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Author Topic: Google's Steely Tentacles.  (Read 2451 times)

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Offline cfx795

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Google's Steely Tentacles.
« on: January 24, 2018, 04:09:13 am »
I didn't find it terribly hard to distance myself from the world of Microsoft, especially once I'd deployed Linux in its place. I had a brief fling with Skype, but that was years ago, probably before it was owned by Microsoft. I can't really think of any Microsoft product I'm using at the moment.

Google's a different matter. I've been pretty wrapped up and entangled in the Google universe for the last few years. I've had Chromebooks, and right now I'm in a temporary situation where I am using just the Chromebook until I can get a Linux laptop up and running, probably with tax refunds a little later this winter - so in a few weeks. I was reading an 8-part series of articles by Brian Lunduke at Network World. I think the first one I read was "Part 4" where he talks about ditching GMail and using another mail system. https://www.networkworld.com/article/2977884/opensource-subnet/kicking-google-out-of-my-life-part-8-will-i-ever-go-back.html

I feel this same urge to disentangle myself from Google. Call it instinct. All the tracking and using my information, it's starting to bug me. So, I've made similar adjustments...

Strangely enough, even during this interim in which I'm using an actual Chromebook, there are still some non-Google products to begin with. I established an account with Fastmail, I'm using Duck Duck Go as my default search engine. There's this pCloud storage to replace Google Drive, which I think will work fine. I don't really think I'm going to really miss these particular Google products, but like Lunduke summarizes in part 8, there, there are a couple sticking points - well, at least one. I haven't found any perfect replacement for Hangouts. Namely, for me, free texting and calling from my laptop. I'm not hugely infatuated with my smartphone.

I think Lastpass (password manager) can be installed on Firefox, adblock, no problem. Most of these things probably aren't too difficult to switch over and avoid Google.  I think Hangouts is the sticking point. I have that Google phone number that I've used for years, and I'm not eager to lose it. I've actually used it as my primary contact. If I'm going to retain Hangouts and that phone number, obviously I can't just delete my Google account.

As I've indicated in other posts, I plan to get one of these Dell Latitude laptops, run Peppermint 7 or 8, and probably Firefox as the default browser. I'm not far enough into this thing to say for sure whether I will go completely sans-Google. But maybe that shouldn't be the ultimate goal... or should it? Google didn't get to be Google by not having any good ideas... Maybe best not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Offline mac

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 09:16:01 am »
Hi cfx795
Take a look at zoho.com.  It won't solve all your problems but it's a good start.  They are pushing it for business use but it works great for personal use and it is free.  I've used it for years and have had no problems with it. 

cheers
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Offline emegra

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 09:23:09 am »
I'm with mac on this I felt exactly like you and moved from gmail to zoho a couple of years ago and it's been first class


Good luck however you go



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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 09:27:48 am »
DuckDuckGo is a great search engine.  And, it's nice to know that there's a decent alternative to Gmail.  I've been with Gmail since it was the alternative.  (mostly, to Hotmail and Yahoo Mail)  However, I'm not sure there's a way to fully escape Google.  They own too much stuff.  They even own YouTube.  Think about that one.

As for Microsoft, I still use a few of their products, just not Windows.  I still have an XBOX and XBOX 360, and their controllers are top notch for gaming.

Offline emegra

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 09:37:45 am »
I also use Duck Duck Go as my default search engine and it's great but there are odd occasions I have to use Google Search for some things and I hate to admit it but it is better in my opinion,

As for Microsoft I have a MS keyboard a MS webcam and 2 old original MS Xboxes I've softmodded to run XBMC and they're fantastic so I don't have a problem with their hardware it's their malware I have a problem with.



Graeme
If you can keep your head while all around are losing theirs then you're not quite grasping the situation

Offline DAMIEN1307

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 01:09:27 pm »
hi folks...in a fit of rage, almost 2 yrs ago, (yes i am still able to do this at my age), i purged everything google on my system, they wouldnt let me get to my mail unless i was willing to relax my vigilance and cough up more of my personal information and let them have it...needless to say they did not get it and i didnt get my email...while purging Gmail etc, you should see the dire warnings they posted along the way of how all is lost, how misguided i am etc...lol...i also purged google chrome browser...i have since used zoho mail as my primary mail and protonmail for my most secure mail such as banking, insurance, and other accounts i have...also changed browsers too...i use the slimjet browser  with adding on the startpage search engine (it uses google search but anonymizes search results before submitting them to me)...as well as making sure i use ublock origin and ublock origin extra  and privacy badger and "no google analytics" and minerblock as extensions....ive also done the same with the backup open source chromium browser as well and now all is right with the world...no more microsoft, no more google...now the master, and no longer the slave of the machine...DAMIEN

ps...i also purge everything microsoft and went linux also in a fit of rage the week before when cumulative updates from microcrap windbloes borked my system...for the last time ever
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 01:16:25 pm by DAMIEN1307 »
ORDO AB CHAO

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 01:10:40 pm »
I also use Duck Duck Go as my default search engine and it's great but there are odd occasions I have to use Google Search for some things

Just type:

!g searchterm

into DDG (or the Peppermint startpage), and DDG will return the results from Googles encrypted search engine.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 01:16:37 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline tetricky

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 07:24:57 pm »
I'm with Google, and aware of the price that I pay. I just find too much of their stuff really good. I learnt a bit here though... Thanks for that.

I've used Zoho and other email services... But I really like Gmail and how it integrates with gdrive, and the other applications integration.

For password management look at keepass. I find it great for multi platform on both the desktop and mobile. I keep the encrypted database in one cloud storage and the key in another... Then the is your password on top.

It's relatively easy to set up on different devices.

You'll want to backup both somewhere safe.

For an open source messaging protocol then I can't think beyond XMPP or SIMPLE. At some level though to gain true independence your going to end up running your own servers... And even that's no absolute guarantee.

Offline grafiksinc

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 09:21:29 am »
I been pretty happy with protonmail.

Offline christianvl

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 09:54:14 am »
I have both personal and business account  with Google.

I know, they're watching me, but I'm sure others are too. All this tech companies collect our data.

IMO, Google provides the best solutions for almost everything.

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Offline perknh

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 04:27:10 pm »
Google didn't get to be Google by not having any good ideas... Maybe best not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

&

IMO, Google provides the best solutions for almost everything.

There's no question about it, Google is amazing.  Thank you, cfx795, for starting this discussion.

My issue with Google is with data collection, and the fact that Google is just too darn big.  Google touches nearly everything we do online.  What can anyone do online now that doesn't have Google's print on it in one way or another?  If you go to a site, the chances are Google Analytics is collecting your data.  If you use a browser, chances are good that Google's safe browsing services are employed to protect you from phishing and malware links.  If you send an email, there's a good change you'll be sending it to someone with a Gmail account.  If you have an Android phone, its default search engine is Google, and its Play Store is Google Play.  Think about it, try to do anything online without Google touching that activity.  It's pretty tough to do.

Tentacles is good way of describing the expansive reach of Google. It's mind-boggling! :o



« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 11:59:26 am by perknh »
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Offline christianvl

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 07:01:05 pm »
Yes,  they're watching us. What scares me even more is that Google is not the only one watching… I guess there's no private browsing…  is that the real price we have to pay?
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Offline perknh

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 08:42:53 am »
What scares me even more is that Google is not the only one watching…

All I can think to do is spread our data around a little -- so it's not ALL held by Google.  I don't think there's one right way to deal with this though.  Me?  I've changed my primary DNS in my router to something other than my ISP's DNS -- so my ISP hopefully doesn't get all the goods on me. ;D  Then I try to keep away from Windows as much as possible.  Finally I try to use different browsers and search engines.  As for email, I'm still sorting that issue out.  I've found it's just about impossible to get people to encrypt their email -- and even if a service such as Tutanota or ProtonMail does it for them!  With encryption it seems, most people either throw up their arms, or just don't care. ::)
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 09:22:09 am »
I've often wondered if showing a Linux browser agent string makes you a more interesting 'target' for advertisers .. in a kind of "he may be a sysadmin, so have some 'pull'" kinda way ?

We already know governments tend to view Linux users as suspiciously non-conformist and therefore threatening.

Or maybe I need a new tin hat ?
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Offline perknh

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Re: Google's Steely Tentacles.
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2018, 12:06:36 pm »
We already know governments tend to view Linux users as suspiciously non-conformist and therefore threatening.

I always felt that was the reason why Maxthon stopped supporting the Linux version of its browser.   Backdoors and O.S.S. make poor bedfellows.  The irony is, IMHO, is that entire planet would be better served, and a safer and more civil place, if everyone, governments included, used open source, or F.O.S.S, software.  One of the least threatening and most civil communities I've ever seen online is the Linux community.  The bad apples get sorted out of the Linux community quite quickly. :)
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