Here's my 5-minute Ignite talk from DevOpsDays Tel Aviv in December, in which I make a case for small team sizes. youtu.be/6f1c_jGeRuQ

So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

“Your account has been suspended”

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail → Fastmail → Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts → FastmailNextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → FastmailNextcloud Calendar
Google Search → BingDuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing MapsOpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics → Matomo Analytics
Google Drive → Nextcloud Files
Google Photos → Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs → Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music → Spotify / PlexSpotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → PlexJellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OSUbuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Google’s Android Apps → Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome → Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains → Hover
Google Hangouts → Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo → Signal
Google Podcasts → PocketCastsAntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App
Google Voice →Ting Mobile

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

https://www.kylepiira.com/2020/01/09/why-i-quit-google/

In an early version of the C compiler gcc, when the pragma directive was introduced, it took the "implementation-defined" effect literally and tried to launch computer games.

”When we measure global poverty using evidence-based poverty lines, the story changes completely. At the $7.40 threshold – which is still at the low end of the metrics scholars have proposed – we find that the number of people in poverty hasn’t declined at all. Rather, it has grown dramatically since 1981, going from 3.2 billion to 4.2 billion, according to World Bank data.” newint.org/features/2019/07/01

"It’s nice to believe that we would have stood up to Nazi Germany if we had been there in the 1940’s. China is our generation’s chance to prove ourselves of that conviction." drewdevault.com/2019/11/20/Chi by @sir

The apocalypse is not imminent. It is already here.

"In annually sampled grasslands, biomass, abundance and number of species declined by 67%, 78% and 34%, respectively."

nature.com/articles/s41586-019

RT @JPvanYpersele
General Castellaw: “So this is far more than an environmental problem. It’s a humanitarian, security and possibly military problem too.” #ClimateUrgency twitter.com/nytclimate/status/

Blizzard suspends professional hearthstone player over Hong Kong comments

playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog

It should go without saying, but needs to be said, that I condemn China's treatment of Hong Kong, support everyone's right to self-governance, and condemn Blizzard for their actions here.

I don't think I've ever seen any service apply content abbreviation and hiding as badly as GitHub.

A file has lots of changes? GitHub will helpfully hide it from you, so you don't need to worry about it.

Lots of comments? Don't worry, GitHub is here to hide them from you so your day isn't ruined.

And just today? They added a feature to let you mark specific lines that your comment applies to? What does GitHub do with this new information? It abbreviates it and just shows the last few.

I'm trying to pick up some @godotengine now that I have to rest a week. Now I have something basic in place.

(the framerate is excellent - it is the gif that is shitty)

”Surely we would be fools if, having understood the logic of this terrible process, we assumed that it might not go on in its glutton’s optimism until it achieves the catastrophe that is its logical end.”

"This may be why people with such minds, as they approach the top of the political hierarchy, so readily sell themselves to ‘special interests.’ They cannot bear to be unbossed. They cannot stand the lonely work of making up their own minds."

"The idea of people working at home, as family members, as neighbors, as natives and citizens of their places, is as repugnant to the industrial mind as the idea of self-employment. The industrial mind is an organizational mind, and I think this mind is deeply disturbed and threatened by the existence of people who have no boss." - Wendell Berry

From self.com/story/just-cook-more-:

"Not everybody has the time or means to cook healthy meals from scratch, so let’s not pretend it’s that simple."

No, it's not that simple, but it's not that complicated either. #cooking yourself + eating + dealing with dishes takes around an hour on average which is hardly much longer than most people spend on take-outs, and *definitely* beats any sit-in meal time.

The algorithm ensures us that to continue emitting cataclysmic levels of pollution will guarantee increased profits in the upcoming quarter

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