DuckDuckGo a search engine that puts privacy first
DuckDuckGo a search engine that puts privacy first is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results.
Are you concerned about how much data is being tracked when you search on Internet?
Are you fed up with being bombarded by targeted adverts when you open a webpage?
Let’s have a look at these issues and what you can do to combat this.
You may not be surprised to learn that Google, and other search engines have all of your search history stored up.
You can delete it though – If you would prefer not have a huge list of search queries stored up, then connect to Google’s history page, click Menu (the three vertical dots) and then click on Advanced – All Time – Delete.
If you want to stop Google tracking your searches for ever, connect to the activity controls page and toggle tracking off.
That’s it, you are now free from tracking!
Not only do they record your searches, but Google also keeps an eye on your location.
Google’s location history, or timeline page, serves up a Google Map and allows you to select specific dates and times and see where you were.
The accuracy depends largely on whether you were signed into your Google account and if you had a phone or tablet with you.
How you can delete it : When you visit the timeline page you can hit the settings cog in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and select delete all from there.
There’s also the option to pause your location history by clicking the button in the bottom left of the screen.
If you’ve ever wanted to remove your records, virtually [sic] from the internet, a Swedish website Deseat.me makes use of your Google account to do just that.
Deseat.me can show you all your online and social media accounts and lets you delete yourself from them.
How to delete it : Go to Deseat.me and enter your Gmail address.
It will bring up all the online accounts linked to that email address and allow you to delete them.
But for now, let’s look at a way that you can still search the Internet without your data being tracked or being bombarded by targeted advertising from Google or other search engines :
DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term, and emphasizes returning the best results, rather than the most results, generating those results from over 400 individual sources, including crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.
The company is based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, in Greater Philadelphia.
Some of DuckDuckGo’s source code is free software hosted at GitHub under the Apache 2.0 License, but the core is proprietary. The company registered a shortened URL redirect at ddg.co on 20 September 2013. On 21 May 2014, DuckDuckGo launched a redesigned version that focused on smarter answers and a more refined look. The new version added often requested features such as images, local search, auto-suggest and more.
On 18 September 2014, Apple included DuckDuckGo in its Safari browser as an optional search engine. On 10 November 2014, Mozilla added DuckDuckGo as a search option to Firefox 33.1. On 30 May 2016, The Tor Project, Inc made DuckDuckGo the default search engine for Tor Browser 6.0.
DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg, an entrepreneur who previously launched Names Database, a now-defunct social network. Initially self-funded by Weinberg, DuckDuckGo is now advertising-supported but the user has the option to disable ads.
The search engine is written in Perl and runs on nginx, FreeBSD and Linux. DuckDuckGo is built primarily upon search APIs from various vendors. Because of this, TechCrunch characterized the service as a “hybrid” search engine. At the same time, it produces its own content pages, and thus is similar to Mahalo, Kosmix and SearchMe.
We didn’t invest in it because we thought it would beat Google. We invested in it because there is a need for a private search engine. We did it for the Internet anarchists, people that hang out on Reddit and Hacker News.
Fred Wilson, 2012 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in New York
In a lengthy profile in November 2012, the Washington Post indicated that searches on DuckDuckGo numbered up to 45,000,000 per month in October 2012. The article concluded “Weinberg’s non-ambitious goals make him a particularly odd and dangerous competitor online. He can do almost everything that Google or Bing can’t because it could damage their business models, and if users figure out that they like the DuckDuckGo way better, Weinberg could damage the big boys without even really trying. It’s asymmetrical digital warfare, and his backers at Union Square Ventures say Google is vulnerable.”
At its keynote speech at WWDC 2014, Apple announced that DuckDuckGo would be included as an option for search on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
On 21 May 2014, DuckDuckGo officially released the redesigned version that focused on smarter answers and a more refined look. The new version added many new features such as images, local search, auto-suggest, weather, recipes and more.
in July 2016, DuckDuckGo officially announced the extension of its partnership with Yahoo! that brought new features to all users of the search engine, including date filtering of results and additional site links. It also partners with Bing, Yandex and Wikipedia to produce results or make use of features offered. The company also confirmed that it does not share user information with partner companies, as has always been its policy.
DuckDuckGo’s results are a compilation of “over 400” sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS; Wikipedia; Wolfram Alpha; Bing; its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot); and others. It also uses data from crowdsourcedsites, including Wikipedia, to populate “Zero-click Info” boxes – grey boxes above the results that display topic summaries and related topics.
Weinberg has refined the quality of his search engine results by deleting search results for companies he believes are content mills, like Demand Media’s eHow, which publishes 4000 articles per day produced by paid freelance writers, which Weinberg says is, “…low-quality content designed specifically to rank highly in Google’s search index.” DuckDuckGo also filters pages with substantial advertising.
In addition to the indexed search results, DuckDuckGo displays relevant results, called Instant Answers, on top of the search page. These Instant Answers are collected from either 3rd party APIs or static data sources like text files. The Instant Answers are called zeroclickinfo because the intention behind these is to provide what the user is searching for on the search result page itself so that the user does not have to click any results to find what they are looking for. As of August 20, 2016, there are 989 Instant Answers active.
The Instant Answers are open source. They are maintained on Github and anyone can build or work on them.
Tor hidden service
In August 2010, DuckDuckGo introduced anonymous searching, including an exit enclave, for its search engine traffic using Tor network and enabling access through a Tor hidden service. This allows anonymity by routing traffic through a series of encrypted relays.
In 2011, DuckDuckGo introduced voice search for users of the Google Chrome voice search extension.
DuckDuckGo includes “!Bang” keywords, which give users the ability to search on specific third-party websites – using the site’s own search engine if applicable. As of 2017, approx. 10,000 “bangs” for a diverse range of Internet sites are available.
DuckDuckGo has a mobile app available for iOS and Android which forces websites to use HTTPS, blocks web trackers, and rates sites based on their privacy practices.The service, released in January 2018, is also available as a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
DuckDuckGo earns revenue by serving ads from the Yahoo–Bing search alliance network, and through affiliate relationships with Amazon and eBay.
In a June 2011 article, Harry McCracken of Time magazine commended DuckDuckGo, comparing it to his favorite hamburger restaurant, In-N-Out Burger:
It feels a lot like early Google, with a stripped-down home page. Just as In-N-Out doesn’t have lattes or Asian salads or sundaes or scrambled eggs, DDG doesn’t try to do news or blogs or books or images. There’s no auto-completion or instant results. It just offers core Web search—mostly the “ten blue links” approach that’s still really useful, no matter what its critics say…As for the quality, I’m not saying that Weinberg has figured out a way to return more relevant results than Google’s mighty search team. But DuckDuckGo…is really good at bringing back useful sites. It all feels meaty and straightforward and filler-free…
The barebones approach cited in his quote have since changed; DuckDuckGo now has auto-completion and instant results for example. McCracken included the site in Time’s list of “50 Best Websites of 2011”.
Thom Holwerda, who reviewed the search engine for OSNews, praised its privacy features and shortcuts to site-specific searches as well as criticizing Google for “tracking pretty much everything you do”, particularly because of the risk of such information being subject to a U.S. government subpoena.
In 2012, in response to accusations that it was a monopoly, Google identified DuckDuckGo as a competitor.
Weinberg was reportedly “pleased and entertained” by that acknowledgment.
On average, people pick up their smartphone 221 times a day to do things with it. It’s no secret that we are getting more and more addicted to these handsets, but have you wondered what effect that is having on your mind and your body?
What happens to your body when you are always on the phone?
Scientists are definitely curious and have a few ideas about the ramifications of smartphone usage. You can measure your own smartphone usage to gather data about how often you check it, and then compare it with the smartphone addiction checklist to know if you have a problem.
An incredible 81% of us have our smartphones within arm’s reach nearly all the time, and one in five young people admit to checking their screens every five minutes.
Are our devices completely safe? We haven’t been using cell phones long enough to fully study long-term impacts and say using them definitively causes specific diseases. But then again, it took decades to prove a surefire link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, too.
Now, I’m not suggesting we all ditch our phones … I rely on mine for so many things.
But the following findings may give you reason to take some commonsense cell phone safety precautions to minimize your risk.
What will humans look like in 1000 Years? What will humanity look like in 1000 years?
About 10,000 years ago, humans evolved a tolerance to cow’s milk; over the past 150 years, we’ve added 10 centimetres to our average height; and over the past 65 years, we’ve added 20 years to the average lifespan, mostly thanks to advances in science.
We’ve come so far in such an incredibly short period of time, so what will we look like in another 1,000 years.
First off, we humans have a reason to be as smug as we are – our brains are so good, even the most advanced computer system doesn’t even come close. In fact, last year researchers used the K computer in Japan – one of the most powerful computers in the world – to simulate human brain activity, and it took 705,024 processor cores, 1.4 million GB of RAM, and 40 minutes to process the same amount of data processed by 1 second of brain activity.
But we might not always have an edge over the machines we create.
Scientists predict that in the future, computers will not only match the computational speed of the human brain, we’ll also develop artificial intelligence that can speak, interact, listen, and remember. Let’s just hope they don’t use all that information to turn against us.
And as computers grow progressively more human, so too will humans become more integrated with robots. In the future, scientists predict that we’ll have minuscule robots called nanobots swimming around our bodies and enhancing our natural abilities. Known as transhumanism, this could see us no longer limited to what biology can be achieved, and the possibilities of that are pretty incredible to think about.
And it’s not just our own bodies that technology has the potential to completely change. As the video points out, ‘utility clouds’ of microscopic robots could assemble themselves into entire buildings and them disassemble just as easily. “Picture your house disassembling when you leave in the morning so that space can be used for something else,” says AsapSCIENCE.
In the next 1,000 years, the amount of languages spoken on the planet are set to seriously diminish, and all that extra heat and UV radiation could see darker skin become an evolutionary advantage. And we’re all set to get a whole lot taller and thinner, if we want to survive, that is. Why? I’ll let AsapSCIENCE explain that one in the video above, but let’s just say global warming is going to have a much bigger impact on our appearance than you might think.
Watch as we cover some cutting-edge innovations happening today. Thanks to the National Geographic Channel for sponsoring this video!
An inspiring talk about learning by Shahmeem Akhtar
To learn is to be free – Shameem Akhtar posed as a boy during her early childhood in Pakistan so she could enjoy the privileges Pakistani girls are rarely afforded: to play outside and attend school.
In an eye-opening, personal talk, Akhtar recounts how the opportunity to get an education altered the course of her life — and ultimately changed the culture of her village, where today every young girl goes to school.
Shameem Akhtar is a teacher working to empower girls in Sindh, a province in the southeast of Pakistan.
Shameem Akhtar is a dedicated and enthusiastic development professional, with special interest in the field of gender, education, social mobilization, emergency/relief, management and literature.
She is also engaged in research studies in rural development, doing PhD work at the University of Sindh.
She is a member of the Individual Land Organization (Friedrich Naumann Stiftung) and was selected by Acumen Pakistan Fellows 2015 for their one-year course.
Akhtar frequently contributes to print media and literary magazines, work that has brought her close to the study of important social issues like malnutrition, child labor, marginalization and other core problems of the province.
She has been active in the training of teachers, children, women and other segments of society in the fields of education, health, livelihood and disaster management under the banner of prestigious organizations in the social service sector.
12 Language learning resolutions for any year – It’s that time of year again, the end of one year and the start of a new one – even if it isn’t the 31 January – it’s still a good time to adopt a new and good resolution.
Time to re-invent, readjust and turn a new page, turn over a new leaf, start again with a clean slate.
In a couple of weeks the resolutions will be forgotten, in the past, as life takes over… oh well, let’s crack on, see you again in 12 months for the same old, same old – just kidding – I know you can do it!
If you are a language learner, then the feeling of broken resolutions may not be something that is unusual for you.
If you are learning a language, then you may have been influenced in the past by the promises of an easy fix.
Hold on, have I mentioned this before?
The reality for language learners, and indeed for any real, learning, is that you are in it for the long game and it just isn’t a spectator sport.
So let’s pretend that resolutions work for a moment – as some surely (rarely?) do.
But, let’s call them objectives, just for the purposes of this post.
So here are 12 objectives for (language) learners for the new you.
Why 12, you may ask?
Let’s think of one a month, a maximum of 31 days, and at best, only 28 days (29 in a leap year) to pursue the objective through to an end. In small, manageable, bite-sized chunks, which could then become a new habit for the better – stranger things happen at sea #Allegedly.
Most problems that language learners encounter are internal barriers and resistance to change. Many say that they just don’t have the time, but claim to be motivated to learn. Well, I’m sorry, but if you don’t make the time it just ain’t going to happen. Another of the internal barriers to learning is a resistance to changing old habits and methods of learning – if it didn’t work first time, then isn’t it perhaps time to try another way? There are many more limiting behaviours which form barriers to learning, but we won’t go into these here.
OK, let’s have a look at the 12 objectives for you:
1. Start a learning journal – reflection is a hugely important and effective tool in learning. Technically the name is “metacognition” or ‘thinking about thinking’. This is pure process time, that is often rejected by adults as ‘process’ isn’t ‘action’ and action is what we should be doing, no? This is where a learner records insights, thoughts and feelings about learning, which can be reviewed at a later date to monitor changes and personal growth. Learning something new and then reflecting on it can be a powerful way of fostering critical thinking and choice making in learning. It doesn’t matter in which form the journal is kept, although I would suggest a handwritten journal, however, it must be kept on a regular basis. Try this for 31 days (at least).
2. Listen for 15 minutes a day – Listen to the language for at least 15 minutes a day, 7 days a week for 31 days. Alternate the types of listening that you do and try to think (using your Learning Journal) how you listen in your own language. Don’t try to understand everything – for those that know my techniques, try the WH? question process. Tune your ear into listening to the music of the language – if you can’t hear it, you’ll never get to understand it. Try this for 31 days (at least).
3. Turn your Spellcheck off – If you write emails, or use Word – try to write without a grammar check turned on. You can always spellcheck after you have finished writing. Try to memorise the mistakes you make on a regular basis and rectify them gradually. A spellcheck won’t help you learn, only thinking about and then acting upon it will help that. Try this for 31 days (at least).
4. Read a newspaper in the target language – at least once a week have a look at an online or hard copy of a newspaper. Reading can help in sentence construction and vocabulary building, but can also give insights into the target culture. It is interesting to see how foreigners see the same story that you can read in your own language too. Try this for 31 days (at least).
5. Use a monolingual dictionary – Bilingual dictionaries are great when you need to find a particular word, but they are often limiting, giving suggested translations of a particular word. However, a monolingual dictionary will help in seeing the word in use in sentences and help develop vocabulary by building upon the word and its usage. Try this for 31 days (at least).
6. Listen to music – Download the lyrics of songs you enjoy. Listen to the music, a great way to build up expressions and work on your listening memory. Try this for 31 days (at least).
7. Seize opportunities to use the language – go to an ‘after-work’ where you can use the language. Even if this may be less than straightforward, in terms of your language skills, you will gain a great deal by listening and interacting as much as you can in a social setting. It will be difficult, but not impossible. Try to go to one every two weeks at least for a month.
8. Learn an expression a day – write an expression a day that you pick up from Internet, emails, songs or other sources. Put it on a post-it, just out of eyeshot, try to say the expression to yourself, check you have said it right and then try to use it when you have a chance to speak in the language. Learning expressions is more effective than isolated words of vocabulary as you can roll them out without having to fish around for each individual word.
9. Join Twitter – start interacting through simple messages with native speakers of the language. You will be surprised how easy it is and how willing people are to communicate and help with your language skills. You don’t need to be on Twitter 24 hours a day – try 10 minutes a day – reading and when you have the courage, post a tweet. Try this for 31 days (at least).
10. Take chances – don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes, if not too habitual, help us learn, as long as we are able to reflect and adjust. Take the plunge and speak when you get the chance – it may not be perfect, but that’s not what you are striving for at the outset, but it will be communication.
11. Set objectives – yeah, I know that SMART objectives are very 1990, but they are, in fact very useful. Set objectives for what you are going to do for the week – you may stray from your plan, that is fine, but at least you will have a plan. Just going at an objective pell-mell is not a good way to progress – if you plan to go nowhere, you usually get there! review your plan using your learning journal to see what works, and what isn’t working. Adjust, refine and change your plan, but always have one.
12. ENJOY! – Make a conscious effort to enjoy what you do. Don’t go looking at subjects that would never interest you in your own language, just because they happen to be in the target language. Do fun things, things that you enjoy or interest you. I know this sounds so glaringly obvious that I shouldn’t have to include it here, but it is surprising how many learners forget the fun-factor and end up learning very little and often give up. Try this for the rest of your life!
Try these resolutions / objectives – your 12 Language learning resolutions, one a month if you like, let us know how things are going or if you have any other suggestions in the comments.