Network: Outraged? A brisk jog is just the ticket

IF JOGGING on Silicon Valley's Sand Hill Road is inspirational, then I'm one inspired fella. My wife, Linda, Cassie the dog and I jog here six mornings a week, alternating among three routes to keep it interesting. Any long-time jogger knows about runner's reverie. This is a trance-like state that overtakes the head as the feet, on autopilot, follow a well-worn trail.

As we cross Sand Hill and turn on to a bikepath heading into the grounds of Stanford University, the sunrise-lit horizon blazes into view. Grey sky with dramatic pink and orange splashes catch my attention like the cover of Wired magazine before my thoughts drift to a scene the day before in an office in one of Silicon Valley's palatial HQ buildings.

Not every Silicon Valley company is a raw startup. Why, some are 10 and 15 years old. Some of these companies have, or had at some point in their trajectories, so much money that they decided to carve large and deluxe digs right into the heart of some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Apple Computer keeps its campus in the heart of Cupertino. Much of the 10 or so acres (in a county where quarter-acre lots can bring a million dollars) is given over to a grassy quadrangle and outdoor amphitheatre, complete with cafe. The whole open space is ringed with buildings featuring lots of corner offices, glass walls, and a four-story atrium replete with live trees and a coffee bar. Even that pales in comparison to some other hi-tech palaces, but back to the office conversation. John Santoro, an Apple executive, is recounting that his car needed unexpected repairs, and how he'd told the mechanic to go ahead without even thinking about the cost.

John has been a teacher and a wire service photographer in past lives. Neither metier is famous for its abundant remuneration. "Remember the panic when the mechanic would say you needed tires?" he asked. "I don't even think about those things anymore."

Once, in my impecunious youth, I'd been given a ticket by the Pasadena Police Department for having a bald tire on my '54 Chevy. Sudden financial needs qualified as a genuine emergency. The tidal wave of prosperity that's crashed on to Silicon Valley's shores has given "fiscal emergency" a new meaning.

For many here, a fiscal angst means deciding whether to sell stock options now, or waiting to see if the price will go up. People sit, eyes fixed on their online broker's Web page stock ticker, anxious finger poised above mouse. God knows how much productive time is lost to this exercise hereabouts.

But now we're rounding Stanford's Hoover Tower, just coming up on the Falun Gong people. This is a group who gather in the early morning to perform the slow, meditative exercises of the spiritual movement banned in China. This group has been gathering for the past year in a small garden in the shadow of the edifice named for the cross-dressing former head of the FBI. California has ever been a study in interesting cultural juxtapositions. Which, of course, causes the jogger's brain to jump to the "deep linking" controversy.

A US company, Ticketmaster, has been suing other companies, including Microsoft, for linking to pages in its Website. Normally, you'd expect a merchant to be delighted with traffic being sent their way. But Ticketmaster wants links only to its home page. They want people to have to fumble through their site, the better to get page view numbers up so they can command higher rates for advertising. This, of course, makes me livid.

The Web is a public place. If you put something there, lacking strong encryption, it's visible to anyone with a browser. Companies such as Ticketmaster are trying to use legions of lawyers to bully Web users into giving up a public place. Hey, Ticketmaster: if you don't want people linking to pages, don't put 'em up. The Web is based on something called hypertext, the whole point of which is to make it easy to jump to relevant pages. Every Web page lives on a single URL, and is therefore equal in the eyes of hyperlinks. The notion of "deep" pages is a fabrication of lawyers looking for billable hours.

It's as if you went to browse in a public library and some rent-a-cop jumped out and whacked your hand with a ruler if you dared open a certain book to any but the first page.

The deep-linking outrage has carried me almost back to my door. Time to sit down and write this column.

cg@gulker.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent