If you ask someone that do smoke why they do that, they would say that it takes the stress out, and they feel calmer.

So, why don't we recommend anyone that suffers from stress or anxiety to smoke?

The reason is: Even if smoking indeed makes people feel calmer and less stressed out, the amount of damage it does to their health is worse than those things.

Lost? Why would I mention that?

The reason is that I feel recommending Google things is akin to suggest people to smoke.

Let's start with Andy Rubin. Rubin was the CEO of Android Inc, and became a manager on Google after the later bought the former. But in 2014 Rubin left Google, receiving a good package of $90 million. But why he left the company? 'Cause, apparently, he was involved in sexual harassment to another Google company. Why "apparently"? 'Cause Google had a policy of "arbitration", in which no employee could take another employee to court, but an arbitrator would judge the thing. And, because Google was responsible for pointing the arbitrator and everything happened "in house", allegations and counterclaims are known only to Google. If Rubin did or did not harass someone sexually is something that we can be sure (although the timing is a bit... awkward).

But if everything was made behind closed doors, how do we know about it?

Exactly because arbitration was in the cards and people didn't want important people to get some "bad press" and that's fucking wrong, some other employees organized a walkout, in which people would get into and then not work. Good thing it worked and arbitration was taken out of the equation; harassment now would go to court and bad actors would actually be exposed.

All good now? Not quite. After organizing something to protect -- let's not hide things here -- women working in Google, the organizers started getting retaliations. One example was Meredith Whittaker, which being an AI research, got reassigned to another project and stop working on the AI ethics (and oh boy, do we have more shit coming in that "AI ethics" topic).

One step forward, one step back.

But maybe you're not a woman and really don't care how Google employees are treated, so you ignore all that 'cause you get free photo storage.

In 2015, Google released a new feature on their Google Photos suite: Automatic tagging. No more having to go through all your photos to mark them as "mum" or "car" or even "Barcelona". It's all automagical! Except that, for some reason, if you're a black person, Google Photos would mark you as a "gorilla". Quite offensive, right? No worries, Google said the problem was the algorithm and said it would be fixed. Their fix? Remove the tag "gorilla" -- so, they didn't fix it per se, the algorithm would still recognize black people and gorillas as being the same thing, but wouldn't have a tag for it.

Hangouts XMPP syndication

Chrome: don't remove Goog cookies

Chrome: ad blocking API; uBlock Origin removed from store

Chrome: Sabotaging other browsers: https://twitter.com/campuscodi/status/1074782772470910976, https://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/youtube-speed-faster-google-chrome-mozilla-firefox-microsoft-edge-1889651

Chrome: Remove user software https://www.ghacks.net/2018/01/20/how-to-block-the-chrome-software-reporter-tool-software_reporter_tool-exe/

Android 4.2.2: AppOps (2013); semi-funcional in 6.0 (2015).


GCP: Metadata for 30 days.

Basecamp ads complain: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/04/google-paid-search-ads-shakedown-basecamp-ceo-says.html

AMP: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50432080: Sham site; gets money by copy'n'pasting news from other sites, get ad revenues. How is that different from AMP showing content without ever reaching your site?


Genius: Watermarks in lyrics.

Project Nightingale: Google accesses trove of US patient data (Google has gained access to a huge trove of US patient data - without the need to notify those patients - thanks to a deal with a major health firm.)

YouTube is updating their Terms of Service on 10 December, 2019. It presents an awful possibility for the future of creators on the platform. It seems they will be able to terminate your channel if it's "no longer commercially viable."; in other words, wherever they feel like.

YouTube: Forced monetization

Gmail capturing purchases, without any warning (which tells more about how "permissive" their terms are than anything else).

Paying climate denials to avoid having to moderate content.

filters aggressively mails from personal servers (https://mastodon.sdf.org/@julienxx) https://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nanog/2019-December/104502.html

Amnesty International: Facebook and Google are a threat to human rights: https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/21/facebook-google-amnesty-international-human-rights/






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