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.
I know I’m a weirdo: I run my own NextCloud, I use Mastodon and Pixelfed but not Facebook, I run Linux (Mint flavoured) on my notebook, and I have UK English as my default spellcheck language (see? “flavoured”). But maybe you’ll still agree with me when I say the EU antitrust decision against Google (which they just appealed while also complying) is an important milestone.
Because yes, now Samsung can start developing their own search, or Amazon can put Play store and Google Maps on their Fire devices… but there’s more, and again, I know I’m a weirdo, but bear with me. Continue reading On Google’s $5b EU fine.