Re: Push-Technology and Technology News

Chris Hind (
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 08:34:38 -0800

>Well, I see some limitations to this, some of which are a bit subtle. I
>have thousands of interests, and a profiler is limited to what I tell
>it. It may do well with the interests which I express a lot, but I
>cannot hope for it to detect my lesser interests.

How can you say that? Push-technology has only recently entered the scene.
And profiles CAN detect slight variations due to comparing your profile
with other profiles highly similar to you. This will highly increase
individuality because as you're compared against other profiles your slight
interests will deviate even more away from other peoples, spontaneous
orders will naturally cause differences and will cause wide ranges of
individuality. With greater individuality you will lose accuracy though
which will cause people to wander back out onto the web unless something
better comes along such as metaverses (vr worlds) and this will also give
time for AI developers to enhance AI to sort through all the junk on the
net and create good search tools.

>Another limitation is
>that there are *always* implicit assumptions in such systems, based on
>its design and the bias of its programmers. Would I really trust
>Microsoft to build a profile which truly represents my values? I think

Algorithms are just formulas, how can numbers be biased? and Microsoft
doesn't build the profile for you, you do. You just select content off the
web you like and it's delivered to your screen constantly. You'd get the
same thing if you put your browser on a constant refresh where you're
continually downloading the website for the latest info. Third party
providers like my-yahoo or firefly could be plugged into the system to
compare profiles and make suggestions. Profiles may likely become a
standard control panel item.

>Since it seems that push technology is a blatantly commercial
>aspect of the Net, And there's always the privacy issue.

And commercialization is a bad thing? You can set things up legally so your
profile remains private. Take a look at firefly.

>Finally, if I am
>inundated with PT selections I will likely spend less of my time
>browsing at random, effectively reducing my scope in the direction of
>the PT content.

You don't browse at random already, you see a web address somewhere and you
type it in or you use a search tool and find a website. The only time you
browse at random is if you tell a search tool to give you a random link or
you just pick a random word and goto www."randomword".com. There is nearly
no such thing as random surfing. This mailinglist is an example of
push-technology. You like it, you wanted more and the most recent
information so you subscribed. If you nolonger like it anymore you can
unsubscribe. This is exactly what push technology is except you can throw
in commercials too. Take a look at PointCast Network, not the screensaver
just the client. It's just news in web format, scrolling windows, scrolling
tickers, etc. All this stuff can be done with java or activex if needed.
It's nothing new except you can also have this stuff shown as a
screensaver. Imagine having a computer screen with a window for incoming
mail/faxes/voicemail on the left, a central window showing the news or
video programming of your liking and maybe an advertisement or two (but you
can bet they'll figure out ways to filter 'em out) and on the right window,
the latest headlines of your liking. On the bottom half of the screen
theres a webbrowser where when you click on a headline or a video playing
in the video window the webbrowser will display more information on that topic.

"Risk: You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage
to lose sight of the shore."

Chris Hind ( Upward, Outward, ACTION!
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