Should I sign or should I stand?

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lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

I cannot believe it. I applied for an online training course in computer maintenance and support, which is due to begin in four days from now:

* They said they would send a contract to be electronically signed asap. Ten days later, I wrote to ask what was in order about the contract, they looked at it and found they never prepared it.

* They sent a link to some sub-contracted contract management provider service where the contract is now waiting for my signing. Some of the provisions seemed far fetched, so I made a couple of annotations (the tool is actually quite handy) and am still waiting for their comments. I do not undersign obligations I know I will not be able to fulfill.

* The are subcontracting both their contract management and their webinars. In both cases, personal data get transferred to third parties around the world (most probably, across the Atlantic) without the smallest warning. Some data protection policies are not translated into the user's language (and thus in the legally binding language in the user's country), and often quite vague ("we are working on it..." or "please visit here, then check there, etc.").

* Even worse, the minimal requirement test for the webinars are totally biased in favor of Google (in my case, Ungoogled Chromium) against Firefox. Switching from the latter to the former, I went from "your connection really sucks" to "hurray, you rock" about bandwith while the traffic (both up and down) actually dropped by half, according to MATE system monitor.

I am aware that libre and privacy oriented software is not mainstream, but such a bias, combined with the other substandard behavior, got me hesitant to sign that contract, if ever they eventually modify it. Should I accept the imperfections of this world and regretfully sign, or should I use this opportunity to stand for what I believe in? It really sucks, because this could be a great opportunity to level up my uneven competencies in the field.

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

> Some of the provisions seemed far fetched

This includes:

* Having to use a given professional networking platform in order to get a given number of new contacts per week. In other words, contact hunting and compulsory membership to the given platform.

* Having to spam potential employers, at least 3-5 per day and harass them by phone until something gives way. I do not need an 'employer', I need to level up in order to be able to help more people with their daily computing. Even if I did, this sort of employer spamming is known to have low success rate. People mostly find work through their existing professional and personal networks.

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

Somewhat unsurprisingly, I am not even allowed to start the test webinar session from Abrowser. Instructions to get the latest version of Google Chrome are displayed instead.

I can directly connect to the session from Ungoogled Chromium.

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

Have you tried faking the user agent?

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

Thanks for the suggestion.

I just tried that and got one step further: I can try to log in a session. At that point my mic/speakers are not found so nothing more happens, however. I tried to wave the usual privacy settings to no avail. Maybe the mic/speakers configuration is not exposed the same way by a FF derivative and by a Chrome/Chromium derivative.

I found this [1] related problem with MS Teams. There seems to be a strong tendency from proprietary web conferencing providers of pushing either an app (not ported to GNU/Linux) or a web service for which either MS or Google browsers are required. The past worries concerning jitsi.meet+FF might not have been permanently solved either, and it was about two pieces of free software.

The webcompat issue was mentioning spoofing Edge, so I tried that too. I got that wonderful system check result, only to be prompted to download the app. I might switch to the gardening training course, it would be much more straightforward.

[1] https://github.com/webcompat/web-bugs/issues/25070

Test_config_FFSpoffEdg.png
Magic Banana

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In my experience, Jitsi Meet now works great with Abrowser. I spent hours on it this weekend. No problem whatsoever.

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

Indeed, it works fine since they fixed the bug that caused connection errors.

For long, the recommendation was to use Chrome derivatives, so I was wondering how the bug first came into being and could not be fixed until recently. Google seems to be settings the standards, and others have to follow suit.

In the current case, nothing is done to allow people so use anything else than Chrome/Chromium or an app which is not ported to GNU/Linux.

Magic Banana

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As far as I understand, it was not really a bug: Jitsi started using RTX for WebRTC ( https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4588 ) before Firefox had it properly implemented: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1164187#c89

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

I see, thanks for the links. So I guess we could say that it was a case of FF lagging somewhat behind the IETF standards. This might not be so different from Google setting its own standards and pushing for adoption without too much discussion, but I cannot tell.

Of course, having the choice of using Jitsi Meet would be the best case. All the private providers of online courses I have found so far are using MS Teams or a hidden tool that has not been ported to GNU/Linux or is not available through FF derivatives. Ungoogled Chromium will have to do it, provided I trust them enough to sign that abusive contract.

EDIT: I still think Bug 1164187 is a bug :)

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

These people (from the webinar service) recently sold some subsidiary to Google.

They are providing AI based customer service, which might explain why I already got emails from maybe five to six different people for the same application.

The more I dig, the more the whole story has a foul smell. It feels like these people are getting paid by their customers to serve Google and a few affiliates huge piles of personal data. The company itself has been bought in August by what "has widely been described a vulture fund". See "logmein inc."

I am doomed. I shall change my identity and retrain as a sheep herder or beekeeper.