I don't know if I'm becoming more paranoid as I get older, but last night I went to post a comment on a You Tube video. I was instantly confronted with a pop up box that was wanting me to use my full name on my You Tube channel before I could post anything. No matter what I did to try and get round this irritating question I could not do anything unless I ticked the right box. What are your views on Google? Have they become too big for their boots? I've deleted everything Google from my computer and sent them an email explaining why I refuse to use their services anymore.
Google is under investigation for privacy issues in Europe, but also they're under attack from various privacy groups for their practices of data trawling (WiFi Wardriving for example which they got let off fairly lightly).
What most people don't realise Android was created to spy on you as is all the 'free' Google services, Google tried to do the same with Windows but MS blocked them hence they developed Android. Out of Apple, Google and MS only Google generates profits from what they know on you and advertising.
On top of this they are now doing what MS did in the 90s actively trying to kill Windows Phone and iOS, though most of the attacks so far have been at Windows Phone with the recent spat over YouTube, though there have been other API issues with other parts of their services such as Google Maps and EAS.
Finally they tried to troll MS over some patents they got from when they bought Motorola which got them slapped down. Hard.
Google is trying to push the G+ social thing hard, as they want the information that Fb gets from people but so far G+ has been a major flop especially as people are moving away from Fb to other 'fashionable' services and the other main reason people have enough time keeping up with Fb, Instagram, Pinterest et al.
Good riddance to them I say. I've even stopped using their search engine as it seemed they were logging my searches. Not that I was looking for anything naughty, but they seemed to bombard me with advertising based on my searches. The You Tube business is worrying as you get some right nasty b'stards on there which is why I choose to remain annonymous on there. But they wanted me to use my full name. They can shove it. Interesting what you mentioned CSD. I had no idea about any of that.
This is very interesting but now I'm completely paranoid.
I've just opened up Internet Explorer (v10) instead of the usual Chrome. In the blue bar at the top is the familiar e logo followed by the words iGoogle. On the home screen, the search engine is Google as are the maps. I've checked that the Google toolbar is disabled. I've cracked open a beer and cleaned my glasses but everywhere I look still says Google.
So, CSD, before I make a dash for my panic room, is this the moment to download Firefox or Opera?
I've been using Firefox for years. Probably won't stop Google annoying you but it's good for blocking adverts if you use the Adblock add on. Yes MPH it is worrying as my 11 year old daughter uses this computer to mess about on which is why I don't go looking for anything naughty as she is cleverer than me with PCs and will have me bang to rights. BTW just found another search engine to use called DuckDuckGo. Anyone heard of it or is it another big brother element to the interweb?
If you want the power of Chrome, then your options are Chromium (manual updates only) or use Opera 16 which uses the same engine sans the Spying that Google does. It's been going on for years with Google, but most IT geeks ignore it preferring to lambaste MS over it's transgressions. It's the same for Apple, yet out of all the tech companies in the last few years MS is the one that's done the least amount of bullying. All the more surprising since they're no longer under US oversight which crippled them from actually being able to bundle anything with Windows to compete (a reason that many people ignore when the complain about MS 'losing' years and failing to innovate).
As for search engines it really comes down to what you search for, BING is fairly good a general searches but fails miserably for anything technical like programming. DuckDuckGo is pretty good and many people recommend it, but I don't really use it myself other than when BING fails.
It's worth noting BING isn't a search engine per se, it's a social engine. I won't go into the differences as they're relatively moot at this point in time outside the US but suffice to say it's the heart of the new Windows eco-system that a lot of their services are built around and also the 'Cortana' project.
My own interest in all of this is that I'm pretty deep into the MS eco-system as I don't own any Google or Apple devices. I use a W7 custom workstation which syncs to a Surface Pro (as a tethered PC for photography/mobile workstation) and a Lumia 920. I won't say it's completely seamless but compared to last year it's come a long way and Windows 8.1 is due out in a few weeks which should redress many of the complaints about 8.
Google + seems to have been a bit of a disaster. I think the main problem with it is that it's too complicated to use. I had problems using it and I consider myself to be computer savvy so I'm sure those that aren't would give up quicker than I did.
Yes I'm using DuckDuckGo. Have a look at their website, it's as good as Google without all the intrusions. I found it after reading an article on The Guardian website. Not that I'm a fan of The Guardian, just found the article interesting. Give it a go I think you'll like it. As Matt mentioned, I too, found Google + complicated. Trying to find the right settings and user preferences was a frickin' nightmare. Also I was used to using Google Maps but now I found a better alternative and they are illustrated like Ordnance Survey Maps. http://here.com/
No it's not a browser it's a search engine. Just go here https://duckduckgo.com/ and the search box awaits your input. You can integrate it into your existing browser if you want to but I just use it as my home page as I did with "gaggle"