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Re: Amazon Silk

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:04:22 +0200
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <CFE298CE-3179-4F49-ADB6-14B3E69D96E6@berjon.com>
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
On Sep 28, 2011, at 20:55 , Mark Nottingham wrote:
> If I were to be of a political bent, I'd notice that in the "developed" world, corporations are taking on the role that we frown upon so much in "less developed/free/enlightened" governments.

I would shy away from that comparison though. For starters, you can't quite leave North Korea as you can leave Amazon. But perhaps more to the point, the side-effects of such technologies are not necessarily the ones that one would expect if following the overly simplistic assumption that if it can go bad it will. I think that Opera Mini's usage statistics tell an interesting story about censorship circumvention for instance.

That is not to say that we should be rosy eyed and nave, simply that such analogies can only lead to caricatural conclusions in a complex  and increasingly so  mesh of a situation. Rather, we need to find a way to implement checks and balances.

> I will reiterate (for the nth time) that it would be valuable for the W3C to specify what a "browser" is, in the sense of what protocols, formats and standards it supports and uses when you feed it a URL. Then it could point a finger at Amazon and say "that's not a browser, and it's bad because..."

And what force would that carry? There is no definition that would carry the force of "you should not do X because it is contrary to human dignity". Any definition of a browser would necessarily be highly convoluted, biased, probably wrong, extremely debatable, and impenetrable to most. Even if you did reach consensus on a definition, you could wag your finger all day long and no one will care. From what I can tell, for all intents and purposes, Silk is a browser. I can browser the Web with it. It works. That it happens on my machine or on some kind of weird clustering technology that I don't understand is hardly part of the picture.

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 22:05:05 UTC

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