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Ben Sizer
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361 followers
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Not that I use this place much anyway, but I intend keeping my use infrequent in future, because I am increasingly unhappy with Google's methods of doing business, including:

 - selling ads next to unauthorised uploads of copyrighted material (eg. YouTube)
 - deliberately making it hard to report copyright infringement (again, YouTube)
 - profiting from selling ads on 3rd party sites facilitating piracy
 - harvesting personal data from WiFi when collecting StreetView data
 - serving up misleading image adverts that trick people into downloading software they don't want (despite claiming to review adverts that are submitted)
 - boasting of their pride at finding ways to avoid paying the taxes that various democratic nations have decided businesses should pay
 - probably torturing puppies too.

"Do no evil" is obviously a thing of the past; it seems clear now that they will do whatever it takes to drive up their advertising revenue regardless of the effect on users, content creators, and even members of the public.

As such I'm going to reduce my use of Google products and replace it with other services where possible.

The Google+ app running on my Google branded phone running a Google OS can't handle Google+ community links. So I can't see what this new community feature is all about until I get to a desktop PC. I know I keep saying this but Google is well past its best now. I'm not convinced anybody there really knows what they are doing any more, except perhaps the ones who ensure they continue to make ad revenue off pirated content and malware.

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News on what I'm up to (or what I would be up to if I wasn't on holiday this week).
A little bit of news about Storybricks.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/05/storybricking-it/

The summary is that we're focusing on working with other game companies to use the Storybricks technology, as explained before.  We're still trying to do awesome things, and we will give details when we can.

The other news is that we're taking the web-based client ("Kingdom of Default") offline for now.  Interested had waned and we weren't updating it anymore.  We'd love to talk to anyone interested in picking it up for a business purpose, such as catering to the educational market.

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If I can't get Planescape working on my PC soon, I may relent and go with Might and Magic VIII instead.

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Nicely put here.
Fantastic speech on the right to speech

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A good description of why the annual GameCity event in Nottingham is important.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/oct/29/gamecity-7-review

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A good description of one of the GameCity events I went to recently, with some relevance to the games journalism/PR controversy that's gone round of late.
http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/4835/reads-like-a-seven/

It's fascinating that Google and Facebook sell ads/promotion while obscuring what you actually get for your money. I wouldn't be surprised if that would be considered illegal in many other sales contexts.

Free and fair trade depends on both sides having a good idea of what exactly is on offer and what it's worth to them - but with these online ads you throw money at the company and hope that it isn't artificially inflating the price.

Facebook promoted posts are even worse, in that they control both the algorithm that decides how visible an unpaid post is and the degree to which paying to promote that post changes matters. This allows them to essentially charge everybody a certain amount of money to maintain the status quo, while pretending you're actually buying a benefit. The more people that promote posts, the more people will have to pay to get theirs visible. Will it end up being just a feed of adverts?

Woke up to Google telling me that someone in China has my Google password. Annoying.
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