Google I/O 2018 made me creeped out as hell! đŸ˜±

 

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I wrote this post mainly because of my feeling regarding Google I/O 2018, but also as a very long answer for a friend of mine, Aengeln. Check him out and wait for his response to this post!

Google I/O for 2018 was yesterday. It was, even this year, boring as hell. Last year I missed it, but I watched it a little bit afterwards and I saw the videos from The Verge etc that talked about the new stuff. Even then I was not amazed. The I/O of 2016 was the year of the gazillion messaging apps that Google released and ever since then I’ve slowly stopped liking Google. I’m still a fan, but it has really started to dwindle since then. Now it is all about AI and Machine Learning(ML), and that’s boring. I’d rather see a bug free range of Google Products and bring back Google Reader or something?! If you’ve read my last posts, follow this blog etc. You already know how and where I stand regarding all about this and I know I’ve talked way to much about Apple and their expensive stuff, so I shall try to not mention them in this post excessively. Ok, so here we go.

Auto completing e-mails in Gmail?!

The first issue with yesterday’s Google I/O was the self writing email stuff within Gmail that’s apparently a new feature. Immediately I felt like that was not something I’m interested in. I hope you can opt out from it. My BF even said that if Google is gonna dig into your mail even further it might be time to look for another mail service. We both love Gmail, but I agree. That did not feel good. I’ve actually created an account with ProtonMail, the service seen in the TV show, Mr Robot. I don’t know if it’s any good, but perhaps I’ll look into another service that might offer more, but I don’t know.

The Google Assistant makes creepy calls in the background?!

The other thing that made me wanna get out of my own skin was the news with the Google Assistant (GA). Now, at first I do like the Google Assistant but I basically never use it. I used it a lot in the beginning to make calls etc, but these days I might use it 5 times a year or something like that. I’ve even turned off the assistant from time to time, so it’s not really something I care about. When they announced that the GA could make calls for you in a very realistic way I got so creeped out that I did not know what to do with myself. I said “I call bullshit” and then I ran to the toilet. I had to pee, so that’s why.

#truestory.

If this is purely done by a “robot”, it’s way to creepy for me to even begin using. It has to be normal people who are calling, but even if that was true – imagine the costs for that service?! Way too expensive… To sum it up. Me Do Not Like. I welcome the more natural voices though, and the additional voices as well, but who the fudge is John Legend? It seemed that the audience didn’t know either.

Android is ruined…

First, I gotta say that there were one or two things I liked when they talked about Android. The things I can remember was the landscape lock thing and the other one is that the Android P beta is available to more phones from the start. Instead of the phone automatically switching to landscape if I put my phone that way (when not watching a video), it could really be useful to push a button instead, because my phone has a huge problem with always switching to landscape if I manage to have my phone turned on its side for like half a second to long. I hate that. It happens probably once a day, and I do not want to lock it to portrait mode, because then all of my photos and videos would be locked in portrait. I have a lousy memory and I’ve forgotten to switch back to unlocked mode. And I hate vertical videos!!!😣

Besides those little things, I felt that Android is really getting ruined. Beside all of the AI and machine learning shit I do not care for, I got a bit “pissed” as well with the new gesture modes. It’s just like the iPhone X FFS! Basically all of this year’s android phones also have notches and I hate it. I am neutral regarding the notch in general, but I hate that every phone with Android is now copying the iPhone X. I understand why phones go in that direction, but I’d like to see more cheap Android phones to blatantly copy the iPhone X instead of all the bigger players as well. Why? Because that makes more sense. There are other ways to make smaller bezels. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy s9 or the OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 6 will have a notch and if I can afford it, I’ve said I’ll buy it. However, personally a lot have changed lately so I’m probably stuck with my Lenovo P2 for another year or so. More about that in another post. Generally I did not like the Android update and that makes me sad. But it makes me happier that I have an older, crap-cheap phone instead of a brand new one at the moment.

Google Maps becomes more useful, and ML is useful when you talk about self-driving cars.

The stuff about Google Maps was fine. It will now start using your camera for directions and show you the right way. I think that could be a good thing, so I have nothing more to say about that. When Waymo talked about their self-driving cars I got somewhat happy, because that’s when ML is really useful. I don’t have anything else really to say about that either. It’s good.

Conversations about Google being boring and how it’s a “good thing” to be spied upon by huge corporations.

During the whole Keynote, me and the BF had our conversations about how Google is not innovating any longer. I’t just focus on AI, Machine Learning etc. instead of something different and purely new. My BF said at one time that he would be really happy if Google “did an Apple”. Like all of a sudden they presented a real “EyePhone” or something. VR lenses that could fit in your eye with 4k resolution for each eye etc. Something absolutely amazing! Like they did when they showed Google Glass back in the day… My BF also said that he really wished that there were a 4th company or something that had phones with a different OS to offer. He does not want to “sponsor” Google (with Android in mind), iOS or the Windows phone, because “they’re all the same”. Like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. I told him that might not be true. With what I’ve learned about Apple during the past 6 months or so, I know they care about Privacy a whole lot more than all the other companies out there, like Google and Microsoft. Or even Facebook for that matter, but they do not make phones or provide Operating Systems. He hates Apple as a company, and he really dislikes iOS, but he knows what I also used to know regarding the stupidness of iOS and I have investigated further and found that iOS is not that bad. Sure, it’s limited, but at what cost? A reliable smartphone experience that typically lasts you for years. Like I mentioned before, iPhone users tend to have their phone last for like 4 years and that is so amazing! Android users? They usually switch phone every year or so. Not to mention the gazillion accessories you can have to express yourself! He uses a Macbook Pro for work, and it works fine. Some things he loves, other he hates. He says that the only reason why he uses it is because Unity is available on both Windows and MacOS, but he also says the laptop is really not worth the price. He prefers Windows clearly over MacOS, and I don’t blame him. I guess I do to, but I do not remember what it’s like to work with MacOS so I really can’t say.

Other articles I’ve read since yesterday (and regarding Apple products) say that if you care about privacy there is only one option. Get an iPhone. Get a Mac for a computer. I found on their website a lot of examples on how they can use ML and AI and still keep the privacy secure for the users of the platform, and I think that’s great. I mean, I have nothing against AI or ML, really, but I don’t like the fact that everything I choose to do will be saved somewhere in the cloud or sold to some ad company. The only thing I want in the cloud are my personal files such as photos and documents. I do not like that my email will be read and completed for me and that everything I’ve watched or researched will “forever haunt me” in my social media when it’s not really relevant. Apple say that they can make a personal experience great without spying on you or sell your information to ad companies. All the information about Face ID is stored locally on the device, and many other ML stuff is also only on the device. Everything as well on your devices are encrypted and I see that as a big difference. Apple does not read my emails and they can’t say that I’m the one who searched for dolphins (as an example) yesterday at 3:04PM in my home in Malmö. Both Google and Facebook can do that, unless I turn a lot of features off and use another anonymous browser. Apple does not spy on you by default. Instead they sell you “great and expensive” hardware. The only thing I do not mind sharing with Google and Facebook is my location and basic contact details. The latter is if they only use it to contact me like send an email if something new has happened with my account that I need to check or to sen 2 step verifications to my phone via SMS. I’d be angry if sales people call me up because they got my number from Google… I guess basically that everything else I’d like to be kept locally or not at all. At least not shared and sold off to ad companies. I also love the fact that I can see in real-time in Google Maps where my BF is, and that he can see me. That way I don’t have to ask him all the time where he is, and that’s a great thing.

Also, to point out – once again about me writing about Apple and their products. This is not a praise to Apple being perfect or some crap like that. I write what I know, what I’ve learned and how I interpret these corporations that everybody basically is involved with these days on a daily basis. I do not hate Google, I do not hate Apple nor have I become an Apple sheep/fanboy etc. I just call it like I see it. And I do not like where Google is going with their AI business.

Not one bit.

 

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Some thoughts about Facebook, Google and privacy. And Apple?

Since the Facebook scandal regarding Cambridge Analytica came out, I’ve started more and more to think about stuff that bugs me. It has to do with ads and feeling targeted. The crazy thing about this is that this used to NOT be a problem at all – for years. But now it has started to grow on me, and I’d like to know why.

The Facebook scandal was really not a shock for me. I’ve known this for years, and like so many others have said, I sort of known when I signed up for an account with FB that I’d be targeted and followed across the web. That used to be fine and dandy. Why? Because I did not feel targeted. For years and years I haven’t seen a single ad on Facebook. All these ads people keep talking about? What the F is that? I’ve never seen it. And then they came. I do not really remember when it happened, but probably somewhere during 2017, the ads started popping up. It also probably started with Google as well, but I’ll try and keep this separated. If I can that is.

I have been a daily, and active Google and social media user since it was created. Or something like that. I created my first Google account in 2009, and my first FB account probably during 2008 when it started to become popular in Sweden. I’ve had (and still do with basically all of them) Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many other social media profiles and it is a daily routine to check Facebook whenever possible, watch a bunch of YouTube videos, make a blog post and look at images on several platforms. However, I tend to use Twitter and Instagram very rarely these days. Basically every day, I do at least one Google search for various things that are on my mind and everything has been pretty good. For years. What I feel about all of this right now is a bit mixed, but I’m guessing that not much will change.

I’m a huge Google fan as well. I know a lot about their products and I teach many on how to use them. I also trust Google’s products a lot. I don’t really think they’re spying on me while I write on a Google docs document… Regarding the other end of the Spectrum, Apple that is, I’ve basically forgotten all my knowledge about them. Until recently when I started to become obsessed with having reliable technical devices in my possession in stead of crappy and unreliable ones. All I knew until then was that Apple sucks. IOS is crappy and unusable and their products are way to expensive for anybody who are not willing to sell their soul for an iMac. Besides having a 3GS for like 4 months up to a year or something in 2009 and using an Apple computer in high school – that’s all I knew about Apple. The only “positive” thing I can remember about Apple is that I desperately wanted an iMac when it was first released, because they looked so cool! Back then I didn’t even realize that there were different kind of operating systems either. To me, Windows and MacOS was exactly the same. Since learning more about them and their products, my views on technology have vastly changed. It has really opened my eyes and I think that’s an important change. But I’m too poor to do anything about it, I guess. Or maybe unwilling. I don’t know, really. Haven’t decided. All I know is that I can’t talk crap about Apple that much anymore… No matter what they did to Linus Tech Tips. I just can’t do it. Watch the channel Tailosive Tech if you’d like to know a whole lot more on why I can’t laugh at so called Apple sheep anymore. It’s a great channel, even if you hate Apple. He’s taught me a lot.

The thing is that Apple as a company have a huge privacy policy standard. You are not their product. That is why they do not care about spying on you, target you with ads, and why they make products that potentially lasts for years without hiccups. With Google and Facebook – you are the product and therefore they keep track on you to try and sell you more garbage (or change the way you feel about stuff) without you knowing it until it’s probably to late. Apple has made it clear that  you can feel safe while browsing the web using their products. You will not be followed in the same way that Google/Android and Windows users are. They’ve even gone to a greater strength to try and prevent Facebook ads on the web and them spying on your Google searches so you’ll se less ads etc. I think that’s pretty cool, but I do not know if that is true. More information in the video below:

This post, however is not about me getting an iPhone again. It has more to do with priorities I guess. I still plan on buying a OnePlus 6 if I believe I can afford it when it gets released in a few weeks, but I really have to rant about the thoughts I’ve started to have regarding privacy and those goddamn ads that I see everywhere these days. I also still hope that whenever I get a OP6, I’ll drop the “wanting an iPhone” crap i’ve dealt with for so long… It’s annoying, especially when there’s no real need to make the switch. More about that later.

Just like in the video above, I have searched for stuff I’d like to buy or know more about. Then, hours later I see ads for those products in my Facebook feed. The weird thing is that it especially keeps happening  AFTER I’ve bought something. Why would I be interested in buying the exact same thing again after I just bought one? Whatever that product may be? Then the ad is useless. It might be more useful if it’s another model, taste, color or whatever else, but it’s been shown to me in another few weeks or months when it’s due time to buy another one of those products again? I mean, I might be interested in buying a new bottle of shampoo in another month, but not a new car or whatever else that’s expensive.

Also my Youtube feed has been garbage lately. I mainly use and watch YouTube via the Playstation 4 app or the app for Android TV. I sometimes watch videos on my phone or on my computer, but I mainly use the TV versions of the YouTube app. In those apps there are several categories to choose from. I mainly watch videos from the recommended, technology, food and entertainment categories. It usually works fine, but for the past months or so I’m basically shown videos I do not like to watch. Also if I watch one single video about technology, or mainly about smartphones, then 90% of my feed is about iPhones or Apple products. Even if the video I just watched had nothing to do with iPhones or Apple in general. It’s like automatically and magically Apple for some strange reason… Instead of videos about Great Danes or veganism that I’d really like to watch!

Now, I do admit that i still watch videos about various Apple products on YouTube sometimes, because I like it. I like watching videos about smartphones, and I’d like to know more about why every programmer uses a mac instead of windows computer and how users feel about iOS vs Android. I do that because I’d like know the likelihood of me being somewhat “forced” to buy a Macbook when I go back to college sometime in the future. I think that is fun, because I also like to hear people’s opinions about stuff. Even if that includes iPhones, and I currently do not plan on buying one. I’m really fricking curious though, so if I get the chance, I might still make the switch and try it out once more. But we’ll see what happens. I’ll try out a One Plus device first, and then we’ll see. Unless someone buys me an iPhone 8 plus/X that is. Then I’d gladly take it! I’m not willing to buy one myself in any shape or form (like on contract) and the iPhone SE is to small for my liking. If the iPhone SE would be all screen like the X and have all the features of the X, then sure but as of now? No, not unless I’d get it as a gift. Then I’d be happier. Because then I did not have to pay for it.

I still however feel somewhat ashamed of me “liking” to watch videos about various Apple products, because I know I can’t/don’t/want/have to buy their stuff. My Lenovo P2 works fine. So does my desktop computer. And the windows laptop. But oh, if I could, I’d really like to try it out… I am still hoping that my future employer will let me use both Apple and Windows products whenever I’m an educated programmer of some sorts. I even hope that the school I’ll go to will make me try it out, just for fun, but also for reals. I mean, what’s the harm, besides how much it will hurt my tiny wallet?

Ok, enough about Apple and potentially getting their products. I have other feelings regarding Apple products and that is just the privacy concerns I’ve started to have as an active Facebook and Google user. I’m so sick of those ads! I do not wish to see videos that I’ve disliked or removed from my YouTube watch history. I do not want to see ads about a career I’m not yet able to achieve until after I’ve finished a degree in computer science. I’m betting you don’t know what I’m referring to there, so let me tell you.

About a year ago I made up my mind to go back to school and become a developer of some sorts. Ever since then I have googled sometimes for the salary etc. of people working as developers. That’s because I’d like to know as much as possible of what it’s like to work and live as a developer. What it’s like to know and breathe code and the benefits from that. Being able to use and work on both a Mac and a Windows computer is awesome in my book, and if I might have to do that in the future, why is there harm to know more about it now? Better to know all the platforms than only one of them, right? Better to know both Swift, C#, C++, Javascript, Java and PHP, Google and all the CMS platforms than nothing, right?

Anyway, since then I’ve also continuously seen ads on Facebook of recruiting firms for developing jobs. Before I realized that they were ads, I clicked on them to learn more, but now I just find all of it so annoying. That’s because I am not a developer of any sorts today and totally unable to look for that kind of work. So stop showing me ads for my dream job, please…

It’s almost to the point that I again feel like I should stop using Google, delete my Facebook account but I know why I won’t do it. Without it, life would be horrible and so boring that I’d most likely kill myself or something. I need Facebook and Google in my life, and I just hope that there are solutions to these feelings and experiences I have regarding me feeling so followed whilst online.

Well. I guess that’s it. If you have anything to say about it, leave a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts about this.