Linked by mrhasbean on Thu 28th Apr 2011 20:59 UTC
Google In a move touted as one to "make Apps easier to adopt and manage", Google has announced that it will reduce the number of free users from 50 down to just 10 before businesses have to sign up for its paid service. This follows a previous reduction from 100 to 50. Google claims that existing users won't be affected, but we'll just have to wait and see how long that lasts. And if you don't want your whole life tracked and sold off to the highest bidder by Google's "free" and "open" technologies but would like access to actual free or low cost services there is a decent article here that shines some light on your options.
Order by: Score:
In other news
by kragil on Thu 28th Apr 2011 21:33 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Apple bought iCloud.com for $4.5 MILLION to do everything exactly the same way Google is doing, just without the "free" or the "open" and with even more restrictions.(Done by engineers who don't know the difference between a cache and a log.)

Reply Score: 1

Well
by molnarcs on Thu 28th Apr 2011 21:34 UTC
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

I have no comment on their business move, but the linked blog about going google-free is kinda hilarious. Switched to a search service only to find out it may be a scam. Settled for "oh well, it works more or less" alternatives.

Switch from gmail to fastmail - I actually switched from fastmail it's nowhere near as convenient as gmail, plus it has a learning curve (and a fee if you don't want monthly bandwidth limits - at least that was the case when I used it).

As to switching to storing all the documents on a small company's server - well, wait until it gets bought out (this is the Internet - what's the lifecycle of small start-up companies?) - not to mention the hassle of importing 5 docs at a time.

Almost every alternative the blogger explores is worse in one respect or another, more costly, and perhaps even more risky.

Now I fully support the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket, but we are talking about personal information here. I fail to see the point of giving up your information to MULTIPLE companies instead of just ONE that has a fairly good reputation. It's kinda funny to see how happy the writer is with his docs sitting on ZOHO, his mail going through fastmail, and his calendar on 30Boxes. Your mail, calendar and documents all may contain sensitive information - so why not spread them around multiple private companies, right?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Well
by mrhasbean on Thu 28th Apr 2011 22:25 UTC in reply to "Well"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Almost every alternative the blogger explores is worse in one respect or another, more costly, and perhaps even more risky.


Except in all cases the alternatives don't sell off your usage data for their advertising network. Are you suggesting we shouldn't sign up for various online services because they then all have access to our IP address and whatever username / password combination we use for that site along with whatever other personal information their signup process requires? It's not about the data they collect - every online service collects some data in order to actually function - it's what they do with the data that's the problem.

Apple bought iCloud.com for $4.5 MILLION to do everything exactly the same way Google is doing, just without the "free" or the "open" and with even more restrictions.


Everyone touts Google's services as being free, but they're far from it, and they are certainly NOT open - opensource != open. What's your personal information worth? Mine's certainly worth a hell of a lot more than a couple bucks a month that I might have to pay for alternatives. At least Apple are up-front about the restrictions and costs involved, and actually give you an option BEFORE you use their products or services to opt out if you don't like their policies, unlike Google who don't give you that option until, well, ever...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Well
by bouhko on Thu 28th Apr 2011 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

I don't know any other company (and certainly not Apple) that does that :
http://www.dataliberation.org/home

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Well
by JAlexoid on Fri 29th Apr 2011 01:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Except in all cases the alternatives don't sell off your usage data for their advertising network. Are you suggesting we shouldn't sign up for various online services because they then all have access to our IP address and whatever username / password combination we use for that site along with whatever other personal information their signup process requires? It's not about the data they collect - every online service collects some data in order to actually function - it's what they do with the data that's the problem.


Again, can you answer my question. How does an advertiser get personal information for each visiting person from Google? As an advertiser I would like to get that information, but Google does not give me that ;) Apparently you know how to get it... or you are full of paranoid BS.

Everyone touts Google's services as being free, but they're far from it, and they are certainly NOT open - opensource != open.

Sorry. When did I pay for the free tier of GMail? Hm... Never in 7 years. Ads? I don't see them, I use an IMAP client.
And when are their services being touted as open? And they are not opensource.

What's your personal information worth? Mine's certainly worth a hell of a lot more than a couple bucks a month that I might have to pay for alternatives. At least Apple are up-front about the restrictions and costs involved, and actually give you an option BEFORE you use their products or services to opt out if you don't like their policies, unlike Google who don't give you that option until, well, ever...

Yes, Apple is up-front with CYA entries in the EULA. Apple is already in the advertisement business. And they have had your sociological profile since before iAds.
As for opting out, there is that button called "Privacy" at the bottom of Google's main page.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Well
by molnarcs on Fri 29th Apr 2011 03:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Guys, he's never going to reply.* mrhasbean never replies to anything that contradicts his anti-google rants. And he's going to repost the same shit next time something is posted about Google (or Apple). He's our local troll/Apple fanboy.

*well, he may reply, but he'll conveniently ignore any of your points that he can not counter...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Well
by JAlexoid on Fri 29th Apr 2011 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Guys, he's never going to reply.* mrhasbean never replies to anything that contradicts his anti-google rants. And he's going to repost the same shit next time something is posted about Google (or Apple). He's our local troll/Apple fanboy.

*well, he may reply, but he'll conveniently ignore any of your points that he can not counter...


Well you know, I couldn't pass out on calling his statements BS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Well
by molnarcs on Sun 1st May 2011 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Yeah I know ;)

I just checked fastmail - it's far worst than I thought! The free version has a whopping 25Mb storage space for emails, and a quota of 160Mb/month. It also displays ads, and adds advertising taglines to your email - turning you into a spammer effectively. NICE!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well
by BallmerKnowsBest on Fri 29th Apr 2011 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Damn, now that's dedication! Not only have you trolled the comments of nearly every Google-related story in the past year and a half - but now you're actually contributing stories to troll in. Bravo, I must admire your ingenuity and tip my hat to you, sir.

If I may be so bold, perhaps you should try something other than the usual post-and-run strategy this time? I think people are starting to see through that one.

Yours in trolling,
- BallmerKnowsBest

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Well
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 29th Apr 2011 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah well I decided to let his post through because, you know, openness and freedom and shit.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Well
by JAlexoid on Fri 29th Apr 2011 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Yeah well I decided to let his post through because, you know, openness and freedom and shit.


Yeah... and his post resulted in the latter :-D

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Well
by WereCatf on Sat 30th Apr 2011 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Yeah... and his post resulted in the latter :-D


No, it didn't result to such, it IS such. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well
by WereCatf on Sat 30th Apr 2011 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Except in all cases the alternatives don't sell off your usage data for their advertising network.


Google doesn't sell specifically your data alone, either. They sell usage data in large bunches that are combined in such a way as not to be able to pick specific individual from all that data, and as such I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Besides, EVERYONE these days does that, even credit card companies. Do you stop using your credit cards too?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Well
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 30th Apr 2011 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

On top of that - ads are a fact of life. I'd rather they are targeted and potentially relevant than entirely random.

mrhasbean being our resident Apple and anti-Google troll, it's always fun to see him completely ignore the fact that Apple is sitting on a massive body of user data as well (iTunes Music/App and Mac App Store), while Apple is also an advertising company. However, when Google does it, it's wrong, but when Apple does it, it's okay. It's gruberlogic.

mrhasbean also often resorts to the "think of the children" arguments regarding his own children, so let me ask you this, mrhasbean: without targeted advertising, children could be exposed to naughty advertisements! See! Google is protecting our children, while you are advocating they be exposed to sexual advertisements and whatnot.

See, I can troll too. It's easy!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Well
by JAlexoid on Mon 2nd May 2011 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Well... You know... Kids should know about genital herpes medicine from a young age.

Reply Score: 2

Just for fun
by novad on Fri 29th Apr 2011 06:34 UTC
novad
Member since:
2010-06-10

Hi everybody,

As I never heard about this Blog I just checked what is was about. The interesting points I saw were:

The Author (His own words): “My name is Leo Babauta, and I’m the creator and writer here. I’m married with six kids, I live in San Francisco (just moved here from Guam), I’m a writer and a runner and a vegan....” And also “Zen Habits features one or two powerful articles a week on: simplicity, health & fitness, motivation and inspiration, frugality, family life, happiness, goals, getting great things done, and living in the moment....

The archive list: http://zenhabits.net/archives/ (Not exactly a technical blog)

The article itself which is more about leaving Google because it’s the symbol of the lifestyle the author rejects than about Google being good or evil. Anyway... I don’t think the author has the technical skills to talk about the subject that interest us.

Come on mrhasbean... Find a better source next time. This one was really a bit cheap. At least it was funny to explore his blog ;)

P.S: Sorry for my English... I’m normally French or German speaking

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just for fun
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 29th Apr 2011 20:32 UTC in reply to "Just for fun"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I don’t think the author has the technical skills to talk about the subject that interest us.


Agreed, and (IMO) that's most glaringly-obvious when he recommends RoundCube as an alternative to GMail (RoundCube isn't actually webmail service, but a PHP application that requires a server or hosting account of some sort).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just for fun
by vodoomoth on Mon 2nd May 2011 07:30 UTC in reply to "Just for fun"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Don't worry, that's a pretty neat text as far as I'm concerned.

Reply Score: 2

contrary to popular opinion
by TechGeek on Sat 30th Apr 2011 03:54 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Contrary to what MrHasBeen would have you believe, the EULA for Blogger actually does not claim to own your content. It specifically states your content is yours. They also do not claim ownership of the contents of your mail or ownership of the projects they host for you. They sure seem awfully bad at making a business of stealing my data. Now, they may match ads to the content on their servers, but that is a far cry from actively selling that data to third parties like many other sites do.

Reply Score: 2

install a server
by evert on Sat 30th Apr 2011 17:42 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

With today's always-online broadband connections, what's wrong with installing your own server?

Especially regular OSnews visitors should be able to setup their own server.

The only argument against your own server is power consumption. Well, choose some lightweight energy-sparing computer. For example, an Eee PC or a pogoplug or even a simple NAS.

Only thing you need is some offsite backup.

Reply Score: 2

RE: install a server
by WereCatf on Sun 1st May 2011 01:11 UTC in reply to "install a server"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

With today's always-online broadband connections, what's wrong with installing your own server?

Especially regular OSnews visitors should be able to setup their own server.


For one, a server open to the Internet is always a security risk and that means you'll have to dedicate some time for administration. Not everyone knows how to properly secure a server and thus they might wish to avoid the risk of intrusion altogether.

Secondly, a server always takes some space. Not that many people want to have a computer running in the closet 24/7 and then do the work needed to run all the cables there.

Thirdly, a server provided by Google et. al. is always going to be hundreds of times more reliable than anything you can provide at home. Even with UPS you may still suffer hardware breakage or your Internet connection might go down for some reason, and then you have no plan B to fall back to.

Basically, for most people going with a pre-existing solution is a lot less hassle and more secure too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: install a server
by BluenoseJake on Sun 1st May 2011 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: install a server"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Basically, for most people going with a pre-existing solution is a lot less hassle and more secure too.


But not nearly as much fun.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: install a server
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 1st May 2011 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE: install a server"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"With today's always-online broadband connections, what's wrong with installing your own server?

Especially regular OSnews visitors should be able to setup their own server.


For one, a server open to the Internet is always a security risk and that means you'll have to dedicate some time for administration. Not everyone knows how to properly secure a server and thus they might wish to avoid the risk of intrusion altogether.

Secondly, a server always takes some space. Not that many people want to have a computer running in the closet 24/7 and then do the work needed to run all the cables there.

Thirdly, a server provided by Google et. al. is always going to be hundreds of times more reliable than anything you can provide at home. Even with UPS you may still suffer hardware breakage or your Internet connection might go down for some reason, and then you have no plan B to fall back to.

Basically, for most people going with a pre-existing solution is a lot less hassle and more secure too.
"

Totally agreed. There are also ISP-related concerns - for one, you're stuck either getting a more expensive connection/paying extra for a static IP, or the additional hassle of trying to run a server on a dynamic IP. Not to mention the fact that many ISPs explicitly forbid many (if not all) types of servers on residential connections.

Reply Score: 2