Hey, WeTransfer, I’ve heard a lot of Silicon Valley bullshit in my time but “we must violate your privacy to save the trees” is a new one even for me.

Please, take a fucking bow.


@aral WeTransfer is weird because of how mundane and basic their business is, but how they try to hype it all up as if it were a social movement, a “fellow youngsters” project… and wow they’re trying hard

@aral You should be HONORED to experience our ads

@aral I love how you need to give theme yours and someone else email just to generate url for your file. They must make nice profit out of that

@nso *sigh*, yes, but even they’re not this brazen about it

@nso So does fuck fuck go and many (all) "ethical and alternative search engines", A.K.A mere proxies their own tracking (hidden pixels to "improve the user experience") and their own advertising crap from the same big corps they pretend to be "an ethical alternative to".

Arrogant privacy-violating marketers idiots turned privacy into a marketing argument, and the faster they destroy it, the louder they shout to pretend they are protecting it… -_-


nobody currently has the compute centers needed to build a search index to rival Google's, so most search engines can't have their own.

I see them as some kind of plastic glove used to access those search indices while minimizing the amount of data Google and Microsoft collect. Afaict, ddg and other frontends collect less data than Google's or Microsoft's, passing only a subset on to G and MS. It's reducing the damage, not solving the issue.
@nso @aral

@devnull @nso @aral
Actually, on that topic:

Is there some sortnof independent comparison of how much/data which search frontend collects, how much tracking they do, and where the data ends up?

There's no escape from Google's and Microsoft's search indexes, but I'd like some proper info on which frontends are best regarding privacy, free of "I hate them because they once did X" arguments, if that's an option.


I don't "hate them because they once did X" as you claim, they did many shitty things, again and again, and they were and still are part the surveillance capitalism…

Not trusting company that have a track record in abusing privacy is just perfectly legitimate.

Looking at what companies did to decide whether to trust them or not is just common sense… I fail to see why we should ignore what companies did/criticize them for their abuses… just because you don't like it

@nso @aral

Sorry, that was not quite clear:
the "they once did X" line was a general complaint, not referring to your comment:

I can find any number of toots, blog posts etc. explaining why *some company* who claims to be privacy-friendly did something not privacy-friendly and therefore must be avoided.

But I haven't yet seen any independent comparison of alternatives that lets me know if the alternatives (and which ones!) are better or at least less bad.

@nso @aral


I know nobody has the compute centers needed to build a search index to rival Google's…

Is that an excuse to add one's own tracking mechanism without consent "to improve user experience" and to add your own advertising using Big Corp advertising infra (ddg uses M$ and yahoo ads network) and yet claim you're more ethical and privacy friendly that the the stuff you depend on? Nope…

- 1/2

@nso @aral


I wouldn't criticize ddg and others if they
- didn't add their own spyware and advertising
- didn't claim they are what they are not ("alternative search engine" instead of just saying "we a re a bing proxy"… it doesn't even act as a search engine, it acts as a ad platform… any technical non-M$ related search would stull give too many results for M$ products from M$ blogs, in the1sr page…)
- take shitty decisions (map engine used to be configurable, including OSM) - 2/2

@nso @aral


Technical challenge/hardware limitation or whatever other legitimate limits should NEVER be used as an excuse to justify either adding one's own spyware to third party online services, software or whatever, nor spyware marketing lies…

If DDG can be seen as gloves, then it's gloves make of allergenic and forbidden materials… You don't reduce the damage by adding extra spyware and using advertising network from the very same people you claim to by better than…

@nso @aral

Look, I think we agree on two things:
1: It's very shitty that tracking-free search doesn't exist
2: Marketing promises by online companies are no reliable source of information (except about their marketing efforts themselves)

So, what to do? Curse DDG and carry on? I have no privacy ranking of search providers, therefore I can't say who does a less-bad job of it than them. I'm fairly sure that directly googling (or "Bing"ing is worse. But who's better?
@nso @aral


All proxies do the same shit¹ from an ethical point of view… and for results, DDG simply sucks as does bing…

That's the problem… By acting as if jokes like DDG and others is good enough, no one will consider it worth the effort to look for/work toward better tools…

1. Some more than others, trying to control users email as well, and want mobile apps, hoping to be "the European google" (not duckduckgo, some bing proxy bx a ex-German/French company, I forget their name)

@nso @aral

...I actually prefer the DDG rssults over Google's
Every once in a while, I accidentally do a Google search, and the results look uglier, are less easy to parse and are usually not what I was looking for. Might be a matter of getting used to certain ways of phrasing searches?

I'm often using other engines (startpage, Quant, Ecosia ... ) but again, I've no idea if they're actually better, privacy-wise, and I'm usually quicker with ddg.
@nso @aral

@Mr_Teatime Each time I did technical/computing-related search in DDG, either generic/theoretical/not some specific software related, or Linux/UNIX tolls related, it felt like I had some creppy M$ marketer looking over my shoulder and annoying me with "Hey look, here's the M$ product you should use, andthat on some M$ blog".

There's also a tome specific subjects where DDG fails to find decent results.

@nso @aral

google is annoying as well, in it's own way (considering distro names as synonyms, and replacing thing randomly… looking for "debian" or "linux", it matches ubuntu… don't remember it double-quiting bypasses this shitty mecanism)

@nso @aral

@devnull @nso @aral

I'm avoiding Google expressly because the same data in their hands can do more damage than in any other company's because they have so much more stuff to link it to, and methods to extract "value" from it.

But the recurring question is still: After I'm done complaining, which search provider(s) *should* I be using? Because not using any web search is kind of hard.

@nso @aral Yeah but it plants trees.
TBH I trust bing as much as ddg, which is to say, no opinion on either.

@aral is this even legally valid? 🙄
The title says "transfer the world" and then there is an "accept" button... Pretty misleading, if you ask me.

is there any research about how much extra energy is even needed to load all these cookies and other trackers?
in other words: how do cookies contribute to polution and loss of biodiversity?

btw, I hate compensation forests. Just be less decadent

@aral Oh dear... Do you know of any alternatives? 🙂 (That are not microsoft or apple?)

@aral @margodeweerdt There was a simple and nice project "dl" I liked, because there was accompanying Thunderbird Filelink extension. Sadly, the project is on hiatus now (though patches accepted), and the extension stopped following Tb changes.…
@aral @margodeweerdt There is a list of public Send instances (former Firefox Send). Also Plik looks interesting for casual use, but if I read correctly, client-side encryption is available only via commandline client.

@aral There's a quote in France, from an old film, which basically says : « Morons dare to do anything, and that's how you can recognize them ! »

@aral Actually, I'm surprised no one tried "We violate your privacy to protect children from wars" yet… I'm sure it will work, because most people put nice promises above facts.

Just like some people somehow believed windows phone was an ethical alternative to, and more privacy-friendly than android, despite the facts that's
- it all locked-down
- can't have firewall
- fully proprietary and therefore not auditable no alternative ROMs
- and above - 1/2

all, made by a company who's known as patent troll to (try to) destroy anything than might be a danger to it's monopolistic abusive business, and who's very active in surveillance capitalism, applied for patents for VoIP wiretapping shorly after buying skype, and even helped dictatorships to spying on political dissidents by offering both technical training and tools to inject spoofed SSL certificates during windows updates… @aral - 2/2

@aral hahahahahahhahahahahahahahgahahahahahahahahahaahahhahahahahahahahahahaha

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