robinadr

Posted in Internet

In response to Tim Cook’s speech on the importance of privacy and encryption, The Verge had this to say:

Arguably, Google Maps is better than Apple Maps, Gmail is better than Apple Mail, Google Drive is better than iCloud, Google Docs is better than iWork, and Google Photos can “surprise and delight” better than Apple Photos. Even with the risks.

If Apple truly cares about our privacy then it should stop talking about how important it is and start building superior cloud-based services we want to use — then it can protect us.

Just within that list above, I use Apple Maps, iCloud Mail (and calendar) over their Google counterparts, though I still use Google Docs. I can say without a doubt that the Google counterparts are better.

The only reason I switched over is because I reached a tipping point between my wariness of Google’s practices, and my desire for quality services on the web. Apple’s offerings got better, Google’s business practices became shadier, and I ended up feeling Apple’s services were good enough that I wanted to switch.

It shouldn’t be like that. I should want to use Apple’s products because they both respect my privacy and they’re the best services. It’s unacceptable for a company with Apple’s size and prowess to still be lagging behind when it comes to services in the cloud.

A lovely spam email

How do people still fall for these obvious phishing attempts?

I count a few spelling mistakes, many grammar mistakes including improper capitalization, “value customer,” and so on, plus the URL itself is secureupdate-welsfargo.us.pn

Not to mention, I’ve never had a Wells Fargo account in my entire life.

In light of yesterday’s news about Yahoo and Do Not Track, I’m trying some new search engines out. I have DuckDuckGo as the search engine in my Firefox, and I’ve installed the DuckDuckGo app on my iPhone. Unfortunately, there’s no way to add a search engine to Safari on iOS without jailbreaking, but I’ve switched to Bing temporarily to see how well it works.

So far I really like DuckDuckGo. Its results seem to be on point, and the results are fast and all over SSL. Bing is pretty… mediocre, both in results and in design.

From Ars Technica:

Yahoo yesterday announced that it will stop complying with Do Not Track signals that Web browsers send on behalf of users who wish to not be monitored for advertising purposes.

“As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo,” a company blog said. “As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry.”

The Do Not Track initiative works by trying to get advertising companies to promise they won’t use use the data they have for advertising… which is exactly what their business model is. Yahoo’s move isn’t a surprise at all, and they’re just doing what Google has been doing.

The only way to try to protect your privacy online is to do it yourself. Install Adblock and Ghostery at the very least. NoScript is another way, but it’s a much more extreme one. The onus is on the user, more than ever, to take privacy into their own hands.

With the recent news that Yahoo wants Google’s spot in iOS, I went to Yahoo to see what it looks like after all these years. I was met with this:

Yahoo's home page

What is this tabloid garbage? The entire website is an affront to clean, efficient design. If you compare this to Google’s frequently-touted minimalistic homepage, and it looks even worse. On the other hand, if you go to search.yahoo.com, you’re greeted by this:

Yahoo's search page

The difference is just night and day. If Yahoo wants to be taken seriously in search again (even though they sold it all to Microsoft), they need to make this minimal design their homepage as soon as possible.