The Business-Priorities Edition Sunday, August 25, 2019

Deconstructing Google’s Excuses On Tracking Protection, by Arvind Narayanan, Freedom to Tinker

In closing, we want to emphasize that the Chrome team is full of smart engineers passionate about protecting their users, and it has done incredible work on web security. But it is unlikely that Google can provide meaningful web privacy while protecting its business interests, and Chrome continues to fall far behind Safari and Firefox. We find this passage from Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism to be apt:

“Demanding privacy from surveillance capitalists or lobbying for an end to commercial surveillance on the internet is like asking old Henry Ford to make each Model T by hand. It’s like asking a giraffe to shorten its neck, or a cow to give up chewing. These demands are existential threats that violate the basic mechanisms of the entity’s survival.”

It is disappointing—but regrettably unsurprising—that the Chrome team is cloaking Google’s business priorities in disingenuous technical arguments.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Smartphone Battery, by David Nield, Wired

Every battery has a finite life in terms of cycles; it’s just the nature of the chemistry inside it. That means the fewer times you go from a full charge to an empty charge, the better, so maybe consider making a single charge last rather than carrying a portable charger around with you everywhere.

The usual advice applies here: Reduce screen brightness, use headphones instead of the built-in speakers, and put your phone in airplane mode for as long as you can stand it. That will turn off connections to other devices and stop apps from constantly pinging for updates. And that advice goes double when you’re in an area with poor signal strength. Your phone works harder to try and stay connected to a weaker signal, and drains the battery faster as a result.

How Work Got Good, by Arthur M. Diamond Jr, Reason

Big, risky dreams do not appeal to everyone. But an advantage of innovative dynamism is that it allows everyone to be intense without forcing intensity on anyone. And even though many of us will prefer a more relaxed life, we often benefit from the fruits that the intense create.

I Took A Huge Pay Cut For A More Meaningful Job, And It Was Nothing Like I Expected, by Pavithra Mohan, Fast Company

Nine out of 10 Americans say they would give up a significant portion of their paycheck–up to 23% of their lifetime earnings–if they could swap their day job for more meaningful work, according to the Harvard Business Review. Employees who find that meaning are more likely to work more and stay loyal to their employers.

Many people I talked to about taking a pay cut echoed that sentiment. Most of them don’t regret their decision, but making such a change isn’t always financially within reach. For some, childcare expenses were a major consideration; other people I heard from underestimated the impact their pay cut would have on their wallet. Those with a spouse admit they couldn’t have done it without the security of a dual-income household.

Dear iPhone Users: Please Don't Forget That A Green Bubble Is A Person., by C. Scott Brown, Android Authority

Honestly, I don’t know what to tell that poor kid who felt he needed to get rid of his Google Pixel 2 just to appease his friends who kept kicking him out of chats. On one hand, I’d love to tell him to stick to his guns and keep the phone he wants and tell his friends to deal with it. On the other hand, I know that kind of pressure can be daunting for a teen — after all, I was one myself at one point.

I guess the best advice I have for him and for anyone else stuck in this predicament is fairly simple: remind your friends that the green bubble they are criticizing is not just a bubble — it’s you. If your friends still exclude you after you tell them that, your choice of smartphone is not the problem.

Bottom of the Page

Google Chrome was created so that Google does not depend fully on Internet Explorer and Safari for the company's advertisement-delivery business. So: nothing surprising here to see when Google is not as motivated as others in not tracking customers.

The question is: can Google 'innovate' fast and good enough that customers are willing to use Google Chrome despite of the loss of privacy?

(The next question is: will we ever see the return of Safari for Windows?)


Thanks for reading.