Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Land of Hope and Gory ...

In comments, and at his GGDrafts blog, Glenn Greenwald advises that Salon is planning on being substantially less fugly in the very near future.

Upcoming features are the return of Preview and a new Edit feature, both of which would be very welcome.

Also mooted is some kind of threading system.
(I note that comments are already individually numbered, apparently a benefit of the new Wordpress server engine, but yet to be exploited.)

Most significant is that the Editors are planning to communicate on these features and on how to maintain a Salon membership without dropping your digital drawers in public.

That particular point is long overdue in my opinion, and I'll be watching closely to see what comes of it.

All that said, I still have major concerns over the lack of communication around the whole change-over, and particularly with people having ongoing trouble with basic access, archives, login names, and privacy issues.

These would seem to me to be quite vital to the trust necessary to operate a fully digital online business.


  1. Every day more problems. Now I added no new hardware but since signing on with facebook to salon My drivers for cd roms, dvd rom, and diverse other drivers diaappear and reappear. This is consistent with other peoples discriptions of a backdoor program for remote console control. This is not the first time I have had a CIA program (they say it's from china because of the link to Asian characters but it's langley all over.)

    Windows detected a new device attached to your computer, but could not find the driver software it needs to make

    the device usable. Each device manufacturer typically includes driver software of a CD that comes with the device,

    or as a download from its website. The hardware ID of your device is PCI\VEN_0000&DEV_8139&SUBSYS_0000106C&REV_00.

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: PnPDriverNotFound
    Architecture: x86
    Hardware Id: PCI\VEN_0000&DEV_8139&SUBSYS_0000106C&REV_00
    OS Version: 6.0.6002.
    Locale ID: 3081

    Read our privacy statement:
    At the moment my computer is dead in the water and I keep getting error messages if I try to load web pages.
    Edit buttons previews the real story here is salon's sell out to gov and corp. The Judas's kiss was signing into the new fugly when salon poisioned many subversive mothers' computers. Salon working FOR the clampdown.
    Glenn is in the top 1% of journalists you can tell by his attitude and application to his readersjust concerns.
    james fingleton wild

  2. Adrian Lamo claimed (last year, irrc) to have successfully hacked Salon several years before (during a time when I was a subscriber) ... I have never seen a response -- one way or the other -- from Salon ... though I do vaguely recall an odd substantial "reboot" of Table Talk (all paid subscriber forum) around the period Lamo claimed ... accountability ain't us.

  3. If we can get the letters numbered that would help a lot. If we could both edit and preview in addition to that then the system would be very usable.

    The privacy issue should be addressed for those who have concerns. Personally, I thought you were unsafe with Salon in the old days and don't really see any loss of privacy with the new system. (there was none to start with)

    Real information from the tech people would be nice. A letter from management as to where we are going from here would be nice.

    Time will tell.

  4. I'm annoyed that the entreprenurial website spammers I flag (yes they are back) remain un-deleted more than 24 hours later ....

    seriously ... that's low hanging fruit ... and a major pre-re-vamp complaint...

    yeah, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining .... I thought getting rid of EXACTLY this kind of shit was the job #1 of this revamp ...

  5. site continues fugly ... I haven't figured out the why/when but if I am in glenn's article/letters and exit (within salon) to read another article, when I come back to Glenn, I cannot access letters -- period -- usually have to "solve this" by closing Salon entirely and opening my GG "favorite" link.

    Usually I can remember to open another tab rather than simply click on the article I want to read ... but damn, it's stupid, and feels like another click enhancement maximizer.

    I am happy and grateful that they've moved the cursor default and that moving around has become better (and page breaks are smoother and more consistent) ...

    Hey -- did "red bar" disappear???? I don't think I've seen it for a day or so ....

    good work ... keep 'em coming.

  6. thelastnamechosen24 October 2011 at 17:30

    "Personally, I thought you were unsafe with Salon in the old days and don't really see any loss of privacy with the new system. (there was none to start with)"

    I think the key takeaway should be that everything is the same. Even if you could distinguish, it wouldn't matter, so why bother. Knowledge is the long, indirect path to an opinion--so why not cut out the middle man and cut right to the money shot.

    Privacy is an old fashioned word. Tracking, identification, profiling and exploitation are different concepts. Privacy is too small a word to hold these things.

    Why does any of this matter? Let me give you a very simple, practical example.

    Personalized prices. When I can identify and track you, merchandise does not have a price anymore. Whatever "price" meant in the past, it now means a unique number created just for you, calculated by a computer based upon your personal identity and profile.

    Once tracking and identification are accepted, an individual citizen will find it increasingly difficult to win the battle of profiling and exploitation waged by large corporations. At best, bots will battle bots in a ritualistic display of excess and absurdity as shopkeep and customer both nap in the sun. Those without extra computer capacity need not apply.

    Now extrapolate to other areas where people want to impose power--like voting or plea bargains. Imagine what a government will do with this. Manning's alleged chat log admission about isolation was prescient. Personalized Hell.

    Back in the old days (the 90's), we had something we called the Technology Oath. Except back then we didn't call it the Technology Oath, we called it not being a total fucking psychopath. When you have root over someone, you can seriously fuck with people's lives. You completely control their computer reality. The only thing stopping you from taking ten percent of every transaction they make and stealing their wife is your own sense of morality.

    People think this shit is still like the phone company. The idea that the phone company is recording people's calls and analyzing them with a computer so they can compile a database of every person in the country--even today--would be a paranoid conspiracy rant. On the internet, this is called a business plan that demands an IPO.

    Don't let technology confuse the issue. What is really happening is a radical realignment of basic values concerning the relationship between government, corporation and citizen in communications services. Imagine the internet had never been invented and the phone company and post office were trying to pull this shit.

    Fueled by a large population that uses the internet but does not understand the underlying technology, corporate greed combined with abundant technology resources, and a government in love with surveillance and the creation of monetary velocity through the invention of ever increasing abstraction--communication is now for sale. This is a big change.