Home/Tag: internet

Into air.

Still, the visual remnants of vaporwave have long outlasted its radical ideological underpinnings. Almost immediately, its pastel, geometric, softcore aesthetics were gobbled up by media platforms, in particular the image-driven platforms Tumblr and Instagram. The pastiche compositions of Arizona Iced Tea cans and old Windows desktops were very quickly made available on all these commercial interfaces, which were not only feeding on a countercultural art movement—they were likewise consuming the ghosts of an internet they had long since murdered. The critique offered by vaporwave—its defiant sense of utopia—was immediately and effectively erased, leaving only a commodified, nostalgic aesthetic. And this aesthetic detritus, its millennial pink, Memphis-esque shapes and squiggles made entirely for Instagram, became cold, devoid of joy and playfulness, something the Consumer Aesthetic Research Institute, an ad hoc, Discord-based volunteer group which runs a popular series of blogs and Facebook pages cataloging various aesthetic tendencies across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, simply calls the “bougie design aesthetic.”

Kate Wagner on ravenous capitalism.

This is actually from that article about Web 1.0 that was going around a while back, but this paragraph in particular resonated with me because I always passionately loathed that pastel-pink faux 90s1 Instagram aesthetic—aggressively thin, white, feminine and middle class as it is—and now I have an academic reason I can trot out to explain why! Awesome!

  1. … Yes, yes. I know. []
2019-01-23T13:16:23+11:0022nd June, 2019|Tags: culture, internet|


Decentralization upends the social network business model by dramatically reducing operating costs. It absolves a single entity of having to shoulder all operating costs alone. No single server needs to grow beyond its comfort zone and financial capacity. As the entry cost is near zero, an operator of a Mastodon server does not need to seek venture capital, which would pressure them to use large-scale monetization schemes. There is a reason why Facebook executives rejected the $1 per year business model of WhatsApp after its acquisition: It is sustainable and fair, but it does not provide the same unpredictable, potentially unbounded return of investment that makes stock prices go up. Like advertising does.

Eugen Rochko on decentralization.

2019-04-29T12:03:36+10:0016th June, 2019|Tags: internet, social media, tech|

Victimless crimes?

The $7.2 billion number represents about 5% of worldwide online ad spending. To give you an example of how fuzzy this number is, the WFA (World Federation of Advertisers) says that the actual amount of fraud could easily be 30% — or six times this.

Believe it or not, if fraud accounts for just 10% of the online advertising system, in 9 years ad fraud will be the second largest source of criminal activity in the world, second only to drug trafficking.

Bob Hoffman on ad fraud.

 Given that both the people being ripped off (i.e. companies advertising online) and the people doing the ripping off (i.e. people selling online ads) are both part of a garbage ecosystem, I’m really not sure exactly what I feel about this…

2019-01-21T09:19:12+11:009th June, 2019|Tags: advertising, internet, tech|

Fake paid.

You remember when, Back In The Day, people used to try and hide when they were doing things like posting content online that’d been sponsored by brands? Because being seen to be a capitalist shill was unfashionable? Gods, sometimes those days feel so very far away

2019-01-07T15:20:58+11:0025th May, 2019|Tags: culture, internet|

Not the man now.

Speaking of Ye Historye of Ye Internete… whatever happened to You’re the Man Now, Dog?

I still unironically love the YTMND format—it’s pretty much the distilled essence of neo-dada—and its ignominious demise is a lesson in the damage the follows in the wake of libertarian-style un-moderated “social media-ification”…

2018-12-03T09:53:04+11:0024th April, 2019|Tags: internet, meme, pop culture, tech|

A history of the internet, in 100 sites.

How we got to where we are, from goatse to Club Penguin.

(This is, unsurprisingly, a very US-/English-language-focused list, so… commence arguments about the rankings, I guess.)

2018-12-03T09:18:49+11:0023rd April, 2019|Tags: internet, pop culture, tech|

Damn you, autocorrect!

Today we had three push-button votes on the Copyright Directive. On one of the votes, we pressed the wrong button: the vote on the order in which we would vote. If it had gone through we could’ve voted on deleting Article 13, which we wanted. The vote should have ended up 314–315.


2019-03-28T08:15:52+11:0027th March, 2019|Tags: copyright, internet|

The internet is for tracking.

One of the things I think most people don’t realize is that the internet—like, the whole thing, and the base technologies it runs on—are a giant tracking machine. Whether or not individual websites monetize (or exploit, or both) that is one thing, but the fact is that every time you load any resource (an image, say, or a font or script or video or, or, or…) from any website, you leave that website with a record of it.

It’s hard to even grasp the scale of this, until you, for example, read the lengths to which Feedbin had to go to to try and avoid it…

2018-09-20T11:56:22+10:005th March, 2019|Tags: internet, privacy, tech|

AMP is (still) bad.

Kinda old but still relevant: Google’s AMP is like supervillain-level taking-over-the-internet bad.

2019-07-31T09:39:53+10:003rd March, 2019|Tags: internet, tech|