Thanks for nothing, jerkface
June 7, 2014 3:19 AM   Subscribe

With Google+, it became clear that we were all little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of saleable data. The rise and fall of Google+ once again engenders strong feelings, this time in Violet Blue.
posted by telstar (107 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Heh, the whole Google+ stealth, stalk, coerce and force arc has been great. And by great I mean irredeemably creepy. It's like texting or chatting with someone about work or maybe very light social stuff, and suddenly they're like, so, what you wearing right now?

aaaiiiiiiiiii run away!
posted by taz at 3:58 AM on June 7, 2014 [22 favorites]


"Rise and fall" is a poor choice of wording. It plummeted from the nest only to be scooped from the ground and thrown repeatedly in the air.
posted by onya at 4:08 AM on June 7, 2014 [114 favorites]


This is also a pain in the ass for accounts which are not tied to an actual person.

I took over a local LARP a few months ago and spent hours scrubbing the former Storyteller's name off everything the Gmail account draws from. See, when he made the account, he put his name on it (despite it being intended as a generic email address for whoever happens to be running the game, elections being yearly), and Google just went ahead and created a G+ account. So all the Google stuff attached to the account, like Drive and Groups (and the Mind's Eye Society, at least in the Great Lakes region, is heavily invested into the Google ecosystem), has the guy's name on it, and I still occasionally find shit with his name on it even after I nuked the G+ account (which isn't necessary for our purposes) and changed the name to a generic Storyteller name.

As far as I can tell, everything pulls your name from G+, and if your G+ account isn't there, those other services have no fallback whatsoever and just stick with whatever they already have, resulting in cleaning up a situation where you need to change the name on an account being a massive pain in the ass.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:22 AM on June 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


I know this is mean but I would like people who work for google feel somewhat ashamed of themselves. Maybe the co-creator of G+ is slightly ashamed, but I bet he's working it out, 1% style.
posted by angrycat at 4:25 AM on June 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


As a social network Google+ clearly hasn't got anywhere. But its other goal of unifying Google's services under one account - which frankly is more useful to Google than it is to the users - has been a success at least from Googles point of view. And in that respect, even though it pissed everyone off, its unlikely to be abandoned now.
posted by memebake at 4:28 AM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Making a few plausible fake identities is a way of, if not avoiding the identisweep, at least being kinda cyberpunk.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:32 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's frustrating because my Google account is now attached to my 'droid, but also to possible things to show employers. While I might normally use quirky pictures much like Facebook, I find myself having to give G+ LinkedIn levels of professional bland. Thus useless as 'social media'.
posted by Phalene at 4:32 AM on June 7, 2014 [21 favorites]


I've managed, so far, to steer clear from the clutches of G+, scrupulously unchecking boxes, and saying "no" to every version of Google's "We will create a Google+ account for you" pop-up I see.

One downside has been that I cannot discover a way to comment on a YouTube video without having a G+ account created automatically.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:43 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


You know that thing on the evil mastermind list about having a five year old look over all your plans before you put them in motion? If Google actually wanted to give a shit, they'd hire representatives from some marginalized groups to catch shit like "this is going to out people". It's blindingly obvious to folks with a general idea of how name changes go down for trans folks that that kind of thing would happen.

That would require checking ego though so it seems unlikely any tech companies will pick it up.

And last I checked none of this has made YouTube comments less of a cesspit.
posted by NoraReed at 4:49 AM on June 7, 2014 [25 favorites]


Google's overreach and G+ creep have done something that Microsoft never could: convinced me to use Bing.
posted by oddman at 5:37 AM on June 7, 2014 [51 favorites]


I've basically avoided using G+ as much as possible, as I really don't understand how it works (which is a basic design fail, in my opinion). Even when I do think I understand, I don't. For instance, I recently tried to access some 19C journals on natural history (out of copyright, public domain, etc.), found them on Internet Archive, and for some reason, the link from Internet Archive leads to Google, presumably because Google scanned them.

Then, at Google you get funneled into some obfuscatory pop-ups, which ask if you want to 'read' the 'ebook' and lo and behold, I now (through no intention on my part) have a 'My Library' attached to my G+ account that lists all the PDFs I have been trying to read. I really do not know if this is accessible to anyone else, in circles or whatever. Luckily it's just obscure 19C natural history journals.

It is hard to access these and just read the PDF. They are public domain, but they are also in some creepy way 'Google domain' as well.
posted by carter at 5:41 AM on June 7, 2014 [29 favorites]


The failure of Google to grok that I have multiple Gmail accounts but I don't want multiple plus accounts.
posted by humanfont at 6:00 AM on June 7, 2014 [19 favorites]


Because I have a couple of gmail accounts and with one or two other google services, I'm sure I have a G+ account that has been automatically created and cross-linked. I've never deliberately signed into it, but I can feel it hovering out there, acquiring my data and for all I know making it freely available. Luckily nothing in that history is more embarrassing than maybe looking at a naked picture or whatever other NSFW things happen when you follow FPP links here; my biggest discomfort is simply the feeling of not easily being in control of it and having very little idea of what aspects they might make public tomorrow regardless of the defaults today.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:01 AM on June 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


G+ is used very heavily in the tabletop RPG circles I run in; posts on G+ drive a lot more traffic to my blog than ones from Facebook. I play D&D in Hangouts regularly.

If you actually use G+, the privacy controls are really a lot better than Facebook. The ability to keep things private and separate them among different circles is very useful. You have a lot of control over who sees what in your account. From where I sit, the problem seems to be that people are using Google services without bothering to figure out the privacy controls, and acting in a hostile fashion because said controls are all centralized in one place.
posted by graymouser at 6:47 AM on June 7, 2014 [16 favorites]


At the risk of being cynical, the opinions of the self-described-tech-savvy didn't count anywhere as much as this did towards the failure of Google+ to stick.
posted by belarius at 7:00 AM on June 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Chrome is similar in its 'outing'. Whenever you first install Chrome, it asks you to 'sign into' Chrome. You can turn this off, but it is always there at first. It is so convenient and will keep your bookmarks in sync. Unless, of course, you don't want all your 'job search' bookmarks to show up on your PC at work.

I think the real reason Google+ fails is that it is unnecessarily complicated. Things may have changed, but when it first started I used it to keep track of photos and documents when handling my Mom's estate with my sister. There were so many places to put things: within circles, within their own group, on Drive, on Picassa. It got to the point where I'd put a document on Google+ and neither my sister nor I could find it. I have this theory that Google has too many PhDs, so they make things really flexible and convenient for geniuses, but incomprehensible to the rest of us. They need to hire some people who fail their IQ tests.

On the other hand, Facebook is so simple that anyone can use it. Because of this, everyone does use it and all your friends, present and long forgotten, even the non-technical ones, are on it. Google realizes the importance of having everyone you know use Google+, so they try to force it. Facebook accomplishes the same fact by just making things ridiculously easy.
posted by eye of newt at 7:08 AM on June 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


When Google+ first came out I was positively mystified that Google wasn't trying to improve on Facebook in and meaningful way. I see now that their goal was never to build the better social network, it was to better categorize and track the customers already in their web.

Say what you will about Apple and their ecosystem, but at least their model isn't focused on pigeonholing and tracking their customers. As much.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:11 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think the real reason Google+ fails is that it is unnecessarily complicated.

It's like that for a lot of the Google stuff.

I think they're all SC and this is part of the "Uplifting" process, if I may be excused in mixing my metaphors.
posted by mikelieman at 7:25 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Making a few plausible fake identities is a way of, if not avoiding the identisweep, at least being kinda cyberpunk.

They are so far ahead of you…

Good luck on succeeding. You just become the guy with multiple accounts to them. More data points. They know all your identities are still you.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:43 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Google is known corporate partner of the NSA.
Signing up for Google+ is filling in your own file for Big Brother.

And make no mistake, Snowden revealed the Uncle Scam IS Big Brother.
posted by Flood at 7:50 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


G+ identity enforcement rules fail users as Pope Guilty said, when you have a non-identity account. My recent job didn't give me an email address for two months!

I didn't want to use my personal email exposing my circles to this new employer and their vendors. Not that this should be a problem, because my other gmail account is super clean. For non-cleaned use I have three Hotmail accounts: anonymous curiosity account I use anywhere, semi-anonymous special interest account I use for, well, sites like-metafilter (but not metafilter), and personalized non-professional account. (I'm not concerned 'bout the NSA. Many companies in my current career struggle with technology.)

I have two Linkedin accounts, because I have a former career and undergraduate degree in marketing and now have a job in food service. I don't want these accounts crossing. Even in my former career, I had several different resumes customized to the job I was applying for, or to the client I was courting as a freelancer. Linkedin is designed with an ideal employer--employee relationship in mind.

The structure of identity created by sites designed to capture qualified user data fails users. Why? Because contradictory identities are useless for targeted marketing purposes? Because the grown defects in an online identity quickly pinpoints the origin of spam, thus revealing the hidden structures manipulating our data? Because machine learning doesn't know how to manage complex identity information? Because there aren't enough Information Architects in mega-corps? haha. not enough
posted by xtian at 7:57 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Forcing Youtube comments to be Google+ may have gotten rid of some of the worst racist/homophobic/etc. comments, but they also made the good comments go away. I'm not looking on Youtube for the latest videos usually, so many of the ones I watch have been there for a while. And now instead of an active group of people that come across the video commenting, it's someone I don't know "sharing" the video (to people like me who've already found it) or more often someone's comment from two years ago before this G+ nonsense happened. They got rid of the bad stuff by making the rest of it a graveyard.
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Because machine learning doesn't know how to manage complex identity information?

That Panopticlick link above from cjorgensen would indicate it's learning just fine. Maybe not for end-users though.

Reading this post indicates agreement with the petebest+ terms of service and licensing. You must be this tall to ride this post. No shirt, no shoes, no dice. This post is brought to you by Chevy Malibu - the car you knew South Korea could make. Courage.
posted by petebest at 8:17 AM on June 7, 2014


Not knowing what search engine to use (anything but Google), a couple years ago I began using the old nemesis: (Microsoft) Bing. I suspect there's nowhere to turn.
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:21 AM on June 7, 2014


[Couple comments deleted. Tone matters, folks. Also you know how to approach moderation decisions, and this isn't it. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:35 AM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder what the legal status of anonymous online posting is: can a pseudonym be sued for slander or libel? What if a cultivated online identity is the work of multiple collaborators?

On the forefront of the internet and internet applications, Google should foster new digital means of expressing identity instead of shying away.
posted by genben9 at 8:35 AM on June 7, 2014


graymouser: "If you actually use G+, the privacy controls are really a lot better than Facebook. The ability to keep things private and separate them among different circles is very useful. You have a lot of control over who sees what in your account."

I guess you're talking about the "outing" issue, although you don't address its root: the heavily-enforced Plus requirement that people use their own names. That is a privacy violation of the highest order; that was what the article was saying.
posted by koeselitz at 8:39 AM on June 7, 2014


I see now that their goal was never to build the better social networkautonomous car, it was to better categorize and track the customers already in their web.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:44 AM on June 7, 2014


If you actually use G+, the privacy controls are really a lot better than Facebook. The ability to keep things private and separate them among different circles is very useful. You have a lot of control over who sees what in your account.

From where I sit, the problem seems to be that people are using Google services without bothering to figure out the privacy controls, and acting in a hostile fashion because said controls are all centralized in one place.
I agree with the first part, but not the second. For stuff you're intentionally putting out there, the circle feature is great, and allows you to directly control who can see what, including non-g+ users. I believe facebook has a similar feature now, but last I looked it was a lot harder to use.

The confusion of google docs/drive, picasa/photos, gchat/hangouts has largely been removed too, as they've moved all the services under one big google+ umbrella - they existed in parallel for a while as they combined old and new, and there's the odd trace left, but they're pretty much one choice only services now.

There are three big problems with google plus though, that are not problem-exists-between-chair-and-keyboard.

The first is that there's plenty of data that is now unified, as per the privacy policy, and you're not intentionally sharing. Youtube viewing habits, google searches, mail content automatic 'bucket' classification, where you live and work, contact details, etc etc etc. All of this goes into the 'what google knows and can use to better classify what adverts to put up' circle - that's the price of using it, and for some, that's too high. It's no longer silo'd between services, but used in aggregate to make a much more comprehensive picture of you. And it's not like you can opt out of much of it, or even pay to avoid it and still use google.

The second is the real names policy. There's all sorts of reasons to have a google account where you don't want your real name broadcast to the world via android contact lists, email, hangouts etc - and that's one bit of data you can't hide and not breach the terms. Trans-people, women escaping abusive partners, sharing a name with someone with an unsavoury past, just running a shared account that's not tied to an individual etc etc etc. While you can get away with a fake name for a while, if you get flagged, the only way to re-activate is proof with a government ID. And it's enforced pretty energetically. Even having multiple accounts for multiple purposes so you can silo your non-circle data is made hard to do.

And the reason the 1st and 2nd problems are such a big deal, is the third problem; the tentacle like nature of google+. It's becoming a required profile for all sorts of google services, and a very annoying nag window for others, and it's becoming ever harder to escape it and still use any google services at all. Which since they do make very useful products that have squished out many other competitors simply by being the 800 pound gorilla that most 'ordinary' people don't have a problem with. Thus being someone with a problem with the real names issue can be left with some fairly limited alternative choices. When _bing_ is the saviour that people turn to... well, damn, that says it all.

If you're using bing btw; have a look at duckduckgo. Privacy, simple, and uses https. It combines bing, wikipedia, wolfram alpha and yahoo as well as its own bots, and is a lot better than it was even 6 months ago. It feels a lot like late 90's google now, which is a good thing!
posted by ArkhanJG at 8:54 AM on June 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I really don't understand how it works

Ditto. I'm not nearly as computer savvy as most MeFites, but I'm probably much more so than the average person...and Google+ confounds me. I don't know what the hell it is. When I first discovered Facebook, I could figure it out because I was familiar with MySpace. But familiarity with both MySpace and Facebook is apparently useless to deciphering the knot of Google+.

More than anything else, I hate that Google+ eliminated the "+" tool from Google's search engine. I'm amazed that was allowed. Nobody put their foot down and said, look, if we want to mess around in the social-networking pool so be it, but not at the expense of fucking up our primary product.
posted by cribcage at 8:58 AM on June 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


Let me reiterate my remarks, and remind the moderators that some facts are very relevant, but it may not be possible to describe them in a "tone" they approve of. But I will try.

This article has a hidden agenda. MeFites should be aware of this agenda when evaluating her opinions. Violet Blue has a history of suing people over her pseudonym. This article is partly intended to legitimize her past actions.

Violet Blue sued a wikipedia author for publishing her real name in her wikipedia biography. That link contains a description of her actions, which could properly be described as an abuse of the legal process. The links to the legal documents are now dead, but I have read them before, and I hereby swear and affirm that the documents are exactly as he described: false and defamatory charges that the courts rejected.

Violet Blue also sued a sex worker who had the misfortune to choose the same stage name.

But more directly to the point, Violet Blue fought with Google because they suspended her Google+ account because they believed "Violet Blue" was a pseudonym. They reversed the decision when she provided legal documents proving she changed her name.

Now she asserts that:

users of Google+ are required use their birth or government ID names — and when flagged, must prove it, and submit official documentation as proof.

She provides no support for this claim, other than another article she wrote.

In this article entitled, "Thanks for Nothing, Jerkface," Violet Blue made no mention of her personal dispute with Google over their True Names policy. It would be fair to assert that she is attempting to mobilize public opinion due to her personal agenda against Google and other private individuals.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:11 AM on June 7, 2014 [44 favorites]


charlie don't surf, are you trying to tell me an article entitled "Thanks for Nothing, Jerkface" is unlikely to be objective?

Freaky.
posted by merelyglib at 9:16 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am telling you why.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:17 AM on June 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


charlie don't surf: "In this article entitled, 'Thanks for Nothing, Jerkface,' Violet Blue made no mention of her personal dispute with Google over their True Names policy. It would be fair to assert that she is attempting to mobilize public opinion due to her personal agenda against Google and other private individuals."

Those are things worth knowing about Violet Blue. Another thing is that she's really not a very good writer, as demonstrated by the terrible-written piece in the post. However, she is right about this, I think. Sergei Brin is tacitly admitting as much when he says Google Plus was a mistake; I think he underestimated the willingness of a lot of the Internet to share everything about themselves with him. I think anonymity is something people should have some control over on the Internet. Google is a threat to that.
posted by koeselitz at 9:27 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Violet Blue may be a jerkface, but Google is definitely a jerkface too.

I used to be involved in the tabletop RPG blogging scene, but since so much of it has moved to G+, I find myself with less and less interest in chasing it down. I know it has all these fine-grained privacy controls, and that's great (and my real name is all over everything anyway so I'm not worried about being outed, unlike a lot of folks), but I just want to write whatever I want to write and post it. Facebook, as annoying as it is, serves my needs perfectly well. Just tell it "friends" and hope for the best.

Even with my RPG peeps, G+ is mostly a ghost town anyway, which means the effort of mastering the privacy controls isn't worth the audience for whatever I'd have to say there. That's the real problem: only the people who have a severe hate-on for Facebook are active on G+ and that's not a critical mass for most people.
posted by immlass at 9:28 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


So is the mefi user Violet Blue the same person or are they just someone who is next in line for a lawsuit?
posted by elizardbits at 9:28 AM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


While I might normally use quirky pictures much like Facebook, I find myself having to give G+ LinkedIn levels of professional bland. Thus useless as 'social media'.

This is interesting, because I find myself doing exactly the opposite. I keep my Facebook feed bland as hell (plus or minus whatever people tag me in, because unless it's really unflattering I don't untag myself) because there are just too many damn people seeing it, and it's too hard to segregate out who is going to see what, once it gets posted there. So basically: anything that goes on Facebook is going to everyone, from my Aunt Millie to my coworkers to that guy I went to 6th grade with and now lives on a goat farm in Alberta. And anything that's in the least bit interesting or controversial is going to get commented on ad nauseam.

G+ makes it a lot easier to segregate stuff. If there's a particularly lulzy video or link that I know is only going to appeal to my nerdy coworkers, I can post it just to them and not have to do a lot of tedious joke-explaining to my extended family. I can use jargon or make reference to in-jokes and generally do a lot less "how is Aunt Millie going to read this" self-editing, because I can only have the post go out to a few people.

Facebook supposedly allows you to do stuff like that, but it would require me to go through and sort out all my FB friends into groups (I think), and damned if I'm going to spend the time to do that now. They should have done that from the beginning, and in fact they kinda did have friends lists and then they tried to get rid of it and now they're trying to bring them back now. Screw that.

It's unfortunate that Google botched the G+ rollout so badly and it had (and still has, depending on your friends, I guess) such a Potemkin Village feel to it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:32 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Back when G+ and circles were new, I posted saying that people should stop slobbering over Google's innovation since circles were literally a reimplementation of Livejournal's filters system, which I still think is the best content privacy management system for a social media site. Turns out Brad Fitzpatrick (creator of Livejournal) works for Google now...


And last I checked none of this has made YouTube comments less of a cesspit.

Remember when Blizzard proposed to make everybody post on the WoW forums using their real name because people wouldn't be such shits if they had to sign their real name to their posts? And then Google shoved a bunch of people into posting with their real names on YouTube and it turned out Blizzard was as wrong as it is possible to be?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:35 AM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Without commenting on Violet Blue and any prior beef with google;

users of Google+ are required use their birth or government ID names — and when flagged, must prove it, and submit official documentation as proof. She provides no support for this claim, other than another article she wrote.

Your first and last name (or only one initial) are required on a google plus profile; and they are mandatory to be public.

According to the FAQ, if you're flagged as underage, you can either fax over a copy of government ID with date of birth, or provide a valid credit card number as proof of age to get your account re-enabled.

If you only have one name, you can go through the appeals process voluntarily; or you might be flagged if they don't think it's your name in general.
If we determine that the name on your profile does not meet our policy, you will be notified. Please submit an appeal within four days or your profile will be suspended until the matter is resolved.

...

Some examples of information you can attach include:

Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Links to online locations where a significant community knows you by this name.
Links or scanned copies of print media, news articles, etc. where you are known by this name.

Given the amount of other accounts I've seen of people having to jump through ID hoops to 'prove' their given name, I'd say she's not *that* far off the mark.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:36 AM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you only have one name, you can go through the appeals process voluntarily; or you might be flagged if they don't think it's your name in general.
If we determine that the name on your profile does not meet our policy, you will be notified. Please submit an appeal within four days or your profile will be suspended until the matter is resolved.


So wait... a lot of this is news to me and it begs some very important questions:

Does Prince have a Google account?
Does Prince comment on YouTube?
Who is in Prince's Circles?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:41 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


petebest: "Maybe not for end-users though."
That's my point. I'm not critiquing from the standpoint of information forensic. Instead, I'm speaking about the case of managing user account data. Of correctly predicting that I will not respond to push content for Budros Butt Paste in my professional gmail address the same way I'll refuse a Linkedin request from a former marketing colleague through my new career identity.

Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?

Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.

Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

You see, I'm a Platonist.
posted by xtian at 9:42 AM on June 7, 2014


you run your real-name account from your machine on your desk at home, and your fake-name account from the machine at your library. good luck connecting those.
posted by bruce at 9:48 AM on June 7, 2014


Sergei Brin ... says Google Plus was a mistake

Actually, what he was was his involvement was a mistake. If he'd said G+ was a mistake it would have appeared in the headlines of every tech journal and blog in 96 point type.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:49 AM on June 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


What a load of crap this article is. Are we now supposed to take Violet Blue, the very internet definition of "cynical self-promoter" seriously now? Can I post articles about her stupid "sexpert" columns too?

While I have no doubts G+ has been poorly implemented (notably the integration with YouTube comments, argh), this statement from VB's stupid article is just twisting the truth:

Google chief Sergey Brin told a conference audience last week that involvement in Google+ was "a mistake."

Violet Blue is so cynical about and manipulative with the truth she would make Stalin blush with shame.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:50 AM on June 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Links to online locations where a significant community knows you by this name.

That does not sound like "official documentation" and it certainly is not a legal document. But Miss Blue says that users must "submit official documentation as proof."

This could be blamed on her sloppy writing, but once you know the background, it's obvious she has a hidden agenda. She submitted legal documents, but others did not have to. She is mischaracterizing the facts. She could have easily linked to the facts, just as you did.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:51 AM on June 7, 2014


We had an ethics class at work the other day that covered social media. Fortunately, by their own admission, my company is run by old dudes who don't want to learn all about their employees, but would simply prefer they don't put topless pics on Facebook and friend their co-workers.

I've been doing pretty good with a "don't friend current co-workers" approach, but do worry that eventually I'll have to stop posting anything interesting or political, ever, anywhere because my whole online identity is more available to all. Add in the lurking Glass-wearers who may or may not tape me having private conversations/doing things off-work and put it somewhere tagged with my identity, and how do I have a private life at all?
posted by emjaybee at 9:53 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


One of my least favorite things about Win8 is how Microsoft jumped on this boat. Well, tried to jump on the boat; in reality they saw the boat at the dock, squinted, and then turned around and jumped into the water opposite the boat.

You're required to make a log-in for their web services to run the OS. They then lock all of the desktop widgets to a Bing! account, and the only way to get functionality for the new start menu is to get stuff from their store. The bad thing is that their web-apps are fucking terrible, if you're already using Google then it doesn't really play well across platforms, and their store is a ghost town with a bunch of shitty software in it. It's transparently a strategy to use their OS to prop up their other properties, but all it did was make me hate Bing! and Outlook more than I already did.

I really don't like this new digital economy where software is just bait for a trap that tries to force you into some walled garden ecosystem. I'd rather just pay a little more for software that's simply what it says on the box.
posted by codacorolla at 9:57 AM on June 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


A friend of mine whose real name is "Atom" had his Google account ganked because someone thought it wasn't his real name. He had been really active on G+ and was one of the few that I knew who used it like me, targeting specific posts to specific groups and not posting in public. So I interacted a lot with his posts, while I will not interact with public postings at all. He spent some time proving his name before he got his account back, and isn't nearly as active now.

Meanwhile the hangouts have blown up with my gamer pals, leaving some hangouts actually running 24/7... which is utterly confusing because I still don't know the real names that go with the game handles. Gaaah. I'll be kicking "m0rd0r's" ass in the game and some dude named Chris gets all cranky with me in the hangout. Whut? Ooooh... You're m0rd0r.
posted by dabitch at 10:26 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Google is in deep shit because of this Google Plus naval gazing. First of all it took them off of search and enabled Yelp and other mobile apps to start eating at their core business. It made all their stand alone services weaker or destroyed them entirely, not just YouTube but Reader, Google chat and Play have either gone away or turned to shit. As a Glasshole, I've seen how Google Glass has been hamstrung by requirements that it integrate deeply with Plus instead of focusing on its own feature set.
I think Facebook and Twitter are taking a superior more Unix like approach to their ecosystems: smaller things, lovely joined. Vine and Instagram vs GPlus.
posted by humanfont at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


enabled Yelp and other mobile apps to start eating at their core business

Huh? I don't see that at all. Yelp doesn't do "search". It does restaurant reviews/recommendations. That's what it's always done, and they were doing it before Google decided to get into it.

Google apparently wants to do that now, hence buying Zagat and trying to do Yelp-like reviews inside Maps (at least I think that's where it is this week), which may or may not be really successful. Arguably that's where the distraction from their core search business is. Not because Yelp is moving in on traditional Google turf, but because Google is doing its usual "well we should have bought you when we had the chance and didn't, so now we're going to try and duplicate you". (In other words, the same thing they did with Picasa after missing the Flickr boat.) This has a history of not working very well.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:55 AM on June 7, 2014


missing the Flickr boat.

What's amazing is that Yahoo somehow missed the Flickr boat, too.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:07 AM on June 7, 2014 [19 favorites]


Yelp does indeed do search. It used to be, if you wanted to find a place to eat wherever you were, you'd start with Google to find options and then turn to Yelp for quality control. Now you just open the Yelp app. Or OpenTable, etc, but the point holds either way: Google search is no longer part of the process. Meanwhile Google has tried to compete with Yelp by creating its own stars and customer review pages for businesses, but nobody I know cares.
posted by cribcage at 11:08 AM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm routinely annoyed by G+ but I'm happy it exists. There was nothing preventing Google from reconstructing your identity across all their services behind the scenes, but G+ made everyone hate them and broke their search monopoly. Woot! :)

Android users could always install apps by side loading or creating a fake account.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:13 AM on June 7, 2014


Authorial bias aside, Google Plus was a let-down from the beginning. For me, one of their biggest mistakes was front-loading Google+ with Googlers and Google-friendly tech people. For me, an ordinary joe who was excited about Google+ as an alternative to Facebook, the news feed read like a giant Google circle jerk. Boring as hell.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Agreed. Also, the system where you're followed by people is a little disconcerting. By being female-on-the-internet I got a lot of followers from the start, which then leads to more people following me, and now I'm visible in more circles, so presto, more people. I'm not sharing anything with these "fans" and Google+ people keep telling me to not worry about it, but it is annoying to discover five new strangers following me as my only alerts on a daily basis. Especially when these followers are clearly spam accounts and not real people™.
posted by dabitch at 11:49 AM on June 7, 2014


This article has a hidden agenda. MeFites should be aware of this agenda when evaluating her opinions. Violet Blue has a history of suing people over her pseudonym. This article is partly intended to legitimize her past actions.

It doesn't change the fact that what she says in it is true. People, all people, have a host of reasons that they write things. In Violet Blue's case, some of those reasons are visible. In the case of many other writers they aren't, which doesn't mean they don't still exist. Whether they are or aren't, in this case the contents of the article still stand.

Another thing is that she's really not a very good writer, as demonstrated by the terrible-written piece in the post.

I think I agree. But I think she still makes good points in this article.
posted by JHarris at 11:53 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


~I think the real reason Google+ fails is that it is unnecessarily complicated.
~It's like that for a lot of the Google stuff.


A lot of Google stuff exhibit all the hallmarks of projects that devs couldn't leave well enough alone. They had been almost perfect in form and function, but the geeks just couldn't help themselves, and pushed everything over the edge.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:26 PM on June 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


The social part of G+ was just another social thingie with little to differentiate it from other extant or extinct social thingies. But a backend that ties all internet activity together against a verifiable identity remains pure data mining gold for a company that realizes 95% of its revenues from advertising...
posted by jim in austin at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This could be blamed on her sloppy writing, but once you know the background, it's obvious she has a hidden agenda.

It's okay. You can call it "an axe to grind" here. "Hidden agenda" is for the suspicious, paranoid Freepers who believe everybody has one.
posted by Spatch at 12:52 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


google is brilliant at doing something i previously thought only facebook excelled this much at.

Mainly, taking something that works great the way it is and making it work like shit. I feel like nearly every change they've made to youtube since they bought it has been negative. All i can think of in the positive column off the top of my head is "supporting higher resolutions" and "the partner program". closed captioning maybe?

Two out of three of those are completely braindead features though, like the kind of thing you don't even announce with fanfare. It's like apple putting a slightly faster CPU in one of their laptops quietly in the middle of the night; the kind of thing only nerdy fanblogs would really post about.

Gmail has gotten noticeably shittier and tackier too, but mostly in one of the most egregious ways that youtube has, and what also ruined image search.

What i'm talking about, is stupid fucking dynamic interface cruft. Image search is actually so slow now in any browser(including chrome! lolol) that on my quad core i7, 8gb of ram, ssd equipped laptop it works like "type in query>wait 5 seconds... grey boxes>images show up" then clicking any image is a lag festival as well. This same disease plagues half the youtube interface, and most of the stupid sidebar garbage on gmail(although that can actually be kinda fast, to be fair, but there's still hilarious lag when first opening your inbox).

They cancelled this beta which actually made youtube, gasp, load at a decent speed and work smoothly! i wonder if it was some internal "are you calling my project fat?" politics garbage that killed it.

Really though, i can't think of a single non-mobile google product that hasn't been beat with the slow-and-cruft stick, which also shoehorned into their "one account for all things!" initiative.

Gmail and youtube both used to be fairly minimal and fast. Images search did too. Seriously, go try and do an image search with "google now" where it searches as you type. The old search was faster on a pentium II with less than 200mb of ram.

I have to wonder how much infighting happens there, and how many completely disconnected teams there are. Because on one side they've been fighting really hard to make the android interface, and some of the official android apps not a laggy mess and make it all scroll/animate smoothly(which it REALLY didn't used to). On the other side, they're kicking their actual sites into a vat of molasses that has so many buttons, icons, and thumbnails that it looks like a NASCAR firesuit or a public display screen from some 90s cyberpunk art.

The whole requiring G+/integrating everything routine is just a symptom of a greater problem.
posted by emptythought at 12:59 PM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


i totally have a hidden agenda and it's really annoying

i can't remember anything i am supposed to do can someone please find the agenda i hid

pretty sure i have missed at least 3 appointments
posted by elizardbits at 1:37 PM on June 7, 2014 [27 favorites]


go try and do an image search with "google now" where it searches as you type.

First thing I always turn off at google on any new machine/browser.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:39 PM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


> i can't remember anything i am supposed to do can someone please find the agenda i hid

It's probably somewhere under a pile of axe grindings. Have you looked there?
posted by benito.strauss at 2:58 PM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


The whole requiring G+/integrating everything routine is just a symptom of a greater problem.

it's called monopoly capitalism. I wonder how much Brin et al used to make fun of Micro$uck, now that Google is the new can't-do-anything-right-but-still-rakes-in-cash tech company?
posted by ennui.bz at 3:59 PM on June 7, 2014


> One downside has been that I cannot discover a way to comment on a YouTube video
> without having a G+ account created automatically.

I have certainly never created a g+ account on purpose. If I do have one, it's one that was created automatically. I have a gmail address (see my mefi profile) but it was created when gmail was in beta and invitation-only, and GOOG had no real-names-only policy then so I didn't give it to them. ("squidsushi" is not my real name.) Would that be enough to prevent their later automatically creating a g+ account for that gmail user? I frankly don't want to go and look, or indeed knowingly get anywhere near GOOG without having noscript armed and dangerous.
posted by jfuller at 4:32 PM on June 7, 2014


> Image search is actually so slow now in any browser (including chrome! lolol) that on my quad core i7, 8gb of ram, ssd
> equipped laptop it works like "type in query>wait 5 seconds... grey boxes>images show up" then clicking any image is a
> lag festival as well. This same disease plagues half the youtube interface, and most of the stupid sidebar garbage on
> gmail(although that can actually be kinda fast, to be fair, but there's still hilarious lag when first opening your inbox)

gmail still has the old skool plain html interface ("for slow connections") which you can enable. Image search with scripting blocked (and you are not logged into google-anything, and you've cleared cookies) gets you old skool image search, which I use all the time. Five stars, would block their scripts again.
posted by jfuller at 4:41 PM on June 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Huh? I don't see that at all. Yelp doesn't do "search". It does restaurant reviews/recommendations. That's what it's always done, and they were doing it before Google decided to get into it.

Yelp has become a significant player in searching for local restaurants and services like plumbers, electricians, hair salons, etc. Not long ago people went to Google as their first place to search for that, just as they once went to the Yellow Pages. Now we see the shift from Google to Yelp. That's billions of dollars in keyword search. There are other categories like current events where Google once got a lot of users, but have since gone to apps like Twitter. With The next generation of Apple operating systems Google is not even going to be the top dog in the browser. Apple will show you a top result from its partners including Yelp first and then let you Google if that isn't what you want.
posted by humanfont at 5:07 PM on June 7, 2014


"Rise and fall" is a poor choice of wording. It plummeted from the nest only to be scooped from the ground and thrown repeatedly in the air.

That image brought to mind this movie quote, where ball=g+ and Adam Sandler=Sergy:

I’ll send him home. It’s time to go home, ball. Son of a bitch ball! Why didn’t you go home?! That’s your home! Are you too good for your home?! Answer me!
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:14 PM on June 7, 2014


The thing I find most annoying about G+ is that I can't have Deoridhe as my front and center name. It's my nickname, but it turns out I can't have it even listed when I comment most places, which means that nine times out of ten people don't know who the fsk I am, because they know "Deoridhe" because online that's my fucking name.

And some places offline, too.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:59 PM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


More than anything else, I hate that Google+ eliminated the "+" tool from Google's search engine.

Word.

I'm another one who doesn't get the whole G+ 'advantage'. G+ to me is just something I can't figure how to remove from my Android phone.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


More than anything else, I hate that Google+ eliminated the "+" tool from Google's search engine.

No they didn't, they just changed the syntax.

+keyword is now expressed as +"keyword"

Put the search term inside quotes and precede it with the plus.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:27 PM on June 7, 2014


As I recall, charlie don't surf, they only added that functionality back because many, many people were upset.
posted by koeselitz at 9:09 PM on June 7, 2014


(It's difficult to dig up history on that, though. But I remember a few weeks there where everybody was a little bit peeved about that, and rightly so, until the functionality got returned through the new syntax.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:09 PM on June 7, 2014


Links to online locations where a significant community knows you by this name.

Sigh. I have tried several times to get google to recognize me as a Real Person going by my Real Name. I have provided links to everything they have asked for. They stubbornly insist that it is Not my name, and so I can not has hangouts. I probably could submit a government ID and get them to unlock it, but at this point I am stubborn. My name is unique, but I have a not unheard of first name and a last name that is *clearly* a hyphenated version of two *very* common last names. It's the name on _everything_. I included links to books published under my name. Links to facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc. etc. Still no. At this point, I'm grateful they decided within months of launch that I am a fake person.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:41 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


*taps taps taps*.. How is this reveal/outing happening, exactly?

I have an android phone, and it's upgraded to Kitkat, and I'm in hangouts... and I'm still showing the only name I ever let Google know I had. Is the Android system getting the name from inside the phone somewhere? Or is this an account setting within Google (nickname vs "real name")?

I realize not everyone survived the nymwars.
posted by dabitch at 12:12 AM on June 8, 2014


Nvrmind, I found here how it works.

If a message is sent as an SMS, the recipient only sees the phone number it came from, but if it is sent as a Google message, then they can see the sender's entire public Google profile.

In at least one instance, this has already caused serious problems. A trans woman, still using her old (male) name at work, intended to send a text message to a colleague. Instead, she sent a GChat message under the female name on her Google+ account.


(Hangouts only becomes default for SMS if you chose this)
posted by dabitch at 12:23 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]




@violetblue: "Google PR has emailed me (Saturday evening) telling me to 'tone down' my "unfair" headline"
posted by jjwiseman at 1:07 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Would LOVE to read that mail. She should post it.
posted by dabitch at 1:09 AM on June 8, 2014


Anyone trying to reduce their Google usage should give Open Street Map (osm.org) a whirl (twitter). NGO use OSM quite heavily during disaster relief, etc. It lacks driving and public transit directions, but contains much better local information.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:28 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Try yournavigation.org for directions.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:30 AM on June 8, 2014


"Google PR has emailed me (Saturday evening) telling me to 'tone down' my "unfair" headline"
Absolutely should be posted or it didn't happen.
posted by unliteral at 3:38 AM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Seems to me that the solution here is to have Android phones work a bit like Nexus 7, where you can have several Google accounts connected to it and switch between users.

Though, that doesn't stop the annoying habit of Google to make a G+ account for pretty much any reason. I tried to comment "anonymously" on Youtube recently, and presto, I now have a G+ and youtube account named the first word of my comment. I can't delete it, because it would delete all the films I uploaded to youtube prior to the Google-merging of all these properties. I can't merge it into my actual G+ profile either!
posted by dabitch at 5:15 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm just gonna go on record and say I don't think that email happened.
posted by koeselitz at 7:36 AM on June 8, 2014


What? Are you suggesting she would deliberately lie to advance her personal agenda?

To keep things clear, my article was edited and published by my Editor (this is standard), and Google PR's email was forwarded to my Editor.

Oh, OK, she didn't get an email, her editor got an email. Now that is all cleared up. Or maybe she's still lying and Google PR wanted her to correct her misquote.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:54 AM on June 8, 2014


Anyone for special sauce on their hamburger?
posted by dabitch at 7:57 AM on June 8, 2014


For those wanting to rely less, or not at all, on Google products:

Startpage
is a good search engine. It's basically Google but with privacy. Image search, too.
Here.com is good for maps and directions.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


How soon we forget the Great Boing Boing - Violet Blue Unpublishing Fiasco of 2008?
posted by Justinian at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2014


[comments on the edge of doxxing an author aren't cool and will be deleted. I get that Violet Blue is a polarizing figure, but posting personal details about her isn't cool.]
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:48 AM on June 8, 2014


Has duckduckgo.com already been mentioned as search alternative? It doesn't get as many results as Google, but results are high quality, and it's gotten new features like decent image and video search and whatnot.
posted by dabitch at 2:32 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder what would have been wrong with G+ just asking for a real name somewhere, perhaps discreetly in your account info, and then letting you hang whatever nyms you wanted off it. it's not like advertisers care what you in particular say, and so long as Goog can tie it all together in the back-end, what do they care that you want to fly your furry freak flag as Dr Fluffy Amoeba on the tubes. Seems a stupid hill to die a social death on.
posted by Sparx at 10:10 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Justinian: "How soon we forget the Great Boing Boing - Violet Blue Unpublishing Fiasco of 2008?"

Ha, not me, it was the very first thing I thought of.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:05 AM on June 9, 2014


Are there any maps that do public transit? Our state just pulls the google trip planner for public transit information, so I'm not sure it's even possible for me to stop using Google when I use public transit.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:49 AM on June 9, 2014


The thing I find most annoying about G+ is that I can't have Deoridhe as my front and center name. It's my nickname, but it turns out I can't have it even listed when I comment most places, which means that nine times out of ten people don't know who the fsk I am, because they know "Deoridhe" because online that's my fucking name.

This is one of the most asinine and irritating things about the "web 2.0" 21st century internet. The username, at least on social media, essentially died with myspace and facebook coming to power. While it's true that twitter and maybe a few other places that are mostly about social media still allow nicks in the classical and meaningful sense, everyone else is desperate to jump on board facebooks "real name economy"*.

So yea, blame fucking them. They started this arms race, which in the interview i remember they admitted in a cagey roundabout newspeak way was entirely based around how much more money they could collect from advertising to people whose preferences, likes, etc were tied to their real name +age, gender, etc.

Google essentially went "no fair! we want that too!" and backseated nicknames just like facebook had.

It's only a matter of time before the whole internet is ruined this way. More and more often i find a site that either wants me to sign in with facebook, only allows creating an account with my real name somehow involved, or just straight up requires people do the real name = username thing.


*this, word for word, was a phrase used by either some facebook media manager or Zuckerberg in an interview i very distinctly remember reading either as text or a transcribed tv interview 6-8 years ago, which google is utterly failing to find. It was a phrase stated by them repeatedly on tv though, a ctrl+f may be needed there. How much trouble i had finding that phrase at all makes me wonder how much backpeddling and erasing might have happened there. I swear that phrase was everywhere in news about facebook for a little while. Does anyone else remember this?
posted by emptythought at 3:37 PM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The solution is to legally change your name to Empty Thought. BLAM, PROBLEM SOLVED!
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on June 9, 2014


myspace

There was some attempt at getting people to stop lying about ages, but that was entirely because of attorney general rules about interaction between people of different age groups.

URLs were choosable by users, and effectively functioned as user names. I don't recall there ever being any attempt to get people to use Real Names.
posted by flaterik at 6:55 PM on June 9, 2014


I was saying it was the last major social media platform that openly let you use arbitrary names. Even on twitter a lot of people use real names. NO ONE on MySpace did unless they were over 30 during its peak. Only the dorkiest nerds did, even more so than myself. And I was a really dorky nerd at the time, so that's saying something. You just told people your URL, it was great.
posted by emptythought at 7:45 PM on June 9, 2014


So I told my generally very tech-savvy dad about this and couldn't figure out why he was getting increasingly incredulous until I realized he'd not heard of Raspberry Pi and thought I was talking about using an actual fruit pie for blocking Google Glass, and in retrospect I maybe should've used a phrase less indicative of actual berries than "jamming" when I was talking.
posted by NoraReed at 10:03 PM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


I've no luck with yournavigation.org for directions here in Berlin, stoneweaver, but here.com does em' well enough. I haven't checked if the official transit sites like bvg.de, vbb.de, bahn.de etc. provide their own maps, but other places I've lived in Germany some did.

I've at least one friend who avoids google search like the plague just so that he doesn't feel bad about using their maps. I doubt google correlates IP addresses given that maps never even start you off in the right country, so using another browser should suffice. And they definitely wont track you if you use Tor for certain properties.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:51 AM on June 10, 2014



While I might normally use quirky pictures much like Facebook, I find myself having to give G+ LinkedIn levels of professional bland. Thus useless as 'social media'.


This is interesting, because I find myself doing exactly the opposite. I keep my Facebook feed bland as hell (plus or minus whatever people tag me in, because unless it's really unflattering I don't untag myself) because there are just too many damn people seeing it,

I am surprised too because I don't get Facebook after all these years and if anything I am more hostile to it. So I had been thinking that I'd use Google Plus as my professional face/blog/link-sharing spot going forward. I figured Google already knew everything about me as it was. Up until now I have kept Google Plus disabled on my google accounts.

Google-less options haven't worked for me. Duckduckgo has my total support, but it doesn't yet do the kind of searches I do regularly with Google. Google Drive and Google Voice are really unmatched services for my needs (and free), and I have looked for alternatives.

But this thread has made me think. Between general Google mistrust and the work/personal identity concerns, I think I will use an independent platform for whatever it is a want to tell the world.
posted by CtrlAltD at 2:00 PM on June 10, 2014


emptythought, I totally misparsed your sentence. Your intention makes FAR more sense!
posted by flaterik at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2014


Side note, I'm actually thinking of moving to iPhone and Apple's ecosystem. So, that I can compartmentalize my services even more.

Apple for things like maps and appointment reminders.
DuckDuckGo for searches (supplemented by Google)
Google for personal e-mail, webpage signups.
Facebook for social.

It seems like those companies, as competitors, will refuse to share my data with each other and therefore each will have only a partial understanding of me.
posted by oddman at 10:27 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Unless one of them buys one of the others. Or their data goes through a third party at some point, is harvested then, and is then bought by a competitor. Once the data is has been collected, the tendency is for it to get monetized to its fullest extent eventually.
posted by JHarris at 3:42 AM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or one goes bankrupt and the data is sold off as an asset. Or one changes ownership and the new owner has a different view on competitive strategy. Or the stars realign and two companies that are now competitors become allies.
posted by JHarris at 2:12 PM on June 15, 2014


I was just offered to use Google Chat as SMS, and the options were "yes" or "not now".

No "no", or "never".

It's like when they kept asking you if you wanted to use your real G+ name on Youtube. We only had a "Not now" there as well.
posted by dabitch at 6:59 AM on June 16, 2014


The "never" button for that was indeed pretty well hidden, given that it was built into Adblock Plus rather than being an actual part of the YouTube web page :-)
posted by flabdablet at 7:05 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


You're required to make a log-in for their web services to run the OS.

They clearly want you to believe that, but it's not true. When you're asked to sign in with your Microsoft Account, tell Windows 8 you need to create a new one. The new account creation page has an unobtrusive little link in the bottom left that lets you create a local Windows account instead.

The advantage of using Windows 8 with a local Windows account is that you can then install StartMenu8 or Classic Shell and pretty much ignore all the irritating everything-is-a-phone-brain-worms Metro bullshit.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


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