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Technology

Google antitrust suit… does it matter?

I use DuckDuckGo for search most of the time, Dropbox for my cloud storage, and I’ve recently moved to Microsoft Edge for my web browser. There are choices out there if you’re willing to look and switch.

I also use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Photos, Google Maps, and an Android phone. But I use them because I prefer them to Apple’s offering. As much as possible I maintain my personal data in such a way that would facilitate my moving platforms should something more desirable pop up.

But, two major players in technology seems to be the equilibrium. AT&T or Verizon in cell service. Windows or Mac for computers. Android or iOS for phones and portable devices. It would be great if there was a third player in the phone market because Android just isn’t doing it for me anymore. Apple is a non-starter because of the enormous lock-in when you start to use their devices.

Google search started sucking years ago. When they started incorporating your Google account and your location into the searches they stopped giving more generalized results. The idea was to push you towards results in which company’s purchased ads. Once I noticed the results were not as relevant to my search I started using Bing. But, Bing was terrible for a general web search. It was good for photo and video search however and I do use Bing for that over any other search engine.

DuckDuckGo has been my go to search engine now for at least the last few years. They don’t use anything from me personally to give me search results so there is no filter bubble effect. I just get the raw search and I can more easily find what I’m looking for.

The Chrome browser has been a dog for a long time now. It’s become what it originally replaced, Microsoft Internet Explorer. Chrome is now a bloated heavy browser that isn’t fast and takes up huge amounts of resources. I moved to the Brave browser for a time and then to Firefox but found them both to be unpolished. When Microsoft rejiggered their browser and built one off Chromium (the same engine Chrome is based on) I gave it a try and found it to be very pleasant and fast. It’s missing a couple of minor things but by and large it is a great lightweight web browser.

People can get off of Google if they want. You just have to be open to new things. You should always think of data as your own and use services that prioritize that. You should also use the belt and suspenders approach to your personal media. Photos, videos, and music are no good to you locked into one service or company. Not only is it difficult to stop using those services but it is difficult to get your data out when you have terabytes sitting on some cloud server somewhere.

Hard disks are cheap. Get a desktop computer and keep a copy of all your stuff there. That way when you want to move you are free to do what you want. You don’t need the government using their heavy hand when you can take actions on your own.