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noindex

The argument for removing websites (specifically personal websites) from Google search.

I haven’t totally blocked Googlebot from alis.me, through this post did make me rethink my approach and severely limit what Google is allowed to see; basically, it can index the “commercial” portions of the site, but none of the personal ones. (And for some of my other, smaller, exclusively personal sites, I’ve blocked Google entirely…)

2019-12-18T09:52:56+11:0025th December, 2019|Tags: google, tech|

Purchased.

Tl;dr Google keeps a weird creepy history of everything it knows (e.g. via Gmail) you’ve purchased, makes it really unclear that it’s doing this, and makes it impossible for you to delete the history.

Awesome! Great value-add, just what I wanted! Thanks, Google!

2019-07-09T15:18:36+10:0010th November, 2019|Tags: google, privacy|

Change uncontrol.

Tl;dr one team at YouTube (intentionally) made an unauthorized code change and it effectively ended use of IE6.

On the one hand, by the time this happened, IE6 definitely “should” have been replaced or upgraded. On the other, the fact that a small handful of people at one company were able to effect this change on a worldwide scale really should be… concerning.

2019-07-31T09:40:03+10:0023rd October, 2019|Tags: google, internet explorer, tech|

Silos…

So apparently Google is removing apps from its store that contain donation links.

Webshit Weekly describes it thus:

Google continues the war against its own users. This time the attack is simple: anyone who suggests giving money to anyone but Google is ejected from the game. Hackernews cannot decide if people should be allowed to give each other money without appropriate oversight from Google. After all, people are not to be trusted, and God gave us massive multinational surveillance corporations to watch over us and keep us safe. If those corporations do something mean, it’s because the bad old government won’t let them be nice.

Ha ha! Google! “Don’t be evil”, amirite?

Yeah, well. Just your regularly scheduled reminder that the AO3 does exactly the same thing to fic in its archive,1 so… yeah. About that…

  1. And not just for Ko-fi and Patreon links; it also prohibits the linking to outside charities that aren’t the OTW. []
2019-10-23T09:12:06+11:0023rd October, 2019|Tags: ao3, google|

Framing.

Here’s a question: Does the unrelentingly positive nature of GMail’s “smart replies” feature prime people to be more agreeable to things they otherwise wouldn’t be? And is that a problem? And, critically… should Google have, like, studied that before rolling the feature out en masse?

2018-09-20T15:10:59+10:009th March, 2019|Tags: google, tech|

The endless experiment.

But companies usually care about their products, protect them, try to improve their state.

If I were a product, Google would do its best not to destroy me. They have invested a lot of resources into this product, so why risk it by making baffling changes to both privacy and user experience? If I stay happy with Google’s offerings, I keep being the perfect product: I can be mined for data and “sold” perpetually.

Clearly, Google doesn’t care about me personally. And how could it? There are billions of people just like me who use their services every day.

Maybe we should stop thinking we’re “Google’s product” and start thinking we are data points in endless experiments.

Rakhim Davletkaliyev on Google.

I switched to using Firefox about a day before this latest round of being-evil from Google and… yeah. I do not regret it.1

  1. Even if the scrollbars in Masto are now hideously ugly… []
2018-09-28T08:40:09+10:0028th September, 2018|Tags: google, privacy, tech|