I’ve been writing about privacy a lot and since I’ve been dropping data hoarding big tech services, I’ve decided to compile a list of companies owned by Google, Facebook and the likes that are marketed under entirely different name, but essentially operated by these big tech corporations, so people who want to avoid these companies as much as possible can do so without much effort or guessing.
The list generally won’t contain every single company they own, I’m in particularly interested in companies and services that are widely used by people, but aren’t aware they are owned by said big tech. For example, Onavo has been quietly marketed as independent company while it was already owned by Facebook for years at that point. Or my recent discovery that Crashlytics is owned by Google, which is used by many 3rd party services and apps and people don’t really know it’s feeding data to Google.
- Orkut / Hello Network
- Widevine (DRM used by Netflix)
- Oculus VR
To further expand this list, I would like to ask you the readers to supply me with further info down below in the comments section and I’ll update the list to keep it as up to date and extensive as possible.
In the wake of Amazon’s and Google’s fiascos with their “smart” devices making permanent recordings of everything around them ignoring activation keywords and sending all that to their servers, people need to realize another thing…
You know how Google or Facebook give you all the settings to “control” your privacy? Well, what if I told you all those controls are literally buttons that don’t really lead anywhere or control anything?
When you delete all your searches from Google Search, do you think that data is really gone? Well, I think it’s not and it really only goes away from your view, not from Google’s view. As far as I know, no one audits Google’s operations, so you basically just have to trust them. There is no way proving that’s not the case if they lie about deletion of data either, since there is no auditing. And ultimately, everything that they collect, by the time you sort of actually delete it, they’ve already profiled you using that data. It doesn’t really matter if you delete it afterwards, for example Google has already used that data to create your personal fingerprint or a snapshot if you will.
Imagine the process of it as reading a book. You can burn the book afterwards, but you still know the exact content of it and you have a visualized image of its content. That’s how these companies profile you and then they “burn the book” when you request data deletion. It’s why they so willingly offer “privacy controls”, because they literally do nothing.
Another issue with all this are contractors these companies use. The moment they hand over data for processing out of their HQ, they are free of any responsibility because contractors aren’t them anymore. You can’t stop data that’s out of their direct control. Which further shows what a massive issue we have with privacy and how poorly it’s regulated. And how little people are aware of what’s happening with all their private data…
What the frigging hell is with Amazon recently? I was usually buying from Amazon Germany or Amazon UK since we don’t have any in local one Slovenia and never had problems. But recently, almost any item I pick, it shows like they deliver it on the initial product page, but when I click it through almost to the basket, it starts whining that they can’t deliver to my address. How about if you’d fucking tell me that 5 pages ago instead of me clicking through shit thinking I’m gonna buy something and then it shits on me. And what the fuck is with it bitching over almost anything? I’ve gone through like 15 products and they all couldn’t be delivered to my address. Are you fucking shitting me? You don’t like my money all of a sudden? Dafuck?
Is anyone else all of a sudden unable to buy anything from Amazon for some dumb reason?
As you can read here I had some problems enabling Windows Core Isolation feature on my Ryzen 5 2500U system. Whenever I’ve enabled it, system failed to work in a way that graphics failed to work if I enabled it.
As it turns out, the reason for this was in outdated drivers. Combination of them. There was also BIOS update… But not the usual kind of driver update. I had all drivers installed, chipset and graphic from AMD. Also full Windows Update.
I had to update drivers using Snappy Driver Installer (make sure to create System Restore Point first if there are any problems) and after that, Core Isolation worked just fine. I’ve used SDI quite often before, but stopped. I guess I’m returning to using it regularly.
Windows 10 has a neat security feature since version 1809 which isolates core system from the rest of things through virtualization which is called Core Isolation.
The thing is, on my PC with NVIDIA graphic card, everything works fine. Core Isolation enabled, no issues. However, on two laptops, one with AMD A9-9420 APU and another with AMD Ryzen 2500U APU and on both, as soon as you enable Core Isolation, graphics driver shits itself. On Ryzen even to a point it becomes unbootable and you need to boot it to Safe Mode and manually remove driver.
What’s going on AMD? Why can’t you bloody make Radeon drivers compatible with Core Isolation feature enabled? It’s quite annoying that you can’t use this feature at all if there is Radeon in the system…
Oh shit, here we go again. Ages ago I had stupid horrible image tearing in browser with NVIDIA Adaptive V-Sync enabled globally (you know, coz I hate image tearing in all games) and this is now yet again causing the tearing in videos on latest Firefox 67 with WebRender enabled. Mostly in videos where camera is panning left and right. WebRender is the new Firefox webpage rendering engine and it seems it’s not going well with NVIDIA’s Adaptive V-Sync feature. And they were initially testing it with NVIDIA. Heh. I guess no one uses Adaptive V-Sync to spot this in like 5 seconds of video watching… It’s again going to take months for NVIDIA to fix this shit… yay…
I frankly just don’t get it what’s going on through Microsoft’s mind. Or designers in it designated for this portion of Windows 10. I’ve just installed latest build 1903 RTM because I heard they made changes for easier language selection. And I’m “happy” to report they haven’t changed a single god damn thing.
I just don’t understand what’s so bloody hard to make it work right for NON-ENGLISH users who want interface in fucking English!?!?!?!?
Windows 10 has several language sections that affect how it looks and works:
- interface language (Windows interface and elements)
- apps language (Microsoft Store apps)
- region (time and date display etc)
- keyboard language
- language for non-unicode apps (Win32 apps)
Now, I want just ONE simple setup for my Windows 10:
- Interface in English US
- Microsoft Store apps in English US
- Region set to Slovenia
- Keyboard language set to Slovenian (just 1 keyboard setup)
- Non-unicode apps in Slovenian (because of special characters that are not found in English)
Sounds simple, right? Well, it isn’t because stupid Windows 10 keeps on fighting itself between these 5 settings for some dumb reason. Set interface to English US and apps to English US and it will also fuck up time and date formatting into American nonsense and when you change the region to Slovenia to fix that, it fucks up the apps language for some illogical stupid reason. And then you change apps language back to English and it changes the region settings again to English, fucking up time and date formatting YET AGAIN. And don’t get me started how it keeps on fucking up keyboard setups and bloody endlessly adding English US keyboard next to Slovenian and showing stupid keyboard language switching button in taskbar that I absolutely hate and don’t want to see.
I mean what the fuck Microsoft? You turned something that should be simple and straightforward to set into absolute nightmare for us users outside of America. Why? You know, there are people in this world who want Windows in English, but support for their own language at the same time because we have different (better) time and date formatting and use letters that don’t exist in English alphabet. And that’s it. Why is it just assumed that if I’m not English that I want or need whole fucking thing set to my native language? I don’t hate my language, but I certainly don’t like it for computers because terminology for computer stuff is just weird in my language and often words are WAY longer than in English which is super annoying and often breaks interfaces and makes communication harder since I mostly talk to people in English and I need Windows in same language if I need to guide them through it or even show screenshots of it. And what’s even more annoying is having entire Windows interface in English, but Microsoft Store apps are in Slovenian because of language/regional settings. It’s just pushing my OCD into a mental breakdown mode when it does that.
And I have to go through all this fuckery to set it and I bet I’ll get stupid ass keyboard language switch button in taskbar the next time I’ll run CS:GO or some other app because that game always spawns that shit by automatically adding English US keyboard for some reason and it drives me insane.
Just make this thing right so I can just simply set what I need without settings conflicting each other and adding things automatically. It’s annoying and makes no sense. Damn it, it’s been since Windows 8 and that was back in 2012! Come ooooooon Microsoft!