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Open Source, Decentralised Search Enginge


Destined
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Hi all,

 

I just read an article about the search engine "searx", which advertises itself to be decentralised, not storing any data and in contrast to others even publishes its source code. It is a meta search engine, that still uses others (like Google), but only transmits the most necessary data and thus, prevents the latter of storing all your data, as it runs over their server (at least that is how I understood it). So, you still use other search engines (at least in part), without giving them all of your data. As there are a lot of people here that value their privacy, I thought it might be of interest. I want to stress that I have not yet tested it myself much and acnnot say how good the search results are compared to other search engines, but it sounds not too bad. Here is the article I read (it is in German, but maybe it is still of interest for some):

https://netzpolitik.org/2018/interview-searx-eine-suchmaschine-mit-datenschutz/#

 

Maybe the more tech-savvy people can tell, what they think about it.

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Well, on this case I only repeated, what the interview said. Apparently there are several servers/instances available, so it is not controlled by one big company, but everyone can run their own instance.

I am currently running it on my browser at home and find it quite appealing. The only difficulty is that I have to change between German and US/UK english, depending on what I am currently searching for. But I am willing to accept that for not throwing all my data into Google's maw.

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Thanks for this, Destined. I've added searx to my speed dial and will give them a tryout. First thoughts is searx.me has a rather limited advanced search compared to startpage. Anyone know of any other instance with a better advanced page?

 

That's also the problem with duckduck for me. Why would anyone prefer typing dos-like operators and arguments when they can use gui selector boxes? It's a mystery to me. Same with Bing where you'd expect M$oft to have a sensible gui. Yahoo is unusable for me now. I used to get errors there but now I can't even get in without being forced to accept their mass-surveillance. [EDIT yes, Google do it without even asking but I don't actively agree whereas yahoo actually force you to AGREE! I never click those. same with webistes forcing you to agree to cookies. I mean, many sites do cookies and my browser deletes them on exit but it's being forced to click that 'I agree' box that I resent with no option to 'No, I don't agree'.] Anyway, I've just deleted Yahoo from my speed dial to squeeze in searx.

 

Another suspicion I have with these meta engines is that Google (and others) detect them and return inferior limited results. I'm not certain of this though. Keep meaning to do some proper tests...

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I'm a touch typist. Most people aren't though. Operators are fractionally faster for a touch typist so long as you know what they are. They vary depending on the input so unless you are using the same input predominantly then there may be that moments hesitation. And what to enter for time date image website and many many more?

 

 

Nor are operators or simple input excluded from an advanced page. You can enter simple input or you can enter a common operator like OR (some inputs don't accept that) AND you can hit the site field to type in a specific website. An advanced search page is the best of all worlds because it COMBINES advanced, simple, and operators. I often type quotes in the simple box or I just type in the exact phrase box. 'Advanced' INCLUDES 'Simple'.

 

The only advantage of a 'Simple' page is for people who might be confused by too many options. That's fair enough. So have two pages: simple and advanced like Google has done for over 20 years. They have over 80% of the market because they're smart (and unfortunately ruthless.) Having an advanced page is a no-brainer. Which is why Bing don't have one.

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