[clug] The end of the personal computer age is nigh !

Bryan Kilgallin bryan at netspeed.com.au
Fri Feb 13 22:14:28 MST 2015

Hi Eyal:

> First, one should not piggyback on another discussion, as the item 
> below looks to be.

I wasn't familiar with such other chat here about this topic.

> One should remember that us, the users, are not even at the
> discussion table for these issues.

I am a member of a political party whose anti-imperialist officials 
ought to be abreast of this issue. How would you explain this hard, 
not-fun topic to people who would rather wave a placard than pay more 
for their e-mail address?

> Most users do not even notice the
> crossing of a line
>     I am in control -> others are in control
>     I own -> I do not own

I know people who happily read ancient tomes demonising the idle rich. 
But they won't take time off rabble-rousing to modernise their systems!

> I do not have root access on my phone.
> I cannot control permissions on my phone.
> Heck, I cannot even back it up (dd ...).

I've done all the above. Swap it for an open-source model!

> It is clearly not *my* phone, I am just the phone's user.

Get rid of that ball-and-chain. I have read of self-drive cars. But I 
don't want one that locks its doors and takes me to a police station 
whenever (in manual mode) it detects a traffic offence!

> And soon, my PC will be nothing more that a KVM to a remote computer I
> have no control over and no knowledge of who has access to it.

That is the case whenever I fill out a Web form on a bureaucratic site!

> I guess that when they say my privacy is in the cloud, it is like 
> "when you die you go to heaven in the clouds".

Take control of your affairs.

> My privacy has died...

Vigilance is the price of freedom!

> At some point people may notice, when it hurts them enough.

That's too late. One summer, a hail storm flooded buildings in Civic and 
ANU. You don't have to find out that you should have cleared leaves from 
your gutters--by completing an insurance claim form!

> There seems to be *some* interest in legislating some "private 
> information rights" but I am not holding my breath.

In a political party, I volunteered on a policy committee. So we 
recommended policies. Which in the party pamphlets--came out utterly 

> BTW, this is *not* about recent government intrusions that make 
> exciting news.

As far as I am concerned, changing official practice is hard slog!

> This is about commercial entities (usually monopolies) that abuse 
> their power.

Authority is abuse!

> After you see how Android works you must ask if google really does no 
> harm.

I know all that stuff.

> There will always be enough concerned people that will maintain a 
> "personal computer" which stays offline unless requested to go online.

The apathetic masses cannot be trusted on this matter.

> I just do not want to live my life online.

The "pretty young things" are otherwise.


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