3. Harmless if Used as Directed

Perk up pouting household surfaces with new miracle Ubik, the easy-to-apply, extra-shiny, non-stick plastic coating. Entirely harmless if used as directed. Saves endless scrubbing, glides you right out of the kitchen.

—Philip K. Dick, Ubik1

By this point, it may have occurred to you that Ubicomp is simply a description of the state of information technology today: Computing is everywhere, all the time. How is Ubicomp different from other computing paradigms? This question reminds me of the metamorphic product at the center of Philip K. Dick’s 1969 novel Ubik, which showed up as a different product for each chapter ranging from an electric vehicle to a pain reliever. Ubik was advertised as a cure for any and all ...

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