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Scroogle Has Been Blocked

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the well-that's-not-very-nice dept.

Google 281

An anonymous reader writes "Scroogle, the secure third-party Google search interface, has been blocked by Google. Scroogle was an SSL-based search proxy that enabled one to search for and receive Google results over an SSL connection in a pseudo-anonymous manner."

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281 comments

Scroogle (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169568)

While I would love to see a good rant towards Google and while I also myself use Scroogle, the summary isn't really being truthful. Google hasn't blocked anything, they just changed the page that Scroogle scrapes and they're throwing a hissy fit about it.

From the Scroogle announcement:

We regret to announce that our Google scraper may have to be permanently retired, thanks to a change at Google.

That interface was at www.google.com/ie but on May 10, 2010 they took it down and inserted a redirect to /toolbar/ie8/sidebar.html. It used to have a search box, and the results it showed were generic during that entire time.

Now that interface is gone. It is not possible to continue Scroogle unless we have a simple interface that is stable. Google's main consumer-oriented interface that they want everyone to use is too complex, and changes too frequently, to make our scraping operation possible.

Google changing something isn't exactly "blocking" a third party service. Even more so, it's just a few lines of code to get the results from main Google search too. All the search results and links have approciate html ID's associated to them and it's been the same for years already.

I have no idea why Scroogle is bitching about this.

Oh well. I changed to use ixquick [ixquick.com], which also has the added benefit of being located in the Germany rather than US and a lot better and useful interface.

-sopssa

Re:Scroogle (2, Interesting)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169592)

What's the benefit of being in Germany?

Re:Scroogle (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169836)

From the FAQ [ixquick.com]:

European Privacy Seal
On July 14th 2008 Ixquick received the first European Privacy Seal from European Data Protection Supervisor Mr. Peter Hustinx. The Seal officially confirms the privacy promises we make to our users. It makes Ixquick the first and only EU-approved search engine. Both EU Commissioner Viviane Reding and Dr.Thilo Weichert, German Privacy Commissioner complemented Ixquick on its privacy achievements.
You can find the press release here.

Since I am in EU, it also means US can't just randomly get data that doesn't belong to them, ie. for people from other countries. Frankly, EU and European countries take privacy a lot more seriously, for historical reasons too.

Re:Scroogle (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169952)

LOL, how the fuck does the presence of an image on their site, along with some text tossing a few names around, actually ensure their security promises?

Re:Scroogle (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170330)

You could try following the links, dumbass

https://www.european-privacy-seal.eu/awarded-seals [european-privacy-seal.eu]

Now, it doesn't mean there will never be a data breach (by a disgruntled employee or whatever), but the fact that they have actually bothered to get a certification says to me that these guys are more committed to data privacy than your average website that collects and distribute personal information.

Re:Scroogle (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170610)

The US can't do that in the US either. Just an FYI.

" Frankly, EU and European countries take privacy a lot more seriously,"
Care to back that up? I mean when you can take time away from being on public video, told what you can and can not say, carrying papers,

IT would be more correct to say it treats privacy different;which makes sense because what it considered ''privacy' is different. For example, what you do in public can be considered 'private' in some countries.

Of course it's such a patch work in the EU, it's almost nonsense to say to use the EU as a generally statement concerning privacy.

Re:Scroogle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169842)

real beer, excellent food, beautiful landscape

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169852)

It is not located in the US and therefore would require more hoops for the US DoJ to get information from.

Re:Scroogle (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169970)

and less hoops for INTERPOL, German Federal police, etc. Also, there is then no protection, even in theory, from NSA or CIA operations as that becomes "over-seas" and thus fertile ground. I guess it all depends on who you're trying to slightly inconvenience, though.

Re:Scroogle (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170252)

Well, if you are a US citizen, adding in a foreign country anywhere in the chain of evidence makes intelligence gathering much more difficult.

If the feds want to use Google against me, it's rather easy if all my searching is on Google.com. The FBI (A US agency) can just send a NSL to my ISP (A US company) which will be obliged to turn over my IP address, which they can send to Google (A US company) in another NSL and oblige them to turn over my search history identified by my IP address (located within the US).

Re:Scroogle (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170366)

But then they only have the last 18 months of your search history, and your browsing history through google analytics, and all your email [no NSL necessary for that!], and any documents in google docs.

Actually, the email part is scary. Evidently, the law is that email on a server is freely accessible by federal law enforcement, without a warrant or even a 'we think he knows somebody who may have parked next to a fire hydrant' if it's been stored for more than six months...

Re:Scroogle (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170572)

After GW Bush opened Pandora's can of worms with respect to secret police searches and constitutional bypass operations on the heart of U.S. justice an freedom, there is a strong perception that there is NO protection from government intrusiveness in the U.S. any more. So may are now feeling that a little privacy is a lot better than none. That said, it matters whether you trust your government and form of government or not. If you do, then logically it doesn't matter if they can spy on you in the night, come search you, or put you up against a wall, because they are trustworthy and wouldn't do anything wrong. But the government is made up of people, and people of course never do any wrong. [/sarcasm]

Re:Scroogle (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169610)

I love Startpage. As a metasearch engine, it's pretty darn good.

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170506)

I love Startpage. As a metasearch engine, it's pretty darn good.

As do I. I've been using it since Alex Jones started promoting it, and I have no intention to switch back to Google.

Re:Scroogle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169668)

Ballmer's cock jock is back on his trolling spree!

Re:Scroogle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169922)

Kind of a brave card for you to pull, no?

Re:Scroogle (4, Interesting)

Jer (18391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169846)

What's more, the link they were scraping off of [www.google.com/ie] seems to be related to Google's support of Internet Explorer. Since it's been replaced with a "go get IE 8" page, it's probably been dumped to encourage people to dump their older versions of IE and get something newer.

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169984)

Now CmdrTaco can't safely search thai hooker blood removal!

Re:Scroogle (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170002)

Indeed. Scroogle sounds like a good idea... but it's a service that exists parasitically to Google proper. I'm not trying to imply anything unethical by using the word "parasite", but this really is a situation where Scroogle uses Google's capabilities/services without contributing anything back to Google. This is fine to the extent that Google tolerates it. But they are under no obligation to make accommodations to keep these third-party services running smoothly. TFA says "It's not as if Google needs the money" which seems rather uncharitable given that Google has put up with Scroogle's operations for many years now without any complaints or blocking attempts (that I'm aware of). And Google does need some money (they would have to shut down if everyone used their services through Scroogle...).

Scroogle needs to either adjust their service to keep up with Google's changes, or make a business case to Google for why it is in their best interest to provide a stable interface/API for third-party redistributors like them. The implication in TFA that they are somehow entitled to this interface/API/access is really silly.

Re:Scroogle (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170384)

doesn't http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxsearch/ [google.com] count? Also i'm fairly sure that it shouldn't be that hard to get the links out of the normal google search(but it's been a while since i looked at the HTML of the results. yep,

a href=foo class=1> name /a> (sry i had to mangle it a bit, but the idea should be clear)

The results are the only links to have a class of 1. so a simple matter of parsing it as XML should work.

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170458)

So, kinda' like how filesharers don't actually give anything back to the artists they claim have been cheated by the record companies....

Ah, there is a certain glory in being an AC and modded out of existence. A martyr kind of thing....

Re:Scroogle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170688)

but it's a service that exists parasitically to Google proper. I'm not trying to imply anything unethical by using the word "parasite", but this really is a situation where Scroogle uses Google's capabilities/services without contributing anything back to Google.

The word you're looking for is commensalism [wikipedia.org]. Although I think in this case it is closer to parasitic since it does use some of Google's resources without giving back much or any value to Google itself.

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170014)

Scroogle isn't throwing a hissy fit...the person who made this summary is.

Re:Scroogle (4, Insightful)

Jer (18391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170124)

The linked article does use the title "Scroogle has been blocked" when, really, they haven't been blocked at all. They're free to change their code to work with the various other methods of accessing Google - like perhaps using the publicly available API that Google provides. Since I've never used the API I'm not sure exactly what technical limitations it imposes that make screen scraping a better alternative to the API for privacy concerns. Anyone have an idea why they would need to use a screen scraper to anonymize connections instead of using the API?

Re:Scroogle (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170062)

A couple fun facts about Scroogle:
1. Since Scroogle hit multiple Google IPs, it used to be possible to search the same keywords 5 or 6 times in a row and see the variation in page rank. Great for web site owners to see how they ranked.
2. Scroogle dot COM is NSFW at all, so when telling people about Scroogle it was usually CRUCIAL to emphasize the dot ORG part of the domain. At a previous job I made the mistake of telling my boss about it without emphasizing the dot ORG part and, well... he got an eyeful of the wrong type of "org"...

www.google.com/ie gone -- also used by the blind. (4, Interesting)

bpechter (2885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170080)

The wife used the www.google.com/ie interface for accessability reasons. It worked much better for her with her screen reader. She's totally blind. She'll miss the interface and I know there were others using it for the same reason.

Re:www.google.com/ie gone -- also used by the blin (5, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170268)

I'm legally blind (but not to the extent that I require a screen-reader) and certainly I advocate for accessability features. But, just like the /ie interface wasn't intended to be a stable screen-scraping interface for Scroogle, it wasn't intended to be an accessability feature. That's the problem with using things in unsupported ways. Sure, they may work now - but you have no assurances going forward.

I'd suggest your wife, and anyone else who finds Google's support for low-vision users lacking, contact them and start lobbying for a proper solution that they will then have proper knowledge of and reason to support.

Re:Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170306)

While I would love to see a good rant towards Google and while I also myself use Scroogle, the summary isn't really being truthful. Google hasn't blocked anything, they just changed the page that Scroogle scrapes and they're throwing a hissy fit about it.

From the Scroogle announcement:

We regret to announce that our Google scraper may have to be permanently retired, thanks to a change at Google.

That interface was at www.google.com/ie but on May 10, 2010 they took it down and inserted a redirect to /toolbar/ie8/sidebar.html. It used to have a search box, and the results it showed were generic during that entire time.

Now that interface is gone. It is not possible to continue Scroogle unless we have a simple interface that is stable. Google's main consumer-oriented interface that they want everyone to use is too complex, and changes too frequently, to make our scraping operation possible.

Google changing something isn't exactly "blocking" a third party service. Even more so, it's just a few lines of code to get the results from main Google search too. All the search results and links have approciate html ID's associated to them and it's been the same for years already.

I have no idea why Scroogle is bitching about this.

Oh well. I changed to use ixquick [ixquick.com], which also has the added benefit of being located in the Germany rather than US and a lot better and useful interface.

-sopssa

If Microsoft and Google are any indication, there is no large corporation Sopssa won't defend and make an apology for.

They didn't block it... (4, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169606)

If you RTFA you'll notice that Google didn't block Scroogle, they just upgraded without consideration to its functionality. As soon as someone can explain why Google WOULD have Scroogle on a dependency chart we can all put our conspiracy hats back on.

Re:They didn't block it... (5, Funny)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169750)

They WOULD because if you change some letters in Roswell and add one, you get Scroogle! Isn't it obvious???! It should be to the aliens who run Google. Clearly the government has you in their clutches - only an upgrade to TinFoilHat 2.3 will save you.

Re:They didn't block it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170370)

WHAT? When did 2.0 come out? I'm still on TinFoilHat 1.4...

Re:They didn't block it... (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169782)

Are you trying to tell me that a Private Corporation such as Google doesn't regularily consider the functionality of other companies who slam it on a regular basis, such as Scroogle?

Re:They didn't block it... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169964)

Google is a Public Corporation.

Re:They didn't block it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170056)

Scroogle was a company?
Uh, no. And there were of no consideration to Google.

The Summary Lies! (4, Insightful)

dancingmilk (1005461) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169628)

What a horrible summary. Google didn't block anything, they just changed the page that Scroogle scrapes off of. Scroogle claims that they need a "simple" interface to scrape off of. Sounds to me like they are too lazy to adjust their service.

Re:The Summary Lies! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170036)

Sounds to me like they are too lazy to adjust their service.

...at the whim of an update schedule that is irregular, unannounced, and liable to massive changes that would break scraping.

Re:The Summary Lies! (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170156)

break scraping.

Scraping is inherently unreliable. Particularly if you're scraping without the data source's permission or cooperation. It's what you do with the bottom of the barrel.

If you want reliable, you won't be doing any scraping. If you're doing scraping, don't get bent out of shape with it suddenly stops working. By choosing a scraping solution, you've committed yourself to intermittent service and a continual race to keep up with target interface changes.

Of you can use the provided API [blogspot.com]? Yes, it has limitations. But one of them isn't "brittle, unreliable, and subject to complete failure without notice".

Re:The Summary Lies! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170282)

I’m not defending their choice to scrape... just pointing out that whether or not scraping was a good idea, their justification for not scraping (any longer) is perfectly reasonable.

If you’re asking “why are they scraping in the first place”... well, they found an interface to scrape from that they thought would never change... and surprisingly enough, it did.

Re:The Summary Lies! (1)

schon (31600) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170682)

just pointing out that whether or not scraping was a good idea, their justification for not scraping (any longer) is perfectly reasonable.

The decision to not scrape is reasonable. What is not reasonable is the outrage and blame placed on Google.

they found an interface to scrape from that they thought would never change

So in other words, they're stupid.

Re:The Summary Lies! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170772)

I really can’t say I disagree.

I’m just saying it’s not based on quite as much laziness as you made it seem. Yes, they’re lazy, but scraping would’ve been the wrong solution anyway: it’s too much work.

Re:The Summary Lies! (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170482)

Scroogle has the absolute right to a refund for any and all money that they have paid Google because Google isn't living up to the contract where Scroogle pays Google for a stable connec... wait, what was that? Oh, I see. Never mind.

Scroogle may be providing a service that people value, but they are still using Google to do it, and not paying Google for that access. Google is tolerating this, which is all well and good, but they are under absolutely no obligation to make sure the connection is unchanged. Sites change all the time, and anyone who employs scraping technology as part of their technological solution should not be surprised when they do.

Optimize Google Firefox Extension (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169652)

I have been using this extension for Firefox called Optimize Google. http://www.optimizegoogle.com/ [optimizegoogle.com] It has the ability to disable click tracking and Google's ad services as well as a bunch of other features. Whether it works is up for debate. Personally I would not have used Scroogle since they can still track my usage and I don't really care if Google knows what I've been searching.

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169728)

I have been using this extension for Firefox called Optimize Google. http://www.optimizegoogle.com/ [optimizegoogle.com] It has the ability to disable click tracking and Google's ad services as well as a bunch of other features. Whether it works is up for debate.

You use it, but don't know if it works?

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169962)

You do realize that the program has other functions built into it?

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169786)

The point isn't that Google or Scroogle can see what you're searching for, with SSL no one in between can see.

Say you search for "How to kill your wife and hide the body". With Google, every ISP that transfers packets between you and them has a record of it. With Scroogle only Scroogle knows what you searched for. (Not sure if they keep logs to subpoena).

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170054)

Guess what, most ISPs do not save the data for later review. If they did many would need multiple petabytes per week. They might record what IP connected to What IP, but that is also unlikely.

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170084)

Not sure if they keep logs to subpoena

“We don’t use cookies, we don’t save search terms, and logs are deleted within 48 hours.” – graphic on their homepage [scroogle.org].

Re:Optimize Google Firefox Extension (1)

AntiDragon (930097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170090)

Yes, but once you have that list of results you're wide open to snooping again - those URLs you visit can be snooped the same way a Google search string can be.

The rest of the web is as as open and interceptable as a plain Google search. Far better to do your dodgy web activities from an anonymous location or via something like Tor.

In either case, this is a site that's piggybacking on another company's services for free. Google haven't deliberately blocked them and whatever my personal opinion of the company may be, they are under no obligation to check if their updates break these kinds of sites.

Duck Duck Go (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169660)

I used to use Scroogle for privacy reasons, but switched to Duck Duck Go [duckduckgo.com] a few weeks ago. It is quickly becoming a great privacy-respecting alternative to Google and often gives more relevant results than Google.

Re:Duck Duck Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169806)

I too use Duck Duck Go.

Re:Duck Duck Go (2, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169986)

I too have been trying Duck Duck Go [duckduckgo.com] (link to encrypted version) for the last several weeks and have been impressed.

Furthermore, check out their privacy policy [duckduckgo.com], as well as a recent blog post about search privacy [gabrielweinberg.com] that explains why it "might be the most private place to search the Internet". No IPs logged, no cookies, no contractors.

There are also a large set of convenient "bang commands" [duckduckgo.com] such as searching "!slashdot foo".

And finally, searching over (encrypted) HTTPS just works "out of the box".

Give it a try for a few weeks!

Re:Duck Duck Go (1)

sproot (1029676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170556)

It also seems to need javascript to work properly, unless you add it as a search plugin to ff.
Haven't seen a good explanation for that yet, scroogle managed perfectly well without it.

Umm (5, Interesting)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169684)

When google wants them to stop, they'll be hearing from lawyers........ not just finding that google changed their page layout.

Real API (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169848)

Doesn't Google have a real search API they can use?
Rather than using a kludge like google.com/ie (yuck)

Re:Real API (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170052)

In fact they do [google.com]. It's not clear why Scroogle has such a hard on for screen scraping.

Lazyness (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170202)

Really, I hate this stuff, because I am sometimes asked to write a scraper and it is bloody stupid. Because the moment something changes, anything changes, you have to check it and check it again. And you know, many sites change their layout all the time, if for no other reason then to fix bugs. That is nothing to say of seasonal changes.

And then there is the legal side, and the ease with which to block you.

So don't fucking scrape, especially with a well developed and documented API around. Really, scraping google? WHY!

This has to be one of the most pathetic whines ever. Oh nozers, they changed their layout now your scraper is the brokerz. CRY ME A RIVER!

Ah, Don't be evil? (5, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169854)

They are being Evil. They have a perpetual obligation to keep every single feature in a time-freeze so that third parties can use them as they see fit!

Ah, wait, no they don't.

There is an assload of meta-search engines out there. Scroogle seems to be the only one that has been affected. That's because they were saving bandwidth, processor usage, and programmer's time by using the same fucking simple interface for the last 5 years. So, they've been using an old interface that existed for the SOLE PURPOSE of being compatible with shitty old IE versions .... now that google pulls it out, they bitch about it? Come on ...

Here is what I hate: Everyone is complaining about the privacy concerns with many services, but nobody stops using them! Everyone feels they have the right for every service to work they way they want it to. Guess what, you don't. You don't like google? Stop using it!. I don't like microsoft. I Don't like anything from them. So, I don't use ANYTHING FROM THEM. Not their software, nor their services, nothing. On the other hand, we have people cracking their software and complaining when they are evil. They ARE evil? stay the hell away from it.

I'm really tired of this privacy-concerns constant circle-jerking. Stop using the shit you don't like. Simple, huh?

Re:Ah, Don't be evil? (1)

Thundersnatch (671481) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170452)

They are being Evil. They have a perpetual obligation to keep every single feature in a time-freeze so that third parties can use them as they see fit! Ah, wait, no they don't.

Wait a minute. This is Slashdot, and the collective hive-mind knows that Microsoft does "have a perpetual obligation to keep every single feature in a time-freeze so that third parties can use them as they see fit". So does Oracle, Apple, HP, or any $big_succesful_company. Why doesn't Google?

Re:Ah, Don't be evil? (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170526)

Stop using the shit you don't like. Simple, huh?

I do that sometimes, but if I followed your advice to the letter I wouldn't be able to do much at all. It's hard to find big corporations that are truly benign.

Re:Ah, Don't be evil? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170622)

Can you write that in an XML format so I can autopost it to my facebook, myspace, and twitter pages? </ducks>

Need for anonymous search engine (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169856)

Is this the same company that started anonymizing search logs sooner and refused to hand over search data to the US?

Is there a reason why you NEED a more anonymous search engine? And can you trust the other party you're going through isn't logging your search inquiries?

Ultimately it comes down to who you trust more. I just don't understand why no one trusts Google when they have the cleanest track record out there.

Re:Need for anonymous search engine (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170280)

I just don't understand why no one trusts Google when they have the cleanest track record out there

I think it is down to how many companies have burned their users in the past. Last.fm, Facebook etc. were all 'trusted' by users until their moral compasses went haywire. I think distrusting content providers* is healthy, if only from a security and privacy perspective.

*Yes I realise Google searches don't technically provide content

Re:Need for anonymous search engine (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170400)

And yet, some people will trust a site based on the pure presentation of that site not trusting google.

As if some in between site is more or less likely to sell your data.

Re:Need for anonymous search engine (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170402)

I just think Google is smarter than that. Facebook is king of the internet right now, but they are alienating their users at every turn.

They forget that Myspace was once the largest social networking company out there. Facebook could fall to second banana just as easily the second a better alternative shows up.

Google however is smart enough to realize that their entire business model is about getting users to use their products so they can serve up contextual ads. If they piss their users off, it destroys their business model.

Their April Fool's prank was to name themselves Topeka for a day. They were basically saying "we love you too". In fact, they've directly said it to me.

They had award nominations for open source contributers. I nominated Andrew Morton, not realizing at the time that Google was paying him to work on Linux full time. I got an email back from Google explaing that it made Morton ineligible for the award.

I responded saying that it was just one more reason I loved Google, because they pay guys like Andrew Morton. I literally got an email back from Google saying "We love you too."

The world is full of shitty companies that don't care about their customers/users. They just don't get it. I really think Google is the exception to the rule.

Kinda like Flash on the iPad (1, Insightful)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169894)

This is exactly why Apple doesn't want third-party UI systems on the iPad. They make their own business decision to improve their UI (something Google has needed for some time and something Google needs in order to survive against the likes of Bing) and now they are getting bad press because some lazy programmer can't figure out how to scrape their search results.

Intermediation is not a right. Businesses should have the right to engage with their customers without third-parties trying to intervene.

Re:Kinda like Flash on the iPad (0, Offtopic)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170012)

This is exactly why Apple doesn't want third-party UI systems on the iPad.

Because the only website I visit that might give the iPhone issues are those with Flash... all other websites work perfectly?

Re:Kinda like Flash on the iPad (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170248)

This is exactly why Apple doesn't want third-party UI systems on the iPad.

Because the only website I visit that might give the iPhone issues are those with Flash... all other websites work perfectly?

I'm asking because I really don't know, and I'm interested: Do Google Documents and Google Wave work perfectly on iPhone?

And yes, you're talking about websites you visit, and you might not be visiting Google Docs or Wave, no need to point that out, I'm not disputing that, but those are websites I visit regularly so I'm interested :-)

Re:Kinda like Flash on the iPad (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170404)

I'm not really sure. I don't own an iPad or iPhone. Fortunately. ;)

Google's forum doesn't [google.com] give one very much hope, though.

I've heard some funny things about the mobile version of Safari, too... I don't know if it is true or not, but one person said things like tinyMCE didn't work, which meant bloggers had to put in actual coding and weren't able to use the javascript WYSIWYG editors.

Distributed privacy? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169902)

Others have already stated this is not actually a block, but if it had been ...

I wonder if a distributed proxy would work. Run a client on your computer that puts you into a pool. Point your browser to localhost web server where it provides a search interface and submit your query. The client randomly picks another host in the network where your request is carried out and returns your results.

After a couple hundred thousand users go online the amount of mixed requests muddles the data so much that it's all useless to Google.

Re:Distributed privacy? (2, Informative)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170188)

That's pretty much what Tor does, only it can be used for any kind of traffic, not just searching.

Why should i trust scroogle more than google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32169926)

I find it interesting that so many people trust scroogle more than google. Google is easily categorized, as a company which makes money by displaying ads. Scroogle however...

Re:Why should i trust scroogle more than google? (2, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170108)

Trustworthy people usually don't have such a whiny sense of entitlement. They've probably been a honeypot all along.

Re:Why should i trust scroogle more than google? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170782)

I was about to post the same thing, then I saw your post...

Frankly, I'm amused that someone would distrust Google enough to use any third party to anonymize searches for them. Don't get me wrong, Google collects more than I'm comfortable with, but at least they are a well-known and pretty well-regulated entity. Whenever an unknown comes in and tells me they are going to protect me from the boogeyman for free, I start looking for the catch. When I can't find one, I get nervous. Why, exactly, does Scroogle exist? Is it to protect me from Google? Great, so now quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Do I have a reason to trust Scroogle more than I do Google?

I mean, think about it - Scroogle has access to the exact same information Google would have had you used Google. The only difference is that, instead of giving that information to a company that discloses how they use it and why they want it and is under massive international scrutiny and gets pounced on every time they appear to break their promise, you are now giving the information to a much smaller company that promises not to use it at all, but you don't know how they are making money or what their true motivation is for offering the service, nor do you know if they are keeping said promises.

How long is Scroogle maintaining your search history? Who are they going to sell it to? Where is their privacy policy? I sure as hell don't see one on their site.

Google is the devil I can see. I know precisely what Bezos et al want from me - they want to know as much about me as possible so they can show me ads they think I'll click on and buy shit. In order to tempt me to cough up said information, they offer me world-class tools to do all manner of things. For free. I get that there's a price tag attached. And there are plenty of governments and organizations out there watching to make sure Google doesn't take more from me than they promised. It's a Faustian bargain, but the devil's only agreed to take part of my soul, and can be held to his promises.

Scroogle? No, all I see is a list of names, and no promises or real claims about anything, except that their proxies will protect me from Google. What protects me from them?

Seriously, change the header (5, Insightful)

valadaar (1667093) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169934)

No other comment - this is simply factually wrong. Let me know when Scroogle can't even resolve Google servers, then they are truly blocked.

I don't get it - why "scrape" at all? (3, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#32169938)

I don't get it - why "scrape" at all? Google has a real search API, do they not?

Re:I don't get it - why "scrape" at all? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170132)

Because they were too lazy/lacked the skill. I shed no tears for an operation called Screw-gle that can no longer suckle from the teat of Goo-gle.

Re:I don't get it - why "scrape" at all? (5, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170174)

Doesn't that one require a key that only supports 1,000 searches per day?

That kind of thing would make Scroogle useless. And since Scroogle has no interest in paying Google for the results, they aren't going to purchase the kind of access they'd like to have.

Re:I don't get it - why "scrape" at all? (1)

virgilp (1774784) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170594)

Fair enough.
On the other hand.... do you think that Scroogle really gets more than 1000 searches per day? :P

Oh man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170004)

I'm gonna miss the pink and cyan MSPAINT art!

Stick it to google.... (3, Insightful)

jtcampbell (199660) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170082)

......by using a different search engine.

Oh wait - you're weren't generating any revenue for them and were actually costing them bandwidth.

That will really show them!

The real question is (1)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170092)

Why they are not using the actual REST API provided here [google.com]?

Sounds like laziness to me, and that they are blaming google for their own shortcomings.

Google search API not applicable (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170118)

The AJAX in the name didn't tip you off? If you put a Google search box on your own webpage then searches done from that box still go directly to Google's machines and there is NO anonymizer.

Re:Google search API not applicable (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170236)

If the connection was performed by sockets between Scroogle’s own servers and Google’s (which is what they were doing with their SSL searches to screen-scrape the results from the old /ie interface previously) it would be the same level of anonymity as before. AJAX is just a Javascript interface to open sockets and make HTTP/HTTPS requests.

It’s just a matter of server side vs. client side. The primary reason that an AJAX search is done by your browser rather than your own webpage is because it saves your server the bandwidth and time (and saves the visitor the time too) that would have been required if it was done server-side. It could be done using server-side scripting.

Learn about the web (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170328)

Scroogle could use the api on their servers. Really, do you know so little about the web that you think AJAX can't be run server to server? Hell, you don't even need javascript for it, any scripting language can do it if it can do html requests.

Re:Google search API not applicable (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170334)

Why can't a server side script make a JSON (or SOAP, or ..) request and serve the results in the same way the client side script do? It could use the API and still go through a proxy, can't it?

other solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170166)

Seeks remains, http://www.seeks-project.info/site/ with a list of publicly available nodes.
Also http://www.googlesharing.net/ should do the trick.

NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170208)

Do not try to go to scroogle.com if you are at work..

Too bad, I really liked Scroogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32170234)

It was awesome for many reasons. The whole privacy issue was just an added benefit. It basically turned Google back into what it was once was: an easy to use search engine without all the clutter; now that Google added this stupid Everything side bar more than ever.

Google adds more and more crap which Scroogle didn't have. Plus it didn't want to be one of those stupid question answering engines or tried to "enrich" search results with self-compiled categories. Just plain web search with a minimal interface. It's baffling how hard that is to find these days.

Anyway, thanks while it lasted.

No it hasn't. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170360)

Google made some changes to the results that broke Scroogle.

And no, I don't think the intentionally did it.
And yes, I like the new search returns,
and no I don't work fr Google,
and yes there are other ways to do exactly what Scroogle was doing.
and no I don't like these kinds of lists,
and yes I'll stop now.

No, Google doesn't have a real search API. (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170628)

Google once had a real search API. [google.com] It was SOAP-based. But they discontinued it years ago.

Google's AJAX search API [google.com] is, by design, very limited. All you can really do is create a little search widget, and perhaps add some fields of your own. The term [google.com] prohibits doing much beyond that. "You are allowed to use the API only to display, and to make such uses as are necessary for You to display, Google Search Results on your Property. The API does not provide You with the ability to access, and You are not allowed to access, other underlying Google Services or data. Subject to the limitations and conditions described below, " ... "You agree that You will not, and You will not permit your users or other third parties to: (a) modify or replace the text, images, or other content of the Google Search Results, including by (i) changing the order in which the Google Search Results appear, (ii) intermixing Search Results from sources other than Google, or (iii) intermixing other content such that it appears to be part of the Google Search Results; or (b) modify, replace, obscure, or otherwise hinder the functioning of links to Google or third party websites provided in the Google Search Results. " Given those restrictions, you can't write Scroogle using that API.

We have a SiteTruth search page which uses the Google AJAX API. [slashdot.org] We're prohibited from re-ordering the entries or removing any of them. Since the whole point of SiteTruth is to re-order search results by business legitimacy, and we don't do that for the Google results, the Google results are inferior to the ones from other search engines. So our primary search page uses Yahoo/Bing. [sitetruth.com]

There is no unscrapable interface (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32170804)

There are only lazy coders.

Google is under no obligation to spend effort making it easy to use their site in a way not intended by them - particularly since Google provides an actual API that does not need any scraping.

It's like reading the newspaper over someone's shoulder in the train, and then complaining that they turn the page too fast to keep up.

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