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DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair? 178

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-engine-to-rule-them-all dept.
Penurious Penguin writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival DuckDuckGo is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage. Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, a.k.a. 'filter bubbles.'"
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DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?

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  • Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overmoderated (2703703) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:42AM (#42073751)
    It's all about numbers, shares, dollars and control of data.
  • duck.com (Score:4, Insightful)

    by supersat (639745) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:53AM (#42073843)
    As the article states, duck.com was acquired when Google purchased On2 Technologies, previously known as The Duck Corporation. Duck made video codecs for Sega Saturn games [multimedia.cx], among others. On2 was finally acquired by Google for their VP8 video codec, which became part of the WebM video standard. No conspiracy here.
  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:19AM (#42073995)

    Some time back in Britain, a bank marketing genius decided that the way to get new customers was to get rid of the old charging model and offer "free" banking. It was such a brilliant wheeze that all the other banks had to follow suit. However, in order to make a profit, banks were then obliged to slap on a whole new range of exceptional and penal charges in the small print and to give their customers the hard sell for a bunch of other financial products that they didn't need (and for which the banks are now paying billions of pounds in compensation). Everyone is agreed that "free" banking is broken, but nobody can be the first to reinstate charges because their customers will all take a hike.

    Search engines are the same. Having "free" search engines is a really crazy idea if you think the end user should have some interest in how the results should be selected and presented. But nobody is ever going to pay to use a search engine while the other(s) is/are still free, even if the results are worse.

    So we're stuck with a model in which the selection and presentation of results must of commercial necessity be orchestrated for profit and the more people who see those results the more profit is made.

    You can argue about the extent to which the orchestration is fair and transparent - and indeed whether fairness and transparency are adequate counterweights - but as long as someone else is paying the conductor you get no say in the performance.

  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:44AM (#42074171) Journal

    Lazy writing is to blame here.

    I'm sure the article authors were not just being lazy, but in fact knew all this perfectly well; and made a decision not to mention it since it contradicted the opinion they were trying to promote.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:58AM (#42074281)
    TLDR: anti-microsoft comment, +5 interesting automatically even though it's 100% conjecture with zero facts or sources to back it up.
  • by geek (5680) on Friday November 23, 2012 @12:54PM (#42074651) Homepage

    Because "Google" is so much better? "Yahoo!" was a great name? Get the fuck over yourself. Friggin prima donna

  • by addie (470476) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:05PM (#42076647)

    And this kind of comment is why I still read Slashdot.

    Thanks for the explanation!

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:12PM (#42076707)

    DDG uses Bing, Google, and other search engines. It's an aggregator. DDG is not some evil plot by Microsoft designed to somehow make Google look bad.

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