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DuckDuckGo and EFF Naughtiness - Say It Ain't So


V.T. Eric Layton

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V.T. Eric Layton

This is an opinion piece (blog article) posted by Dr. Roy Schestowitz on his "TechRights" website, recently.

 

EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

 

___

 

Hmm... I wonder if there's any truth to this. If so, it's a sad state of affairs out there, folks.

 

 

Edited to correct Title misspelling. ~E.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Hmm... I've also found that for some searches, DDG just sucks. I end up having to search using Google instead. Well, I'm compromising today. I've started using Startpage Search, which is a private search that utilizes Google's test results. I'll see how this goes for a while...

 

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/startpage

 

https://vpnpro.com/web/startpage-search-engine/

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sunrat
4 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Hmm... I've also found that for some searches, DDG just sucks. I end up having to search using Google instead. Well, I'm compromising today. I've started using Startpage Search, which is a private search that utilizes Google's test results. I'll see how this goes for a while...

 

I've been using Startpage for years and recently switched to DDG because of "recommendations". DDG definitely sucks in comparison especially for those niche Linux searches that may only have a few hits. I kinda expected that though, as DDG is powered by Bing, and Startpage by Google.

 

It's a real tragedy that an organisation whose entire raison d'être is freedom, openness, and trust is yielding to pressures which result in the exact opposite. I never used HTTPS Everywhere as nearly all sites where security matters uses HTTPS these days anyway. Even forums.debian.net recent upgrade has brought it into the modern world!

I do use Privacy Badger which is from EFF and have found it quite effective. Hope it doesn't disappear up it's own  down  a rabbithole like HTTPS Everywhere!

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10 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

This is an opinion piece (blog article) posted by Dr. Roy Schestowitz on his "TechRights" website, recently.

 

EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

 

___

 

Hmm... I wonder if there's any truth to this. If so, it's a sad state of affairs out there, folks.

 

 

Edited to correct Title misspelling. ~E.

Considering the tone the author is taking, i consider this crackpot rumour mongering.

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sunrat
3 hours ago, crp said:

Considering the tone the author is taking, i consider this crackpot rumour mongering.

 

You may be right. But there's smoke out there and time will tell if fire eventuates. "The DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption list" is mentioned on the Mozilla HTTPS Everywhere Add-on page - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/https-everywhere/

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zlim

Apparently we have until the end of 2022 for htts everywhere to fade into the sunset.

Due to the widespread adoption of HTTPS on the internet, and the integration of HTTPS-only mode on major browsers, the extension will be retired at the end of 2022.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS_Everywhere

 

The above quote references this source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/09/https-actually-everywhere

 

I switched from google to duck-duck-go because google dropped the "advanced" options which allowed me to select a time frame. It is useless to search for a problem and have to wade through posts from the 2010's! Lots of times I want to view posts from people who had the same problem in the past year.

I'll now try start page because I can specify a time frame.

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V.T. Eric Layton
1 hour ago, zlim said:

because google dropped the "advanced" options which allowed me to select a time frame

 

Since when? I just went to Google's main page and Time options are still there. You just have to click on the "Tools" button on the Google toolbar that is just above the search results.

 

edkiTV2.png

 

And speaking of time constraints for search results, DDG absolutely SUCKS at that. As far as I can tell, it just ignores time limits when using their constraint settings. It's always been that way for DDG.

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zlim

Thank you Eric!  It used to appear under More, I think, then I'd click advanced and be able to set quite a few things besides the time. (Of course I'm not ready to make google the default search but at least I now know where it is re-located.)

 

I also want gmail to load as basic html but it refuses to now do that. Today I get a full screen informing me that gmail has now added google chat with it and all I need to do is create an account. <sigh> No thanks! I don't "chat" except once in a bluemoon with tech support.

 

My husband went to gmail this morning and discovered that it loaded the full featured version. He didn't know what to do. (I was still asleep). He turned his laptop back on and I showed him what he has to click if he sees the big M  when gmail starts to load. Now he'll have a sticky on the screen frame so he remembers what to click if he refuses to load the version we want.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Hmm... can't say much beneficial to your Gmail situation. I receive mail from all my accounts (Hotmail, Verizon, Gmail, Yahoo, AIM, etc.) via POP3 or IMAP using Mozilla Thunderbird. I can't even remember the last time I visited a webmail page for any of those accounts.

 

Others here might have advice, though... stay tuned. :)

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11 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Hmm... can't say much beneficial to your Gmail situation. I receive mail from all my accounts (Hotmail, Verizon, Gmail, Yahoo, AIM, etc.) via POP3 or IMAP using Mozilla Thunderbird. I can't even remember the last time I visited a webmail page for any of those accounts.

 

Others here might have advice, though... stay tuned. :)

google says to use https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/16ddx7d8aqyyi/?v=lui#  to get to your gmail in html mode.

 

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zlim

Yes, I spent all day fiddling with this. I had another bookmark, using that link but it doesn't always work. Obviously google, for some unknown reason, doesn't want people using the basic html version.

I found it easier to simply click the link load basic html when it refuses to load the version I want.

I used to see an item at the top "set basic html as default" but they've now removed that.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Hmm... this is getting interesting. I think I'll go log in to my Gmail webmail page and see what I can see...

 

Well, I logged in and read mail with no troubles at all... Slackware 14.2 w/ Firefox 93.0.

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zlim

I have no trouble logging in and reading mail. It is the format I prefer that is the issue here.

 

Edited by zlim
changed a word
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V.T. Eric Layton

Format? Not sure what you mean? The way the webpage looks? Fonts?

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V.T. Eric Layton

Back on topic re: Search Engines...

 

I have discovered that I don't much care for StartPage's method of displaying images, but I'll put up with it... for the moment.

 

I hate to admit this, but I believe that Google Search is, unfortunately, the best search engine in existence these days. I might just start searching in Google using TOR browser to have some semblance of privacy.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Well, I think my experiment with StartPage is over for now. I've gone back to DDG.

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zlim

I too hate using google all the time to search but I agree, it is the best tool for what I want to do.

 

Yes, the way gmail presents things. Basic html is compact without all the bells and whistles. It also loads much faster than the "standard view". The menu in the left pane is larger I don't see everything in "standard view". I hate to have to scroll simply to find a folder. I want to see my inbox with as little extra space. "Standard view" makes it larger too.

ME4GBRX_t.jpg

 

ME4GBRY_t.jpg

 

 

Edited by zlim
lost part of the img tag
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V.T. Eric Layton

Umm... I see what you mean. I hadn't even realized the interface had changed at Gmail. Like I said, I probably hadn't logged in there for a year or so.

 

OK, went and logged in to test a couple things...

 

Firstly, in your Settings at Gmail, you can turn off all that Chat and other crap.

 

Also, when the main Gmail page first loads, on the bottom right side, a notice* with a link shows (VERY briefly) that allows you to revert to the old Gmail basic HTML interface. However, it's not persistent for me once my browser is closed because I do NOT allow Google to save cookies on my system for any of their sites. I think to get it to stay in "basic" mode, you'd have to create a cookie rule in your browser that allows persistence of Google cookies.

 

That's the way it looks to me, anyway. Others here might have other options or know more about how that webmail interface works. Your Profile here says you're still running Windows 7, that means Internet Explorer browser, right? Or have you upgraded to Edge? Either way, you'll have to find out from @Corrine or some other Windows folks how to set persistent cookies in that browser to get your Gmail settings to reload next time you visit the site.

 

*NOTE: When I login to Gmail in Chromium browser, I don't even see that notice that I mention above. The text of the notification actually says, Loading Standard View | Load Basic HTML (for slow connections). I see it very briefly in FF, but it stays for about 5 seconds in Mozilla Seamonkey.

 

Not sure if any of this above is helping you at all, @zlim? :(

 

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sunrat
6 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Well, I think my experiment with StartPage is over for now. I've gone back to DDG.

 

My experiment with DDG is over, back to Startpage. It just seems to provide better results for Linux-related searches. 😉

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V.T. Eric Layton

OK, @zlim... here's a permalink for Basic HTML view. Just use this link when you want to go to the Gmail website and it will ALWAYS default to Basic HTML.

 

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/1pq68r75kzvdr/?v%3Dlui

 

There you go! Happy Early Christmas! :)

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V.T. Eric Layton
2 minutes ago, sunrat said:

My experiment with DDG is over, back to Startpage. It just seems to provide better results for Linux-related searches.

 

Oh, can't argue with you there, Roger. The problem for me is with Images in StartPage. I end up having to either load the image's actual site or Image Search it with Google, and end up there anyway. The reason is I cannot hotlink StartPage's camouflaged image links into any of the boards or forums I use. At least with DDG, I can hotlink their camo'd links just fine.

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ebrke
40 minutes ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

OK, @zlim... here's a permalink for Basic HTML view. Just use this link when you want to go to the Gmail website and it will ALWAYS default to Basic HTML.

Thanks, Eric. I bookmarked that link. I rarely log into gmail, since I got it for a specific purpose and don't actually receive anything there, but I'm glad to have the link anyway.

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sunrat
10 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

 

Oh, can't argue with you there, Roger. The problem for me is with Images in StartPage. I end up having to either load the image's actual site or Image Search it with Google, and end up there anyway. The reason is I cannot hotlink StartPage's camouflaged image links into any of the boards or forums I use. At least with DDG, I can hotlink their camo'd links just fine.

 

Hotlinking from image search is about 0.0001% of my search usage so issue is not on my radar.

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zlim

I do have a basic gmail bookmark. (If for some reason it doesn't load, I sign out then click the load basic html when the big M with Google Workspace appears. I've been doing it this way for awhile since google doesn't show "load Basic html as default" at the top as they used to do. The full featured bookmark is hiding because once in a blue moon I have to get in there. The basic version doesn't let me move things to folders; it only lets me apply labels or remove labels but the items stay in the inbox. I want to MOVE an item; that's why I have to go to the full featured version to see the option to move things. I get several newsletters a week; sometimes I want to archive them. That's why I move them to a folder.

 

It's strange because Juno is basic and I'm using the basic version of Yahoo and have no problem moving items to folders on those websites.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Well, I'm one of those folks who likes to have ALL of my data on MY machine. I don't use clouds. I don't store emails on other's servers, etc. I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird since way back in my Windows days (early 2000). I find that it's the best way to control my own data/documents/emails, etc.

 

That being said, T-bird's not for everyone. It's easy to use out-of-the-box, but it takes some learning, trial/error to get it highly customized like mine is. It's pretty and it's very efficient at doing the things it does... email, calendar, notifications, RSS, USENET, and so on.

 

DVBsbL6.png

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V.T. Eric Layton

As you can see, I don't have a very busy calendar these days. HA! ;)

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ebrke
6 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Well, I'm one of those folks who likes to have ALL of my data on MY machine. I don't use clouds. I don't store emails on other's servers, etc. I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird since way back in my Windows days (early 2000). I find that it's the best way to control my own data/documents/emails, etc.

Unfortunately, I'm having on-going issues with Thunderbird, which is a topic for another thread. It's refusing to send or receive email from one account and refusing to send, only receive, from another account. I've had some distractions that have kept me from doing more than cursory investigation of this behavior, but it does leave me using a web interfaces for two accounts, and I hate it. I've always used Protonmail's web interface and don't have problems with it.

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V.T. Eric Layton
15 hours ago, ebrke said:

I've always used Protonmail's web interface and don't have problems with it.

 

Yes, sadly... the ProtonMail's "POP/IMAP" bridge app is only available to paying customers, so if I want to use ProtonMail, I have to go their webpage to do it. I hate that. :(

 

What accounts (not your email addresses, just the provider's name) are giving you troubles on T-bird? Some email providers now require that you register T-bird as your mail application and utilize a generated security password (one time only) to fully access their servers. I had to do this with Gmail and Yahoo, I think, a year or so back.

 

Edited for spelling error. ~E.

 

 

.

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ebrke
On 10/23/2021 at 9:58 AM, V.T. Eric Layton said:

What accounts (not your email addresses, just the provider's name) are giving you troubles on T-bird?

An old AT&T account refuses to send or receive--at this point I've forgotten the exact error message. Comcast will receive but not send. I've tried some changes I researched but none have made a dent, and I've had other more important issues to deal with recently.

 

Edit: AT&T refuses with generic error message about password. Comcast continues to say connection to server was lost during transaction after a long spell of trying to send.

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V.T. Eric Layton

AT&T is probably requiring the one-time "special" password be generated as I mentioned above. You'll have to go to their webmail page to do that. See here -> https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1316825

 

Comcast sounds as though it's no longer serving POP/IMAP on the servers that you have set up in your T-bird. You'll have to go to Comcast's website and find out what their current POP/IMAP servers are in order to fix that on you T-bird. This may be the issue with Comcast -> https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/email/thunderbird-will-not-connect-to-email-server-solved/602daf73c5375f08cd0c7e64

 

Or maybe this -> https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1348887

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