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Tim Cook: Privacy is a fundamental human right.

Google: Here’s $15B, we even wrote you the check in crayons!

Tim Cook: …ah, very well, Eddy, show these fine gentlemen to the observation room and ensure they have everything they need.

9to5mac.com/2021/08/25/analyst

I mean, they did call it Safari.

What do you do on safari?

@aral It's obnoxious, but there's no moral choice possible. Google's evil. Bing is MS and just as evil, but not so much directly feeding an ad business. Siri & DDG use Bing results.

Apple have made it easy to pick DDG for a long time now, and I expect a lot of new users would complain if they got a non-Google default.

If you know of a completely private, no-assholes-allowed search engine, I'd love to hear it.

@mdhughes @aral Qwant seems to be alright. And Ecosia claims to plant trees for every search.

@desikn @aral I had comically poor results and speed from Qwant, admittedly some years ago. Ecosia is just repackaging Microsoft Bing like DDG.

@mdhughes @aral I've been using Qwant as default search engine for a while now and it's not bad. It's EU-based and uses it's own indexing engine.

@desikn @mdhughes I mean, you will acknowledge that the latter is an absolute bullshit public relations stunt, right? Ecosia is a surveillance capitalist with added greenwashing.

@aral @mdhughes Yes, but the toot was asking for private or no-ass-holes-allowed search engines. I just gave 2 possible examples that were at the top of my mind. I'm not defending or recommending any of these search engines.

@desikn @mdhughes @aral
>Qwant seems to be alright
Qwant is just google but euro flavor. And it's not far from being bankrupt as I recall.

>Ecosia
A scam.

There isn't much practical choice. But there are choices to develop.
Meta search engine:
https://github.com/searx/searx
https://searx.space/
Yaci (can be used with searx):
https://yacy.net/
Seeks:
https://beniz.github.io/seeks/
@mangeurdenuage @mdhughes @aral @desikn How is Ecosia a scam? It's true that they use bing for their results so they're very much not into the digital privacy bit, but they publish their budget on their site...
@mangeurdenuage @mdhughes @desikn @aral https://blog.ecosia.org/ecosia-financial-reports-tree-planting-receipts/

From the first three listed:
Seems legit:
https://www.hommesetterre.com/
http://greenethiopia.org/en/foundation-green-ethiopia/
https://fairventures.org/en/
https://en.menschenfuermenschen.de/stories/agriculture/new-life-on-mount-kundudo/
https://www.orangutans-sos.org/the-solution/saving-forests/
FKL; they don't seem to have a site but they do get referenced a lot.

Seems sus:
World Vision's site is a massive pain in the ass so I can't tell anything about their reforestation work; https://blog.worldvision.com.au/tag/reforestation/ indicates they are interested in it, but doesn't mention anything about Ethiopia.
Indonesia, can't find any reference to Gunung Lestari Foundation that isn't Ecosia, very sus.


I'm not sure what you want; I can't really take you to these places and point at the ground, so you'll have to give them at least some amount of trust. Now maybe all of these groups are scams, but if so, they're rather elaborate; to the point that I'd believe Ecosia has been duped by them just as I have.
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@mdhughes You think it’s a problem a trillion-dollar company could solve if it wanted to? Do you feel the fifteen billion dollars might be a factor in their decision?

@aral Maybe? But if there's no good replacement now, taking $15B and not having to run your own search indexer isn't the worst choice.

@mdhughes Oh it’s a good gig if you can get it, definitely. Just shut up about how you’re this awesome defender of privacy if you’re going to do it is all.

@mdhughes @aral I've started looking into this recently and so far results are very disappointing. https://alternativeto.net/software/duckduckgo/ YaCy seems like the only notable attempt.
Probably should add http://wiby.me/ to it though.

@mdhughes @aral

Apple can easily set up its own independent search, but then they'd be under scrutiny or would have to monetise it, so letting Google do the dirty work and get paid for it is a WIN-WIN for Apple and Google.

@mdhughes @aral i use ddg on a daily basis. In 99% of cases, it gets me what I need. For the remaining 1% I use startpage and satanic google if everything else fails. Yeah ddg is bing. But I trust them for my privacy and if you know how to use a search engine it just works

@ivanrancic @aral Brave is Brendan Eich, far-right homophobic asshole #1. He was useful once, but now it's grossly immoral to give him money.

@Aral Balkan what happen to the p2p federated search engine (yacy or something). I heard it requires some resources but with community efforts we could potentially create alternative. I'm willing to invest my time and resources if there is more people willing to jump in. Its a big project but we could have totally independent search whhout any assholes.
Wasn't @Snopyta hosting it? What was yor experience?

@muppeth @aral Was, not anymore. It works good enough to make a topic based search engine but for providing more "general" results it requires a huge amount of storage and RAM. I guess in the long run it will waste a lot of money and resources with too little benefit.

Have you seen this blog post yet? drewdevault.com/2020/11/17/Bet

@aral What exactly is the alternative here?

Take maps for example. Apple wanted to compete with Google Maps and it turned into a decade-long meme about how Apple can't compete with the quality of map data that Google has. Even now, with Apple Maps being drastically better than it ever has been, I still know people who don't trust it and simply won't use it.

It's good to have choice, but defaults don't actually really stand for much when users already think they know what's best for them. 🤦‍♂️

@aral @selea id imagine that even if they gave users the choice, the vast majority would pick Google anyway.

Those savvy enough to use DDG et al find it trivial to change provider. Myself included. 😊

So Apple are making 15bn off something that the vast majority of their users would pick anyway. Seems like a good business decision to me.

@kev @aral @selea actually not. There have been studies about that regarding Android phones and the requirement to allow people to choose their search engine in the EU. (Which Google turned into a bidding show in a per country race.) The result: A little bit more diversity in the search engine market. Even though, there is still a majority of people using Google.

Also, not everyone selects for e.g. Privacy, look at the rise of ecosia.

@sheogorath I wonder how many people don't know they are using google search or chrome

@Dashtop well, probably a lot. However, I would question whether one actually needs to know that. One doesn't need to know what vendor of the library door, if you want to enter the library.

Main issue in our case here is that this specific door is an integrated naked scanner selling ads based on the result of these scans.

@sheogorath @Dashtop This "naked scanner door", if real, would explain all the spam for male enhancement pills...

@kev I think most are not going to change the search engine. If they (apple) cared about privacy, like they claim, I think setting ddg as the default, with the option to change to google would be the default setting. Imo

@Mike Harley, Goblin Herder I think if people at scale would move to ddg, DDG would surely turn evil as it has to pay for staff, hardware etc to provide service to so many people. BTW> what's their business model? are they non-profit or commercial entity?
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