Google+ = junk

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Google+ = junk

Postby powerhouse on Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:26 pm

The Internet has become part of my life, and I'm the kind who likes to embrace new things.

Recently I noticed that I'm getting way to much junk mail telling all sorts of "breaking news" and important events that happened on facebook, linkedin, and now on Google+.

So when I saw the Google+ mail presenting me a selection of crap which - even in my worst nightmare, or in an utter delirium - wouldn't occur to my mind sending to another human being, I went to the Google+ settings page (as instructed on the bottom of the email) to disable this unwanted Google "feature". Well, I guess schools and universities should start courses on how to properly configure Google+, as I couldn't figure out what was actually useful and what not.

Incidentally I visited my "Home" page on Google+, something I had never felt a big urge to do. Check out what I found under "Recommended reading":

The lock-picking tool on the bottom is a torsion wrench, exerting rotational pressure like the key would. The pick does what the key would do to each of the pins one at a time.

Together with a nice animation to instruct me how to pick locks.

Are they brain dead? Why should I want to know how to pick locks? Is Google run by criminals who like to share their trade secrets?

Or is it just because the general public wants to see this kind of instructional animation and Google is fulfilling a need? Like a heroin dealer feeding his drug addicts?

I think I will reconsider the use of these "new" Internet tools. Life is too short to waste it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn... recommendations and suggestions, let alone reading their "news".

END of RANT
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby passerby on Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:48 pm

Recommended reading is supposed to be based on other things you've viewed, subscribed to, etc. Perhaps you are a criminal :o

I get Google Glass updates from g+ (and by "updates" I mean dozens of stupid videos and photos, nothing actually newsworthy), but that's about it. Social media is just spam to me.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby Pierre on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:34 am

Google+ = another way directly to your Credit Card.

- junk mail is why there is no Goggle Account around here.

- at least they do admit that they use your data.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby RacerBG on Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:07 am

I have G+ but I receive only e-mails when someone adds me to friends or there are weekly stats for my account. G+ is not bad and for sure is better than FB. :wink:
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby powerhouse on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:05 am

passerby wrote:Recommended reading is supposed to be based on other things you've viewed, subscribed to, etc. Perhaps you are a criminal :o


I can't remember ever viewing, subscribing to, or being interested in lock picking or any other such activity. I haven't even searched for lock cylinder that I replaced recently - just went and bought it.

Oh, I did get a parking ticket recently - wow, Google is really on top of things!

passerby wrote:I get Google Glass updates from g+ (and by "updates" I mean dozens of stupid videos and photos, nothing actually newsworthy), but that's about it. Social media is just spam to me.


Exactly! But it didn't used to be.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby powerhouse on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:19 am

RacerBG wrote:I have G+ but I receive only e-mails when someone adds me to friends or there are weekly stats for my account. G+ is not bad and for sure is better than FB. :wink:


The reason I use G+ is to sync contacts between my Google Nexus phone and Thunderbird. Actually I don't even remember if Google+ is needed for it.

One thing I'm really disappointed is that the Google Nexus doesn't natively sync with any Linux PC. I went from iPhone to the Nexus because Apple dumped music sync with Linux. Apple changed the encryption to force users to use iTunes, which doesn't run on Linux. Before that change of encryption, you could sync your music library using Banshee for example with your iPhone and it worked nicely.

It seems that Google isn't much better. The Nexus (Android) doesn't support syncing music, nor contacts, directly with my PC. As opposed to the iPhone, I can simply copy my music to the Nexus. But my contacts still need to be synced through the cloud. That is where Google picks up my contacts and presents them to me as possible "friends". I don't think this is funny and I very much hope that sooner or later governments will make that illegal.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby bobafetthotmail on Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:46 am

powerhouse wrote:Are they brain dead? Why should I want to know how to pick locks? Is Google run by criminals who like to share their trade secrets?

Knowing how to pick locks (even just reading a book) is useful if you want to buy quality locks that resist or are completely immune to those techniques.

Because in case you missed it, that info is very easy to find, tons of videos on youtube, and there are guys that have lockpicking contests. Picking locks per-se isn't illegal (although carrying tools to do so may be illegal depending on the country's laws), so they aren't criminals.

It's more or less the same for wifi security. If you know how to crack it, you know how to secure it, and cracking wifi per-se isn't illegal so everyone can talk about it.

That said, it's probably just an hilarious failure of their engine. It's not perfect lol.

I can't remember ever viewing, subscribing to, or being interested in lock picking or any other such activity. I haven't even searched for lock cylinder that I replaced recently - just went and bought it.
Did you use a credit card for that? Maybe the same credit card connected to the google account for an Android phone?

I would start deploying my tinfoil hat, just for precaution. :lol:
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby viking777 on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:13 am

If ever you were searching for a reason to not use Google+ then this has got to be it:

http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/01/09/g ... me-people/

I have never had a google+ account (although I do use gmail) so some of the terminology is not obvious to me, but the implications are. It looks like any marketing or spamming organisations can launch a bot onto Google+ add a couple of milliion or so new 'friends' to their circle (apparently you don't have to agree to anyone doing this) and then they can email them their spam at will even though they don't know an individuals email address.

I think there are some limitations in force as to how often they can do this, and the horrific idea is apparently opt out (if you can find the setting). Maybe this is what happened to powerhouse and his lock picking tutorial (pity I didn't know about that earlier though, I locked myself out of my flat the other day :lol: )

Maybe you need the lockpicking tutorial to extricate yourself from Google+ :wink:
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby powerhouse on Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:16 pm

@viking777: Thanks for link! I got a mail from Google informing me about this change, but didn't think much about the consequences. Time to edit the Google+ settings (and perhaps the gmail settings as well).

However, what happened to me seems unrelated. I received a spam mail by Google suggesting all sorts of "important" things I should know/read, much like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin do nowadays.
But for Google that was a first, IIRC. I was actually hoping that Google might get it right, and over time I would have consolidated my social network using Google+. But no - some brain dead execs at Google must have decided to do the same as others do: spam the users. So I went to turn that off, and that's when I discovered that "lock picking article" under "suggested reading" on my Google+ home page.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby xenopeek on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:41 am

I don't quite follow the argument in that article shared by viking777, or at all what the fuss is about with regards to Google+ integration with Gmail and spam. Spammers don't need Google+ integration to send spam to your Gmail account, they already do so and on a massive scale. At least I get tens of spam messages per day from the Chinese (calling them out, as I think China should either stop their spammers or pay for my education to learn to read Chinese--now it's just wasted effort as I can't read any of it :)). Gmail is very good at detecting spam, and it all ends up in the spam bin anyway. So either I'm missing something, or this concern about spam is just media hype to get readers...
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby viking777 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:00 am

Well, maybe you are missing something xenopeek.

In the years that I have been using gmail I have never had a single Chinese spam email in my inbox or spam folder. Matter of fact, I don't get that much spam email at all, maybe 3 or 4 per day average (I emptied my spam folder 24 hours ago - it is still empty).

Luck? Possibly, or possibly a lower tolerance threshold for this type of scam, because that is how I see this type of cynical manipulation of people's privacy.

I can see that for some people the convenience of not having to type someone's email address in order to contact them might be attractive, but that attraction is far outweighed by the loss of privacy in my opinion, and the ability to 'opt out' is not an acceptable justification for that loss, all 'improvements' that might have an impact on a persoms privacy should be 'opt in' . (Although google would no doubt argue that by joining Google+ you have already opted in :? )

This is the reason I have recently stopped using the Unity desktop, despite believing it to be the best Linux DE I have ever used, and sadly missing it, 'Scopes' are a step too far for me and are only 'opt out' - unacceptable.

Even if you disregard the privacy implications there are clearly others, try reading this:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.1570876

Although strictly speaking this was not a result of Google's new email policy, it is a clear indication of the damage this sort of privacy abuse can cause.

If only Gmail were as easy to replace as Unity is :(
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby Bolle1961 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:59 am

Gmail is easy to replace. The "problem(s)" is / are your connected services like YouTube, Picassa webalbum and Android Playstore.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby RacerBG on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:37 pm

Always at least 2 times per 4 days I receive spam mails for "making your girlfriend enjoy in bed"... :mrgreen: I haven't got one but anyway thanks for the advices Mr. spam bot. :lol:

Do you know any reason why I receive this? Google? The e-mail where I receive this unicorns is from totally different host.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby Habitual on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:21 pm

https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings
after logging in...

Deselect these 2:
Occasional updates about Google+ activity and friend suggestions
Occasional updates from people outside your circles

De-select everything "spammy" under
Receive notifications
Get notified by email or phone when someone...
Posts
Circles
Photos
Hangouts
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Communications about Google+ Pages
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ie. Leave me the hell alone. ;)
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby clfarron4 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:04 pm

viking777 wrote:If ever you were searching for a reason to not use Google+ then this has got to be it:

http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/01/09/g ... me-people/


You can't just send random people e-mails through this system you know? If I'm not mistaken, if I want to send a message to someone, I have to have them in my circles AND they have to have me in my circles.

I moderate one of the Linux Mint communities over on Google+ and I rarely ever get junk come through my e-mail and feed.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby lexon on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:45 pm

This might be a different issue.
I use Google News as my home page.
I never stay logged into anything any longer then necessary. I always clear ALL Data in Firefox every time I close FF. Configured FF to do that. Do that maybe a dozen times a day. I have a Gmail account and no issues.
When I log out of Gmail, I have to clear that cookie manually. I have three different Gmail accounts.
I only log into an account when I have to.

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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby powerhouse on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:51 am

Habitual wrote:https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings
after logging in...

Deselect these 2:
Occasional updates about Google+ activity and friend suggestions
Occasional updates from people outside your circles

De-select everything "spammy" under
Receive notifications
Get notified by email or phone when someone...
Posts
Circles
Photos
Hangouts
Events
Communications about Google+ Pages
Communities

ie. Leave me the hell alone. ;)

Thanks, that's helpful.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby RacerBG on Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:43 am

powerhouse wrote:
Habitual wrote:https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings
after logging in...

Deselect these 2:
Occasional updates about Google+ activity and friend suggestions
Occasional updates from people outside your circles

De-select everything "spammy" under
Receive notifications
Get notified by email or phone when someone...
Posts
Circles
Photos
Hangouts
Events
Communications about Google+ Pages
Communities

ie. Leave me the hell alone. ;)

Thanks, that's helpful.


Yeah, thanks a lot! Actually I never tried to change anything in my profile except my picture... :lol:
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:22 am

clfarron4 wrote:
You can't just send random people e-mails through this system you know? If I'm not mistaken, if I want to send a message to someone, I have to have them in my circles AND they have to have me in my circles.

I moderate one of the Linux Mint communities over on Google+ and I rarely ever get junk come through my e-mail and feed.


Well, I hope you are right, but this is the relevant part of the article that seems to me to suggests otherwise:

Google, for its part, says you’ll be allowed to restrict strangers from emailing you by adjusting a new user setting, which will let you choose “who can email you via your Google+ profile.” The choices range from “no one” or just “your circles” to “extended circles” or “anyone on Google+.” In the latter case, a stranger on Google+ would have to add you to one of their circles, but could then reach you even if you hadn’t added them back.


The key seems to be (as later posts suggest) that you have to set permissions in a more restrictive manner than the default to make sure this does not happen.
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Re: Google+ = junk

Postby Habitual on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:33 pm

RacerBG wrote:Yeah, thanks a lot! Actually I never tried to change anything in my profile except my picture... :lol:


It's the first thing I usually do, also!
Glad it helped.
I see unsolicited emails too, but they are far and few in between.
I modified mine yesterday to turn off most notifications.
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