Luddite Report

Luddite: “Luddite” is a term describing those opposed to, or slow to adopt or incorporate into their lifestyle, industrialisation, automation, computerisation or new technologies in general.

Whine/rant coming.

I’m plagued with first world problems today. Well, this year so far. The powers that run the internets thingie, that entity which makes my life worth living, has started turning against me this year. Where there used to be a sense of comfort and security when I went online to browse the worlds complete supply of all knowledge, true and otherwise, I now find myself confused and more than a little pissed off about everything.

“Nothing good ever comes from change!” – Walter Matthau, Grumpy Old Men.

There is a thought out there that real change which has affected me is the change from 49 to 50. THAT change… may just be reason everything is just so confusing. Then again, I am paid a pretty handsome some to bring clarity to confusion every damned day, and since I’m still doing that pretty well, I’m a’gonna suggest that that might not be the problem. For once it’s the world that’s the problem, not I.

First off Yahoo! I had a long and well documented love affair with Yahoo. We enjoyed each others company whenever I needed to read email, catch up on world news, espouse my expertise on stuff on Yahoo Answers. I even paid Yahoo $50.00 a year for Yahoo Plus email and Yahoo’s Flickr photo sharing service. In return Yahoo! was a great partner. She’d let me forward emails to my various clients; AppleMail, Windows Mail etc. I got to see mail ad free and when I had problems, we could talk. Yahoo and I could have conversations about what was bugging me and she’d do her best to fix my problems. She was the prefect online relationship.

Then, something went horribly wrong between us. About February this year, she stopped working with me on forwarding emails. Connectivity to email clients worked intermittently at best. Yahoo was constantly asking me for my password from the client and she was constantly telling me it wasn’t right, even when I knew it was. It’s like she changed the locks on her front door to keep me out. And when I tried to talk about it with her, as I’d done many times before, I found that she’d gotten herself an unlisted number. The links to “contact us” led to an FAQ wall with no way to get the reassuring help I’d come to enjoy.

And Flickr- I paid for that premium service so I could store more photos online and not see ads… She decided to give everyone a terabyte of space, it’s like she went online and said “hello Sailor” to the entire world. Now people were getting for free what I was still paying for, and I am upset.

Not to mention that the service didn’t work on my new Windows 8 laptop with Explorer 10 on it. Firefox worked but not explorer. My beloved was telling me that she was going to start having relationships with the entire world and that I, am no longer special, I’m just another stooge in her revenue stream.

It hurts Yahoo, it hurts. After 10 years of a loyal and faithful relationship you’ve changed. Maybe it’s me, but I see that you went cold about the time Marissa Mayer took over and you decided that you would try to get us loyal Mail Plus users off our clients and into your applications where you could show us ads again because I’m guessing that we’re worth more to the people you want to sell our computer screens too than the $20.00 a year we were paying for Plus. Or maybe you think we’re stupid enough to pay and look at your offers.

Sorry Yahoo!/Marissa- you shit doesn’t work, your mail service has been down more than it’s been up, your ads are out of control.. I’m sorry. I get the message babe. We’re done.

Which leaves me with what?

Google? I avoid Google like the plague. It’s supposed to be the “do no evil” company and yet…

“You can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up, you trusted us!” – Tim Matheson as Otter in Animal House.

The architect of America’s National Debt Ronald Regan said about his arch nemesis the Soviet’s regarding arms control “Trust, and verify”.

Google is accumulating more data about me than the NSA, and frankly I’m not down with it.

Call me a luddite but I’m going to go freely give away my personal details so someone else can make a buck off them. Not unless you’re giving me a taste. And believe you me, it’s hard to live Google free. Yahoo’s search engine is worthless, Bing isn’t quite there yet… so I do find myself waltzing with Google more often than I’d like, but I hate myself for doing it. I freak’n blog so it’s not like I’m afraid to leave a foot print out there, I’m jus say’n I don’t want my data to be out of my control. With the Google, I don’t know what’s in my control and what isn’t.

Except Reader. Reader was worth the risk. I loved the Reader and frankly there were really no good options if I didn’t want to use it, it was a superior product. Now, it’s been disconnected and it hurts. Google didn’t like the idea that people were reading content they gathered without being tracked adequately, avoiding cookies, ads and all the other things Google does to make a buck of us. It’s their company they can do what they want I get it. Unfortunately for me the loss of the Reader has caused my blog views to drop around 70% a week. What’s worse, I’m part of the problem. I don’t read blogs like I used to because I have nowhere to aggregate them.

I’m lost at the moment. The Internet has lost its meaning and its usefulness for me.

This reminds me of the last car I bought. Came with an electronic key that activated the ignition when you get in the car, blah blah blah. Some engineers I’m sure are quite proud of their little invention.

“Everyone asked ‘could we’ when they should have asked ‘should we’”- Jeffery Goldbloom, Jurassic Park.

This key thing… when I lost the key to my truck I went down to the hardware store and had one made for $2.50. The new key that was every bit as useful as the key I have for the new car, only difference… replacing this key? A mindboggling 100X more expensive at $250.00. Functionally it does exactly the same thing. The Car Company likes the new profit formula, me the consumer… does not.

Maybe it’s time get serious about dropping of the grid and emancipating myself from all these “advancements”.

2 Comments

Filed under Life

2 responses to “Luddite Report

  1. My son has a car key like yours. He had to get a replacement once. I was absolutely floored by the cost. Mine has a big glob of black plastic on it, but it doesn’t do anything more than start the car. Losing the fob that locks and unlocks the door, beeps the horn, etc., might be costly, however. Not to mention the remote starter thingy, yet another little doodad to lose.

  2. Ken in Northfield

    “For once it’s the world that’s the problem, not I.” That’s one of the wonderful realizations of turning 50.

    and as for Yahoo premium mail, my wonderspouse has been trying to cancel it for months. She even figured that when her credit card passed its expiration date and she didn’t offer a new one or the new security code, Yahoo couldn’t charge her for this year. Yah, right! The bank told her that businesses with “ongoing relationships” with customers could get the charges to go through. Sure enough, it did.

    Trackingl-ess searching: my first search is now on DuckDuckGo https://duckduckgo.com/‎

    If I can’t find what I need I’ll reluctantly go to Google.

    And aliases work well too. It’s just that they’re confusing to me.

Lemmie know what you think..

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