" contractual commitment to Microsoft "
drawing power from the dark side...
DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services. Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not …
They aren't a search company. It was either going to be google or Microsoft. I really don't understand how people never got that. If you want clean searching just use one in China or Russia etc... It's what I do every time some clown gets a super injunction or the press here is blocked from telling or showing us something.
As a bonus, even though they might have all our data, their adverts still don't appear because we only get adverts from the west.
So really, I certainly don't trust them more. But at this point in time, there is less damage / invasiveness that they can do and act upon with my data.
For certain things they either don't give a shit about, or actively want to expose*.
*these need to be taken with a grain of salt as they also like to exaggerate or just make stuff up.
I wouldn't just say Yandex or Baidu for anything Uighurs or Ukraine, but I would on, as mentioned, a superinjunction in a Western country.
Or that gets dismissed without being seen because the user was typing something when the idiotic modal dialog was mapped and stole the keyboard focus.
The WIMP UIM is an unfixable mess, with dire failure modes. Some day perhaps designers will admit that. Not holding my breath, though.
The only alternative right now is Mojeek (as in no Google or Bing results), but their indexing engine is quite weak and the site itself doesn't have many filtering controls.
Qwant has a much better indexer but it's only used to supplement Bing for now. Hopefully they'll both keep improving and we can someday have a clean way of searching the web.
That is a very good option, but it still has the same problem as DuckDuckGo and the others, it pulls all its results from Google. It is a lot better than using Google directly because there's no tracking or search shaping, but is still entirely dependent on them and how their algorithms define their index.
Maybe the solution is to split up the problem. Have a government funded crawler that builds an unsorted index, then give access to anyone who wants to build their own engine from it. The heavy lifting of building a search engine is trawling the internet for all the data in the first place, that's why only Google and Microsoft (and rumouredly Apple) can afford to.
This issue is nothing to do with duckduckgo search - that doesn't use trackers - it's only relevant if you're using the duckduckgo *browser*.
Think of the "Enhanced Tracking Protection" in firefox where it identifies & blocks known trackers - the duckduckgo browser doesn't actively block MS's trackers.
You know if you installed UBlock Origin you would see a huge drop in all ads. I literally don't remember the last time I saw an advert that wasn't during a video on YouTube. I think it's been maybe a decade or more.
With the added bonus that if they don't exist then they can't track me, install malware or piss me off with flashy graphics and sound like those old hit the monkey banners - one of the last ads I remember seeing!
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Why is any surprised about this?
If you use DuckDuckGo because of privacy concerns, surely you'd know it's pretty much just a customised version of Bing? And from that worked out that there would almost certainly need to be some allowances for Microsoft? I mean, you'd have done the research into that right? Because you care about your privacy so.
Oh, they're all fluff and are just lazy. Sorry, forgot about that.
Brave CEO Brendan Eich took aim at rival DuckDuckGo on Wednesday by challenging the web search engine's efforts to brush off revelations that its Android, iOS, and macOS browsers gave, to a degree, Microsoft Bing and LinkedIn trackers a pass versus other trackers.
Eich drew attention to one of DuckDuckGo's defenses for exempting Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains, a condition of its search contract with Microsoft: that its browsers blocked third-party cookies anyway.
"For non-search tracker blocking (e.g. in our browser), we block most third-party trackers," explained DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg last month. "Unfortunately our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been continually pushing and expect to be doing more soon."
Updated Microsoft's latest set of Windows patches are causing problems for users.
Windows 10 and 11 are affected, with both experiencing similar issues (although the latter seems to be suffering a little more).
KB5014697, released on June 14 for Windows 11, addresses a number of issues, but the known issues list has also been growing. Some .NET Framework 3.5 apps might fail to open (if using Windows Communication Foundation or Windows Workflow component) and the Wi-Fi hotspot features appears broken.
Brave Software, maker of a privacy-oriented browser, on Wednesday said its surging search service has exited beta testing while its Goggles search personalization system has entered beta testing.
Brave Search, which debuted a year ago, has received 2.5 billion search queries since then, apparently, and based on current monthly totals is expected to handle twice as many over the next year. The search service is available in the Brave browser and in other browsers by visiting search.brave.com.
"Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve," wrote Josep Pujol, chief of search at Brave. "The web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first."
California lawmakers met in Sacramento today to discuss, among other things, proposed legislation to protect children online. The bill, AB2273, known as The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, would require websites to verify the ages of visitors.
Critics of the legislation contend this requirement threatens the privacy of adults and the ability to use the internet anonymously, in California and likely elsewhere, because of the role the Golden State's tech companies play on the internet.
"First, the bill pretextually claims to protect children, but it will change the Internet for everyone," said Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law professor, in a blog post. "In order to determine who is a child, websites and apps will have to authenticate the age of ALL consumers before they can use the service. No one wants this."
Microsoft's GitHub on Tuesday released its Copilot AI programming assistance tool into the wild after a year-long free technical trial.
And now that GitHub Copilot is generally available, developers will have to start paying for it.
Or most of them will. Verified students and maintainers of popular open-source projects may continue using Copilot at no charge.
Apple's Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP) in Safari has implemented privacy through forgetfulness, and the result is that users of Twitter may have to remind Safari of their preferences.
Apple's privacy technology has been designed to block third-party cookies in its Safari browser. But according to software developer Jeff Johnson, it keeps such a tight lid on browser-based storage that if the user hasn't visited Twitter for a week, ITP will delete user set preferences.
So instead of seeing "Latest Tweets" – a chronological timeline – Safari users returning to Twitter after seven days can expect to see Twitter's algorithmically curated tweets under its "Home" setting.
Analysis Toxic discussions on open-source GitHub projects tend to involve entitlement, subtle insults, and arrogance, according to an academic study. That contrasts with the toxic behavior – typically bad language, hate speech, and harassment – found on other corners of the web.
Whether that seems obvious or not, it's an interesting point to consider because, for one thing, it means technical and non-technical methods to detect and curb toxic behavior on one part of the internet may not therefore work well on GitHub, and if you're involved in communities on the code-hosting giant, you may find this research useful in combating trolls and unacceptable conduct.
It may also mean systems intended to automatically detect and report toxicity in open-source projects, or at least ones on GitHub, may need to be developed specifically for that task due to their unique nature.
Microsoft has added a certification to augment the tired eyes and haunted expressions of Exchange support engineers.
The "Microsoft 365 Certified: Exchange Online Support Engineer Specialty certification" was unveiled yesterday and requires you to pass the "MS-220: Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Online" exam.
American lawmakers held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss a proposed federal information privacy bill that many want yet few believe will be approved in its current form.
The hearing, dubbed "Protecting America's Consumers: Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Data Privacy and Security," was overseen by the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Therein, legislators and various concerned parties opined on the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) [PDF], proposed by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
Microsoft has pledged to clamp down on access to AI tools designed to predict emotions, gender, and age from images, and will restrict the usage of its facial recognition and generative audio models in Azure.
The Windows giant made the promise on Tuesday while also sharing its so-called Responsible AI Standard, a document [PDF] in which the US corporation vowed to minimize any harm inflicted by its machine-learning software. This pledge included assurances that the biz will assess the impact of its technologies, document models' data and capabilities, and enforce stricter use guidelines.
This is needed because – and let's just check the notes here – there are apparently not enough laws yet regulating machine-learning technology use. Thus, in the absence of this legislation, Microsoft will just have to force itself to do the right thing.
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