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#1 2015-06-25 05:41:27

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Is Google Being Evil?

Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/b … -in-depth/


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#2 2015-06-25 06:21:03

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?


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#3 2015-06-25 06:23:17

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Whoops...seems twoion already posted something similar.  I didn't mean to steal your thunder, twoion.  :8

@cpoakes:  I'm pondering whether to jettison anything related to Google.  Two problems though with doing that; 1) my Google Voice number is referenced on over a hundred resumes that have been submitted, and 2) there's no alternative to Android for my Samsung tablet.  Should we go back to pen and paper?  sad

Last edited by KrunchTime (2015-06-25 06:27:21)


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#4 2015-06-25 06:29:55

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

For those who haven't done it yet:

sudo apt-get purge chromium google-chrome

You know it makes sense...

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#5 2015-06-25 06:41:09

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Hmmm...Google also puts out Openbox Tint2 and Clementine.  Should I consider getting rid of those too?

In light of this issue, as well as the number of features that Mozilla keeps adding to Firefox, I'm all for a basic browser that uses plugins/extensions to do all of this stuff that is becoming part of the browser.  That way, I can add what I want.  Lately, every time Mozilla updates Firefox, I have to remove some new feature that they think I want (NOT!).

Last edited by KrunchTime (2015-06-25 06:49:39)


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#6 2015-06-25 06:44:54

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

Hmmm...Google also puts out Openbox and Clementine.  Should I consider getting rid of those too?

What do you mean by "Google"?

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#7 2015-06-25 06:50:09

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

@HoaS:  I fixed it.


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#8 2015-06-25 06:54:57

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

Lately, every time Mozilla updates Firefox, I have to remove some new feature that they think I want (NOT!).

Remove Firefox and use:

sudo apt-get install iceweasel
sudo update-alternatives --set x-www-browser /usr/bin/iceweasel

Iceweasel tracks the LTS version of Firefox from Mozilla and doesn't change.

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#9 2015-06-25 07:11:42

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

@HoaS:  Yeah, but eventually won't the new shiny stuff make its way into Iceweasel?


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#10 2015-06-25 08:03:22

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Without reading any of this, the answer is of course "yes".

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#11 2015-06-25 08:35:32

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 2,205

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

yes, these constant little new "features" (also simplifying the preferences, some imho important stuff has been dropped or "hidden" behind links, instead of buttons)...

that made me start using chromium again, which i considered to be safe enough after going through the preferences and disabling most "features".
but not anymore after reading this & twoions thread.

question remains, which is the best browser...

good for debian users, there's iceweasel in the repos.
on archlinux, i guess i'll have to be using an aur package.
(actually seamonkey would be my no. 1 choice, but it misses support for some addons i deem essential).
or maybe GNU icecat...

Last edited by ohnonot (2015-06-25 09:05:28)

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#12 2015-06-25 16:35:54

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

This episode highlights the need for hard, not soft, switches to all devices – webcams, microphones – that can be used for surveillance. A software on/off switch for a webcam is no longer enough, a hard shield in front of the lens is required. A software on/off switch for a microphone is no longer enough, a physical switch that breaks its electrical connection is required. That’s how you defend against this in depth.

... and along comes Sector11 - No webcam, no microphone, no smart (phone home) phone, no 'smartTV' (hacked vids available on YouTube) no smart Fridge, no iAnything  .... and OK as some would say: No smarts. lol lol

Plus I use StartPage!

aptitude search google - zero results
aptitude search chrom - CRAP!

 25 Jun 15 | 13:15:22 ~
    $ ser chrom
alias ser = aptitude search file(name)
p   chromium                        - Google's open source chromium web browser 
p   chromium:i386                   - Google's open source chromium web browser **
p   chromium-browser                - Chromium browser - transitional dummy pack
p   chromium-browser-dbg            - chromium-browser debug symbols transitiona
p   chromium-browser-inspector      - page inspector for the chromium-browser - 
p   chromium-browser-l10n           - chromium-browser language packages - trans
p   chromium-bsu                    - fast paced, arcade-style, scrolling space 
p   chromium-bsu:i386               - fast paced, arcade-style, scrolling space 
p   chromium-bsu-data               - data pack for the Chromium B.S.U. game    
p   chromium-dbg                    - Debugging symbols for the chromium web bro
p   chromium-dbg:i386               - Debugging symbols for the chromium web bro
p   chromium-inspector              - page inspector for the chromium browser   
p   chromium-l10n                   - chromium-browser language packages        
v   chromium-testsuite              -                                           
v   chromium-testsuite:i386         -                                           
v   chromium-testsuite-dbg          -                                           
v   chromium-testsuite-dbg:i386     -                                           
p   gstreamer0.10-chromaprint       - GStreamer plugin for calculating audio fin
p   gstreamer0.10-chromaprint:i386  - GStreamer plugin for calculating audio fin
p   libchromaprint-dev              - audio fingerprinting library - development
p   libchromaprint-dev:i386         - audio fingerprinting library - development
p   libchromaprint-tools            - audio fingerprinting library - tools      
p   libchromaprint-tools:i386       - audio fingerprinting library - tools      
p   libchromaprint0                 - audio fingerprint library                 
p   libchromaprint0:i386            - audio fingerprint library                 
i A xserver-xorg-video-openchrome   - X.Org X server -- VIA display driver      
p   xserver-xorg-video-openchrome:i - X.Org X server -- VIA display driver      
p   xserver-xorg-video-openchrome-d - X.Org X server -- VIA display driver -- de
p   xserver-xorg-video-openchrome-d - X.Org X server -- VIA display driver -- de
 
 25 Jun 15 | 13:15:34 ~
    $ 

Can I get rid of that »  xserver-xorg-video-openchrome?
What is the "VIA" in VIA display driver?
Quick search and nothing to do with Goo ... Goo  Goog...ahhhh you know! lol lol

@ cpoakes - those links are just plain scary!

**I hope 'Brother' comes out with a 64bit printer driver.


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#13 2015-06-25 17:08:46

vic
#! by Default
From: /grill
Registered: 2009-02-13
Posts: 3,361

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Yes probably, but if they come up with a smart Gprinter that just works, then all will be forgiven   tongue


Time to move on!#

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#14 2015-06-25 17:27:31

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

@cpoakes:  I'm pondering whether to jettison anything related to Google.  Two problems though with doing that; 1) my Google Voice number is referenced on over a hundred resumes that have been submitted, and 2) there's no alternative to Android for my Samsung tablet.  Should we go back to pen and paper?  sad

Yes, it is hard to break the google habit. I waffle with DuckDuckGo, Dogpile, Startpage, and even Bing. But no one does image search like Google. I have other issues with smartphone security and really only want talk and text, so I have purposefully remained a feature phone user (not secure, but far more secure than Android or iOS). And I never liked the intrusiveness of Gmail... I do have a google identity, but don't use any services other than Googlecode repos (which are now defunct). So my Google divorce is close, but not complete.


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#15 2015-06-25 17:35:32

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

Hmmm...Google also puts out Openbox Tint2 and Clementine.  Should I consider getting rid of those too?

In light of this issue, as well as the number of features that Mozilla keeps adding to Firefox, I'm all for a basic browser that uses plugins/extensions to do all of this stuff that is becoming part of the browser.  That way, I can add what I want.  Lately, every time Mozilla updates Firefox, I have to remove some new feature that they think I want (NOT!).

Correction, GoogleCode hosts tint2, but it is an independent project (shout out to Ovi, the current lead maintainer).  The GoogleCode repo is now simply historical, and tint2 has been moved to GitLab. I would wager a guess than Clementine has a similar hosting relationship as well.

I share your annoyance with FF feature-itis and also frequently remove or modify it back to my preferred level of usability.


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#16 2015-06-25 17:36:49

CSCoder4ever
BL Keyboard Troll
From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2013-09-03
Posts: 2,256

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Is Google Being Evil?

Very.

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#17 2015-06-25 18:38:25

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

But no one does image search like Google.

Ummm StartPage uses Google search but passes you search criteria "anonymously" - same goes for images.

I like this page:  Data Privacy Day: Are You Still Using a Pre-Snowden Search Engine?

But then - I'm paranoid ... or am I just trying my little bit to stay out of the spotlight  ... that keeps moving.   wink
{let's face it, if you're on the Net ... they have you covered.}


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#18 2015-06-25 19:03:27

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

@HoaS:  Yeah, but eventually won't the new shiny stuff make its way into Iceweasel?

No, it tracks the LTS release so stays at the same version.

@cpoakes -- https://startpage.com/ has changed recently and has a much improved image search facility.

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#19 2015-06-25 19:07:46

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Sector11 wrote:

Ummm StartPage uses Google search but passes you search criteria "anonymously" - same goes for images.

Not what I am talking about.  There is a "magic" drag-and-drop functionality that most are unaware of.  Open your browser to https://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi&gws_rd=ssl (or do a google text search, then select "Images" instead of "Web" to bring up image search), and then drag-and-drop an image from a folder or even another browser window into the search box to find pages with content matching that image. Very useful to take an unattributed image and research the exact subject, location, and/or photographer.

Don't need no android, no gmail, no text search... but this is my unavoidable google addiction.

Last edited by cpoakes (2015-06-25 19:10:47)


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#20 2015-06-25 19:34:49

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

@ cpoakes

tineye.com:
2015_06_25_16_31_14_1920x1080_Sector11.jpg
There is even an add-on for FireIceweasel wink


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#21 2015-06-25 20:00:50

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Thanks for the heads up; I forgot about this.  Last time I tried tineye the results were pathetic by comparison, orders of magnitude less than google image search results.  I will give it another go.

Update: tineye has certainly improved.  When it returns a single match, it appears to be an "authoritative" match (giving location, person, stock photo source, and/or photographer) vs. the flood of google image matches on tumblr and pinterest.  However, it still fails with a lot of null matches when google can at least one and generally 10 or more instances (photo samples: rugby players, western cowboy art photos, mid-century furniture designs).

Last edited by cpoakes (2015-06-25 21:14:43)


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#22 2015-06-26 06:01:11

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

ohnonot wrote:

question remains, which is the best browser...

good for debian users, there's iceweasel in the repos.
on archlinux, i guess i'll have to be using an aur package.
(actually seamonkey would be my no. 1 choice, but it misses support for some addons i deem essential).
or maybe GNU icecat...

Vivaldi and Opera both use Chromium as a base.  However, neither is in the repos and I believe both of them are proprietary.  I also use Qupzilla and Midori, but some sites do not render well/correctly in the browsers and sometimes not at all.

cpoakes wrote:

I have other issues with smartphone security and really only want talk and text, so I have purposefully remained a feature phone user (not secure, but far more secure than Android or iOS).

Same here.  I tried an Android phone for awhile last year, but after seeing all of the permissions some apps wanted, I quickly became concerned and decided to go back to a feature phone.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2015-06-26 06:04:16)


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#23 2015-06-27 10:38:42

ov
#! Member
Registered: 2015-01-21
Posts: 54

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

KrunchTime wrote:

Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/b … -in-depth/

That article is full of FUD, to put it nicely. Voice recognition is disabled by default. I checked myself on all my systems and it is also confirmed here by a Chrome developer https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issu … =500922#c6.

Now for the question of why the code is even present in Chromium, there are users who want to use it.

While there are a lot of things that should be changed on how Internet users are treated, crying wolf is doing more harm than good.

Off topic: you might find this interesting http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015 … n-proposal.

Edit:

On the topic of evil browsers and websites, there are now plans to introduce back compiled code in webpages. After the death of Java applets and Flash plugins, this is surprising:

https://blog.mozilla.org/luke/2015/06/17/webassembly/

Edit 2:

About https://www.debian.org/security/2015/dsa-3148 mentioned by Craig:

The true problem is that lately the C++ standard changes every couple of years (C++03, C++0x, C++11, C++14...). New code is not recognized by old compilers, so if you want to use it you have to use a newer gcc.

Although generally I have a bad opinion about this (it reminds me of the old days of using Windows when Java had to be upgraded often to support application X), some of the changes in C++ are really useful. They help prevent bugs that in the old versions were very hard to find, making the code safer (because the C++ language design is utter cr**p). So I use them myself for work. And indeed I hit the problem of not being able to deploy applications to LTS distros. But it is easy to solve, either by upgrading the compiler chain on the distro, which Debian doesn't want to do for good reasons, or by just building the new gcc on a build machine and then distributing and preloading the C++ .so binary only with that application (alternatively, place it in a separate subdirectory in /usr or /opt so that multiple applications can use it). The latter is what I do on my systems and it works perfectly fine.

Also, Ubuntu LTS is offering ways of installing arbitrary versions of gcc in parallel. I'm not sure how they deal with the .so problem, but I never had any issues.

Last edited by ov (2015-06-27 11:33:55)

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#24 2015-06-27 13:48:00

cpoakes
#! CrunchBanger
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 202

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Ovi,
Absolutely - the chromium EOL in wheezy is dependent on compiler changes. Chromium is available in jessie because the newer compiler is in jessie. There is also a commercial Chrome version available for wheezy built using methods similar to your suggestions. And one could backport the compiler to wheezy and compile natively, but as you point out that is not the way of "stable".

My complaint: while Google excels at leveraging open-source for commercial products, they are poor at supporting their open-source products in stable/LTS open-source environments. Chromium security support evaporated in stable and only reappeared 5 months later if you migrated to stable jessie.  Security conscious wheezy users either 0) lived without security updates, 1) adopted the non-free Chrome, or 2) adopted a different browser. Google could have "ifdef'd" the code to manage a larger window of backward compiler compatibility (for multiple environments, not just Debian). This would have kept chromium viable until the stable/oldstable transition.  But they didn't.

While they certainly have no obligation to support stable/LTS releases or encourage adoption of chromium, this attitude is unfriendly to and unsupportive of the FOSS community.  Google excels at FOSS-washing (like green-washing but with open-source). And it is coercive when Chrome (commercial) becomes the only option to keep the application running in a stable environment.

For me, this was the straw breaking the camel's back - not only did I migrate back to iceweasel (firefox) after years absence, now I exclusively recommend Firefox where I used to recommend Chrome or FF.

Last edited by cpoakes (2015-06-27 13:50:14)


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#25 2015-06-27 15:43:45

ov
#! Member
Registered: 2015-01-21
Posts: 54

Re: Is Google Being Evil?

Firefox is not updated either on many distros, and I would not recommend it at least to Windows users because as far as I know it does not have a sandbox (yet).

In the end it's really the job of the distributions to compile and ship the software. You either do it well or don't do it at all. As I said, the solution is not complicated. But maybe they don't have time. If only some of the resources that have been dedicated to changing the init system were used to actually make sure that users have up-to-date browsers...

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