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Productivity github.com

Declaratively configure your Gmail filters

If you use (and abuse) Gmail’s filters in order to wrangle your inbox, this tool might help you keep your sanity as you maintain them over time.

This utility helps you generate and maintain Gmail filters in a declarative way. It has a Jsonnet configuration file that aims to be simpler to write and maintain than using the Gmail web interface, to categorize, label, archive and manage your inbox automatically.

Google github.com

Cutting Google out of your life

If you’re concerned with the amount of data Google has on you, this list of alternative browsers, web apps, operating systems, and hardware may help you ween yourself from the company. Looking at this list, it’s amazing just how much value Google offers in trade for our data. A note from the author:

It’s a shame that Google, with their immense resources, power, and influence, don’t see the benefits of helping people secure themselves online. Instead, they force people like us to scour the web for alternatives and convince our friends and family to do the same, while they sell off our data to the highest bidder.

Opensource.com Icon Opensource.com

Get going with EtherCalc, a web-based alternative to Google Sheets

After I wrote about Stein earlier today, I got to wondering about open source alternatives to Google Sheets. Coincidentally, this article popped up in my RSS reader.

EtherCalc can be self-hosted or there are hosted offerings, including one at EtherCalc.org. It looks a bit rough around the edges, but that’s often the case with open source GUIs. Maybe kick the tires and blog about your experience? We’d happily log the results here on Changelog News.

Google steinhq.com

Use Google Sheets as your no-setup database

This looks like a great option for proofs of concept or when you want to take an idea to market as fast as possible. It’s also probably empowering to non-developers on the team since so many people can slice-n-dice spreadsheets better than SQL databases. You can self-host the open source version or pay for the hosted offering. I’d love to see a comparison between this and Airtable.

Smashing Magazine Icon Smashing Magazine

Vue.js and SEO: how to optimize reactive websites for search engines and bots

Real life data on how Google indexes javascript-rendered websites today. This has been a controversial subject, and this article by no means settles it entirely, but provides some strong data for what types of dynamic content are well indexable and which are not.

Though to be honest, I think the most important conclusion the author makes might be this one:

If you need your site to perform on search engines other than Google, you will definitely need pre-rendering of some sort.

Go github.com

Get unlimited Google Drive storage by splitting binary files into base64

A clever hack that is now being investigated by Google’s internal forums. How it works:

  1. Google Docs take up 0 bytes of quota in your Google Drive
  2. Split up binary files into Google Docs, with base64 encoded text
  3. Encoded file is always larger than the original. Base64 encodes binary data to a ratio of about 4:3.
  4. A single doc can store ~1 million characters. This is around 710KB of base64 encoded data.

Tooling pcmaffey.com

How to build a free, privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics

Google Analytics runs on over 56% of all websites. It’s the backbone of ad-tech across the web. Unfortunately, for site owners like me who just want to learn how people are using their website—while respecting their privacy—there simply aren’t any alternatives that meet all my requirements. So in two days, after a couple dead-ends, I built my own using React, AWS Lambda, and a spreadsheet. This is how.

It’s somewhat ironic that the datastore for this project is Google Sheets. That aside, this is a well-done effort and one that I wouldn’t mind adapting for use around these parts.

Google github.com

Using Google's speech recognition to beat Google's ReCaptcha

A little ingenuity paired with changes to ReCaptcha’s audio challenge allowed this hacker to create a Python ‘robot’ that defeats the ‘not a robot’ test with 90% accuracy. The approach is brilliant:

  1. Navigate to Google’s ReCaptcha Demo site
  2. Navigate to audio challenge for ReCaptcha
  3. Download audio challenge
  4. Submit audio challenge to Speech To Text
  5. Parse response and type answer
  6. Press submit and check if successful

The code is small enough to grok in 5-10 minutes. Love it!

Using Google's speech recognition to beat Google's ReCaptcha

Peter Bright Ars Technica

Google isn’t the company we should have handed the web over to

Peter Bright writes for Ars Technica:

Microsoft adopting Chromium puts the Web in a perilous place. […] With Microsoft’s decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That’s a worrying turn of events, given the company’s past behavior.

This post was mentioned in Slack by James Lovato about a former Microsoft Edge intern claiming Google callously broke rival web browsers. Then, Nick Nisi chimed in to mention this post by Jeremy Noring as “an interesting rebuttal/defense of what they’re doing.”

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