It’s no secret at this point that Google is a data hoarding hamster, but some realize this after using their services for months, years and even decades. And lets be frank here, Google may offer controls for privacy, but they dug the controls deep into their settings where most users won’t even find or look for them. And no one can really audit if they do anything for real or how much of the data they already sold to 3rd parties and blocking or removing it makes any difference at this point.
But still, there are controls for it and you can use them to at least feel better in worst case scenario lol. Some panels may interleave or share parts of controls, but I’ve listed them anyway for faster direct access.
I also suggest you sweep through all panels and look at every setting in there and decide whether you want them enabled or not. Also, be aware that controlling activity settings will also affect how their products work. For example, if you disable Youtube Watched Activity, Youtube won’t track what videos you’ve watched (at all) and it also won’t remember where you stopped watching videos if you stop watching them half way through.
What is also a bit worrying is the fact there is ZERO controls for GMail in particular, a service/product which stores by far the most of your personal data.
Now, while I’m not a Youtuber, I do spend quite some time on this platform watching stuff. And when Google announced Youtube Heroes program I was like: “WTF, now you’re going to police what I like and want to watch!?”
And yes, it’ll be a freaking heaven for trolls and SJW’s. Just look at this garbage…
Btw, this Youtube Heroes program is so awesome and applauded (not really) by people that they had to disable comments entirely. When initiative to stop unwanted content has to do that you know it’s very idea is broken entirely…
Youtube Heroes is a bad idea
They’ll give moderator power to random people who vaguely qualify for the “job” and they’ll reward them for flagging stuff. To make things worse, when they’ll be good at their “job”, they’ll get upgraded tools like “video mass flagging”. Youtube is already plagued by mass flagging issues where a certain community gathers around and flags videos of someone they don’t like en mass. And since Google itself can’t police billions of users they just automated this. If you flag something in large enough number, systems automatically demonetize video or even remove it or ban the account. And now they are upgrading this to give individuals same power. Why does a fucking blogger like me have to explain to one of the largest tech companies on this planet why this is a fucking BAD idea?
Way too vague terms of service rules
And the Youtube rules are so vague they’ll erase 3/4 of the Youtube in one single week. They don’t want “negative” content. Ok then. What is a “negative” content then? What qualifies as “negative” when rules are so vague anything can be “negative”? An atheist arguing how religions are stupid? Theists will find this negative and they’ll flag this. Veterinarian channel showing live surgeries (because of some blood and organs being shown)? Channel where bunch of crazy Brits are eating nasty foods and then puke like water fountain? Videos of violent car crashes? Videos of people arguing the stupidities of Black Lives Matters or feminism? All this qualifies as “negative” to someone. You can already see what kind of clusterfuck this will become when this “Heroes” program goes live.
Real issue are the comments sections
Reality is, Youtube is really focusing on comment sections and not as much on actual videos themselves. Because if those are actually that offensive, they get taken down anyway by casual reporting. Moderating trillions of comments under billions of videos is another story and many content creators expressed the impossibility to moderate those efficiently. So, lets focus on comments sections a bit more…
Give more power to content creators
Instead of giving unlimited power to random people, how about giving content creators more power to approve people moderating just their channel? So you have qualified people who YOU approved to keep your channel in check and free of negative stuff per YOUR rules? If you’re a content creator that doesn’t want word “nigger” on your channel, there is an easy solution to that.
How about giving content creators and their moderators power to automatically shadow hide (only hide for everyone else, but not for poster of that unwanted comment) comments that contain certain words? A simple list tool where you add undesired words and any comment containing them would simply get shadow hidden. It’s a simple solution that can eliminate 99% of trolls with few clicks. Trolls still think they are doing shit, but others don’t actually see their garbage. This would almost single-handedly eliminate the need to disable entire comment sections for individual videos.
These could be global with global or per video exclusions (so video cannot contain this and that offensive, but if it contains some 3rd word, it can be allowed). So you can still allow certain comments on specific videos even though same words would be banned globally on your channel, adding extra flexibility for automated moderation of your channel.
Give more power to viewers
Something offends you? Then don’t fucking watch that. If you don’t like something, unsubscribe from that channel. No one forces you to watch it. Just because you don’t like it, that doesn’t mean others don’t like it as well. So, first tool is ability to unsubscribe. Use it as it’s already there.
Next one is “Word filtering for comments” for viewers. Just like content creators, users should have same tool for self censorship. This way you only police content YOU view, not the content EVERYONE else are viewing. So, if certain words offend you so much in comments section, you add them to your personal “Word block list” and comments containing those words won’t be visible for you anymore. But only for YOU. A simple solution for “great” problems. You as a viewer are in full control over what will hurt your feelings and what won’t. You can ban 90% of dictionary if you want. This will be your view on the Youtube then.
Gab.ai social network, a spinoff from Twitter is already using this. This way censorship stands entirely on shoulders of the viewer. You are the censorship authority for your angle of view only and no one else. This way you can live in a beautiful fairy tale while not affecting others who just want it all 100% authentic and uncensored, with trolls and whining SJW’s included. Isn’t this better because YOU are in full control what YOU want to watch and not someone else dictating it to you?
Why none of this should be enforced by Google/Youtube?
Erm, because it’s fucking creepy idea? I don’t want some faceless company dictate what content creators should have on their channels or what we, the viewers are allowed to watch or read under the videos in comment sections. But if content creator decides he/she/attack helicopter doesn’t want to see certain types of comments, they could easily and in few seconds solve with word blocking list. Don’t want “faggot” or “bitch” in your comments section? Add them to the list and voila, comments containing these two words are gone. Because some content creators might want that, while others maybe don’t.
But with very simple tools mentioned above, each viewer could decide what they want or don’t want to see during their Youtube experience. Isn’t that far more reliable and abuse proof because YOU are the one creating the rules for content YOU want to see (or don’t want to see).
Appeal to Google
So, Google, fire everyone who came up with this retarded idea of Youtube Heroes and implement features I’ve mentioned above. It’s how you make Youtube experience better, not by allowing trolls and SJW’s getting even more tools to abuse and wreck your platform that’s already not in the most brilliant state…
I love GMail notifiers for browsers. They let you know about new GMail e-mails as soon as you get them, so you don’t have to check for them manually. There are tons of them for Firefox, but quite frankly, 99% of them are garbage. Either they actually notify you about new mails, but they are clumsy and they force you to use retarded preview panels that I absolutely hate or they simply don’t work at all or break down regularly, which is equally annoying.
Is it so god damn hard to create a notifier that plays a Windows notification sound when new mail arrives, displays the number of e-mails until you read them/mark them as read and opens a full blown GMail webpage when you click the toolbar button? That’s ALL I’ve ever wanted from GMail notifier. The only one that actually did that when I set it to was GMail Watcher. But the author unfortunately took it off the Firefox Add-ons page and is hosting it on a 3rd party webpage which by itself brings a lot of inconveniences. So, what else you can do?
There is one neat trick for Firefox. While it doesn’t play any sounds (I hope Google will add this to GMail Labs though), it does everything else I need and with a guarantee it won’t ever break like add-ons often do. Unless Mozilla changes how tab pinning works or something…
New e-mail notifications for GMail in Firefox without using any add-ons guide
First, login to GMail and set it to remember the login and you’ll see the favicon looks like this…
Not really useful right? Well, click through GMail settings like this…
…and enable Unread message icon Labs add-on.
Scroll the Labs page all the way down and click Save Changes button…
Tabs now actually display the number of unread e-mails, but tabs can be closed and moved around and that’s a bit annoying to keep GMail tab open at all times. We have to “Pin it” to the Firefox toolbar in order to always have it in exact same spot in the interface as well as prevent it from closing accidentally.
Right click on the GMail tab and select Pin Tab option…
This will permanently pin GMail tab along with number of unread e-mails to the left side of the tabs toolbar.
Pretty neat eh? 🙂 First time browser starts might be tiny bit slower since it has to open browser and load up scripts heavy GMail webpage in the background, but I have a hexa core with 32GB so who cares about that 😛 I might disagree with my statement on AMD E-450 laptop or the Atom tablet though. But hey, it’s a notifier for unread GMail e-mails and it works. What else do you need 🙂
Updated my Android Youtube app and now I’m getting bombarded by e-mails and Youtube Android app notifications. What the hell Google!? And if that’s not enough, here is the Notifications control panel.
Where the hell is “NO FUCKING NOTIFICATIONS” option? Are you people at Google stupid or something? I visit Youtube page regularly and check my subscriptions list on my own. I don’t want artillery of notifications being thrown at me freaking constantly. Why can’t stupid notifications be turned off entirely!? WHY!?
Because of this I have to set to e-mail only and create a new rule that will delete all the stupid Youtube e-mail notifications directly. Fucking hell… Get this shit fixed.
Seriously Google, what the hell is with your Youtube eh!? It randomly happens that I want to post something and when I click in the comment field, all I get is a popup window that has “googleplus” mentiond in the URL, that window closes and I still can’t post any text. If I click in the comment field again, the same thing just repeats forever and I’m unable to post. And yes, I’ve also tried disabling all browser add-ons and nothing changed. Fix the damn thing already because it’s annoying as shit.
To me it seems like Youtube fails to connect to Google+ somehow and Youtube then fails to give you ability to post comments, because some sort of Google+ credentials aren’t present or something. Can’t find any other logical explanation because Youtube seems to work just fine otherwise (can watch videos and stuff).
Just when I thought about switching to Chrome (again), I’ve noticed Google blocked 3rd party extension installing. Ok, so I can’t install them anymore directly from webpages, I have to download them and drag them manually to Extensions page. Makes sense. Great, that worked! Except, it hasn’t. After browser restart, it has kindly notified me that it has (permanently and with no chance of exclusion!) disabled my 3rd party extension. Well piss off Google, I know you want to protect users, but stop fuckin dicking around with stuff THAT I install and approve myself. Every other god damn browser gives at least option to manually exclude stuff from being blocked, but no, they go full block whether you like it or not. Apparently this has been enforced since Chrome version 35.
So, I’ve found myself a good old EXE based alternative and fucked off the damn Chrome browser and returned to trusty Firefox. It might not be the fastest, but at least isn’t fuckin the most irritating one to use. What good is all the speed if you’re not allowed to do anything with it. Stupid Google.
Seriously, what the F is wrong with Google. I get it, you have your own social network that you want to push around, but quit frankly, I DON’T want it. Get it? I’m already on Facebook, tried Twitter just to find out someone already took my username and hasn’t posted anything for several years. So I didn’t even bother to make a new name because I actually don’t need it. Either under my name or under none. So, why exactly would I want to use Google+ ? I’m hardly at all on Facebook, just to check what news is around few musicians that I follow and to sort of stay in touch with friends and school buddies.
Spend half a day finding out how to eradicate the bloody Google+, finally managed to do so (and being worried I might remove more than I want to), came back to Youtube and guess what greeted me as soon as I wanted to post a comment. Stupid Google notification about username usage and below a disclaimer that a new Google+ page will be created (apparently regardless of what I pick as an option). I bloody deleted it yesterday and now it will create it again. Well sod off Google. I love your search engine, I love Gmail and Google Drive, I can’t live without Android, but for the love of all that’s holy, stop fuckin forcing me the god damn Google+ crap. I wasn’t interested in it when it was released, I’m not interested now and I will not be interested in it in the foreseeable future.
And even though I wasn’t using Google+ (I sort of had it because of Youtube), some users joining me and following me and that was annoying. I just want to use bloody Youtube like I did before and post a comment here and there. As soon as I disconnect it from Google+ (because I don’t want it), it requires it again. Why? It’s like having an alarm system that locks the door when you disarm it. And when you unlock the door, alarm arms itself again. Idiotic. What idiot designed the settings for this crap should be shot in the face. If I disconnect Google+ and delete it, stop harrasing me about it again. Get it?
Now I have to make the damn Google+ again and try to find out how to block the damn thing entirely from other users. Just so I can post damn comments on Youtube…
CyanogenMod (CM) team released a brand new major release, version 10.2 based on Android 4.3. But it didn’t go without problems, especially for all those who were using CM 10.1 and updated to CM 10.2 directly through the updater. I’ll try to list few major and most common problems and how to solve them. I’m using Samsung Galaxy S2, but I’ve seen the same problems across different devices using CM 10.2 nightlies…
I flashed CM 10.1 on top of CM 10.2 and now my phone gets stuck on rotating CM logo…
If you tried to go back to CM 10.1 because things were too broken in CM 10.2, that unfortunately isn’t possible without using the full backup/restore option. But doing so made your phone stuck on rotating “stargate” CM logo. To solve that, boot your phone using “Volume Up + Physical button (middle) + POWER”, hold that for phone to boot into ClockWorkMod (CWM). Then flash the latest CM 10.2 again (don’t worry, it’s not really broken).
Apps say i don’t have root access!?
Go to System Settings, scroll down and open #Superuser menu, use Menu button and tap Settings. Select Superuser Access and select “Apps and ADB”. Changes in Android 4.3 now require both options to be selected. And you also have to make sure you’re running cm-10.2-20130815 or later, because cm-10.2-20130814 doesn’t ask user for permissions when needed.
Google Apps don’t work…
Existing Google apps are not compatible with Android 4.3 anymore, so you have to download latest Gapps from: http://goo.im/gapps . Boot into CWM and flash the Gapps ZIP through there. This should get all the Google stuff working again.
Can’t download or update any apps…
If you always get “Error downloading X” when you try to download or update any app through GooglePlay, you have to remove Google account from the phone and re-add it. This will do the magic and you will be able to update existing apps and also download new ones again.
Phone icon not working in the dock…
If you want to open Phone app (to make calls or see keypad) and it complains over “App not installed”, it’s not actually broken or not installed. It’s just the shortcut that is wonky. Remove it from dock and drag it there again from the apps drawer. That should make it working again. I didn’t see this problem at first because I’m using exDialer…
Banner ads causing black screen workaround
I found out a tiny trick to get around black screen issues in apps where ads appear and make the whole screen go black. It’s not an ideal solution, but it does work. When you open up an app, ad banner is displayed and screen goes black, just drag down the notification panel and close it again. This will force the screen to redraw and you should see the app normally again.
The other trick which doesn’t work for internet aware apps is to use avast! Mobile Security app and use the firewall to block connection for offline only apps. Since they will be forced offline, they won’t display any ads and they also won’t get this black screen problem. However, respect the makers of the apps and don’t block the ads in free versions unless you are getting this black screen issue. This obviously doesn’t work for apps that need internet connection to operate, because avast! can either fully block the connection or fully allow it. There is no middle way…
No 3G or H+ connectivity
It might happen for you, like it did for me. I lost 3G/H+ connectivity with very latest CM10.2 ROM’s. I had to update my Baseband from i9100BULS1 to i9100XXLS8 and now 3G is working again. You can get latest SGS2 Baseband firmware here: http://veyka.co.uk/sgs2/radios/
Be aware that flashing wrong Baseband can make your phone unusable since it won’t be able to get any signal. Be very careful, especially if you are not using SGS2 Int phone (which i have). But if your calls and connectivity work fine, then don’t update the Baseband. It’s a safe rule, if it ain’t broken, you haven’t fiddled enough with it. 😉 So, if it works fine for you, just leave it at that.
I hope these quick tips will help you get the latest CyanogenMod 10.2 nightlies fully working. There are a lot of trouble getting it to work, but once you do the above steps, you see it’s not really that bad if you know what to do. I will add more quick tips here if i find and solve them so others won’t be as frustrated as I was at first 🙂
Google is planning to acquire Waze for $1.3 billion. The decision is not final (yet), but it seems that Facebook has backed off the deal and Google will take over. Is there a chance that Google is planning a free offline navigation for Android? I sure hope so. I never really used Google Maps because of the limited mobile data plan, but I did use Route 66 and MapDroyd a lot, because they are free and fully offline. They don’t navigate you around, but maps are very useful.
I’ll be keeping my eyes on this one, because i’d love to have a proper free GPS navigation and knowing Google, they’ll make it free, if they will of course release it as a part of their apps…