I was going to write this response into the IRC window, but it kind of grew. Cyrus asked me how I felt about this new PhoneBloks idea, then parted the channel briefly. Since I couldn't answer him there, I'll answer him here.I'm sorry, Cyrus, but I don't see it working for that long; the connectors that join absolutely everything are so large that nothing sensitive could possibly be transmitted over them. I'm therefore guessing that the processor and memory are in the same "block," because otherwise, a 4-bit bus is going to quickly annoy someone.It's that bus size which is my biggest concern. Yeah, you can swap out the processor (and RAM and, oh yeah, GPU along with it), but that's 40-70% of the phone's worth right there.I'm also concerned as to whether this has ever been successfully tested; it seems to be a big, unlabeled breadboard. Can I put these "blocks" any old place? What's stopping crosstalk? Is there a special set of pins for the display?Now, here's the reason it's going to fail: These phones will *never* be cutting edge. The reason is in its design: you can't easily replace components in existing phones and laptops because manufacturers smash as much shit into the same place as possible without shorting something or starting a fire. That's how we keep shooting for thin and powerful.If you remove the ability for me to tangle all that shit together in one spot—that is, if I need a whole "block" for the stupidest little component, whose casing and conductors are worth more than the component itself—I'm not going to be able to keep up with the companies who do tangle things.So maybe this phone is good for the artists and old people they seem to be marketing to, but I'm afraid people who actually want to invest in their phones will continue to buy the high-performance mess models, instead of the above-average-performance cream of the partitioned-phone crop.So, yeah, the PCI-like capability of this device to swap out components as they age seems great. But then, why am I no longer using my desktop computer from 2003? It was PCI capable! I upgraded the graphics card when I was like 12, and I even upgraded the RAM like, three times, and then… oh.That's right. I remember what happened.After a while, I couldn't add more RAM. The processor wouldn't know what to do with it. I mean, I could have replaced both CPU and RAM, but the graphics card I had already upgraded in the near past was already getting old, too. But hey, the great thing about graphics cards is that they're all PCI devices, so I can… oh wait… PCI is dead. Dead and buried. Its successor, PCIe, was the only interface with which you could use any reasonably capable graphics card. That means my only option was to replace the whole fucking motherboard. Well, that's a whole computer. At least I can keep the monitor, right? Oh, wait. VGA is out, too; HDMI and DVI are in. So, what does that leave? The hard drive and case. The hard drive was IDE; IDE is out, too. So, that leaves the case. With this phone, the case is the motherboard. And that's checkmate.Pardon my cynicism. It's a really neat idea, and I wish for the life of me that laptops and phones could just be like that, if only just long enough to live out SATA and PCIe. But alas… components tend to age at roughly the same rate. Moore's law applies to all components to one degree or another; there's seldom a clear, discrete moment where an upgrade of a specific component is in order. For the sake of repair, though, the idea might be extremely useful. If all we need is a consumer-grade, call-placing and angry-birds-serving device that lasts a while, this idea is super.If there's any solace to all of this, it's that we're about to hit the limit of the capability of the human eye with regard to screen resolution and refresh rate (assuming we have not, yet, which may be very false), and the need for a new touch screen interface may never arise. That would be the saving grace to this idea, which would thrive on the fact that (1) the screen is the most frequently broken component and (2) the complete logic of the phone (constituting the majority of the price, yes, but…) can be replaced while keeping the monitor and stuff. 3D displays haven't seemed to kill HDMI, even.If this works, I just predict that those neat little blocks will contain a lot more than initially hoped. I am confident that there isn't going to be a block for bluetooth and another block for wifi.I expect the majority of this idea's merit to be in the customization (pick your camera size, processor size, battery size), as advertised, and the fact that the screen and logic are separate. I don't know if that in itself will save it.