I’m not saying it’s wrong (I actually think it’s fair), it’s just that the regularity is amusing. When Microsoft was represented by a Locutus-ified Bill Gates on Slashdot two decades ago, “do no evil” open-source champion Google could do no wrong,
I was about to write “oh, how far the mighty have fallen!” but upon closer consideration that would be the wrong epithet. It’s precisely because it has not fallen, and because it has become too mighty, that is now viewed with ever-growing suspicion.
The vaunted free market that so enamours Silicon Valley and digital utopianists cannot avoid corrupting these companies’ moral cores, apparently. Quite the opposite of the declared ethos.
EDIT: The cherished underdogs of today, if they do not succumb, regularly become the maligned monsters of tomorrow. It’s almost as if there’s something built into the system that corrupts them...
If a company is a public company, it can't help BUT be evil.
Corollaries and commentary:
1) Evil arises from public companies' duty to generate as much money as possible for their shareholders. Private companies have more freedom to make less money and to not be evil--or even to choose to "die" while retaining their honor and that of their members.
2) A public company might not be evil now, but if it keeps growing, it will eventually be evil.
3) This applies regardless of the initial size, values, and idealism of the company; the choice to be a public company seals its fate.
Also, there is another choice, which is becoming a benefit corporation. Google didn't choose this, likely because it means your shareholders are probably going to be fewer as you aren't primarily serving them. So really, the founders betrayed their values by wanting to become huge which beheld them to the "shareholder value at all costs" mandate.
So this was a long winded way to say that a really idealistic software company should start out as a b corp.
(I might be oversimplifying, but hey, it's a rule of thumb!)
That's clearly a very undesirable result. I do hold out hope that one day either alternative ownership styles (e.g. mutuals or cooperatives) or reform that gives other stakeholders a seats in corporate boards will mitigate the problem.
Read https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_truth_about_ben_and_jerr... and skip to Legal Landscape.
The article as a whole is about Unilever betraying the corporate values after buying the company and whether the sale was really forced, but that particular section goes into detail why what you're saying isn't universally true.
The TL;DR is that a number of state laws (and possibly higher level, hadn't finished researching) specifically carve out room for companies to consider corporate values over investor money in fulfilling fiduciary duty. They establish multiple classes of people--including customers--to be constituencies being served, not just investors.
So you can absolutely incorporate in a way that will run your company to make as much money as possible for public shareholders within the bounds of what makes the company that company, including value systems. If a company betrays their stated values, that's absolutely on that company, not an inevitable fate for going public.
Most state legislatures have resisted the tenets of Dodge v. Ford by enacting statutes that expressly authorize corporate directors to look beyond shareholder wealth maximization. Vermont enacted one, nicknamed “the Ben & Jerry’s law,” after the company had successfully lobbied Vermont’s legislature. Vermont’s “other constituency” statute, as these laws are called, is illustrative: It provides that when directors make decisions they may consider such matters as “the interests of the corporation’s employees, suppliers, creditors, and customers; the economy of the state, region, and nation; [and] community and societal considerations, including those of any community in which any offices or facilities of the corporation are located.” State statutes also give corporations wide latitude to donate profits to charities.
Edit: having problems finding a clear list, but looks like ~35 states have them, including Delaware. California, interestingly, does not have one. Looks like one made it through legislature years ago when these were all popping up, but Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
It's a function of incentives, large organizations, moral hazards, and the expectation of perpetual growth. And it will probably reboot, repeatedly crashing, over and over until the end of time.
"Don't be evil." Maybe "Don't pursue exponential growth indefinitely?"
We really need to encourage more B corporations both in the founding and running and also by eschewing public company stocks that are not.
If anything it’s a function of American style public markets and I’m not going for a no true Scotsman argument but rather it’s important to look at the whole system in place rather than dismissive politicized labels.
This skewed incentive system then gets combined with another common problem and made far worse. Public stock market corporations are not the only ones who decline in caring about their core values. This happens to many actual public government agencies, non profits, or any large organization when later generations of executive take over...people who weren’t there for the original vision. These people care more about the organization itself than they do about what value the organization delivers to society.
In public stock companies this usually means the people who then start to only care about the accountants demands (tons of CEOs are accountants, few are engineers) and what public investors think and feel (their moods often determine prices as much as reality) and most importantly not caring first about their value to customers... which had created the whole empire . Ala the Iron rule of bureaucracy .
 GE is the perfect example of this, where the finance/Wall St guys took over, created the highest growth rates, then nearly destroyed the company in pursuit of growth, and changed the whole company away from their core engineering business and nearly destroyed it. They are now slowly slimming the Capital division and retiring to making things
Individuals and leaders within the company help but they're all playing the same game in a culture which values the organization for the organizations sake combined with a system that forces companies to be laser focused on a single metric... when companies in a typical marketplace are a collection of metrics/incentives.
The phrase in the article that really popped out at me was "no one is truly at the helm". When a mega-corporation gets this massive and powerful it's not going to be possible to account for everyone in the building and all the bad decisions that can occur.
To be honest my reasons are: I really just think Tim Cook has little to no vision and all their products are showing the effects of "bozo explosion".
Any organization that doubles, triples, or quadruples in size winds up being a giant host to parasitic employees (middle manager bozos, usually), whose basic motive is (a) do little work, (b) get paid. The real world effects is the company stops being able to make decisions and continues to double-down on mistakes (removing headphone jacks to force consumers into buying your proprietary 'ear pods'). All those "one time tricks" to boost revenue eventually run out...ask Balmer.
There is certainly a duality to the walled garden paradigm - on the one hand, a very controlled environment presumably ensures quality and reliability, however it also creates an environment vulnerable to abuse, such as fixed pricing schemes. All Apple users have to accept the fact that they can’t upgrade their hardware, ever. And because Apple ultimately has control over all aspects to f their ecosystem, an OS upgrade can and often will hose your carefully configured rig. Like MS, Apple is not concerned with the hapiness of a particular segment of their user base; No, they care about pushing new features and fixing security vulnerabilities. They are just like any other big company that cares about their bottom line. I chose to accept this as the lesser of the two evils. Perhaps at some point in the future, a company will come along that actually cares about users.
Philosophyally, there is not much difference between Apple and MS, but Apple at the moment just happens to have an ecosystem that favors artists, while Linux is like the deadbeat dad that shows up
once in a while. But blaming “Linux” for lack of artist support is also unfair because Linux is not a single entity.
I make my choices with eyes wide open. I may hate
some aspects of my choices, but I am not forced into them.
Linux is a much much lower cost of entry - there's no grand vision expectation.
I've been an Android user since forever but I had to switch to iPhone X to dogfood my app. I "switched without switching" -- my photos are still saved to Google Photos, my contacts are synched with Google Contacts, etc.
I'm perfectly fine after the switch. All my mobile workflows are intact. When it's time to switch back to Android, I'm sure I'll be able to switch without any major problems (except for one thing -- I'll likely miss the build quality of iPhone X).
You're not paying for a future vision at all. That doesn't make any sense because they don't tell you what's coming in the future and actively try to prevent people from finding out.
1) If you use iMessage, you cannot switch out of it without losing access to any group messages you were in before. Any messages other iMessage users try to send you will simply be silently deleted. I believe this violates federal telecommunications law.
2) Apple prohibits selling virtual goods in iOS apps, unless you give them a 30% cut. I believe this is racketeering.
Obviously there is room for legal debate here, but I think these are anti-competitive choices Apple has made, which weren't present in iPhone 1.
They are able to continue to do these things because the vast majority of iPhone customers don't realize they are happening. But they maintain platform lock-in.
It always reminded me of the standard trick of new rulers granting favors to gain popular support. Caligula is especially famous for burning the treason records of his predecessor and giving out bonuses and calling back exiles. Caesar did similar things.
When a company is new they have to gain support. They talk about changing the world and often focus on things like employee happiness.
But ultimately it all comes down to the shareholders, and expenses have to be tightened once it no longer makes sense to pay a premium for good will.
Maybe something corrupts the founders. But it's also possible the founders planned it all along. Certainly it seems like my the earliest investors are aware of this game.
That does NOT match my recollection of Google's early days. Among my immediate network it was pretty common to view Google with a LOT of trepidation given the implied dangers of having so much data.
OTOH, nobody I know in real life has felt this way about Apple, largely because you can avoid their power if you decide their approach doesn't work for you.
I know in some of my circles we didn't start to feel trepidation until they acquired dot-com era mustachioed villains DoubleClick, and certainly the point of no-return for me was G+ killing Reader and XMPP access in Talk.
At least with Apple, they never seemed terribly interested in world domination.
>Apple's rent seeking on iPhone/iPad accessories.
People who dislike Apple love to say things like this, but I've never really seen anything that qualifies. Is Apple stuff more expensive? Yes. But you tend to get more for your money. The only laptops I ever had that rivaled my MacBook Pros in longevity were the pre-Lenovo ThinkPads, which were ALSO often maligned as being overpriced. LOL.
(Candidly, I think THAT might have been true -- I had a ThinkPad back in the 90s that was so over-built that it was still solid and perfect WELL after its last point of technological viability, and in an era when "well, just put Linux on it and use it for something else" wasn't really an option yet. Great laptop for about 3 years though.)
Apple's walled garden certainly has its benefits. It's like a benevolent dictatorship, that is occasionally heavy-handed and is not always consistent.
> People who dislike Apple love to say things like this, but I've never really seen anything that qualifies. Is Apple stuff more expensive? Yes. But you tend to get more for your money.
For accessories? There is literally no reason for Apple to put DRM on their lightning connector interface other than to lock out unlicensed accessories and charge exorbitant prices for Apple replacements. Even something simply like an A/C adapter for an iPad is like $40. You really aren't getting more for your money in that case.
Apple's hardware is usually excellent and worth the price of admission. My Macbooks were the best computers I've ever owned.
- Email: Protonmail get recommended all the time on HN/Reddit
- Analytics: Simpleanalytics seems to be the new champion
- Search Engine: DuckDuckGo
- Browser: Probably Vivaldi, or maybe Brave
What is this even supposed to mean?
I'm both a Brave publisher (4 verified websites) and a Brave browser user, nothing like this ever happened
As a publisher you can choose in which token you want to be paid, BTC, ETH or else, you are never forced to accept BAT.
As you can see on this screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/TKg1m0i
From the Brave publisher dashboard
this is not excusing the issues at hand but people still tend to censor their offense based on non rational criteria; see the pass that Apple gets with China/Russia all because lots of people like their phones.
How exactly are they being rejected except in the small little bubble of Hackernews?
I don't think it was the free market which corrupted their moral cores; it was their leaders’ and employees’ corruption which corrupted the companies’ moral cores — and the free market was insufficient to prevent that corruption.
Google had goodwill and fooled a lot of people for a bit there, sure, but that was over 15 years ago -- and when were Microsoft, Apple or Facebook known for their "moral core"? To whom?
I'm personally very happy with the raise of awareness. I'm hoping it's will reach the regular folks.
I realized this a few months ago when I started Simple Analytics . I see that advertising is almost done automatically by the press. When Facebook or Google has bad press, it's great for privacy first tools.
I'm sorry to be that guy but... citation needed. What evidence is there that this is anything but a fringe movement within the tech community let alone mainstream in any way, shape or form? And "common thing to see in HN posts lately" isn't evidence of that, sorry.
> DuckDuckGo reached 1 billion monthly searches
1. How much time do you think it takes for Google to reach 1B searches? and
2. How many DDG users routinely use !g (or otherwise use Google results)?
As much as HNers like to bang the drum about "privacy" the term is ill-defined. Take search because its straightforward. Your search results are personalized by a bunch of factors including, but not limited to:
- Previous searches
- Inferred or actual demographics
The fringe privacy element is I guess most concerned with previous searches? Or is it all of the above? And if you say that location is not OK, take a simple search for "bakery". Isn't it better UX to show local bakeries?
Another question: the alternative to "free" (ie ad-supported) models is user pays. How exactly does this work for users in the developing world for whom $5/month might be a significant amount of money? Will they value their "privacy" the same way?
The assumption (by DDGers and their ilk) that using [Big company products] is some Faustian bargain is hyperbolic and unsubstantiated.
No one targets the 99% percentile directly. It is much cheaper to go non-targeted advertising and hit as many people as possible perhaps targeting at the country/region or language level only.
I’m not particularly concerned with the backing engine as long as they’re not tracking me and I’m getting acceptable results.
Just to give a bit of context, that forum discussion was 8 months before Snapchat was founded and 6 months before Google bought Motorola Mobility (which split off just before the thread in question).
> We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing.
All organic links are sourced from Oath and Bing. The other 400 sources (and their crawler) are only used for widget style stuff.
They use Bing. That's something else than:
> DuckDuckGo is really Bing under the covers [...]
Bing returned just one result - An issue on Github
DDG shows multiple results. The bing one is result number 4.
I think they include Bing results but augment it with their own spider.
This is not a new thing. Historically speaking numerous "search engines" have actually used different engines under the hood. Yahoo hasn't been "Yahoo" in a long time, for instance, and I believe AltaVista moved from its own engine to somebody else's for a good long time before its demise.
(There's probably an interesting and nuanced discussion of the virtues and perils of a search engine provider depending on another company for something so critical. I hope DDG is investing significantly into their own engine, even if it's not ready-to-go.)
And it's a real change. I wouldn't even particularly care if DuckDuckGo did use Google, because the things about Google I find most objectionable would still be solved by proxying through DDG. Not 100%. The result might serve AMP pages, which is annoying, and not being a Silicon Valley liberal, I can clearly see how censorious Google is with its search results, or at least, how much they tilt the scales in their own political favor. But the primary issue, tracking me and the monetization thereto, would still be solved.
Using DDG for Bing, or Startpage.com/Ixquick for Google, or Searx for either of them, should not provide the original search engine with your data. Bing and Google should just see actually anonymous search queries coming in from DDG / Startpage / whatever you're using, instead of seeing the search requests coming from your browser session.
At least this is my understanding of it - please correct me if I understand this wrong. But if this is the right way to understand it, I don't get how using DDG would then be equivalent to using a Microsoft product directly.
Their ads also run via Bing Ads. This is something they really should change a believe. I tried to run ads for Simple Analytics on DDG but it feels very wrong to use Bing Ads for that. You can't also select "Run on DuckDuckGo only". I think they should move to something of themselves which is likely to happen if they grow bigger.
I decided to search for "space engine exhaust". The reason I searched for this is because it has some hot keywords, but also some keywords that are probably fairly uncommon. The idea was to get a mix of softball hits along with some per engine unique hits. And it looks like it was a pretty good test query. Here they are:
And, lo and behold, they give very different results. DuckDuckGo may utilize Bing's results, but they are not "Bing under the covers" by any stretch of the imagination.
Just for the sake of completion here is the google search for the same:
Interestingly enough I think is a good example of the increasingly large percent of queries where Google gives the clearly worst results. Their top 4/4 results all being for spaceengine.org which is a universe simulator, but very unlikely to be what somebody who was searching for 'space engine exhaust' was after.
> In fact, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing.
In other words, all organic results are from Bing and Oath.
That's one of the issues for me: those are your results, but there's no telling what anyone else might get when clicking on that link. "Feeds" of all kind, personalized by black boxes rather than explicit parameters we have access to, deprive us of a common (virtual) world to discuss.
My top 4 results were http://spaceengine.org/support-old/ , http://forum.spaceengine.org/viewtopic.php?t=33 , https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/05/23/the-... and https://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight/system/system_SSME.html
I just kept reloading the same search through a bunch of different TOR identities + anti-finger printing, and it was like playing search roulette. And indeed there were, on occasion, actually some great results that don't show up elsewhere. It's such a shame that they're all masked behind some black box of tracking with another black box of ML and filtering. It's like two people going to the same library where librarian deciding to hide books from one person or the other because she, and her all seeing eye, thought they'd have less interest in them than other books.
The 6 nonshared results are:
I just tested this from various countries to ensure this was not biasing it. It wasn't. Bing gives localized results, such as German results when searching from Germany. DDG gives identical results from any country. So presumably everybody is getting these same results from DDG. Are you saying this is also exactly what you got from Bing?
You need a better source, IMHO.
DDG themselves claim to use multiple sources, including Bing (but not including Google). I've seen DDG == Bing mentioned enough times that I'm inclined to believe they leverage it heavily, but it doesn't seem as unnuanced as just spitting out Bing API results 1:1.
It's all Bing and Oath.
That statement isn't fully supported by the link you provided. It does however seem reasonable that DDG results are based in large part on Bing and Oath.
"In fact, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing."
Is this actually true or just an anecdote? Last time I checked the market share for core Google products was growing everywhere except in China, especially in Europe where EU has been killing off the remaining competition through GDPR et al.
I'm all for seeing newcomers take on the incumbent behemoths, but I also like true information.
I'm one of them. While I'm not completely de-Google-ing my life, I did set up Firefox at work and use DuckDuckGo for my searches there now.
I do not like DDG. Google almost always gave me what I wanted, whereas DDG is about 80% of the time. I often end up wishing I'd just used Google the first time instead. 80% sounds like a good number, but it means that I'm often frustrated with it when I wouldn't have been with Google.
Again, it's my view around me. I didn't have my business yet so it could be that my eyes are more open to privacy first products.
So it's anecdata..
I don't use gmail or google docs for anything essential and have my own email address for the past 20 years anyway, but getting away from Youtube is harder. There is a lot of interesting content on Youtube, like Numberphile and 3Blue1Brown, and I wouldn't know where to find this elsewhere. I also use Youtube for its intended main purpose, listening to illegally pirated music content. I don't understand how Youtube's management have succeeded in staying outside prison so far, it seems that the laws in this area are applied extremely selectively. Anyway, you can find and listen to almost any record from any time period at any time on Youtube without paying a cent, and I haven't found a replacement for that yet either.
They manage this by letting the big media/music corps claim ad revenue from any video they feel like they own, no questions asked. That's how they manage to stay out of jail. I suspect Youtube is a pretty decent revenue source for these corporations.
It's radical from the sheer volume of change you'd have to make to your day to day life alone.
Isn't the quality shit though ? It's good for discovery I guess, but if you have regular stuff that you listen often, wouldn't you be better off procuring good quality files ?
On YouTube it's just search for genre and you're done.
Check out LBRY (https://lbry.io). 3Blue1Brown's content is available there, along with lots of great Youtube channels. If your favorite channel isn't there yet, reach out to the creator and encourage them to sync by visiting https://lbry.io/youtube (its a one-click process and they can get paid for it). Or let me know who you'd like to see there and we'll do our best to convince them for you.
Can you stand the ads that are played after every other song?
They won't sue as long as youtube pays them.
When we just start saying things that are proven incorrect it makes the entire discussion look like a bunch of spooks, it's not helpful.
As an Aussie who vaguely follows Aussie politics. I know that at the very least the current ruling party has some pretty funny ideas about internet privacy . So it kinda scares me that Fastmail is based there.
That said, I'm currently using Fastmail since switching to it from Gmail a few months ago. The service itself is excellent. As far as I can tell, they don't seem to actively scan the contents of your email to build a profile on you like Google does . So, at least for now, there's that.
I thought G stopped doing that for mail?
See https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/7673989, or go to https://myaccount.google.com/purchases, https://myaccount.google.com/reservations, https://myaccount.google.com/subscriptions.
This does not say they will stop using the metadata for ad personalization.
I would love for someone to correct me on this one.
That's not a guarantee. Companies can and do shut down accounts for inactivity, sometimes with no warning, e.g.:
In parallel I would keep an eye out for policy changes. Like when Google will inevitably tell me that in order for the service to stay free I have to provide a minimum amount of private data per month :D.
To actively sit on the email I would leave in place all security alerts, 2FA, strong password, etc.
I would want to be alerted of any change in circumstance that affected that email.
If you deactivate, if you passively ignore communications, if you drop security... then you've taken the security of something that represented your online identity for a period of time, and essentially are being irresponsible about it.
Far better to just dial usage down, whilst dialling security up, and then to let it tell you if circumstances change.
That made me lose my Yahoo email to somebody else and caused all kinds of headaches.
I still use DuckDuckGo and my once a month visit to Facebook is done with a container to avoid FB tracking. I also don’t use Google Analytics on my web sites (except for my blogger account, no way around that). Using Firefox containers for all separate browsing modes is the advice I give my family and friends. I do still use GCP because I like it better than AWS, but that is just a personal preference (AWS is also a great service).
Google's productivity apps win via their integration, but when judged individually the alternatives are better, at least for me.
E.g. if you use Google Drive it's hard to not use Gmail because the price of a G Suite Business subscription is really good, but then Google Drive's desktop client is a piece of shit that doesn't work. If you use Gmail it's hard to not use Chrome, because Gmail doesn't play very well with classic IMAP desktop clients and for the web UI the "offine email" feature is Chrome-only, plus Gmail's web interface is now really bloated and slow and by using it in Chrome it sucks the least, because Google doesn't give a crap about other browsers. If you're on G Suite, it's hard to not use Google Docs, it's great for collaborative editing, but compared with Microsoft Office it has performance issues and has missing features that makes it painful to use for serious stuff.
There are 3 products that are hard to replace:
1. Google Search can give better results, but usually DuckDuckGo does the job well; I switched to DDG after noticing ads following me on the web based on searches I did
2. Google Maps (and Waze) because they have really good real-time traffic information, otherwise the POIs are better in OpenStreetMaps in my country
3. YouTube which currently has no replacement if you're a consumer
I'm not a fanatic btw, if Youtube Premium would be available in my country, I would pay for it.
Anecdotal, but I got in touch with a pretty popular newsletter hosting tool to tell them the charts on Firefox didn't render correctly, only to be told to use Chrome.
This is my issue with all these de-Googling articles. In what way has anyone had harm put on them by anything Google has done?
Ignoring technical glitches where one has lost email or docs files and similar, or legal issues the user got themselves into, what harm has Google caused to anyone?
Apart from the several times they've been fined in the EU and various other countries for (summarising here) slurping data, lying about deleting it, favoring their own services, and so on?
From a very quick online search:
Of course, such fines (etc) are subject to potential change over time because lawyers.
Then there are the many reports of people demonstrating novel things to them during interviews and/or potential-partnership intro's, later on finding out Google has ripped off the idea(s).
Or were you more wanting to ignore that stuff, and instead are asking about Gmail specific things?
Take your pick. I chose this (you have to copy and paste the shortened URL and paste it)
> "We were mortified to learn that a team of people working on a Google project improperly used Mocality's data and misrepresented our relationship with Mocality to encourage customers to create new websites. We've already unreservedly apologized to Mocality."
So where you see no harm at all, Google management is "mortified" by what employees had done. I guess a potential out would be trying to split hairs about what constitutes "Google". Not that every one of these stories ends with "oh no, what did these rascals do while unsupervised?", but for the ones that do, you could try that.
Sounds like you'll say "no" and keep on ignoring everything else?
No, you didn't. This is what you said
> In what way has anyone had harm put on them by anything Google has done
Notice "anyone". Which was in context of
> While I don’t believe that folks working at Google are actively trying to do harm
Notice "do harm", not "do harm to its users".
And you just ignored the examples you've been given. You didn't even contest them, you simply ignored them.
Why not make an Ask HN about it, if following links or doing your own research is out of the question? This is basic stuff, why would it have to be explained all over again on every article?
- Mailbox.org (DE), from 1€/month, basic custom domain, aliases possible
- Posteo.de (DE), from 1€/month
- Migadu.com (SUI), from 4€/month, run unlimited custom domains with very flexible settings (mailboxes, aliases, forwarding)
They are forced to gather data about you as well (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Bundesverfassungsger...) and since the government is taking measures to further invade your privacy it's not that safe there anymore.
I've watched the changes of their laws over many years and I can tell you this: Germany is not the country of privacy love (anymore).
Given a decade or two without any changes in this development they'll very likely become like China some day.
I continue to trust a country where privacy issues are discussed and ruled objectively at the highest court and where law enforcers can only obtain IP addresses for severe crimes - mentioned in the article: drug trading, illegal arms trading.
Germany is nowhere near China with a civil society so active that every privacy threatening action creates strong counter action (i.e. new Bavarian police law). No, civil society cannot prevent everything that the powerful state wants, but neither can state representatives do as they wish (unlike the CP in China).
These providers also don't sell my data as Google does, because I pay for the service. It still strikes a good balance for me.
Edit: replaced "they" with "state representatives"
On the other hand people also love stuff like AMZN echo and trust all information to their smartphones.
What's going to stop this development then? A miracle?
How do you know providers don't sell data? Did they tell you that or promise it somehow? :-D
The obvious conclusion of this development is that we need technical solutions which work without the consent of governments and without putting trust into private companies.
I'm only slightly worried if they ever abandon the project I'm out of luck maintaining it by myself. But since it's all based on standard software it's rather easy so switch to another solution I guess.
So far, there seems to be no standard extension to IMAP to integrate with those, so you need some app which has a server side component to do it. (Which is exactly what Gmail, Outlook, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, etc. all do).
Edit: I don't remember if I had to whitelist k-9 under battery optimisations. Maybe that's a requirement to use notifications without gcm, as it's a common theme in all apps that support notifications without gcm. On Apple devices, you will be generally out of luck, but that's a foregone conclusion.
A single table in a database mapping labelName to documentId can implement labels with no extra constraints, and it scales really well.
Put an index on labelName and you can easily list all documents with a given label. Put an index on documentId and you can easily list all labels a document has.
I don't understand why other providers go to the significant extra effort of trying to implement directories.
FastMail's choice to wait until a new standard that supports it is available is a strong choice towards interoperability and standards.
I wouldn't say labels are widely used, Gmail is still really the only provider doing them I know of. It's just that that one provider is a monopoly.
As you say, they are not dependent on their ad business, but they are making a lot of money from it. Expanding operations to improve profits is a no-brainer and they can existing distribution networks like AWS to have an extra edge.
If you host your email with Amazon WorkMail they have access to all your emails just like Gmail or G Suite does.
Your point is moot, sorry
Do you have some examples of websites that don't work with Firefox? I've never considered moving to Chrome, and I've never had a problem (at least not since the death of IE-only sites).
I'd like to see more competitors in the game though: Firefox OS, Tizen, Sailfish OS, etc etc. So far, only Librem 5 looks promising. Hopefully it can gain much commercial and dev support.
On the phone side, I'm waiting for my pre-ordered "Librem 5" phone to replace my Google Pixel.
The problem at this time is the challenge of getting either solution to host but at this time there may be services that do that for you. Hosting yourself could give you peace of mind that vital files are strictly in your custody.
I have been working on a wizard installer for both with nextcloud but the release is still far off due to my quality concerns.
With wildcard aliasing offered by most email providers you can have that email address be anything you like, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
It might kind of go against the whole de-googling depending on your outlook though.
Source? I haven't heard much about this space in a long time now, and due to that I get the feeling that it's kinda meandering.
It isn't even very good, or have many features, but still seems to be the best.
If I did I guess I’d create a minimal google account with as little info as possible, ensure it’s security / privacy settings were set as restrictive as possible and then have to settle for using a Firefox container just for google sites (there’s a good pre-made on on the extensions site), you could go as far as also spoofing your user agent etc but that might just be more of a pain than it’s value.
The initial switching of accounts can be tedious, but it's a one-time job, and there are alternatives all all Google's services out there (some better than Google's offerings).
Personally the dreaded 'convenience hit' was temporary for me.
DuckDuckGo is not open source. DuckDuckGo says they don't track but you never know.
Let me give you a trivial example.
Bill Gates wrote the program for seat allocation for his school. He made sure girls he liked sat near him. If Bill Gates had to submit the source code, he could been caught. But he didn’t and his practice continues till date. https://www.businessinsider.in/Bill-Gates-and-Paul-Allen-hac...
(1) Keeping track of my saved places. These are split into a bunch of lists: Favourites, coffee shops, restaurants I want to try, general places I want to travel, etc. (Because Google Maps' place system is an afterthought, I also have to split it up by area: So I have "NYC coffee", "Berlin coffee", etc., otherwise the list view becomes impossible to use, ugh.) Apple Maps allows you save "favourites", but that's all. My ideal app would let me easily manage lists, add notes and photos and so on, and share the lists to collaborate with people, and group things like Google Map's little-known "My Maps" feature.
(2) Keeping location history. I just want the ability to see where I've been, going back forever, as a kind of automatic diary (where was I on July 4, 2016 again? Oh, that was that party). Google Maps is neat in that it magically figures out what transportation method you used to travel, and uses your saved places as a hint to figure out what location you were in at any given moment. I don't want Google to have this data, of course. There's an iOS app called Life Cycle which is pretty good (for example, it has a view showing all the countries you've been to), but it's not fine-grained enough. Day One, an actual diary app, only remembers your location history for 30 days or so.
That’s a thing?! Web developers have already forgotten those ridiculous “Made for Internet Explorer” badges and the mess that caused? We won that fight! Wtf!
I am not worried about the privacy issues, I'm mostly worried about Google deciding to terminate my account for some reason. I'm also not worried about getting locked out due to losing my 2FA secrets, since I backup them in multiple places.
The obvious solution would be: buy my own domain and then connect it to another email provider or G Suite, right?
However, now I have a point of failure that is my domain registrar and my DNS provider, and I'm sure that even the ones that offer strong security (e.g. Gandi with U2F) are more prone to getting successfully hacked than @gmail.com, from both a technical point of view (e.g. attackers violating their systems and change the DNS records for my domain) and social engineering point of view (e.g. crafted support requests pretending to be me and begging to reset my 2FA).
Here is one he omitted: What if those running websites stopped treating "Googlebot" as different from any other "bot"?
No more preferential treatment for Google.
What if websites made it as easy as possible for anyone to download/copy/create a webcache like Google's (or even just a small cache of a particular segment of the web that interests them).
Nothing would radically change and democratize the web faster. No need for every web user to use the same search engine, believing it has a superior cache. With preferential treatment removed, every search engine could have the same cache of the web's public information.
We could have a content-based web instead of a location-based one. There could be unlimited locations from which to retrieve any of the web's public content. ("CDNs" already hint at the effiencies of this approach.)
As another commenter points out, switching to DuckDuckGo is more or less switching to Bing, which one might argue is just a copy of the Google webcache (Microsoft did not build it from scratch).
I haven't moved all my stuff off Google, and I don't expect to, but I find it really interesting how straightforward it is to move PIM stuff to other services. Contacts, calendars and mail really haven't changed much over the years. There is some stuff missing, but it's refreshing being able to add features by choosing the right software (or, heck, fixing it myself) rather than hoping for Google's unlikely mercy.
(Granted, I found this notion harder to stomach until they killed Google Inbox, at which point it became clear they're going all in on not bothering).
 - https://gizmodo.com/i-cut-google-out-of-my-life-it-screwed-u...
No need. The google does not allow to register email addresses that was already deleted.
If you're in Europe you can apply the Right to be forgotten, implement that can be a real pain (data engineer here), link for the template.
I still need my hit of youtube...
Haven't yet managed to give up Google Maps as I still don't fully trust Apple Maps for driving directions. Although the way GMaps refuses to save locations without search history turned on is seriously annoying, and a dark pattern to boot.
All other Google products, like YouTube, I refuse to use while signed in.
/me: No affiliation with them.
I come across this sentiment all the time, but serious question: why does this bother people?
Does anybody have practical examples of real harm being done that would have been prevented by deleting Google?
I like the idea of moving away from Google, but I also think it might be good (in terms of content) if you could post to many platforms instead of one.
I guess one alternative would be having some kind of place I can chuck video links into and have them downloaded by youtube-dl then a metadata provider for Kodi to get everything nicely tagged.
I put stuff in my watch later list during the day and then watch videos in the evening on my PC.
That surprises me, that it was straightforward, I haven't used GAE for some time, but when I did it was python but with a custom ORM etc. - you couldn't just use anything.
What kind of dedicated box are you referring to?
I started the process, but it’s going very slowly. Mostly because I didn’t want to leave Gmail. But since you mentioned the 1Password truck, I will try that. Great post!
I really don't know how a company or system will be able to steal the traffic from YouTube...it seems like it's too big.
Deleting doesn't do much, by that time Google already gobbled up all they needed. You'll get the real benefit when the trickle of emails to that address dries up.
I really never thought I would miss Microsoft Office, but GSuites really makes me miss Office.
2. I've never used a calendar outside of Google, and avoid it where possible, but find Google's calendar easy.
3. I think this is a great feature. I use it to collaborate on tons of things, with the understanding that it's not 100% secure, and acting accordingly. Maybe it doesn't suit your particular use case... and that's fine. It doesn't mean it doesn't work great for other uses.
^ all of that considered, I still agree fully with the original article. I've taken a few steps to have working backups and have fallback plans but having an account closed would still be disastrous.
That alone allows you to make a move today (from my experience, it takes less than an hour), and then you can move your accounts as you go one by one. You'll probably get rid of a bunch of accounts in the process as well.
I'm now using OTP Auth in iOS, which allows backing up the codes. For me the risks in that are worth being able to easily restore my codes.
If you crypt your disk and use a good passphrase or a long pin and passphrase on a phone you are not that badly exposed.