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I know, I know, it's the way it is but it's still creepy

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  • I know, I know, it's the way it is but it's still creepy

    So I go online with Google Play (I'm a subscriber) for something to listen to and as usual the website starts off with their useless Suggestions..as if I'm a tourist in a far land looking at a menu I can't read....but I notice that a new angle has appeared, that this and that is being suggested because I watched the artist/band recently on Youtube!

    Oh, I know, terms of service and I have a choice and all that, thank you very much....

    Guess I'll go spelunking in the options yet again to see if I can turn this use of my browsing history off (again) -

    It's just creepy and getting creepier. It's wrong to be a peeping, spying, invasive creep, ya know? And wrong to blame the public for the behavior of the service provider. It's like "gee, if you don't want to be mugged, you should never walk in the street - it's your choice, you know!"

    rantyrantrantrantyrant

    nat whilk ii


  • #2
    Naw, ya just have to use Google Chrome and browse in Incognito mode. It was originally invented to hide porn from wives who really don't want to know what their husbands are REALLY doing on the computer, but it turns out to be very useful for actual privacy.

    BTW, have you noticed how the ads show the items that you've been shopping for lately? Google is the the new"cookie" monster... but I love them anyways.
    Signal Chain My Fingers - Gauge Strings; Reverend Sensei; Ibanez TS9; Keeley 2-Knob Compressor; Eventide Space Reverb - Pigtronix Infinity Looper; Fender Super Reverb (without reverb)

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    • #3
      Incognito mode actually blocks Google's use of browsing history? Or does it just block your own access to your own browsing history??

      nat whilk ii

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      • #4
        Incognito mode doesn't history, cookies or downloaded data from sites and web apps. So anything you visit can not be seen by them. Sure, they may have a back end way to see and save this stuff (not sure if that's the case or not), but at least the ads and such won't reflect your historical browsing.
        Signal Chain My Fingers - Gauge Strings; Reverend Sensei; Ibanez TS9; Keeley 2-Knob Compressor; Eventide Space Reverb - Pigtronix Infinity Looper; Fender Super Reverb (without reverb)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post
          Incognito mode actually blocks Google's use of browsing history? Or does it just block your own access to your own browsing history??

          nat whilk ii
          Well, what Google Chrome does with Incognito mode (and Firefox with "Private Browsing Windows") is both not access your browsing history *on your computer*, and "cleans up after itself" when you close the window.

          It does nothing (and can do nothing) about server-side history storage. All of that is tied to your Google account (i.e. if you looked at some YouTube video without logging into your Google account and then went to Google Play, chances are you wouldn't get any "suggestions" because, at that point, Google doesn't have any idea who is looking at the page).
          Last edited by Nijyo; 12-12-2014, 10:23 AM.
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
          "Vaginas are nice, but I wouldn't trade my balls for one." - boxorox

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          • #6
            I think its pretty safe to say that everything you do online is being recorded, even if Google or whatever browser you`re using says. We`re at the point where pretty much everything you do, everywhere you go (even offline), is being recorded. There is no such thing as privacy. Someone somewhere is watching. Hello!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nijyo View Post

              Well, what Google Chrome does with Incognito mode (and Firefox with "Private Browsing Windows") is both not access your browsing history *on your computer*, and "cleans up after itself" when you close the window.

              It does nothing (and can do nothing) about server-side history storage. All of that is tied to your Google account (i.e. if you looked at some YouTube video without logging into your Google account and then went to Google Play, chances are you wouldn't get any "suggestions" because, at that point, Google doesn't have any idea who is looking at the page).
              That's pretty much what I thought Incognito (and the other browser versions of the same) did.

              I'm going to experiment with logging out of Google, viewing YTs in Incognito mode as a logged-out user (I'll pick something way off my usual YT choices...like Barry Manilow) and see if Google later suggests some Manilow or other stuff in that vein...should be easy to spot.

              Speaking of Manilow...here's an excerpt from a recent NPR article on this topic - it was actually this article that revived this chronic rant topic of mine...

              In a course I co-teach at Berkeley, we ask our students to try to figure out what Google knows about them. One young woman tried switching to a new browser and entering searches for products like blood pressure monitors and Barry Manilow albums. She wasn't surprised when ads for menopause supplements started to appear on the Web pages she visited. But it was unsettling when her boyfriend started seeing ads for Viagra.


              a link to the article if your paranoia needs a boost:

              http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcons...d-two-god-view


              nat whilk ii

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              • #8
                I agree. It is kinda creepy. Since I bought a CP4 I keep getting ads to buy a CP4 ... evidently the algorithms aren't really that bright!

                I'd be more worried that someone is always watching if my life were more interesting.
                learjeff.net

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                • #9
                  ixquick, startpage, and duckduckgo are three browsers that don't record your browsing information on the server side - at least that's what they say.

                  There are also do-not-track type plug-ins you can add to most browsers.

                  There is one that heard of (I forget the name) that sends out random searches to google so that it swamps your profile with so much variety that google can't figure out what you like.

                  But that's all when you aren't logged in. Logging in is a different story altogether.

                  When you log into Google, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the others, everything you do is recorded. If you click Like or Share it goes in your profile, what links you click go into your profile, all your search terms go into your profile, when you tell them what school you went to, what you do for a living and everything else goes into your profile and that information is all for sale.

                  If it's free, you aren't the customer --- you are the product.

                  Here is a "poem" I wrote for Facebook, but you can substitute Google, G+, Twitter or whatever else you want:

                  ODE TO FACEBOOK

                  Oh Facebook how are you today?
                  I visit you most every day

                  And everything I do or say
                  you put into my dossier

                  Where was I born? what was my school?
                  Enter your job, be very cool

                  You even know my family
                  and everything that's dear to me

                  My information's gold to you
                  it sells to stores and spammers too

                  If I click "like" or I repost
                  your customers will dig me the most

                  I click an ad merely to look?
                  the ad man pulls to set the hook

                  It'll be in my e-mail later today
                  and web pages, day after day

                  And It'll waste, some of my precious time
                  and you'll receive lode from my mine

                  I wouldn't mind the money you make
                  if a commission I could take

                  I'd like to get twenty percent
                  but you don't offer one red cent

                  So Facebook please let's make a deal
                  just cut me in, no need to steal

                  I'll finish my profile if you do
                  and we will profit, both me and you


                  © Bob "Notes" Norton

                  I understand that whatever I do will be tracked, and that Google and Facebook know more about me than the FBI and CIA combined, and I really don't mind except that they are making money off of my name, and I'd really like at least an agents 20% commission

                  Insights and incites by Notes
                  Bob "Notes" Norton
                  Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                  Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                  The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post
                    So I go online with Google Play (I'm a subscriber) for something to listen to and as usual the website starts off with their useless Suggestions..as if I'm a tourist in a far land looking at a menu I can't read....but I notice that a new angle has appeared, that this and that is being suggested because I watched the artist/band recently on Youtube!

                    Oh, I know, terms of service and I have a choice and all that, thank you very much....

                    Guess I'll go spelunking in the options yet again to see if I can turn this use of my browsing history off (again) -

                    It's just creepy and getting creepier. It's wrong to be a peeping, spying, invasive creep, ya know? And wrong to blame the public for the behavior of the service provider. It's like "gee, if you don't want to be mugged, you should never walk in the street - it's your choice, you know!"

                    rantyrantrantrantyrant

                    nat whilk ii
                    Google All Access and Google YouTube Music Key are now basically under the same subscription and we can probably expect to see increased integration. I would not be at all surprised to see videos appearing in the Listen Now page at some not-too-distant point.

                    I'm definitely not one much for robo-recommendations on the music front (I got tired of "You like Modest Mouse? You'll probably like The Postal Service" type stuff -- since I did and I didn't, respectively).

                    That said, G's acquisition of the apparently quite popular Songza app/service seems to have improved All Access's reco engine and playlists to some degree. Before I never bothered with the Listen Now page but I've actually been reasonably pleased with a few 'playlists' and 'radio' stations.

                    I found 'stations' for traditional Hawaiian (slack key) guitar and for African roots guitar that were pretty good -- although they seem to run out of material and double back around sooner than necessary -- but most of the selections were pretty good or interesting. I've had less luck with more contemporary music, though, where my tastes apparently are much narrower than the mainstream and, so, more prone to repeated skips.
                    .

                    music and social links | recent listening

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                    • #11
                      Every time Adobe tries to update it attempts to install the Google browser. I unclick it. I don't want that crap on my computers thank you. I have no issues with suggested sites except for few sites I visit like EBay, and the only reason I have it there is because I saved my password. Every so often I'll clear all passwords with my history and that disappears. I'll also go in two windows temp folders, one is on the C drive when you open it and one is in the windows folder and I delete everything out of there manually. You'd be surprised how much stealth crap builds up in there.

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                      • #12
                        I went to check out ghanaweb.com, I thought Ghana would be an interesting place to visit. Since then, I've been getting served ads for cheap phone calls to Ghana, opportunities to date hot African-American singles, and various things to straighten my hair. So I guess Google has now officially changed my race.

                        Netflix's suggestions are hilarious because they don't give you a chance to say why you like something. For example, there's no check box on 1950s sci-fi movies to write "I liked it because I'm a fan of cardboard monsters and theremins."

                        It is creepy. Fortunately, I do so many different things I must appear to be multiple people using the same computer...apparently including some black guy who wants to straighten his hair, date hot women, and call Ghana.
                        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                          I went to check out ghanaweb.com, I thought Ghana would be an interesting place to visit. Since then, I've been getting served ads for cheap phone calls to Ghana, opportunities to date hot African-American singles, and various things to straighten my hair. So I guess Google has now officially changed my race.

                          Netflix's suggestions are hilarious because they don't give you a chance to say why you like something. For example, there's no check box on 1950s sci-fi movies to write "I liked it because I'm a fan of cardboard monsters and theremins."

                          It is creepy. Fortunately, I do so many different things I must appear to be multiple people using the same computer...apparently including some black guy who wants to straighten his hair, date hot women, and call Ghana.

                          Netflix - I love Netflix, but must they insult my intelligence so? The "ratings" you see have nothing to do with any crowd-polling or Rotten Tomatoes or critic's polls or even box-office receipts - they are totally fabricated by the Netflix software engine based on what that software predicts you will like based on what you've watched before. Taking "suggestions" to the next level.

                          I guarantee - here I adopt my prophetic voice, so put your sceptical specs on - that there will soon be studies showing that vendor suggestions based on programmed algorithms can be shown to have an effect in changing consumer's actual taste profile. So in effect, the software has already started creating the tastes that it is ready to satisfy by a sale. We will start to slowly turning into what the software says we are. The new trendsetters are algorithms.

                          brrrrrr....I'm getting a really good creepy-buzz going here....

                          nat whilk ii


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                          • #14
                            I really don't mind it all that much. My son likes Thomas the Tank Engine and Transformers, so I created a Google account for him, and when I log him in on the home machine, youtube suggests dozens of videos that he'll love. For me, I just ignore all the ads on Facebook (and on here ) It's all automated - I doubt that anyone is actually being watched through their cellphone by google's minions. And if your GPS locator record does show that you stopped at the sex shop and the marijuana dispensary on your way home from work, no one is ever going to know, unless you were on your way to commit an actual crime
                            Last edited by gubu; 12-12-2014, 05:46 PM.
                            flip the phase

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                            • #15
                              I've mentioned this before in another thread, but my favorite personal anecdote about this is the guy I know who is a brilliant, high-end database/search engine programmer for Google. Who is also the most paranoid person among my current acquaintances about privacy and the power of big data. It's unnerving to hear someone placed in Google as he is, and talking about all this, he'll give you this dead-level stare, shake his head slowly side to side and slowly say, "you....have....no....idea...."

                              Why he continues to work for them? It's good money and he is fatalistic about it all - yeah, kind of a mixed-up guy. I emailed him once and mentioned some innocuous (so I thought) item involving his personal business, and boy, did I hear about that. sorry! sorry! sorrysorrysorry!!

                              nat whilk ii (this is NOT my real name!!!)
                              Last edited by nat whilk II; 12-12-2014, 06:07 PM.

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