Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man. (2)

Paying the Price for Privacy: A Consumer's Choice

Discounts, loyalty programs, and apps are not merely conveniences; they're sophisticated tools designed to lock you into a brand's ecosystem. In today's retail world, companies aim not just for your wallet but for a significant slice of your identity and behavior.

In fact, the pressure to comply with these data-gathering tactics often hits you at the most vulnerable moment: checkout. This is no accident. Just as the impulse buy items like candy, magazines, and small toys are strategically placed near the register, questions about loyalty programs, zip codes, and app installations are timed to capitalize on your desire for a quick, hassle-free transaction. It's behavioral psychology at work—customers are more likely to say 'yes' just to expedite the process, not fully considering the implications of their consent. And like those impulse buys, the decision to 'opt-in' may seem small at the moment but can have far-reaching consequences for your privacy and personal data.

Initial Thoughts on Finding a Better HTPC Solution

I appreciate Google's transparency in their November 2020 Terms of Service update:

YouTube’s right to monetize. We’re gradually starting to serve ads on a limited set of brand-safe videos on channels not in the YouTube Partner Program or not under a monetizing agreement. There won’t be revenue share from these ads, but Creators can still apply for the YouTube Partner Program once they reach the eligibility criteria, which remain unchanged.

Ads are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, but I've found a workaround. Since the DMCA takedown against youtube-dl was dropped by GitHub, I'm putting more effort into a Plex library for my YouTube subscriptions. And just for clarity, I do support my YouTube subscriptions through Patreon, and I purchase all my Plex content legally.