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Opting-out by websites

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  • Dave Winer
    Apparently this is not based on the functionality of the software.. http://w3future.com/weblog/2001/06/13.html This screen shot shows what the user preferences
    Message 1 of 62 , Jun 13, 2001
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      Apparently this is not based on the functionality of the software..
       
       
      This screen shot shows what the user preferences for Smart Tags looks like:
       
       
      "Always have Web pages display available smart tags."
       
      Oooops. It's time for Microsoft to add a meta tag that allows webmasters to say "This site may not be viewed with Microsoft software." I want out of the Microsoft Web. This company absolutely cannot be trusted. No matter how you parse it -- either management knew this was coming, or they didn't. If they did, their megalomania knows no bounds. If not, the Web is just a product to them, their product, with no competition. Either way it's totally sickening.
       
      Dave
    • Phil Wolff
      Are Smart Tags merely more user control over their surfing experience? I remember a similar complaint in the mid 1990s. Some creators of content (in particular
      Message 62 of 62 , Jun 20, 2001
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        Are Smart Tags merely more user control over their surfing experience?

        I remember a similar complaint in the mid 1990s. Some creators of
        content (in particular designers coming from print media) did not
        want web surfers adjusting background or text colors or choosing
        their own fonts and text sizes or resizing window shapes or changing
        how links looked or behaved. The authors wanted control over how
        every dot and tiddle looked. Why? First, because they knew better
        than the user how to make aesthetic design decisions. Second, because
        all those decisions created a collective effect and messing with a
        few changed the whole experience of the publication.

        One response was the creation and adoption of Adobe Acrobat. Absolute
        control, reduced interaction, proprietary technology.

        Another was the acknowledgement that sometimes users know better how
        to consume information. e.g. weak eyesight, bigger text.

        And the semantic web is the latest response: metadata and context are
        a surfer's best friend in an infoglut world.

        So I gotta ask:

        If you haven't been worried when users:
        - read your whois to find out who you really are vs. who you say you
        are,
        - run your site through a translator to see it in piglatin or Italian
        (Babelfish),
        - transcode it for delivery on a 2 inch black and white reduced-
        interaction screen (AvantGo),
        - turn off your bloated pictures
        - turn off your carefully crafted javascript or applets or flash,
        - get flashing red lights if your site fails a morality-filter,
        - see what other people think of your products while still surfing
        your site, or
        - play your site through a text-to-speech converter

        Then what concerns do you have now about users exercising their
        apparent "fair use" right to add another layer of cross references
        and context to their experience of your site?

        Users have been messing with your content for a while. What has
        changed that you don't trust them?

        ---- pause. deep breath. ---

        There is that thing about Microsoft. It owns my desktop. It owns my
        view of the web. It owns most of the tools I use to compose my ideas.

        A concentration of power.

        The public architecture [I almost said open but you won't catch me
        doing that in *this* forum] creates a marketplace for annotation and
        augmentation services. So that users can choose what kinds of context
        and commentary they want to add to their surfing experience.

        Microsoft still has the first word. I'd just like to assure that
        their customers have the last.

        - phil wolff, http://dijest.com
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