Factors: Form and otherwise

I just read an article pointing out the awkward login procedure for macOS Sierra with an Apple watch: two-factor vs. two-step authentication. They didn’t explain what factors you can use so I figured I could try the age-old “form” factor but it wouldn’t accept that.

No one has been able to give a precise definition of what exactly a “form factor” is and what other factors one should consider. The term “factor” implies the plural but no one has ever listed the other factors one should consider along with the “form” factor, such as the mass factor, the velocity factor, the spin factor.

I think it’s high time for tech journos to dump the awkward term “form factor.” Most times the words “profile,” “footprint,” “size,” or “dimension” make more sense. When a HDD’s “form factor” is listed as 1TB and its size is listed as 3.5″, then you know the term is just one more overused and ill-defined tech buzzword. Plus, if you have a ‘form’ factor, the phrase implies other factors but none are ever described as such, e.g. “environmental factor,” or “usability factor.” Heck, even “form” would be preferable to “form factor.”