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    gizmodo.comKashmir Hill2/7/1927 min
    13 reads4 comments
    8.8
    gizmodo.com
    13 reads
    8.8
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    • KapteinB1 month ago

      An important but impractical experiment.

      If the goal is just to avoid surveillance by the Frightful Five, blocking any website hosted by them isn't actually necessary. Stop using their devices and services, and install an ad-blocker to stop them from tracking you around the web.

      Not a lot seems to have changed since this article was published, though I do believe it is a bit easier to get hold of a non-big-tech smartphone these days.

      Also, an especially Readup-relevant quote from this article:

      An uncomfortable idea I keep coming up against this week is that, if we want to get away from monopolies and surveillance economies, we might need to rethink the assumption that everything on the internet should be free.

      • thorgalle
        Scout
        1 month ago

        That quote is gold. I’m gonna Readup-tweet it (and I realize the irony in that!).

        If the goal is just to avoid surveillance by the Frightful Five, blocking any website hosted by them isn't actually necessary.

        This article blew my mind about how pervasive AWS is. Even Signal and DuckDuckGo are hosted by AWS (and Readup is too!). Likely the writer misrepresents AWS as "tracking" any person who visits any web address hosted by them. Would AWS really be fingerprinting the incoming web requests for all or some of their customers? And then using/selling that data of which sites people visit? It would be very scary, but it seems unlikely. It would probably be mentioned in AWS T&C’s, and many corps wouldn’t like it. I thought AWS was known for its high security standards.

        • KapteinB1 month ago

          Actually, after reading the first article in this series, I realise this isn't only about avoiding surveillance. It's just as much about avoiding companies known for abusing monopolies, or that are just considered too powerful and influential.

          (I should probably read the remaining 5 articles in the series some time, where she attempts to cut the tech giants from her life one by one.)

    • thorgalle
      Scout
      1 month ago

      Really good article. Sweeping. She seriously tried this! "Digital veganism” was a new term for me, as is the company Purism.

      “We need to think of this as a collective action problem similar to how we think about the environment,” he says. “Our society is structured so that a lot of people are trapped. If you have to fill out your timesheet with an app only available on iPhone or Android, you better have one of those to get paid.”

      So true, and so painful. Because neither of these two big issues is on a trend to get "solved" now. Readup tries, next to many other orgs & people.

      When it comes to getting around, Marble Maps is an option, but I’m confused by the interface, so I stick to places I know, and buy a physical map as a back-up.

      Might she not have used Open Street Map? It doesn’t seem to be big-5 hosted.

      When companies can’t lock us into proprietary ecosystems, we have more freedom. But that means Facebook would have to let a Pinterest user RSVP for an event on its site. And Apple would need to let you Facetime an Android user.

      Interesting analogy. But out of touch with reality as well: the internet is standardized, with a whole bunch of protocols. So is the web browser (somewhat). Beyond that it's mostly a massive mess of short-living, not-interoperable, proprietary services. Very much unlike the global telephone network, where there has been a single interoperable service (voice) for decades (+ text messaging). I find it hard to see how regulation could standardise the wide variety of services on the internet.

      I want to embrace a lifestyle of “slow Internet,” to be more discriminating about the technology I let into my life and think about the motives of the companies behind it.

      Yes yes yes yes!