oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (degoogle)
My health is still on the really bad side, so I haven't been doing much more than skimming and collecting links.

Some dribs and drabs of progress on the De-Googlification front:

  • Inspiration: I reread Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, to get into the mood.... (the deadtree edition, not the free ebook, as when I'm sick I have less trouble with paper than with screens.) It holds up surprisingly well.

  • Search: Am doing just fine on DuckDuckGo. I love that it's customizable, though the default look is good enough for me. It's exactly what I want in a search engine, especially with the lack of tracking, and if I want different results it will run the same search again through another engine -- proxying to hide the tracking info. It's kind of startling what the world looks like outside of the filter bubble. Noisier, yes, but more evenhanded.

  • Subjot: Yeah, I'm counting this. Subjects and comments really hit a sweet spot for me. It's a for-profit startup but the dev team is amazingly responsive and doesn't seem to want to do anything evil; their ideas in the way of advertising etc. all make sense to me, and they may even end up with a dual-track ad-supported/subscription model like LJ. After DW/LJ this is the most pleasant place I visit every day, though Diaspora is quite nice (the partial implementation of Markdown and lack of collapsing of reshares makes D* a little too cluttery to be soothing.) I have even gotten oda there. Anyhow, this counts because it's a social site I actually enjoy.

  • Meanwhile, I have finally hit my last straw with Facebook. I'm tired of all of the reactive privacy, having to opt out to their brilliant new changes. I'm tired of people having to expose serious security issues in Facebook to get them to fix them. This "push sloppy changes and see who screams" strategy is old. Also, the current UI is a horrendous mess. Clearly a fine time to leave, and I'll be out of there by the end of October (allowing for the two week period of removal.) Of course that doesn't mean anything is actually deleted, just tagged as deleted. Feh. In the meantime I've also set up some AdBlock plus filters to be more aggressive about them.

  • Proxy options: I've been trying out TOR and VPNReactor. The former is a little more obfuscated, but any non-SSL content is in the clear for the last exit router, so I'm leery of using it for anything that's not fully encrypted or for read-only browsing -- session-based HTTP seems risky. VPNReactor will let me use my iPod on hotspots without worrying about my sessions getting hijacked by Firesheep. Sadly it doesn't work for my Android so I will want to use that only on trustworthy wifi networks and not open hotspots (my phone has unlimited, if slow and cruddy, 3g so this isn't exactly the end of the world; the iPod support on the other hand is lovely to have for my wifi-only critter, though I'm less likely to use that on hotspots now that I have a phone.) TOR will show Facebook in a satisfactory if slow-as-a-slug manner, and the Browser bundle was easy to install and use.

  • Email/GMail: My kind friend who runs my site for me is working on getting an IMAP server (Dovecot) up and running there. I've been using mutt for years and the approach is primitive and clunky. I only back up my mail to GMail so I have some flexibility on what I can do, but I need something web accessible so that my husband doesn't need to install anything to see his mail from work. So the options are either to find an email provider with a webmail UI and forward a copy of our mail to that, or to find a sturdy webmail server for my FreeBSD site. (This would actually be my ideal as it means edit operations happen on the live archive instead of the backup. Husband would much prefer to use a web interface for his email activity.) I've had no energy for assessing webmail providers and a general suspicion of PHP, so there's a lot of friction on this one.

  • Email/GMail, Part 2: Thunderbird. Finally got around to getting it ready and am using it to grab stuff. It's a little obtuse but works all right so far, though appears to have some issues with DNS leaking if combined with TOR. It also has the advantage of, if set to copy full messages down, providing a local email backup -- this means that if I get IMAP+webmail on my server I can stop forwarding a backup. If my husband likes this client all right, then he's willing to use this and his phone as clients and can put up with not having webmail access, woot.


I've also been playing around with accessibility extensions, but that's another post.
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
"Google can not continue with a policy that is so arbitrary that people's real names are rejected, and people's "known as" names are approved one time, and then rejected the next time they are challenged. Nobody wants to invest in a social network which may arbitrarily ban them at any moment."
+Kee Hinckley on the inconsistencies of how the common name policy is enforced.

Video: Is Google+ Killing Anonymity?
+Doug "Krikket" Krick posts EFF's +Eva Galperin's interview on Russia Today.

satiricalbite posts a video "Satire: An Interview with the Folks Behind Google+" -- I find it kind of hard to see the satire in this one, because it's basically what Google is saying. I can't remember who shared this one with me, sorry!

"2007 study says removing anonymity increased hostile interactions by four times that of pseudonymous online discussion."
from +Jay Blanc's post

"Google thinks the freedom of expression is most important value to uphold on the internet. ... We concluded in the end that it is impossible to provide benefits to internet users while observing this country's law because the law does not fall in line with Google's principles."
-- Rachel Whetstone, vice president of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google, Freedom of Expression on the Internet.
from +Brandon Blackmoor's post on how Google resisted South Korea's real names policy

+Rainyday Superstar, active Buzz user and Trusted Beta Tester, was invited to test Google+ and has had her entire Buzz history vaporized as well as everything else Profiles-dependant. She can't roll back to her pre-test state. If she wants to un-brick her phone she will have to do a factory restore and give it a new account, losing any apps she has purchased through the Marketplace.
http://rainydaysuperstar.us/?p=116

"Until Facebook came along, there was hardly anywhere on the public Internet where you had to operate with your real name."
-- +Jeff Iverson


Mirrored to Google+
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
Punted on much of yesterday; health is acting up, so no real progress on data liberation other than to do a bit of research. Android liberation in particular is reminding me of how much fun it is to deal with Monsanto; the more I look, the more of a tangle it seems to be. Here, have some links!

Alternatives to the Google monoculture
"Monocultures are unhealthy, whether it’s a crop or an informational system, and privacy is a fundamental necessity to democratic institutions. The Internet is arguably one of the most democratic places ever to have existed, but tracking users – not to mention forcing them to use a government-accepted name – threatens that." -- Leaf and Steel

"They knew exactly what they were getting into, and chose to do it anyway. The stalling, avoidance of the issues, and all-too-rare weasel-worded statements are exactly what I would expect from Vic and the rest of G+ management based on their behaviour pre-launch" -- +K Robert in a comment highlighted by +Collette Lynner

Own Your Own Identity
"But all of these proprietary networks that want to own and hold in your content are reversing much of the web’s progress in some other areas, such as the durability and quality of online identity." -- Marco Arment

Mirrored from Google+

July 2012

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