Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

One week without Google

Filed under
Google

A Microsoft executive recently compared quitting Google to quitting smoking. As I approach the 10th anniversary of my last cigarette, I decided to put that to the test.

If it weren't for hyperbole, of course, marketing wouldn't be nearly as effective. But Google's presence across the Web does provoke that sort of response from competitors and even friends. From search and Google Maps to Gmail and YouTube, it can be difficult to steer clear of the Google experience during a daily trip around the Internet.

But it's not impossible, and it's not even remotely comparable to giving up one of the most addictive drugs on the planet. During a week in which I pledged to avoid using anything made, owned, or otherwise produced by Google, it was surprisingly easy to cut ties.

Google is a habit; smoking is an addiction. And for the most part, Google lives up to its pledge to avoid locking users into its system. I only missed a few Google products during a week in mid-February and mostly because I was unfamiliar with their substitutes.

I could have picked a better week to quit using Google. Between buying a house, planning a wedding, and a trip to Lake Tahoe, my normal routine was already out of whack. And the launch of Google Buzz meant I had to break my pledge on occasion to stay on top of the changes Google made to that service.

But if you're one of those people freaked out by Google and its expansion across the Web, fear not: you have a wealth of options.




More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

96Boards SBC showcases Mediatek’s deca-core Helio X20

MediaTek launched the fastest open-spec SBC to date with a 96Boards development board that runs Android on its deca-core Cortex-A53 and -A72 Helio X20 SoC. The “Helio X20 Development Board” is MediaTek’s first 96Boards form-factor single-board computer, and the most powerful open-spec hacker SBC to date. Although we’ve seen some fast 64-bit SoCs among 96Boards SBCs, such as the HiKey, based on an octa-core, Cortex-A53 HiSilicon Kirin 6220, the Helio X20 Development Board offers an even more powerful Helio X20 system-on-chip processor. Read more

Red Hat Financial News

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • New projects, security, and more OpenStack news
  • LibreOffice 5.1.4 Released with Over 130 Fixes
    The first release candidate represented 123 fixes. Some include a fix for a crash in Impress when setting a background image. This occurred with several popular formats in Windows and Linux. Caolán McNamara submitted the patches to fix this in the 5.1 and 5.2 branches. David Tardon fixed a bug where certain presentations hung Impress for extended periods to indefinitely by checking for preconditions earlier. Laurent Balland-Poirier submitted the patches to fix a user-defined cell misinterpretation when using semicolon inside quotes.
  • Open source. Open science. Open Ocean. Oceanography for Everyone and the OpenCTD
    Nearly four years ago, Kersey Sturdivant and I launched a bold, ambitious, and, frankly, naive crowdfunding initiative to build the first low-cost, open-source CTD, a core scientific instrument that measures salinity, temperature, and depth in a water column. It was a dream born from the frustration of declining science funding, the expense of scientific equipment, and the promise of the Maker movement. After thousands of hours spent learning the skills necessary to build these devices, hundreds of conversations with experts, collaborators, and potential users around the world, dozens of iterations (some transformed into full prototypes, others that exist solely as software), and one research cruise on Lake Superior to test the housing and depth and temperature probes, the OpenCTD has arrived.
  • RuuviTag Open-Source Bluetooth Internet Of Things Sensor Beacon Hits Kickstarter (video)
  • Retro gaming on open source 2048 console
    Retro gaming in the open source vein could be on the upswing this season. Creoqode is the London-based technology design company behind 2048, the DIY game console with retro-style video games and visuals that is also supposed to help users learn coding.