In the same vein as the post Privacy-Respecting Alternatives to Popular Services, qorg11, author of the tech blog kill-9.xyz, has a long list of what he considers “harmful software,” i.e. terrible at privacy, malware-attracting, or just broken. You all may find this funny, but one of the things on the list is, of course, WordPress! The alternatives that he lists are werc and cleg. To be honest, there are a number of good alternatives to WordPress, and I have been moving some posts onto write.as, but that takes time.
One entertaining and accurate example is harmful – software – Certificate Authority, which really is an outdated, and insecure, system, yet it’s still used all across the web. You may have seen a warning like this, for example:
All this means is that the certificate wasn’t signed by an “official” certificate authority, like VeriSign, or more likely that its subscription has expired. qorg11 makes that point that with a self-signed certificate, this wouldn’t happen; essentially, security certificates are a scam, or a monopoly, or whatever you’d like to call them. Oddly enough, the werc site recommended above gave one of these security certificate errors.
Personally, I disagree that all the content sucks (but I rarely watch what’s trending); my interests lean more toward the horror, true crime, and sometimes tech channels. Alternatives that qorg11 recommends are PeerTube, MediaGoblin, or simply uploading webm videos to your website. PeerTube, like Mastodon, is part of the fediverse, and you have the option of creating and running your own instance. If it’s following your favorite creators from the original site that concerns you, there are YouTube front ends like Invidious and NewPipe, which feature the same videos without the ads, etc. Invidious, like PeerTube, has a number of different instances as well, of which the public ones are listed here: documentation/Invidious-Instances (yes, that’s on GitHub, which is on the “harmful software” list, but you can view it without registering).
In terms of search engines, qorg11 suggests some of the ones that have been mentioned in previous entries here: DuckDuckGo, Startpage, Qwant, and Searx in particular. Searx.space lists all of the different instances of the search engine and their stats (such as response time, IPv6, TLS grade, etc.) so you can find the one that best suits you. Examples are searx.fmac.xyz/, searx.tuxcloud.net/, and searx.foo.li/.
Unsurprisingly, Windows is also on the list. Besides its vulnerabilities to malware, it is a privacy nightmare. I used to use it, but switched to Linux several years ago and have not looked back. I’m still learning to use more advanced distros like Arch and Gentoo, but that’s part of the process, right? This site lists some of the many Windows 10 vulnerabilities.
Security and memory issues aside, what software and platforms are “best” are very subjective, based on UI/UX, availability, and such. It seems that many people just use operating systems like Windows and Mac/iOS because that’s what they’re accustomed to, and if you’ve used them for years, it can be challenging to switch. It’s for similar reasons that people may use the same passwords over and over (they’re easy to remember and type in).
Still, if you are looking for alternatives to software or operating systems that you’re tired of, qorg11’s list can be helpful and informative. AlternativeTo and Alternative.me also offer lists of substitutes to popular software with reviews and ratings from others, albeit without the snarky humor.
P.S. If you are someone who watches YouTube and are interested in things like horror, mysteries, and/or coding check out some of these channels. They are also available through Invidious and NewPipe.
ReignBot – A young woman who does mystery investigations, true crime, strange websites, dark web, paranormal debunking, etc.
Nexpo – Like ReignBot, Nexpo investigates mysteries and true crime, covers strange websites and occasionally ARGs, and also does an interesting series called “Disturbing Things from Around the Internet.”
Computerphile – Computers, cybersecurity, passwords, etc., in a fun and informative format.
Barely Sociable – Mystery investigations, dark web, cryptocurrency, debunking fake mysteries and urban legends.
MamaMax – While his first few videos were vlogs about depression and such, more recently he has done videos about taking down pedophiles and child porn sites.
Be.Busta – Horror story narrator and occasionally mystery investigator.
Elder’s Vault – Mystery investigator. Covers a lot of mysteries that other YouTubers don’t!
That Chapter – True crime and occasionally other types of mysteries with a lighthearted style.
Lady White Rabbit – Horror narrator, true crime, and mystery investigator.