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> There used to be this thing called software engineering.

And computers were once accommodated with the same with the space they deserved in large rooms.

Now we are entering the everything as miniature. Want more RAM? Throw out the whole thing, because it can't be fiddled.

You could say it's a mixture of impatience and abject cheapness.




> Now we are entering the everything as miniature. Want more RAM? Throw out the whole thing, because it can't be fiddled.

Development of some technologies seems to happen on some weird curve like this:

  end-user control / flexibility / repairability
  ^
  |                 ........
  |               ..        ..
  |             ..            ..
  |          ...                ...
  |      ....                      .......
  | .....                                 ....
  +-------------------------------------------->
                 power / money-making capability
(Not really sure about the Y axis label; I'm having trouble expressing the quality I'm thinking of.)

Things start as prototypes - hard to sell, hard to use, hard to tweak on user end. Over time, they become more flexible - think of e.g. PCs with interchangeable components. This is the golden era for end-users. They can fix stuff themselves, they can replace or upgrade components. The technology reaches maturity, and the only way from there is downhill - as businesses find new ways to fuck users over, both purposefully and incidentally. Make things smaller. More integrated. Sealed. Protected. The end result is the ultimate money-maker - a black box you lease and can only use as long as you're paying for the subscription.


Hardware may be cheap or expensive, it does not make a lot of difference.

The key is whether you see your data, or your customers' data, as a precious thing that needs care and protection.

If you do, you make the best effort to select the right software, understand how it works, deploy it correctly and securely, etc. If you don't, you just slap together something that sort of works from the easiest-to-obtain parts, and concentrate on other things.

A lot of people don't care too much about their own personal data; some of them are developers, product managers, even CEOs.




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