GNOME dumps Google and goes with DuckDuckGo for web search
Today in Open Source: GNOME dumps Google from web search. Plus: Hot Tin Roof game preview, and tons of new games headed for Linux!
GNOME Dumps Google for DuckDuckGo in Web Search
Good news for GNOME users, the project has removed Google as its default web search engine. Instead it will use DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share a user's information.
Today, we have switched the default search engine in Web from Google to DuckDuckGo. This change might come up as a surprise, but there are a handful of reasons why this actually makes sense:
Privacy: the GNOME project has decided, since that enlightening keynote by Jacob Appelbaum in GUADEC 2012, to make an extra effort towards ensuring users' privacy, and we, the Web developers, believe we need to align with this goal. Using Google's search engine by default is counterproductive to this effect, unfortunately. I assume I don't need to go into details on the many ways in which Google tracks what their users do. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not collect or share personal information.
It works: as this is something that we've been debating for pretty long, I've spent this time using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine on my own machines, and I am happy with the results it gives. It even has pretty handy keywords that you can use to directly search in Wikipedia (!w), Amazon (!a), or even Google if you still need it (!g). I do believe the Spanish translation of the website could use some love, but their community platform is probably a good starting place for anyone interested in contributing with more and improved translations.
Hat Tip: Phoronix
I'm completely in favor of this change. It's way past time for Google to have some competition anyway in the search market. The added privacy protection of DuckDuckGo is just icing on the cake.
I can't find any fault with the GNOME project about this decision, given the recent disclosure of the NSA spying scandal that has sent shockwaves through the online world. Anything that helps protect the privacy of users is welcome, and I think other Linux projects should do the same thing (if they haven't already moved away from Google).
If you aren't familiar with DuckDuckGo, please see their About page. There's a lot of helpful information there that will explain why it's such a great search engine.
Linux Game Preview: Hot Tin Roof
Gaming On Linux has a preview of the adventure platformer "Hot Tin Roof."
As you may know if you're a regular of The Funding Crowd, this is an in-development game that's currently gathering funds at Kickstarter. Its kind developers provided me with a prototype demo of the game and so I'm going to expose my first impressions.
I fire up the demo and I am immediately greeted by an immersive score, a ringing phone, and the main character's powerful yet enticing voice as she narrates the story. That's right: she. All the inherent clichés of the genre come to an end with the two fedora-wearing feminine characters: private dicks Emma Jones -the narrator- and her partner Francine "Franky" the cat. Stereotypes make a brief comeback when Emma answers the phone call and it turns out to be their boss who orders them to go investigate a mysterious and grim murder that has occurred at the restaurant around the corner. That murder will of course lead them to an adventure with more deaths, and an ever-increasingly complex plot. I won't go into much more detail about the story, if only because I don't know it: the demo ends abruptly just when it is getting really interesting!
As noted in the quote, the game is looking for funding on Kickstarter. So please do help out if it interests you. We should all try to support developers that are producing games for Linux, as much as we possibly can.
The game looks intriguing, I hope that the developers are able to raise enough money to finish it. The more games we have for Linux, the better.
More Games Headed to Linux Via Steam
Speaking of games, I did a quick article this weekend about a big batch of games headed to Linux on Steam.
The folks at Steam have greenlit a huge batch of games, and many will be supporting Linux! This is great news for Linux gamers, we’re living in an amazing time. Remember when there were very, very few games available for Linux? Steam is changing that, we’re seeing an avalanche of new games coming to the Linux platform.
So far Steam is doing a great job at bringing the games to Linux. The list in the article has some great titles that we can all look forward to, so please do check it out.
As I noted in the column, game developers seem to be waking up to the need to move beyond the old Windows platform. The development of mobile gaming via Android and iOS have certainly helped make that argument. And now Linux is beginning to take off as a gaming platform, thus adding yet another non-Windows market for game developers.