May 07, 2014, 9:47 AM — Privacy is on everybody's minds these days, particularly when it comes to searching the web for information. DuckDuckGo - the search engine that doesn't track you or otherwise violate your privacy - has released a beta that includes image and video search capabilities, as well as auto-suggest and a more refined interface.
According to DuckDuckGo:
This next version of DuckDuckGo focuses on smarter answers and a more refined look. We've also added many new features you've been requesting like images, auto-suggest, places and more. Of course, your privacy is protected as well!
It is in beta and there are some known issues. In particular:
--not all settings work yet and the setting page itself is getting an overhaul
--not all instant answers work yet and some have not yet been redesigned
--IE8 is functional though not fully cleaned up yet
In the next month, we hope to make this the default version of DuckDuckGo, but that timing really depends on what we hear from you. There is a 'Give Feedback' button on the bottom right of search result pages that you can use to submit anonymous feedback (with optional query). We also encourage you to post to this forum so that the community can discuss your ideas.
Image credit: DuckDuckGo
I'm a huge fan of DuckDuckGo and use it as my preferred search engine. I love the fact that searches are anonymous, I don't have big brother peeking over my shoulder when I search for something, and my searches aren't used to sell me junk I don't want via advertising.
So far the beta is looking very good, the new features are quite useful and should help put DuckDuckGo on par with Bing, Google and other search engines that offer similar options. Don't take my word for it though, check out the beta for yourself.
A look at the secure Linux distro Tails
eWeek has an interesting slideshow about Tails, the secure Linux distribution used by Edward Snowden and many others.
According to eWeek:
Many different Linux distributions are freely available for users. For National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Linux distribution of choice is Tails, which hit its 1.0 release April 29. Tails stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, a reasonably accurate description of what the Tails Linux distribution is all about. As a Live Linux distribution, Tails can run from a USB stick and does not need to be directly installed onto a physical computer.
The promise of Tails is that, as a Live Linux distribution, with a focus on privacy, when a user removes the Tails USB from the computer, there is no trace of it left in system memory. Tails goes much further than just leaving no trace in memory in its goal to be an incognito system. The Tor anonymous network routing technology is integrated into Tails to help hide a user's actual location and IP address on the Internet.
Image credit: eWeek
You can download Tails 1.0 from the Tails site. There's also helpful documentation and support information that will get you started using Tails.
US military drones switch to Linux
Linux Gizmos is reporting that Raytheon will be switching its UAV control system from Solaris to Linux.
According to Linux Gizmos:
Earlier this month Raytheon entered into a $15.8 million contract with the U.S. Navy to upgrade Raytheon’s control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a May 2 Avionics Intelligence report. The overhaul, which involves a switch from Solaris to Linux, is designed to implement more modern controls to help ground-based personnel control UAVs.
Raytheon’s tuxified version of its Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle (VTUAV) Tactical Control System (TCS) will also implement “universal UAV control qualities.” As a result the TCS can be used in in all U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps UAVs that weigh at least 20 pounds. By providing an open standard, the common Linux-based platform is expected to reduce costs by limiting the types of UAV control systems that need to be built and maintained for each craft.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.