January 17, 2014, 2:29 PM — DuckDuckGo gains larger user base
Fierce Content Management is reporting that DuckDuckGo grew quite a bit over the last year, probably due to privacy concerns on the part of users.
DuckDuckGo reported phenomenal growth last year, and it's no wonder.
In a time when our privacy is continually being eroded, and every day there seems to be a new revelation about government surveillance, many people are looking away from major search engines like Google and Bing and moving to DuckDuckGo, a service that guarantees it doesn't save your search information.
Image credit: Fierce Content Management
Image credit: DuckDuckGo
I'm very glad to see DuckDuckGo doing so well recently. I highly recommend using it when you want your searches to be private. It's a much better option than Google, Bing, Yahoo or some of the other better known search engines.
This report makes me wonder how long Google will be king of the search engines. More and more people are disturbed at the tracking and bubbling that happens when you use Google. Privacy is becoming a major issue for people on the web, particularly while searching for information.
I actually had a friend of mine who is not very tech-savvy ask me about this. He was worried that Google was tracking his searches and sharing it with the government. I was surprised to hear this from him as it's the sort of thing that he doesn't usually pay attention to in the media.
Sure enough though it had gotten through to him and he was worried. So I gave him the URL for DuckDuckGo and told him to use that instead of Google if privacy mattered to him.
I also showed him the DuckDuckGo site, and let him scan the DuckDuckGo pages that explain the differences between DuckDuckGo and Google:
He was impressed and also somewhat shocked at the mechanics of Google's search experience.
It might seem very early for me to ponder this, but I can't help but think that Google's days are numbered as the number one search engine. It might or might not be DuckDuckGo that dethrones Google, but the issue of privacy is beginning to matter to even non-tech-savvy users.
I suspect that a quiet tidal wave of anger about privacy is forming out there, and I wonder if it will someday sweep Google and the other large search engines away. I doubt any of those companies are worried about this in the short term, but it's something they had better pay attention to over the long haul.
What's your take on this? Will DuckDuckGo or some other privacy protecting search engine eventually destroy Google? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
A guide to Open Source software
Datamation has a very long (12 pages!) guide to Open Source software.
For the fifth year in a row, Datamation is closing out the year with a big, big list of all the software we've featured on our monthly open source software guides. This year's list is the longest ever with 1,180 projects in 143 different categories from Accessibility to Wine and Beer.
We refreshed the list with all the new applications we've highlighted this year, and we dropped those that hadn't been updated in a while. Please note that the list is organized by category and alphabetically within each category — the numbers don't indicate rank or quality.
Kudos to Datamation for the exhaustive list, but twelve pages is a bit much to expect people to click through. It would be nice if there was a single page alternative for folks who don't want to keep clicking over and over to see the list.
Anyway, check out the list if you're looking for more Open Source applications. There's bound to be something on there that you'll find useful, if you can manage to click all the way to the end.
Ubuntu phone may be delayed until 2015
The Register is reporting that the Ubuntu phone may be delayed until 2015.
When Canonical CEO Jane Silber first announced plans to port Ubuntu to phones last year, she said the goal was to ship the first handsets with the OS preloaded by the end of 2013.
That didn't happen, and from the sound of it, Ubuntu fans probably shouldn't hold their breath for a dedicated Ubuntu phone this year, either. Even if one does appear, it will likely be a limited-run device targeting niche use cases.
"Longer-term we would love to see the major OEM/Carriers shipping Ubuntu handsets," Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon wrote in a recent Reddit AMA session. "This is a long road though with many components, and I would be surprised if we see anything like this before 2015."
It sounds like Firefox OS will be the most prominent alternative to Android and iOS phones for the immediate future. It's a shame that Canonical has not been able to launch an Ubuntu phone. Piggybacking off of a limited selection of Android phones just isn't going to cut it.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.