The Weekly Review — Issue 5

Google has dropped the ball.

I’m a day behind with releasing my post. I post on a Friday with a set format. This week is different. I spent most of this week poorly. So, I will be writing about what has gone on without the usual format.

Escaping Google and YouTube

I plan to have a separate post for this adventure, but I thought I would mention it here. Yes. I am still annoyed by all the services Google has killed off in the past year. Stadia, Google Domains, Podcasts, and Jamboard to name a few.

As a Chromebook and Google Workspace user, I had a good setup to manage all of my needs, personally and professionally. Then, Google started killing off services one by one.

This week, Google’s very own YouTube service started blocking access to browsers and extensions that blocked their ads. I get it. They need to make money, but the approach of forcing people to their premium subscription seems like a desperate move. I’m not willing to sacrifice my privacy and be subjected to frustrating adverts. I refuse to remove or disable my ad blocker for them. Therefore, I refuse to use YouTube.

On top of all the advert drama, a dispute between two YouTubers, SSSniperwolf and Jacksfilms, made headlines when SSSniperwolf (Alia Shelesh) doxxed Jacksfilms (Jack Douglass) by turning up to his house, sharing it with her 5.6 million followers on Instagram, and challenging him to come out. The potential outcome and danger to Jack is unimaginable. I’ve already read how people have had SWAT teams turn up to their homes over online disputes. This is an ugly thing to go through.

YouTube’s response? It took a week for them to say SSSniperwolf would be temporarily demonetised. Their post on Twitter even said both were at fault. I don’t see how Jack was at fault here. He criticised her content for stealing. However, there was no harm done. YouTube, rightly so, were criticised for their poor response. It is clear to see they don’t want their cash cow, SSSniperwolf, to lose any money through the whole drama. Either way, I am less than impressed.

I feel Google is losing it. Their services are disappearing and some feel neglected. I’m sure Sundar Pichai is a lovely person. But is he the right person for the job? I have lost my trust and respect for Google. I have no idea what their vision is! I’m not particularly happy that I have to migrate hundreds of Jamboard files to other services. There will be plenty of other teachers out there who feel the same.

As a customer, I don’t feel Google is doing enough for the company. I have taken the decision to move completely away from Google products as much as possible. I am in the middle of taking out all my data from Google Workspace. Furthermore, I will unsubscribe, delete my data and move most of my content to iCloud.

Goodbye YouTube
Goodbye YouTube

I have already deleted all of my YouTube videos, migrated Google Workspace data, and my emails have been moved elsewhere. Accounts linked to Gmail are currently being transferred to other email addresses. My next stop will be to get rid of all of my Google Nest Mini/Hubs dotted around my home.

The Google Nests are going!
The Google Nests are going!

Now, I know I can’t get away from them completely. I have services that use Google’s Firebase for synchronisation and data storage. Even Apple uses their service for iCloud backup. It would also mean deleting services I use, such as Twos App and Upnote. Would that be too drastic to go down that route?

A different challenge at work

Over the past two weeks, I have taken on the responsibility of teaching high school students computing. I am primary trained in teaching (5 to 11-year-olds), so teaching high school students (11–16-year-olds) was a new challenge to me. It was an exciting one, in fact. I did it and enjoyed every moment.

I was recovering from an illness, which made each day a challenge in itself. Not only that, but I would have written more content and uploaded daily in my 100 Days of Code challenge. However, I wanted to reserve my energy by getting early nights. I got more than one hour each day of coding experience as I taught computing.

The gaming twitch

I mentioned at the start of the year I was going to quit gaming for a year. I am at the ten-month mark. I am relishing the idea of gaming again in two months. It has been a demanding challenge to say the least. I hadn’t really thought about it until recently when my son said he wanted a new Xbox Series X for Christmas. In addition, some seriously cool-looking games have come out, such as Super Mario Bros Wonder and Sonic Superheroes.

I am seriously tempted right now to get back online. I know I can’t, but I like the idea of passively wasting my time on gaming because my current pastime activities are starting to bore me.

I mentioned in my seven-month update to the challenge I would stick to learning/puzzle games after the twelve months were up. I want to keep it that way. However, I am starting to think it is a little extreme, even if I have seen massive improvements to my life since I quit gaming.


Like I said, there are no links, videos, or anything from Twos this week. It has been a busy one. I want to recover from whatever I can down with and enjoy the two weeks I have off with my family. I might even have time to write a blog post in greater detail for next Friday.

Mark @ CodeMacLife

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