April 27, 2024

I was reading a nice blog post yesterday about passkeys. It’s a story about a up and coming web technology that has the potential to solve the “password problem”, yet the tech companies that control the web and web browsers made decisions that would essentially help keep the user’s locked into their ecosystems. It’s sad to hear, but didn’t trigger me to write this blog entry.

Instead it was some random article called “Apple users are being locked out of their Apple IDs with no explanation.” I don’t know why that happened to trigger me, because I don’t own any Apple hardware or use any Apple services. Nor do I plan to. Generally I see a similar sob story every month about someone who has been locked out of their Google account and lost access to their online life. Personally, I try to keep my distance and self-host as much as I can, but I will admit that I do rely on Google Photos and Youtube more than I would like. I do try to back up photos on my phone, but maybe I should look at a more hands-off solution for categorizing random videos I take of my kids. The tradeoff with self-hosted solutions is that you need to exchange your time for freedom. And it’s too bad free software hasn’t made much progress on mobile platforms.

Anyways, where was I going with this? What can we do to escape this major tech company lock-in? They treat their users like sheep, under the guise that they “surprise and delight them” with neat features? I’d like to find a way where people could live in a self-sustained tech ecosystem, but I think it’s probably a human trait that a lot of people are OK with being sheep. They are OK with seeing advertisements on their computer. They are OK with the computer telling them how to log in because the software company knows better than they do. Or maybe it’s just a completely foreign concept for them to be able to decide when their computer takes software updates.