My friends at Google: it is time to return to not being evil



  • I too, am reading this for the first time and want to thank Vivaldi for giving us an alternative to Google. Google started out as a "do no evil" company but eventually went over to the dark side (Apple's home turf). I specifically went looking for a browser that was google compatible and linux friendly without all of the spyware. Vivaldi fits the bill nicely. I am also looking at switching my emails, calendar etc to Vivaldi.net.

    Thank you Vivaldi.



  • Dear Jon, congratulations on your masterful creation, the Vivaldi browser. It's a dream come true, feature-wise, more elegant browser, nothing comes close.
    However, it is based on Chromium, on which Google's Chrome also relies.
    Perhaps it's about time to move on and change Vivaldi's chromium foundation to the one Firefox Quantum uses, built using the Rush language.
    Firefox Quantum is screeming fast, faster than any other browser, and all that speed is thanks to Rush (from what I've read, but I am not a developer).
    I don't know if it's even possible to use that other browser engine instead of chromium, but perhaps it is.
    Please explore this tantalizing possibility and the sky will be the limit for Vivaldi.



  • @jon: competition is coming...

    How Amazon’s Ad Business Could Threaten Google and Facebook
    Amazon.com has valuable data its tech competitors can’t access: Its own sales
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-amazons-ad-business-could-threaten-google-and-facebook-1517157327



  • @spytrdr I'm not sure that having two or three massive corporations gobbling up your data and privacy is better than only one. In fact I think it's worse! Now you have the situation where you as a user have to fit into the "Google world" or "Amazon world" or "Apple world" or "Microsoft world"... and there are distinct borders where you can't view content from one on the devices or services of the other.

    That is already the case with streaming services and devices like Alexa and Google Home, and having a couple more megacorp competitors only makes it worse for us users.

    At the moment it's getting worse than it was with a Google monopoly!

    The only way things can improve for us is if there are open standards so services and products from different "ecosystems" will seamlessly talk to us and each other. That's only going to happen if

    • there's so many competitors that it's the only way forward (unlikely since that's exactly what Google, Amazon etc. are trying to prevent)
    • the corporations all spontaneously develop a benevolent conscience (yeah right)
    • governments intervene (also unlikely for now, unfortunately)


  • @mossman: I agree, of course. In the end it will be a matter of which ecosystem (cloud, etc) you trust most. For me the worst offender is actually Facebook (that's why I don't use any of its services), not Google. Google is unavoidable, Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube in particular are essential at least for me.
    What I like about Amazon is that it doesn't have a "social" component ("find your friends!", "share with mommy!"), although that Alexa speaker is very creepy and no way I will ever let it inside my home.
    We all know who is behind the curtain listening, recording, and tracking all our movements, and even our thoughts.
    Not ideal of course.
    Anyway, the stock market hasn't look this "solid" since 1929, and when the inevitable market crash comes, it will be fund watching many of these juggernauts collapse., there will be a lot of rearranging of chairs when the dust finally settles.
    It happened to MySpace, it can and will happen to Facebook too.



  • @spytrdr: let me recommend this awesome privacy browser addon from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
    https://www.eff.org/privacybadger



  • @spytrdr: happened to AmericaOnline/AOL too. Fashions change very fast, and when the flock moves elsewhere from the already VERY unfashionable Facebook, let's see what happens with its ad business.



  • @spytrdr I don't touch Facebook at all for those same reasons. I also agree about Alexa - spent some time over Christmas with friends who have both Alexa and Google Home... and I really was NOT impressed despite all their attempts to show how great they are. Aside from the privacy question, it takes more effort to get something done with them than just flicking a light switch or using your phone. Total waste of time!



  • Jon, I just re-read this again after a year and a half when I linked a friend to it. I can tell you about Google "coincidences" over the last 10 years, and yes, they are this petty. And in the tech world, I'm a nobody.



  • @gwen-dragon: I agree Google shows you what is relevant for them. Remember the Google Ads Preferences Manager of 2009? Google claimed for two years that you could use it to opt out of targeted advertising. I was suspicious of this claim in 2011 and began investigating. Reality: you could opt out for about a day. If you hit a Google property during that day, Google would replace the opt-out cookie with a new one to track you. Because they are everywhere on the internet, no opt-out cookie lasted more than 24 hours, even if the original one set its expiry decades into the future. Google can't claim that this wasn't by design, as every other member of the NAI was able to engineer cookies that lasted. After getting exposed by me to the NAI, they were forced to change this. There are many other examples of Google doing what's right for Google, and screw whatever settings we put in.



  • Liberal Professor Warns: Google Manipulating Voters 'on a Massive Scale'

    Dr. Robert Epstein told Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday that Google can manipulate votes by using tools that they have at their disposal exclusively, and that no one can counteract them. Epstein warned the senator of big tech election meddling during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Google and Censorship through Search Engines" on Tuesday.



  • Google Gains Access to Patient Data, but does not need to inform them.

    Google has gained access to a huge trove of US patient data - without the need to notify those patients - thanks to a deal with a major health firm.

    The scheme, dubbed Project Nightingale, was agreed with Ascension, which hopes to develop artificial intelligence tools for doctors.

    Google can access health records, names and addresses without telling patients, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.


  • Moderator

    @Pesala They also had some deal to access NHS data in the past.

    I am sure there are some researchers at google are passionate about health matters, but given that kind of data sharing gives an massive corporation unfettered access to lots of metadata - the potential negatives ought-weigh the potential benefits.


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