7 thoughts on “Duck Duck Go”

  1. I use Duck Duck Go. I agree with MikeR that it isn’t as good, but its good enough over 90% of the time. Not only is Google creepy, but Bing’s news feed is like living inside Minitrue.

  2. I’ve been using it more and more, and am reasonably happy with the results. Google is still a better search engine. And it’s fun to mess with it, searching for really bizarre combinations of technical subjects and scientific suppliers that seem to have no pattern for a while (because they actually don’t), but then are tied together (artificially) by adding “nuclear weapons” to the last search.

    My older son gave the best characterization of Bing. It’s the search engine people use to look for porn.

    In addition to search engines, browsers are important. I use Tor when looking at Drudge, since he links so often to the Washington Post. With Tor, you never run out of “free views” because they don’t know who you are. Tor’s default search engine is Duck Duck Go.

  3. My main objection to Duck Duck Go is it’s just not very good. I look for a lot of obscure stuff; anything from say Ugaritic religious texts to cheap Chinese-made stirling engine parts. Sometimes I’m searching for stuff I don’t remember the proper term for, and Google is better at context. There’s a lot of stuff Google knows about me that I really don’t care that they know: they could probably infer I’m a Mormon (though they still show ads for coffee); they know I’m into technology in general; they could probably guess what kind of cars I own; they probably know I’m married with kids and own a home; they know where I work and where I shop; but the algorithm is still pretty dumb in a lot of ways. Anyway, that sort of stuff is easy to find out about me anyway. I’m not that paranoid; I work in the data industry, and user data is kind of like the thread of nuclear war. Nobody really has any interest in using data about web traffic beyond making money. . . yet. But when there’s a breach, like the Equifax thing, I guess all you can do is duck and cover. Most of the privacy efforts are like building a fall-out shelter in your back yard.

    But I still have a small shelter: the stuff I don’t want Google or anyone to know about either never goes on the web, or if it does, it’s through a virtual machine running a different OS, a different browser, and a private VPN, and I never sign in to Google. I wouldn’t even trust that to be perfect; I’m sure a diligent NSA hacker could see what I was up to. Or hell, just hack my router, right? Privacy is dead. But at least we can make them work for it.

    1. I once searched on Google Scholar for “Jerk Influence Coefficients, Through Screw Theory, of Closed Chains.” I never read this article because it is in journal for which the U doesn’t have a subscription and it would cost coin to get it through Interlibrary Load, but the article is quite serious and all of the terms have meaning in the theory of motion (kinematics) of robotic and related machine linkages. Jerk is the time derivative of acceleration, Screw Theory describes the combined translational and orientational motion of rigid bodies (yes, that is what they are called) through coupled rotation and translation about an offset axis line, and closed chains are joint-connected links that have a connection to ground at each end. The Macpherson strut suspension linkage in a modern car is an example of such a closed chain.

      Having done this search, let’s just say that Google served me ads under the belief that I was party to the “cruiser” subculture. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

  4. Google is my ISP, so obviously I’ve completely given up. I may as well use it for everything else at that point.

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