The most tedious part is moving accounts from your gmail to your new email (I switched to using my own domain backed by fastmail).
Even with a password manager and a list of all my accounts this took me an entire day. You also learn how terrible most non-software company account management is.
On a lot of sites changing email is impossible. On some it lets you do it, but doesn’t actually delete the old one on the backend so you get emails to both (and it becomes impossible to turn off notifications on the old one).
One site couldn’t handle custom email domains, one site told me to create a new account and ignore the old one. One site changed my email, but still makes me login with my old email as the user, etc.
I ended up using an alias for the less trustworthy sites and filing as many CCPA requests as I could to the companies to delete accounts (naturally the sites bad about accounts are bad about this too).
The only google service that is really relevant and hard to replace is YouTube. I plan to delete my old google account and have a fresh one with everything turned off that I only use for YouTube.
Other than that though, it’s been a lot simpler than I thought it would be. Google is starting to feel like Yahoo to me, a company without clear vision or purpose.
They better hope their ad revenue doesn’t decay.
Then there‘s the search engine. I tried hard to replace Google Search with DDG, but I have to admit that Google gives me better search results. Still I would love to leave this also behind.
Finally there is youtube for me. Ain‘t no alternative I know about.
It‘s hard to leave google completely behind.
Edit: Replaced Chrome first with Safari, then with Firefox and never looked back.
Edit 2: Moved all my photos from Google‘s cloud solution to iCloud when I migrated from Android to iDevices.
Edit 3: Fastmail (although a rather smallish company) do a phantastic job with their mail service. Their contact management and calendar are also superb. Fastmail + MailMate on MacOS are a dream-team.
Try Searx. It's a search engine aggregator that works with DDG, Google, and dozens of other search engines. You can self-host it or use one of the public instances.
There even are some which are accessible over Tor.
Sometimes I still fall back to Google but if that was becoming the norm on DDG, not anymore.
Another thing that helps is configuring custom search engines on Firefox. For example, for me typing `gh something` in the address bar does a GitHub search directly and so on.
Not necessarily better data sources, but different data sources and a slightly different approach.
For organic results, the biggest different is that Runnaroo uses Google as the base for web results (similar to Startpage) where DDG uses Bing.
Outside of the organic results, Runnaroo's strategy is to integrate results from different vertical specific search engines who specialize in a niche topic. I call these 'Deep Searches' because they are essentially pulled from the database of the vertical source. It's the difference between getting an link to a website's home page vs. landing on the page and using their own search function to see the results.
For many queries, I believe this can provide higher quality SERP. For example, see the below results for "parkinson research"  or "react.js" . The results are a lot more informationally dense than other search engines. Again, not necessarily better, but different.
DDG is still better for many queries(currency conversions, weather, etc), and definitely more polished, but I only launched Runnaroo a few months ago and new features and Deep Search sources are being added almost daily.
So TL;DR, Google results (with privacy) plus additional search results from relevant niche and authoritative sources.
It is. We integrate the Google results through their web search API, and comply with their usage terms of service (as we do with all the data partners we integrate).
> Then there‘s the search engine. I tried hard to replace Google Search with DDG, but I have to admit that Google gives me better search results. Still I would love to leave this also behind.
I have the same experience; I’ve tried switching multiple times, but at least for scientific topics, I find DDG far inferior to Google Search. My current workaround is to use StartPage.com, which is just a website that searches Google for you, but without letting Google track you.
> Finally there is youtube for me. Ain‘t no alternative I know about.
If you don’t need to actively publish or comment on videos, you don’t need a Google account to get most of the convenience of YouTube. Personally, I just use a good old RSS client to track my YouTube feeds in the same place I track other content (e.g. HackerNews posts). If you say that you use iDevices, I can recommend “News Explorer”, which syncs your feeds via iCloud (in contrast to all the RSS solutions that require a separate sync account).
In those cases where DuckDuckGo is not enough, just append !sp to your search, this will tell DDG to redirect your search to StartPage which is essentially a proxied Google search (the results come from Google but you as a user don't get in direct contact with Google itself).
I hate using Office 365 with a passion. The usability is horrible. Google Docs is much more pleasant.
But in any environment where privacy or security matters, I'd pick it over Google Docs in a heartbeat. In my day job, I work with data with compliance issues. We use Microsoft technologies and zero Google. As obnoxious as Office 365 is, that's the right choice.
Google Docs, on the other hand, the things it does, it does well:
1) Works reliably and without bugs. Last Word document I worked with began crashing Word at some point.
2) Works collaboratively. Google Docs keeps docs in sync in realtime. Office 365 has enough lag to suck at collaboration.
3) Keeps better versioning and version history. Word has a half-dozen different ways to do this, none of which are as good. Again, this is important for collaboration
4) Works better with people outside your organization.
The things it doesn't do, well.... it doesn't.
I've never had issue with Google Docs around UI speed. I have with Word. I think part of the reason is the simpler document structure and format.
In addition, Google Docs has working search tools (so you can find documents), albeit not great organization tools.
For most of my work, I'm not doing fancy formatting or other crap. I'm writing plain text, often on a team. For that, Google Docs would kick Microsoft's butt, if I trusted Google to allow me to comply with legal requirements (Google makes clear I shouldn't), and if I trusted Google not to disconnect my account tomorrow, based on some ML algorithm which decides I look like a scammer, or randomly discontinue something I'm using mid-document.
I don't collaboratively edit documents with people - I'd rather send them a version, take comments/revision, go through the comments and decide, instead of having them change the document text without my knowledge.
As for my use case I use spreadsheets.
I make spreadsheets that query databases and perform analyses and then spit out reports. Anyone with excel, db permissions, and the right db connector can use them. Google's version doesn't even have half the features I'd need to get it to work when I checked a little earlier this year.
The UI on google sheets is brutally slow and painful to use compared to something running not in the browser. Maybe I'm an odd case because most of my files have tens or hundreds of thousands of rows.
also, on point 4, I think this is some kind of computer tech bubble. once you go away from computer tech, google sheets is not great with people outside my organization because they're all expecting excel.
You seem to have an odd, complex workflow which is representative of 0.001% of the population. I'm glad Excel works for you. Microsoft does well with a number of complex oddball legacy workflows, full of VBA macros and what-not.
Your style of working collaboratively isn't very collaborative. Google Docs does allow that (you can share with suggesting changes), but for the most part, there's a gap between getting feedback on a document, and working together on one. I find version control to be super-helpful too; it's not like I don't see the changes after someone makes them.
I was trying to rotate non-image / non-word-art text in a Google Docs table cell the other day and it’s literally impossible. I ended up having to create it as word art and position it as an image so it appears to be in the table but actually is on top of it
When I searched for Google support threads on how to rotate text in Docs, I only found forum posts by Google support agents stating that you can’t do it, which read to me approximately as “fuck you go away.”
They're both for-profit US companies saving your data overseas, so yes, for your last point it doesn't matter much. However, there are two advantages:
1) You're giving your data to a company aiming to sell you storage space vs a company which tries to make money of selling your (meta-)data, where selling storage space is only a minor accounting item. This also gives clear priorities: Dropbox loosing or being caught selling your data is a big reputation hit to them , while for Google it would neither change their reputation nor their total revenue by much.
2) You're not putting your eggs in one basket. If you're all in on Google, loosing your account does kill your calendar, contacts, mail, storage (possibly with the backups you need right now) ... . Also, that one company has basically full access to your life. If you're using diversified services you're far less likely to suddenly loose access to multiple services  and those services only own a part of your data vs your whole life .
Concluding this, selfhosting surely is the superior solution. But if you must use external storage providers (i.e. as worst-case backup or due to lack of money/space for own servers), choosing Dropbox over Google has its advantages.
 Yes, I'm aware it has happened.
 Assuming 2FA and a reasonably secure mail service, of course.
 One could argue that Google is going to guard your data with world-class engineers while the other services are probably less well equipped and therefore you have an increased risk of (at least!) parts of your data being leaked. That's personal risk management, though, and the consensus seems to be diversification.
You go on to partly refute this, but not strongly enough. Self-hosting is clearly inferior in major objective measures: availability, durability, and security. Unless you spend all of your time managing your personal storage solution, self-hosting will be far inferior in these respects, and probably also in cost if a true accounting of time is included.
I'd not go as far. You can have your setup behind a VPN on a high port, go for distributed storage (for example at your home and at your parents) and be rather secure with a stable, auto-updated distribution. Cold backups could be an encrypted blob in a cloud or a tape somewhere.
Now, of course this needs quite some upfront investment in time and money; without a solid setup, I fully agree that the cloud is superior (unless your prefer your data lost over read by the NSA).
Other than that, it mostly boils down to risk management: A third-party hacker might have an easier time with your network than Google or Dropbox, but being script-kiddie save is not that hard , so it needs to be someone with time and skill. TLAs can't simply subpoena your data, so it might be harder for them - unless your home network is setup badly  or they're willing to possibly burn a zero-day. Your day-to-day ad agency is not going to lay hands on your data. It really boils down to what aspect you optimize for; given the grandparent, I assumed it to be privacy and therefore selfhosting to be probably better. But I should've been clearer on that :)
 Yes, mistakes happen, but big corporations have also been hacked with trivial exploits, so let's call it even.
 This also poses a danger to your login data, though, so the Cloud security team does not help either.
Availability: Raspberry Pi plus USB battery pack is more available than the Internet, since when my home power's down my Internet connection goes.
Durability: Have you ever heard of a Raspberry Pi dying?
sudo apt install unattended-upgrades
echo "0 4 * * * reboot" | sudo tee -a /etc/crontab
Another feature lacking is sharing with a non-resilio user is not possible with Resilio Sync.
The blog post only talks about integrating Keybase's team - no mention of their product.
"Ultimately Keybase's future is in Zoom's hands, and we'll see where that takes us. Of course, if anything changes about Keybase’s availability, our users will get plenty of notice."
No update since. Keybase still works (and I use it constantly), but will it be around in two years?
But if it hadn't, then probably this: https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/...
Dropbox was such a great and conceptually simple tool, having a kernel extension for smarter syncing feels like a step into Enterprise lala land.
I also wondered why she dropped out of public for a while, for current events.
I didn’t have a really strong need for either though and I do use iCloud to sync among my apple devices.
They are not used for anyone outside China.
That might be true, but I'm not sure. Outside of local searching I am skeptical of the benefits of filter bubbling.
I think it is just as likely that you and your brother have different opinions of relevance (even if you were both returned the same exact results unrelated to past activity), and the relevance decisions Google makes more align with your brothers perspective.
I am the creator of one of the search engines  named in the post. It will return the same exact organic results no matter who you are or what your prior searches were. Feel free to give it a go with your brother and see how it compares for both of you. For organic results, it works like DuckDuckGo does with Bing, but the difference is the main source of our organic results are actually from Google.
Now go to DDG and search for "tires". Useless results only. All advertisements and commercial results, but nothing relevant to me. "Getting out of my filter bubble" did not help me in this use case.
That's actually a really interesting example. The tire sizes for a 2020 Honda Insight EX are either 215/55/16 or 215/50/17 .
So taken at face value, the filter bubbling was either incorrect or Google was just returning results for a very common tire size in this case.
I agree that context is important, but Google doesn't return results blindly when they are not able to do personalization. They already know the results that millions (billions?) of other people who have searched for tires have clicked and found relevant.
I bought a large refurb iPad Pro and pencil this spring. Presumably a high value segment, since YouTube, amazon and google keep on pushing me iPad related ads and content for months now, for things I have already bought, out of my own research.
I guess I’ll have to fake some baby related purchases to have their focus changed.
I have yet to find a case where "profiling" benefits me, as a user.
Drop-in replacement for same/less cost & better privacy while supporting a slightly better cause? I'm switching tomorrow.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the kind words!
You can delete the number once you've signed up, though of course that means that if you forget your password is reduces the channels by which we can validate that you're the same person! (this is also quite common: many HN users would be surprised how often people forget passwords)
I've been using it for a few years now and I can't complain.
However, for me, the problems are: Maps. Google Maps are great.
Calendar: my calender provider online has ICS calendar sharing, not e.g. itip.and imip.
- iCloud syncs to my Windows PC
- Backblaze backs up my Windows PC
- Google Drive
- One Drive
How's the iCloud syncing to a Windows PC?
"Mozilla signs fresh Google search deal worth mega-millions"
Moz will likely pocket $400m to $450m a year between now and 2023 from the arrangement, citing internal discussions held earlier this year.
absolutely great to see you do this
I moved off Google after they started doing some strange things with our adwords accounts
Agree with you on this -> The only google service that is really relevant and hard to replace is YouTube.
Google's earnings from ads went down last quarter. First quarter that has ever happened
They are definitely at risk of becoming Yahoo 2.0. The only thing is the immense amount of spying on the world and American citizens they provide to Intelligence agencies. They will stay relevant/be too big to fail because of that
Search -> Use Bing, then DuckDuck Go, and if still not good results, then Google
Admittedly Google Search is still ahead of everyone
Browser - never touched Chrome. Use Epic and Edge. Mobile use UC Browser (possibly even worse for privacy than Google, owned by Tencent), and on iOS use Safari
Never used gmail so avoided that entirely. Use outlook, however, it is pretty bad. USe internal email server for work. Rainloop. Don't recommend that either
avoid all google services as mucha s possible
Trying to find an alternative to Android. Have an Apple iPhone, however, also wants a non Apple alternative to play Android Games
I suppose I'm saying this is a complaint about macOS and/or Windows, rather than about Firefox as such ;)
In other words, tracking is not the only evil thing they’re doing.
One more search engine to try is qwant.com.
For phone just use microg lineage (https://lineage.microg.org/) and use aurora store instead of play store (https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.aurora.store/) for apps.
For now, lineage is as good as it gets, sure, I would love to have patched OS, withoug google etc., but for now there is really not much of alternatives available for various models of phones, and quite frankly - probably more than half of android phones are vulnerable, unpatched etc. let me just mention latest DSP vulnerabilities. At least attack surface isnt that big :D
Its on the eyes of beholder.
--- update ---
Looks like I am moving away from android today.
Non-Docker Local Installation of searX on Linux: https://persagen.com/2020/02/02/searx.html
Search - I use Startpage, DDG, Mojeek
Agree. It would become a little easier if all major broadcasters would at least mirror their youtube content on other networks like Peertube. That would not solve the recommendation problem to discover new videos, but at least the hosting itself would be taken care off this way.
Creators rely on them to drive traffic though and that's part of what makes YouTube sticky for producers.
The creators remain incentivized to use YouTube as a platform because they can leverage the recommendation algorithms to drive traffic to their content.
While this remains true YouTube is here to stay.
People will go to where the content is. The content will go to the platform that makes it easiest for them to build an audience.
Why not use DDG first? I switched to it in the beginning of 2020, have almost never had to fallback to Google.
Why not use LineageOS with microG? Aurora Store and f-droid for installing apps. It works pretty well for me.
For privacy and security oriented folks, there’s Puri.sm Librem 5 phone that looks interesting. I wouldn’t mind buying one if the reviews are good.
I am particularly excited about the removable battery! Anyone has any hands on experience with the phone? Links/resources would be highly appreciated!
Outlook decided it would be a nice idea to change my "Thank you" signature to an emoji in a business casual email.
For mobile, I use an Android for all the apps I can't avoid not having, but otherwise I resort to Blackberry like the old coot I am. My Q10 is still reliable af.
I think it takes time to learn how best to query DDG. I originally started to use DDG when Google buried Google Scholar queries and I found using the !gsc query more convenient than working with bookmarks or navigating Google. Getting familiar with bang queries I think makes you have a much less siloed view of search.
I guess I'm stuck with Google search.
Just define a search engine with the search string "duckduckgo.com/!g%20%s".
Maybe a couple years ago. I can't remember getting better results with Google over DDG more than once or twice in the past two years.
You have the Pinephone nowadays. You will lose a lot moving from Android to a Linux based phone, especially if you rely on native applications.
At some point, if China is the comparison point you always cite when someone talks about the US, it starts to seem like they are actually comparable.
What you state has nothing to do with that. If I understand you right, you are saying that you should be more worried in China than in the U.S. overall. That might be true, I can't judge. I can imagine there are rules in China too, maybe they are just not so pleasent? And I suspect some folks in Portland have some mixed feelings about the "just kidnap" part too.
I tried leaving Macbook, but whenever I have tried the alternatives(even Thinkpad with Ubuntu), Macbook still seems to be at the sweet spot of life time ownership cost/performance. I do care about repairability, good keyboards etc. but I do have to look at things in balance.
On just principles, I tried switching to DDG, Gmail alternatives like Hey etc, Maps alternatives but they are not even close to making your life easy. At the end of the day, I really don't want to take time categorising every email, handle spam on my own, worrying about data security. Services like Gmail seem far superior to alternatives to me.
Lastly, I would add one can pay for Gsuite and then Gmail etc. are ad free. I doubt they would be mining paid Gsuite user's data since companies use that.
In fact the big software companies usually have better security (google included) because they have some of the world’s best security people.
I try to avoid companies that have an incentive to collect user information for ad targeting. Apple doesn’t have that (and they’ve also made privacy a brand thing now so they’re even better than average).
Gmail was great when it came out, but today it’s a pretty mediocre product. Fastmail is actually better and I don’t say that as someone making excuses for non-google services. Their docs and custom domain support are really great. Their support for aliases is also great. They have good fancy workflow options I just don’t need so I don’t use.
DDG was worse for a long time, but for the last year or so it’s become good enough for me to make default. I occasionally g! to run a google query, but that’s probably only 10% of the time (and of those only half are probably actually good).
The thing is as you mentioned, with something as personal as email, docs or drive, I would trust a big company to keep it safe. Specially one that has historically has had a very good track record of it. Google hires some of the best offensive security guys, some of them you can see in Project Zero.
My experience with DDG hasn't been good at all with anything other than simple term search or website search.
I like supporting software companies where the product is their main focus (I think the ad driven business model is a corrupting influence on design).
It can also be tedious to go through all the settings and make sure things remain the way a user would want them. I like working with a company that has incentives aligned with the user.
On DDG, I would have said the same thing not that long ago. Everyone will have their own threshold for what’s good enough for them.
I use G Suite at work, and I wondered about this. From Google's modus operandi, I assumed they are mining data, for example, of all work emails to and from the accounts - and probably connected to my personal email addresses somehow, as part of a profile to target ads.
Is there a confirmation that this is not (or is) being done? I suppose, from a security/privacy perspective, it's safer to assume that it is, because it's technically possible.
I have two chromium profiles, one for work using a G Suite account and one using my personal gmail account. I've noticed the browsing history and search from my work profile impacting my personal search results.
I don't believe they use G Suite email/docs to mine data, but the rest is likely fair game.
Gmail has actually gotten super slow to me, I'm not sure what the problem is. Their site loads slowly, navigating around it is slow, the whole UX is slow. It didn't used to be that way. I've considered migrating for that reason alone, let alone any opinion I have of the company.
It also might be related to all the smart auto compose/grammar features they have been adding, which do really improve your workflow but might add just more resources to load/parse on page load.
I think it's wrong and something they shouldn't do.
I can't be the only one that has noticed this over the years.
I had actually thought of building such things as a startup idea before Gmail was doing it. Perhaps I should have; perhaps Google would have just eaten my lunch.
My only potential concerns are: spam (I still get most email to my gmail address and imported by fastmail, which filter out spam on the gmail side, so I don't have a good sense of their own spam filter), and overall security (their own production security as well as resistance to account takeovers, etc.)
There are times when that is true, and there are times when it is simply a matter of adapting to the differences. For example, you mentioned trying a ThinkPad with Ubuntu after using a MacBook. You claimed that the MacBook seems to be at the sweet spot. It reflects your experiences so that's a fair assessment. Yet my experience in moving from a MacBook to a Linux PC was quite the opposite. A significant factor was my extensive prior experience with Linux, as well as a desire to reap the benefits of Linux (rather than to escape the drawbacks of the MacBook).
> Lastly, I would add one can pay for Gsuite and then Gmail etc. are ad free. I doubt they would be mining paid Gsuite user's data since companies use that.
Don't confuse "pay for" and "ad free" with "no data mining". At least with consumer goods, companies were mining data from paid products well before the Internet was a thing. I also wouldn't be surprised if Google mines some data from business accounts, even if the scope of that data collection is severely limited.
What do you think they do with the data?
Perhaps the change was made more difficult by the fact that you changed two variables at once: the OS (macOS -> Ubuntu) and the hardware (Macbook -> ThinkPad). Something to consider.
Now some aspects of how businesses conduct business is somewhat of a "practical reason."
For example, even if Apple products actually provided decent cost/performance ratio, I would never switch over to them because of how hostile they are to leaving their ecosystem. I don't have a huge problem, as a user, with more nebulous complaints about hostile business practices and the like. The issue is simply that it would be a pain in the ass for me personally, and require making a lot of annoying compromises, or swapping to more, and less effective apple hardware.
Like if we roll back the clock to 2015 when MBP's are probably hands down the best business laptops, from a hardware standpoint I'd love one compared to alternative laptops, and at least for a work-only computer when I have zero other devices and interactions to worry about, it could be a decent option.
Don't like some of the ways they do business? Who cares, I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot on general principle.
The difference with google services is a lot more stark though, there's nothing I would even remotely consider competition to gmail now, and the things were only worse when gmail first came out. These days migrating would be an absolute nightmare. I'd still do it if someone offered me a way better option, but people in this thread are talking about downgrading to some shite service on general principle, causing themselves significant pain in the ass in order to give some other company that definitely does not give a shit about acting in some morally upstanding way money, for a lower quality product.
There's no replacement for youtube, and frankly video services are are starting to look like a natural monopoly to dwarf all prior uses of the term, as youtube could never survive outside of google's business model, and can't be split up without just destroying it completely.
So anyway, I don't think people are being all that honest about their "switch from google" being ever so easy and worthwhile. Personally I lose a lot by swapping purely because the alternatives are shit, so I won't be doing it.
People switching from android to iPhone because "goOgLe bAd" are the height of irony though.
YouTube has the content I want to watch, creators that use YouTube rely on it for their revenue and recommendation algorithm.
Until that problem is fixed the alternatives won’t work.
Or moving to Nebula. Somehow https://watchnebula.com/ gained a lot of attention recently with maybe half of my yt subscriptions also publishing there. (Or maybe it's just my bubble)
I do mean an entire day, I basically did it for 12 hours.
Have to find some ways to entertain myself during the pandemic lockdown :).
So I slowly updated a lot of less important accounts/websites to my new email address over the period of 1+ year.
This is what I did for password manager, I migrated each website on a per-use basis. Every time I used a website with a manual password, I replaced it with a generated password. This automatically prioritizes more important websites, which you tend to use more often.
For email, similarly, you migrate to the new email, and you give people the new one gradually too. Eventually anything that's left over will be spam, and that'll actually be your "less-important" secondary address you can give to websites you don't care about.
Published "privacy policies" seem to be a way of preserving opacity. It is nigh impossible, absent litigation discovery, to decipher what the company is actually doing.
I too switched to Fastmail and have been happy. I have a new Google account I use with YouTube and very occasionally Google Docs/Sheets, but I run it in a container tab in Firefox.
If you have a password manager and have been using it for awhile it makes things a lot easier since you can identify what you have tied to the account. I had over 100 sites tied to my GMail account and was able to mostly clean it up in a Saturday.
Like you mentioned in another comment, it did take me some time to move all my accounts over (about 2 days worth), but I'm so happy I did.
I had been keeping on there my side-project domains, which didn't really need a full gSuite backing them, since only a handful of emails would go in or out per month.
If Migadu's were a more reasonable price, I would have shrugged and upgraded. But going from $0/mo to $29/mo is a stretch.
The 5-domain limit on the Micro plan is also a "soft" limit, and support has implied to me that you could negotiate something that works for you if need be.
Fortunately for me, the new Micro plan works fine, but at this point, I think services like Mailbox.org might provide greater value compared to the upper tiers.
Also, they are currently collaborating with sourcehut to develop a new webmail client to replace RainLoop. For the record, I like RainLoop quite a bit and find it to be very speedy.
So even though I'll barely use it at all I signed up for Migadu only so that I could have a look at the webmail UI. But I couldn't even get a look at it, likely because I have yet to configured my domain. But I will not disrupt my domain just to get a peak at the UI...
But this goes to show how basic the opsec is for some companies. Similarly with Twitter, each time I create a dev account for a bot, if I use fastmail my account will get locked 3-4 times in the first 20 minutes after creating the account (and not so with gmail). I’m not sure why they think that bad actors can’t also sign up for a Gmail account, and are more likely to use fastmail.
Because it requires a phone number? Or does fastmail do too?
But, so does a twitter dev account. And they still lock me out like crazy if I use a non-gmail account.
This is particularly true when most of the people you’re emailing have gmail anyway.
Things like proton mail make no sense to me in that context.
Fastmail works well and has design incentives aligned with the user, I thought they were the best of the options available when I switched.
As I understand it the oversight is relatively minimal and any company operating on Australian soil can be subject to such a request. Here's their government web page on it: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/our-portfolios/natio...
It passed around the end of 2018 and a lot of Australian companies (e.g. Atlassian) were not fans of it.
I would include Maps to this list. Outside of the US (and presumably China although I do not have experience here), Google Maps has no real competitors.
Every time google has done something to piss me off over the last few years, I have channeled that into migrating a few accounts away from google. It's a good way to unwind and has the bonus of being an action that speaks louder than words.
I haven’t deleted the old account yet and do have it importing right now (that’s a good strategy for catching any straggling accounts or friends you haven’t given your new email too).
I don’t have a good answer beyond some weird sense of aesthetic tidiness. I have a dash of wanting to compulsively organize things, so having the old account bothers me irrationally.
For me, google docs was the hook that made me create another account. Every volunteer project I go near uses them.
I tried creating aliases for the projects so that each product team could reference me by an email address that reflected the project. But after a year or two I had loads of these aliases and would accidentally open a doc for one project whilst logged in to gdocs as the identity for another project.
I now just have one identity for google. And I feel dirty.
Have you considered this in your threat model?
In addition to that, I think Fastmail also has servers based in the US (though I’m not sure that matters for the law).
You’re right though that the new laws coming out of Australia are pretty bad. The way I treat email takes that into account.
Yeah this is all fine once you have accepted the trade offs and designed your threat model around it. People get extremely zealous around this sort of shit.
One decision for another person does not need to be taken by everyone else just because it makes sense for you.
I, like you am concerned about the use of data but I take a different approach. I don't mind if my data is used for product insight/generation once it is aggregated anonymized data, with the caveat that the website and or service is GDPR compliant.
I give bonus points to any website that lets you nuke your account from the profile page without having to jump through e-mail hoops. I had a recent experience of requesting an account erasure under GDPR via e-mail. I expected the usual "are you sure?", "do you know the implications?", "who are you?" but no they just deleted the account straight away. I only found out it had been done by trying to login to the service again.
I have this problem on Steam of all places. Way back when, I guess you had to sign up with your email as your username. I've long long since left that email behind, but it's still my username for logging onto Steam.
For following channels, I personally use Feedly and can only recommend it - it's not exactly the same but for me it comes close enough.
the reason people use their search is that it's default -if it was bing no one will notice. ads? super customized ads are not worth the money to companies, lighter cheaper personalization is available from many vendors.
google literally is yahoo.
to tech people -the ones who made google what they are, google is actively their enemy, and for the regular user, they want an iphone, and they want customer service with a smile -google has none.
me, i never googled-up. zoho for $1 a month, create new aliases for spam and filter them into folders. no gmail needed. maps? apple for iphone is ok, but i just use heremaps. you click a country, click download, and a couole of gig later you have full search offline.
now youtube, that's an interesting product that's only popular because it's popular. and it was popular before google bought it. there are many unpopular competitors. all it takes to take down youtube is an app for another service included by default on samsung and iphone home screens, and youtube is gone.
the same goes for facebook and twitter. myspace, yahoo, aol -all had their 15min of fame, all thought it would last forever. who cares. google is old news.
Still use YouTube and Google search. They have no (decent) competition still.
Interesting, how do they such sites deal with people who lose their email account (phishing or others?)
My email style is inbox everything and route emails to folders or delete on read.
If there’s something I’m always routing without reading then I unsubscribe.
Workflow may not be for everyone, but it keeps my email under control and organized.
I also have a lot of email for record keeping (amazon orders etc.) I just route those to folders myself.
You’re right though that I probably have it easier than most generally.
If I did I would need a google account just for that purpose.
"Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing, shilling, brigading, foreign agents and the like. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried about abuse, email email@example.com and we'll look at the data. "
After the leaks google encrypted those connections.
The other parts are within FISA and other parts of the law. There may be disagreements with the transparency or way this stuff works, but your first comment was overly broad and mostly inaccurate.
edit: Let me say some nice things about them. I put them towards the end for a reason, and they probably don't belong with Oracle. I don't think they are a big problem in the world, if at all. They aren't the company they were in the 90s. Gates has become one of the worlds most staggeringly successful humanitarians because of his direct effort and indirectly from the giving pledge, and it has redeemed him many times over again. Nadella seems like a decent person and truly great executive, and they have improved enormously as a company under him. I would probably work for them. But I don't have any problem with Google, either. What Microsoft does have is a vastly greater potential for abuse.
The world is extremely complicated and full of unfortunate realities that humanity just doesn’t have any solutions for.
There are people who can recognize that, and who try to do the best they can.
Then there are people who can’t recognize that, adopt an overly simplistic model of the problem and its environment, become convinced that there’s a simple and obvious solution, and then start attributing malice and blame to anyone who refuses to go along with their terrible idea.
I also think: “If they worked here they would know better.” The people here are by and large very good and thoughtful people genuinely trying to make the world a better place, and whatever negative feelings you have about how Google uses its power, if Google were gone it would create a power vacuum in the market that would be filled by companies that were 100x worse.
That’s how I feel about the mission and the morality of it all.
I also feel genuinely concerned for the future of anyone who would deprive themselves like this, as a vague form of protest that nobody ever notices, in the hopes that it might aggregate to something meaningful someday. That seems like a very ineffective and sad approach to living your life.
My own personal views, not Google’s.
Sure you can go and use the items on this list. But I don't think they will be better. Google has spent a lot of time and money to make a set of best in industry tools and people use them as a result.
Oh so they just don’t think about it at all. To be product focused is just to do what your boss tells you to do. Sometimes the easiest way to go about things is just to fully embody one’s role as a cog with no agency.
To answer another part of your question - I strongly believe in my mission, I consider what I do at Google helps people, that said I'm not deluded, I'm partly helping to sell ads, but that doesn't detract from my primary objectives or the beneficial impact of my work.
1. I find most criticism of Google on HN either wrong or overblown. To clarify this point, I suggest you name the 5 worst things that come to mind about Google; I'll be happy to explain how I feel about them.
There is one significant moral issue I see with Google: they like to collect and hoard massive amounts of user data, and they have a lot of users so the resulting centralization of data creates a big risk. Note that the issue I see is "only" a risk. I'm not even sure what the concrete bad scenarios are that would make Google specially bad when the risk is realized, but I'm sure they exist.
2. I think they do a lot of good, which far outweighs the issue mentioned in point 1. Here are the 5 best things that come to mind right now:
- They do amazing good for open source. I have seen Google criticized for "paying lip service to open source" or worst, which I find laughable. They have published 3 open source operating systems (Chromium OS, AOSP, Fuchsia). They have created a huge number of very useful open source libraries I have been using for personal and professional project, from big ones like Flutter and gRPC to small ones like libyuv.
- Related: they do a lot of good for open standards. Case in point: their work on open, royalty-free video codecs, which has been a boon for open source. I have seen Google called evil on HN for this, which again harms the credibility of their detractors in my eyes. Even for Google Chat / Hangout / whatever, for which they got criticized a lot, I think it's fair to say they tried harder than all the other big players to make it work with an open standard before giving up.
- They have been a driving force for a more secure Internet: early use of https for webmail, 2-factor authentication, lately ubiquitous https...
- They have been leaders in giving users access to all their data, with the Data Liberation Front / Takeout.
- They are the most transparent when it comes to the privacy policies and collected data (for example I get prompts to check the policy whenever I do something in Incognito mode). And relaed to the previous point: the My Activity page is awesome! It helps realize what they collect on me, and it makes the collected data actually useful to the user. For example I used it to find a place I knew I had visited on a given day, though I had forgotten the name and location.