Reminder that the best game online is still You Are Jeff Bezos, wherein you get to give away all of Jeff Bezos' money: https://direkris.itch.io/you-are-jeff-bezos
So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.
A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.
I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.
I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.
My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.
I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.
Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.“Your account has been suspended”
I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.
Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.
I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.Leaving Google
The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.
Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:
Gmail → Fastmail → Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts → Fastmail → Nextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → Fastmail → Nextcloud Calendar
Google Search → Bing → DuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing Maps → OpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics → Matomo Analytics
Google Drive → Nextcloud Files
Google Photos → Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs → Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music → Spotify / Plex → Spotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → Plex → Jellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OS → Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Google’s Android Apps → Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome → Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains → Hover
Google Hangouts → Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo → Signal
Google Podcasts → PocketCasts → AntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App
Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.
Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.
At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.
The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.
Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.
Tomorrow’s date will be written as an eight-digit palindrome around the world, the first time this has happened in 900 years.
The coincidence is rare because countries use differing conventions. February 2, 2020, is a palindrome whether expressed as day/month/year (02/02/2020), month/day/year (02/02/2020), or year/month/day (2020/02/02).
This happened last on November 11, 1111, and it won’t happen again until March 3, 3030.
The #radicale project (selfhosting carddav/caldav solution) is currently looking for some new core maintainers.
Please re-toot and share it in your community if you want to help.
Notre Dame, billionaires' charity
I've seen a lot of people discussing how absurd any fundraiser for Notre Dame repairs are in light of the stolen wealth of the Catholic Church and the French nation, as well as the hypocrisy of billionaires' ability to raise hundreds of millions out of nowhere as soon as stained glass windows are concerned, rather than human lives.
This is all true, but I thought it was also worth sharing the specific tea about said billionaires.
The schedule of this year's #FOSDEM Microkernel and Component-based devroom has been selected:
- What's new in the world of #seL4
- Microkernel virtualization under one roof (#genode)
- A roadmap for the #Hurd?
- A microkernel written in Rust: Porting the UNIX-like #Redox OS to Armv8
- Hands-on composition of basic #L4Re components
- #Unikraft: Unikernels Made Easy
Sculpt OS with Visual Composition (VC) by Genode Labs is available:
Ready made images and documentation:
Programmieren mit der Maus ist in der Beta-Version online. https://programmieren.wdrmaus.de/welcome
Only in Japan: converting a line from above-ground to a subway track in one night. With 1200 workers helping. Was in 2013 already, but still impressive. (/via ansi)
Server run by the main developers of the project It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!