Duck Duck Go is a new and interesting search engine.  It has its own bot, but it also relies on Bing for much of its search results.  Often it provides the answer to a search via integration with Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha or another service.

There are keyboard shortcuts, search modifiers, etc… on their goodies page.

Let’s see if WordPress will let us embed a search box:

Nope, use the link above.


Why Can No One Get Search Right?

Much hype surrounds integrated search features in modern OS’s; each claiming to work out of the box.  Not one works in any usable manner.  Not Spotlight, not Beagle, and not Vista’s search.  They are all to limiting–sure they work fine as app launchers–to work for anyone who actually needs to use search.

To be functional search must include everything…by default.  Give me buttons to filter by location after the answers are presented.  When I search I want to see what is in everything that I (as a user) have access to.  Network shares, config files, internet cache, everything.   Not just an arbitrarily defined subset.

And the search as you type must be discontinued.  This is a poorly implemented retarded idea whose time has not yet arrived.  Looking for documents related to carpal tunnel, I type C-A-R…the computer freezes as it searches the index for car…it finishes…I type P…it freezes again while it searches for carp…WTF?  Stop already.  You are wasting my whole day!

Still…Mac fanboys think Spotlight is perfect, MS apologists think Vista search is the greatest, OSS zealots believe Beagle to be the best.

But they all suck.  Isn’t the one of them worth the CPU it takes to build the index.  When will someone get it right?

What do they [search engines] know about you? | 08/20/2006 | What do they know about you?
What do they know about you?

A couple of days ago the San Jose Mercury News ran an article on search engines and privacy. This was in response to the release orf search data by AOL. The Mercury News studied the privacy policies of the big 4 search engines (AOL, Yahoo, Google, and MSN), then went on to conduct interviews of representatives of the companies. Their conclusions are that you have no privacy. The policies are summed up in a pdf chart here.

Basically, they use tracking cookies, IP addresses, and user log-ins to amass their data pile. They do not give the user access to the data they collect, they do not allow the user to correct bad information, they will not admit to who they have shared your data with. Basically they collect and analyze your data, and you should just trust them. While this was not my primary reason for dumping google services, my actions were quite prescient. You can read the responses from the big four here.

The Mercury News (which is a great newspaper, the best in the Bay area, bounds better than the SF Chronicle) also links to a CommonWealth Club talk on digital privacy.

After reading (and listening to) this, it would seem that it would be time to reinvestigate Tor. I had this setup on Windows, it was fairly easy. I wonder if I can make it work in SUSE?

Perhaps we are at the end of privacy, perhaps privacy is a quaint old fashioned idea. If this is the case, if we are in fact entering the transperant society, then we must demand transperancy from those at the top, both government and business leaders must be held accountable.

I will leave this with a link to the EFF’s short guide to Keeping Your Search Data Private.

Google and the Decline of the Internet

I am in the process of trying to delete/recover the data that google is putting together on me.  And they had a lot.  I was using gmail, analytics, picasa web galleries, sitemaps, personal start page, pages, and some others that I can’t even remember right now.  I even considered adwords at one point….I am thankful that I did not subject my users to that.

Google claims to want to organize information, but it has made the web more and more unusable over time…and it continues to worsen.

Google is a good thing.  Wikipedia is a good thing.  But combine them and you get a monster.  There are sites scraping wikipedia all over the internet, all profiting from google adwords.  Cluttering up the search results….garbage. So google directs traffic to these garbage sites, collects a fee for adwords, and sends a check to the offending site owner.  Who wins?  Google wins.  Scam site owners win.  The internet loses.  The end user loses.

Google is directly and 95% responsible for all of the link farms, blog spam, spam blogs, spam pings, and scraper sites on the internet.  Their involvement with is laughable.  This would be like George Bush being involved with  It would be even funnier if it did not have such grave implications for the future of the internet.

I deleted one of my two gmail accounts (keeping one as a spam address), I deleted my picasa galleries, I deleted my calandar, I deleted the tracking cookies that I allowed google to use from my websites (google analytics), I deleted my personal page, I deleted my google pages account, I deleted my sitemaps account, I uninstalled my firefox extensions.  I’ve done what I can to stop google from tracking me–and they are everywhere, worse than Amazon.  The analytics were evil, worse even than adwords because they were invisible to the user…All gone.

This has been bugging me for a while….I am into trying out new things, and google has been releasing new things, so I had lots of google things.
Google brings nothing to the internet, they are a leech on the content of others.  Google news has no news reporters, instead they scrape the work of others and then add ads.    This puts google into the parasitic class.  And just because google has many many parasites hanging from its tits does not make it less of a parasite.

This does not mention google purchasing developers of opensource, is Firefox really free, or has it become the google browser?  Google owns the main developers, google supplies the money for the rest, what happened to the free as in speech?  Insiduously sucked away by google.

“With great power comes great responsibility”  This is a maxim that evidently escapes Brin and Page.  Their “do no evil” mantra has become a joke as they set about forcing the decline of the internet.