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Making the switch

I’m pondering ditching completely. First, I’ve always thought their ethics were questionable despite their don’t be evil nonsense. But now, it’s just creepy. I’m still a bit annoyed that they’re pulling Google Reader. So, the issue is that I used their product and have liked using it for years. I got accustomed to using it and it was convenient. And, now, they are pulling that product. So, what’s to say that they won’t just one day pull docs, drive, gmail, calendar and other items of theirs that I use and rely on? As to the reason why they’re pulling it, I’m guessing they’re really trying to ramp up Google Plus.

And, speaking of Google Plus, I got this notification that I had to sign up for Google Plus to look at youtube videos. I have no need for G+ and don’t use it. But the weird bit was I got an email from them that went something like this:

Dear Say Uncle,

We noticed that your fake internet name appears to be a fake internet name. Here’s why it may be fake so click here to tell us it’s not. Until then, we’re suspending your Google Plus account.

Well, good, I don’t use it anyway.

The trouble with ditching google is that it would be a colossal pain in butt. I’ve used gmail forever, their calendar forever and android phones forever. They’re kind of useful and, frankly, excellent services that have been tools I’ve used for years.

But google is seriously freaking me out.

So, I think it’s time we said good bye. Seriously, I may switch to an iPhone over this.

Open to suggestions?

39 Responses to “Making the switch”

  1. ben Says:

    Windows phone all the way. Apple is just as shitty as google. I completely dig my Nokia 920. Best phone I’ve had, and I can’t stand iPhone or Android.

  2. russe11m Says:

    I second the Windows Phone recommendation. Of course, these days, you’re trading one evil empire for another when you switch cell phone platforms, no matter who you choose.

  3. ben Says:

    What russe11m says is true, unless you just make a fake phone out of some cardboard and draw on it with markers. That’d be cool. Apparently people are walking around in public all the time having fake phone conversations on their cell phones, so why not just have a fake phone?

    See, it’s really great, you can have a fake contract, fake features, the list goes on!

  4. AndyN Says:

    One more vote for what russe11m said. I’ve been generally happy with my iPhone. Of course, it’s the only smart phone I’ve ever owned, so I may just not know what I’m missing.

  5. workinwifdakids Says:

    Google Chrome on the iPhone. ‘Nuff said.

  6. Smince Says:

    Maybe you should ditch the gizmos, kick off your shoes and join Cody Lundin in the bush for a week or two learning some aboriginal living skills. Or grow thicker technology skin and don’t depend on it so much that you freak out when you can’t access some app or another.

  7. Other Steve Says:

    LOL, you know you’re going to switch to an iphone, anyone that read all the times you complained about Apple and/or iPhone then went on to talk about how ‘kewl’ android was could easily see you’ll eventually own an iphone.

    Just fucking do it already. I am 100% confident the long term average is way in favor of people switch to Apple from Andriod than vice versa.

    As far as google “creeping” you out, meh. As far as Windows Phone… Meh. It’s a better user experience than Android, but it’s all the problems of Apple without the polish and support.

  8. SE Says:

    That’s what is referred to as a “first world problem”.

    Step back, assess your life, and realize that some Internet company and a smart phone are really not that important.

    Mix things up a little. I use hosted MS Exchange, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. I use an iPhone and an iPad. And I have MS Outlook on the desktop. If any one of those things goes away or gives me trouble, it is expendable and I move on.

    These things aren’t that important.

  9. HardCorp Says:

    I use bing as default now, google searches sometimes miss huge.

  10. ern Says:

    No matter which platform you use, you’re going to run into a set of problems you can’t get around. Almost everyone I know has been choosing their phones based almost solely on what the platform does to get in their way–whichever one bugs them the least, that’s the one they pick.

    I can’t stand Apple, and I’m not convinced Windows offers quite as much as Android, so I put up with Google’s shit. Now, any of these companies could up and change the rules on you. If that’s your major gripe, I doubt any of the available options are going to be satisfying long-term.

  11. Tierlieb Says:

    If you don’t want to be locked in, you’ll need to avoid both Apple and Google. Apps are not much of a problem: The classic productivity tools like e-mail, calendar, contacts, rss and other feed readers have been covered by several open source companies (I work for one that even integrates a web-based OpenOffice variant als alternative to Google docs, I am pretty sure the competitors will follow soon).

    But Vimeo is still not Youtube and most people do not see any viable alternative to iTunes. So avoiding the big tracking accounts is hard work that requires some digital sacrifice.

    Side note: It is an interesting irony that the former master of the vendor lock-in, Microsoft, is touted as the most open smartphone platform nowadays. Personally, I got rid of my smartphones recently, but actually consider getting a Win8 phone myself.

  12. Patrick Says:

    Funny, I am ditching the iPhone for an Android phone. Won’t do Windows, even if I had to go back to strings between cans to talk to people.

    They all suck. There is literally no protection for privacy with any of them. I am no fan of “more laws”, but frankly the regulation of this mess has actually created problems that only laws can fix. When the government is openly advocating to create privacy loopholes, you gotta fight fire (regulation) with fire (laws).

    Another day, another fight.

  13. Linoge Says:

    I am 100% confident the long term average is way in favor of people switch to Apple from Andriod than vice versa.

    That must explain why Apple’s market share is steadily decreasing while Android’s market share is steadily increasing. (This is not to say those leaving iOS are going to Android, but the data does not support the opposite either.)

    If you do not want Google and you do not want iOS, the only real competitor remaining is Windows, and a lot of their business practices look strikingly like Google’s (though less so with the randomly unplugging software that people still use in large numbers).

    I have just replaced Google Reader with Fever – I figured the $30 upfront charge and self-hosting ensured no one could ever unplug me from it ever again, and it paid for itself within 15 months of most other Reader alternatives. As for the freebie alternatives, well, the same thing applies as for GMail – if you are not paying for the product, you are the product.

  14. Dave Says:

    You most certainly can disable google+ and still have access to google services. My youtube account is an account that is used just for that channel and I was able to disable google+ and still have full access and functionality everywhere else on google. You really don’t have a problem, you have a simple solution.

  15. Mike V Says:

    For search try duckduckgo with bing as a back up. Personally, i’ll take apple over google anyday because they’re making money off something other than my information!
    And then there’s this:
    Tin? Don’t know, but an interesting read non the less. How much longer do you think it will be before we read that they’re moving Google headquarters into one of the abandoned train/FEMA yards? 😉

  16. gregory morris Says:

    The Windows ecosystem has a lot to offer that you will never get from Google or Apple. Get an HTC 8x or a Lumia 920. Download nextgen reader. Sync with Google reader before it gores away. Transfer your docs to SkyDrive. Then continue loving life without Google reading your documents.

  17. Blake Says:

    For searching.

    Search anonymously:

    More details here:

    And here are some great plugins for Firefox to stop online tracking:

  18. Patrick Says:

    I’ll put in a vote for Apple for this reason: When dealing with MS, Apple, or Google, who is the real customer? With Google, their ad buyers are the real customers since they make their product “free” to you. You are the product they’re selling. Google is the evil empire.

    With regards to Windows, I dropped them 5 years ago after I came to dislike the way their systems work (and break). But that’s a personal preference issue. MS always struck me as the Bizarro Superman of the tech world. They don’t intend to do evil, they just have a skewed view of good. Eventually they get things mostly right on the 3rd or 4th attempt.

    With Apple anyway, YOU are the customer, your data is yours. Their products are very well made and well supported, and the ecosystem is strong. I just like ’em better than MS.

    But it’s a personal taste issue. MS or Apple would be solid bets, all depends on how they work for you. But ditch Google either way.

  19. Mu Says:

    Apple always reminds me of the old Henry Ford – you can have any color as long as it’s black. Google started out as a great idea, but it’s true, it’s all about add-paid services, and their record in professional offerings isn’t great. The thing with MS that always got me sticking with them in the long run is their promise of future compatibility. I can still pull up a word 5 file and open it in today’s Office.
    I have no need for a smart phone (sitting at or near a computer for about 12 h a day I use my phone for talk and nothing else) so I can’t help at that end. So you can get unlocked Nokia win phones for $200, so there’s a distinct price advantage over iphones.

  20. Tam Says:

    Mike V,

    one of the abandoned train/FEMA yards?

    What abandoned train/FEMA yards?

  21. Kristophr Says:

    Easy to fix.

    Just learn to lie to nosy internet retards.

    Pick a city near you, but in a different state. Make up a name, and address, birthdate, and a phone number. Give that same bullcrap info to all of the nosy internet retards.

  22. Kristophr Says:

    Tam: One of the nutter conspiracies going around in the 1990s involved a fictional group of old passenger train cars, with a set of manacles welded to each seat.

    Location varies, but most conspiracy folks seem to like a siding on reservation land in Montana.

  23. Chrispy Says:

    I feel the same way about facebook. I don’t need a facebook account, why should I need one to look at [x] company’s website?

    Also, Ubuntu for phones looks pretty nice if you’re looking to ditch Android.

  24. Borepatch Says:

    Decentralization gives you robustness. OpenOffice + Dropbox gives you a non-Google docs. I like Yanex for a search engine because even if the KGB is reading my searches they’re likely not as likely to be evil to me as Google. I like the results I get better than from DuckDuckGo which AFAIK relies on Google. I suspect Google of playing with the rankings.

    If you get an iPhone, get a different GPS mapping app because Apple’s blows chunks.

    Don’t have a good alternative to Reader, though. 🙁

  25. Sigivald Says:

    Im still a bit annoyed that theyre pulling Google Reader. So, the issue is that I used their product and have liked using it for years. I got accustomed to using it and it was convenient. And, now, they are pulling that product. So, whats to say that they wont just one day pull docs, drive, gmail, calendar and other items of theirs that I use and rely on?

    They won’t pull Gmail because they make money off it, with the inline ads on the web version.

    They pulled Reader because it wasn’t making them any money.

    No service you get for free, that is not monetized in some other way, can be rationally depended on to survive.

    (Contra Mr. Morris, though, “The Windows ecosystem has a lot to offer that you will never get from Google or Apple” … say what?

    What exactly would that be?

    I mean, mind you, I think Windows Phone is a nice system, with some innovative and thoughtful UX choices.

    And I’m a windows programmer for a living, and use Windows by choice as a gaming system, so it’s not like I Hate Windows.

    But I don’t have any idea what “ecosystem” you speak of in terms of online systems or telephone OSes that is remotely compelling, let alone superior.)

  26. Jake Says:

    Ubuntu for phones looks pretty nice if youre looking to ditch Android.

    It does look nice, and I like the way they’re moving toward “one device” integration – it seems like what MS was trying to do with Win8, but with much better execution. But I think right now it’s still in the developer phase, and not really ready for consumer use yet.

  27. Douglas2 Says:

    I’ve been paying the same email-service provider ever since my first non-work email address went away — when the dial-up BBS that hosted it shut down.
    For many years I felt pretty silly paying for something that so many were giving away for free. But lately I’ve started to appreciate that in that relationship I am the customer, and email is the product.

    There are costs to changing.

  28. burnse Says:

    I’d also throw in a vote for windows phone. Never liked apple stuff, and there was a windows phone on sale, so I went for it over android. No regrets, so far (been just over a year).

  29. Michael Says:

    That’s the best you’ll get from our offerings nowadays. I use Apple cause it just works. Never seen a reason to change, Android is just as creepy as Apple, but with worse UI, and hit or miss apps.

    Overall though, mix it up. Duckduckgo is good for search, lavabit or one of their competitors for email, spiderOak instead of Dropbox, etc, etc. I just wish I could set duckduckgo as default search in iOS.

    For phones, I’m hoping the new Firefox or Ubuntu phone OSes pan out, probably not though. Windows phone looks to have a slick UI (for the first time in that company’s history), but I just can’t bring myself to buy Microsoft.

  30. from my sucky android phone Says:

    blackberry z10 looks like a nice phone.

    I look forward to firefox os on cheap chinese phones. walled garden fascist computing is tedious.

  31. emdfl Says:

    You might want to read what Karl Denninger on his blog – – about the latest Blackberry, the Z-10.

  32. DocMerlin Says:

    I ditched my iphone for an android and have regretted it ever since.

  33. Ruth Says:

    There’s ways around the G+ requirement if you read all the options, and you can tell them that your “fake name” is your online name and they’ll take it.

    Having said that after the 10th time they asked me if I was really sure that my Online Name was the name I wanted on my youtube account, and when I said yes I was sure they decided that meant I wanted a G+ account TOO, I not only shut down the G+ account, but I also shut down the Youtube account. I’m sure they didn’t notice, but still.

    I’ve been using photobucket for videos, but their latest site upgrade is showing more and more how sucky it is as time goes on, so I’ll have to look around further. I do have plenty of space on my blog space, I might have to do something with it.

  34. Phelps Says:

    I’ve been using for a while. Not bad. Doesn’t have all the useless “social” cruft I never used with Reader anyways. Also syncs to Reeder just fine, which you WILL want if you get an iPhone.

  35. ben Says:

    I had iPhone from 3 through 4. I use them for playing scrabble and nothing else these days. UI feels out of date now.

    I have an android tablet. Feels like hacker crap with a lame knock off of the iPhone UI.

    Windows Phone 8 is very good, actually different and innovative. Took a little getting used to but now that I’ve had it for 6 months I’m never going back.

    Nokia 920 is a work of art. The screen resolution and clarity are oustanding, it takes great photos, and it makes freaking awesome movies. Everyone who sees the videos it produces is blown away. And I’ve only got it set to record at 720p, while it’s capable of 1080p.

    Skydrive rocks. I have windows 8 on my desktop and laptop, and everything is synced up all the time. Brilliant.

    The built in cordless charging for the Nokia 920 is great. I keep the cordless charger at work so I just rest the phone on it while I’m working. Pick it up to answer a call or text, whatever, then back on the charger.

    The list of awesomeness goes on. Especially now that there’s a Hulu+ app. Stupid Scrabble…

  36. TomcatTCH Says:

    making your motto “Do No Evil’ is like calling your country “The People’s Republic of”.

    They’ve been evil for a while now. And if you use a droid phone, all I can do at this point is feel sorry for ya.

  37. Zendo Deb Says:

    Stick with Android… the best hackers have your back if Google tries anything. (And the real culprit with phones is the service provider – the .gov isn’t far behind on that….) Between android and windows phone I would take android any day. Talk about evil empires.

    Google as a search used to be good, and I still use it for some things, but they keep trying to show me links they think I want to see, followed by links they make money on… Remember when the search was supposed to be unbiased? Yahoo still works. Bing has fairly good news coverage. (Yahoo finance still has good company info.)

    For email – yahoo will charge you 20 bucks a year to use IMAP or POP3. But they don’t read all your email for marketing purposes. I have tried several all free email services, and they seem to have issues. mostly.

  38. The Old Coach Says:

    Y’know, I’ve never had a smartphone. My only wireless is an ancient Tracfone that has no GPS, no camera, and no worries. I use it maybe once a month. And I function just fine. Better, maybe, because I’m not so distracted all the time.

  39. The Freeholder Says:

    I have a smart phone because I need it for work. At least I think I do; it may be perfectly possible that I don’t. I think Old Coach has a viable view of this thing.

    Another option is to go with a “feature phone” and a paid email account. I’ve seen a couple of these that do email.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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