The Lastminute.com founder

    Is mentioning some unknown website supposed to clarify things somehow?

  • by William Baric ( 256345 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:59PM (#55226675)

    "Cyber-bullying" affecting "young people's self-esteem" is not a problem. The problem is that young people from Western countries are now unable to cope with "bad" words which might hurt their precious little feelings. It's not "the Internet is having a midlife crisis", it's "Western civilization is crumbling".

    • by Train0987 ( 1059246 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:06PM (#55226731)

      Western civ is not crumbling. The failures who you mention being unable to cope are a tiny minority. Albeit very loud but still tiny. They have no idea how they've destroyed their own causes recently.

    • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:46PM (#55227059)

      The problem is that young people from Western countries are now unable to cope with "bad" words which might hurt their precious little feelings.

      It's not just that people are unable to cope. It's also their apparent inability to disengage from a conversation they find hurtful or upsetting. If a person gets into a flame war and just keeps going, maybe they should just... stop? I dunno, maybe that's a coping mechanism in itself. If a Facebook chat made me want to actually hang myself, I'd probably stop using Facebook. But a lot of people, especially young people, don't seem to have that.

      Younger people interact more online than in person today, even when they're sitting in the same room with each other. They still have the same peer pressures to conform and belong, and on various web sites and apps they can get a quantified measure of how well they do so. They go on sites like Reddit and post stuff, much of it not original thought but memes (not just of the graphical variety, but also textual memes like Slashdot's old Natalie Portman/hot grits bit), and they are desperate for people to upvote so they feel like they're part of the club. They may delete a post if it's not popular enough. And, of course, some young people's cliques have always rewarded them for being cruel to people, so that continues.

      It's not just younger people. Middle-aged people do it, too, going on Facebook with "1 like=1 prayer" and posts that virtue signal to whatever group they belong. But it's all just people speaking into the echo chamber they've chosen and hoping they've posted at the right moment for their groupthink to be validated by repetition and points from the rest.

      With various points systems, we've gamified social status, and people are biologically wired to like to win games. Even on Slashdot, many years ago, we had visible numeric karma scores, and people got into stupid e-penis contests to see who could get a higher number. It wasn't so much fun when karma turned into classified ranges, and people stopped. We're not at the point depicted in that episode of Black Mirror yet, but we can see the seeds of it.

      It's a social problem, partly caused by the fact that we have this new technology for social interaction without many generations of behavioral norms, partly caused by the fact that anonymity and distance seems to encourage people to be shittier and more confrontational to each other. Likely with many other causes. But the solution almost certainly isn't a technological or legal one.

      • by mjr167 ( 2477430 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @04:31PM (#55227403)

        Because this is what they are teaching in schools. My 2nd grader was told by her teacher that "words hurt forever". I found this out while calming her down after her friend calling her 'mean' reduced her to tears.

        There is no "sticks and stones..." anymore. Now it's "words hurt more than hitting" and "words are unforgivable".

        • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @05:22PM (#55227749)
          I guess this goes along with the madness that is college students' belief that disagreement is innately hurtful and may even extend to the level of hate speech or threats. Young people seem to be taught that conflict is necessarily aggressive and wrong, and if someone else's opinions conflict with theirs, then those people are also aggressive and wrong (and their own side is blameless and innocent). And, apparently having lost the capacity for friendly competition, all that's left is ugly, go-for-the-jugular, all-out destruction of the other side. We see the same thing in our government, where compromise is now a craven weakness.
          • by mikael ( 484 )

            Some time ago, LA Times reported that kids weren't going to summer camp for the camping with backpacks and tents or hostel living, but for Yoga, inner meditation, and beauty therapy sessions. I wonder if the two are related.

          • I guess this goes along with the madness that is college students' belief that disagreement is innately hurtful and may even extend to the level of hate speech or threats. Young people seem to be taught that conflict is necessarily aggressive and wrong, and if someone else's opinions conflict with theirs, then those people are also aggressive and wrong (and their own side is blameless and innocent). And, apparently having lost the capacity for friendly competition, all that's left is ugly, go-for-the-jugular, all-out destruction of the other side. We see the same thing in our government, where compromise is now a craven weakness.

            It isn't just college students. When I first started working full time development over 10 years ago I noticed a lot of people getting offended when code reviews come back with findings. I'm not talking about offensively phrased findings, just pointing out simple bugs or asking if they considered other approaches. People who can't cope with differences or mistakes are often attributed to the next generation but have been around forever.

            • I used to work with someone who would cry during code reviews when problems were found. Things like: you do not need to sort a list to find the smallest element. Sure, there are many ways to solve problems and that's a valid way, but it is not good for many reasons.
              • I think some people just want learning to end with college. I look at code review comments as a chance to learn something new, even after 10+ years in this business (which sadly makes me almost senior where I work but not superior in any way). The day an engineer stops learning is the start of the end of their career, IMHO.

                • Some people just have to take every criticism personally.

                  No, I'm not saying the design is wrong, I'm saying that you are a bad person and you should be ashamed of yourself.

        • All too often, telling the victim "sticks and stones..." doesn't work. The words have already affected the victim. Children in particular can't shrug this off just because you tell them to.

          In these cases, telling the victim "sticks and stones..." amounts to denying there is a problem, which makes the problem (being bullied, and the depression/anxiety etc it causes) worse. "words hurt forever" is a reaction to that attitude. An overreaction maybe, but it's time to stop pretending bullying is not a problem.

          • by mjr167 ( 2477430 )

            You can teach children both to share and that stealing is wrong (people don't HAVE to share with you).

            You can also teach children to not be little shits to each other (saying hurtful things is wrong) but if someone disagrees with you or doesn't want to play with you or doesn't like you, it's not the end of the world. You aren't going to burn in hell forever if you tell your friend you don't want to play with him/her right now.

            The world does not like you and people need to learn to deal with it. Instead what

        • Sticks and stones can break my bones. Only words can make me feel I deserve it.

          Words can hurt forever. I'm not saying they always do, but lots of people are affected by bullying for large parts or all of their lifetimes.

          • by mjr167 ( 2477430 )

            There is a BIG difference between emotional abuse and normal conflict. They have started teaching our children that ALL conflict is bullying.

            You don't want to play blocks with Jim... why are you bullying Jim by excluding him from your game? That kind of nonsense makes it difficult to take actual emotional and physical abuse seriously because now everything that causes conflict is either abuse or hateful. I would think that people who truly are the subject of harmful emotional abuse would want to see that di

      • With various points systems, we've gamified social status, and people are biologically wired to like to win games. Even on Slashdot, many years ago, we had visible numeric karma scores, and people got into stupid e-penis contests to see who could get a higher number. It wasn't so much fun when karma turned into classified ranges, and people stopped. We're not at the point depicted in that episode of Black Mirror yet, but we can see the seeds of it.

        This made me immediately think of the episode of Community episode "App Development and Condiments" where an app called MeowMeowBeenz that allows users to give other users a rating of one to five MeowMeowBeenz is beta tested on the campus. The campus soon deteriorates into a dystopia, with the Fives and Fours controlling the school, the Threes and Twos serving them, and the Ones being exiled.

    • The Internet predates the period you think of as it's "creation". It used to be all scientists for the most part, before we badly misjudge people and let the lawyers in. Who promptly created spam.

      There is another Internet nowadays. We don't tell you about it, but it's much faster than this (40-100 Gbps) and it's also just scientists for the most part. We don't miss you.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Sensitivity to insult isn't exactly new, you know. What's different is the power of harassment to follow you around.

    • If you can write that sentence you were probably never bullied to any significant degree. e.g. you're teachers didn't join in. I've known people who had that happen. Repeatedly. I suppose you can say, well, if it keeps happening something must just be wrong with them, but, well, no shit Sherlock. There's a lot of broken people out there. Do you suggest we start rounding them up and gassing them? Because if you're only other response to them is to say "suck it up" then you might as well. It'd be the merciful
      • I dealt with that; hell, in 5th grade my math teacher (also the football coach) spent the entire year following me around, calling me "quitter" every damned day, because I tried out for football and couldn't play as none of the equipment fit my big fat head.

        And you know what? I agree with OP - because I went through all that bullshit 20 years ago, and not only survived it, used that behavior to shape the far more reasonable person I grew into.

        That's the choice a bullied person makes - do I let the bullies

        • People who came out of a traumatic event well often say it's choice, and that those who can't take it chose unwisely. This sounds to me much like telling someone with clinical depression to choose happiness.

          Some people are more resilient than others. Some people have better family support than others. Some people are born or raised better able to handle verbal abuse. Have a little compassion here.

          • I do have a little compassion.

            Just not enough to agree with curtailing civil liberties to protect feelings.

      • I used to get beat up in school all of the time and my parents had me removed from a teacher's class, does that count? (Said teacher had a nervous breakdown and quit later that year). Not for name calling, but for constantly taking my lunch away and not letting me drink from the water fountain. Maybe name calling too, but I don't remember that.
    • Cyber-bullying is harder to get away from than older forms of bullying, and it's largely anonymous. If I start bullying a fourteen-year-old girl in real life, people are going to notice. If I make up a fourteen-year-old female persona, it's not as obvious that I'm using decades of experience as a weapon.

      Bullying is a problem, and mocking the victims isn't going to help anything.

  • once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:01PM (#55226691)

    The rise of cyber-bullying and monopolistic business practices has damaged trust in the internet

    Internet culture died around 1993. [wikipedia.org].

    Since then, it has been stamped into the dirt by idiots who have begged for and bought with their own money: more surveillance, less freedom, more censorship, less end user control over their own devices, and a wholesale transfer of that control to megacorps. They've constantly favored Facebook and other data-broker intrusions into "private" communication, putting a few for-profit companies into gatekeeper roles over ever increasing swaths of the internet. They've punished open standards and open protocols, replacing them with closed, central control ones. They've removed the ability of people to defend themselves against that "cyber-bulling" by requiring more and more be tied to real world identities, which enables the bullies and denies the victims a key form of self defense.

    No... the internet died long before this "Baroness Lane-Fox" probably ever heard of it. She's part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's not insightful and I'll tell you why..

      I was around for the rise of AOL and its spill-over on to Usenet.

      Usenet wasn't a bastion of hope and free ideas. It had all the petty bickering that any forum online has today. All it had going for it was that its pettiness was confined to the super-nerds and university kids who actually had access. The seeds of what the internet was to become were sewn far before AOLers ever came to town.

      The internet was made by people and is used by people and because of tha

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        Yes, there was that petty bickering, especially over things like splitting a newsgroup. Some readers of something like comp.sci.graphics would want to split into comp.sci.graphics.hpc, comp.sci.graphics.workstations and comp.sci.graphics.mobile, so that they only got their relevant discussions (hpc and workstations) and not the mobile stuff. But then there would be those that wanted to keep everything together because they wanted to share ideas. So a vote would be held. Announcements would be made to inform

      • Usenet wasn't a bastion of hope and free ideas.

        I don't know about that. I used to hang out on alt.comp.os.xxx(nt,os2,linux,?) all day in college and learned more there than I did in any of my classes. Maybe it depended on which groups you hung out in. The science and engineering groups were lame at the worst and don't remember any problems, I never ventured beyond because I didn't care.

        • I'm going to guess that you didn't try hanging out at comp.lang.lisp. From what I heard, Erik Naggum was a nice guy in person, but on the newsgroup he was insulting to newcomers and assumed the worst in people's mistakes. He single-handedly made that newsgroup unpleasant.

          I was also present for the fall of soc-history-misc (the sci.military.naval group of assholes moved in), after it had survived Banned-CPU.

          I did learn a whole lot of things in the newsgroups that weren't overrun by assholes. I find I

  • Who? What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:04PM (#55226719)

    pioneering entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox

    Who?

    The Lastminute.com founder

    What?

    You have not established who the fuck this person is, what they fuck they've done, or why the fuck I should care.
    I'm going to assume it's some egotistical rich busybody that has achieved nothing of significance by their own hand and is looking for some more ego stroking.

    • Here you go [tvtropes.org]. See, the Internet can be a useful, informative place.

    • TL;DR version: First-wave dotcommer who got rich IPO-ing a site before the bubble burst

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      pioneering entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox

      Who?

      The Lastminute.com founder

      What?

      You have not established who the fuck this person is, what they fuck they've done, or why the fuck I should care.
      I'm going to assume it's some egotistical rich busybody that has achieved nothing of significance by their own hand and is looking for some more ego stroking.

      Founded the aforementioned Internet business which was successful long enough for her to get rich from an IPO and subsequent takeover. Has only done this once so we don't know if she understood what she was doing or just got lucky with the right idea at the right time (probably just got lucky).

      Unfortunately the British Government assumed this must mean she knew what she was doing and rewarded her with a place in the House of Lords. This is a permanent, for-life position so we're stuck with her for some ti

  • Her own description of the issue sounds more like the Internet has finished growing up, not that it has entered some kind of mid life crisis. It has gone from some kind of playground to a place where real work is being done, kind of like how my computing experience has changed from high school to my current role as a senior software engineer in my 30's. I may still have the desire to play around with new technologies, but most of my time is spent integrating various software packages for the financial indus

  • My thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:20PM (#55226829)
    The internet has become too corporatized, monetized, and regulated! The internet is nothing more than a tool for corporations to reach their customer bases. It's lost the glamour of innovation and fun. The internet used to be far more open and the barriers to entry far less. Now that big telecom got its ugly mitts on it, you have to pay a minimum of 50.00 a month for a connection. Certainly it is at a higher speed and with today's technologies you need more speed but prices are still high enough to block out access for the poor. The poor need to visit a library with big brother Librarian and Government watching their every move. It is time to fork the internet into a community maintained network to take it out of the hands of regulation and corporate interests.
    • Now that big telecom got its ugly mitts on it, you have to pay a minimum of 50.00 a month for a connection.

      Back around 1990, I was paying $30/mo to access the internet. In today's dollars, that's about $60. If you can get internet service for $50, you're spending less than I was back then.

      • Someone please mod this up. In 1993, I couldn't get on the Internet from my house without using dial-up over a long distance phone call.

      • An additional phone line was $25 or so. Internet access was $15-$20. All for the Pleasure of having an unreliable 14400 connection. I could use some really bad search engines to find some very limited content. Now I pay $40 per month for something like, 70/20 with 99% up time. What can I do with that connection? Learn just about anything I want to learn, watch just about any TV show or movie I want to, stay in touch (through text or video conference) with people half a world away), play games that we co

  • Weird article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sumus Semper Una ( 4203225 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:21PM (#55226843)

    Things that have contributed to eroding my trust of the Internet to some degree:

    Proliferation of fake news (by which I mean ideological propaganda specifically designed to look like news but with incitement as its goal rather than information)
    Government (pick whichever one you want) sponsored spying
    Dodgy business practices by large, well-known, IT-focused companies
    Data breaches and other hacks
    Viruses
    Spam
    Advertisers trying to disguise their ads as if they were a natural part of the parent page
    Advertising by looking at metadata

    Things that have definitely not contributed to eroding my trust of the internet:

    Cyber bullying

    • Re:Weird article (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eepok ( 545733 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @03:45PM (#55227055) Homepage
      I take particular issue with cyber bullying because the term doesn't need to exist. It's harassment plain and simple. Often, online harassment quickly becomes PUBLIC harassment, but it's still simply harassment. Just like the adoption of "mansplaining" when "patronizing" already exists, creating new words with unofficial definitions allows people to control and change the definition to fit their needs in the moment.

      For example, if a 5th grader harasses another 5th grader via Facebook, many would commonly accept that as cyber bullying. But if a member of the public harasses another member of the public on Twitter and then, by virtue of the harasser's follower size, triggers a mass onslaught attack, is that still "cyber bullying"? What if the victim is someone with unpopular social/political opinions? Does it then depend on what those opinions are? What if the victim is being Twitter shamed for not supporting gay marriage? Is that "fighting the power" or is it "cyber-bullying"?

      I ask this as someone who is a long-time supporter of equal marriage rights, but a similarly long-time proponent of the freedom to have one's own damn opinions without being forced into the spotlight and being publicly harassed.
      • Wait a minute. People have their OWN opinions!??
      • Hey, I like the word "mansplaining". "Patronizing" doesn't have the same implications of insisting on explaining something to someone who knows a lot more than you about it.

        Launching an internet harassment campaign against someone can be illegal, and it's easier when the victim is someone of unpopular views. The two things aren't independent. It appears to be easier to start an internet harassment campaign than other forms of harassment campaigns, because while there's a relatively small number of peo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "There was this feeling that suddenly, with this access to this new technology, you could start a business from anywhere,"

    You mean you think there was turf around that wasn't subject to organized criminal rent seeking? There are lots of billionaires in the world and they don't like competition. Like Katy Perry said in her PRISM concert dvd- "There's not enough room for us all kiddo".

    In order to start a new business via access to internet technology requires a server. Try getting the ability to operate on

    • Amazon Web Services make it easy for anyone to start up a web server without having to go through their ISP, and they don't care who you compete with provided your credit card stays valid. I'd say it's easier to start up a commercial server than it ever was in the past. (AWS is certainly not the only one, but they're the one I'm most familiar with.)

  • What a great opportunity for us to give up our freedoms on the internet so that a group of people who are not us but are very well meaning can civilize it and of course she had to throw in the obligatory "Save the Cheellrun!" nervous nancy hand wringing about Cyberbullying, oh noes! Unless I misread the article, the people she thinks should take on this "burden" is all the big players who are already bad actors and oh yeah, herself. Did she invite you? No? Don't worry, you let these people set up their bure

  • Yes the Internet grew up and we don't have all the old fun stuff. But we do, if you look for it.
    There is so much out there and so much good stuff, if you look for it.
    There is so much information and stuff to do, if you look for it.

    When you stop looking for it and let others do it for you then you find what they want, not what you want.

    I prefer this internet then the one I started with, way back when.

    • A major "FUCK YEAH!" to this.

      Geez, we're not even merely talking about the Internet here. You just described how life works.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @04:27PM (#55227363)

    "...she said that while technology had become a hugely important sector of the UK economy, it had not fulfilled its early potential."

    I guess that measly 577m pound return you got growing and selling an internet service in less than a decade was somehow a pathetic attempt at demonstrating "potential", right?

    The only reason that "energy and excitement" has waned a bit is because your favorite domain name is being squatted on, and a million more patents exist to short-circuit innovation. Other than that, you can still start a business from anywhere (social media whore pays big these days), the internet is financially worth trillions, and is priceless when it comes to the value of the information it holds and delivers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "i can no longer think of easy ways to make money and there for must use convoluted terms to confuse people for long enough to let me get ahead"

    The Internet is still the wild west if you know what you are doing, like it always has been, the only difference is the price of admission is a much loftier knowledge base. But then again what do you expect from someone who made it from a booking website and doesn't seem to grasp any of the layers below a web-page.

    to quote her directly: "There was this feeling that

  • ... is to call oneself a "baroness" in the XIX century?

  • Is this a story form the Onion?

    The Internet was once a fun place, it had it's share of kooks, but today's Internet is data collection, business, and crime.

    Any of these groups will kill all of us before releasing their death grip on us. The late 1990's early 2000's internet is dead, and will never be revived.

  • There are a few people in this thread asking the important question: "Is her name baroness?" But nobody answering it. I guess I'll have to be that person...

    It it looks like [wikipedia.org] it's a title, her name is Martha. Though apparently it's not a title by birth, but rather awarded to her by virtue of the fact that she's rich.

    This was disappointing in every respect.
    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Less 'rich', more 'successful business woman'.

      Some suggestion that her charity work was influential; it will have helped but that doesn't get you a peerage, that gets you an MBE, OBE or upwards from there.

      It's not mentioned that it's a title because even Americans have heard of the title 'Baron'.

      • by pots ( 5047349 )

        It's not mentioned that it's a title because even Americans have heard of the title 'Baron'.

        It still stands out. I don't want to speak for all Americans, but this [blogspot.com] is the first and only person that I think of when I hear the word "Baroness." I can't think of a single other baron or baroness unless maybe you want to talk about robber barons, or the trope of naming villains "Baron Von German Name."

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Suspect you'll have problems with Dukes, Counts and Princes too then.

          The fact you've heard of robber barons, and Baron Von Nastiness shows you're familiar with it as a title and descriptor though, which was exactly my point.

          Welcome to a small insight into other cultures.

        • Perhaps the reason is that, in Britain, they're usually referred to as "Lord X" or "Lady Y" rather than as "Baron" or "Baroness". You've probably heard of lots of barons and baronesses over the years.

  • No, the Internet is still in its childhood. Maybe the teen years would be a better comparison. It's still a place where people do crazy stuff, and are stupid enough to think they'll get away with it. I don't think the Internet has reached any kind of adult level of maturity.

    With that said, like any teenager, it's sorting itself out. Teens have to crash their car a time or two before they realize that it's a dangerous tool. The Googles and Facebooks of the world are starting to realize that they too are dang

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra

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