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.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
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?
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.
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.
Um. You do realize DuckDuckGo web search is just Bing, right?
Everything those crooks produce is just marketing.
🤔 And your evidence for that claim is...?
Straight up says it in their documentation:
I thought this was common knowledge..?
That link literally just says that it takes info from Bing (and Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, and hundreds of others).
Do you not realise the difference between gathering info and ownership, because the latter doesn't apply here.
I assumed that startpage.com was the one that rebadged Bing somehow (?). If DDG are a bing front, they certainly waste a lot of money paying fake devs to explain how they build search indices, and they pointlessly butcher the search results.
Whether DuckDuckGo uses Bing for search results is entirely irrelevant. It could use Google, or tealeaves, and that also would be entirely irrelevant.
The two things that are relevant are that it does not allow whatever backend search engine or engines it is using to scrape layers off your soul (or, at least, it minimises the thickness of the layers they can scrape and ideally mixes the scrapings from many users' souls together so the soul-scrapers get a mix which tastes slightly of chicken), and that it provides good-enough results. Of these the first is more important than the second.
This should not be hard to understand, I think.
That's absurd, but even if it was just Bing repackaged somehow (replacing the ads? lol) it's still very easy to perform experiments showing it doesn't set cookies or other persistent state, and it returns the same results for everyone across platforms and histories.
The DuckDuckGo browser is absolutely what you can and should expect. It's webkit, not chromium-based. They got a full-featured ad blocker which they're slowly porting to non-Windows or Android platforms. They're the real deal.
They've had to remove piracy and child porn sites, to prevent being sued out of existence, and their CEO announced he was downranking Russian misinformation sites, but that's all fine with me.
The really weird thing about all this is that Congress, in the midst of a disagreement over whether Americans' browsing histories should be available to law enforcement without a warrant, allowed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to expire in mid-2020 but the "intelligence community" just kept going as if they had renewed FISA, calling their programs "Deep Dive II," which was presumably paused when they got caught.
So, these days, probably getting some VPN with the features that match the threats you're facing and pairing that with DuckDuckGo is probably the best you can do.
I'm not a fan of Tor, by the way. You're still depending on someone else's exit node. If you're going to do that, it's better if you pay them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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