The first thing I searched for in Google, back in 1999, was probably "linux", followed by my name.

The last thing I searched for in Google, on a snowy day in 2009, was "vdash".

With the decade over, and Google rolling out all manner of tracking cookies and javascript, it's time to move on. Just keeping on top of the torrent of privacy-affecting changes Google is making, and trying to parse the real meaning in the chirpy googlespeak announcements has become more work than the value their search engine adds. (This was the last straw.)

At least for now, I'll be using Duck Duck Go for search. It's small, quirky, has features the big competition lacks, and works well enough for my mostly moderate and occasionally intense needs. Sorta like Google in 1999.

duckduckgo oose

thanks for your assessment and the link too, especially.

Will privacy ever become a serious issue? Or just stay a serious way of making money, for those who sell others.

Comment by vvill []

Yes. They're watching your every move and everyone cares what you are doing and wants to know. They know everything about you. Your SS, your address, your phone...everything. There's no escaping them.

Now I'm talking about the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the phone company. You seem to be worried about Google yet have no problems sending text around the world through known and unknown data connections using (perhaps not you) an operating system that regularly checks on what you're doing for "updating" (nudge,nudge,wink,wink).

I look around and just lower my head into my hands, shake it and groan, "Oh my God".

Comment by QlHe_jN.tZhYgsJKcQgAYqQ3xjM.55A- []

I also like

And obviously I'm biased since Google just launched a DNS service to compete with mine, but yeah, I'm over it.

Comment by ulevitch []
comment 4

Nice post Joey, and I'm right there with ya. I just read about Google's new "track you, even when you aren't logged in or don't have a google account", "feature" and have been thinking about how I might block them via /etc/hosts, I think this might work: *

but then I realized I would have to pay close attention to make sure that the above did actually do the trick, and they might change those at any time, so I was thinking about maybe setting a cookie rule in my browser, or similar with NoScript or just start using Scroogle ( or something else.... But I think your solution is much more preferable, why should I have to chase around, tweaking stuff and be constantly vigilant so that I can have something that I should have by default (some basic privacy)?

It is time to say byebye to google and to let people know why. Sorry google, with the announcement of your new DNS "service" and this... you are the new Microsoft and I'm going elsewhere.

ps - amusing to see David U's comment here and to visit Duck Duck Go for the first time and see a "Shout Out" there saying, "happy 28th birthday David U!"... Indeed, Happy Birthday David, and thanks for your work on OpenDNS, its become more relevant than ever now, and your post about it is perfect

Comment by micah []
comment 6

@micah: I'd suggest Adblock Plus, with the EasyPrivacy filter in addition to the standard EasyList. EasyList just blocks ads, but EasyPrivacy also blocks tracking mechanisms.

Regarding Duck Duck Go: interesting search engine that I didn't know about before, with some nice features, but it has some notable quirks. In particular, it really wants to label something as the "official site" for a given search, which seems to work fine in the obvious cases, but sometimes goes wrong with searches for which no site has any particular "official" claim. They don't mention their logic for figuring out "official site" status, either.

Comment by joshtriplett []
comment 7

I'm the founder of Duck Duck Go. Thank you for your support! We welcome feedback/suggestions:

@micah Duck Duck Go does not use Google APIs.

@joshtriplett The Official site logic on the main search view is via human powered sources like Wikipedia. If you see any errors, please let me know, but given that these are drawn generally human-edited sources, they should be few and far between. On the Duck It search view, we're experimenting with more aggressive official site detection, using heuristic algorithms in addition to the human stuff. Obviously, there can be more false positives in doing so.

Comment by eeye1xif []
comment 8

@eeye1xif one look at your frontpage source indicates you are using google analytics like half the other websites on the planet.

Not that I have a problem with that, I think google provides excellent services in exchange for the information they collect, which is a heck of a lot better than most companies can manage to do.

Comment by id []
distributed search engines
what you are talking about may sound paranoid at this moment but in a year or so it won't. Duckduck and other players will have a huge impact if they can ride the privacy concern wave. but how about distributed search engines, why are they taking off so slowly? the future is open, transparent and distributed!
Comment by belapatkai []

Duck Duck GO doesn’t work with Lynx. At all.

So still no “data kraken” alternative – ixsearch is worse than Google with Lynx. I vaguely remember Lycos, which used to be worse than Google but better than it’s now… but it’s gone.

Seriously, we need an alternative though.

Comment by mirabilos []

Duck Duck GO doesn’t work with Lynx. At all.

So still no “data kraken” alternative – ixsearch is worse than Google with Lynx. I vaguely remember Lycos, which used to be worse than Google but better than it’s now… but it’s gone.

Seriously, we need an alternative though.

And: the DDG Blog crashes by (Kunterbunt Hardon Heroin) Konqueror at work………

Comment by mirabilos []
Browsers II

I got a reply (wow, fast!) that it’s on their long-term todo list. Good. Maybe they should consider Lynx, Links (maybe links+ and elinks too, despite knowing SOME ECMAscript), Dillo, Dillo2, Netsurf, w3m, Arachne, …

Comment by mirabilos []
chrome and apt

I was disappointed when I read the Google-Chrome for Linux eula Very near the end of the document google claims all rights to remotely monitor and (re)configure the product. I also noticed that if google-chrome is installed apt will contact "" without any entry in /etc/apt/sources.list

I wonder if that would even violate Ubuntu policy?

Comment by vvill []
If that wasn’t your favourite “final straw”, this surely is…

「Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy」

Basically: “if you don’t want Google to store your data, don’t use it, but then you should be ashamed of yourself for needing privacy”

(On the other hand, many discussion groups for example have manda- tory access by them, for example and Android – well, the latter is understandable, but as an OSS developer, it’s probably unpractical to not being able to communicate with others.)

Comment by mirabilos []
python-xgoogle library

I'm currently using the python-xgoogle library to do google searches from a machine that has many users. This way I don't need to configure all my machines and browsers to disable cookies/javascript for -- I can just use my own UI that uses python-xgoogle for the actual searches. Unfortunately this probably breaks the TOS of

It would be interesting to combine python-xgoogle with TOR and do searches over an anonymity network but that does not seem to work since google flags those usually as malware. How about writing a standalone search program that combines TOR and scroogle instead?

Comment by lindi []
wishing for better competition

Google's "personal search for everyone" gave me the heebie-jeebies too.

I just tried Duck Duck Go... the results page was empty, until I told noscript to allow Why should displaying results require javascript? Sigh.

Comment by Connolly []