Google is the Devil

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Jen
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Joined: 03 Sep 2019, 00:23

Google is the Devil

Post by Jen » 08 Sep 2019, 13:00

I hate being tracked, and I sincerely believe anything Google-related tracks me. I go out of my way to not use any Google apps, be it on my android tablet or computer. I do not have anything to hide. It's the principle of it.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 08 Sep 2019, 17:24

You may have noticed my absence from Facebook these days. It's for the same reasons, and more, that you cite for Google being the bad guys. I can assure you that Google is way more transparent than is Facebook, and the whole lot of them are going to be changing their ways as the government begins anti-trust investigations into possible monopolies. Of course that was the president's idea so keep that in mind when you think of possible changes.

The crux of the matter is the concept of privacy. There might have been a modicum of privacy on the public network (the Internet) in it's early days, but that is no longer the case. All you need to do is read the terms of service provided openly by the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. They spell out in no uncertain terms that anything you do while using their software and/or devices belongs to them and they reserve the right to do what they please with the information they gather. Of course they put that all in legal terms that nobody but Harvard lawyers can understand, but it's the truth.

Can you imagine what it costs to run a service such as Google search? There are literally thousands of servers and people to run them behind the scenes. Do you really think a company can survive giving all of that away for free? Well, yes, a lot of people did think so. But they thought wrong. The evilness about it is that none of those technology giants ever told their uses in unambiguous terms what they are doing, nor how much they are profiting from it. So yes, you are being tracked, and for good reason. They can't provide the service unless they do so.

There are ways to see what records Google has about you. You can download it all too and stop them from doing much of it. If you stop them, some of your apps won't work like they used to, but at least you have the option. Check this out if you want to be shocked: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/how-to- ... t-you.html

Jen
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Joined: 03 Sep 2019, 00:23

Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Jen » 08 Sep 2019, 19:51

Wow. I hope I don't have much of a footprint in Google but I'm going to find out. When Google demanded I make a YouTube account, I used a fictitious name and e-mail. I think I have a G-mail account, but I haven't used it in a decade. We shall see ...

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 09 Sep 2019, 13:23

I use a program that blocks ALL Tracking Cookies, but I do keep the kind of cookies that help with using a website.
I've been using Google Chrome now for many many years without problems.
I also use the Google Toolbar, but it too is under a different name and g-mail account I've never checked back on.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 09 Sep 2019, 20:07

There are many ways to track web site visitors; cookies is just one of them. You might be surprised what kind of information a server collects about it's clients. Your location and the equipment configuration of your computer are things you can't stop sending and are a major part of your Internet profile. Plus, Google shares it's data with it's partners. Facebook is but one of those partners. So what you do on Facebook becomes known to Google, and vice versa. No cookies involved with that either. It would be foolish to stop blocking cookies, but you are not hiding your identity by doing so.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 10 Sep 2019, 11:32

Of course they have my IP address, and know what type of system I'm on.
How else could they fetch the page I requested and send it back to me.

My frau got really pissed at one of the websites she goes to, because they kept listing her as being in Vestal.
Apparently they only see the zip code and approximately where within that zip code we are located.
This might in part be based on the IP address, but Comcast covers a LARGE area, hi hi.
We live in South Knoxville, and Vestal is a community in northern South Knoxville, and we live in the southernmost part of South Knoxville, in an area known as Plaza Park.
Saying we live in Vestal is about as demeaning as they can get!
We compare it to saying Big Daddy Gotsrocks Mansion is located in River Rat Trailer Park.
Not that where we live is upscale like the well to do, but it is also not so far down on the scale or on the wrong side of the tracks either. This was a middle class neighborhood for over 50 years, but is now old, and a few older homes are still here, but many have been replaced with new homes.
My wife made them change our location to South Knoxville, because their computer would not recognize Plaza Park as a community. Makes one wonder why they recognize Vestal as a community then?

Before I started blocking Tracking Cookies, every website I visited had location specific advertisements.
Now the ads are for a much wider area, and make more sense. But I also block ads now too, hi hi.
Not all ads are blocked though, only those who interfere with the pages I'm on.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 10 Sep 2019, 15:45

IP location detection is not like GPS. There is a whois service that tells you who owns what block of IP addresses. Generally, but not always, the location of the entity which owns that block is the listed location you see. It''s nearly impossible to get down to the individual location from just an IP address. The website your wife protested to most likely used the whois service to get a location, but, as she proved, that can be changed manually. Obviously websites know nothing about the reputation of any given location.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 11 Sep 2019, 12:16

I've been lucky on using who is the few times I've needed it. But then too I was searching for a company with their own ID and it was associated with their IP address. Haven't done that in years though.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 11 Sep 2019, 12:31

I use whois, and a few other services, every time somebody wants to sign up to this web site. I've made very few wrong decisions over the years. Those I mistakenly did let in were brand new and not documented yet. Some of the malicious IP's are right here in the USA and not India or Russia.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 12 Sep 2019, 11:00

It's good to keep on top of things when you have a user type website to keep from getting hacked or have bad folks come in and ruin the place.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 12 Sep 2019, 11:52

We have been hacked and our hosting service responded as if it were my fault they couldn't keep their servers clean. That only happened once many years ago. The people who do manage to get past the gatekeeper on this site are not really malicious. They all are selling something, usually porn, and have no clue what this place is all about. It's a nuisance to be sure. But it gives me something to do occasionally, weeding out the trash.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 13 Sep 2019, 11:36

From what I understand about my new Host Provider, is every account is like in its own sandbox, sorta.
Nothing installed on my site will allow anyone to get back past my home page.
That being said, if I had programs that used some of their facilities or services, those too are set independent while in use.
I don't know how to explain it, because I don't really know what they are talking about, hi hi.
I think it means if I was using JavaScript for something, whatever makes it work is loaded into a safe place while my website is using it.
You would know everything about how servers and websites work, and I know nothing myself, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 13 Sep 2019, 12:27

In our case the bad actor appended some code at the end of every executable file on our site. I could have gone in and deleted those lines and resaved the original, but it was just easier to upload fresh copies from the installation package. My concern was over the methods the hacker may have used to get at our underlying file structure. If they came through the front door of the server, then every site hosted on this server would be vulnerable. That would clearly be the server admin's problem. They claimed their server was secure. I'd be extremely surprised if the admitted otherwise. It is possible that we were the only site affected and it is also possible they gained entry from some link somebody published in the forums. I guess that's why places like Quora don't allow links or images. Well I let them know how dissatisfied I was and odd as it seems we never were infected again.

I do know a little bit about servers, but I can't tell you if or how our site is sandboxed. If it is, it's all done at a higher tier on the server than I have access to. The site doesn't act like it's isolated, but it could be.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 14 Sep 2019, 11:33

Back in the EARLY YEARS when I first joined INLINK as my web host, I could BACK UP out of my directory to the directory that listed ALL of their clients with web pages. But I could not open any of them, just said access denied.

Then when the BBS started a hosting server, one could not back up out of their own folder, so I could not see who all they were hosting. However, back then, I could go to the hosting web site using FTP and see all the accounts, but again, the only one I could open was my own, and once I did, I could not back up out of it.

Today, you can only see your own account on most web hosts, even if you go directly to them, all you get is the advertising to set up a new account, or make changes to your existing account and the latter takes two passwords to do.
We have our password to get into our own pages to make adjustments to them, but if you want to get into your account settings, you have to log-in with your password, and then enter the assigned security code which I never remember, hi hi. Writing it down does no good, it changes monthly. But on your own web site area, there is a box to click to e-mail you a code whenever you need one to get into your account settings. This is where you can add more e-mail addresses, or create another new website, which is not needed if you are simply adding a new Index Page with its own sub-URL.

Hmm, I wonder what keeps people from creating web pages for folks and selling the access to them?
The way you can format the URL, if you had a website named Satellite.net for example
You could create JohnDoe.Satellite.net, MarySmith.Satellite.net, and give each of them an e-mail address the same way. JohnDoe@satellite.net, MarySmith@satellite.net. But I guess the Host watches out for folks doing that.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 14 Sep 2019, 13:37

You are talking about subdomains which is something the server administrator curates. We are allowed five (5) if I recall correctly.
  • Our domain name is, of course, brainformation.com
    the original site is archived in a subdirectory: arch.brainformation.com
    the next generation is archived as: neo.brainformation.com
    and, then there is the current: bfchat.brainformation.com
Technically there is only one domain, i.e., brainformation.com. It has the usual overhead for a website including a directory called /public_html. That's the directory in which all the sites I oversee are located. Among the usual overhead are directories called /arch, /neo, and /bfchat. Those are the subdomains. Inside those subdomains is where the phpBB is located and everything else related to the individual websites.

The <subname>.<domainname>.com protocol is the convention for designating subdirectories. You can do this with your email addresses too. Gary@email.com would be the same as Kahuna.Gary@email.com for example. You will see this in spoofed emails quite often.

The contents of /public_html is viewable by the public; duh. All you need is the correct URL to see each of our three websites. They are read-only for obvious reasons. A password blessed by yours truly will get you write permissions too. What you will see, however, is the website pages only. You are not authorized to see anything else. LOL I have an FTP account that gives me access to the entire root directory for my account number. That's where all the overhead files are and I can operate on them directly. However, creating FTP accounts, email addresses, subdomains, SQL queries, and all the rest of the administrative functions are accessed through another GUI altogether. I need a separate password and account ID to get to those controls. It's pretty simple when you see it.

The ISP hosted websites I've seen have only one login. There have been tools and/or a control panel to perform FTP functions, but it's not actually FTP. They had their own scheme so that they can throttle and control what is uploaded. I never was allowed subdomains via the ISP hosted sites which makes sense given the limited amount of free space they provided. If I wanted to buy server space, then suddenly I could use the real FTP and have some control over my directory structure. I tinkered with them and learned a few things about websites, but they were totally inadequate for what we are doing here. Plus they were way more expensive than the competition even if I wanted to buy hosting from them.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 15 Sep 2019, 12:21

I can have TWO Domains at my current price level. However, I can have UNLIMITED Sub-Domains.
Technically, a sub-domain is really nothing more than a page under the Domain.
This is probably why you can write a subdomain as subdomain.domain.com or as domain.com/subdomain
It says I also have unlimited mailboxes, but I've never yet created any except the one required one for admin and it gets forwarded to my Comcast e-mail account.

One of the reasons I never set up e-mails there, and still use Comcast (which I know I probably shouldn't do since it locks me in with them), is because I've not been able to find out IF:
If I set up my e-mails with this Host Provider using my Domain name as the suffix for my e-mail accounts.
If for some reason I decide to move to another Host Provider, moving my domain name to the new provider, will I be able to take my e-mail address along with me. It is my domain name, but what if they don't give e-mail boxes?
Not likely I'll move since I have such a good deal, but you never know, things might change on me, like it did with Comcast.

Hmm, I use FTP to upload my website changes. Never had a problem doing so at any place I've had my web pages located.
Actually, I don't think I know of any other way of doing it other than via FTP.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 15 Sep 2019, 13:25

The website host can provide an alternative to FTP, which is what the people I used were doing. The underlying protocol is FTP, but it was a homebrew version that restricted me and gave them control over what I could do. Basically it was throttled to encourage its users to pay for premium service. If I recall correctly the top tier service allowed me to use a third party FTP client of my own. The free version worked out because my web sites were never more than a few pages in size.

Your e-mail is on some server and probably in a file format that is standard, meaning it is portable. That doesn't mean your e-mail provider will give you the files to transport to some other server. Even if they did, the new server administrator may not feel happy about importing some unknown files from a foreign server. Operate as if you will not be able to do a transfer. That way you will not be disappointed should you need to move.

Web site hosting isn't complicated, but there are a bajillion options, more or less, that can be offered. As a hosting service you not only want to provide for your customers' needs, but you also want to keep the maintenance at a minimum. Thus there are restrictions to limit your access and use which keeps the calls to the help desk down to a reasonable number. :grin:

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 16 Sep 2019, 10:58

I download all of my e-mail to my own computer, so could care less about what is left on the server.
I just want to know if I have an e-mail using my own domain name, if it is movable to a new host.

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yogi
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by yogi » 16 Sep 2019, 16:58

You will have to find an ISP that is willing to host your private domain on their e-mail server. I can't say they don't exist, but most of the ones I've seen prefer that you use the domain they provide because it's simply easier for them to maintain. I'm certain you can find one if you need it.

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Kellemora
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Re: Google is the Devil

Post by Kellemora » 17 Sep 2019, 13:06

Oh, I didn't want to have my e-mail on one host, and my website on another host.
I have my e-mail on my ISP, and my website is hosted by someone else.
My concern was, if I set up e-mails on the Host, and decided to change to another Host, my e-mails will have my domain name. If I move my domain and they don't have e-mail service, I could have a lot of problems because I could not use the same domain name on two different hosts.

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