A lesser aspect of using Google services (in a positive spin: one of the utilities of Google) is contacts. I haven’t even realised I’ve set this up, but of course I did and why wouldn’t I have. When I started using Gmail (I’m gonna say around 2006?…) I, like a good data hoarder, imported my data basically from the start (in my case: ~1997). After this I used if as primary storage for my contacts, adding all the new acquaintances, and Google “enriched” it over the years: they polluted it with Google+ accounts for existing contacts, or simply added Google+ placeholders for people that were never even there in the first place. (This is actually not to mock Google: I was a big believer in Google+ when it was first released, it started out good, minus the privacy aspect, and minus the silo approach that Google took up over the years which also turned into the cloud aspect. It’s complicated.)
So now that I realised it was still set up on my phone as contact sync target, it was time to remove it and move to my Nextcloud. Not only because, well, it’s in the cloud (someone else’s, that is), but for the simple reason contacts on my phone and on my laptops were out of sync. At times I even had to type in email addresses by hand, like some savage! Continue reading A hidden facet of unclouding.
The other day I suggested you listen to an interview with Gabe Weinberg from DuckDuckGo (or, as I called him then, Dave Winberg from DuckDucGo, because typo), where he sat down with Kara Swisher talking about privacy and what you can do. Although I didn’t mention it in my post, they did talk about Apple Maps being used as the ethical alternative by DuckDuckGo (and Kara mocking it a bit for quality). I don’t know about Apple Maps, maybe it’s shit, maybe it’s good. On my phone I’m using Google Maps and HERE WeGo (I just realised it was renamed from HERE Maps to HERE WeGo… in 2016) next to each other for navigation. I like the ui of HERE WeGo, it contains speed limit data and it has full offline maps.
How-e-ver. Continue reading DuckDuck(HERE We)Go.
On the back of my unclouding drive, and the previous post: in case you want to understand a bit better the “why” for all of this, I strongly suggest hearing what DuckDucGo’s Gabe Winberg has to say on the matter, to Kara Swisher’s questioning:
There is a part in the second half of the interview (starting around 00:34:45), where discussion starts on alternatives. I’m not going to deeplink to 00:34:45; you should listen to the first 34:44 (the problem) to be interested in the solution. But it’s good to listen to the discussion on the solution: there are good privacy-aware solutions to almost any of the cloud apps (Youtube was mentioned as one distinct example where there isn’t), and Gabe makes a good job explaining how, with minimal extra effort, you can find these and start using them.
Now that I finally (yay!) exported my calendars from Google Calendar, imported them to Nextcloud and fully made the switch to Nextcloud calendar…
Okay a little side track here. My typical use of Gmail and the Google Calendar lately has been opening them to search for something in the past — times before going to Nextcloud. So clearly, the way to fully uncloud myself is to actually migrate my old stuff to the new systems. In this context, calendar is the easy thing. Email will take longer because of the size. Side track over.
…I have a shortlist of stuff I want to see in Nextcloud, calendaring-wise: Continue reading Calendaring vs. Nextcloud.
By now I’m down to Messenger only, when it comes to Facebook. Not that I officially stopped using Instagram, I still have an active account… it just so happens that the iPhone’s hideous camera killed my creativity and there’s no new content — helping me delay the “quo vadis, photoblog?” question until I get a proper phone, or camera. But I digress. Continue reading The invaluable Facebook Messenger. (A rant.)
…I’m removing text based social media from my phone. This at the moment means Mastodon. (Twitter and Facebook were banished before.)
I’m not saying I won’t ever use it again, I’m not that fatalistic. (And because I will.) But, let me still add some rationale:
- I removed my Twitter client a while ago (around 6 months, I think), and I don’t miss it. I sometimes look at it on a laptop, browse a bit mainly for news and not for discussion. I figure I’d be able to do this with Mastodon. (I removed Facebook a long time ago from my life. Had it not been for Messenger, which I still have to use unfortunately, I would have deleted my account proper.)
- These days I find that I prefer proper sources over social media. I have a vast RSS feedlist in my Inoreader account; and if I just want some random thing to read, I prefer reading news… or a book. The less time I have, I guess, the more I feel I’m wasting it with social media. (RSS itself is another deepdive topic…)
- Most of all (and yet another topic for later), I listen to podcasts.
- Instagram will stay, for now. Unfortunately the horrible camera of the iPhone has essentially killed my photographic creativity, but still nice to see what friends are up to, I guess. Also, whenever I do end up posting, I also cross post to my Pixelfed feed. At one point that might become my main feed. Or I import the whole content into another WordPress site. Or something else… we’ll see.
It’s been a while, but it does not mean I stopped with my little charade to get my
head data out of the cloud. Continue reading Update on Project Unclouding. (Story time, mostly.)
So I have been rocking my own Nextcloud instance for a while.
I could say inspired by this tweet…
…but that wouldn’t be true, as I installed it some time before that, and have tested/piloted it by then.
It’s a Nextcloud on one of my servers. It works. I like it. Continue reading Take the power (of my data) back.
I have been de facto inactive on Facebook for a long time. Haven’t used it, haven’t checked it (and it feels good), so I thought let’s deactivate it.
Except I need to keep Messenger, because that’s where friends from the old country are. (Yes, I need to convert them to something better, but that’s a separate issue.)
To tell the truth, I have tried deactivating my account before, but somehow always got reactivated, and I never really had time to understand how and why. “Some dark pattern”, I presumed, but didn’t really have time to investigate — until now. Continue reading So I tried to deactivate my Facebook account.