Pinned toot

"I became an Anarchist when I decided to drop the theories and stop seeking power. When I stopped concerning myself with those things I realised that true Anarchy is my nature. It is our nature. It is what we were doing before the theories arrived, it is what we were doing before we were encouraged to be in competition with each other."

- Benjamin Zephaniah, 'Why I Am an Anarchist'

dogsection.org/why-i-am-an-ana

wtf techcrunch.com on mobile browsers redirects through Verizon Media’s guce.advertising to give visitors a unique session ID.

guce.advertising.com/collectId...

Nuclear: a super cool desktop music player for streaming audio from YouTube, Jamendo, and SoundCloud 😍

github.com/nukeop/nuclear

the prevailing opinion in the open source software sphere seems to be that if the program isn't working properly for you, it's your fault. obviously you were supposed to do X, not Y. obviously you need this installed first. obviously you can't use it like that.

when you work with software, it's very very easy to think that everyone interprets things the way you do. of course the end user is going to know the difference between authentication and authorisation, right? who wouldn't?

the point behind open source is, at its core, accessibility. the code should be accessible to all, and they should all be able to use it the way they like. so why don't we also take the concept of accessibility through understandable language seriously? it's no good having your program be usable on any computer if only some of the target audience can even understand how to use it.

this MLK day, consider actually giving Letter from a Birmingham Jail a read. It's not long, and MLK criminally gets mostly digested through trite soundbites and quotrs. His thoughts deserve to be read and understood in full.

africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/

Signal Foundation fix your fucking desktop client challenge 2020

Upcoming Pi-hole features:

- Storage of lists from files to a database for more control over enabling and disabling items in the lists, and even the ability to add comments to remind you why you blocked/allowed something
- Per-client blocking
- Deep CNAME inspection

pi-hole.net/2020/01/19/announc

“Apple announced in a report Friday that it received a record-high 3,619 requests from the US government for users' account information in the first half of 2019, up 36% from the previous six-month period.

“Apple said it complied with 90% of those requests, which generally asked for customers' iTunes or iCloud account details and occasionally their iCloud data.”

businessinsider.com/apple-comp

PSA: If you're doing research but don't have access to a university library, you should definitely *not* use a website to pirate a large amount of journal articles. That would be illegal and wrong. I post this link so you can bear witness to this unlawful activity. mg.scihub.ltd/

Not cool #Apple. Another closed silo ignoring open standards. And why we need #NetNewsWire and other #RSS readers for news. “Apple News Drops Support for RSS.” news.slashdot.org/story/19/12/

shidding and pissing on fascist infrastructure is what i’m here for

New gab friendly 

So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

“Your account has been suspended”

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail → Fastmail → Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts → FastmailNextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → FastmailNextcloud Calendar
Google Search → BingDuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing MapsOpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics → Matomo Analytics
Google Drive → Nextcloud Files
Google Photos → Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs → Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music → Spotify / PlexSpotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → PlexJellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OSUbuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Google’s Android Apps → Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome → Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains → Hover
Google Hangouts → Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo → Signal
Google Podcasts → PocketCastsAntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

https://www.kylepiira.com/2020/01/09/why-i-quit-google/

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