You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

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You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:43 am UTC

https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1044503?hl=en

It was just a few weeks ago that I created a Gmail account for the first time. Naturally, Google's trying to push plus hard, so they automatically made me a plus page. I was able to delete it, and just it, though, by following those steps (way at the bottom after they suggest options that nobody wants -- everyone just wants to delete plus), except that they said something like "Select Delete your Google+ profile."

And indeed, now, when I click that first "delete my stuff" button, it warns me...
"You're trying to delete your Google Account that provides access to the Google products listed below. Please select each checkbox to confirm you fully understand that you'll no longer be able to use any of these products and all information associated with them, and that your account will be lost.
YouTube: All videos, comments, and other content associated with the YouTube channel will be deleted permanently."

So it's now completely impossible to get rid of Google plus? The only way not to have Google+ is to simply not use Google?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:37 am UTC

Maybe you could use adblock to at least hide the googleplus frames?

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:00 pm UTC

Hmm. I may have to try setting up a new GMail account - I've been meaning to make a spam type account for a while.

Will go have a look.

EDIT: Nope, It's telling me to create a G+ profile, on a brand new account. I am in NZ though, so it might act differently elsewhere.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:47 am UTC

Well, this sucks. Guess I'm through with YouTube and Google, then. I was eventually gonna get into Plus, just 'cause it's there, but all this arm-twisting, all this forced conversion stuff...I just can't support that.

Okay, so then I guess it's back to Hotmail for email. It's secure, at least, even if the upgrade is annoying and Microsoft is evil.

Vimeo or whatevs for videos.

Finding a new search engine is the big problem. I definitely don't wanna go with Bing, 'cause of the afforementioned evilness, but Yahoo, the only other major search engine, seems to be a frontpage for Bing, now. At least Yahoo Images is now "powered by Bing." Whatever that means.

I could go with Ask, of course, but that'd make me feel like a sixty-two year old grandma who's just now getting her first computer.

Any advice?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby PeteP » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:56 pm UTC

I use duckduckgo. (and add !g when I want google results)

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:05 pm UTC


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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:07 am UTC

Just made another new GMail (alerts from NAS), and this time it set me up with G+ right from the start; last time it didn't but was pushing it at me. Something has changed in the last few weeks.

Still able to delete it, though.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:15 pm UTC

@PeteP and strake: I'll give 'em a try.

Heh, wanna know the funny thing? I make custom desktop homepages (I was using panels of common links YEARS before Firefox started doin' that), and I had one a few years back that had the Google search bar in it. Lost the file when my HD crashed and I can't remember how I did that anymore, and simply copying HTML from the Google homepage doesn't work.

'course between Wikipedia, Facebok and word of mouth, I rarely really NEED to search, it's typically just a laziness thing. Like, I don't have the Fallout 3 wiki as one of my search engines in Firefox, so whenever I want to look something up in it, I google "fallout 3 wiki winterized power armor" or whatever.

SomeoneSomewhere wrote:Just made another new GMail (alerts from NAS), and this time it set me up with G+ right from the start; last time it didn't but was pushing it at me. Something has changed in the last few weeks.

Still able to delete it, though.

What?! How? As an experiment, I used a Google Account I was gonna get rid of anyway, and when I tried to delete Google+ (even following Google's own instructions), it deleted my entire Google Account.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:49 am UTC

I'm in NZ and the NZ system may be different due to different privacy laws etc, but there was a choice of delete Google + and delete entire google account. I can go do it again and get a screenshot if you want.

EDIT 2013-11-26 09:03 UTC: Hmm. It gives you a G+ account (or did last time) when you create an account in Chromium, but not when in Opera. Interesting. The first account I made using Opera and it didn't give me one, but Chromium did, and another Opera one just now isn't G+.

OK, the delete plus bit keeps GMail. Not sure what you did, or if the US version is different.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:00 am UTC

Must be different, 'cause there's only one Delete option, and it nukes the entire account.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:59 am UTC

You can still use Gmail. And Youtube too, but not subscribe or comment and other stuff. Honestly I don't see the appeal of having an account in Youtube. It only gives Google a chance to compromise your deliciously private watch history and gives you the ability to post "like this if you hate Google+" on the comments section.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby chridd » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:25 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Heh, wanna know the funny thing? I make custom desktop homepages (I was using panels of common links YEARS before Firefox started doin' that), and I had one a few years back that had the Google search bar in it. Lost the file when my HD crashed and I can't remember how I did that anymore, and simply copying HTML from the Google homepage doesn't work.

Code: Select all

<form action="https://www.google.com/search" method="get">
<input name="q">
</form>
should work (haven't tested it).
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:08 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:You can still use Gmail. And Youtube too, but not subscribe or comment and other stuff. Honestly I don't see the appeal of having an account in Youtube. It only gives Google a chance to compromise your deliciously private watch history and gives you the ability to post "like this if you hate Google+" on the comments section.

Some content is age-restricted and you HAVE to sign in. Also, don't think for a second that Google isn't tracking your watch history just because you're not signed in -- they just use your IP.

chridd wrote:
King Author wrote:Heh, wanna know the funny thing? I make custom desktop homepages (I was using panels of common links YEARS before Firefox started doin' that), and I had one a few years back that had the Google search bar in it. Lost the file when my HD crashed and I can't remember how I did that anymore, and simply copying HTML from the Google homepage doesn't work.

Code: Select all

<form action="https://www.google.com/search" method="get">
<input name="q">
</form>
should work (haven't tested it).

I'll try it, just for fun.

PeteP wrote:I use duckduckgo. (and add !g when I want google results)

Does it give Google hits and ad revenue when you !g? 'cause duckduckgo itself returns barely any results.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Ptolom » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:45 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Does it give Google hits and ad revenue when you !g? 'cause duckduckgo itself returns barely any results.

Really? Maybe give it another chance. I have been using it as my primary search engine for months quite satisfactorily. !g just redirects your search to google. They have similar functions for many sites: !yt, !bing, !wiki etc.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:35 am UTC

Ptolom wrote:
King Author wrote:Does it give Google hits and ad revenue when you !g? 'cause duckduckgo itself returns barely any results.

Really? Maybe give it another chance. I have been using it as my primary search engine for months quite satisfactorily. !g just redirects your search to google. They have similar functions for many sites: !yt, !bing, !wiki etc.

I was trying to remember the name of a song and searched some of the lyrics ("sayonara, aishiteru"). Google returns 1,600 results, duckduck returns seven, none of them sites with those lyrics.

Oh, okay, nevermind. I just searched a few things without quotes. Apparently, duckduck's not so great at exact matches, but general searches are fine.

What's the duckduck mainpage mean when it says your search is anonymous? Simply that it doesn't track your searches by your IP, like Google does, or is the search data actually encrypted/proxied.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Ptolom » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:44 pm UTC

It means they don't keep any records of your searches or pass your search terms to sites in the referer header. They also have an encrypted https site (as do google, bing etc).

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:41 am UTC

Neat. Though the sites I connect to can still log any information I enter into them, and even track my IP, yes?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:42 am UTC

King Author wrote:Neat. Though the sites I connect to can still log any information I enter into them, and even track my IP, yes?


They could get that even if you went to them directly by typing in the URL. That's open to any site, unless you use a proxy or Tor on your end.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:16 am UTC

Though unfortunately, the proxies themselves can intercept any data you enter, so it's fine for general browsing, but no good for entering passwords; they'll just get stolen by the proxy host.

Never heard of Tor, though. Sounds nice, but how do I know it's safe?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Pingouin7 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:37 pm UTC

Why does it matter?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:36 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Never heard of Tor, though. Sounds nice, but how do I know it's safe?
How deep down the paranoia hole do you want to go?

I mean, you could always just spin up a VM, use TOR through that, and trash the VM when done. Every time you need to use TOR, you just make a new VM with different properties. Untraceable, that.

Also a huge pain in the ass. And, frankly, there's three reasons I can think of to use TOR.

1. You live in a country with heavy internet monitoring, censorship and so on and want to get word out about the situation without being traced. Like China, for example, or Syria. Egypt even.

2. You want to buy drugs, weapons, or otherwise engage in illicit activities and have no meatspace connections.

3. You're paranoid.

I've used TOR, mostly for the sake of being able to say "I've been on the Hidden Wiki." and... yeah, it's barely usable. Forget 56k connections, it's more like 9.8k connections. Slllooooowwww is what I'm saying here.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

Pingouin7 wrote:Why does it matter?


Higher health insurance...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 0998072986

Avoiding stalkers...
http://gawker.com/5637234/gcreep-google ... d-on-chats

A good ol' Uncle Sam sticking his nose where it doesn't belong...
http://readwrite.com/2010/09/27/googles ... fo_request

To name a few.

SecondTalon wrote:
King Author wrote:Never heard of Tor, though. Sounds nice, but how do I know it's safe?
How deep down the paranoia hole do you want to go?

I mean, you could always just spin up a VM, use TOR through that, and trash the VM when done. Every time you need to use TOR, you just make a new VM with different properties. Untraceable, that.

Also a huge pain in the ass. And, frankly, there's three reasons I can think of to use TOR.

1. You live in a country with heavy internet monitoring, censorship and so on and want to get word out about the situation without being traced. Like China, for example, or Syria. Egypt even.

2. You want to buy drugs, weapons, or otherwise engage in illicit activities and have no meatspace connections.

3. You're paranoid.

I've used TOR, mostly for the sake of being able to say "I've been on the Hidden Wiki." and... yeah, it's barely usable. Forget 56k connections, it's more like 9.8k connections. Slllooooowwww is what I'm saying here.


When I asked how I know TOR is safe, I meant, how do I know it does't install viruses, spyware, adware, etc.? How do I know it's not tracking my information? I'm not gonna download anything and run it unless I know precisely what's happening behind the scenes.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:26 pm UTC

When I asked how I know TOR is safe, I meant, how do I know it does't install viruses, spyware, adware, etc.? How do I know it's not tracking my information? I'm not gonna download anything and run it unless I know precisely what's happening behind the scenes.


Can you trust your kernel, compiler, linker, ...?

If so, read all the source code to make sure, and build it yourself.

Else, you have much greater worries than TOR.

See http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby King Author » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

strake wrote:
When I asked how I know TOR is safe, I meant, how do I know it does't install viruses, spyware, adware, etc.? How do I know it's not tracking my information? I'm not gonna download anything and run it unless I know precisely what's happening behind the scenes.


Can you trust your kernel, compiler, linker, ...?

If so, read all the source code to make sure, and build it yourself.

Else, you have much greater worries than TOR.

See http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html


Guys, guys! I'm not waxing philosophical about the meaning of trust and truth, here. I'm wondering if a program I've never ever heard of before in my life will do bad things to my computer if I run it.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:47 am UTC

Well, you asked how you know.

I'm not gonna download anything and run it unless I know precisely what's happening behind the scenes.

The way to do that is to read the source code, or trace it.

The alternative is to take someone's word for it.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Deva » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:44 am UTC

For download purposes:
Virus/Malware Test wrote:We last tested the Tor Browser Bundle download on 29 Nov 2013 with 24 different anti-virus and anti-malware programs and services. Out of these tests, the Tor Browser Bundle download tested clean 100% of the time.
Tor Browser Bundle does not contain any malware, spyware, trojans or viruses. When the developer updates the download, we will certainly recheck it for malware.

(Tested Avast! Antivirus, Avira Antivir, BitDefender, Comodo, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton, Sophos, TrendMicro, Webroot SecureAnyware, ZoneAlarm Antivirus, Comodo Site Inspector, G-Data, Malware Patrol, Malware Domainlist, Phishtank, Spyeye Tracker, VX Vault, Yandex, ZDB Zeus, Zeus Tracker, and Zvelo.)
Cannot vouch for that site's trustworthiness.

Possibly important note: Discovered malware in August 2013 (not from downloading). Targeted Tor specifically.
Tor Announcement wrote:Fourth, consider switching to a "live system" approach like Tails [13].
Really, switching away from Windows is probably a good security move
for many reasons.


Provided warnings, also.

Short version:
Above Link wrote:1. Use the Tor Browser
2. Don't enable or install browser plugins
3. Use HTTPS versions of websites
4. Don't open documents downloaded through Tor while online
5. Use bridges and/or find company
6. Don't torrent over Tor


Edit: Forgot. Update whenever possible too.
Edit2: Note on Tor's effectiveness:
Artechnica Article wrote:The new research has shown that a potential adversary with control of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) or autonomous systems (ASes) that have large-scale network control (like an ISP), could expose and identify a Tor user, given enough time.

...

Specifically, a group of five researchers at Georgetown University and the Naval Research Laboratory—the arm of the Navy that originally developed Tor—explained it this way:
An adversary that provides no more bandwidth than some volunteers do today can deanonymize any given user within three months of regular Tor use with over 50 percent probability and within six months with over 80 percent probability. We observe that use of BitTorrent is particularly unsafe, and we show that long-lived ports bear a large security cost for their performance needs. We also observe that the Congestion-Aware Tor proposal exacerbates these vulnerabilities.

Some of our results against an adversary controlling ASes or IXPs are similarly alarming. Some users experience over 95 percent chance of compromise within three months against a single AS or IXP. We see that users’ security varies significantly with their location. However, an adversary with additional ASes or IXPs has much higher compromise speed, notably against even those users in “safer” locations. Such an adversary is highly relevant in today’s setting in which many large organizations control multiple ASes or IXPs. Surprisingly, we observe that high diversity in destinations may actually result in improved security against a network adversary.
Last edited by Deva on Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:14 am UTC

4. Don't open documents downloaded through Tor while online


This is stupid. Documents don't harm; programs do.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Menacing Spike » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:47 am UTC

strake wrote:The way to do that is to read the source code, or trace it.


You can't trust source code - what if your compiler was tampered with?

Better read the binary!

`This is stupid. Documents don't harm; programs do.


Example: Office Macros.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
`This is stupid. Documents don't harm; programs do.


Example: Office Macros.


Ah, so you're not just opening the document, you're following included code. Now it's a program. Programs are just data like any other and can be safely read, but not done, whether trusted or no.

Code: Select all

#!/bin/sh
rm -rf /


Opening it won't do any harm, but execing it will.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Xeio » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:37 pm UTC

strake wrote:Opening it won't do any harm, but execing it will.
Unless there's a vulnerability in the program you're using to open it.

See: .PDFs, Office documents, .TIFFs...

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:35 am UTC

I mean merely opening the file, as in

Code: Select all

int fd = open (path, flags);

won't do any harm; the program that opens it may follow code in the file and do harm itself.

So open it with a sane program. Otherwise, why bother? Why download a document and not open it? To give the network and filesystem a workout? It's moronic.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby ucim » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:01 am UTC

strake wrote:So open it with a sane program.
Ah, but do you know how sane your useful programs are?

The line between program and data is... well... illusory.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:07 am UTC

ucim wrote:Ah, but do you know how sane your useful programs are?


Some. Some are quite sane, e.g. toybox. Others are fully insane, e.g. gcc.

ucim wrote:The line between program and data is... well... illusory.


Yes, it's how the data are used.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:35 am UTC

strake wrote:Why download a document and not open it?

.... because you missed an entire section of the sentence.
4 Don't open documents downloaded through Tor while online


Get off the internet. THEN open it.
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby strake » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:23 am UTC

Ah, I missed that it's ambiguous:

Don't (open while online) documents downloaded through Tor
Don't open documents (downloaded while (online through Tor))

If indeed the former, never mind.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby Deva » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:34 am UTC

Long Version wrote:Don't open documents downloaded through Tor while online

The Tor Browser will warn you before automatically opening documents that are handled by external applications. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING. You should be very careful when downloading documents via Tor (especially DOC and PDF files) as these documents can contain Internet resources that will be downloaded outside of Tor by the application that opens them. This will reveal your non-Tor IP address. If you must work with DOC and/or PDF files, we strongly recommend either using a disconnected computer, downloading the free VirtualBox and using it with a virtual machine image with networking disabled, or using Tails. Under no circumstances is it safe to use BitTorrent and Tor together, however.

Is that clearer?
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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:31 am UTC

King Author wrote:
tastelikecoke wrote:You can still use Gmail. And Youtube too, but not subscribe or comment and other stuff. Honestly I don't see the appeal of having an account in Youtube. It only gives Google a chance to compromise your deliciously private watch history and gives you the ability to post "like this if you hate Google+" on the comments section.

Some content is age-restricted and you HAVE to sign in. Also, don't think for a second that Google isn't tracking your watch history just because you're not signed in -- they just use your IP.

But I suppose they can't do the "Recommended for you" thing on unsigned-in users? That's the only thing I didn't like about the Google having your watch history. For example, A friend linked me a video about a tape worm surgery (it's like ... noodles, man) and soon enough Youtube would recommend me other equally disgusting videos, with thumbnails.

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Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby 3rdtry » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:59 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Some content is age-restricted and you HAVE to sign in.


Just replace "youtube.com" with "nsfwyoutube.com". They embed the videos so you can watch them without an account. I know this because of reasons.

lgw
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:52 pm UTC

Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

Postby lgw » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:13 pm UTC

I hate to plug a commercial product, but I do feel the need to point out that Outlook.com is a perfectly respectable and usable webmail service these days, without any associated social networking. Without opinion on the relative evils of various corporations, I found it quite practical to separate my real life identity, any sort of email that might include my address for example, into the Microsoft world while keeping a Google account for when its handy to have a purely online identity (from Youtube to giving email to online friends). Can Google still connect the dots? Perhaps - depends on how strict I am with my use of virtual machines - but at least I don't make it easy for them.
"In no set of physics laws do you get two cats." - doogly


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