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What The Frack Has Happened To Google?


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#21 Orpheus

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 09:27 PM

Sounds like a scam. Since you say "hard drive", I assume it's  a desktop program. DDG is NOT a program. It's a website that specifically DOESN'T do stuff like that.

Just use your usual browser and go to http:\\www.duckduckgo.com -- THAT is their official site, and I don't see any mention of a program or phone app on it.

Most major browsers will let you set your default search engine, and many (like Firefox) will allow you to change on the fly. DDG is usually one of the default options.

It wouldn't make much sense for DDG to have an official program/app, because you'd need a full browser to use the result links (but Google, Google Voice, etc. have official phone apps, so anything's possible)

I wouldn't be at all surprised if scammers have bought duck-duck-go.com, duckduckgoose.com, DDG.com and other lookalike domains

Edited by Orpheus, 22 September 2017 - 09:28 PM.


#22 JudasRimmer

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 03:36 PM

I ran across this search page a while back and it gives you Google's results without any personalization/tracking etc. that might impede the quality of your results,as well as proxy browsing said results. It might be useful. :)

https://www.startpage.com/

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#23 Darkside_1

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:04 AM

Try checking out for free online web security Quad9.net from IBM and its partners.  IBM recently offered access to the general public and businesses for free.  

IBM is encouraging the public to check it out.

It's just a matter of going into the TCP/IP-V4 properties of your network interface that's using the internet and changing the preferred DNS setting from default automatic to 9.9.9.9 and applying the change.

Quad9 checks your web query against it's blacklist of suspicious sites and will block any offensive responses.

You can check them out at www.quad9.net

Hope this helps.

I'm using it myself and it works.

Edited by Darkside_1, 28 November 2017 - 06:05 AM.

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#24 Orpheus

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:34 PM

On an only tangentially related note:

Most people use their ISP DNS server, which ISPs use as the most convenient way to track your websurfing. Google offers alternate public DNS servers, but there's that same caveat. The question is: do you trust Google (whose business is targeted advertising) or your ISP (whose business is typically "milking you for all they can"). There are public/opensource DNS projects, too, but while those seem more trustworthy, you can never be sure. I only have a partial solution to this (auto-choose a DNS server based on the URL, so that any one DNS only sees a partial [consistent] slice of my browsing. There's software outthere to randomize DNS servers, but that just gives ALL the DNS monitors a "fuzzier" but essentially complete picture of your browsing (something like slicing a  hologram into parts: each part generates a fuzzier version of the whole image)

I realize that I'm not offering a good, easily implemented solution, but I wanted everyone to realize that WHOEVER does your DNS for you also gets to see all the sites you visit.

#25 Shoshana

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 11:36 PM

I’ve been whining about Google for a while now. All kinds of spam and weird results. I clear my browsing history and cookies but still it is not nearly as good as it was. I tried DuckDuckGo but it isn’t very helpful either anymore

#26 Orpheus

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 10:11 PM

One of the problems causing inadequate search results is "Google Personalized Web Services": it gives you what it thinks YOU want, not "everything there is", or it orders the results to put its best guesses at the top, so  an objectively more relevant result might not appear until page 3 or later.

It's Google's way of saying "oh, you don't need to worry your pretty little head about that. I'll sort it out for you." Because THAT never pisses anyone off.

I'll look through my Big Bag O' Hacks and pull out some old tricks I used to use. Here are a couple that occur to me immediately:

1) Turn off Personalized Web Services by adding "&pws=0" to the end of the url (or simply search from this link)
You can add it to an existing search or change your browser's Google bookmark to permanently include "&pws=0" at the end.
Of course, you're *asking* Google to play nice, so there's not telling what it still won't want you to worry your pretty little head about.
What can I say/ It IS an awfully pretty head. Just not so little.

2) Use another country's Google engine e.g. https://google.co.nz/search?q=your+keyword+terms&gl=us
In the above example, I'm asking Google New Zealand for results, but adding "&gl=us" to specify "results for the US"
I haven't tried this lately, but it should work unless Google bothers to completely reroute every such query back to Google US with SkyNet-like thoroughness.
Here's a list of other foreign Google search engines.

(you can see how localization affects results by using Google's Ad Preview Tool (used by advertisers):
https://adwords.goog...&__c=1000000000
Or use a foreign Google and add the "&near=" parameter to see what Google shows Dallas-folk vs Bostonians e.g.
https://google.co.nz/search?q=gun+control&gl=us&near=dallas+tx
https://google.co.nz/search?q=gun+control&gl=us&near=boston+ma

Google has changed how the above works, through advances in modern networking and IP metadata, but they are still enlightening.

#27 Selene

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:29 PM

^ Exactly, Orpheus. Google has trended and personalized the algorithm, which keeps people in one bubble, and anything outside that bubble is pushed further down the list, even if it's what you're looking for, because the folks at Google have decided, at some point, that they know best when it comes to what you really need to find. I've used Google since its public release (as a user of Alta Vista before that, I can say Google was quite good at what they did), and it has become progressively worse due to this age of flexible facts and user bubbles.

#28 Orpheus

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:20 AM

AltaVista was also my preferred search engine before Google.

To be fair, I don't think Google thinks they know better than you what you should see, but quite the opposite, since the beginning if the "personalization" trend it tried to present what it thought you'd WANT to  see -- which (for most people, then and now) includes their own personal biases. Choosing "what is best for you" would mean choosing something other from your own personal biases.

Either way, not only is it not an objective search result BUT (and this is most damning) they don't give you any way to bypass it and get objective results. You have to trick it. I often have to VPN to proxies in other areas/nations. That's not hard, but it's not trivial, and requires some understanding of the extent of the problem and various technical issues. The easiest way is to PAY for a VPN service to use "free" Google (and do other things).

That's expecting too much from most users. Cynically, I'd say it was more the opposite -- expecting (hoping) that most users WON'T do that

#29 gsmonks

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 03:26 PM

The people running Gurgle tend to be lying, blinkered, arrogant swine like Mucus Zuckerberg.

Just did a search on Gurgle for the first time in ages, and on a library computer. Gave me tons of irrelevant garbage I didn't ask for, and was VERY hard to track down any relevant information. Switched to Bing, which cut out most of the crap.

I was looking for info on Laube oboes and G. H. Huller clarinets. Had to nix Gurgle's "suggestions" just to get going, only to run into mountains of b.s. unrelated to my searches.
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