1. I retired my ~15 year old Gmail account and registered with Fastmail
2. I moved away from Chrome to Firefox on both my laptop and phone
3. I stopped using Chrome's password manager on iOS in favor of 1Password and Firefox Lockbox
4. I've mostly stopped using the Google search engine and now using DDG and Bing if I have to.
Part of what helped me transition away from Google to DDG was skinning DDG to look like Google. The first few days were really tough and I kept finding myself going back to Google about 80% of the time. I thought that the search results were remarkably poorer. I considered that it might just be anxiety of not using Google affecting my view, so as an experiment I decided to theme DDG to look like Google... and it worked. I stopped going back to Google and suddenly the searches became better.
I still use the !g bang for about 20% of my searches, and there are things that Google does so much better that I use quite often (for example searching a store name and it brings up all the local ones with information on what time they close etc, or if you were to write "tengo dolor de estomago en ingles" it would bring up an interactive translation box and so on) but for general searches I've more or less completely moved away.
I started Googling in incognito when Google decided to return “personalized” search results instead of standard results, a few years ago. I was always more interested in the normal results than whatever Google thought I specifically wanted to see. But, since this Summer when I switch to a fresh incognito mode session to do a Google search, I have to click on traffic lights and sidewalks multiple times just to see the first search result. And it always says I failed the first two tries even when I know I did it right. I end up having to do a minute of clicking on images just to do a search. It’s like I’m being punished for wanting to Google in incognito. It happened often enough on my phone for me to go screw this and switch the default search engine.
Bing’s search results just aren’t as good though. I often have to Google for some things, still. But now I’m trying Duck Duck Go.
By the way not sure why my own anecdotal experience is being downvoted. This is my own actual experience, not really an opinion piece.
Other times when I don’t copy and paste I’m just Googling stuff related to my work as a programmer. And I’m guessing since I don’t always use natural language it raises a few flags? I’m not sure.
This was before we had wifi at this house (just got it last month) so I was using a cellular connection almost exclusively, except when at a coffee shop or something.
But I’m a fully coherent human and I can attest that it happened often enough for me to get annoyed by it real fast.
I didn't downvote because I feel bad for OP, but the information is innacurate according to my personal experience, which IMO is a actually good reason to bury it.
By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.
When I do a Google search outside of private mode I’m logged in to my Google account. Under that scenario I’m pretty much never asked to prove I’m not a robot. Same when visiting websites who have that “I’m not a robot” checkbox. When I’m in private mode I have to train datasets. When I’m not in private mode I just hit the checkbox and I’m not a robot.
For me there is a direct correlation between being in private mode on mobile Safari and being asked to click on street signs and sidewalks.
- 100% of the time when clicking “I’m not a robot” checkboxes (which I don’t really mind),
- and pretty reliably (although not always) when doing a google search on a fresh private window on mobile Safari (which I do mind because I get sidetracked for a minute and exit my search mode mindset)
So I’m now sold on DDG. Yeh sure there are cool little helpers in Google that DDG doesn’t have (yet) but can’t think of any right now that I miss so they can’t be too important.
Now, DDG just needs to rebrand with a “verbable” name so it’s easier to talk about...
As has been suggested here before, "just Duck it".
I'm looking to switch my email. Any thoughts on Fastmail vs ProtonMail? Do you feel secure with Fastmail?
If it’s just about privacy from Google reading your email, both work equally well.
 Although, given that it's useful, I expect Google will probably shut it down within the next 5-10 years.
!gsc enter topic you're interested in
For me, it was Chrome making me log-in to my account. Now I use Firefox, DDG, ublock, privacy badger, etc. I think society writ large will begin to take privacy more seriously in the coming years.
Edit FYI: If you want google results, add '!g' to the end of a DDG query and it will route to google. I use it sometimes, but not that often given that DDG is usually good.
I would like to see something to back that up. HN is not "the average tech person" and even here I have the feeling there are a few people who decided to die on the anti Google hill but it's nowhere near the foregone conclusion you state. A few problems: Firefox wiped the extensions store clean less than a year ago and the long tail didn't, couldn't recover yet. If you are any sort of consultant, Google Docs invitations are par for the course. I might be missing something but Google Mail is still the only mail application with labels instead of folders. A simple and cheap Gsuite subscription gives you infinite storage.
I've been exactly where you are until very recently... It might be a general cynicism towards the world at large recently, but I've found myself finally honestly considering that Google might do some actual evil, and if they really wanted to it could get ugly... Removing "don't do evil" from their company motto may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy?
google scholar: !gsc
google images: !gi
I work in IT, and even the most computer illiterate people generally can't get tricked into using Bing.
!pw generates password :)
Edit: their tweet to announce
etymology dictionary: !etym
encyclopedia of integer sequences: !oeis
All sorts of them for your average developer.
I think the Google vision is to become internet gatekeepers, not to be a useful tool for finding things. That's why they need to die.
<meta name="robots" content="noindex"/>
No wonder google can't find it. This is SEO 101 that Google will tell you how to fix for free.
I don't think the problem is with Google. I think the problem is how the site is set up. I hope this is not something particular to Wix sites:
My only wish would be some way to customize them and add new ones as they almost make web browsing into using a command line (and what that would be like with aliases and adding scripts to PATH).
But otherwise that's very true, I also use desktop Chrome's search engines as a keyword system (typing "ny" to launch https://nytimes.com), regardless if the URL actually includes a search query.
Just right click in a search box and you will see an 'Add a keyword for this search' option.
The data had been collected by a third-party without their consent!
Not long after, the dataset became available and now it is one of the top result when you type their names in Google.
While the data isn't embarrassing, it includes some personal stuff they wanted to keep private.
That they had not even consented into giving that data made them feel violated. And truth is, that happens everyday. Which made me think that privacy is truly a consent issue at heart.
Now for a "fun" exercise, imagine how many CRMs out there run on insecure machines and what are the odds that there's someone incompetent enough to leave these databases publicly exposed and not password protected. IMO, it's extremely likely.
Well, they have very strong opinions on privacy now. I guess that's the only way people will care, sadly.
It’s not uncommon that I have to go to the second or third page of results, or even refine my query and then go to the second or third page of results to find what I’m looking for.
If I set search filters to the last 24 hours, and search for an event, like the recent hurricane. Half the results that pop up lead to spam sites.
Google wasn’t like that before. Until last year, I don’t think I’d ever visited the second page of search results on google, unless I was searching for something really obscure or niche.
If DDG wasn’t terrible for non English searching, I’d use it exclusively. Not because of privacy, but because Google really sucks these days.
For E-mail I switched to Runbox.com, this was partly because of privacy, but it was primarily because the new gmail client kind of sucks in safari/Firefox, and despite invading my privacy, those 2-3 advertisement-pretend-to-be-real-mail-annoyances they put on top of your inbox, never actually advertise anything I’m even remotely interested in, unless I’ve already bought it.
It’s been much longer, but my first smartphone was an android. When it got ridiculously slow after two years, even when rooted and fresh installed, I got angry and bought an iPhone. I’ll never own an android device again, this is also partly because of privacy (I’d want the play store) but it’s mainly because of useability.
I’m happy people are taking privacy more serious, I should too, but my main reason for not chosing google products, is that they’ve become inferior. I mean, I think google maps is the real test on whether or not you care about privacy. OSM and Apple maps aren’t terrible, but I think most people still use google maps even though it’s arguably one of the most privacy intrusive things you’ll ever use.
As long as they're getting enough traffic to survive and grow it's a good thing, though. They just have to exist and have enough mindshare that when Google hits their major stumble, that media story that terrifies the general public, that public will know they have the alternative and take it.
Search isn't facebook; if it weren't for Google's manipulation of its monopoly power, there'd be absolutely no friction in switching search.
I predict that a large swath of the population still won't care much about privacy, or at least take action to protect theirs, but I'm seeing an awakening of people coming to realize how dangerous big tech can become. What's funny to me is if Google wasn't so brazen in ditching their old "don't be evil" pretense, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion as often as we are.
(I don't know much more about Startpage, and in many discussions about DDG I ask if anyone knows more, but no luck so far.)
Google manages to find more locally relevant information (the most annoying one is the stuff from amazon.com instead of amazon.co.uk). You can easily turn "UK search" in DDG, but when you do it, but in turn that's less relevant for technical search.
Probably will wait a few more months to give it another go.
That was a month ago. Haven't found a need to switch to Google yet.
Reason I ask is because strangely enough, after reading this article, I hopped on Reddit and saw a promoted ad for DuckDuckGo. That can't have been a coincidence...
If you add in the searches you don't see, i.e. those little titbits of travel and other information Google decides to search for you without you even asking, then the DDG search volume is really small.
Has anyone here tried 'Ecosia', the save-the-planet search engine that gives you 'Bing!' results? They don't exactly advertise where their search results come from. I wonder how their share of the search engine pie compares to DDG given that 'Ecosia' do advertise whereas DDG don't.
Whenever I use DDG I get inferior search results. If privacy is your concern with Google use Startpage. That Bing/Yahoo mashup that DDG want to sell simply doesn't cut it for me (or any of my friends/colleagues).
At this point, everybody knows that the data mining operations run by Google and Facebook are detrimental to society as a whole for a lot of reasons, but more importantly because they represent a big brother operation without having elected officials.
What is going on with Android nowadays is beyond comprehension in the privacy aspect. Unless you go really technical, it is incredible the amount of apps that will fetch your contact list, location, phone number, etc. The fact that the apps do not work if you do not consent to some of that stuff brings into question some of these business models.
Not that DDG has to catch up to google to be a success. But it's interesting to consider the scale.
When I search on DuckDuckGo I know I'm not having that filter imposed on me.
On mobile it's another story. The intrusive ads from content creators (think auto playing video, full screen popup, etc.) ruin the experience and it's easier to just look at the google-provided snippets and stop visiting these sites altogether
The web is an absolute mess. I don't even like browsing stuff anymore because I know i'm going to be overwhelmed by horrible heavy designs, endless external scripts, autoplay video on every news site, and more ads than content.
I use adblockers, no-script (on desktop), etc, but there's definitely a market for browsers that take this on and give us a cleaner experience akin to the old-web.
As far as I know, they proxy Google results and avoid storing them in the browser via either a URL rewrite or a POST call. I find Google to return superior search data than DDG, particularly if it's not giving you recommended or personally ranked results (that alone makes it feel worthwhile to switch to SP/IxQuick). But it kind of feels like a free lunch.
Just for comparison though, Google is serving about 3.5 billion searches a day.
EDIT: I'm not saying that is the case, but I hope that this example illustrates why this metrics is not a good substitute for standard metrics like DAU, MAU, revenue.
You made a comment stating "This metric is meaningless". You are not being downvoted because we misunderstood - you're being downvoted because you are wrong.
I doubt that. I replied very shortly after, and it was displayed in grey as downvoted comments are.
1) isn't it somewhat unlawful these days not to log anything on the people that are using your website? I'm all in favor of DDG, but can't they be liable if it would ever come up someone build and detonated bomb thanks to finding info via their search engine?
2) How do we know they haven't been served with NSL ? With NSA capable of breaking SSL, how do we know using DDG != using Google ?
2. We don't know they haven't been served with a national security letter. DDG's protection scope doesn't cover you needing protection from the government, though. So we know using DDG != Google because that's the surveillance threat vector they're concerned with: literally not being Google (which they aren't).
2: Of course nation-state level attacks are going to be an issue for a very limited number of users. Regardless, the privacy benefits from using DDG are still significant, even if it's not a silver bullet.