Contra Chrome

At first I misunderstood this, and thought that Scott McCloud ("Understanding Comics") was having some serious remorse over having taken Google's blood money, but no, this is an outstanding remix of his product brochure by Leah Elliott:

Contra Chrome: How Google's Browser became a threat to privacy and democracy:

With her meticulous rearrangement of Scott McCloud's Google-commissioned Chrome comic from 2008, she delivers what she calls "a much-needed update". Laying bare the inner workings of the controversial browser, she creates the ultimate guide to one of the world's most widely used surveillance tools.

Interestingly, Google released McCloud's original propaganda piece under the "CC BY-NC-ND" license. Creative Commons, that's good, right? Well, that particular license explicitly prohibits "derivative works". Fortunately this is a textbook example of the fair use exemption to copyright law: a derivative work making extensive use of the original in order to comment on that work itself.

"Fair Use", of course, is a concept that is entirely inimical to Google's entire product line. They're working hard to eliminate it through a new lobbying effort called "Notice And Stay Down", which would essentially require every web site to implement a Youtube-style, automated, fair-use-ignoring, copyright-maximalist Content-ID system. And since building those is hard, it means that everyone would have to just license Google's.

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15 Responses:

  1. Andrew says:

    So what do you recommend we use? You seemed to be in favour of Safari a while back? Is Brave any better? I used to use Firefox but they kept adding all these goddam features. Back to Lynx?

    • jwz says:
      2

      Well, everything is terrible.

      If you can tolerate Firefox, I guess you should use that. Though lately they've been doing whatever they can to chase people away. I use Safari, because while there are lots of things about Apple that I despise, they are not currently in the data-broker business. Brave is all-in on cryptocurrency, so that's a big-old "fuck no".

      I've been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine for several years and I don't miss Google even a little bit.

      • CSL3 says:
        1

        Seriously, DuckDuckGo has been giving me (nearly-but-not-quite)good-as-Google results since 2010 and I haven't looked back. I'm especially glad when they got their own mapping instead of redirecting to Google or Bing.

        By the by, have you heard any feedback about the DDG Mac browser being Beta-tested? The mobile one's okay as a sorta "burner browser" (which actually deletes your search history with animated flames), but if the desktop version could be "Firefox, but better", I'd be all for it.

      • Edward says:

        Is apple not in the data broker business? They run an Ad network where users can't opt out. Their devices phone home every few seconds. At best, they claim to "anonymize" what they collect. Short of blocking outbound traffic, you can't turn any of that off.

        Apple is better than Google but it's akin to saying Lyft is better than Uber.

        • jwz says:

          Look, I am absolutely not getting dragged into defending Apple. But claiming that they are an ad company or a data broker is absolutely absurd when you compare Apple's business model to Google's or Facebook's.

          The "Freedom Phone" seems, uh, "really nice", though.

    • sophor says:
      1

      The Vivaldi team seem to have their heads on right so far re data & privacy at least, although they're kind of feature-happy too.

  2. anon says:

    I feel fully identified with the auto-login complaints, few years ago when I tried to login with another account that was not my personal account and I noticed all the things saved in the other account was merged with my personal account, I lost my sanity. I never felt so angry and disgusted, is sad that a lot of people people use Chrome and don't know about Google trick behaviour.

    When I have the opportunity to show someone "activity.google.com" and they see all of their personal log they get scared and ask me how to turn off that shit.

  3. 205guy says:
    1

    Old geezer story time: Firefox was still in single digit versions when Chrome first launched with that flying potato ad, and I wondered how it could be so fast. Then I learned that it sent your URLs to Google who in the bounty of their hearts, sent you a cached version of the page from their vaults. It reminded me of when the big corporate Netscape Navigator succeeded in taking over from research-funded NCSA Mosaic. The more things change...

    But what I really wanted to post for our host is the latest video of mecha-dragons from France: https://www.francetvinfo.fr/culture/spectacles/theatre-de-rue/a-toulouse-une-machine-a-l-allure-de-dragon-deambule-dans-les-rues_5088682.html

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