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February 20th, 2009

My cellphone, my self

It's nice to see people reading your copy, and knowing it's getting plenty of exposure. That's why I was pleased to see Gemalto giving out copies of their house magazine, The Review, at MWC in Barcelona last week - as it contains an interview I did with IBM's cloud computing folk (go straight to page 28) and a column (on page 34) on mobile identity I wrote while at the Internet Identity Workshop last year.

With more than 30,000 people at the show, there'll be plenty who've now read my thoughts on just why we get so attached to our mobile phones, and why the smartphone is a sensor platform that helps mediate identity and context.

There’s one device that knows more about me than anything else does – my mobile phone. It knows who I talk to, and when I do it. It knows where I am, and when I’m going to be there. It knows who I’m meeting, what I’m meeting them for. It holds my social network, my business network, well, pretty much everything. It’s my life in my pocket, and it goes everywhere I go.

My mobile phone has become my identity, and my context. That’s a blessing and a curse. I have one place where I can find everything, and one place where I can lose everything. If my battery is flat, I lose that memory boost, and I can’t get it back. And what if it gets stolen? A stranger can be walking through my life, seeing my LinkedIn contacts, pillaging my online relationships and my favourite web sites and applications, taking advantage of any stolen passwords, destroying my finances and my reputation.
And now you get the chance to join them (without running the gauntlet of Barcelona's pickpockets and bag thieves) by just clicking on this link and then scrolling through the pages of the PDF edition of the magazine.

I rather like what they did with the image of me on the column, somehow they made me look suitably Byronesque!


MWC: The Adventure Game

You are in the Barcelona Metro. There is a crowded train here.

>Get on train.

You are on a crowded train. It starts up and stops at several stations.

>Dodge pickpockets.

Your possessions are safe for now. You have reached Espanya station.

>>Get off at Espanya.

You are in a crowd of people on an escalator. There is a sign here that says "Fira Exit".

>Go to the Fira Exit.

You are in a crowd of people going up stairs.

>Dodge pickpockets.

Your possessions are safe for now. You have reached the Fira entrance.


You have a bag, a passport and a conference badge.

>Go to Fira Entrance.

There is a man here. He wants to see a badge and ID.

>Wear badge.

You are wearing a badge.

>Show passport.

You are now in the Fira. You are in a maze of twisty conference halls. Your PDA is telling you to go to a meeting.

>Look at PDA.

You have a meeting with Adobe. You have 5 minutes to get there.


There is a map of the conference here.

>Look for Adobe.

Adobe's stand is in Hall 1.

>Go to Hall 1.

You are in a maze of twisty conference booths.


There is a map of the hall here.

>Look for Adobe.

Adobe's stand is in the maze.

>L L R L R R L L

You are at the Adobe stand. You are on time for your meeting. There is a reception desk here. A receptionist is asking you what you want.

>Say: Have Meeting.

The receptionist tells you that all press briefings are in Hall 4. Hall 4 is 10 minutes away.

>Run to Hall 4.

You are now late for your first meeting.

(Repeat for 4 days, and fuel with vast amounts of Spanish espresso and snatched snacks.)