Ditching GEvil Corp: The Plan

Ditching GEvil Corp: The Plan

I’m moving everything out of Google and dispersing it among those services I find to be most secure.

Why?

Very simply:  I’ve watched what I can only call “the IT Police State 1grow since 2003.  It is to my utter shame that so many of my colleagues are complicit.  We can call a halt to this any time we have the will to do so.

All the things you hear about in the press are only half-right if that.  Whatever you’re hearing now I read six months ago, in excruciating detail, at Slashdot.org.

It’s far worse than you can possibly imagine.

Google is GEvil Corp.  Apple is iEvil Corp.  Microsoft is MEvil Corp.  Verizon is VEvil Corp.  AT&T is TEvil Corp.

They’ve all become Evil Corp, working with an evil government to produce a Police State the Soviets could never imagine.

The Plan

Phone

I need a phone, and Android or iOS are simply it.  I have to endure one or the other on some level.  I choose Android because Google Services can at least be removed if you know how to root your phone.

Calls, Texts, and IMs

I’m currently using Signal for some purposes.  I’ll be moving as much phone, text, and other IM activity to it as possible.  I’ll be porting my vanity phone number out of Google and into Verizon.

I’ve not yet decided what to do about video calls.  I will be removing Google Hangouts, however.

To my friends or family not using it, I’ll obviously still be available.  Simply be aware that our every word and frame is being sent to the NSA’s Utah data center.  I will be.

Contacts

TBD.  I’m looking for something that can be read by at least Signal and that will save in a format I can auto-sync to my home equipment.

Email

I’m going to ProtonMail for email.  Period.  I’ll pay for the domain.

Web Site

For a variety of reasons, I must maintain a “public face” such as this.  I’ve previously been using Google Sites under my free Business account.  It was originally intended for friends/family, but in the near-decade I’ve had it, I’ve been the only one using it.

I’m moving from to WordPress.  While in no way secure, for my public face, it hardly matters.  It’s public, after all.  However, I need easy CMS features, and WordPress has a ton.

You’re looking at the site that WRStone.com will become.  It’s going to take a bit, but it will get here and look even nicer.

My blog has permanently moved here.

The Cloud

Screw you guys, I’m going home.

Every frakking bit that goes to any of your services is headed through the NSA on the way.  We all know it.  I’ve seen the NSA cages in your data centers.  We all know what they’re doing there.

I’ll be pulling all my files out of all cloud services and moving them to my home equipment.

For those of you without the wherewithal to do this, I sympathize.  You’re screwed, particularly if you use Windows 10.

At this point, I honestly urge Windows 10 users to get Lubuntu.  It’s free, it’ll install on any hardware you throw at it, no matter how old, and it will do everything Windows can — only better.  Your files stay on your computer and your settings and life details aren’t auto-stored at MEvil Corp.

The only thing it won’t do well is run PC games.  You can make it happen, but I wouldn’t try.  If you’re a gamer, you’ve no choice to stay on Windows.  You’re screwed.

My Tales From SYL Ranch podcast is now dead.  There were no listeners, and I get more on the vlogcast.  I’ve moved there full-time.  I back up everything I stream to my home equipment.

Other Stuff

TBD.  Watch this space.


General Musings From Social Media

I’ve been using the cross-posting feature on WordPress for a while. I dislike it. It tends to send my formatted message out unformatted. It nearly always chops off characters for Twitter. G+ isn’t even predictable. It seems to do all right with Tumblr, so I let it auto-post there.

Otherwise, what I want to post sits in a text editor. I cross-post on my own. I’ll also post to specific groups, like Star Trek and/or Star Trek Continues if I’m doing a review.

The comment feature I found interesting, but abandoned it early on. I’ve seen what happens when I say something other libertarians don’t like — which happens often enough that one of them did a hit piece on me. I thought that was kind of cool.

Anyway, over a hell of a lot of time online, I’ve noticed that comments in general tend to devolve to unrelated flame-wars over time. “wrstone.com” is my public face and has been since the 1990s. I want unconditional 100% control of the content there. I don’t want an ultimate devolution unto flaming under my name.

I know that makes me sound like an a-hole, but seriously. Even if it was just the movie reviews, over a period of years it would become someone disagreeing with me, then three others piling on that s/he’s an idiot or I’m an idiot, and it all just goes downhill.

I consider it a chore to moderate everything, particularly given the spam that gets through. If you want to reach me, email or comment on one of my videos. I pay a LOT of attention to video comments. 😉

I’m moving my entire professional website to WordPress just to get it off of Google Sites. That one’s going to be nasty because when I was teaching, I did everything with Google Docs/Sites. I always had in mind that if The Place That Shall Not Be Named ever got its head out of its ass, my students would have everything available online.

That section of the site isn’t currently public. Now that I’m on the bench, all the NDAs with that particular place are null and void, as are their copyrights .. I might throw it out there. Maybe just the originals, that would be enlightening …

Hm. Public shared storage … I’ve got over 200GB at SDF. I can throw things out there and link to it from the blog. It would be messier than what I built at Docs/Sites, but those are the breaks from making the wrong predictions.

It’s gonna be messy. Very, very messy. It’s why I decided to do “The Old Fan’s Tech Talk” Monday nights while Discovery is out. Fortunately, I’m allowing this Monday to write itself by putting my thoughts down here … 😀

I dislike nextCloud because there’s no real integration with Linux home directories nor PAM modules. I became aware of this this issue by being a guinea pig when SDF installed it. I linked my SDF home drive via an SSH connection. When I did, nextCloud began caching everything I had in /var — at that point, about 100GB.

The sysadmin stopped allowing SSH connections after I ate his bandwidth and drive space connecting one of my home systems.

Technically, my /home is a pair of 5TB mirrored drives. All my stuff runs into a power-conditioned UPS. The only thing it doesn’t take into account is a physical disaster, but there’s not much more I can do to make it fault-tolerant.

/var isn’t even its own partition. / is a 128GB SSD. I’m not prepared for ~3.5TB moving into /var and never will be.

I’d love nextCloud to work, but until such time as it can natively deal with PAM and Linux home directories, I’m auto-syncing via SSH from my Android. To do that, I need real files on the Android rather than databases most of it uses for contacts, etc.

As to documents, I’m mostly using LyX at the moment. Given what I’m doing, I don’t think I’ll have occasion to use anything else any time soon. If not, LibreOffice works.

I find attempting to edit documents on a phone virtually impossible except for brief text. I use local text files for that, synced home via SSH.

For real documents, I get a good tablet or desktop with a decent connection. I can then use various tools to create a connection to the home equipment, run LyX or LibreOffice at home, and display it on the local tablet or computer.

I keep the tools on my person, in the form of a multi-boot flash drive the size of a fingernail. Just give me an Internet connection …

Anyway, for various reasons, it’s all SSH/SFTP. It’s worked well so far, it’s just hard to find common tools that can cope with … you know … FILES. 😉

As to YouTube replacements, there just ain’t any.Dailymotion comes closest and has about the best non-interference in speech. That seems rather amazing for a French outfit, but it’s true.

For that matter, VK is less intrusive regarding speech. Seriously.

I’ve found nothing that will stream live the way I want to do the ‘cast. That’s one of the very few things that differentiate me from other reviewers. The content breakdown doesn’t last for people trained that 15 minutes as as long as they’d watch.

In any case, there’s none of the exposure of YouTube. Revenue-sharing is now an impossibility for a new user, leaving one to hope for a good Patreon and donations.

As near as I can tell, if you want to make money doing this, you need two things:

1. A YT subscriber count in excess of 100K.

2. A Patreon offering enough additional content that the “vending machine” model works.

The “vending machine” model seems to work at about 100K YT subs. That’s the number you need in order to get enough small Patreon donations to make it work.

I’m workin’ on Patreon. Believe me, I’m workin’ on Patreon. 

However, with the new ad policies in place, it’s difficult to get noticed. For [reasons] some of mine are auto-deemed unsuitable for all advertisers and demonetized. This means they won’t show up in any suggested nor featured video lists no matter how many other Discovery reviews you’re binge-watching.

You can’t get a manual review unless your viewcount is about 1,000 in one week. That ain’t happening until I can grow an audience.

Unfortunately, you can’t grow an audience when they can’t see you. If I started badgering everyone I know on social media to push my stuff and then badger their friends to do the same, I still wouldn’t hit the number of people that one suggested video would.

I’m unclear what’s to be done about this other than invest in a professional PR company that has run successful social media campaigns.


IT Police State® William Stone Associates.