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How the privacy and data storage features of Web3 can empower society

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How the privacy and data storage features of Web3 can empower society

From Web1 to Web2, we’ve made great strides in decentralizing data, empowering users to create content and share it via websites. That’s where the buck stops, as users do not own and control their data. Moreover, since big tech companies run Web2 for the most part, users do not know what genuine privacy and ownership feel like. 

Web3 changes the game. It gives users access to an open, trustless and permissionless Internet, where they need to rely on these companies or compromise data ownership and privacy. The evolution of privacy and storage from Web1 to Web3 has been vast. Web3 could empower society by giving control back to users. Here’s how:

Web1 to Web3: The evolution of privacy and data storage

The web was mostly a static medium in its early days. Web1 introduced websites, a groundbreaking innovation that provided a new and potent medium for consuming content. However, it only allowed one-way communication, which was the main limitation. Users could only consume content on these websites, not create or contribute, which made Web1 non-collaborative and a bit boring compared to today.  

In addition, Web1 was severely centralized. The creators controlled the website, data storage and even data communications or transmissions. As a result, users did not play a major role in Web1 and they were merely participants who consumed content on the web but had no ownership or rights.

Towards user participation

We are currently on Web2. At least theoretically, the focus has shifted towards user participation in this phase, which is one of its greatest upsides. Users cannot merely read data on this version, but also write. For example, they can create blogs, videos tutorials and more. But there’s a catch here, as there are limitations to what users can do.

Users have a broader creative scope in Web2. They can populate custom websites and interact with all forms of data, enabling solutions and services unthinkable in Web1. And yet, big tech companies own and govern the servers that host and store such data. In other words, users can now create and contribute data to the web, but not control it. Thus, web-based communications and storage remain highly centralized. 

Being able to share content and generate data on the web is empowering but it does not ensure ownership. Web2 is a service with Terms and Conditions. And big tech companies determine these terms ultimately, exercising absolute control. So much so that users cannot use the web without accepting the said terms, consciously or unconsciously. As mentioned in our previous report, we are late to realize the importance of privacy on the Internet and our clipboards, preferences and browsing activities are sent to countless websites and sold without much input from us.

Towards decentralization 

Web3 is the promised land. It solves the issues of centralization of data storage and communication. Web2 initiated the journey towards decentralization, but eventually fostered worse forms of centralization than Web1. 

To reiterate, users did not actually control or own the data they produced. Moreover, the centralized web is also conducive to censorship and de-platforming. And as a whole, big tech companies severely exploit end-users to maximize profits. Now the question is—what’s different about Web3?

Decentralization. Web3 returns the control over data to users, who remain in charge of storage and communication. Websites on this user-centric version of the web run on blockchain networks, replacing single (centralized) servers with thousands of globally distributed computers (nodes). Instead of legacy processes and channels, they interact with end-users through decentralized applications or dApps.  

Most dApps are genuinely community-governed and noncustodial. Users can thus experience actual and meaningful ownership of their data, with algorithmically secured intellectual property rights. Moreover, the underlying blockchain facilitates transparent communications while prioritizing privacy through cryptographic encryption. 

Censorship is also mostly impossible since smart contracts automatically execute web processes based on predefined triggers and conditions without human interference. The approach ensures optimal fairness as well. 

Web3: Privacy and data storage are not luxuries

As dApps replace centralized websites, users can regain their privacy and the ability to store data. Web3’s user-to-platform interactions are confidential and anonymous, both in principle and in practice. All this lets individuals realize their self-sovereignty and rest assured about the security of their private information.

Web3 is not yet here entirely, but we are moving steadily towards a digital world where privacy and ownership are a right, not luxuries. The challenge now is to ensure the robustness of the key infrastructure. For one, dApps need to be optimally functional, onboarding masses and providing their services at scale. 

We are getting there soon, though, thanks to the industry’s many prolific and innovative communities. The social impact of Web3 empowers individuals at a fundamental level. And by securing privacy and ownership at this level, we can eventually establish these as the norm for human-to-human and human-to-machine interactions. Web3 is indeed the future that users deserve, the future that is now. 

Forrest Bai is the cofounder of Foresight Ventures.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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