QR-Codes and pointers

QR code on a blanket label

We own a picnic blanket, there is a QR-code on it. In theory this was a good idea, the code points to some online instructions on how to fold the blanket. In practice, the blanket has outlived whatever web structure was behind this is QR-code, you get an online shop that sells similar blankets, in Polish… So this is just a sad reminder of the impermanence of online services.

I would not consider that blanket a very long lasting object, I think we bought less than ten years ago. The half life of an URL is 138 weeks, around 2½ years. So an arbitrary QR-code on a ten year old object has 6.25% of still working.

Ironically, IT during my lifetime has been driven by two trends, getting rid of dangling pointers in programming language and building a larger system which is based on a reference system which can dangle. My blanket has a stale pointer…

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