Google at 20
To this day, the Google homepage remains clean and sparse, offering nothing more than a logo, search field, and two buttons.
The author of this piece has very very obviously not actually looked at the Google homepage in years.
Want the history? Read this: What comes next in this series? 13, 33, 53, 61, 37, 28…
What with this junk and Craig Murray’s latest post The Guardian is seriously going wrong.
With Funding Choices you can automatically identify ad blocking visitors and ask them to disable their ad blocker especially for your site — or give them an alternative way to fund your content via Contributor.
I’ll block what the hell I want – it’s my connection, not yours.
I’ll be polite – get lost.
There was a conversation in a work Slack channel about memories we have when significant events happen. Reagan being shot, 9/11, Mandela’s release, Diana. I remembered that I’d posted when John Peel died – this was pre-Twitter – so I thought I’d find the post.
Into Bing I go. No result
I try DDG. No result.
As a last attempt, I try Google
site:romanticrobot.net john peel
and I STILL see no result.
But I do see this:
Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more
So for some weird reason my post here – http://romanticrobot.net/2004/10/26/rip-john-peel/ – does not appear in search engines.
It’s hardly controversial, is it.
Indiegala.com uses the new reCAPTCHA from Google.
If I login there using Safari (for the first time on that site) I get the ‘Click to show you are not a robot” and when I do I get logged in straight away.
If I login using Chromium when I tick the box I get shown an image matching task as I posted about here.
If I login using Firefox I don’t even get the chance to click anything and I am shown a very distorted couple of words and everything I enter is always wrong. So then I get shown some code to copy as I posted about here.
I clear cookies and all saved data in each browser when it closes so this behaviour by Google has to come down to 2 options as I see it.
- Google are using some sort of super cookie / evercookie.
- Google have fingerprinted my browser.
According to Panopticlick
Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 5,186,229 tested so far.
Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys at least 22.31 bits of identifying information
Will also try blocking Google fonts/ajax.
And this is on top of uBlock, Privacy Badger and Ghostery.
Google are part of the problem. They are not part of any solution.
A long time ago there was a comment spam plugin which showed images. It was something like “Click the kittens to prove you are not a spambot”. It failed.
I think Google missed that bit. The failure bit.
Reading this article on Google’s new CAPTCHA – and it’s associated privacy concerns and I see that very sadly it is now a required element to register at wordpress.org.
Since it started it has set me as a spammer. How so? I just tried to register a new account at wordpress.org and I entered the captcha text perfectly. It should have said I was not a robot but instead it shows me this:
It’s been the same since last December and I wait to see what happens when BT cycle my IP address. I am 100% sure Google will still say I am a spammer.
Industry analyst Mark Mulligan, a strong supporter of music streaming services, thinks Google has become corrupted by absolute power. The Register
This was my blog header some years ago – it is more true today than ever.
I use Adblock, Ghostery and Privacy Badger.
I went to login to my Indie Gala account and they threw one of the new Google Captcha things at me.
It was blocked by the EFF’s Privacy Badger. I had to allow the tracking to be allowed to access products I had bought.
Because the stupid damn captcha was so distorted I kept getting it wrong. In the end it asked me to copy and paste code:
They are using the new captcha. The one that is friendly to humans. Yeah, right.
Someone reverse engineered their new code, posted it to Github and posted it to Hacker News. Google asked them to take it down. They complied. Screw Google – as I had a Github account I copied it.
This isn’t just a captcha. It tracks. From the HN thread:
Google servers will receive and process, at least, the following information:
Execution time, timezone
Number of click/keyboard/touch actions in the iframe of the captcha
It tests the behavior of many browser-specific functions and CSS rules
It checks the rendering of canvas elements
Likely cookies server-side (it’s executed on the www.google.com domain)
And likely other stuff…
I hate spam. I hate spammers. But I despise Google even more.
So when the NSA or GCHQ comes up in the news, just remember that Google does more and with less oversight.