Alternatives to Google search

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webfork
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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#166 Post by webfork » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:21 pm

How to remove Google from your life: https://spreadprivacy.com/how-to-remove-google/

Some articles that are less about available alternatives and more about why the one's we've already mentioned are important:
  • An analysis of DuckDuckGo that might provide a model for other Google competition to follow.
  • A look at why Google alternatives are so important. I'm not sure that DDG is immune to this same problem, but it's certain that poor search engine results based on financial incentives has damaging, real world consequences.
  • This one is more about Google's behavior and more about their dominance: Google gets critics canned.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#167 Post by webfork » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:59 am

So out of some vague sense of Internet responsibility, I've done my best over the last few years to not use Google. What's weird is the few times I've gone back because DuckDuckGo didn't find what I was looking for, Google doesn't actually contain better or more informative results. A recent post on yCombinator has a suggestion on why:
As a site owner you have the problem that people searching for you are using Google and your site will only come up below adds for your competitor. Even when searching for your company name. Thus unless you pay a "Google Tax" (paying for ads) many people won't find you. In some cases even Google themselves will add features to compete with your service (flight booking is a relatively recent example)
https://jlelse.blog/links/2019/12/google-ad-engine/
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21796070

While the conversation strikes a political perspective (Google's abuse of monopoly) I'd argue it's actually hurting the overall site value. DuckDuckGo almost categorically lists what you'd expect right up front and a focus on advertising is fundamentally opposed to relevant search results.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#168 Post by Midas » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:22 am

webfork wrote: A focus on advertising is fundamentally opposed to relevant search results.

Ditto. :!:

Incidentally, Betanews published this two days ago:
Users of the Konqueror, Falkon and Qutebrowser web browsers for Linux-based operating systems have reported that they are unable to log into Google services. What's strange is that not all users of these browsers are affected, but many people are seeing a warning when they try to use them.


Also at Sofpedia:

news.softpedia.com/news/several-linux-browsers-blocked-from-accessing-google-services-528591.shtml


You can add to this the relentless dumbing down of user interfaces, which is directly aimed at breeding user lock-in, IMHO. Here's a single recent example:
Google implemented a change in Chrome 76 earlier this year that removed the www-part of the web address from the browser's address bar. Chrome cut the www-part by default in that version; Google engineers claimed that most users did not require the information.


Why would a fully qualified URL be superfluous is something that I have great difficulty wrapping my mind around.

But Chrome isn't the lone culprit here, Firefox has been accessory to it on its own, as yet another recent Ghacks article illustrates abundantly:

About a week ago, Mozilla released Firefox 71 to the stable channel. It brought with it an important change, a new about:config interface. What some users (including myself) weren't aware, was that the new version removed the site specific user-agent override option from about:config. And quite surprisingly, this isn't a bug, but actually appears to be done by design.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#169 Post by thepiney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:54 pm

Interesting alternative I found while reading a bit about Emmabuntus Linux ---> https://emmabuntus.sourceforge.io/media ... _portal/en

Lilo Search engine ---> https://www.lilo.org/en/#

From the Lilo site:
Give meaning to your searches

With Lilo, your searches finance social and environmental projects without any cost

-----------------------------------

Lilo search engine doesn’t collect nor does it sell any of your search data.

----------------------------------

Lilo uses algorithms of major search engines!

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#170 Post by bitcoin » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:14 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:21 pm
How to remove Google from your life: https://spreadprivacy.com/how-to-remove-google/

Some articles that are less about available alternatives and more about why the one's we've already mentioned are important:
  • An analysis of DuckDuckGo that might provide a model for other Google competition to follow.
  • A look at why Google alternatives are so important. I'm not sure that DDG is immune to this same problem, but it's certain that poor search engine results based on financial incentives has damaging, real world consequences.
  • This one is more about Google's behavior and more about their dominance: Google gets critics canned.
would be nice if we had a P2P search engine that was returning good results but last i checked Yacy wasnt up to snuff

we really need a search engine that is immune from political and financial pressure

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#171 Post by bitcoin » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:20 am

joby_toss wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:54 pm
I have a question: how does the user know that a search engine like this is really privacy oriented? What stops a company to declare its search engine "very private" and in reality to collect our search strings? Is there any regulation, someone who "audits" these things? Do we just trust them? I see more and more small companies launching this kind of service (secure search engine or similar)...

Edit: I see that I asked 4 questions instead of 1, as I announced... Shame on me... :twisted:
just like VPNs we dont know if their claims hold any water

if i was a govt intel agency whats to stop me from setting up a VPN to collect information from a self-selected group of dissidents and others trying to secure their privacy?

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#172 Post by DropD » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:03 am

bitcoin wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:20 am
joby_toss wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:54 pm
I have a question: how does the user know that a search engine like this is really privacy oriented? What stops a company to declare its search engine "very private" and in reality to collect our search strings? Is there any regulation, someone who "audits" these things? Do we just trust them? I see more and more small companies launching this kind of service (secure search engine or similar)...

Edit: I see that I asked 4 questions instead of 1, as I announced... Shame on me... :twisted:
just like VPNs we dont know if their claims hold any water

if i was a govt intel agency whats to stop me from setting up a VPN to collect information from a self-selected group of dissidents and others trying to secure their privacy?
Trust me, their claims do NOT hold water. You have to think to yourself if they weren't keeping longs, how are they able to give authorities information about individuals using their VPN for very "sick" activities. They don't want to be on the hook for people abusing their service for such activities as they can be held responsible legally for it. Most if not all VPN who claims "not to keep logs" actually keeps logs :)

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#173 Post by SYSTEM » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:30 pm

DropD wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:03 am
Trust me, their claims do NOT hold water. You have to think to yourself if they weren't keeping longs, how are they able to give authorities information about individuals using their VPN for very "sick" activities. They don't want to be on the hook for people abusing their service for such activities as they can be held responsible legally for it. Most if not all VPN who claims "not to keep logs" actually keeps logs :)
If VPN X has given such information to the authorities, that does not mean that VPN Y would keep logs. And I'm not aware of even one incident where a VPN that claims not to keep logs has turned out to actually keep them.

The whole business of most* VPNs revolves around protecting their customers' privacy. Keeping logs would mean failing at the only thing the company is supposed to do. I believe that most commercial VPNs which promise not to keep logs can be trusted. I have had a NordVPN subscription for few years, and in the future I'll probably subscribe to Mozilla's VPN (primarily to support Mozilla, the VPN is secondary to me).

* Not all: there are some which are less concerned about it. Especially free ones - you need to be extremely concerned about them because they still need to make money somehow and all the data they have access to is an obvious way to get money. It's a good example that Facebook had their own free VPN advertised in their mobile app for a while. Only a complete idiot would use it. Of course, due to the integration to the ever-popular FB mobile app, it was likely also the world's most popular VPN for a short while...
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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#174 Post by bitcoin » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:50 pm

DropD wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:03 am
Trust me, their claims do NOT hold water. You have to think to yourself if they weren't keeping longs, how are they able to give authorities information about individuals using their VPN for very "sick" activities. They don't want to be on the hook for people abusing their service for such activities as they can be held responsible legally for it. Most if not all VPN who claims "not to keep logs" actually keeps logs :)
theoretically these VPN companies could be located in a country like Iceland or some other island nation where they might be free from the jurisdiction of FBI, NSA, MI5 or whatever other crooked govt spy agencies are out there. I just use VPNs to bypass ISP throttling on certain sites.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#175 Post by webfork » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:44 pm

SYSTEM wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:30 pm
I'm not aware of even one incident where a VPN that claims not to keep logs has turned out to actually keep them.
I haven't seen anything either. To say that security companies don't sometimes misbehave is a little absurd, but there are several services (notably TunnelBear) that submit themselves to independent security audits, for what those claims or analysis are worth. Having more than one reputation on the line make failures (willful and accidental) less likely.
SYSTEM wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:30 pm
I'll probably subscribe to Mozilla's VPN (primarily to support Mozilla, the VPN is secondary to me).
Ditto.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#176 Post by Midas » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:13 am

SYSTEM wrote: I'll probably subscribe to Mozilla's VPN (primarily to support Mozilla, the VPN is secondary to me.

Your attitude really touches me. Really. 💯

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#177 Post by dot » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:01 am

webfork wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:44 pm
SYSTEM wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:30 pm
I'll probably subscribe to Mozilla's VPN (primarily to support Mozilla, the VPN is secondary to me).
Ditto.
??? Who in his right mind would ever want to "support" a multi-million dollar corporation like the Mozilla Corporation who, over the years, has acquired the same arrogant, overbearing and uncaring attitude as Microsoft? You might as well wish to support -or even donate to- Microsoft, or Google, or Amazon.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#178 Post by SYSTEM » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:33 am

dot wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:01 am
webfork wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:44 pm
SYSTEM wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:30 pm
I'll probably subscribe to Mozilla's VPN (primarily to support Mozilla, the VPN is secondary to me).
Ditto.
??? Who in his right mind would ever want to "support" a multi-million dollar corporation like the Mozilla Corporation who, over the years, has acquired the same arrogant, overbearing and uncaring attitude as Microsoft? You might as well wish to support -or even donate to- Microsoft, or Google, or Amazon.
It's primarily to avoid browser engine monoculture.

Remember the IE6 days? After Internet Explorer thoroughly beat Netscape in the browser market, Microsoft stopped updating IE. IE6 remained the latest version of IE for over five years which is an eternity when browsers tend to update every six weeks nowadays. And even years after IE7 launched, way too many users were still on IE6, which in turn held websites back because they still needed to support IE6.

It's important for the Web to have multiple competing browser engines. Opera Software and Microsoft threw in the towel and started using Blink (same engine Chrome uses). Apple still has their own engine, but they don't seem to even be interested in competing with the others - it's not possible to install other browsers on iOS, which guarantees WebKit a big market share no matter what happens. It's not even real competition. That leaves Gecko, Mozilla's engine, as the only real competitor to Blink.

I'm also using Firefox Preview as the browser on my phone, BTW. (Not on desktop where I use Vivaldi instead. On desktop I care more about features, hence Vivaldi, but on mobile I'm only really interested in performance.)
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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#179 Post by webfork » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:44 pm

Who in his right mind would ever want to "support" a multi-million dollar corporation like the Mozilla
Because:
  • Mozilla is a corporation but reinvests profits back into the company. They are tiny compared to Google, which is the 15th biggest company in the US (Alphabet).
  • The only real alternative to Mozilla is Google, which makes almost 90% of it's revenues from advertising (source), making them beholden to their only real customer: advertisers.
  • For portability, Google Chrome is terrible (see the long list of caveats on the PA page).
  • Chrome has open source components but is in fact freeware, and that is unlikely to change.
  • Chromium-based browsers are not independent and rely upon Google for their code base and their tool set. Nothing prevents them from closing more of the BSD-licensed software if any of the adjacent browser offers ever really started to succeed. Just like they have done and will continue to do with Android and whatever OS comes after it.
  • The browser monoculture problem that SYSTEM detailed earlier in the thread. Tech support back in the 2000s was primarily cleaning up after IE 6's security failures, and the same could happen again in a single-browser world.
Mozilla is far from perfect but is one of the few companies I've seen that balance a very high demand for speed, security, openness, and privacy. I'm amazed they've done as well as they have, especially as the rest of the Internet seems to suffer from ongoing "vertical integration" that seems to merge everything into just another Time Warner sub-company.

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Re: Alternatives to Google search

#180 Post by dot » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:04 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:44 pm
Mozilla is far from perfect
That's putting it very mildly, IMO. To me they are as disgusting as MS. Years ago, though not in the earliest years, on their forums and bug sites, I learned about their overbearing behaviour. I really got the impression that the Mozilla folk tried to copy MS's manners and "mindset" as closely as possible (which, after all, made them a successful "Corporation"). Anyway, the very best part of FF were always the many, often fabulous Addons, contributed freely by an enthused community around the world. Mozilla never gave a damn, if any FF update broke the addons, time and again. Many contributors, extremely frustrated, left the FF train already at an early stage. OTOH, the Mozilla Corporation folk maintained, if people wanted a certain feature in FF (that they just had removed), that the feature should be added by some Addon programmer. IOW, they knew about the importance of the freely contributing community (that was no longer that enthused) and they knew that the corporation's heavy reliance on those free contributors and programmers played a huge (if not the most) part in their success. Just the other day I learned that Mozilla had actually dumped all old add-ons, making them unavailable even for those who prefer to use older browser versions. They just absolutely don't care about their users (just like MS), while they, unlike MS, still heavily rely on their users' contributions. I see absolutely no difference between them, the MS or Google or other IT-monsters.

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