Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Deny access.

Yesterday I got a new phone, a real one; an android, because there is no way I will ever join the Apple Nazi brigade. I have an original Blackberry which I love but it is no longer supported by apps that I need for work and so I bit the bullet. I just bought a simple Samsung A6,  nothing fancy. I don’t get the phone thing and this is from someone who was on the computer bandwagon back in my teens in the mid eighties. Now that I have my first android phone I still don’t get what all the fuss is about. How people can spend four figures on these things is simply beyond me.

I like nice things but there has to be a reason to spend the extra cash. I have a nice car because I spend a lot of time in it and I want to be protected as well as possible if something or someone runs into me. I like nice clothes because they feel good on you, they look good on you, and they don’t fall apart after two washes. I like nice cigars and wine and whiskey because you need no reason to explain that one. I like a powerful computer because I don’t want to sit staring at a screen loading; my time is valuable.

But a phone? You talk on it and send messages. At least that’s what I do.

Everyone else seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on their phone. They watch television on it, they play games on it, fuck knows what they do on it. I’ll be impressed the day a phone can make me a decent cup of coffee. Until then modern phones are just trying to do everything, and things that try to do everything usually end up doing everything at a shitty level.

It was amusing setting up my phone. Straight away the overseers at Google demanded that I allow them access to all of my files, contacts, photos, (I don’t have any), film clips, you name it.

But there was an option. It was called “deny access”. I chose it. I chose it with glee and relish.

Other features of the phone required similar things of me. Deny, deny, deny. You’re all fucking denied. Beautiful.

Then I had to download an app. It’s called WhatsApp. Everyone at work has it except for me. They will be in mortal shock when they discover that I have Whatsapp. So I went to download it. It is a free app, but the download thingy, (I think it was Google), required me to put in a payment method for future apps that I may wish to purchase. Hmmmm. I was not happy with this, most of all because none of the payment options were available to me due to me being a luddite.

But then right at the bottom of the screen, after I had scrolled down, past a whole bunch of boring stuff designed to bore you so that you go no further, right after I scrolled down past all of that stuff, right at the bottom tucked away in a far corner behind a fat lady with a pram, there was a little button that said “skip this option”.

I chose that one. And then it asked me if I wanted to deny access to a bunch of stuff, and of course I fucking did, so I said of course I fucking do, and then it downloaded the app and now I have it and ha-di-ha-di-hah it’s working.

There should be more deny access options in life. I can’t think of a better epitaph for that matter – deny access. Mind you, I’ll get to heaven and God will look at me, give me a wink, and say, “Why hello there, Adam. We’ve been expecting you. Oh, look at that – access denied. Sucks to be you.”







  1. Chuck Hortler

    Just in the last couple of weeks, Android has been exposed for the umpteenth time as a garbage pile of open source code with so many backdoors a termite nest couldn’t keep up with it.

    (interesting that duckduckgo finds the above article but the great Sauron eye of Google can’t seem to find it )

    Even the ever-PC American media were shocked. no Shocked! that their Android phone would track their every moment …

    and then … even their elevation during their most private moments (mile high club tracking feature?)

  2. antiserf

    My first email address was…i chose that because of questions that were asked tht i didnt want to answer. Try denying access to everything that google play services wants access to and your phone will become barely functional due to incessant blinging and popups by design. You can mute the blinging…but not the popups…its maddening.

  3. First they reduced all of life to a phone’s 3.5 inch screen AND then took away the mini-PCs Blackberrys – sadistic. I use a BB Passport because I can type little messages into it on a wide keyboard. (I use a tablet for apps and for the car). I destroyed an Android phone from frustration using the virtual keyboard. Everything on the Android phone was inferior, nothing was integrated, just random apps that do not necessarily work well together. Now I am forced to spend $400+ on an Android BB if I still want a keyboard AND I have to use Google even if I don’t want to.

    How is this progress? Fewer options, fewer companies, fewer phones…everything standardized and designed not to make you productive and independent, but to make you a stupid cog of the hive mind.

  4. Post Alley Crackpot

    No should always be the default answer …

    Anything else requires serious consideration.

  5. Apex Predator

    Apple Nazis—> Or Google Commies. Take your pick.

    In many ways Google is far worse as they are basically an extended arm of the National Security Agency and have disclosed as much. Apple at least somewhat, seems to respect privacy still. Google tracks you in every possible way a human can be tracked.

    There are no good options with only 2 corporations now having a defacto monopoly. My only advice would be pretend there is a federal agent looking over your shoulder at all times, because, in effect, there basically is.

    • It’s not just the NSA, but pretty much every national government from the US to China has their backdoors into Google’s systems now.

      As much as Apple sucks, at least they don’t seem to actively aid governments in getting user data.

  6. JohnR

    The choice is Google Nazi or Apple Nazi.
    I’d go for the one which is secure, doesn’t sell your user info, and just works.

  7. TechieDude

    I’ve had them all. I do miss the tactile keyboard of the Blackberry, though.

    I have to say, I’m in the Apple camp. I don’t trust google, and the android phone I’ve had don’t perform nearly as well as my iPhones. I really don’t have a problem with how they control their ecosystem. That’s what makes them better in my opinion. And I liked the way they dug in their heels against the Obama administration.

  8. Deny is great until an app you need doesn’t work unless you un-deny. I was actually shocked (even though I should have known better) when I stumbled across a map somewhere on the internet (probably in my Google space) that showed all my surfing and motorcycle trips for the past couple years. Little red dots on maps. Problem was that I used the phone GPS to navigate myself around instead of stopping on the side of the road and digging out the maps (which of course I didn’t have).

    Anyone remember Triptiks, from American Automobile Association (AAA)? You’d tell them where you were going and they would send you a map of the whole trip on conveniently sized pages that were ring bound so you could just flip to the next one. No more unfolding giant maps.

    Just did a quick search and they still do them. Crazy. Paper and electronic versions.

    Not super helpful if you veer off the intended path but pretty nice for going to see the Grand Canyon and visiting Aunt Mabel in Albuquerque on the way.

  9. Techiedude, by “And I liked the way they dug in their heels against the Obama administration.” do you mean the time that the terrorist killed a bunch of people and Apple refused to let them access his phone even though they had a warrant and he was dead and he might have had accomplices who were out there planning to kill more people? Is that the part you liked?

    I am no fan of government intrusion but that is about the only time that I feel 100% comfortable with them accessing someone’s data.

    • TechieDude

      They had the data from the cloud. They had the data for calls/texts from the carrier.

      A business shouldn’t have to create a tool (they didn’t have one) that would break their security. That was the argument. It was all bullshit hut-hut-hut do what we want now.

      I may also add that what exactly do we pay those geeks in NSA for. They outsourced the cracking to the Israelis.

      There were ways to get to the three weeks of data they didn’t have. I’m certain it was of dubious value.

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