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At the end of last year, the #FSFE was in Leipzig at the #36C3. As in previous years, we were present with our own #assembly, lots of information material, talks and workshops. Read our report from Bonnie Mehring "about:freedom - about:fsfe"

fsfe.org/news/2020/news-202001

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“We are being identified without our knowledge or consent, and society needs rules about when that is permissible”, writes Bruce Schneier in the NYT nytimes.com/2020/01/20/opinion

There are many ways you can be identified, some you might not know about. Here are some examples 👇
1/5

question technique, mail, notmuch 

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Yay! Today I officially became a @fsfe supporter and Iam proud of it 🙂

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If you want to support political activism for Free Software in Europe, please consider donating to the FSFE my.fsfe.org/donate @fsfe @fsfe

question technique, mail, notmuch 

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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”

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

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

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

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 → FastmailNextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → FastmailNextcloud Calendar
Google Search → BingDuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing MapsOpenStreetMaps 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 / PlexSpotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → PlexJellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OSUbuntu 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 → PocketCastsAntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App
Google Voice →Ting Mobile

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.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

https://www.kylepiira.com/2020/01/09/why-i-quit-google/

@Privacymatters Unfortunately no. Couldn't find an excuse to come and get one day off the firm!

@Privacymatters OK thanks. The report looks really good by the way - easy to navigate and well summarized - well done.

@Privacymatters Hi Pat - I haven't read the report yet but quickly skimmed through. Are there significant differences regarding Spotify between gratis/paid-for-subscription users?

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I was asked to help conduct this research & write a report on 'Privacy in the EU and US: Consumer experiences across three global platforms' reviewing Amazon, Netflix & Spotify. It's only scratched the surface eu.boell.org/en/2019/12/11/pri I've mainly used Twitter to comment on it twitter.com/PrivacyMatters/sta but intend to use Mastodon more

@Privacymatters Interestingly, the only platform from Europe (Spotify) ranks as the worst in many aspects...

@taziden si tu prends le bus à Paris par chez moi, personne le verrait ton badge, à part si tu le portes sur un chapeau haut de forme

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There are recently several fake e-mails out including to mailing lists which appear to come from myself. To clarify: I am not using protonmail e-mail aliases nor will I send out e-cards.

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Mise en perspective des impacts écologiques du #numérique
raphael-lemaire.com/2019/11/02

"Laissez vos emails tranquilles, la grosse bonne action en numérique est de faire durer le plus longtemps possible les appareils et d’éviter d’acheter des gadgets. Ensuite on peut réduire son usage de vidéo ou réduire la résolution."

#énergiegrise #énergie

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The #Twidere maintainer stopped their work on this great app and closed all API accounts :(

Since I don't like the alternatives, I created my own Twitter app to continue using it. But in the long run, I hope that existing or new apps will come up with the same or better usability

twitter.com/TwidereProject/sta

@microniko @hugo pas eu de soucis particulier avec pandoc (ou plutôt ici pandoc-citeproc)

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