Categories
Google

Google using Gmail to build psychological profiles

Google’s corporate leadership understands that increased privacy regulations could torpedo its entire business model and the company takes quite a lot of space on its SEC filing disclosing the dangers to its investors:

Privacy concerns relating to elements of our technology could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services…

We also face risks from legislation that could be passed in the future. For example, there is a risk that state legislatures will attempt to regulate the automated scanning of email messages in ways that interfere with our Gmail free advertising-supported web mail service. Any such legislation could make it more difficult for us to operate or could prohibit the aspects of our Gmail service that uses computers to match advertisements to the content of a user’s email message when email messages are viewed using the service. This could prevent us from implementing the Gmail service in any affected states and impair our ability to compete in the email services market…

That is something to ponder about.

Update:-
I have switched to Fastmail and you should too :). Here is a very brief blogpost on why I moved.

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Categories
Browsers

Why I switched from Google Chrome

A very elaborate post on why Federico Viticci is moving away from chrome and how Safari stacks in comparison to Chrome on Mac OS and iOS.I share some of the reasons myself for the switch to Firefox. To be true I was a fan of chrome ever since it launched till end of last year when I made the switch from Google Chrome to Firefox and have never gone back to chrome. Personally I feel Chrome has accrued a lot of cruft to the codebase to an extent it feels unbearably bloated on my mediocre yet loyal(nearing 5years ;)) office laptop. That said they have been innovating and been putting the users on the bleeding edge of technology none the less. But it just doesnt cut enough for me these days, there are lot of unwanted features and mostly the compromise of privacy that adds to the distaste. Since windows doesnt have a safari build anymore, I am sticking with the next best open alternative Firefox. The mobile browser had always been safari and will remain safari ever.

If you are looking for motivations to make the switch just watch this video. It just cant get any better.

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Categories
Google

Google ads and Endorsements

Google recently updated their terms of services which will be implemented starting November 11. You can read more about the changes here. The changes are very interesting(to google ofcourse) and yet disturbing (to users like you and me) given the implications they have on google ads served.
Imagine yourself with your profile pic in a google ad endorsing a restaurant(or any product for that matter) on your friends search for a restuarant, just because you shared a review or a news about that restaurant on your google plus profile. It might make one feel like a celebrity, but what if you won’t recommend that to a close friend at all, but you shared the review as some kind of awareness to your friends on google plus. The fact is these endorsements are complicated and we don’t benefit (imagine yourself getting paid as a model for endorsing something 😉 ) from these in great way. Hope you are getting my point here. I am little apprehensive about these google ads and endorsements and I dont want my profile pic on what google thinks as my recommendation. So i just turned off these endorsements.
If you are in the same boat like me feeling uncomfortable, just head over here and turn the endorsements off. If you would like to keep them on for some reason, just make sure your profile pic looks cool 🙂