Google’s been going downhill. Not their products, I much prefer Chrome and Google Search, and love my Android smartphone. No, Google as a company. They seem to have done away with their motto of “Don’t be evil“, and are providing technology to Autism Speaks for genomic research into autism. There’s a petition here. They also collect and sell a heck of a lot of data, but this isn’t a post about online privacy… In the absence of the “Don’t be evil” motto, I can’t see Google bending to the pressure of such a small group of people as makes up the autistic activism community. I’m therefore planning to begin a boycott of all Google products and services. Mostly for my conscience, since the small group of people argument stands for boycott action as well as petitions.
I’ll be saving up for a replacement smartphone: an Apple (second hand, I’m not that rich!). I’m replacing my Chrome browser with Firefox, and switching to DuckDuckGo for my search needs. After a quick glance at a few lists about giving up Google (who knew so many people wanted to do it?), I’ve decided on Zoho for my mail, calendar and docs needs, since they provide free e-mail addresses. I’ll still be using Diigo for my research bookmarking, there’s a Firefox addon to match the Chrome one.
I have already abandoned Google Play’s music section, the impossibility of keeping my music sync’d between multiple work and home accounts led me to download and store all of my music. I’m still waiting for the perfect free cloud storage and music streaming service, I’ll be giving Deezer a try. With an Apple phone, I’ll have no need for Google Play’s Apps. I’m rather annoyed to see that unless you have an android or iOS phone, or a chromebook, that there is no way to download Movies that have been purchased. That just leaves the need for a replacement for Google Drive. As I do my development work on Ubuntu, and plan to escape from Windows completely soon, linux-compatibility is a must. I was just about to resign myself to my fate of living with DropBox when Caffeinated Otter recommended I have a look at SpiderOak. Long story short, they’re popular because they give the same amount of free space as DropBox do, whilst being privacy-positive.
Sadly, I’ll still be required to use Google products at work (ah well, people need chrome-compatible sites, my bosses need to organiise us via some kind of calendar, etc). At least by finding alternatives at home and where practical in the office I’m doing my bit.