2015-06-30

The Irresistible Temptation Toward Invasion

Some time ago, I grew so tired of Google's need to screw with my search results that I switched over to Bing for searching and found that it met my needs much better.

First, let me state that I really don't care that Google harvests my data for advertising purposes. If Google has found a way to anticipate money-saving sources for my near future purchases and give me one-click access to these vendors, I am of the opinion that this makes my life a little easier, and makes a vendor richer, right alongside Google. Sounds like win-win-win to me.

I didn't give up Google searches for the advertising, I gave it up because Google kept showing me the same stuff over and over again. If I'm searching the same term for the bazillionth time, that means I haven't found what I was looking for the previous bazillion-minus-one times. I also didn't like how Stationary Waves kept coming up in my searches. I already know how to search my own blog, using the search bar at the top-left of the blog itself; I don't want to find my own web content. I want to see what other people know that I don't know. That's the whole reason I'm searching in the first place!

The advertisements for Bing promised a better search experience, so I put their claims to the test, and came out on top. I even enjoyed getting "Bing Rewards" for using their search engine. It was all working beautifully until I installed the Bing extension for the Chrome browser. Presented as a way to access information pertaining to Bing Rewards more easily, I took the bait.

Today, however, I discovered that the Bing Rewards extension had modified my browser settings in a way I neither approved no encouraged. The people at Bing may feel that they are getting a foot in the door with a loyal Google customer. In reality, they're competing with me for space on my own web browser.

It's a lesson in how far you can trust a company to stay legitimately helpful for their loyal customers: not as far as they can be thrown. Given enough leeway, any one of these companies will encroach on your system as far as they can.

Caveat emptor.