Abine Googlesharing
June 25, 2012 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Stop data collection by Google: Abine introduces Googlesharing for Firefox [beta].
posted by Rykey (37 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not sure why something designed to stop sharing with Google is called Googlesharing either, BTW.
posted by Rykey at 8:27 AM on June 25, 2012


A better explanation of the problem and possibly a better solution as well. (And another problem.)
posted by DU at 8:32 AM on June 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is there a Chrome version?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:33 AM on June 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I guess this would not work if you're signed into a Google account like Gmail while using Chrome.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:33 AM on June 25, 2012


Ixquick HTTPS
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:34 AM on June 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Currently, Googlesharing is in Beta and is only available for Firefox. If you'd like to be notified when it's available for your browser, please enter your email address below:

Is this product free? Since I'm using Chrome, I can't see a download button or any other information.

I love how the FAQ page uses a lot of fear and "pain words" to describe a problem... and their solution.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:35 AM on June 25, 2012


For me, it does a rather nice job of completely locking up Firefox while it does its searching.
posted by pipeski at 8:39 AM on June 25, 2012


I have a question for any knowledgeable open source coders out there: what's keeping open-source non-profit search engines from taking off? I don't have the coding chops to know better, but couldn't there be a p2p solution, to solve the server-farm problem?
posted by mondo dentro at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2012


User-specific preferential search results and filtering deserves its own FPP. If anything is deserving of the Orwellian moniker, that's it.
posted by odinsdream at 8:50 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


User-specific preferential search results and filtering deserves its own FPP. If anything is deserving of the Orwellian moniker, that's it.

Yeah, but if you don't like Google, there are plenty of other search engines to choose from - hardly Orwellian at all!

Besides, Google has basically completely transformed into a commercial product that is the contemporary version of the Yellow Pages.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:58 AM on June 25, 2012


Huh, I naively thought that telling Google not to store your search history meant that they really didn't store it, but I guess not.
posted by exogenous at 8:59 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu; I can't tell if you're being serious, but choosing another provider isn't my concern at all. It's the transparent nature of changing the way you consume information based on your past preferences. Enough iterations of this behaviour will result in highly polarized views on basic reality.
posted by odinsdream at 9:18 AM on June 25, 2012


I am being serious... I'm not really worried about personal search results changing my basic view of reality (eg, results showing only what I want to see etc, rather than any discordant information) because I understand that Google or Bing or Yahoo or whatever is indeed showing me personalized results, so I figure out ways to get around that.

I figure that other people using Google Search or whatever are the same - they find ways to get around receiving personalized results, and if they don't, it's none of my business.

Fundamentally, though, the Google, Bing and Yahoo search platforms are designed to produce commercial results. I don't rely on the Yellow Pages to provide me with unbiased information, so why should these search engines be any different?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:27 AM on June 25, 2012


I think that the people around me being misinformed on important topics really is my business. It certainly affects me. As a very simple example: "death panels".
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on June 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


What I would really like to do is make my Reader cookie persistent, but not any other Google cookies. Can this do that?
posted by alby at 9:31 AM on June 25, 2012


odinsdream - I still don't see how that's "Orwellian", given that it's based on the circle of friends you specify yourself. But in any case, it's easy to disable user-specific preferential search results, or disable result tracking entirely.

What I would really like to do is make my Reader cookie persistent, but not any other Google cookies. Can this do that?

I think your best bet is to use different browsers and/or profiles to do this. That's what I do, anyway.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:33 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


You could also use a different web-based RSS aggregator.
posted by DU at 9:37 AM on June 25, 2012


The people that talk about death panels are going to insist on being tragically misinformed no matter what you do, and trying to somehow guarantee that search engines provide some sort of unbiased results (according to your own standards, of course!) is not the solution.

The solution is more dialogue, and in person. The OWS and Tea Party folks share a great deal in common in terms of their attitudes and beliefs, and I think we saw real progress being made earlier this year when these two groups got together and actually talked.

Worrying about the algos of a search engine now primarily designed to show you where the closest pizza place is will not really solve the political problems of your country.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've previously discussed the more extreme solution YaCy, along with various p2p DNS projects.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:41 AM on June 25, 2012


As an aside, duckduckgo.com was the Tor Browser Bundle's default search engine for quite some time, but they've recently switched over to startpage.com, who's still struggling under the load.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:45 AM on June 25, 2012


I didn't say unbiased. I said free of a bubble. That's a completely different thing.

But speaking of insisting on being misinformed, you started your rebuttal saying there was nothing that could be done and ended it by giving a solution. That seems more like a kneejerk hatred of search engines than a rational argument.

The creation of bubbles certainly can't be helping.
posted by DU at 9:45 AM on June 25, 2012


All I get is unable to find proxy server. Well it is beta.
posted by Splunge at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


because I understand that Google or Bing or Yahoo or whatever is indeed showing me personalized results

The problem is unpacking what "personalized" means. I think most nominally technical people understand Google filters results for relevance in terms of geographical locations. I would assume most people do not realize that searching for news would result in a filtered view based on a personalized profile, though.

For instance, if there was a bomb scare today at a school and you searched for School Name + Bomb, I bet most people would assume it's looking for articles with that school name, plus the word bomb, and showing you the results. Perhaps sorting them to show you local papers first.

I bet most people would not expect the algorithm to take into account your personal politics and return op-eds praising zero-tolerance policies as well, if you've starred something on your Google Reader.

It's the combination of the breadth of your personal profile along with the lack of transparency on how it affects search results that's Orwellian.
posted by odinsdream at 10:21 AM on June 25, 2012


You could also use a different web-based RSS aggregator.

I like the way that Google has a smartphone Android app for Reader. Are there any web-based aggregators that also have smartphone apps?
posted by alby at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2012


I think the other way around, namely, a search engine that doesn't show me what it thinks are the best results for me, but instead the results it thinks are best for shaping society, is even more Orwellian.
posted by Pyry at 10:26 AM on June 25, 2012


There are certainly times when I want results tailored to my interests, namely when seeking out new-but-more-of-the-same, like maybe youtube related videos, metafilter tags, etc. I suppose twitter sounds like perhaps the perfect venue for "feed my interests".

I'd rather tailor my search query to the desired results when searching though, anything tailored simply limits my ability to interact with the world. Ain't difficult to further specialize a query.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:44 AM on June 25, 2012


Pyry; isn't it cool how we can't tell the difference?
posted by odinsdream at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


But speaking of insisting on being misinformed, you started your rebuttal saying there was nothing that could be done and ended it by giving a solution. That seems more like a kneejerk hatred of search engines than a rational argument.

Well, I'm not sure if you're referring to my comments, but search engines aren't really the only way - or the best way - to aggregate the information that eventually contributes to one's worldview.

And so "personalized search" creates a bubble. What's the solution? The only logical solution I can think of is to use another search engine. Is there any other solution? Legislation?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2012


Are there any web-based aggregators that also have smartphone apps?

NewsBlur has a free iPhone app and a $.99 Android app (third-party) that work pretty well. I made the move away from Google Reader a few weeks ago (still looking for a good Gmail/Voice replacement) and have been happy with the service. Possible downside is that only your first 64 feeds are free, and I haven't tried the premium version yet.
posted by sysinfo at 11:45 AM on June 25, 2012


Is this product free? Since I'm using Chrome, I can't see a download button or any other information.

When I look at it in Chrome, I get a clear message in bold in a red box that says:

Currently, Googlesharing is in Beta and is only available for Firefox. If you'd like to be notified when it's available for your browser, please enter your email address below:

?!

Abine introduces Googlesharing for Firefox [beta]

Abine *bought* Googlesharing in March 2012. I think Moxie Marlinspike *introduced* it a while ago.

Are there any web-based aggregators that also have smartphone apps?

Apps are dead. Long live the (adaptive) Web!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:48 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't tried this extension, but two years ago when Abine got their grubby mitts on a useful privacy-enhancing FF extension, they bollixed it right up.

I'm off to see if I can download the last version of this extension before it became an Abine product...
posted by dendrochronologizer at 1:08 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Firefox is configured to use a proxy server that can't be found."
Thanks.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:36 PM on June 25, 2012


The duckgo links DU posted above are informative. But I am sympathetic to what I have come to term the "Scott McNealy view". The most secure attitude is probably to assume that my computer is not an entirely private space. In the duckgo example I do not search for herpes on my computer. The other day in a metafilter thread I made a comment that I do not search for textbooks on the chemistry of high explosives on my computer. I don't have herpes but I do find chemistry intrinsically fascinating and read all about it all the time; I think reading about the chemistry of high explosives on my computer is a truly terrible idea. I understand there is some fantastic journalism available at Al Jazera but I do not read that shit on my computer.
posted by bukvich at 4:19 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, so I installed it to firefox, and at the bottom of the screen, on the bar, it says "Google Sharing Enabled" - does this mean I am sharing info with google or that the software is enabled? Lousy name huh?
posted by marienbad at 5:24 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


For whatever reason, I read the title as "Albino Googlesharing" at first, and then I was like, "Huh, like Albino Blacksheep"? Anyway, carry on.
posted by limeonaire at 6:48 PM on June 25, 2012


Seems to be working for me now. No appreciable delay. Cool.
posted by Splunge at 2:41 PM on June 26, 2012


Yeah, seriously stupid name. Do Not Track took the better one. ;)

"Huh, like Albino Blacksheep"?

CURVEBALL!
posted by mrgrimm at 9:40 AM on June 27, 2012


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