Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Google’

Platform Tilt ➝


This dashboard tracks technical issues in major software platforms which disadvantage Firefox relative to the first-party browser. We consider aspects like security, stability, performance, and functionality, and propose changes to create a more level playing field.

There are more issues for Apple platforms than Microsoft and Google combined.

➝ Source: mozilla.github.io

No Transfer Fees for Moving Google Domains to WordPress.com ➝

Matt Mullenweg, writing on WordPress.com News:

A domain is your most valuable online asset. A great domain name says something about you—your personality, your work, your creative spark. People understand this intuitively: when coming up with new ideas for a business or website, we don’t start with design or specific content. We start by giving it a name.

But if your domain name is currently with Google Domains, things recently became complicated. You may have heard that your account has been sold to Squarespace. Everything is expected to transfer and close later this year.

Fortunately for you, you’re not locked into that deal. And we think we can do better. For the first million domains that move from Google to WordPress.com, we’ll pay your transfer fee, which also extends your registration for an additional year. 

This is a great deal for anyone that had domains with Google.

➝ Source: wordpress.com

Google Domains Shutting Down, Assets Sold to Squarespace ➝

It’s unwise to rely on Google for anything. But that’s especially so for anything outside of their core services.

(Via John Spurlock.)

➝ Source: 9to5google.com

Amazon Alexa on Pace to Lose $10 Billion This Year ➝

I don’t own any Amazon Echo products, but I do own three HomePods — two full size and one mini. Beyond the initial purchase of the speaker, it hasn’t resulted in any revenue for Apple. I use Pandora as it’s default music service, AirPlay audio to it from Pocket Casts and Prism, and use it for timers in the kitchen.

Amazon, Apple, Google, and other smart speaker makers should be pricing them with the idea in mind that they will never derive another dime of revenue from purchasers. Because, anecdotally, that’s what I see from myself and everyone else I know that owns them.

➝ Source: arstechnica.com

Google Ending Stadia ➝

In the little bit that I’ve been looking at game streaming services recently, Stadia never seemed to be high on the recommendations lists.

➝ Source: blog.google

My Computing Hardware

Kev Quirk and ldstephens recently wrote about their collection of Apple devices and I, coincidentally, had already drafted a quick idea in Ulysses to document and share a list of my current computing devices. If only so I can better wrap my head around what hardware I’m using and what I use each device for.

iPhone 13 Pro: My true, primary, general purpose computing device. There’s very little that I can’t do from my iPhone, but it’s often more comfortable to perform the more intensive tasks from devices with larger screens. But it’s always with me, so it’s my main camera and gets used more often than any other device I own.

iPad Pro, 11-inch (3rd generation): Like my iPhone, but with a larger display. And that’s generally how I use it — for the majority of my computing tasks, but a little less mobile. It’s also my go-to device when I want to watch media outside of the living room — at the kitchen table during lunch or to have in the background at my desk during the work day, for example.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four thunderbolt 3 ports): My work laptop. It’s used for a lot of writing, email, Slack, RSS reading, and app testing. I also have another user account on the machine if I need to do any personal tasks and don’t have another device handy. This is mostly with the intention of leaving my iPad at home when I travel for team/division meetups.

Mac Mini (2018): My main home server. It houses our Plex library, stores local copies of our photo library, runs Channels DVR, is used as a backup server for all of the non-iOS devices in our home, rips CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, archives a few YouTube channels for my son, and acts as a general purpose file server.

Mac Mini (Late 2014): The latest addition to my computing setup. I got it fairly cheap from OWC and it runs Steam on Windows for streaming games to our Apple TVs and Retroid Pocket 2+ using Steam Link. It’s not particularly powerful, so it won’t run the latest games at high settings, but it’ll run run plenty of indie games like Untitled Goose Game, Celeste, and older titles like Half-Life 2.

Mac Mini (Mid 2011): This machine serves a very specific and singular purpose — it runs TunesKit M4V Converter (still available under a different name) to remove DRM from iTunes purchased content. This software only works on older versions of macOS with an outdated version of iTunes. Since I still purchase content from iTunes, but prefer to watch through Plex, this bridges the gap.

Retroid Pocket 2+: Mostly used as a gaming device using Launchbox, RetroArch, Steam Link, and various emulators, but is also occasionally used for media playback — Pocket Casts, Plex, and Channels.

Google Pixel 3: This is a test device for work, which is used for trying out new builds and attempting to recreate user-reported bugs in our Android apps.

It would be great if I could simplify the home server setup a bit. I made an attempt at this with virtual machines, but gaming just wasn’t stable enough — I ran into a few games that simply wouldn’t run — and TunesKit M4V Converter requires that the system be able to playback the video it removes DRM from. Since there’s no way to use HDCP within a virtual machine, I was only able to remove DRM from standard definition iTunes content — running it natively is the only option for high definition content.

There will be some changes to my hardware soon, though. I’m expecting to receive a Retroid Pocket 3 soon to replace the RP2+ — I got my shipment notification yesterday. And I’ll likely be ordering an M2 MacBook Air in the next few months to replace my current MacBook Pro.

Ad-Blocker AdGuard Struggles With Google’s Extension Rules ➝

Cindy Harper, writing for Reclaim the Net:

It was clear even when it was first announced in a paper in 2018 that Google’s Manifest V3, a new extension API for Chrome, would present a big problem for developers of extensions designed to block ads, but also trackers and certain types of malware – and for users who want improved privacy and control over their browsing experience.

Manifest V3 was first incorporated into Chrome 88 and released in January 2021. Since early 2022, new extensions using Manifest V2 are no longer accepted in the Chrome Web Store, and the last part of the phasing out of this API, which will break all extensions based on it, is expected to take place by January 2023.

If you use Chrome and want to continue using ad blockers, you should consider switching to another browser. I currently use Brave and although it’s based on Chromium, they already have plans to continue supporting Manifest V2 after Google sunsets it in Chrome.

➝ Source: reclaimthenet.org

Google Hands Over Home Security Camera Footage to Police Without a Warrant ➝

Didi Rankovic, writing for Reclaim the Net:

Google and Amazon are letting the police access data from smart home cameras without a warrant, if they are told this footage is needed because of an “emergency.” […]

Amazon has revealed that it turned over data 11 times when the police submitted “emergency requests,” while Google does not provide any details in its transparency report.

Thanks, I hate it.

➝ Source: reclaimthenet.org