Rephrasing the article: " has become such a poor search engine riddled with trackers, sponsored content and SEO black magic, that people have resorted to search for stuff directly on Reddit and Quora.

Therefore, Google has decided to pivot its mission to that of a meta-search engine that displays results fetched directly from these platforms and other forums (plus trackers and ads), and stop pretending that it cares about being a search engine".

I usually never miss a chance to bash , but they are right in this case.

Aggregating and presenting links doesn't make you a publisher. Your algorithms are simply fetching and presenting content, they aren't the writer of that content. So, in case of defamatory content published on Google News, Google is liable of defamation as my RSS aggregator or your browser.

Thinking of it, if a defamatory article was written on a newspaper back in the times where people actually read physical newspaper, nobody would have thought of suing the newsstand that sold you the paper instead of the author of the article itself.

This is why we NEED more open mobile tech. Any step taken by and in the opposite direction is a crime against humanity that hinders talent and innovation, and it benefits nobody but their account sheets.

I'm proud of this boy from Zambia showing a cheap phone running Termux+neofetch.

He learned to code on that Android phone, in a corner of the world where only the very wealthy can afford a personal computer.

He now runs a Twitter account where he regularly posts about cybersecurity, with a particular focus on malware analysis and reverse engineering.

Open-source software like that enable this guy to run a Linux-like system on a cheap phone are under constant threat. At every new release, the Android environment becomes more and more closed, requiring an increasing number of steps in order to install software that provides the degree of freedom that Termux does. Termux itself has recently been forced to target a lower version of the Android SDK because of new limitations on executing files from an app data folder introduced in Android 12. The app gets pulled from the Play Store for a variety of reasons every now and then, and it may not work at all on future versions of Android.

Not to mention the lack of funding that this software gets (mostly from voluntary one-shot donations), and the frequent episodes of burnouts among FLOSS developers who are overwhelmed by the work required to build and maintain software without getting any rewards.

It should be Google's responsibility to make sure that an African kid gets the same opportunities of becoming an engineer or a scientist as a Western one. Instead, in the best case scenario, they ship them a container of Chromebooks with their proprietary and closed software, no way of tinkering with it, and they act like they have made the world a better place.

So whenever Google or Apple decide to force you to buy a new device through planned obsolescence, or whenever they restrict the possibility for users to tinker with devices that they have purchased, remember that their evil isn't only targeting people like me - Western white guys with enough disposable income to afford a personal computer to do all the tinkering.

The main victims of their strategies are people like this guy, who would have never learned to code and may have never gotten a chance to land into a good job, if it wasn't for a cheap Android phone that could run a Linux-like environment.

Hey , why so suddenly passive aggressive?

Is it because I block your ads on YouTube and scrape videos with youtube-dl? Or because I block all the traffic to on all of my devices? Or because I use PiHole over VPN to block your ads even on my Android devices? Or because I sometimes use AdNauseam just for the sake of flooding you with garbage ads data? Or because of all of these factors combined?

Come on, don't take it so personal :)

I have been testing for the past few days three replacements for 's notifications: , and 's Unified Push project. A few observations after a bit of tinkering:

1. The idea behind is amazing. An open protocol to share push notifications over any asynchronous channel (websocket, Redis, MQTT etc.) is what open-source apps have needed for years. Sure, there will always be those who say "push notifications are a distraction, and I'm happy to ditch them". But individual choices/behaviors shouldn't shape the development of a technology - especially when people want a genuine open alternative to something that they like/need to use.

2. UnifiedPush support from individual apps is still scarce. So far I've only found the NextCloud app itself (which only supports UP-NextPush), and . Support on has allegedly been implemented in the latest release, but I haven't yet managed to make it work. Let's roll up our sleeves and make sure that more and more of the apps that we like support open notification services!

3. The notification providers' client apps themselves are still quite buggy, and documentation still very sparse. I have used UP-Example from F-Droid to test the UP services. Only ntfy managed to deliver notifications end-to-end to my devices. Gotify reported an "unknown error" without many details from the logs. UP-NextPush is still very unstable both on the client and server side and I couldn't manage to deliver any notifications.

4. The protocol (and the apps that implement it) needs to slowly be extended to cover as many as possible of the features that have been implemented in the past decade. Action buttons, icons from URLs, custom background images, updates to existing notifications etc.: a couple of these features have been (partly) implemented by 1-2 providers, but we need open standards (especially for action buttons and gestures) if we want to ensure inter-compatibility.

@EU_Commission please do something about this. And @eff please intervene and support the open-source developers who are victims of Google's abuses.

, an open-source email client for that allows you to manage multiple accounts, has been taken down from the Play Store.

Even if its source code is freely available, and both the code and the app's activities have been inspected and audited before being submitted to F-Droid, Google keeps harassing the developer as it considers the app as "spyware", but it refuses to provide ANY details about their findings, or inform the developer on what they are supposed to change to get the app approved again. An appeal request from the developer only resulted in an automatic response from Google.

The developer was advised to appeal to the EU, but (maybe rightfully) he said "what's the point? it's going to take them five years anyway just to come with a decision, and in the meantime my app won't be distributed on the major Android channel, and I'll have no incentive to keep working on it". We, as open-source developers, should NOT end up in this situation. We should NOT have the feeling that the institutions are not protecting us because they're just too slow to intervene or even to understand an issue.

This isn't the first time that harasses open-source developers and gets away with it. Email clients alternative to Gmail, as well as any app that accesses what Google deems "sensitive user data" (including emails, calendar, fit data etc.) will now require an expensive (talking of at least $4500 a year) and intentionally cumbersome certification process, and such a certification needs to be renewed on a yearly basis: This will mean the end for most of the alternative apps that support Google services.

This isn't about users' security. Most of these apps are open-source, owned by the community, and regularly audited by F-Droid - a store with far higher security standards than the Play Store.

This is just Google declaring their final war against those who dare to access their email, calendar or maps without using Google's apps. This is Google showing the middle finger to the world and saying "the only way to interact with your email and calendar must be through my apps".

More and more open-source developers are being so discouraged by Google's efforts, requests for money and the Kafkaesque labyrinth that they've set up for appeals that they are pulling their apps and services for good.

This shouldn't happen, and the EU has a duty to defend us against this evil corp, because we can't keep defending ourselves. Enough with all the talk about new EU unicorns: if the EU really wants to battle Google, they should do so by defending an enthusiastic community that is already building the alternatives - often without being paid a single dime, while being regularly harassed by big tech.


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