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What Would Life Be Like without the Tech Giants?

Over at Gizmodo, Kashmir Hill has published one of the most impressive journalistic projects of the year. Each week for five weeks, she used a custom-built VPN to block a particular tech giant—Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple—from her life, while still trying to do her job and exist in the modern world. Of course, she also stopped using all hardware from those companies, and the VPN ensured that she couldn’t access otherwise-independent services hosted at Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud. On the sixth week, she went all out and blocked all five tech giants from her life. The titles of each of the six articles are telling—be sure to read them in order.

  1. I Tried to Block Amazon From My Life. It Was Impossible
  2. I Cut Facebook Out of My Life. Surprisingly, I Missed It
  3. I Cut Google Out Of My Life. It Screwed Up Everything
  4. I Cut Microsoft Out of My Life—or So I Thought
  5. I Cut Apple Out of My Life. It Was Devastating
  6. I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell

The moral of the story? Short of retiring to the hinterlands to raise yaks, the only way to deal with our reliance on these companies is to move forward—there’s no going back.

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Comments About What Would Life Be Like without the Tech Giants?

Notable Replies

  1. A very interesting article, and one paragraph in particular sheds some light about why Apple is building out its Services, even though they still rely on Google, MS Azure and Amazon for cloud infrastructure.

    “AWS is the internet’s largest cloud provider, generating 0ver $17 billion in revenue last year. Though Amazon makes much more in gross sales—over $100 billion—from its retail business, if you scrutinize its earnings reports, you’ll see that the majority of its profits come from AWS. Tech is where the money is, baby.”

    They’d be crazy to take on the corporate cloud business right now, but rumors have been flying for years that they are working on a cloud platform that would keep everything Apple internal. Now that iTunes is solidly established, Apple Pay continues to gain steam, Music continues to grow, Health is just getting off the ground, and a lot more is in the offing, this makes a lot of sense.

    But who knows what’s a long ways down the road? Privacy and security could be big selling points for an Apple Cloud as well as iCloud.

  2. I also ran across this interesting article, which outlines just how far Amazon’s reach is.

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