Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

December 29, 2012

The rise of the internet.

I was an early adopter, fidonet / bbs’s and all that good shit.

Back then we knew the MSM (main stream media) was all “push” bullshit, and we thought we were at the cutting edge of the revolution and the new way forward.

Then all the “me too” AOL‘ers came online and fucked everything up for everyone, and what followed was useful evils like google and pernicious evils like facebook and linkedin, the dream was dead.

And then… well… then a funny thing happened, the sheer mass of people online exceeded the ability of the corporates to steer and control it.

It is a literal truth to state that certain news items come to my attention via discussions on swinging sites long before I ever encounter them on a MSM news site.

Then, as stated here, (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-28/what-america-really-thinks) there is the growing awareness that it doesn’t really matter who “they” are, “we” the great unwashed public, just don’t believe anything “they” say, or try to tell us, or try to inform us of, or try to educate us about, or try to sell us etc.

It’s not how we early adopters predicted things would turn out, not by any means, but this mass jaded apathy and cynicism is no bad thing.

“They” can no longer run any kind of article about divorce or the family courts or domestic violence and have a comment section that is not over-run with men saying it is all bollocks.

In typical bolting the stable door weeks after the horse has bolted fashion, the powers that be are trying to impose curbs and filters and controls on the bits of this new network that so far remain in their control, to whit, the internet connection from your house to the backbone and back.

But they watch what happened in north Africa and shit themselves, nearly three years ago now I bought a Samsung Galaxy S1 smartphone, I didn’t need no stinking internet, I didn’t even need no stinking 2/3g connection.

I didn’t need those things because I was carrying around a device the size of a packet of cigarettes with Star Trek capabilities, that would charge from any USB source, that would on demand operate as its own wifi hotspot and share files between similar devices, no need for swapping SD cards or bluetooth transfers, any fucking thing with wifi.

Three years later I have the third iteration of that device.

What I have, basically, is what we used to call sneakernet.

It was an old saying, never under estimate the bandwidth of a holdall full of backup tapes, and in actual fact it is as true today as it was in the dawn of the digital age.

Never under estimate the bandwidth of millions of people walking around with hand held devices that can exchange files trivially between themselves once they are within a few metres of each other…. sure, the latency and ping times are a bastard, but latency and ping times don’t mean a fucking thing when it comes to text based discussion and information sharing.

We knew that back in the fidonet / BBS days.

I was reminded of this by something my mother said a couple of days ago, my bro is literally on the other side of the planet, so he sends me an SMS message, and it gets to me in a couple of minutes.

When I was a lad a letter used to take two weeks to do that journey, par avion, (fuck it, it used to take three days to fly from London to Singapore, and we thought that was fast… it took 28 days by fast liner) and if that wasn’t good enough you could send a very similar message to an SMS, but it was called a telegram, and it cost a lot of money, and it still often took a day or two, or sometimes even more…. I was in Africa when a family member died, it was this time of year, by the time I got the telegram the family member had already been buried.

The last big fuckup we had in Europe was Yugoslavia, but as recent as it was, it was before the smartphone revolution, before Windows95, before “the internet” as the AOL’ers knew it.

Fast forwards to Egypt and Libya and even those populations with minimal smartphone market penetration and the revolution is utterly transformed by the ability of these devices to form ad hoc mesh sneakernet networks…

The gap between Yugoslavia and Libya is far far far smaller, technologically, than the gap between Libya and your average western school-yard today.

The genie is well and truly out of the bottle, you could literally pull the plug on ALL internet and 3G systems in the UK and while it would cause uproar, data would still flow, and while ping and latency would be atrocious, I’d say 8 hours tops for anything meme-worthy to transit from one end of the country to the other.

You can’t un-ring a bell, and you can’t put this technology away again once Pandora opens her box.

Samsung, for example, may have intended “bump to share” as a fun little feature to drive sales by allowing people at a social event to take and share pictures etc on the spot, but then again the internet was intended to route around damage in traditional switched networks in the event of a nuclear war, and we see how that turned out.


  1. So I guess 8 hours for news to travel across Britain, something like 100 people would be involved from end to end? Does that include random people moving about in their cars with their smart phones? Doesn’t seem like much across such a large distance. In a city I’d say that would be enough. One thing I haven’t figured into this is the time it takes to hook up with someone else’s phone, as I am not in possession of a smart phone. I do have a wifi capable ipad so it would just be a matter of finding the next mobile open hotspot. But how does one go about exchanging the actual information? Can Galaxy phones run :80 servers?

    Comment by Michael — December 30, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    • Exchanging data between two NFC enabled devices is as simple as bumping them together, the synchronised shock on the accelerometers inside providing timing identification.

      Any rooted android phone can run anything, it is a portable computer running something not a million miles away from linux on ARM… there are several free web servers for android available on the google play market… so yes you can walk around with a portable web server and wifi hotspot combined.

      Yes 8 hours assumes people are moving in transport such as cars or buses or trains, with CURRENT TECHNOLOGY.

      But… if TSHTF and one person has a copy of the serval mesh app (http://www.servalproject.org/) which is also free for android and open source, you could get a nationwide mesh network up and running, and so that 8 hours could conceivably be cut down to 15 minutes across country.

      Comment by wimminz — December 30, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  2. I remember dialing up to bbs’s on our 1200 baud modem and it was like magic. Everyone was so excited about the new tech. I was about 12 years old. I really miss those early days and true anonymity.

    I’ve resisted buying a smart phone, but Serval Mesh is getting me excited about the possibilities of a return to something resembling the early days on the Internet.

    So I could go and buy an Android phone with cash and no plan and become a link in the network… Do you know if SMS would work without an identifying phone number via a simcard? I’m smart phone ignorant, but will be looking into this now.

    This could really change everything. Thanks for the post!.

    Comment by Sam2000 — December 30, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

  3. Care to speculate on how internet and smartphones would have made things different for Yugoslavia?

    Comment by Bob — December 31, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    • You kidding me?
      The whole NATO propaganda during that war would´ve been blown out of the water, just as the corresponding national ones from the various Balkan factions AND the vatican.
      People just wouldn´t believe how jiingoistic “god´s men of love and light” were on ALL sides, while the holy polish fish-head lamented the violence.
      I believe the orthodox and muslim leaders at least didn´t pretend and went outright for “kill´em all”.

      Don´t think a cell-phone system would´ve survived for long, as it´s obvious strategic value would´ve made every tower a prime target for all (especially NATO) factions.

      Comment by hans — December 31, 2012 @ 8:00 am

  4. Getting major fidonet flashbacks too now! 🙂

    Add to this simple DYI solar chargers ( http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/feature.asp?t=how_to&c=12018 ) for added self-sufficiency and you´re making me inch even closer to finally breaking down and getting that damn smartphone.
    That servalproject sound VERY interesting indeed.

    Comment by hans — December 31, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  5. Besides cell phone networks you have basic wifi aka a neighborhood full of wireless routers. Look at the “Piratebox” idea, follow basic directions and you have a homemade darknet for chat and filesharing in a lunch box or smaller, battery powered. WiMax standard is an option too. They’ve been putting wimax cards in some laptops for 2-3 years already.

    Comment by JFP — January 2, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

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