Google is Evil
by David Byrne in Features | May 15, 2014
I have a few Android devices, and I noticed the other day that for some strange reason my phone was not storing my recordings on the SD card I had bought and installed. (I use it to record memos for songwriting—it’s a great way to jot down ideas.) The recordings normally lived on the 64-gig SD card that the Android allows one to insert inside for extra storage. The MP3 songs I was transferring over to listen to when I travel or jog weren’t going to the SD card either. Then I got a notice that the SD card was no longer available as a storage medium. WTF?
Poking around, it seems that the latest version of Android (KitKat) disables certain kinds of uses on these storage cards that I had purchased; Google (who helped develop the Android operating system, and later bought it) seems to have intentionally crippled my devices. It cost me money for those cards, but more importantly, I use them as a creative tool. Phones especially get filled up with apps and other stuff, but if I can store my pictures, music and voice memos on an SD card, I can worry less about memory issues.
Some of the tech-help forums claim that there is a valid reason for this—but hey—I switched to these devices BECAUSE I could store lots of stuff on them. That’s an essential selling point for me. With an external SD card, I could effectively use my phone as a music player that could hold way more playlists than the phone itself could ever do. Same goes with my phone pix and recordings—I almost never had to worry about the memory getting full, but now I sure do.
Other forums suggest Google is “forcing” us to store stuff in the Cloud, presumably where they can get at all our data and then market it to advertisers.
It’s a weird feeling to have an invisible corporate hand reach into your gizmo, without asking really, and cripple it.
Wish I could do the same—reach in there and cripple their search algorithm—because, maybe on a whim, I determined I wanted it to work differently.
“First of all, anyone calling David Byrne an idiot needs to check himself. Google is most definitely EVIL! What have we allowed while in our tv induced slumber? I use a simple stupid phone for texting and calls. These corps are BigBrother. Unplug your brain or find a way to use the technology that has been made available to us so far to our advantage to beat the system legally. Th red pill or the blue pill?
· 1 · July 23 at 10:57am
“Gah! I like your term, ‘The Cloud’…totally right on. I never trusted them, reason I won’t even use gmail, more and more my feelings are validated by these kind of stories about google. I’ve had good friends work there, sure they feed you till your a stuffed pig, for free…then you owe them your soul! hah, I suddenly imagined that scene from “Spirited Away” when the people are enchanted by the food then turn to obsessed hogs…ick… The Google Family.”
Yes, Goggle does want you to be forced to store on the Cloud, and that IS the end of privacy no matter what they say!
Scientific American Volume 310, Issue 2
We’re Forced to Use Cloud Services—but at What Cost?
Online services are no longer optional. So who’s in control of your data?
Feb 1, 2014 |By David Pogue
At one point, the phrase “in the cloud” probably meant something useful and specific. These days, though, it has just become a buzzy marketing term for “the Internet.” “Your files are safely stored in the cloud!” “You can send video messages through the cloud!” “You can order books from the cloud!”
You mean the Internet? Oh.
Internet services such as these have become essential elements in the Apple, Google and Microsoft ecosystems. Have an iPhone? Then you have a big incentive to get a Mac and an iPad, too—because Apple’s free iCloud service will make sure that your calendar, address book, e-mail, to-do list, notes and passwords are magically synced with all your Apple gadgets.
Have an Android phone? You’ll want to stick with Google’s Web browser, tablets and laptops for the same reason. Microsoft, too, has automatic syncing among Windows computers and phones and the Web.
If you take the bait and marry into one company’s ecosystem, great! You enjoy astonishing convenience—free. And if this “in the cloud” stuff makes you a little nervous, no problem! You can opt out and confine your data’s location to your own zip code.
At least that’s the way it used to be.
Lately, the big tech companies have been quietly removing the option for you to keep your data to yourself.
Here’s a startling example: Did you know that you can no longer sync your computer’s calendar or address book with your Apple phone or tablet over a cable? Starting with this year’s version of the Mac operating system, Mavericks, you can sync them only wirelessly—and only through an iCloud account.
Something similar is going on with Microsoft. In Windows 8 and 8.1, you can log on to your PC with either a local account (your name and password are stored on the PC) or a Microsoft account (they’re online, like in iCloud). A Microsoft account automatically syncs your familiar settings, bookmarks, and Facebook and Twitter account information with any Windows 8 computer you use.
But Microsoft tries hard to make you feel like a loser if you choose the local account. (“Not recommended,” the screen tells you ominously.) Many features aren’t available or convenient without a Microsoft account: your SkyDrive, your photographs, the built-in Music app—in fact, you can’t download any apps from the Windows store.
Online accounts are handy, but they’re also imperfect. If you have an iPhone 3G, you can’t connect to iCloud. If you’re traveling out of Internet range, no syncing can take place.
There’s an economic issue, too. The more data you’re shuttling to and from the cloud, the faster you eat up your monthly Internet service allotment.
These cloud services keep your personal information perpetually backed up—another plus. Yet your hard drive isn’t the only one that can die. From time to time, those big online services go down, too—Gmail has gone dark, Amazon services have crashed—and at that point, you can’t get to your own stuff.
Above all, there’s fear. You’re no longer in possession of your own data. You’re making them available, at least in theory, to Apple, or Google, or Microsoft. Or the National Security Agency. Or to a hacker. All it takes is one teenager, somewhere—anywhere—guessing your Hotmail password, and suddenly you’re locked out of your own PC.
The big computer companies are quietly, slowly forcing us to entrust our life’s data to them. That’s a scary and dangerous development.
In fact, it may be that “in the cloud” really isn’t the best term for the services these companies offer. What they really want is to have us “on the leash.”
This article was originally published with the title “The Curse of the Cloud.”
Put on your slave collar and learn to say “yes massuh”. I don’t use any of those products that need syncing so I’ll just laugh at the techno-slaves as I sit at my PC with Windows 7 and only minimal internet traffic that I allow through my firewall.
“Apple, Google, and Microsoft are very wary of your privacy. And they want to protect your privacy.”
Utopian and naive. This type of lip service sounds good in theory but actions speak louder than words. As mentioned, they continue to nudge us into a fully centralized online desktop/social media/email/browser/music/phone/calendar configuration. It’s almost eerie how I’ll make a purchase or follow a new twitter personality and begin to see new browser advertisements now geared in that direction. And spot on. Sure, their approach aids marketing, but there are multiple facets. This level of profiling holds tremendous value, to others, for multiple uses.
I’m no conspiracy theorist but these are clear signs of behavior modeling, and I’m weary to regard them as all for my benefit. The recent onslaught of NSA accusations, often times implicating Google/Apple/Facebook etc, are evidence of big brother intent and the middle men performing their legitimized dirty work.