Is Big Tech in Big Trouble? It depends…

Big Tech is in Big Trouble!For awhile now, we’ve been hearing rumors of anti-trust actions against the four main Big Tech companies.

Recently, the word is that actual charges will be brought starting in June of this year.

When you put all the recent stories together – along with some other interesting events involving Big Tech – it DOES look like something is finally about to happen.

But will any of it actually change anything?

It’s easy to be cynical, but I do see an opportunity here to make a difference…

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Smart Speakers are totally safe and privacy-enhancing (just kidding)

Home Assistant Self-DestructA recent study about smart speakers revealed that they are, in a word, crap.

The study, entitled, WHEN SPEAKERS ARE ALL EARS: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations, revealed that these smart gizmos are very often activated by words and phrases that have little to do with anything.

Of course, that means they are recording and sending audio clips when they really shouldn’t be.

Not to worry, though – we are reassured by the researchers that it’s no big deal!

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Dumbphone with KaiOS: Hang on, isn’t that a smartphone?

A Smart OS for Dumb PhonesLast week, I published a video entitled 4G Dumbphones: Get one with KaiOS!

In that vid, I talked about why KaiOS is a great OS to have on a 4G dumbphone.

Quite a few people asked various questions, like:

But hang on, isn’t that just a smartphone disguised as a dumbphone? But if it has Google, how is that different from an Android smartphone?

And so on.

So this week, I want to dig into some of the details of KaiOS and why it is NOT your daddy’s smartphone.

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The YouTube Algorithm has changed again, and people are pissed

YT Bubye!Oh dear god, make it stop…

It’s time once again for The Great YouTube Algorithm Tweaking!

This time, that means even more nonsense, even fewer recommended videos that you actually want to watch, and just general chaos.

Of course, what most people are concerned about is the “curating” of content. Naturally, it’s a bit more complicated than that…

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Just how BIG is Big Data? Some fun internet facts

Ah, the internet… It’s big. Really, really BIG.

We don’t often think about these things, but just how much storage space is needed for the internet to go?

What kind of power is needed to make Google googley?

How on earth does YouTube store and process all that crazy video data?

Join Cletus and me for a look at some fun facts and statistics about YouTube, Google, and the internet as a whole!

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Do smartphones really hurt normal social relations?

As regular readers/viewers know, I’m not a terribly big fan of smartphones.

For more info, see my video Why I ditched my smartphone.

In response to my musings, many people have said that they don’t think people buried in their smartphones all the time is causing any real harm.

After all, they argue, people used to just bury their noses in newspapers – right?

Well, yes… But no.

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How to make Chrome less Google-friendly

With Chrome version 69, Google was very naughty.

It was quite easy to miss this little tidbit, but it seems Google decided to make Chrome automatically log you in to Chrome itself if you used the browser to log in to any Google web service.

Before, you didn’t have to log in to Chrome itself in order to log in to Google services. With Chrome 69, that changed.

Fortunately, Google introduced the ability to turn off this annoying feature in Chrome 70.

While you’re at at, there are a few other browser “features” you may want to turn off…

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How to Remove or Block Cookies in Chrome

I use Firefox as my main browser, which is why I wrote the earlier article Remove individual cookies in Firefox (yes, it changed again).

I also use Chrome as a secondary browser since I have 2 screens and too many tabs for one browser!

Recently, I had to do some testing for a web app. I needed to delete a cookie in Chrome…

Well, whattaya know?!

Unlike Firefox, Google Chrome makes it very easy to remove individual cookies. Plus, you can even block cookies for an entire domain!

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Why I ditched my smartphone

Smartphones are nice, right?

They let you Do Stuff™, and you can even convert your entire social life to be run entirely via Google’s servers!

WOW!

Well, according to a recent investigation by the Tucker Carlson clan, it turns out Google is hoovering up far more data than previously thought.

So, I finally decided to take the plunge: I’ve switched to a dumbphone, and I’ve never been happier…

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DuckDuckGo: Uh-oh! Search add-on goes nuts…

Lots of people are using the search engine DuckDuckGo these days.

It’s a bit more “friendly” than behemoth Google, and it still gives great search results.

In fact, you may have read my earlier article Search like a pro with DuckDuckGo: Better privacy + great search results.

In that post, I recommended against using the DuckDuckGo add-on.

Well, now there’s an even bigger reason not to use it!

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