MSP66  Never Gonna Give You Up: Can You Live Without The Big 5 Tech Companies?
Feb 22 2019
What would it be like if you cut Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google & Microsoft out of your life completely?We knew it would be a living hell and never had the nerve to do it. Kashmir Hill, a writer at Gizmodo did. We chat about her experiences and their implications for the world we live in.Show Links:https://gizmodo.com/c/goodbye-big-fivehttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/17/almost-impossible-to-function-without-big-five-tech-giantshttps://securitytrails.comEpisode TranscriptThese shows are dictated to and transcribed by machines, and hurriedly edited by a human. Apologies for the typos and grammar flaws.What would your life look like if you cut the big five tech companies out of your life? Is it possible to live without using Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple at all?With a statement like that, you might think that MSP’s Matt Armitage has embarked on some kind of giant and heroic experiment. Well, sorry to disappoint you. He hasn’t.So, Matt, you want to talk about cutting the tech giants out of your life without actually cutting any of the tech giants out of your life? I know you said that 2019 is the year we should embrace the hypocrisy, but isn’t that pushing the limits; even for you?•We’ve done a lot of shows on MSP based on the creep and spread of the tentacles of companies like Amazon and Google.•For many of us we associate these companies mostly with one or two products:oApple is the iPhoneoGoogle is search and mapsoMicrosoft is windows, and equally, officeoFacebook is, well, FacebookoAnd Amazon is what people do instead of going to the mall..But that public facing aspect is really only a tiny part of what these companies are and do?•Especially when it comes to the cloud, which Amazon, Google and Microsoft all control huge chunks of.•A lot of us are using 3rd party services that rely on these companies, simply by buying a cup of tea in a café that uses a POS sitting on a cloud run by one of these companies. •A lot of our interactions with them are seamless and invisible, which is why the idea of living without them is at once v intriguing and impractical.This is something we’re increasingly seeing right across the tech landscape, isn’t it? This spread of function, and acquisition of other companies that operate in neighbouring spaces?•There’s nothing new about it.•Mergers and acquisitions is how the world of commerce works.•What’s different when you relate it to tech, is the speed of the rise of some of the bigger players, and the sheer amounts of money they have to fund themselves or buy themselves into new market sectors.•So their growth – in terms of scale and function – is quite amazing.•Especially as the technology evolves so fast. •What we aren’t even imagining today, is something that is a daily use necessity tomorrow.How does that bring us back to life without the Big 5?•It’s an experiment I’ve been really interested in for a long time.•Can you consciously decouple yourself from these companies?But not something you were interested enough in to actually try?•Every time I ran it as a thought experiment, or tried to figure it out in terms of practicalities, I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it.•For example, just to do these shows. •Can I do them from paper? Yes, I could make my notes by hand.•I could research with an independent like Duck Duck Go, if I got myself a computer with Linux.•But the computers running the studio sit on MS...