Ditching Google? Is it possible?
So, I’m reading the “feedburnered” RSS of HITBSecNews, and I see an article on Linux Mint. It turns out Linux Mint is making DuckDuckGo their default search engine.
Taking a stance against using Google is not only novel/hipsterish, but also with reason. Why is it significant to security? DuckDuckGo frees you from the “filter bubble” and has a no-tracking policy, which are two attributes that Google does not have.
It’s a bit experimental for me, but I’ve changed my default search engine in Chrome to DuckDuckGo. I’ll give it two weeks to see if I can adapt. It seems that DuckDuckGo (or its ability to pull info from other sources) has some of the features that are found in Google I use frequently, like “weather geneva“, “time london“, “65049950 bytes to MB.” I’m just not sure if it will do everything I wish for it to do consistently easily.
In order to ease the transition, in Chrome I’ve created a search engine entry called “go” for Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky.
In Chrome, right click on the address bar. Click on “Edit search engines…” At the bottom add the following in the three fields respectively: Google’s Feeling Lucky, go, http://www.google.com/search?q=%s&btnI=Im+Feeling+Lucky
This will allow you to simply use Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky to surf the Internet. For instance try searching for a web page who’s address is likely difficult to find: like “nys taxation department” or “irs 1040ez”. It also provides interface to services that Google provides that DuckDuckGo doesn’t like “movies 10111”.
The concept of a filter bubble is quite interesting and covered by a TED talk and DuckDuckGo themselves very well at http://dontbubble.us/. I wonder what I don’t know about myself since FOX News is the first news hit when I search google for “barack obama.” Frightening.
Additionally, check out the !bang syntax of DuckDuckGo. The only thing I’ve missed so far is easy access to Google Shopping, but there’s a !bang for that (!shop).