Friday, October 09, 2015

Small devices

This month I've been forced into a backup (phone) body. The innocent knock against the old incarnation took on terrorist undertones as the old battery inflated beyond safe limits. November threatened.  Retreat to 50m.
The new shell is smaller but more polished. I like it, but there are some interesting things to note when downgrading your working memory. I wonder if this is a form of enlightenment.
The phone-as-platform, software-as-supply-chain anti-pattern really hits home. I don't need Google Music/News/Bookstand/Dildonics but they do take up half my device. Forced obesity. Disabling them brings obscure warnings about unknown adverse effects. Re-definition of OS as shop window. Consumer grade.
Priorities. This evening I had to choose between Skype and Evernote. I put Skype out of its misery despite MS's free 20 minutes. Why did I do that? Apps can/should be installed and removed on demand - borrow the functionality you need. Permanence is a materialistic hangover.
Cloudlife is a step-change, like moving all your music to mp3, or getting a fridge for the first time. Suddenly the device is no longer your "wallet", in the sense that losing it won't lose everything in one go. You're no longer really sure where anything is - maybe you can work it out on a case-by-case basis, but 6 cloud accounts and it all blurs. Like paint at the end of art class. Brown-purple data, squished together in front of your eyes. It's useful if you're not a backup-sort-of-person, but how do you know if anything ever gets deleted? I wonder what a git history of personal data would look like.

2FA tokens are anti-cloud, of course. Once mobile numbers are virtualized as well, 2FA will be the only real representation of physicality and individuality left. Can they even survive long as the idea of one canonical device gets ever looser? Bitcoin has dedicated wallets - should serious tech nomads be switching to dedicated devices for auth?

The experiment continues. We've come a long way since Palm Pilots.



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