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/cyb/ - cyberpunk and cybersecurity

low life. high tech. anonymity. privacy. security.

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Help me fix this shit.

Kalyx ######

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What is your excuse to yourself to possess and use a smartphone?

Do you consider yourself unable to do things people ten years ago could do?
Do you consider yourself too important to not be contactable during your commute, your job, your meals, your sleep?
Do you consider yourself unable to stand a couple minutes without distraction through instant gratification?
Do you do "work" on it, and consider trading usage comfort, self-controlled platform, self-controlled storage and self-controlled software for less weight to carry in contrast to, eg., a laptop?

Do you think it's fine, because you only use it for $USECASE, and you think what you are using it for is okay even if the way most people use their smartphone is worse? Or because you use $MODEL with $SOFTWARE instead of what you think is worse?

Did you submit yourself to the system, because it's easy and comfortable and everyone else you know does it too anyway? I thought you were a cyberpunk. But only for a bit of after-work fun, probably. Or maybe you don't even want to associate with cyberpunk, you're just here because you watched some anime and have a little technical affinity. Maybe this is the wrong place for you. Or maybe it is the wrong place for me.

Why do you have a smartphone?

…or did you actually already think about this, but find yourself unable to stop? This is on purpose:


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I carry a smartphone because I want to. I don't need to justify myself to anyone.

It's even got an active Google account signed in so that I can use the play store to get apps. I even sometimes pay for them. I hope that's not some sort of trigger for anyone reading this.


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It was given to me as a gift by my parents who thought I would use its alarm and scheduling functionality to be more accountable, maybe check email when commuting on public transit (笑). At first I just used it as a phone, ignoring all other functionality. Then I starting using it to browse the web on the go. Right now I just use it for that and for Discord (yes, I know, >discord).

I don't use it for all that much that's very important, tbh. I don't like to use it outdoors because I don't like to squint at the screen, and I don't like to turn up the brightness because I know I'll waste battery by forgetting to turn it back down. Pokemon go (and Ingress before it) seemed really stupid to me because to play them you basically have to use your phone outside in the sunlight (and also because you're feeding fucking GPS information to the cyberpunk death machine, of course.)

I haven't gone out of my way to wean myself off it, but I won't be buying another one; I'll just get a cheap Nokia when it dies.

tl;dr it was given to me and I've kept it because of complacency


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never had any sort of phone; so many annoyed people with forms to fill. "it doesn't let me go to the next thing without a number".

never really caused any problems; can always irc or email or whatever. does seem like one of things that you'd just take for granted once you had and not be able to back out, though


Last phone I owned was a Samsung Note 3. I tossed it and haven't seen a reason to purchase another phone since.


My answer is no to all of your questions and I get your point, but not everyone is at a point in their life that they can immediately change, some of us come from a world to which we grew spiteful, and as a result we're attracted here.

Give me some time, I'm not claiming to be cyberpunk, I'm mostly lurking, I'll get my soykaf together eventually you can count on it.


I carry a cellphone so I can contact my family or they can contact me in the event of an emergency. I have children, so I want to be able to know if something has gone horribly wrong. It costs far less than a landline and I can use it anywhere I am.

I have considered setting up Asterisk and getting a DID but I'm not sure that would be any more reliable or accessible, given that I would need a network connection or physical phone to use it.

I am notified of many things related to their world via text message and many of my acquaintances prefer to send me text messages. My job requires that I use 2FA with many things, this often forces me to do so via SMS. I wish I could find a fob for it instead. I use MMS messages to receive lewdz from my partner and to receive pictures from family.

It's a smartphone because I was able to acquire it at no cost second hand. A custom ROM let me have modern functionality on an "old" phone. If this weren't an option, I would probably just buy a pay as you go phone.

Sometimes I use a faraday bag with it, though my partner gets upset when I don't immediately answer it. I don't often have it out. No important "apps" on it and there are no Google services or third party accounts signed into anything.

I play Tetris on it and read eBooks on it occasionally. I might use it now and then to look something up on the WWW or make a quick note if my agenda isn't nearby. I take pictures with it and keep a bit journal on it.

I'm not concerned with state actors but that doesn't mean I don't have anything to hide. I believe it's near impossible (or at least completely improbable) for me to hide from state actors. I can, however, hide from advertisers and passive/automated attacks by private parties with it.

I am considering a better laptop and just buying a prepaid dumb phone instead. If that happens, I will still need to have at least SMS capabilities. I tried a Nokia candy bar phone for a while but I dearly missed being able to take pictures of my children whenever something fun happened.



In fact, I'd like suggestions…

I can do without a lot of things but I would like to be able to read eBooks and I would prefer it to be with as libre a device as possible. What are my options for an eReader?

I want to be able to take pictures of my children or other things on the fly. What's a relatively decent and small camera I could do that with. Again, as libre as possible.

I want to be able to do 2FA with things at work. I need SMS for that and preferably some sort of hardware token as well. What are my options here? Dumb phone and a Yubi Key?

I don't mind second hand with any of this stuff.



Thinking out loud again. I suppose a tablet with a camera on it could handle the book reading and picture taking. Maybe the 2FA as well. It seems like it would be a little unwieldy, though.



these essays aren't necessarily just about phones. we do this soykaf with any web site or information stream, lainchan included.


If Gov logging and NSA spying wasn't a thing I would totally have an iPhone 7 256GB Jet Black with Apple's extended battery through AT&T.


I carry one so that it might spy on OP should we meet IRL, hoping that this shows OP how things like privacy and freedom are abstractions, weak concepts that do not correspond to anything in reality.


true. main difference is always-on and location-awareness (you carry it), maybe more sensors and less security (as in, you can't control it fully or install BSD on it).

you're still right. on the other hand, "other things are bad too" isn't an excuse for the phone.


you need a hug? just ask me instead of stalking~


I'm a medic so I must be contactable if there's an emergency.

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