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The Enshittification of All Things

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Cory Doctorow:

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a “two sided market,” where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.

[…]

This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they’re locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they’re locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

[…]

These videos go into Tiktok users’ ForYou feeds, which Tiktok misleadingly describes as being populated by videos “ranked by an algorithm that predicts your interests based on your behavior in the app.” In reality, For You is only sometimes composed of videos that Tiktok thinks will add value to your experience – the rest of the time, it’s full of videos that Tiktok has inserted in order to make creators think that Tiktok is a great place to reach an audience.

Mike Masnick (via Old Unix Geek, Jason Kottke):

We recently wrote about Cory Doctorow’s great article on how the “enshittification” of social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) was helping to lower the “switching costs” for people to try something new.

[…]

And this, quite frequently, leads to the process that Cory lays out in his enshittification gravity well. Because once you’ve gone public, even if you have executives who still want to focus on pleasing users and customers, eventually any public company is also going to have other executives, often with Wall Street experience, who talk about the importance of keeping Wall Street happy.

[…]

But one of the major problems with this that I’ve discussed for years is that even if you believe (ridiculously) that your only goal is to increase profits for shareholders, that leaves out one very important variable: over what time frame?

[…]

For years, Tim O’Reilly has (correctly) argued that good companies should “create more value than they capture.” The idea here is pretty straightforward: if you have a surplus, and you share more of it with others (users and partners) that’s actually better for your long term viability, as there’s more and more of a reason for those users, partners, customers, etc. to keep doing business with you.

[…]

This is one of the reasons that both Cory and I keep talking about the importance of interoperability. It not only allows users to break out of silos where this is happening, but it helps combat the enshittification process. It forces companies to remain focused on providing value and surplus, to their users, rather than chasing Wall Street’s latest demands.

Eric Schwarz:

It’s a bit depressing because I can make a list of web sites, stores, services, etc. that I can go back and say, “Man, remember when x was good? I miss that.”

Michael Simmons:

Spotify is a vastly superior experience to Apple Music, which shows Apple doesn’t need to innovate their services and can rely on a user base that believes anything “Apple” is superior even when it’s not. Apple Music’s slow performance and lack of device handoff says it all.

Previously:

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peelman
6 days ago
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almost all of this comes back to wall street raping silicon valley, bribing founders with piles of money to bring on “experienced leadership”, so they can take a successful idea and milk every ounce of value out of it, before shedding it like a dead husk, and continuing the cycle that’s been the only constant in tech for 20 years. success attracts sharks, and all that’s left after they are done feeding is piles of shit.
Seymour, Indiana
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ChatGPT vs. Google

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Dave Winer:

I went to ChatGPT and entered “Simple instructions about how to send email from a Node.js app?” What came back was absolutely perfect, none of the confusing crap and business models you see in online instructions in Google. I see why Google is worried. ;-)

John Gruber:

The threat to Google is real. That type of search for a clearly-written one-line programming question used to produce excellent results from Google Search. For a number of years, though, search results for queries like that — both at Google and competing search engines — have been littered with junk generated by content farms.

[…]

The problem with Google Search today isn’t specific to programming questions, but the general problem of answering how-to questions in any subject.

The ranking problem is real—these days it’s common for Google search results to be filled with junk. But I think the bigger problem is that Google no longer feels complete. I used to be able to weed out the junk by writing more specific queries. Now, such queries—as well as searches for phrases that I know exist on the Web—commonly turn up nothing.

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peelman
7 days ago
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“SEO” is a job title at even small companies now. it’s ridiculous. Google’s crafted search into a poker game and never found a way to keep out the sharks.
Seymour, Indiana
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Missing Tweets

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Lora Kolodny (Hacker News):

Twitter’s full-time headcount has dwindled to approximately 1,300 active, working employees, including fewer than 550 full-time engineers by title, according to internal records viewed by CNBC.

[…]

Musk has contradicted the internal records obtained by CNBC in a series of tweets, and claimed that Twitter now has about 2,300 full-time working employees and thousands of contractors. CNBC contacted Twitter for clarification and comment but did not immediately hear back.

[…]

Before Musk led a $44 billion leveraged buyout of Twitter last year, Twitter’s headcount stood at about 7,500 employees. Layoffs were rumored internally and expected to take place whether Musk’s takeover went through or not. However, Musk has cut Twitter personnel far more than many expected — or by about 80% according to the internal records and two recent employees who spoke with CNBC.

David Frum:

On my computer, I am checking the latest tweets by people I follow. On my phone, I’m checking whether their most recent tweets are showing up in the “Following” column. I’m just getting started, but even in the first dozen cases, Twitter failed to show me an absolute majority of the tweets I had requested to see.

John Gruber:

With Twitter now, there’s no indication that you’re missing tweets — let alone a huge number of tweets.

[…]

Here’s a speculative thread explaining what might be going on — sounds like a very solid guess to me. In short: after cutting back on servers and entire data centers, Twitter can no longer keep up with its own content.

[…]

At this writing I see a grand total of one mention for my account going back to January 5. My Twitter mentions are nearly completely useless.

Dave Mark:

Totally agree with his take. Something fundamental on Twitter is breaking. 😐

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peelman
7 days ago
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makes you wonder how many spacex rockets needlessly exploded because Musk didn’t want to pay for enough engineers to do all the maths.
Seymour, Indiana
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20 Years of Safari

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Joe Rossignol (Hacker News, Reddit):

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs introducing Safari on the Mac at the 2003 Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple advertised Safari as the “fastest web browser ever created for the Mac” at the time.

[…]

A public beta of Safari was made available for OS X Jaguar in January 2003, with key features including the WebKit rendering engine for faster browsing speeds, Google search capabilities integrated directly into the toolbar, improved bookmark management, optional pop-up ad blocking, a simpler file download process, and more.

[…]

Safari was eventually overshadowed by Google’s Chrome, which was released in 2008 and is now the world’s most popular web browser across all PCs and Macs.

D. Griffin Jones:

Over the past 20 years, Apple’s Safari web browser grew from a speedy young upstart to a polished professional. […] Take a trip down memory lane as we look at how Safari has evolved over the years.

I’ve been a fan of Safari since the beginning. It’s still my default browser, it still feels like a Mac app, and I think Apple has done a better job of maintaining it than most of the other built-in apps. That said, I’ve been a bit less happy with it in recent years:

  • Compatibility with the sites that I visit was not great in the beginning but rapidly improved. There was a 10–15 year period where Safari pretty much worked with everything. The last several years, I’ve continually run into sites that don’t work in Safari. These tend to be ones that I can’t really avoid, like banks, insurance, hotels, restaurants, and even MacUpdate.

  • Closing a tab often closes the whole window. Sometimes I can get my other tabs back using Reopen Last Closed Tab, but sometimes they are just gone. They can’t always be recovered using the history, either, as it’s been incomplete for a long time.

  • Some pages freeze or never fully load until I quit and restart the app or disable JavaScript.

  • I sometimes get multi-minute freezes when I try to print or save a page as PDF.

  • The new password manager is overall good, but it’s frustrating that it can’t search by password and that it sometimes won’t let me enter my own password when creating a login, locking in the one that it auto-generated.

  • Safari doesn’t like to keep me logged into sites, even if I have Prevent cross-site tracking off.

Andy Lee:

I don’t know if it’s an iOS 16 thing, but Safari has been flaky for me lately, especially with YouTube, to the point where I sometimes have to kill it and restart it to get it to work right. I mean flaky like becoming unresponsive, or not showing the keyboard when I enter a text field.

Magic Lasso:

In the Interop 2022 stable category Safari also made significant progress, increasing its score from 48.9% in January 2022 to 96% today. This puts Safari ahead of its competitors and demonstrates the Safari team’s commitment to addressing long-standing concerns about the browsers lack of standards conformance.

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peelman
20 days ago
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thanks @donmelton
Seymour, Indiana
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My Home Depot Store Locked up their Power Tools

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Home Depot Locked Dewalt Tools 2023

When shopping at my local Home Depot store recently, I spotted a very obvious and significant change. They’ve locked up a lot of the power tools!

This is a relatively new security measure. Have you seen the same at your Home Depot stores?

Shown above, caged doors were installed over a Dewalt 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tools endcap.

Home Depot Locked Milwaukee Tools 2023

Locked cage doors were also placed in front of a Milwaukee cordless power tools and accessories endcap.

Home Depot Locked Milwaukee Packout and Accessories 2023

The same was true for an endcap with Milwaukee Packout tool boxes and accessory sets.

A QR code points you to their online store in case what you want is sold out in store.

Home Depot Locked Ryobi Tools 2023

Even the Ryobi cordless power tools endcap display was locked behind cage doors.

All of these locks went up during or just ahead of the 2022 holiday shopping season.

Home Depot Checkout Revamp 2022

My Home Depot store also recently overhauled their checkout area, creating a single entry point. I previously assumed this was done to increase and streamline the flow to self-checkout. Was this at least partially designed as an anti-theft measure?

It’s Not Just Home Depot…

Craft Store Locked Marker Displays
Markers Locked up at Craft Store (2022)

I recently visited a local craft store chain for the first time in a while. I’m used to seeing artist paints behind locked panels at stores, but individual markers?

Dewalt Tools Locked up at Lowes Store
Dewalt Tools Locked up at Lowe’s Store (2021)

Certain Dewalt tools are locked behind caged doors at a local Lowe’s store. I took this and the following photos last year during the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Dewalt Tools with Anti-Theft Tags at Lowes Store
Dewalt Tools with Anti-Theft Tags at Lowe’s Store (2021)

Last year, my Lowe’s store applied anti-theft alarm tags on any Dewalt cordless power tools not behind locked doors.

Dewalt Purchase Tickets at Lowes Store
Dewalt Purchase Tickets at Lowe’s Store (2021)

And for their main Dewalt promotional display, they had sales tickets, where you pay for an item before receiving it.

Will this Change How You Shop for Tools?

My Home Depot has had certain accessories behind locked cage doors in the past, such as Diablo router bits. I have found that it can take a few minutes for me to find someone to unlock a cage.

A few of my local stores have CCTV cameras and monitors in the power tool accessories aisles, along with “recording in progress” notices.

Some home improvement stores I have visited in the past have tool corrals with a single point for entry and exit. If I recall correctly, one even had a turnstile.

I would say that anti-theft measures might lead to slower sales from legitimate customers, but we’ve already seen that this holiday season with tools that were on the open sales floor.

If tools are going to sell quickly or well, will placing them in locked cages change that?

Would you be less inclined to shop at stores that lock up tools and more valuable supplies and accessories? Would this drive you to take advantage of in-store pickup when available?

Home Depot talked about tool activation security measures in 2019 and again in 2021, and Lowe’s recently announced RFID-based activation and blockchain authentication concepts.

Frankly, I’d rather the inconvenience of having to find an associate to open a tool display than deal with cordless power tools having to be activated at checkout registers via Bluetooth or RFID.

If you had to choose, would you prefer having to deal with locked-up tools, or tools that are disabled until activated at a register at the time of purchase?

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peelman
21 days ago
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i commented on this to a store employee when i encountered this last summer. he replied that in his store alone, one guy had walked out with a cart with over $20k in tools, and he said that wasn’t uncommon. even the door alarms / cable tags don’t stop them.
Seymour, Indiana
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Gurman: All-New Mac Pro Still in Testing, But 'M2 Extreme' Chip Likely Canceled

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Apple continues to test an all-new Mac Pro with an M2 Ultra chip, but the company has likely abandoned plans to release a higher-end configuration with a so-called "M2 Extreme" chip, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


In the latest edition of his newsletter today, Gurman said the Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra chip will be available with up to a 24-core CPU, up to a 76-core GPU, and at least 192GB of RAM. Like the current Mac Pro, he expects the new model to remain expandable, allowing for additional memory, storage, and other components to be inserted.

The higher-end model with the M2 Extreme chip would have been available with up to a 48-core CPU and up to a 152-core GPU, according to Gurman, but he believes that this configuration was scrapped due to cost and manufacturing complexities.

"Based on Apple's current pricing structure, an M2 Extreme version of a Mac Pro would probably cost at least $10,000 — without any other upgrades — making it an extraordinarily niche product that likely isn't worth the development costs, engineering resources and production bandwidth it would require," he wrote.

The current Intel-based Mac Pro was released in December 2019 and starts at $5,999 in the United States. Barring any further delays, the new model will presumably launch at some point in 2023, but Gurman did not provide an updated timeframe.
Related Roundup: Mac Pro
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Related Forum: Mac Pro

This article, "Gurman: All-New Mac Pro Still in Testing, But 'M2 Extreme' Chip Likely Canceled" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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peelman
47 days ago
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only $10k? has Gurman forgot what a base Mac Pro costs today? let alone that fucking screen?

for literally double the performance, quite a few idiots, ahem, performance enthusiasts would buy machines that cost more than a new honda civic. how do we know? because. they do it today.

if apple is scrapping the Extreme it’s probably due to technical challenges; chip yields or trying to bridge so many packages together. it won’t be because the end product would be expensive.
Seymour, Indiana
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