Free photo storage, and other fairy tales.

Google is ending its free unlimited photo storage option in June 2021.

By the way: all the media, including this one, has missed a chance by not having articles with titles like “Google is ending!” with subtitles “…its free unlimited photo storage option”. But hey, there’s always another service that Google is ending, so maybe next time.

So, we could say, yet another fairy tale of free service is ending, but hey, this is the fairy tale: who doesn’t remember that other famous piece of tech market analysis — the story of Hansel and Gretel, the two youngsters lured into the hands of a cannibalistic witch living in a house made of gingerbread, cake, confection, sweets, and many other treats and pastries” (as Wikipedia so graphically puts it.) Continue reading Free photo storage, and other fairy tales.

The companies that know most about you – which ones do you trust?

Clario’s summary on the types of personal data collected by various companies is a sobering / fun (depending on which side of the aisle are you on) article. Continue reading The companies that know most about you – which ones do you trust?

Shit weather vs. good weather: the jury is in. (Random Sunday fun.)

Two photos posted on the same day: the first in the rainy-foggy-cloudy morning, the second (second 2, actually) in the sunny-cloudporny-windy-rainbowy afternoon.

And the results:

So there: public opinion prefers sunny-cloudporny-windy-rainbowy afternoons over rainy-cloudy-foggy mornings. And with that, our Service Announcement is over. We were happy to have you with us tonight, and hope you’ll come back often.

Nextcloud conf 2020.

After god-knows-how-long, last week I finally attended a conference. (I guess the last one was MWC and the Digital Dutch, which are more a trade shows then conferences… and before them, some Hungarian mobile related ones and Mozilla Summit back in the early 2010’s… So it was long ago.)

Anyhow, so I was at a conference, out of my own will — it was the Nextcloud Conference 2020 in Berlin, or in my case, my desk with my cat: Continue reading Nextcloud conf 2020.

Sharing calendars between Nextcloud Calendar and Google Calendar – a howto.

At the time of writing this blog, the typical calendaring situation still is: me, maybe-hopefully you, and a (growing) bunch of other people using Nextcloud Calendar, while the vast majority still uses Google for calendaring needs. Luckily sharing/syncing between these calendars (say, between you and your family member) is possible, and relatively easy — but not trivial. Recently I had to do just this: set up calendar sharing with a loved one to and from Google Calendar. Although this is documented in various forum topics, it can be hard for a non-technical person to parse and understand that, and I haven’t found a good clear explanation I would comfortably share. So I wrote one for my own use.

I’m posting this here so I can simply send it to the next family member when it’s needed, and for you to use if you need a cheat sheet. I also post a “screenwalk” gallery at the end of each sync direction to make things a bit more straightforward, plus here’s a pdf of just the steps, because why not.

Continue reading Sharing calendars between Nextcloud Calendar and Google Calendar – a howto.

The “good enough” economy.

Looking at all the climate strikes, and the consumer culture we live in, I’ve been thinking lately about the why do we, humans, are programmed to always crave more, and how this conflicts with out current situation where a lot of things will inevitably have to plateau out if we’re to persist as a society.

Because true, innovation takes us forward, and innovation can’t happen without someone wanting more and more, wanting the strongest, the best. On the other hand, our whole western competition culture in its unstoppable spin of more, by now clearly having severe impact to our planet is a lot harder to sustain than it once was. (And so, we are still focusing on the easy part — the growth — without dealing with the hard part — doing it without impact.) Continue reading The “good enough” economy.

Google product circle of life.

“This new Google product can’t possibly suck that much, millions use it“ ➡️ Transfer all music to YouTube Music as Google suggested ➡️ Uninstall Google Play Music from phone and go “all in” on YouTube Music ➡️ Realise that among others, YouTube Music doesn’t have sleep timer and no way to switch off auto play suggested next song (which misses mark ~100% of time) ➡️ “This new Google product sucks, I’m definitely not for this world” ➡️ Reinstall Google Play Music on phone and return using it ➡️ Time passes ➡️ “This new Google product can’t possibly suck that much, millions use it“ ➡️ …

Google Play Music ➡ YouTube Music: I caved (so far).

Google released a handy tool to transfer your Google Play Music stuff to YouTube music:

It “may take a few hours”, but from the look of things that’s still quicker than what it takes me to find a proper alternative to YouTube Music. Continue reading Google Play Music ➡ YouTube Music: I caved (so far).

Google Play Music ➡ ?

A little more than half a year has passed since I naively wrote this (here):

As of 2 days ago, the “holdout” Google services on my phone are:

  • Google Music (won’t go in the foreseeable future)

Oh, to be young and ignorant! With Google’s decision to send Google Music to the ever growing Google Graveyard, it will be time for me to look for an alternative. Continue reading Google Play Music ➡ ?

A quick look on Jitsi, the self hosted Zoom alternative that doesn’t sell your data.

Zoom has turned into the de facto default conferencing solution for the lockdown, and as we all know this hasn’t worked out brilliantly for Zoom so far.  (Side note on the larger scale of things, another opportunity Google has missed to get some conferencing/video chatting market share.)

Bruce Schneier has possibly the best brief overview of the situation, but his summary is what I’d like to highlight for the purpose of this post:

In the meantime, you should either lock Zoom down as best you can, or — better yet — abandon the platform altogether.

His next suggestion is to look at Jitsi, and ethical/open source/privacy minded/call it what you will alternative; so I did. Continue reading A quick look on Jitsi, the self hosted Zoom alternative that doesn’t sell your data.