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Privacy-Centric Search Engine Scroogle Shuts Down

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the rock-and-a-hard-place dept.

Privacy 128

An anonymous reader writes "Daniel Brandt started his 'Scroogle' search engine because he wanted to provide increased privacy to people who searched online through Google. Unfortunately, while Google tolerated this for a while, they began throttling Scroogle queries. This, in combination with extensive DDoS attacks on Brandt's servers, has caused him to take Scroogle offline, along with his other domains. He said, 'I no longer have any domains online. I also took all my domains out of DNS because I want to signal to the criminal element that I have no more servers to trash. This hopefully will ward off further attacks on my previous providers. Scroogle.org is gone forever. Even if all my DDoS problems had never started in December, Scroogle was already getting squeezed from Google's throttling, and was already dying. It might have lasted another six months if I hadn't lost seven servers from DDoS, but that's about all.' Internet users who made use of the services will now need to investigate other options."

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128 comments

And bing? (3, Insightful)

zoloto (586738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121115)

If google was "Squeezing" scroogle by limiting queries, why aren't they doing the same to microsoft's Bing?

Re:And bing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121139)

Because Bing doesn't depend on Google like Scroogle did?

Re:And bing? (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121639)

I think Microsoft was screen-scraping its own users, and not running it's queries of its own, or something like that.

Sort of (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122173)

They had a toolbar, if you clicked the 'send anonymous statistics data to Microsoft to improve our services' button then it was supposed to send anonymous stats to MS. However it turned out they were scraping the queries you ran on Google and sending the whole lot, results, the search, what you clicked on etc. back to Microsoft.

And not anonymous data either. Detailed tracking data, and a unique id that can be used to de-anonymize you.

It was Carrier IQ in IE form.

To me what made it worse is they were unrepentant once caught. Pretending it wasn't copying because they took these 'signals' from many sites and the result was merged. Which is incredible face. They didn't even pretend not to be tracking their users, they were proud of it.

And no prosecution either, nobody chased them, too much clout in politics.

Re:Sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122277)

THIS!! i really wish you didn't post AC so i could mod you up.

Re:Sort of (2)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39124577)

i really wish you didn't post AC so i could mod you up.

Not to worry, AC. Others weren't so stupid as you. It's at +5 Insightful as I read it.

Re:Sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122573)

They were tracking inputs to web forms (not just Google) and indexing the followed links from the results page. Google engineers deliberately used this behaviour to create a link between a nonesense word (for which there were no other signals) and a particular page and then kicked up a big stink. They went quiet when the truth came out.

DuckDuckGo (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121133)

They've a clear policy of not sharing or collecting info

Re:DuckDuckGo (3, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121213)

https://www.startpage.com/ [startpage.com] bills itself as "the world's most private search engine"

Re:DuckDuckGo (4, Informative)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122187)

Startpage does not record your IP address or track your searches. The Startpage the results are actually generated by Google.

Startpage supports SSL. So, when I type in Startpage.com, "https" appears in front of their URL instead of "http." That extra "s" tells me that that encryption is being used between my browser and the Startpage servers.

The sister search engine to Startpage is Ixquick. If I am not mistaken, the Ixquick search results are generated by various search engines other than Google.

Startpage also offers the option of viewing web sites through their proxy service. When selecting something from their search results, just click on "view by Ixquick proxy." Then, they only see the Startpage IP address, instead of your IP address. However, I have almost never actually bothered to use the proxy feature.

Privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht is the enthusiastic spokeswoman for Startpage.

https://startpage.com/ [startpage.com]

Re:DuckDuckGo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123049)

There's only 2 search engines google and bing the rest are dead or dying

Re:DuckDuckGo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123151)

Why would they be dying? IXquick/Startpage uses sponsored links to finance itself, unlike Scroogle, so they'd be able to afford more servers and cycle IPs more readily then Scroogle could with their limited income.

Re:DuckDuckGo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123833)

Right but IXQuick/Startpage doesn't run its own spider and indexer, it uses results from Google and Bing, which are the last two English-language search indexes worth mentioning. (Yahoo has used Bing for some time now, Altavista has likewise been a Yahoo/Bing wrapper for years, DuckDuckGo combines its own extremely limited index with Bing's, etc.)

Re:DuckDuckGo (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39124349)

Wait, Startpage is making Google do all the hard work, then stripping their ads and adding their own for revenue?

Doesnt that seem a little shady to you?

Re:DuckDuckGo (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39123309)

Correction: They CLAIM to not record your IP address or track your searches. Without verified evidence that this is true, all the privacy advocates in the world can enthusiastically endorse them, but that won't make me trust them any more than the other search engines. At least the latter admit freely they track you, so you can be more careful with your searches.

Re:DuckDuckGo (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39124277)

Let me get this straight. A search engine that claims to not track you. (actually it was awarded the first European Privacy Seal by the EU so it's their claim) is actually LESS private that a search engine that stores your queries long term and crossreferences them with your email and social networks to built a comprehensive permanent profile?

StartPage / ixquick (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39123379)

I've been using startpage.com exclusively for a couple of years now and I'm very happy with their service.

As referenced here [ixquick.com], startpage was awarded [european-privacy-seal.eu] the European Privacy Seal.

Re:DuckDuckGo (5, Informative)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121635)

If only the results where competitive with Google's. But they're not, and it's a shame, because I like DDG in principle, but when it comes to results, they're not there yet.

Re:DuckDuckGo (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121919)

They need a better brand if they want to make it big. I'm not commenting on the service per se. But the brand name itself is a big element in what draws new users.

It's three words, comprising one syllable each. So it's effectively five units in length of time to say. Not only that, but the hard "K" in "duck" forces the intermediate pause between the first two words, and encourages it between the latter two (attempts to say the name in only three units' time would sound closer to DU-DUCK-O). The pauses in between each of the individual words carries over from speech to mental reading and writing. Both the writer and the reader, are speaking their words inside their heads when they write or read. Which means the brand is both annoying to read and write about.

The repetition of "duck" makes the URL pretty annoying to type as well. At they very least, they can get a shorter domain that's easy to remember! For other types of products, the need might be different, but for a text-based internet destination, it's gotta be easy to type. They got the "duck" and "go" parts are more or less correct (no one-finger acrobatics needed to type the words), but the repeated duck completely negates the benefit.

Otherwise, they seem like an acceptable alternative to Scroogle. I've used them before, but Google is just easier to type (the double-o detracts a bit, but the brevity of the name more than makes up for this), so I always end up going back to Google.

Re:DuckDuckGo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123407)

"Otherwise, they seem like an acceptable alternative to Scroogle. I've used them before, but Google is just easier to type (the double-o detracts a bit, but the brevity of the name more than makes up for this), so I always end up going back to Google."

I don't get it. Why are you typing their name at all?

You know, there are such things as bookmarks, and most decent browsers will allow you to configure custom searches.

In both Firefox and Opera, all I have to do to perform a ddg search for "foo" is type "d foo" in my address bar. Not even that, if I configure it as my default search engine. Then all I'd have to do is type the query itself.

Alternately, you can just click in the search box and type your query.

Re:DuckDuckGo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123545)

> The repetition of "duck" makes the URL pretty annoying to type as well. At they very least, they can get a shorter domain that's easy to remember!

http://ddg.gg/ [ddg.gg]

Re:DuckDuckGo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123567)

At they very least, they can get a shorter domain that's easy to remember!

http://ddg.gg :)

Re:DuckDuckGo (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39123651)

The repetition of "duck" makes the URL pretty annoying to type as well. At they very least, they can get a shorter domain that's easy to remember!

You only need to type the URL once, to get to the front page. Then right-click the text box, select "create search", and follow the defaults. At least, this works for Opera; for Firefox and IE the functionality is the same but YMMV on the UI. The real beauty is that I can use the bang syntax to get results from other popular search engines, so DDG becomes the default search engine to maximize convenience. Even the Berkeley man-pages (!man).

Also, it may be a cultural thing, but I find "duck-duck-go" very easy to say. It sounds like a common (American?) childhood game, duck-duck-goose, which makes it easy to latch onto despite the length.

Scroogle is not a search engine. (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121155)

Scroogle is not a search engine. Scroogle is a hosted front end to Google. DuckDuckGo is a real search engine, one with good privacy policies and only one ad per page.

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121209)

Love this DuckDuckGo search engine, oops, hopefully I will not get throttling, DDoSed and double crossed by Google for saying it.

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (-1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121249)

duk duo go pulls search queries from bing - google can't do naught.

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121409)

duk duo go pulls search queries from bing

No it doesn't, it's searches are actually quite good.

From Wikipedia:
"DuckDuckGo's results are a mashup of many sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha and its own Web crawler, the DuckDuckBot.[2][21][22] It uses data from crowd-sourced sites, especially Wikipedia, to populate "Zero-click Info" boxes, which are grey boxes containing topic summaries and related topics above results.[23] DuckDuckGo also offers the ability to show mostly shopping sites or mostly info (non-shopping) sites via search buttons on its homepage.[24]"

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (4, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122675)

No it doesn't

Yes it does. Search for [digital camera] on Bing and DDG. Notice that the first ad is not just similar, it is exactly the same:

Sony® Digital Cameras
Digital Cameras for Beautiful Pictures. Free Shipping Order Now!
store.sony.com

Ok, so they are using AdCenter for ads, but that might not be true for actual search results. Now search for something esoteric and not likely to be in a tiny corpus, such as [state space motion planning]. The results have been re-ordered so clearly DDG has some re-ranking heuristics, but the results that are common (nearly all of them) are uncannily similar, including in most cases the exact same summary snippet. For example, the following exact result (all text) comes back in both:

Informed and Probabilistically Complete Search for Motion Planning ...
Sampling-based search has been shown effective in motion planning, a hard continuous state-space problem. Motion planning is especially challenging when the robotic system

Having a common phrase used throughout a paper yield exactly the same extracted snippet is unlikely, unless the implementations are identical. Since Bing isn't open source, Occam's Razor says they are using the API.

The simple fact is that one guy cannot implement a modern search engine, despite our hopes for the continued relevance of the garage revolutionary. While DDG likes to downplay the Bing API dependence, the majority of results come from there, and the rest is a few bits of sugar peppered on top for common queries. Claiming that having a special mode for wikipedia or "zero click" boxes makes it no longer Bing-using is kind of like saying Google's calculator means it doesn't need a search index.

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121527)

duk duo go pulls search queries from bing

Oh, so it does get its search results from Google after all.

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122741)

Query proxy

Re:Scroogle is not a search engine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123497)

"DuckDuckGo is a real search engine, one with good privacy policies and only one ad per page."

Actually, you can turn adds off completely using DDG's preferences.

Not that you should ever see ads anyway, if you use some decent ad blockers (like Ad Block Plus and Privoxy, to name a couple).

Hackers with a vendetta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121163)

I kinda curious if these "hackers" were people in the Google camp. The data that google harvests helps with ad display which generates revenue. Just a thought.

Re:Hackers with a vendetta? (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121197)

Yes; probably NSA people. They're here right now, listening, if you want to send them a message directly.

Re:Hackers with a vendetta? (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121373)

OK, thanks, here goes:

*** PLEASE FORWARD TO THE APPROPRIATE STAFF MEMBERS ****

Dear Sirs:

I have been requested by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has recently concluded a large number of contracts for oil exploration in the sub-Sahara region. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equalling US$40,000,000. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company is desirous of oil exploration in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Nigerian Government, it is unable to move these funds to another region.

    You assistance is requested as a non-Nigerian citizen to assist the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, and also the Central Bank of Nigeria, in moving these funds out of Nigeria. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$4 million of this amount.

                However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to Nigerian law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$100,000 in a Nigerian bank which is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

                If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in person in Lagos, and that during your visit I introduce you to the representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, as well as with certain officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

                Please call me at your earliest convenience at 234-598-212-5419. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Nigerian Government will realize that the Central Bank is maintaining this amount on deposit, and attempt to levy certain depository taxes on it.

You

This is deeply unfortunate (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121205)

I'm really saddened by this. I myself had a few tussles with Daniel before (I was very involved when he tried (unfortunately successfully)to get his Wikipedia entry deleted, and I'm a pretty biased source. During that process, he engaged in some pretty nasty behavior, including posting online the personal details of a various Wikipedians, including some who were minors. In the worst act, he gave the personal details of a female admin to Andrew Morrow, an individual who had made hobby of sexually harassing high level female Wikipedians. In that case, Morrow then, using the data from Brandt actually showed up to her place of work. Daniel expressed zero remorse over this and related issues. However, Scroogle was unambiguously a good thing that Daniel was doing. Daniel doesn't play well with others, and in the last year or so, his main feud has been with various elements of Encyclopedia Dramatica along with some of the nastier bits of Anonymous. It shouldn't be too surprising that they really are willing to respond in pretty nasty and destructive ways. The loss of Scroogle represents a real loss of a helpful service. But given that Daniel has now taken down all his domains including Wikipedia Watch which was primarily a list of personal details of various Wikipedians, I do have to see some minimal silver lining. But it isn't sufficient. The internet shouldn't be censored, whether by the government, or by people who have the capability to launch sustained Denial of Service Attacks. There's a real problem here wen someone as stubborn and experienced as Brandt can be brought down by this sort of thing. We worry a lot about censorship from governments through things like ACTA and SOPA, but this sort of thing is functionally as bad. Daniel Brandt's free speech has been essentially curtailed here. Much of that is speech I disagree with, but there's a relevant line attributed to Voltaire about that.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121399)

Much of that is speech I disagree with, but there's a relevant line attributed to Voltaire about that.

Don't feel bad, free speech is OK, but free speech and damn the consequences is dangerous and can be damaging.

If you are speaking with no intent but to bring harm to others, you're outside the scope of, let's call it "the spirit" of the First Amendment. It was written to uphold the right of the people to criticise their government, not to give safe harbour to malicious people who, quote: [post] online the personal details of a various Wikipedians, including some who were minors

So you can love free speech, and simultaneously seek to prevent people from deliberately saying harmful things.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121445)

but free speech and damn the consequences is dangerous and can be damaging.

There is no such thing as "free speech with consequences." Well, provided you meant the government punishing you, anyway. Otherwise, even the worst countries have freedom of speech.

let's call it "the spirit" of the First Amendment.

Let's not. That sounds like an awfully slippery slope right there. If you want unprotected speech, a constitutional amendment is in order. And that's difficult to do for a reason.

So you can love free speech, and simultaneously seek to prevent people from deliberately saying harmful things.

No, you can't. That's not truly free speech. Even if you think it shouldn't be allowed, speech is still being censored.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (1)

jschrod (172610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122201)

There is no such thing as "free speech with consequences."

Yes, there is. It is called libel, defamation, and harrassment.

But judging from your post, you've never heard of these words and their relationship to the 1st amendment. There is no absolute right to "truly free speech". It is to be balanced with other rights of other people.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122245)

Yes, there is. It is called libel, defamation, and harrassment.

Then that's not truly free speech. Some speech is being restricted. Whether you or I think that's good or bad is irrelevant.

But judging from your post, you've never heard of these words and their relationship to the 1st amendment.

No, I've read the first amendment. I've just never seen those words in it.

It is to be balanced with other rights of other people.

There is no right to not be offended (at least not yet), lied about, or any other such thing. Okay, maybe there is, but not specifically mentioned in the constitution as far as I know.

I still think there should be a constitutional amendment to clarify this nonsense.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121461)

if he has managed to make enemies of wikipedia and ED he must be a real winner

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39124157)

if he has managed to make enemies of wikipedia and ED he must be a real winner

Wikipedia is a big pile of political nonsense and power abuse, it can be a very hostile environment if you get involved in anyone's fifedom or run into a power crazy admin. It's amazing that project produces anything of real use.

I would like to know just what he did to upset the ED people though.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122477)

learn to use paragraphs, fuckwad

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123301)

Summary: Wikipedia wrote an 'article' about Daniel Brandt. He didn't like it. He wrote articles about the Wikipedia admins. They didn't like that.

Conclusion: He's a big meany for spreading information about people and they're paragons of virtue, spreading information about people.

Re:This is deeply unfortunate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39124643)

Really? A leftist went bonkers because you disagreed with him?

Color me shocked!

DuckDuckGo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121245)

Seriously, DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com] has the friendliest privacy policy [duckduckgo.com] around. They don't track [donttrack.us] you or bubble [dontbubble.us] you. They run a TOR [torproject.org] exit enclave, and if you're already using TOR, you can reach their search engine without exiting the onion by using their hidden service [3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion].

Well, this seriously sucks (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121273)

I just found Scroogle this year while traveling in China. I kicked myself for not finding it years sooner. It provided an encrypted proxy for google, exactly what I've always wanted. There is no viable alternative. StartingPage filters a lot of results. Duck Duck Go is okay, but I highly doubt it is as committed to storing as little information as Scroogle was. Tis a very sad day :(

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121309)

https://www.google.com

Try it...

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (0, Flamebait)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121427)

I know. I do love handing over my deeply personal information to an international spying corporation.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (0, Troll)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121559)

Slash dot: come for the nerdy news, stay for the complete off their rocker paranoid loon bags. I'll go pop some corn.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122143)

Suck on my fat cock, ok?

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (0)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122167)

Well, aren't the slashtards on their high horse today? Every single word in my post is 100% accurate. If you don't believe that, it is your worldview that does not fit reality, not mine. Maybe the word "spying" was over the top, but not inaccurate. If you doubt that, you have to ask which one of us is delusional.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121721)

That started happening the minute your router fetched an IP address.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122195)

Oh shit, that revealed something about my medical problems? Or, the things I look up in wikipedia? All this time I never knew.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121359)

But - how do you know Scroogle was committed to storing little information? Because they said so?

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121439)

How do anyone does anything they claim to. Trust, brother, trust. And, google has 100% lost mine. I am working on a plan to ditch Gmail permanently, and I'll be done with google forever.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122997)

I am working on a plan to ditch Gmail permanently

Wow. How long does it take?

idiot.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123207)

You are the idiot #39122997

tapspace might have domains tied to it, hosting tied to it, banks, auctions, logging scripts tied to it, Webiste API's tied to it, programming listsrv's and other lists, blogs, cms's, forums, messageboards, forums each needs to find a new pop3 home, it can take a couple weeks, a month, or a day. So it can be quite involved especially if you've been around for several years. It's not just as simple as closing that email and letting em bounce 550.

If you are just a candy ass user who had gmail for no reason except your smart pal told you to join, or ya got an invite (in the early days) and just slept with it for all these years like the lazy sloth you are, never buying jack shit. Then yeah no plan is needed. Ya probably should just keep it, if that's the case, it filters spam quite well.

tapspace should be commended for getting the hell out of the matrix.
GODSPEED tabspace!

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39124263)

How do anyone does anything they claim to. Trust, brother, trust. And, google has 100% lost mine. I am working on a plan to ditch Gmail permanently, and I'll be done with google forever.

Run your own mail server, it works for most of the old school slashdotters.

Anything else just leaves you open to the same abuse from a different company.

Re:Well, this seriously sucks (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122731)

> StartingPage filters a lot of results.

Not sure if that's what you're referring to, but in the preferences (optionally saved as cookie or as bookmark'able URL hash) you can turn off filtering of search results.

Daniel Brandt is a loony (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121275)

Daniel Brandt is a loony. His first tussle with Google started about 10 years ago when he ran a conspiracy theory site and demanded to know why Google wouldn't show his site in the first page when people searched for famous people names. He attempted to start a movement to force Congress to make Google a public utility service and created google-watch! He created scroogle shortly after, to get back at google (it was nothing but a scraper of google results), and claimed that the back-end code was written in C for maximum speed. He even published the scroogle source code to prove it. I remember reading it then and it was a badly written CGI program with several buffer overflows (As a side note, the guy also seemed to be totally unaware of the overheads of running CGI scripts, whether written in C or any other language, or basics of tuning an Apache server. This explained why his site couldn't handle too many requests in the first place!)

Re:Daniel Brandt is a loony (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122645)

That hardly scratches the surface. You haven't mentioned him stalking a wikipedia editor and serving time for said stunt.

Re:Daniel Brandt is a loony (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123277)

Wikipedia editors are assholes, I don't blame him.

The Conspiracy theory wacko's you labeled and called all these vulgar slang psychopathic mind fuck names of yester year are the front and center of real conspiracy exposure today. They have in essence replaced fascist presstitute media and their propaganda with facts and sunlight.

Google wouldn't show his site in the first page when people searched for famous people names.

I had this problem too (more than once), so it's not like an uncommon problem.

So while you can call him loony, I can call you a jackass troll, what the fuck have you done for anyone.

God Bless what he tried to do.

Re:Daniel Brandt is a loony (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122855)

Daniel Brandt is a loony.

Ad hominem plus a bunch of straw men. Requisite (+5, Informative) for your trouble. Let's take a look at them:

His first tussle with Google started about 10 years ago

History. And interesting history too.

when he ran a conspiracy theory site

Why not say "terrorist site"? Emotive language always helps bolster a weak argument. A "conspiracy theory!" accusation is frequently a way for the status quo to discredit an accusation from some smaller group, often when they've established their own conspiracy theory as an excuse to commit some evil. For example, al Qaeda as presented by the West is largely a conspiracy theory about horrible Arabs threatening the US. Google itself often uses the "global freedom is under threat!" conspiracy theory as part of its marketing, even while it happily continues to do profitable business in countries by applying requisite levels of censorship.

and demanded to know why Google wouldn't show his site in the first page when people searched for famous people names.

Seems like a fair question.

He attempted to start a movement to force Congress to make Google a public utility service

Nationalised or quasi-nationalised industry (hello, China!) has marked the peak of output in many countries. The majority of research is still done in government funded or charitable institutes, especially academia. Google was a product of academia, Page the intellectual product of an academic father. Google started off good because of its non-commercial origins.

and created google-watch!

A site with some sensible stuff and some not so sensible stuff on it. Compared with the wider Internet, more sensible on average.

He created scroogle shortly after, to get back at google (it was nothing but a scraper of google results),

So it was fulfilling Brin's stated dream about increasing knowledge for the world by allowing more people access to knowledge? Is this bad?

and claimed that the back-end code was written in C for maximum speed. He even published the scroogle source code to prove it. I remember reading it then and it was a badly written CGI program with several buffer overflows (As a side note, the guy also seemed to be totally unaware of the overheads of running CGI scripts, whether written in C or any other language, or basics of tuning an Apache server. This explained why his site couldn't handle too many requests in the first place!)

Well, here we have an early iteration of some code forming probably the longest and most well-known Google scraper being judged lacking by an AC. Obviously that's conclusive. What did Brandt do wrong, then? Was it that he was more open than Google promised to be when it was young? Was it that he clearly improved the code afterward?

People with the courage of their convictions tend to open themselves to more criticism because they're not afraid to show what they're up to. Unfortunately the increased opportunity for criticism tends to result in an overwhelming level of criticism, while the sneak who keeps himself to himself ends up appearing whiter than white.

More greatness from DDoSing (1, Insightful)

bwall (2455524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121295)

Yay, script kiddies hurting the internet again! I love when I hear about a DDoS, it just makes me proud of all the hackers out there with SO MUCH SKILL that they can send a lot of SYN packets. Enough with the sarcasm. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS! If you want privacy, stop being immature.

Why not (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121299)

make one of those browser plugins ? Like the one right next to the URL bar - they can make sure they don't send cookies, and in that way, Google can never throttle you - it's distributed !

Investigate (2)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121353)

Google Sharing [mozilla.org] it works great most of the time. I never used (or heard of) Scroogle but it would have be nice for when I don't have access to Firefox.

About Daniel Brandt (3, Insightful)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121389)

http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Daniel_Brandt [encyclopediadramatica.ch]

"I don't regard [Brandt] as a valid source about anything at all, based on my interactions with him. I tried very hard to help him, and he misrepresented nearly everything about our conversation in his very strange rant. He considers the very existence of a Wikipedia article about him to be a privacy violation, despite being a public person. I find it hard to take him very seriously at all. He misrepresents everything about our procedures, claiming that we have a 'secret police' and so on." - Jimbo Wales

Re:About Daniel Brandt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121587)

Pot, kettle, nice to meet ya. Jimbo who? Right, the creator of a pornographic resource.

Although I fail to understand why people need privacy on the Internet or feel offended when every evil mastermind tries to collect and collate the data they transmit in the clear.

Re:About Daniel Brandt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39123107)

Although I fail to understand why people need privacy on the Internet or feel offended when every evil mastermind tries to collect and collate the data they transmit in the clear.

Then why are you posting anonymously?

Re:About Daniel Brandt (5, Interesting)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121907)

""I don't regard [Brandt] as a valid source about anything at all..." - Jimbo Wales"

That sounds like a cut and dry +5 perspective. But being the same sort of person as Daniel Brandt (or at least, I presume the same slashdot commenters calling him a looney would call me one as well), I decided to use non-google search engines, and results not already posted here, to try and make a real evaluation of D.B. I found a long thread he participated in, that was remarkably coherent, and intelligent, about his experiments reverse engineering how google works. Say what you will, but technically, on subjects he is passionate about, he comes off very well. In fact, he's so clever, all he had to do was throw in a bizarre offhand comment such as 'tighter than a bikini on a Bomis babe', and it inspired me to google that, and get this wired article, which IMO should negate the +5 of the parent comment. Jimmy Wales does not come off looking like such a valid source , after reading this- http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2005/12/69880 [wired.com]

"Public edit logs reveal that Wales has changed his own Wikipedia bio 18 times, deleting phrases describing former Wikipedia employee Larry Sanger as a co-founder of the site.

Wales has also repeatedly revised the description of a search site he founded called Bomis, which included a section with adult photos called "Bomis Babes.""

Tragic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121415)

The free spirit of the Internet is being run roughshod over by scofflaws. And, yes, I do include Google in the category of scofflaw.

This is really low class (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121455)

Wow, this is really low class, even for the arrogant Google assholes. DDoSing a competing service out of existence? Fuck you Google!

Re:This is really low class (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121755)

You're taking the word of a renowned paranoid schizophrenic. In the Elder Ages of the Internet, Daniel would have been considered a netkook and would sit to such kookish illuminaries as Ed Conrad and Archimedes Plutonium.

Re:This is really low class (1)

rk (6314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122397)

"Archimedes Plutonium" is a name I haven't heard in many many years. Good times. Thanks for the stroll down Memory Lane! I'll have to Google him and see if he's up to anything these days.

startpage.com keyword.URL entry for Firefox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121607)

I loved the 100 results scroogle page when searching from the URLbar in Firefox. Here's the about:config value to set keyword.URL to:
data:text/html;charset=utf-8,%3C!DOCTYPE HTML%3E%3Chtml lang%3D"en"%3E%3Chead%3E%3Cmeta charset%3D"utf-8"%3E%3Ctitle%3ESearching...%3C%2Ftitle%3E%3C%2Fhead%3E%3Cbody onload%3D"document.blah.query.value%3Ddocument.getElementsByTagName('p')[0].firstChild.nodeValue%3Bdocument.blah.submit()"%3E%3Cform name%3D"blah" method%3D"post" action%3D"https%3A%2F%2Fstartpage.com%2Fdo%2Fsearch" onSubmit%3D"return do_action()%3B"%3E%3Cinput type%3D'hidden' name%3D'cat' value%3D'web'%3E%3Cinput type%3D'hidden' name%3D'cmd' value%3D'process_search'%3E%3Cinput type%3D'hidden' name%3D'language' value%3D'english'%3E%3Cinput type%3Dhidden name%3Dengine0 value%3D'v1all'%3E%3Cinput type%3D"hidden" name%3D"prf" id%3D"prf" value%3D"41cb91d7f8f0a768b8fd43160d6de1ad"%3E%3Cinput name%3D"query" type%3D"hidden"%3E%3C%2Fform%3E%3Cp style%3D"display%3Anone"%3E%3C%2Fbody%3E%3C%2Fhtml%3E
No cookies, no IP tracking, the preferences are in the form itself.

advestise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121677)

that's nice!!
roomate's mother-in-law got paid $15874 last month. she is making an income on the computer and moved in a $449400 home. All she did was get fortunate and put into action the tips laid out on this website http://lazycash25.com and click on entertainment

Too bad (1)

tgv (254536) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121699)

I used to use scroogle: Google's search engine is ok, but their privacy policy isn't. But the throttling had become clear over the last two months, so I switched to duckduckgo, as many people. It's not quite google, and I can't "predict" its results as well as google's, but it's quite good, and has some nice features, such as the short content at the top of the page and the label "official site".

Try it, everyone!

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121879)

I have been using duckduckgo lately and I like it. I have gottten this feeling over the last few years that using google is like being in a sandbox and "there must be more to the internet than this", it's like Google's results are limited in some way, and the same stuff over and over.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122531)

Do you have any i* products? Xbox? PS3? I'll bet you anything that all of their policies are equally "good" (and for sure the first is definitely worse)

The Perfect Search Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121933)

The perfect engine:

- Is always https
- Performs absolutely zero logging
- Sets zero cookies
- Has zero ads

Re:The Perfect Search Engine (3, Insightful)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122345)

- would cost a lot of money to build
- has no way of reconciling that cost

Re:The Perfect Search Engine (2)

raynet (51803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39122707)

It could be funded by EU, just to show that goverments sometimes, just sometimes, can make things work.

setup your own (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39121979)

Use the Seeks open source project (http://www.seeks-project.info/) to setup a public or your own scroogle... It's also P2P enabled so servers can share results. Scroogle was nice, but you can do it yourself easily now.

Fravia search loares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122063)

A lot of good tips on searching,A good refresh course for many, ben around a wile.
Worth a menthion...

Kcim

Re:Fravia search loares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122125)

http://www.searchlores.org/tips.htm

I forgot link sorry,

Kcim

scroogle shuts down.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122527)

guess it probably got 'scroooed'

Does it matter if google "squeeze" their own (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39123455)

competition that's using their own search engine? It's not like google is sueing them or anything or telling them to shutdown.

Alternative private search option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39124509)

An additional alternative private search option: http://www.faroo.com (p2p web search)

Must have been running linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39124651)

DDoS actually made him "lose" the 7 servers. Windows server would have just required a reboot (at the most). I can imagine the linux server just completely locked up and started smoking. Then probably got caught in an endless fsck loop upon trying to boot it back up. Had a set of speakers been attached to it, it would have exploded the room with a mega-sonicboom at the logon screen. This is due to 15 layers of audio code running amok and a linear volume control with 3 settings. Loud, fucking loud, and mega-sonicboom loud.

And what did he expect stealing Google's search results? Now he is whining. There are a lot of other ways to ensure privacy when using a search engine. You also have the option of not using a search engine and relying on Web Rings and link sites (heh).

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