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Today, I received an email from a credit card company announcing upcoming changes to their Digital Services Agreement. One of the changes mentioned in the email was about Paze℠, specifically about how to activate the Paze digital wallet and what information is shared.

Of course, there was the obligatory hostage message presenting the classic take-it-or-leave-it Hobson’s choice. “Your continued use of our Digital Services after the effective date will constitute your acceptance of these changes.”

This set me to thinking about the progress of user-experience computing.


The continuing evolution of the web has undoubtedly brought about remarkable and transformative changes in how we interact, share information, and conduct business. From the static pages of Web 1.0 to the dynamic and interactive platforms of Web 2.0 and now to the decentralized promise of Web 3.0, each stage has its own set of benefits and challenges.

However, as we advance, we must acknowledge the increasing concerns regarding resilience, centralized vulnerabilities, and exposure to governmental control and cyber threats.

Web 1.0 -- The Static Foundation: Often referred to as the "read-only" web characterized by static HTML pages, limited interactivity, and a clear separation between content creators and content consumers. Most websites were simple information displays with most interactivity being limited to simple navigation, and data entry using fixed form fields.

Resilience and Vulnerability:

  • Resilience: Web 1.0 was relatively resilient due to its simplicity and the decentralized nature of static websites hosted on various independent servers. One server or site had minimal impact on the user or the broader web.

  • Vulnerability: The primary vulnerabilities were related to the HTML miscoding, the lack of clean data, and lack of user interaction. The absence of complex functionalities reduced the attack vulnerabilities for hackers, and governmental control was mostly limited to regulating ISPs and domain registrars.

Web 2.0 -- The Dynamic and Interactive Era: Touted as a so-called paradigm shift that featured greater interactivity and the ability to post user-generated content, the web saw the rise of  collaborative computing, dynamic web applications, and manipulative social media platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, to name a few.

Resilience and Vulnerability:

  • Resilience: Web 2.0's resilience was both increased and hampered by the expansion of cloud computing and CDN (Content Delivery Network) technologies. However, the centralization of data and services in the hands of a few oligarch-controlled platform giants continued to produce single points of failure.

  • Vulnerability: Centralized control meant that large-scale data breaches could expose millions of users' data simultaneously. Governments found it easier to exert control through regulations, subpoenas, and censorship directives directed at these centralized entities. Hackers also had lucrative targets due to the vast amounts of data stored by these companies.

Web 3.0 -- The Decentralized Promise: At this time, Web 3.0 is little more than a gimmick which claims that blockchain technology, decentralized applications (dApps), and smart contracts will allow users more control over their data. The truth is that the hardware and services are still controlled by a few large entities beholden to the government regime in power.

Resilience and Vulnerability:

  • Resilience: In theory, Web 3.0 offers increased resilience through decentralization with distributed networks reducing the likelihood of single points of failure. If one node fails, the network remains operational. However, timing and synchronization issues can scramble data although the network remains viable.

  • Vulnerability: Unfortunately, despite its decentralized nature, additional vulnerabilities in database timing, synchronization, and forward consistency were all known vulnerabilities. The complexity of blockchain technology introduces new vectors for cyber attacks. Smart contracts, while powerful, can be exploited if not properly coded. Moreover, the decentralized nature does not entirely eliminate government control. Governments can still regulate and impose sanctions on blockchain networks and their participants. Additionally, decentralized networks can sometimes lack the rapid response capabilities of centralized systems when dealing with threats or breaches.

  • Governance and Regulation: Decentralized networks require robust governance mechanisms. Without them, they can become chaotic and difficult to manage. Regulatory compliance also becomes complex as authorities struggle to apply traditional legal frameworks to decentralized systems in order to maintain control and grab their slice of the pie.

  • Security: While decentralization is touted to reduces single points of failure, it complicates security management based on manipulatable consensus mechanisms and the potential for 51% attacks in smaller networks.

  • Interoperability: Ensuring seamless interaction between various decentralized platforms is still a major issue where lack of standardization can lead to fragmentation and inefficiencies, as can increased standardization. 

Bottom line…

Woe to the individual or organization that loses access to the wallet due to hardware failure, password loss, or hacking.

Of course, the actual vulnerability is found in the underlying internet protocol (IPv4), a standard suite of protocols between two communication points across the IP network that provide data authentication, integrity, and confidentiality. Most sites still operate under IPv4 and refuse to upgrade to the newer, more secure IPv6, although most modern computers can handle both protocols.

Likewise, we see increased vulnerability in foreign-sourced hardware and software, which is user-opaque and contains hidden communications with unknown servers—ostensibly to improve the design and the “user experience.” Few people know what is being transferred and the intended usage of the data which can contain behavioral cues.

We are being screwed.

-- Steve

“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS