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Slice of the pie.

Hey, you remember when Apple introduced Apple Pay and everyone was like, “Holy shit Apple taking a slice of all credit card transactions made from its devices is like a freakin’ licence to print money”? But users didn’t really care that much because, a) that shit is convenient af, and b) the “pie slice” that Apple was cutting into was, like, Visa and MasterCard’s and who cares about them?

So what if Google decided it was going to do the same thing. Except the “slice” was “advertising” and the pie was “making users who use non-Google adblockers pay to view websites“?

Whatever your thoughts on advertising-as-business-model and/or paywalling,1 there seems to be a really good way of stopping your browser from being the world’s most used, and this would seem to be it.

  1. Yes! the internet has no good content payment model! Yes, publishers should be able to earn revenue based on viewership of their content. And you know what? There’s already a pool of this money and it’s called “ISP bandwidth costs”. Stop freakin’ double-dipping, tech industry, and sort your shit out! []
2019-04-29T11:56:33+10:0013th August, 2017|Tags: google, tech|

Apple’s war.

Taking on crappy online ads, Apple-style.

This isn’t altruism, of course: Apple’s biggest rivals, i.e. Google, have almost all of their revenue from adtech, while Apple has more-or-less none. Coupled with the fact that users loathe ads, it means they’re a safe target for Apple to hit at.

I still use Chrome on iOS, because I like the syncing with the desktop and I like my desktop Chrome ad-ins. But mobile-based Chrome is getting worse (cough not supporting iOS’s adblockers cough), while Safari is getting better. As websites get more bloated with ad- and spyware, I’m already using Safari more and more for the simple fact that pages in Chrome become unusable. Google’s attempts to “fix” this–things like AMP and its own new “adblocking”–are more about gaining market share for Google than they are making things better for users.

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before I end up making the browser switch permanently…

2017-06-26T08:32:11+10:005th August, 2017|Tags: advertising, apple, google, tech|

Google. You just sent me a message saying you denied my Gmail login because it came from an “insecure service”.

… that service was yourself, Google. I was using Gmail to send an email via another Gmail account.

2016-08-19T07:12:41+10:0030th May, 2016|Tags: google, tech|

Google minus.

The sad, expensive, tale of Google+.

I was going through my “Google fangirl” phase right when G+ came out. I was an early adopter on the site, and… yeah. Yeah that all crashed and burned, didn’t it? G+ (as well as the canning of Wave) were the two big incidents that made me stop thinking of Google as a Cool Tech Innovator and start thinking of them as Microsoft 2.0.

2018-02-08T08:11:27+11:0027th February, 2016|Tags: google, social media, tech|

GG US privacy laws.

So companies can now follow you around the internet with their ads even easier thanks to Google’s Customer Match service. Awesome.

For the record, this is why I don’t give companies my Google account email address when they ask me for addresses; I have a custom domain with a catch-all email (i.e. everything sent to literally any @domain.name address goes into the same mailbox) and then use a new address for each website I sign up to (e.g. amazon@domain.name, hulu@domain.name, itunes@domain.name, and so on). That all gets forwarded into my GMail account, but the addresses aren’t actually associated with that account.

For bonus points, it also lets me know who leaks my passwords and who sells me address to spammers. Awesome.

It’s not foolproof privacy–data correlation would be still possible if anyone knew which domain(s) I use for this–but it knocks out some of the low-hanging fruit like Match.

Oh, and incidentally? The title is because Match would be illegal in most major non-US jurisdictions; countries with sane privacy laws don’t allow the non-consensual sharing of PII (which includes email addresses) with third parties. Just, yanno. So you’re aware.

2017-07-17T11:38:55+10:0011th February, 2016|Tags: advertising, google, internet, privacy|

Oops.

The guy who ended up buying google.com from google.com for the low, low price of $12.

For the record, it was a bug, he reported it, Google offered him a bug bounty reward, he donated it to a charity, Google doubled the money. Everyone was happy and no-one got hurt. Also for the record, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened (Microsoft once famously lost one of its Hotmail domains, for example). The internet. Go figure.

2017-07-14T11:27:21+10:0022nd October, 2015|Tags: google, internet|

Literata.

Literata on a device.

Literata on a device.

Google commissioned a new font for its ereader app, and that font is really, really nice.

Shitty typography in ereaders is my pet hate, and it’s the main reason I a) don’t use Kindle, and b) do use calbre to reformat most of my ebook downloads. It’s not like I’m asking much. Just, yanno:

  • fonts that don’t suck
  • variable, or at least decently generous, line heights1
  • no justified fucking text2

Basically, stop formatting ebooks like they’re books and start formatting them like they’re webpapges. Which they are literally are (ereaders use an HTML variant for markup).

  1. This one bugs me a lot. Super-compressed line heights in printed books are there to save paper and reduce the costs of printing. You’ll note this is not a problem that exists for ebooks, and yet you wouldn’t know it from glancing at the type alone. Guh. []
  2. Seriously. What are we all? 17 year old girls forming cliques around blog design choices? Because that’s literally the last time I had this argument. For the record, I was vehemently for justified text at the time and I was wrong. Super, super wrong. []
2018-05-01T11:33:56+10:0017th July, 2015|Tags: design, fonts, google, typography|