Thread: Goodbye and hope to never see you again...

  1. #1
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Goodbye and hope to never see you again...

    ... Google. (Don't you hate clickbaits?)

    Today I finally completely ended my relationship with Google. After 14 months of transition, no one in my contacts list has my gmail account and none of my online or offline subscriptions uses that account anymore. I still have to investigate if I can permanently close an account on Gmail. But I have no need to look at it anymore and I removed any reference to it from my browser and the IMAP folder on my email client.

    This ends a 12 year gmail account, created when the service was still beta and invite-only. I got the invitation by a friend of mine, then a student and today a teacher, at an University in Toronto.

    When I took the decision more than an year ago to cut any ties with Google, I stopped using all of their services and software, except for gmail that required a transition period. The two exceptions are the web search engine that I still use by proxy through DuckDuckGo and, of course, YouTube, which I use rarely, but which I never created an account anyways.

    The motivation was really never about their services, which do include some that I consider of value; Search, GoogleDocs, Gmail, YouTube, to name the most obvious ones. The motivation was always about removing myself from their servers and either see my web persona deleted, or forever frozen without any activity. I understand that in today's tracking web that is mostly outside the control of the end user, even despite tools such as uBlock Origin and Private Browsing. But that doesn't mean that something can't be done to minimize or even hopefully end it.

    The immediate result I got of all this was the realization that Google services and tools are in no way necessary or mandatory for the web experience. The company doesn't really add any value to the modern web anymore, except perhaps on YouTube, which still lacks a real competitor. Google has lost that ability to satisfy needs, which is the center point of a good service or product, and is today instead merely a company that tries to create new needs, much like many others before it and that subverts all that is good about free markets and economies of scale. And with the exception of YouTube as mentioned before, which in fact Google wasn't the inventor of, there is no single service by Google that hasn't an alternative that is better, safer or more private to use.

    This Google process that ended today, also ended a wider scope change of my computing habits, of which Google was merely one item on the list. I made a full transition to Linux last year, with Windows (v. 7) being today merely a VM on my Arch Linux box (last access time being Friday, 19 February 2016). Made many changes to applications I used to use also, moved to Pale Moon as a browser more than an year ago (and recently added Vivaldi as a secondary), deleted any web mail accounts and moved entirely to pop servers and software mail clients, stopped any development in languages with corporate control such as C# or Java, and moved entirely to community-driven languages (Python and C++), etc etc etc. Never used the so-called social web. So I never created accounts on services like facebook or tweeter, so that's not something I had to deal with.

    With all this, I may not be it and maybe I'm misguided, but I feel a much freer man, one that just doesn't agree to the modern web and is profoundly critic of modern web economics, but still needs to use it and as such tries to do it on its own terms.

    No matter what, I just know that I am today more invisible to the web than I was 24 months ago. That's a fact. And that alone is a victory already.

    (Note: Tor is not an option and never was)
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Eh, I made a Gmail account because I heard employers are silly enough to discredit you if you have a hotmail address.

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    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    Eh, I made a Gmail account because I heard employers are silly enough to discredit you if you have a hotmail address.
    Gmail might be more hip than Hotmail, but employers would probably be most impressed if you ran your own private email server. So you'd be MutantJohn@ClintonEmail.com whoops I'm thinking of the wrong server, I mean MutantJohn@JohnsMutantEmail.com

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    And for those private emails use: NotMutantJohn@JohnsMutantEmail.com
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    I miss the Like button so much...

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    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I miss the Like button so much...
    +++

    > Today I finally completely ended my relationship with Google.
    Congratulations!
    It's a journey I'm soon to embark upon.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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    Citizen of Awesometown the_jackass's Avatar
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    Why is Tor not an option? Sorry if the question sounds ignorant/stupid...but I am curious.
    "Highbrow philosophical truth: Everybody is an ape in monkeytown" --Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_jackass View Post
    Why is Tor not an option? Sorry if the question sounds ignorant/stupid...but I am curious.
    The single truth about Tor is that it may be a solution to privacy only in the free western world, where its features are less needed. But elsewhere, in dictatorships and other types of authoritarian regimes, where Tor is most useful, the mere fact you use it will immediately paint a big red target on your chest. Tor may be useful for foreign journalists reporting from those places, but does nothing to local journalists or the population in general. So Tor is really only useful where it is less needed. Which translates to Tor being mostly useless.

    I can't use it from my present location. It would only get me into serious trouble.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 05-22-2016 at 02:11 PM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #9
    [](){}(); manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    The single truth about Tor is that it may be a solution to privacy only in the free western world, where its features are less needed. But elsewhere, in dictatorships and other types of authoritarian regimes, where Tor is most useful, the mere fact you use it will immediately paint a big red target on your chest. Tor may be useful for foreign journalists reporting from those places, but does nothing to local journalists or the population in general. So Tor is really only useful where it is less needed. Which translates to Tor being mostly useless.

    I can't use it from my present location. It would only get me into serious trouble.
    Out of curiosity, would you say the same applies for VPN?
    (Or some other way of tunneling your encrypted stuff through a server you have access to..)

  10. #10
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    Out of curiosity, would you say the same applies for VPN?
    (Or some other way of tunneling your encrypted stuff through a server you have access to..)
    VPNs are more innocuous. It is a common practice for companies to extend their intranets. So VPNs offer more opportunities to justify their use. At least in my location.
    But even with that. I would think that a non business VPN is easier to justify and raises fewer red flags, since VPN access is more closely associated with security than it is with privacy. VPNs aren't as good as Tor at hiding your identity.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 05-23-2016 at 02:05 AM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #11
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I would think that a non business VPN is easier to justify and raises fewer red flags.
    How they even know you're using a VPN? Connect to it on port 443, and your traffic becomes indistinguishable from typical web browsing.

  12. #12
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    I am really enjoying how everyone is trying to second-guess Mario's decision, like closing gmail accounts is something of great consequence. I can barely be arsed to read my email if it isn't about my bank account...

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