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DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the one-engine-to-rule-them-all dept.

Google 178

Penurious Penguin writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival DuckDuckGo is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage. Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, a.k.a. 'filter bubbles.'"

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178 comments

Nobody plays fair (5, Insightful)

overmoderated (2703703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073751)

It's all about numbers, shares, dollars and control of data.

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073827)

which is why DuckDuckGo, a so called "privacy oriented browser", uses bing for it's underlying searches. Any time you hear "anticompetitive search", it's 100% microsoft/fairsearch funded. It's not even remotely about privacy or security as a result of that. Anyone who believes duckduckgo is about your privacy when bing has your information, is misinformed.

if you wanted privacy in your search, use a multi-search engine and get real results the way you want. It's that simple, and they do exist. To act like people are somehow " at a loss" when they can go to any website they want to search is to fail to acknowledge that bing is a horrible search engine.

TLDR: anti-google (and pro-microsoft) article.

Re:Nobody plays fair (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073887)

I will agree with the summary that making DDG the default search in Chrome/Chromium is not straightforward. Picking anything other than the 3 choices given (Google, Bing, Yahoo) takes a bit of work.

In FF and Opera it's quite easy to add new searches, even for other sorts of sites like the Arch Linux Wiki.

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073949)

Adding a search engine isn't "one click", you need to go to "manage search engines", scroll to the bottom, click "get more search engines", search for one, click "add to firefox", "allow", and then select it from the search menu. The effort in Chrome is roughly the same.

This is a fraudulent, astroturfed complaint.

Meanwhile inOpera... (3, Informative)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074167)

Right-click the search entry field, select "Create search", enter keyword in the pop-up, Done.

(check the checkboxes in the pop-up if you want to make default (else it just add it into your list))

To search a word, just select it and right click, it offers to search both the default or select from your entire list.

Yet another reason why Opera is awesome :D

Re:Nobody plays fair (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074273)

Adding a search engine isn't "one click", you need to go to "manage search engines", scroll to the bottom, click "get more search engines", search for one, click "add to firefox", "allow", and then select it from the search menu. The effort in Chrome is roughly the same.

This is a fraudulent, astroturfed complaint.

FUD; I can add a search engine to Firefox much quicker than that:

  • Go to site with search
  • Click search engine dropdown
  • Click 'Add [sitesearch]'

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Informative)

koxkoxkox (879667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074345)

No, when you are on www.duckduckgo.com, you show the list of search engines by clicking the small arrow, you see "Add DuckDuckGo" at the bottom, you click it and you are done. Admittedly, that's two clicks.

Re:Nobody plays fair (2)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074491)

More importantly, who cares how many fucking steps it has, as long as they are simple? It's like measuring ease of installation in clicks - a useless, meaningless metric. Shit, Chrome is the easiest there is to configure, because intead of presenting you with a list, it lets you easily modify the search URL. If you invent your own search engine today, you can simply paste its search URL there and it'll work. Absolutely NO barrier at all. Have you ever clicked "get more search engines" in Firefox? It sends you to a page full of weird search-related add-ons, not what one would expect at all. I couldn't find an option that allows me the fine-grained control Chrome does. So that's one of the most bullshitty articles I've ever read on /. (and competition is fierce).

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074021)

Actually, just tested with Chrome. It's trivally easy. Once you've done a single search with DDG, it shows up in a list of "Alternative Search Engines" Try it right now. Do a search on DDG. Then go to settings. Under the search section, Click on Manage Search Engines, Look for DDG in the "Other Search Engines" section, and click on "Make Default". That's pretty simple. I mean, they could include DDG in their default list, but then WebCrawler, or AltaVista, or a multitude of other search engines would probably complain as well. If you've already done a search on DDG, it's the exact same number of clicks. "Wrench", Options, Manage Search Engines, Make Default. VS. Wrench", Options, Drop Down Box, Bing/Yahoo/Chrome.

Re:Nobody plays fair (1)

blackm0k (2589601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074435)

Yep, it's not difficult in Chrome exactly. It's just easier in Firefox, where the process is: visit page, click drop-down in search box select new search engine, which automatically becomes the default until a different engine is selected. This doesn't really seem so much anti-competitive as simply different in terms of browser design. The simpler process is really made reasonable by Firefox's search box, the inclusion of which seems very much against Chrome's design principles.

Re:Nobody plays fair (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073927)

HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA Enjoy your NIGGER FRIDAY you fucking niggers!

Stand in line since 1am and get in fistfights over nintendos you fuckin morons! Corporate sheep niggerlovers! HAHAHAHA fuck that. This is buy nothing day.

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Informative)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074069)

which is why DuckDuckGo, a so called "privacy oriented browser", uses bing for it's underlying searches. Any time you hear "anticompetitive search", it's 100% microsoft/fairsearch funded. It's not even remotely about privacy or security as a result of that. Anyone who believes duckduckgo is about your privacy when bing has your information, is misinformed.

Are you sure you're understanding how the site works?
Standard searches made via DuckDuckGo will not result in you personally being tracked by the underlying search engines. This is because your client isn't making direct contact with the underlying search engines - DuckDuckGo is collating the results together and presenting them. In that context, what you're saying is that buying a can of Heinz Beans from a supermarket results in Heinz tracking me - even though I have no direct contact with them (and assuming the supermarket isn't passing on personally identifying purchaser information to Heinz).

There's no Bing/Google tracking happening here:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=test%20search [duckduckgo.com]

Using a bang (such as !bing or !image) is where tracking can kick in because at that point you're most likely hitting a source site. This is comparable to ordering beans directly from Heinz.

This link would result in tracking from bing:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=!bing+test+search [duckduckgo.com]

DuckDuckGo is a multi-search engine. You're only making contact with the underlying search providers when you choose to, and at that point it's pretty clear because you're seeing a Google/Bing page.

Re:Nobody plays fair (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074741)

MMMmmmm... beans.

Re:Nobody plays fair (2)

captaindomon (870655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074829)

So instead of Google being able to track me, Duck Duck Go can track me. I guess it's a question of which company you trust more?

Re:Nobody plays fair (4, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074183)

Duckduckgo isn't a browser, it's a search engine. It doesn't just use Bing. It pulls from over 50 different sources for search results

From http://www.pcworld.com/article/245129/are_duckduckgos_bing_ties_a_problem_for_linux_mint_.html [pcworld.com]

It is true that DuckDuckGo bases its results in part on those from Bing, according to an explanation on its support center. DuckDuckGo actually draws its results from more than 50 sources, it says, including also Yahoo, BOSS, embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Blekko, and its own crawler.

Bing doesn't get your information. Duckduckgo is an intermediary in the process and duckduckgo doesn't store your information.

It's time to take off that tinfoil hat and start wrapping the house instead.

Re:Nobody plays fair (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074281)

TLDR: anti-microsoft comment, +5 interesting automatically even though it's 100% conjecture with zero facts or sources to back it up.

Re:Nobody plays fair (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074311)

I fail to see how you can claim this a pro-microsoft ant-google article since DDG uses results from a lot more sources than Bing. From the DDG FAQ:

http://help.duckduckgo.com/customer/portal/articles/216399-sources
Sources
Last Updated: Nov 05, 2012 02:47PM EST
DuckDuckGo gets its results from over 50 sources, including DuckDuckBot (our own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (in our own index), Yahoo! (through BOSS),
embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Bing, Yandex, and Blekko. For any given search, there is usually a vertical search engine out there that does a better job at answering it than a general search engine. Our long-term goal is to get you information from that best source, ideally in instant answer form.

I use DDG and find it useful for a lot of reasons but it doesn't always give me better results than the other search engines I use. As for the privacy aspect I think that DDG does a good job there as well, certainly better than Google, Bing, Yahoo, or a host of others.

Re:Nobody plays fair (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074355)

It's utterly pathetic that you got modded up when you don't even understand the basics of HTTP and how the search engine works.

Re:Nobody plays fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074163)

Since we're talking about numbers:

in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five

This claim from DDG is too fucking stupid to be taken seriously by anyone. It takes people one less character to type my brother's email address than mine, therefore my brother is taking advantage of this name and isn't playing fair.

Re:Nobody plays fair (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074257)

That's not the problem, the problem is that Chrome requires five steps to change to *any other search engine,* so Google isn't being unfair to DDG in particular.

Re:Nobody plays fair (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074295)

Since we're talking about numbers:

in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five

This claim from DDG is too fucking stupid to be taken seriously by anyone. It takes people one less character to type my brother's email address than mine, therefore my brother is taking advantage of this name and isn't playing fair.

True, it's not one step. But it is as few as three (two if the site's already open) (as in my post above) [slashdot.org].

Growing market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073755)

Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, a.k.a. 'filter bubbles.

Well it could be true that there's a growing market, and you'll definitely find people on Slashdot who are part of that market, but could we have some stats? Why does it "certainly" seem that the market is growing?

Re:Growing market (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073967)

Well it could be true that there's a growing market, and you'll definitely find people on Slashdot who are part of that market, but could we have some stats? Why does it "certainly" seem that the market is growing?

Anecdotal evidence: Privacy search plugins like Google Sharing [mozilla.org] appear to have fast growing userbase/# of reviews etc, many more each time I upgrade and check them anyway.

Oh well (-1, Redundant)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073783)

If Microsoft would open source their operating system and stop being dicks in interoperability matter, I would switch to BING. It is a nice me-too product.

Re:Oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073839)

DuckDuckGo is Bing without the social stigma of using a Microsoft product.

Re:Oh well (3, Interesting)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074077)

Except that when you realize DuckDuckGo is actually Bing in disguise, it regains the social stigma of using a Microsoft product. So you're back at square one.

Re:Oh well (3, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074245)

It's not just Bing. They take results from a long list of engines, including their own crawler.

That explains the DDG results. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074271)

If you're correct and DDG is Bing disguised, then that explains why the results of a search are almost invariably crap in it.

(PS as far as DDG being the search engine, it's damn near impossible to easily get Google as a search engine for Firefix in Mint. It's the default AND IT DAMN WELL DEMANDS IT!)

Well, I use duckduckgo (-1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073787)

There was a point where I was getting really tired of all the advanced power-user features of google being gone, and duckduckgo was a decent search engine when I needed one.

They're never going to beat google though. Purchasing "duck.com" however is clearly an attempt to suppress competition. I hope the FTC smacks google pretty hard for that.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073829)

They didn't specifically purchase duck.com, though. They bought On2 Technologies, formerly known as The Duck Corporation, in order to acquire the VP8 codec, which became WebM, and got all the rest of On2's assets as part of the package. It seems unlikely that the real point of the purchase was to acquire duck.com, considering that VP8 is actually pretty important to them.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073889)

That... would be better if were spelled out explicitly in the article or at least implicitly in the summary. Implicit in the article made it go right over my head this time.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073997)

This is why it is wise to withhold judgment until you can hear the other side's view.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074089)

This is why it is wise to withhold judgment until you can hear the other side's view.

No, that is why journalists should do their job properly and inform the public accurately and correctly. Lazy writing is to blame here.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (3, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074171)

Lazy writing is to blame here.

I'm sure the article authors were not just being lazy, but in fact knew all this perfectly well; and made a decision not to mention it since it contradicted the opinion they were trying to promote.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074789)

If you'd read the link inside post, you'd see that the citations were already there, and Google and DDG are both represented by quotes.

They're not lazy at all. Instead, the post was used to craft a reactive opinion based on only a few facts inside the referenced link so as to provoke a response. This is called: suckerbait, and many took it.

Should search engine choice be the same number of clicks? Perhaps. But what the article alludes to is that a preponderance of facts *appears* that Google is engaged in anti-competitive behavior. Whether that behavior is monopolistic or sufficiently injures the public so as to motivate FTC litigation is still unknown.

Is DDG crying empty tears? I think they have some legitimate beefs with Google. I believe that Google is anti-competitive, but I don't know whether they're sufficiently anti-competitive so as to necessitate action to control that behavior. A good fight is a good fight until someone's fighting "dirty".

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074045)

That... would be better if were spelled out explicitly in the article or at least implicitly in the summary.

But where would be the fun? Gone...

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074061)

Oh come on. You didn't suspect for a second that the article was trolling? You must be new here and why did you spend money on a 6 digit account? No one cares unless it's under 5 digits.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073837)

Since when is attempting to suppress competition illegal? Every business in history does that.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073869)

Since July 2, 1890. You shouldn't ask rhetorical questions that have actual answers.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074237)

Since when is attempting to suppress competition illegal?

Generally it's not illegal. However, if you have a monopoly there are more rules.

Google is fine here because Google's acquisition of duck.com didn't happen anywhere close to how the troll article is trying to make it seem.

I'm sorry, this is going to hurt. I'm gonna have to use some pliers to get that hook out of your throat.

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073903)

Purchasing duck.com was not to suppress duckduckgo, but rather the quite awesome duckroll.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbaTur4A1OU

They're duckduckgo, not duckgo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074433)

So why should they be the ones to get duck.com?

Re:Well, I use duckduckgo (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074521)

I did the same thing, though mainly because I wanted out of the "search bubble" and was a bit worried about Google's tracking. In the end, I wound up going back to Google. Search results come up quicker, they tend to be of a little better quality, and one tool in particular is invaluable: the ability to specify a timeframe for the results.

I call bullshit (4, Interesting)

LF11 (18760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073791)

DuckDuckGo can sod off, in my opinion. My one experience with DDG results from their inclusion as the default search engine in Linux Mint. 1) Their search results are crap. 2) Trying to replace them with Google as the default search provider was CRAZY DIFFICULT. I don't want to hear about how hard it is to change default search providers to DDG, because changing back was a non-trivial task for me.

There is a market for a not-Google. Just like there is a market for a not-Facebook. But just like recent U.S. elections proved, being a "not-something" is not necessarily enough to gain market share. You have to be better, or at least perceived as being better. DDG is not, at least not in my experience, and whining in public is certainly not helping.

cej102937

Re:I call bullshit (0)

thrillseeker (518224) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073831)

It reminds me of grammar school. Oh, he ran faster than I did - no fair! I want a trophy too! DDG, if you want to compete, then compete. Start by changing your silly name.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073863)

It reminds me of grammar school. Oh, he ran faster than I did - no fair! I want a trophy too!

DDG, if you want to compete, then compete. Start by changing your silly name.

Change their name? To what, DuckDuckGoogle?

Re:I call bullshit (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073907)

Goofy naming doesn't seem to prevent a product or service from getting popular, witness Wii and iPad. I think DDG is a better name than those of web services that add or drop vowels.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073875)

What the heck is a "default search engine?" You mean there's a browser in which it's hard to change the home page?

Re:I call bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073955)

It is the search engine used by defaulr in the dedicated search bar, or possibly in the URL bar if whatever you entered is not a valid URL.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073993)

Wow! So someone uses that "search bar"? I always remove it so the address bar can be full-width.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074085)

You use the address bar? Aw, bless, that's so cute. I bet you type http:// and speak the URL to yourself as you type it " ... dot ... cee oh ... dot ... you kay ... forward slash ...". Got any good war stories?

Re:I call bullshit (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074215)

Probably coming from an AC that types slashdot.org in the search bar of Google and then clicks on the first link.

Re:I call bullshit - 5 steps? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073895)

Visit duckduckgo, I don't really consider this a step, as you'd likely have been to the site once before you change it as your default search engine.

I count 3 steps.
Settings,
Manage search engines
move cursor over "duckduckgo", click "make default"

After it is done once, I count only 2
you just go settings, and there is a drop down for the various search engines.

Re:I call bullshit (2, Informative)

KugelKurt (908765) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073897)

DuckDuckGo can sod off, in my opinion. My one experience with DDG results from their inclusion as the default search engine in Linux Mint. 1) Their search results are crap. 2) Trying to replace them with Google as the default search provider was CRAZY DIFFICULT. I don't want to hear about how hard it is to change default search providers to DDG, because changing back was a non-trivial task for me.

And how is it DDG's responsibility how Mint is configured? DDG makes a search site and nothing more. They don't develop a web browser or an operating system.
Go and bitch at Mint if configuring it is difficult but this story is not about Mint.

From DDG it's totally easy to search via Google: Either select Google from the drop-down menu or add !g in the search field.

The quality of every developed search engine obviously varies over time.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074009)

Crazy difficult on Mint? What? Want me to record it done in less than 15 clicks?

Re:I call bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074043)

ddg is great, you should give it another try. it's my default search engine for about 6 months now.

the bang system is so useful :
!i for searching images
!v for searching videos
!tpbs for searching torrent in pirate bay ordered by seeders
!php !qt ...

Re:I call bullshit (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074117)

You just reminded me one of the reasons I've never actually used Linux Mint: Its tendency to hijack your search results for their own profits. And by hijack, I mean just as you describe: Default to their own branded version of Google (and now DuckDuckGo), which is a royal bitch to get rid of. I never got past the stage of playing around with it to actually bother installing it in anything other than a virtual machine. And it's sad too, because otherwise Linux Mint is a very nice distro, always seeming to move forward developing their own improvements and rarely making steps backward that its shitty parent distro makes, while most other distributions just shove a bunch of new versions of shit on the disc and they're done.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074365)

So if Google actually is being anti-competitive and using their massive resources to stifle the little guy then the little guy should STFU? Somehow abuse of monopolistic power is OK if the companies the monopoly is abusing are "just not as good"? If that's the case someone should tell Justice Department because they have some apologies to make (ie. Microsoft).

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074411)

DuckDuckGo can sod off, in my opinion. My one experience with DDG results from their inclusion as the default search engine in Linux Mint. 1) Their search results are crap. 2) Trying to replace them with Google as the default search provider was CRAZY DIFFICULT. I don't want to hear about how hard it is to change default search providers to DDG, because changing back was a non-trivial task for me.

So basically through your own experience of having difficulty changing the default search engine you've confirmed that it is difficult for some users to do. As for the results being, as you so eloquently put it, 'crap', thanks for sharing your opinion. I don't find the results to be 'crap' but I will say that they aren't always as useful as results from others.

the domain name story seems like a stretch (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073793)

What seems more likely:

1) He offered to buy duck.com from On2 Technologies (which was originally named The Duck Corporation), but they held out for more than he was willing to offer. It's an obviously valuable domain name so this doesn't require some kind of secret agreement with Google: maybe they just thought they could get more than he was offering for it.

2) Sometime later, Google bought On2 for their codec (VP8, on which WebM was based). Of course this means they got all their other assets too, like their old domain name. Typical Google practice is to redirect acquired domain names to google.com, or to a specific product page on google.com if relevant. Considering that Google is very interested in codecs, it seems rather unlikely that Google really bought On2 for the domain name.

Re:the domain name story seems like a stretch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073913)

Typical Google practice is to redirect acquired domain names to google.com, or to a specific product page on google.com if relevant.

In which case duck.com should redirect to the Google WebM page [google.com]

Instead it plonks the user onto the Google search home page. Convenient?

Re:the domain name story seems like a stretch (2)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073977)

Jeez imagine Google redirecting a domain to google.com. Conspiracy!

Re:the domain name story seems like a stretch (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074113)

Except that there's little to no public awareness of the Duck/WebM link, so people typing "Duck.com" probably aren't looking for WebM. So no, there's no reason to direct duck.com anywhere other than the homepage.

Lets test the Doppler shift (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073801)

As the Whambulance drives past. P.S.: The win goes to the first poster who says that this is really Bing's fault for some undefined reason involving hatred of microsoft.

It's not about the haters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073981)

Here is a little historical perspective:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/245129/are_duckduckgos_bing_ties_a_problem_for_linux_mint_.html

The claims of this article no longer hold, but there was a time where the reliance upon Bing was a serious drawback for DuckDuckGo. It has since diversified the results across several search providers.

http://help.duckduckgo.com/customer/portal/articles/216399-sources

As a Mint user, one of the first things that I do is switch search engines. I consistantly go to Google for the power search options, such as shopping, images (by size), video, etc. When DuckDuckGo adds these capabilities, I will consider switching.

Re:Lets test the Doppler shift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074011)

This is really Bing's fault for ripping off Google's results instead of creating a new independent search engine.

duck.com (3, Insightful)

supersat (639745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073843)

As the article states, duck.com was acquired when Google purchased On2 Technologies, previously known as The Duck Corporation. Duck made video codecs for Sega Saturn games [multimedia.cx], among others. On2 was finally acquired by Google for their VP8 video codec, which became part of the WebM video standard. No conspiracy here.

Watch out (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073885)

Here comes the Google Defence Force to rationalise away Google's evil doing.

DuckDuckGo is flawed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42073899)

DuckDuckGo has one major flaw: people with Anatidaephobia can't use the search engine..It is just impossible. I tried...

Competition in search (1)

dumcob (2595259) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073947)

can possibly happen when developers are allowed to build search engines and analytic tools on top of Google's returned results (a search app store if you will).
If the status quo persists it is highly unlikely Google is going to ever see any competition in search. Given the fine tuning time and investment required to build an index of Google quality, I doubt anyone is ever going to seriously try.

Re:Competition in search (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074103)

I think Google is being pretty nice here. If they really wanted to be anti-competitive they would try to stop sites from displaying Google search results within their own site and trying to pass themselves off as some kind of alternative to Google. Really Google could be doing a lot worse based on how entrenched they are in internet culture. Although, maybe they are so entrenched because they make it so easy for other site developers to use the data and tools that they've put so much hard work into.

Re:Competition in search (1)

dumcob (2595259) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074269)

All true. I don't think they are being anti competitive either.
The question is can anyone seriously pose a challenge to them?
And if not, how harmful is that lack of competition?
I thinks its very sad for the future of search, if the ability to analyze and build tools around that beautiful index is limited to a few people sitting inside Google.

Duh! (-1)

Fuzi719 (1107665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073983)

Android is Google. Chrome is Google. If Google wants to make them easier for Google to use, well, DUH!!! DuckDuckGo is always free to develop their own OS and browser. Some whiny-ass MIT graduate just needs to grow the F up.

Re:Duh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074041)

Sorry, but your solution makes far too much sense. Especially in light of the sniveling tech turds from the 90s, who clamored and whined about Microsoft. Thanks to their idiot precedent, it's now perfectly acceptable for straight up, stone cold bitches to whine instead of innovate.

Re:Duh! (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074139)

Nope. You shouldn't be able to use one product to force people into using other of your products. Ikea beds and bedding, j'accuse....

Privacy is the Anti-Google (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073989)

So you know. I use Google exclusively for my searches and I use Android for my phones and tablets. It might appear I'm just a big fat Google fanboy. I'm not. I know Google for what it is and I trust it only to that extent.

It disturbs me that Google would seek to interfere with other businesses. Privacy is a concern for many people and while I don't live in privacy paranoia land, I want to keep the border open so I can visit from time to time.

Re:Privacy is the Anti-Google (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074099)

I think you'll find that in this case, it's not interfering in businesses, and this is just more ant-Google FUD. There is an extraordinary amount of it around lately.

This free thing I got isn't good enough... (4, Insightful)

cardpuncher (713057) | about a year and a half ago | (#42073995)

Some time back in Britain, a bank marketing genius decided that the way to get new customers was to get rid of the old charging model and offer "free" banking. It was such a brilliant wheeze that all the other banks had to follow suit. However, in order to make a profit, banks were then obliged to slap on a whole new range of exceptional and penal charges in the small print and to give their customers the hard sell for a bunch of other financial products that they didn't need (and for which the banks are now paying billions of pounds in compensation). Everyone is agreed that "free" banking is broken, but nobody can be the first to reinstate charges because their customers will all take a hike.

Search engines are the same. Having "free" search engines is a really crazy idea if you think the end user should have some interest in how the results should be selected and presented. But nobody is ever going to pay to use a search engine while the other(s) is/are still free, even if the results are worse.

So we're stuck with a model in which the selection and presentation of results must of commercial necessity be orchestrated for profit and the more people who see those results the more profit is made.

You can argue about the extent to which the orchestration is fair and transparent - and indeed whether fairness and transparency are adequate counterweights - but as long as someone else is paying the conductor you get no say in the performance.

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074073)

Free banking in the UK isn't broken. What's broken is the bank's attitudes. Rather than just being happy making a good profit from interest payments and the investment of people's savings they want to make massive profits. Because free banking is the norm they do this mainly by raping you with charges. To the point that going overdrawn just once can, for some people, lead to a viscous circle of debt they cannot pull out of. They would STILL do this if banking wasn't free. Anyone who thinks this kind of thing would go away if they charged is operating at a sub-creationist level of mental retardation or a banker.

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074125)

Retail current banking is, of course, not "free" - it's paid for in special favours from government, higher charges for other financial products, and finally the risk of debt spiral. Finally, every time you use your debit card or perform certain other sorts of money transfer, guess who's getting a cut before it reaches your/the other party's account?

Still, I'm the other AC below talking about the Co-op, and the model makes sense for this firm - it's just been taken to extremes by other banks who offer all sorts of unsustainable bullshit (and the Co-op has been rather guilty of this recently too, especially since they want to ramp up their customer base in time for the old TSB branch buyout).

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074097)

And possibly surprisingly it was The Co-op, a nevertheless highly successful UK business in which every member gets a single equal share. This makes sense for The Co-op since its goal has always been for members to use as many of their disparate services as possible then distribute its profits back to those members. It doesn't really make as much sense much for high street banks with traditional ownership models, however.

What's broken is the ability for banks to borrow from the Bank of England (and occasionally be quantitatively eased) at much lower rates than random members of the public, and to loan out money which they don't really have under fractional reserve rules. It is these special privileges which allow them to behave in unsustainable ways. These advantages don't really map to Internet search businesses, which in the majority are little more than ad brokers forcing you to pay twice: first by giving up your privacy and a second time with more expensive products sold by sponsors to pay for that advertising.

(One could argue that the way in which search engines leech is to do a lot of indexing of other people's data, but I'd limit that to e.g. news aggregation - the primary indexing facilities are provided with the reasonably informed consent of the content producer.)

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074197)

I wouldn't compare a brick and mortar enterprise with search engines.
Free search engines are free because of ads and that's a very good deal for the user compared to previous 'free search engines".
In the 90s some search engines tried to monetize by altering ranking in exchange for money. That was typically bad for the quality of the search service and people were wary of it.
Others, like Google just came up with nice little ad boxes on the side. They would choose the ads based on your query. It was clear what was an ad and what was the search result.
The alignment of the interests of all parties was so great that this became successful:
- the user was getting great search for free and ads that were sometimes useful (I actually sometimes search with the intent to click on the sponsored links actually)
- the search engine was getting paid
- the advertiser was showing ads to people who were interested (showing hard drive ads to somebody who is seach 'mass storage' is good)

Obviously there is potential for conflicts between the 3 parties but that seems like stuff the free market can handle. After all, Google did beat the competitors who were throttling search results based on payments...
 

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074229)

I'm lending my bank money interest-free and their marginal costs are about the cost of maintaining 1/1000th of an ATM and a bit of power for a server to handle a few requests. Merchant's are liable for fraudulent charges, not banks. These things that are free simply don't cost the bank much of anything and in return they get to hold vast sums of money interest free. The practices you are describing would go on even if it cost 1000$/day to have a bank account - they happen because they are profitable and they would continue to happen in any scenario where they continue to be profitable. Whether they are fair or reasonable has nothing at all to do with the matter.

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074373)

However, in order to make a profit, banks were then obliged to slap on a whole new range of exceptional and penal charges in the small print and to give their customers the hard sell for a bunch of other financial products that they didn't need

Or they could just make money from the difference between what they pay you when you lend them your money and what you pay them when they lend you other poeple's money.

So we're stuck with a model in which the selection and presentation of results must of commercial necessity be orchestrated for profit

As far as I know, web search engines have been free to use as long as there have been web search engines. The most lauded search engines are those that present the results that the user is most interested in at or near the top of the results. If they do a good job of this, many people will use the search engine, and it becomes sort of the start page of the world wide web for those users. That's prime advertising space, and, as far as I know, that's how search engines have always made their money. Apparently, it also works better if the advertisements that are shown are relevant to the user's interests. This all sounds to me like the users' interests and the profit motive are pretty well-aligned.

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (2)

rueger (210566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074375)

When I was a youngun' in Canada - say in the 70's of the last century, all personal banking was free. Banks operated on the crazy notion that profit = interest collected on loans - interest paid on deposits. (OK, probably more complex than that, but that was the story)

Anyhow, that all changed when Canadian banks loaned a truckload of money to some Central American countries that went broke and defaulted on the loans. Rather than see their shareholders suffer for the bad decisions, user charges started to appear.

They have of course become a profit center of their own.

Re:This free thing I got isn't good enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42074563)

it's where the fun is, you could use startpage.com which directly searches google for you to hide you identity till google tries to shut it down due loss of data tracking then it's another game of cat and mouse with google proxies

How interested? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074173)

There certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches...

How much are they willing to pay?

Re:How interested? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074903)

How much does google make out of the ads it shows me and I completely ignore because they're totally irrelevant?
I wouldn't mind paying that much to DDG, and I don't think many other mind sparing a few cents a month either.

Use more than one? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074213)

As others have pointed out it's very easy to change the default search engine in Chrome. Naturally Google is going to have their own search engine as the default. They are giving us the browser for free and want to make some revenue from their search results. To maintain privacy in searches here is what I do:

1) Change the default search engine to DDG.
2) I use a desktop email client rather than the web client for Gmail. Why? Because as soon as you log into your Google account they start tracking your movements in the browser. The only time I log into Google in my browser is if I want to sync my bookmarks across computers. After the sync, I log off.
3) Think before you search. If the search is something you can't show to your mom then use DDG. I use Google search almost exclusively for work related stuff. Anything personal (medical related, personal finance related, etc.) I use DDG.

If anyone out there has tips I'd love to hear them.

Re:Use more than one? (1)

dehole (1577363) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074761)

Many suspect that google tracks you via your IP, which would be shown when connecting to their POP server to download your mail. Since you pull your mail from your IP, they know its you.

They could then record the Google searches that you do, via your IP, also all of the google ads shown to you. If you want to be free of google tracking, I would recommend managing your cookies, managing which scripts run, and to never use google search. One should be mindful of other tracking technologies, such as facebook, linkedin, twitter, bing, and others.

Not anticompetitive, just stupid name (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074263)

Never going to use a search engine called DuckDuckGo.

Re:Not anticompetitive, just stupid name (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074651)

Because "Google" is so much better? "Yahoo!" was a great name? Get the fuck over yourself. Friggin prima donna

Holy conspiracy theories, batman! (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074307)

Duck.com was not specifically purchased to be anticompetetive. It was owned previously by On2, who used to be known as The Duck Corporation. Google purchased On2 for its V8 video codec to create WebM.

Unless someone is seriously going to stipulate the creation and push towards WebM was a deep seeded plot to mess with DuckDuckGo, this theory has no leg to stand on.

There's something I don't get... (3, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074471)

These sites are using Google's (and Bing's and others') results, collating them and presenting them to the users. Why exactly do they expect Google would play fair with that? It's not like Google specifically provides a service for third parties to reuse their search results. They're setting up an additional, unsupported layer between users and Google, and thus shouldn't be surprised that said layer requires frequent changes to work. Google won't stop and ask "we want to change this, that fine by you?" when they see no profit, no advantage from it.

You can blame me for duck.com. (5, Interesting)

mydots (1598073) | about a year and a half ago | (#42074845)

I started working at The Duck Corporation (duck.com) in 1996, a few years before it went public as On2 Technologies/The Duck Corporation (on2.com and duck.com), and was working with Google/Duck/On2 until a year and a few months after the acquisition in 2010. At Duck/On2, I was responsibile for everything related to building our networks and maintaining all the hardware, software, servers, domains, networks and a ton of other stuff, you know the typical system administrator job.

Prior to the acquisition, but after going public as On2, we likely didn't sell duck.com because that was still my primary email address and I and a few others still actively used it, and we still kept up a basic website for information about our old and basically no longer supported software; and it was just one of those things still tied to the company with a lot of history as The Duck Corporation, so we decided to keep it. Feel free to blame me, since I always requested that we keep it when we saw the many offers for the domain over the years, mostly in the hundreds to couple of thousand dollar range; and because of my history with the company, I am sure I was a big part of that decision to not sell it.

When Google bought us, I knew I was still going to be there for a while to make sure all our company data, and some specific services that had to stay up, was migrated into their servers. Since we hosted all our own servers with our own hardware and software and they had to ulimately be shut down, I had to get things moved over and still needed to get my duck.com email.

So at that point, since I was still getting a lot of duck.com emails and had my duck.com email address for literally many hundreds of websites, publications, mailing lists, business contacts and other things, since I mainly used duck.com for well over a decade, I wanted to make sure Google's DNS and email was configured to still get duck.com emails. I actually had started trying to switch all my duck.com to google.com, but it was an overwhelming process. I still wonder how much email is still going to my duck.com email address.

I took it upon myself to learn the Google way of configuring their public DNS, email and a bunch of other things because I was nosey and wanted to learn and did learn some really cool and interesting stuff about them while I was there. I made sure the MX record for duck.com was still configured to deliver my email (and a few other email addresses) to my Google email account. Since it was decided to no longer keep the website up, I can't give you a real explanation, but I ended up configuring duck.com websites to point to the google.com main page instead of nothing. So you can go ahead and blame me, but no one at Google specifically told me to point duck.com to their site.

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