Did you hear? Google is going to stop scanning your Gmail for ad personalization

Google has announced in a blog post that later this year the content of free Consumer Gmail will not be used or scanned for any ad personalization.

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate. As ever, users can control the information they share with Google at myaccount.google.com.

This is good news for Privacy. Unfortunately Gmail users will still see ads in there Gmail.

Related:
Two years of Fastmail and how it replaced Gmail
Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff
Google’s Pixel Phone and other AI enabled devices are a privacy nightmare

Launch your favorite Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts | Keyboard Maestro

By using keyboard shortcuts to launch apps on my Mac, I can cut back on mouse or trackpad usage to perform actions faster and more efficiently. In fact, the Dock on both my Macs is hidden. I launch all my most popular apps using keyboard shortcuts.

I’ve created my keyboard shortcuts using Keyboard Maestro. Within Keyboard Maestro I have a Group called Launch Apps. All my app launcher macros live there. Here’s how to create the app launcher macro:

Repeat this for all the apps that you would like to launch using a keyboard shortcut.

If you create the macro the way I have, the hotkey will also show/hide the app once launched.

Related Posts:
Keyboard Maestro macro for plain-text pasting anywhere
Keyboard Maestro Macro – Getting URLs from Safari

Web Finds for June 12, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Screenfloats
Use ScreenFloat for Mac to create floating screenshots that are always visible, no matter which application you’re in. This way, you don’t have to move or resize windows around to keep information visible on your screen. You can send shots created with ScreenFloat to any application that handles image files. I love this app.

Yoink
Yoink for Mac simplifies and improves drag and drop between windows, apps, spaces and fullscreen apps. When you start dragging files in Finder or content from an application, Yoink fades in a tiny window at the edge of your screen so you can drag to it. This frees up your mouse so you can comfortably navigate to the destination of the files and resume the drag from Yoink’s window more comfortably.

TwitRSS.me
Get a twitter user feed or search as a RSS.

2017 Apple Design Awards
This year’s Apple Design Award winners were announced at WWDC last week. The thirteen apps selected at this years awards include 5 games and 7 apps for iOS.

Previous Web Finds are here.

Recent Items 4.2 for Alfred 3

If you’re not familiar with Alfred, Alfred 3 for Mac is an award-winning app for which boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and more.

Recents is an Alfred workflow triggered by the rec keyword. This opens up the navigation menu shown in the screenshot below where I can select a category to narrow down my search of recent items. The available options are Now (for the most recently accessed files), Folders, Applications, Documents, Downloads, and Favorites.

I use this instead of using Finder or the Recent Items menu to find recently used files, folders, documents, applications etc. I find this much quicker as all my recent items are in one place.

The download link for the workflow is here.

Related Posts:
6 Things you can do with Alfred 3 to boost your productivity on macOS
My Must-Have Mac and iPhone Apps for 2017

Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff

According to an article by the Washington Post, Google has now devised a new way to further violate user privacy. Google now knows when their users go to a brick and mortar store and buy stuff.

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg, Writing for the Washington Post May 23

Google has begun using billions of credit-card transaction records to prove that its online ads are prompting people to make purchases – even when they happen offline in brick-and-mortar stores, the company said Tuesday.

The advance allows Google to determine how many sales have been generated by digital ad campaigns, a goal that industry insiders have long described as “the holy grail” of online advertising. But the announcement also renewed long-standing privacy complaints about how the company uses personal information.

The new credit-card data enables the tech giant to connect these digital trails to real-world purchase records in a far more extensive way than was possible before. But in doing so, Google is yet again treading in territory that consumers may consider too intimate and potentially sensitive. Privacy advocates said few people understand that their purchases are being analyzed in this way and could feel uneasy, despite assurances from Google that it has taken steps to protect the personal information of its users.

What we have learned is that it’s extremely difficult to anonymize data,” he said. “If you care about your privacy, you definitely need to be concerned.”

You can read the full article here.

Related Posts:
Google’s Pixel Phone and other AI enabled devices are a privacy nightmare

 

Keyboard Maestro macro for plain-text pasting anywhere

I discovered the plain text paste Keyboard Maestro macro on tjlouma’s GitHub page.

Here’s what it does:

  1. Remove any formatting from the clipboard.
  2. Inserts the clipboard text by typing.

Here are a few of the scenarios when this comes in handy:

  • any time you want to ‘paste’ text but do not wanted any formatting kept
  • any time you are faced with a text field that does not respond to a ⌘ + V (paste) command
  • any time you need to enter a phone number into one of those stupid web-forms that uses three different fields for a phone number (area code + prefix + suffix) where you can’t use ‘paste’ because it will put all of the digits into the first box

I use this keyboard shortcut almost every day. I use it when I know I don’t want formatting and am not sure if where I’m pasting will keep the formatting or not. I use it to login into websites or apps that don’t allow pasting. For example you can’t login into an encrypted disk image by pasting. It’s not allowed. So instead of typing your password copy it to the clipboard and past it in using ⌥V.

You can download the Keyboard Maestro macro here, courtesy of tjlouma at Github. tjlouma has a bunch of other Keyboard Maestro macros available on his Github account as well.

Related Posts:
Keyboard Maestro Macro – Getting URLs from Safari
My Dilemma With Better Touch Tool

Web Finds for May 23, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Apple launched a new iPhone 7 video series entitled “How to Shoot on iPhone 7,” featuring a range of tutorial videos.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac scans for and removes malware and Trojans that degrade the performance of your system.

Focuslist
FocusList is a daily planner & focus app for planning your day and being more productive using 25 minute intervals. Go through your tasks in 30 minute blocks. (25 minutes work + 5 minutes break). It helps you focus by separating work time and rest time.

Bartender 2
Bartender 2 for Mac lets you organize your menu bar apps, by hiding them, rearranging them, or moving them to the Bartender Bar. You can display the full menu bar, set options to have menu bar items show in the menu bar when they have updated, or have them always visible in the Bartender Bar. Bartender has a 4 week free trial.

Previous Web Finds are here.