Google

Normally I don’t link to pages from Google, but the analytics of Google Fonts are quite impressive. In total, over 36 trillion fonts have been loaded from Google Fonts.

However, the system fonts are often perfectly adequate and do not look bad. Also on this blog only system fonts are used, which means that there is no need to download a font file first. This saves bandwidth, reduces the amount of data sent to Google (none is sent at all) and speeds up loading. It probably even helps to reduce CO2 emissions.

Kyle Piira explains, why he stopped using Google. He used Google products for nearly everything: Emails, calendars, contacts, entertainment, news, web browser, online storage, domains, analytics, ads, … But one day he got an email that changed everything:

“Your account has been suspended”

It was only a second account but it made him rethink everything. He then switched to mainly FOSS alternatives.

It’s definitely a great read! It also reminds me a little of my own rethinking. I didn’t experience any account termination, but at some point I became more critical of Google’s massive data collection. Step by step I replaced Google products with alternatives (which are often even much better). Today I am almost Google free.

Yesterday, I posted a link to a tweet by DHH on my blog. It’s about “Google tax”. Companies nowadays have to buy ads to appear on top for searches for their brand name. I submitted that post to HackerNews and it appeared on top of the front page within a few hours. Until some mods decided to change the link directly to DHH’s tweet. I’m ok with that, although it might not have been bad if a few more people had seen my list with Google alternatives.

DHH, CTO of BaseCamp, tweets the following:

Google is not a search engine, it’s an ad engine. You search to find stuff, they respond with a full page ad. This is so ludicrously user hostile that it’s only tenable when you operate a monopoly. Break. Them. Up.

Later he adds:

This is what monopoly abuse looks like in the age of surveillance capitalism. Google are able to raise the cognitive price on users because they’ve cornered the market. If they were not the dominant entrance, they’d never be able to get away with this.

Previously, Jason Fried, CEO of BaseCamp, already tweeted, that BaseCamp needs to buy ads on Google just to appear on top of the page, when someone googles for their company - above competitors who place ads on searches for BaseCamp.

Just another case of Google and it’s monopoly. Check out alternatives.

BleepingComputer reports, that Google is blocking some Linux browsers (Konqueror, Falkon and Qutebrowser) from logging into it’s services, “because they may not be secure.”

In tests conducted by BleepingComputer, we can confirm that we were unable to log in with Konqueror or Falkon on multiple machines. When attempting to do so, we were told to try a different browser as Konqueror or Falkon may not be secure.

According to Google the reasons are, that the browsers…

  • Don’t support JavaScript or have Javascript turned off.
  • Have unsecure or unsupported extensions added.
  • Use automation testing frameworks.
  • Are embedded in a different application.

On the one hand, I find that this is unacceptable and Google is once again trying to play out its monopoly, on the other hand, it would be advisable to avoid not only the Chrome browser, but Google services in general.

Some time ago, I put together a list of Google alternatives.

This article is from 2018, but it’s so true! It contains a lot of good reasons why Google AMP is bad for the health of the web. To do my part, I don’t implement AMP for my sites.

Google can go to hell.

Who are they to decide how the web should work? They didn’t invent it, they didn’t popularise it – they got filthy rich off of it, and think that gives them the right to tell the web what to do. “Don’t wear that dress,” Google is saying, “it makes you look cheap. Wear this instead, nice and prim and tidy.”

F#&! you Google, and f#&! the AMP horse you rode in on.

Two days ago, Owen Williams shared a story on Medium’s OneZero with the title “Google Is Tightening Its Grip on Your Website”. He tells that it seems like Google is trying to get more power over the web in a somewhat evil way by forcing sites to implement an AMP (“accelerated mobile pages”) version. When sites don’t implement it, they won’t appear in Chrome’s discover page or in the top search results.
I hope I don’t have to explain why Google is bad, but just to give a few reasons to switch to alternatives: You’ll probably get better privacy because those alternatives collect less data about you, your data won’t get sold to advertisers or government organizations that easily and you help to prevent a monopoly. Sometimes alternatives are also just better than the Google product and don’t lock you in so much.
Recently I noticed more and more that my Twitter timeline is full with Google stuff and almost just Google stuff. Every announcement, every rumour, everything Google got hyped in my timeline and I got sick of it. I was locked in a Google filter bubble. That made me go through the list of people I follow and detect that I followed a lot of people either working at Google or being Google Developer Experts (that’s like working for Google but not receiving a salary by them, right?
It’s 2018. Long gone are the days where Holo UI is the current design language for Android apps, Material Design is everywhere since 2015. But one of my favorite and most used apps still uses Holo UI… It’s almost 4 years since Google introduced Material Design at the Google I/O 2014 and I still remember it being a revolution. After some years of Holo UI everywhere Material Design came with a new and more modern design approach of simple but more realistic user interfaces focused on differentiating UI elements with shadows etc.
Jan-Lukas Else
20 years old student who writes about everything he cares about.