Quick Friday grumble

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus – mostly because the news always seems to be much the same. Don’t worry, though, it’s getting interesting again and I have things to say, so watch this space for some proper blogging soon. In the meantime:

Please, even if you don’t actually sell ads, stop colluding with the ad slingers. I’m talking about ReCaptcha, people. If you use it, you’re selling my time to Google to help them with their parent company’s self-driving cars programme. I don’t mind self-driving cars as such, even though I suspect it’s a bit like fusion and will never quite be ready. I do mind helping personal data abusers make even more money.

I see a lot of Captchas and ReCaptchas because I run a lot of privacy filters – AdBlock Plus and Privacy Badger, plus locked down cookie settings and selective Javascript. It’s very irritating to have to complete a whole lot of image-recognition tests in order to buy something, especially if it’s from a website where I have an account. There are many ways of determining that I’m not a bot without making me an indentured servant of Alphabet – use one of them instead. I would have thought, for example, that you could let me sign in and then see whether I’ve spent any money with you before – bots tend not to, I think you’ll find.

And in any case, bots are your problem, not mine. Never mind making me do Alphabet’s job for them, don’t make me do yours either.

Grumble ends. The Bigger Picture will be back…

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