Why I’m done with Chrome

This post has gone on more than long enough, but before I finish I want to address two common counterarguments I’ve heard from people I generally respect in this area.

One argument is that Google already spies on you via cookies and its pervasive advertising network and partnerships, so what’s the big deal if they force your browser into a logged-in state? One individual I respect described the Chrome change as “making you wear two name tags instead of one”. I think this objection is silly both on moral grounds — just because you’re violating my privacy doesn’t make it ok to add a massive new violation — but also because it’s objectively silly. Google has spent millions of dollars adding additional tracking features to both Chrome and Android. They aren’t doing this for fun; they’re doing this because it clearly produces data they want.

The other counterargument (if you want to call it that) goes like this: I’m a n00b for using Google products at all, and of course they were always going to do this. The extreme version holds that I ought to be using lynx+Tor and DJB’s custom search engine, and if I’m not I pretty much deserve what’s coming to me.

I reject this argument. I think It’s entirely possible for a company like Google to make good, usable open source software that doesn’t massively violate user privacy. For ten years I believe Google Chrome did just this.

Why they’ve decided to change, I don’t know. It makes me sad.

Matthew Green

Mozilla is desperately needed to save the web, but does it stand a chance?

Our world is increasingly mediated by the internet, and that internet has just a few gatekeepers, collecting tolls as we browse. As Python guru Matt Harrison put it, “Vendors control the default browser which 99.9% of people use.” Those vendors are happy to sell us access to information. Nothing about it is free.

Mozilla is desperately needed to save the web, but does it stand a chance?

A nice article by Matt Asay about Mozilla’s role to be our bulwark against the the closure of the web…

Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 die on Tuesday

Inrernet-Explorer

 Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 are reaching ‘end of life’ on Tuesday, meaning they’re no longer supported by Microsoft.

A patch, which goes live on January 12, will nag Internet Explorer users on launch to upgrade to a modern browser. KB3123303 adds the nag box, which will appear for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users still using the old browsers after installing the update.

(via)

I personally don’t use any of those. But there are an awful lot of italians’ public administration tools that requires old versions of those browsers (AVCP, CNR general protocol, etc) … it’ll be funny to see how fast they’ll upgrade

Content blocking is the web at its best

This is where Apple differs from a pure web browser vendor like Mozilla, I suppose; Apple has an answer for publishers to the often shitty experience of web advertising: don’t use the web, use apps with iAds, use Apple News, use Apple Music, use Apple… Apple’s answer isn’t a better web, really, it’s Apple’s iOS ecosystem.
Mark Mayo

Emphasis is mine …

Suggested reads May 8th, 2015

I am starting to curate a reading list of the most significant reads I do everyday. I bookmark quite a lot of things over my Pinboard account, but there I cannot put enough emphasis on the better ones.

So here we go. Let’s start…

Momentum, the Google Chrome app everybody asks me for

Momentum on Google Chrome

I can’t actually say when or where I first read about this Momentum thing for the first time. Fact is that since I’ve encountered it, this Google Chrome extension has caught my eye and I’ve installed it straightforwardly.

Each time I open a new tab in my browser – and you know that it happens dozen times a day – I’m being welcomed with a gorgeous and inspiring image. I’m remembered what the most important thing I have / want to do in the day so to focus on it.

As corollary I can set a short to do list (below on the right), have a look at the current external temperature (above, right) and be rewarded with a meaningful quote (on the bottom).

Momentum →

Momentum is a personal dashboard designed to eliminate distraction and provide inspiration, focus, and productivity.

I have to say that this extension has a benefic and relaxing influence to me. It’s a quick glimpse of real world beauty, opposed to the artificial and cold one of a computer screen. When I’m using other browser I do actually miss this “moment of peace” … and I wish that the three developers could find the time and the resources to port it to Firefox, Opera, Safari …