If anyone has doubts because they tried it years ago, I'd say go for it again.
For people afraid of getting off google, you can always search something like '!g my-search', it works the same for youtube(!yt), google image(!gi), or even hackernews(!hn)
And of course the best bang is the 'I am feeling lucky' one (!), i.e.: 'hackernews !'
!ud → Urban Dictionary (what do you mean, she's 'office cute'?)
!wen → Wikipedia English
!w.. → Wikipedia (two letter language code, e.g., 'nl')
Usually if I need a certain engine I just guess the bang and it's usually supported and correct. !gm for google maps, !tineye for tineye, !wayback for the wayback machine...
Setting DuckDuckGo as the search engine for your browser's address bar means all these bangs work right there whenever you open a new tab.
!hn does something or another
Or if you are feeling lucky:
You are linking to a ~5 year old thread that is discussing the state of things well before google switched everything over to ssl.
I can only see this as a good thing. If I want local search results, I'll add local qualifiers like "USA", "Texas", "Houston"
Now if I type "h my-search" into the omnibar, it goes to google.com/search?q=site%3Anews.ycombinator.com+my-search which gives me only Google search results from HN.
This is using google's algorithm (not the search bar built into whichever website like DDG) which is still the best, especially if you constrain it to one domain name. I also don't have to type the "!"
The prefix messes up google's text prediction. I guess no one from the chromium team is using this feature, since it would be trivial to fix.
w https://www.google.com/search?&q=site%3Awikipedia.org+%s&btn... first result from wikipedia
r https://www.google.ca/search?q=site%3Areddit.com+%s reddit
y https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s youtube
m https://www.google.ca/maps/search/%s google maps
b https://builtwith.com/?q=%s add "b " to a url to find out what tech is being used
wo https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%s wolfram alpha
i https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=%s google image search
g https://github.com/%s "g upspin/upspin" to jump to https://github.com/upspin/upspin.git
br https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-core/blob/master/Formul... read homebrew formula
'<Song name> !' or '<song name> youtube !' takes you right to it.
I'd love a feature that opens the first result on a search engine like wikipedia does by default. Biggest use case for me would be imdb but there would be others.
DuckDuckGo has that by using a backslash, a space and a search term (\ bed intruder youtube) or an exclamation a space and the search term (although I believe the former is the official way now). I use it all the time, it's like a superpower.
Now that I've learned that !a works for amazon.com and duckduckgo.com gets affiliate revenue that way, then that's how I'll search amazon from now on. Need to boost up the underdog that cares about privacy, because google surely doesn't.
If you're on Google as your default search engine, it's not so convenient to see other engine's results (plus you're being tracked all the time).
Sounds like they have changed a lot since then, so I'll probably give it another shot.
We do have some of those tools, at DuckDuckGo they are called "Instant Answers."
For example the query: "2 lb to kg" will bring you to this results page https://duckduckgo.com/?q=2+lb+to+kg&ia=answer
You can see all our Instant Answers here: https://duck.co/ia
If something isn't triggering for you - let us know with the feedback tool on the site!
Disclaimer: DDG staff.
Get that 'in last year' filter already, DDG. I think I've complained about this through feedback before.
Currency exchange rates from www.timegenie.com on 2017-08-24
2980 units, 109 prefixes, 96 nonlinear units
You have: 5 lbs
You want: kg
You have: 100 furlongs
You want: meters
You have: 100 miles/hour
You want: meters/second
You have: 2 kiloisraelnewshekels
You want: picodollars
> 5 pounds to kg
5 * pound = approx. 2.2679619 kg
> x^2 + 8*x = 4
((x^2) + (8 * x)) = 4 = approx. x = 0.47213595 or x = -8.472136
I also tried it a few years ago but was disappointed by the speed - at a time when the google search responses came back "instantly", the latency of DDG was noticeable and not good-enough.
Fast forward to 2017 and that appears to have been solved and the results are as fast as google are from what my brain/eyes can tell anyway - I would not be surprised to find out that google was faster if you timed it. In the past 6+ months I've been using DDG, I've only ever found the need to switch back to google once (and that was image search)
(Title is google, but works for ddg amongst other things also)
I especially like how programming questions usually provide a top result from Stack Overflow, a lot of times I don't even need to click the link to see the answer I'm looking for.
The problem is, whenever you can't find something in DDG, you assume it's because it's DDG, and search again with !g. Meaning I end up requerying 40% or so of my searches using !g (prefixing your query with !g redirects your query from DDG to encrypted google)
Here's some example queries I ended up !g yesterday that had much better results in google than DDG:
ptr overwatch - PTR is the test patch of the game overwatch. It's regularly changed. The correct result "Overwatch PTR Now Available - August 29, 2017" is number 1 in google, in DDG the blog post August 12th is not available (well, correct from my perspective)
I tend to find anything speculative DDG is fairly terrible at. For example yesterday I was googling about trying to identify the source of some weird animation CPU cycles I was seeing in Chrome Performance Profiler, I didn't really get to the bottom of it, but I ended up ditching DDG and doing all the queries in google because I would otherwise have ended up searching everything twice.
I'm also getting quite frustrated with the "instant answer" functionality, it's generally terrible. One of the most annoying ones is the SO instant answer that just utterly sucks, you can't see the code, it usually cuts anything useful in half, and takes up a HUGE amount of space meaning on a laptop you've got to scroll to start seeing the results. I just want to be able to turn it off, but because they don't track you they don't offer that functionality.
Also the maps one is really bad. I almost always want directions, but clicking the map takes me to a really nonfunctional, bare-bones map that doesn't have directions and then I have to click another button to actually get the directions. There's a drop down where you can choose your map type, but it definitely doesn't work as expected, I just want it to always embed a google maps instead of whatever they're doing.
Basically UX ain't DDG's strong point.
Ironically, if you DDG: "turn off certain instant answers duckduckgo" it comes up with terrible search results and no answer. If you "!g turn off certain instant answers duckduckgo", the top result is at least relevant.
I also find the entire bang thing to be a gimmick. Who wants to use !r when !g with "reddit" at the end will always get you better search results, reddit's own search is abysmal (as is !so).
EDIT: I'm being overly negative, after all, I haven't actually switched back, like I did last time I tried to use DDG. So it's definitely worth a go, but I don't think it's ready for your Mum to use. Also, I have Bing on my phone's Chrome to avoid AMP, and it's actually quite good.
And I quite like using bangs, e.g. !w for Wikipedia or !i for images, rather than having to go to the initial search results on the search engine and then clicking again.
Finally, I like that on DDG, you can just arrow up/down through the search results, and then open one with enter (or cmd-enter to open it in a background tab), without reverting to the mouse.
You know you're onto something when the #1 documentation link is a key binding cheatsheet!
(And those on older versions can use VimFx until 57 is released.)
I don't ever find what I want a few times most days and need multiple sources/queries quite frequently.
That means more privacy because uses startpage.com
You can also use google on Firefox for Android. No AMP there.
And since I regularly browse via a Digital Ocean VM, the lack of CAPTCHAs on DuckDuckGo is refreshing as well.
Do you mean using a DO VM as a VPN, or via X11 forwarding to your desktop over SSH, or actually browsing on the DO VM's desktop using VNC? I've done all three in the past as experiments in private browsing, and the latter is too laggy to be comfortable.
If you don't mind my asking, why? And by which method do you usually accomplish this?
Edit: Thanks for explaining the CAPTCHA issue.
ssh -D 8080 digital-ocean-vm-here.tld
Now port 8080 on your local machine is a socks proxy for your vm.
Google is really tor/proxy/anonymous user unfriendly. Requiring users to solve as many as four or five CAPTCHAs (seriously fuck you google).
They're like this for a reason. They didn't implement complex detection of proxies to annoy users. Just to keep everyone out who's not supposed to use their search.
But it's actually really nice to be able to pull a result or two from ddg by crawling, or to be able to use a VPN without having to solve a zillion captcha.
The only one hurt are the users.
Have you ever tried using Google's search over a VPN / Tor / public proxy? They're even worse than Cloudflare was with their CAPTCHAs).
Probably to avoid fuckery by the local ISP and/or government.
> And how?
I'm assuming he meant OpenVPN or something, but I might be wrong.
Also the autocorrect really throws my search terms off while Google does is right most of the time.
The privacy aspect was the driver for me, but it wasn't enough to make the switch all this time. The privacy aspect coupled with an easy way to get google results when I need them is. While I've known they had the bang queries for a long time, it was actually a youtube search result that finally made me shift. I forget what it was, but I was searching for something for my kids and it looked like my activity had polluted the results. That has been a problem for quite some time and this particular instance was enough for me to make the change. It was a harmless, but I really don't like the idea that my activity will potentially bleed into that of my family, and frankly I get irritated when their activity bleeds into mine. DuckDuckGo doesn't replace youtube search, but it was more of the general principal. I tried working with different accounts over the years, but it's not easy to switch on all platforms and if you've ever tried entering a 60 character password on a playstation, you know why that's a non-starter.
Main reason: concerns about tracking and privacy.
DDG so far has been acceptable. As long as they keep their political opinions to themselves, the honeymoon will continue. My love affair with Google, on the other hand, is over. :(
It's $3/month which is a decent price for liberating a lot of data from advertisers.
The spam filter is playing catch-up to Google so that's a bit of a shock at first, but you can train it up well or use second layer measures like Sanebox.
Disclaimer: DDG staff - but personal opinion.
When DDG shows an ad, is there no tracking involved in that? For example, if I were to click on an ad (after turning my ad blocker off), does the destination site not get any information about me or specifically what I searched for?
So I figured if I had a choice of two search engines, where I get satisfying results in both of them, and one of them doesn't track me, why go for the one that tracks me?
I'd gladly do the same switch when it comes to Gmail, but I really really like Gmail's web interface, haven't gotten over that hurdle yet.
EDIT: I also switched from Google Chrome for pretty much the same reasons.
Plus, Google doesn't get to see my mail any more. Ditto for Firefox vs Chrome.
I have multiple domains and aliases, and Fastmail is much better at those than Google Apps ever was (I also have the free plan but you can never change your initial domain), so I'm much happier.
A few for friends and family as well. --Friends I can tell to pay for themselves if I need to, but family, not so much.
Edit: As for checking them, most don't get many emails, and every good email app can handle multiple accounts easily, so I get notifications on my phone.
Another issue I had was that my main email address was already in Google and Microsoft's systems for a couple reasons, and it wouldn't let me set it properly when changing my email address everywhere. So I have google@ and microsoft@ aliases just to work around their account management quirks.
I could never get over the way using GMail felt like fighting with a sluggish toy version of email compared to desktop outlook (and I'm not really a fan of outlook, either). I just assumed that GMail's interface was the best a webapp could offer: it was the best I'd seen so far and had a no-longer-deserved "who could beat gmail at webmail?" bug in my mind.
I'm kinda surprised fastmail hasn't made larger inroads among the kind of techies that will occasionally bemoan giving their lives over to google.
Really like Fastmail.
Do they have a spam filter? If yes, how do they filter emails without accessing it?
I also agree that Fastmail is great.
Hard to avoid them in that case.
I really like the idea of Brave, but not having extension support is a major hurdle which I hope they get over.
I'm surprised there isn't a straightforward and user-friendly Google-less Chromium browser available.
GOD YES! This gets incredibly annoying when searching for version-specific information, considering the differences there can be between version foo and version bar of $DISTRO. Nothing like searching for something specific to CentOS 7 and getting zillions of CentOS 6 and 5 hits.
Google will also helpfully ignore the "Verbatim" option, and God help you if you're trying to search for multiple specific phrases.
Google is looking more and more like Alta Vista in its waning days.
This isn't a case where I _know_ I only want 2017 results, and so I do the syntax to filter it down automatically.
I want all results, but I want to be aware of the timeline of whatever I'm going to click.
But to take the thought further: I can understand when a date isn't important. Say some documentation for a specific programming related thing. You'll probably learn to use !clojuredocs or something.
What about outside that? Those searches I can't quite describe without thinking, but my example above sort of works nicely because that game in particular has changed a bunch (and will continue to) over time and you do care about the date of a forum post or whatever.
For all I know, the answer is "that's when you use !g".
Information is here: https://duck.co/help/results/sources
Others here are saying that they need this for researching programming-related things. I just add the version number of the programming language (or whatever technology) I'm working with to the search query, when I find that the search results are outdated.
I still use !g on ddg but its about 1-2 times a month. As another poster said, I tried it a few years ago and had to quit but I tried it again a year ago and haven't switched back since
This was true when Google was created.
No one had the processing or memory available on their desktop to search an entire index of the "useful" web.
How large is a "useful" index of the web today? And can it fit on your laptop? The answer is yes.
Can the entire thing be queried fast? The answer is yes.
As an example take the entire stackexchange and wikipedia dumps in their entirety(including images). Compressed it comes to 50-60 GB range. Think about that number. That's an rough approximation of all known human knowledge.
It's not growing too fast. It has stabilized. To query the content you need an index.
So how large is an index to a 100 GB file? Generally around 1 GB. Let's say you use covering indexes with lot of meta data and up that to 5GB to support sophisticated queries.
With today's average hardware you can search the entire thing in milliseconds.
So why aren't we building better local search?
Because everyone is conditioned to believe, thanks to Google's success, we need to do it online. Which means baking in the problem of handling millions of queries a second into the Search problem. Guess what? This is not a problem that local search has.
Every time a chimp or a duck needs to build a protein in it's cell it doesn't query the DNA index stored in the cloud. Instead every cell has the index. Every cell has the processing power to query that index in the nanosecond time scale.
The cloud based search story is temporary.
If you want to index every reference to Taylor Swifts ass that every teenager in Norway, Ecuador and Cambodia are making, then yes you need a Google size index. But for useful human knowledge we are getting to the point where we don't need Google scale.
If you don't believe me look at what is possible TODAY in Dash/Zeal docset search for offline developer documentation search or Kiwix or with Mathematica.
I get Baby Mama as #1 as well, but at least, from the movie synopsis, it doesn't appeat to be an irrelevant result.
Edit: Oops turns out its 11 years old. Better make that the last two decades then. I'm gettin old
I've heard that a key early advantage of YouTube was that uploaded videos appeared immediately, not after a long processing delay. That helped it become popular, and once it was popular, it stayed popular and crushed the competition due to the network effect.
I use https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/personal-blocklist... but it should come with pre-compiled lists, like uBlock Origin.
This feels like an application of the 80/20 rule. I might not always find what I need in just that offline index, but the times I do would seriously disrupt google.
Oh, I wish there were a way to rate the results in a opposite way. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I want even mark some site as 'a hidden gem'. Usually it's something rather niche though, like a bunch of great little articles about anti-aliasing filters design and sampling, full of engineering wisdom from the decades of experience. So I think it would be perfect to have a way to tag it by some topic.
I don't have a CS background so I'm not sure, is this a reasonable solution?
But having a way of making sure that a certain topic or genre of sites is well indexed locally would work. I.e. "my" top 100k. Oh, how awesome would that be.
Laptops generally come in 128GB or 256GB capacities. So we're talking roughly 20-50% of an average laptop's storage just to hold the search index for wikipedia alone.
Meaning it is not feasible to store a useful index of the web today on a laptop unless you want to dedicate that laptop to pretty much exclusively searching wikipedia's english content.
You're not searching that database in milliseconds on average laptop hardware, either, but you probably could get it to be "fast enough" for practical usages if you could somehow solve the harder parts like storage size, freshness, and indexing more than just wikipedia's english content.
Your indexing performance would also sharply decline when subjected to the random access seek times of those 2.5" spinning metal.
>That's an rough approximation of all known human knowledge.
Are you taking the piss?
Instead, I am wondering why there isnt a federated open source search engine. It would be a cloud of nodes, each node spidering and indexing a small hash bucket of urls. With a million such nodes we could have a live updated, distributed search engine to replace Google. We could run millions of queries without paying someone - we'd pay back by serving as a node, just like in BitTorrent. With all the interest in privacy, I wanted to see more discussion of replacing Google with an open, non-censured and private protocol for search.
Not sure if federated by they call themselves decentralised: https://yacy.net/en/index.html
You vastly underestimate index sizes. I'm not saying it wouldn't be realistic to download and index locally but they'll be much larger than 1-5%.
Offline search is the equivalent of the Internet Yellow Pages from back in the day. New, relevant information is being added continuously. The search index 10 minutes ago is different than it is right now.
Relevant discussion: "Wallabag: a self-hostable application for saving web pages" | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14686882 (July 2017)
Is there a way to easily sync search repositories, like Stackoverflow, Wikipedia etc., to your local computer with an automatically built search index?
the problem is this would be completely useless for current events. but querying sites you use regularly, this could be an option. I often end a google search with modifiers like "wikipedia" or "reddit" or "stackoverflow". If I could store indexes to those sites offline that might be useful.
The creator of this offline search could potentially make money by indexing shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, etc with affiliate links.
Your reply seems pointless, yes I could download an entire copy of Wikipedia, compress it and index it - why would I want to? Are you going to do this on every machine you own? What about the updates Wikipedia receives every minute?
You should start a company though to focus on this, maybe you could call it Encarta or something?
Some say the DDG bangs are a solution. What do I win by doing that? It only made me resort to !g all the time, because the results were so bad.
Now I use https://www.startpage.com/ with region set to Swedish. It's practically a proxy for Google search, so it gives me the right results but sans the filter bubble experience (yes, I want the regional bubble). If you're a non US user, I can recommend it.
Indeed, due to the bangs, I know use DDG as my proxy to a lot of other search engines, like Wikipedia (!w/!wda/!w..) and Wiktionary (!wikt), and even obscure ones like Memory Alpha (!memoryalpha). Very handy indeed.
I rarely use region specific DDG, but when I do, I find it ok. With DDG I can manually enable/disable and switch the region, while Google guesses based on my IP - very annoying, given that I frequently use VPNs. (Of course, if you're logged in to Google, you can specify region/language/etc., but if you don't want to be tracked and delete their cookies or use the browser in private/porn/incognito mode, then it'll just assume that you are looking for Dutch things in the Netherlands, because that's where the VPN exit is...)
As for bangs, I love skipping clicks. Most of the time I know what I want and can use bangs accordingly. I'm guessing my most common tags are !a, !yt, !gh, !wiki, !wolf and then some game(s) specific bangs.
BTW, for wikipedia, !w is enough. Wolfram Alpha is !wa.
StartPage doesn't seem to be helpful at all. It doesn't let me select language and region separately. I need to select English UK and then it sets my region as UK. Also, it's very slow (at least for me)
- Google huge, DDG tiny.
- Gabriel Weinberg serial startups all failed until he sold one for $10MM, which allowed him to do and focus on DDG.
- Privacy a big deal these days and DDG markets towards that.
- DDG makes money from keyword advertising and affiliate revenue.
- You too can profit from something!