Q. What should I use to protect myself from surveillance on a Chromebook?

A. A hammer.

@aral yes, I'm sure that a hammer is the most efficient way to install an operating system on a laptop.

@ben That toot wasn’t for you. It’s was for the 99% of people apart from you who will never install a different operating system on their computer in their lives (and nor should they have to, just like 99% of people who drive a car never have to install a different engine .)

@aral What would you suggest those people do to their Mac OS or Windows computers, then? I'm pretty sure they're not going to be running some sort of Linux machine. As far as I know, there's only one company in existence building Linux machines for consumers.

@ben I’m not as worried about those on macOS right now (gotta pick your battles and Apple’s business model is 180 degrees from Google’s). A tiny percentage of them might end up installing Linux. However, we can’t base our strategy on that. We must invest in and promote folks like @Purism and System76 and @tuxedocomputers, etc. building turnkey solutions.

We can’t compete with the mainstream car industry by promoting engine replacements.


@ben @Purism @tuxedocomputers

I'm actually worried more about Apple than Google...
With Google, we are handing them our data and we know they are gonna use it "against us" but while distrusting Google and trusting Apple, we give Apple a very good oppurtinity to screw us even harder than Google...

@finlaydag33k @aral @ben @Purism @selea

I’m not quite sure I follow. We distrust Google and give them our data, we trust Apple and give them our data. What’s the difference? They’ve both gotten our data.

@mookie @finlaydag33k @ben @Purism @selea Apple designs their wares so the data stays on the device as much as possible. They’re not doing this because they are your friend but because they realise that they have an absolute competitive advantage in privacy. (They can provide a feature that would make Google go bankrupt if they tried.) That said, they’re a stopgap. We need ethical tech for the common good.

@aral @mookie @finlaydag33k @Purism @selea

Apple also has a copy of users' data:

The US government definitely knows about this:

If Apple didn't have any data on their users, why would the US government request tens of thousands of users' data?

@ben @mookie @finlaydag33k @Purism @selea Look, I’m not going to spend another moment on this: if you can’t see that Apple and Google have wildly diverging business models and thus tell people “use either, they’re the same” then you’re opening up people to surveillance. Apple ain’t perfect. We need FLOSS and *ethical* alternatives. But they’re a fucktonne different from Google.

[Unsubscribe] *click*

@aral @ben @Purism @tuxedocomputers I have used System76 and MacOS recently. Interested in next laptop being ultra book i7 with 8-10 he battery life under loads. I think XPS hits that but would look to System76 or Purism first.

@hankg @ben @Purism @tuxedocomputers XPS hits that under Windows not (for me) under Pop!_OS 18.10. I get ~ 6 hours I think. GNOME might be to blame for a large part of that, GNOME Web would spin up the fans and bring the computer to a crawl when I was using it as my primary browser; tend to avoid it now for that & other reasons (e.g., drag/drop of image in Mastodon replaces the page/loses the toot, localhost requires protocol, etc.)

@aral @ben @Purism @tuxedocomputers I did extensive battery testing on this new MBP I bought, and the Air right before it that I sent back. Web browsing can be incredibly power hungry.

Yes their business model is different, but do you really actually believe that their practices are different? If yes, then their PR bullshit is more effective than I thought...
@ben @Purism @tuxedocomputers

@ben @aral as a compromise, you could install DragonflyBSD the normal way, but put it on a HammerFS partition.

@aral Well, with chromeOS gone and linux installed they are cheap laptops. Not everyone has 1000$ to spend on a macbook.

@dwaltiz If we don’t __make__ freedom easy, we won’t have it.

@aral which spots should i whack to remove google from it

@aral @00dani It is possible to install a different OS on a Chromebook, and these devices do support coreboot, so your a step ahead of nearly all the current laptops out there (short of librebooting your own T400) when it comes to running a freer stack on modern hardware.

On another note, this is the only viable support path for the hundreds of thousands of Chromebooks that were EoLed recently, Google won't even push newer (secure) Chrome builds to laptops released under 5 years ago :/

@00dani @aral Srsly, I think they EoLed these laptops cause they didn't have full hardware acceleration (for running Android in a KVM without a shared kernel), which comes with the territory of budget Intel/AMD/ARM chips.

This userbase just wants a device that gives them a secure, up to date browser, besides extreme laziness there is no reason Google shouldn't continue to compile newer versions of Chrome for 'em. If Mozilla were smart, they would produce images to turn them into Firebooks...

@00dani @aral To be clear, there are literally hundreds of thousands of these needlessly obsolete Chromebooks in schools across the US.

An always up to date, no management required laptop for $150 to $300 was music to most school districts ears. The market for such a thing exists, people just want to get online, shitpost, look at porn and not worry about updates or security.

Firefox OS could have filled this role, Google already mainlined the kernel drivers and added Coreboot support.

@aral @00dani "thanks for your feedback. The incident will be reported to our digital overlords"

@aral Privacy on a chromebook? Hold on..... Something does not compute.

@aral As I wrote in another toot, install GNU/Linux on it. Some chromebooks are well supported in #Debian

@aral nevermind the fact that a os based on a browser is a sorry excuse for an os no matter the benefits.

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