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

FLOSSophobia

I have seen it many times. "Linux is a cancer". "Open sauce". "Linuxtard". I even remember the teacher who did not bring a laptop for her presentation and, when I offered her my Linux netbook, she rejected it as if I had presented her something illegal. She tried to use an old Windows computer instead but, when the computer failed, she ended up displaying her presentation with my Linux netbook. Clearly, this teacher's position was not based on ignorance or lack of expertise because she knew Linux existed and all she had to do was to display slides. Her refusal was due to indoctrination: she had learned that Linux and non-Microsoft office suites had to be rejected. Read more

Today in Techrights

Hands on With elementary OS Powered Centurion Nano Laptop by Alpha Store

If you want to buy a new laptop, no doubt you should consider the Centurion line. It will be a good choice for you, Linux aficionado. As well as for your Windows-addicted husband/wife/employees. The Centurion Nano is certainly not a “gamer” laptop. However, besides that particular use case, and for an interesting price, you will get a very competent computer, 100% compatible with Linux and usable for a broad range of tasks. Read more

Tryton and Python Deprecation Warnings

  • Trying Tryton
    The quest to find a free-software replacement for the QuickBooks accounting tool continues. In this episode, your editor does his best to put Tryton through its paces. Running Tryton proved to be a trying experience, though; this would not appear to be the accounting tool we are searching for. Tryton is a Python 3 application distributed under the GPLv3 license. Its home page mentions that it is based on PostgreSQL, but there is support for MySQL and SQLite as well. Tryton, it is said, is "a three-tier high-level general purpose application platform" that is "the core base of a complete business solution providing modularity, scalability and security". The "core base" part of that claim is relevant: Tryton may well be a solid base for the creation of a small-business accounting system, but it is not, out of the box, such a system itself.
  • Who should see Python deprecation warnings?
    As all Python developers discover sooner or later, Python is a rapidly evolving language whose community occasionally makes changes that can break existing programs. The switch to Python 3 is the most prominent example, but minor releases can include significant changes as well. The CPython interpreter can emit warnings for upcoming incompatible changes, giving developers time to prepare their code, but those warnings are suppressed and invisible by default. Work is afoot to make them visible, but doing so is not as straightforward as it might seem. In early November, one sub-thread of a big discussion on preparing for the Python 3.7 release focused on the await and async identifiers. They will become keywords in 3.7, meaning that any code using those names for any other purpose will break. Nick Coghlan observed that Python 3.6 does not warn about the use of those names, calling it "a fairly major oversight/bug". In truth, though, Python 3.6 does emit warnings in that case — but users rarely see them.