One of the many annoying thing about academic paywalls, leaving aside whether you think they should exist or not, is that unless you can log in with Athens or Shibboleth, you can only get access through a PC at your university or workplace. If you try to catch up on reading once you’re back at home, it’s often difficult or impossible to get access to journals and other resources your institution subscribes to. This has become a much bigger problem with the advent of the iPad, which is increasingly the device on which people do their reading, often over mobile networks.
The AMS has come up with a solution called “mobile pairing” – if you log in to their site once through your institution’s network, the device you used will then be granted the same access to journals and things like MathSciNet, no matter where you’re connecting from. It just uses browser cookies, so doesn’t require any yucky apps to be installed.
I’ve shaken my fist at my laptop’s screen many a time while trying to look up references on MathSciNet from home, so I think this is great news.