If you have "no place to go," come here!

"My slow withdrawal from all things Google"


I do need to use Google+ as Google is integrating it tighter and tighter into its ecosystem.

I so hate this use of "ecosystem." A market is not an ecosystem!

  • Google Search - I have been using and for a long time and will continue to use them. Done.
  • Google Maps - I have started to use Here maps or Bing maps instead. Done.
  • Google Chrome - I use it as a secondary browser only. Will use Chromium instead. Done.
  • Google Mail - I'll switch my Gmail account to a self-hosted account instead. If you do not have a domain name that you can switch to, try something like Protonmail.
  • Google Drive - Will stop using. Have to find an alternative, maybe Zoho. For file syncing, Dropbox.
  • YouTube - There is nothing like YouTube right now available, at least not when it comes to videos that I like to watch. But, since videos are not essential, I decided to stop using the site. Done.
  • Android - My next phone will be based on Firefox OS. I will still keep my Android phone as I write about apps on it, but will root it and remove any Google services and features.

Although I can't give up on Google Search, even if it is increasingly crapified (with Google+ unknowns showing up in News results!), I concur with the rest. I love the commment on YouTube: "Videos are not essential." True!


Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

We've been hearing about how using Tor and other encrypted navigation "vessels" automatically red-flags one to the Utah Total Information Maw (aka NSA-DHS et al). Are there any views on this vis a vis the de-Googling options listed in the post?

Also, FYI. Proton currently has a message that, in substance, due to overwhelming demand, their servers are overloaded and they are working on expanding capacity. Screenshot attached.

Also, FYI. I checked out Here Maps, because I use G'gle maps a lot. Great interface, but very creepy: I landed on the site to find a map of -- of all the gin joints in the universe - my neighborhood. Yikes! How did Here Maps figure that out?

In the end, do we really think there's any truly democratic Safeway left at this point? Or that all of these self-declared personal-privacy workarounds aren't part of a DHS/NSA/CIA/FBI ploy? Admittedly somewhat foily, except everything seems to be an "op" these days. And now there's whispers out there that even Snowden may be a soldier for some faction in the intel world.

Please tell me I'm wrong - I would be so happy to be able to abandon Google mail and to be able to trust that Duck-Duck, et al, are genuinely not systems that spy on our every breath and step in webworld.

Submitted by lambert on

... you're getting that message because so many people want it, which is good thing. I jumped the queue, by paying for an account, but haven't gone over because there's still a 1000/message limit per month.

Encryption may flag you but I don't believe that Tor does. So far as I know, the Tor system of relays itself is fine, as evidenced by the fact that Google, Yahoo, and Facebook sometimes don't like it much, because they think you are coming from three hops on from where you are actually coming from....

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Cool, thanks for the intel (ha ha).

Ya, with Proton I was just dissapointed I couldn't open an account right away. But hadn't realized the 1000 message limit - is that "for ever" or "per month"?

Submitted by lambert on

I think, but I am not sure, that it's temporary.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

Bullseye? Not really. (Although I don't know what you do IRL ... just assuming you like the rest of us are just a fairly ordinary schmoe...) The reason I say not really is that they're collecting data on something like over 80% of the population. (No wonder they can never find anything that matters!) And with that broad a target, a) it's not really a "bullseye," and b) we're all already in it.

As for Duckduckgo, from what I understand they really are privacy minded. Using their links is equivalent to typing in the URL yourself. As for the rest, I'm mainly annoyed about commercial tracking, so I use Firefox with all sorts of privacy extensions: adblock, noscript, ghostery, better privacy, privacy badger, and I'm probably forgetting a few. I don't think any of those would even slow the NSA down, but, hell, I figure if I'm in a position where I need to worry about them as a practical matter, I've got bigger problems. (As a matter of principle, I'm opposed to what they're doing with the fury of a fiery sun. But as a practical matter, if they want to read my blog or my mail, go to it. Maybe they'll learn something ... riiiight.)

I have heard that using Tor gets you on the list (where you probably already were anyway, as one of the 80%). So does using a Linux OS, like me. So everybody here is on a list because there's at least one weirdo linuxgeek here and you're all on my social network (bwahaha?) But Tor will get you off the commercial radar, which I think is actually more important in practice.