Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from January 29, 2018 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Upcoming events:

Mon. Sep 27th, 6pm - 7pm: Joe Turow, author of "The Voice Catchers" (More info...)

Options January 29, 2018: Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo

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Techtonic meetup! Sign up for WFMU Movie Night on Saturday, Feb 10 at Monty Hall - doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm. We'll be watching The Road Movie, a full-length documentary made from Russian dashcam videos.

This week, a conversation with Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn't track you.

Here's the DuckDuckGo announcement of their new "privacy essentials" add-on for your Web browser.

Gabriel's answer to "Why should I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?"

But first...

Last week's tech news:

At Davos, aka the World Economic Forum, billionaire George Soros listed some global problems: Nuclear weapons. Democracy in crisis. Google and Facebook.

Wait.. say that list again? Yes - Soros said that Google and Facebook are a "menace" that have become "obstacles to innovation." Read for yourself: Here's the transcript of Soros's remarks.

But Soros is hardly the only influential pointing out problems.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, gave this suggestion at Davos, on how to regulate Facebook and other social media companies: "I think that you do it exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry. Here's a product: Cigarettes. They're addictive, they're not good for you." Watch Marc Benioff's comments on CNBC.

Techtonic friends, it's time to learn how to live without Google and Facebook. Or at the very least, to how to use them less.

- - -

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Gabriel Weinberg is founder and CEO of Duck Duck Go, a search engine that doesn't track you (unlike Google or Facebook). Here Gabriel describes how Duck Duck Go is thriving by treating its users with basic decency.
  Mark's intro  
0:01:38 (Pop‑up)
  Interview with Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of Duck Duck Go  
0:13:55 (Pop‑up)
  Your calls and comments  
0:40:01 (Pop‑up)
Tarrus Riley  Micro Chip   Options   0:55:47 (Pop‑up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!!
Avatar 6:02pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

They have DuckDuckGo as the default here @ the library I must use...
No tracking !
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Michael 98145:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm RomanDogBird:

Goo le?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Fuzzy:

Always set as my default search engine.
  6:05pm melinda:

Hi all. I just started using duck duck last week.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm queems:

i just started using it on my phone this morning!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Fuzzy:

I am also excited to recommend Firefox 59 (Quantum) with built-in tracker blocking that you can set to "always on" -- it's fast, and it's great! Especially with Cookie Autodelete extension, my online privacy has been enhanced 100%!
  6:10pm bayowulf:

Question for Mr Weinberg - Does a !g search get tracked by google? Thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Michael 98145:

"From the middle of the 19th century, Davos ... became a popular destination for the sick and ailing because the microclimate in the high valley was deemed excellent by doctors and recommended for lung disease patients. Robert Louis Stevenson, who suffered from tuberculosis, wintered in Davos in 1880 upon the recommendation of his Edinburgh physician ..."
  6:15pm melinda:

Haha, regulatory disruption, yes.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm ultradamno:

I've been using Duck Duck for a couple of months pretty much exclusively. It's no Alta Vista, but still pretty cool.
Avatar 6:17pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

@ultradamno: What's the advantage of AltaVista?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all, thanks for showing up! James, Rev Rabbit, Michael, RDB, Fuzzy, Melinda, queems, Fuzzy, bayowulf, ultradamno!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm queems:

remember lycos
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm ultradamno:

A little tongue in cheek, RRN63
Avatar 6:18pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Ah. Explains...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Mark Hurst:

Alta Vista, Lycos, Infoseek, Webcrawler, Inktomi (and others) were all early search engines in the 90s - first beaten out by Yahoo, then by Google.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Fuzzy:

Pour one out for gopher.
Avatar 6:18pm northguineahills:

I've been using DuckDuckGo for most searches for about 3+years.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm queems:

Avatar 6:19pm herb.nyc:

dumb me, i've never heard of private browsing. really. smart me, i don't use private browsing.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm queems:

i'm really looking forward to searching for all of my weird medical problems without being tracked
  6:20pm SeanG:

this is amazing!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Michael 98145:

the closest i ever get to google is bing ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Fuzzy:

I've been using DDG for years now -- even got me some cool free stickers!
  6:21pm seth from muddy creek:

This segment is great. Thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Fuzzy:

Is it misleading, or is it a misunderstanding on the user's part?
Avatar 6:22pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...if you have to ask...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Phil with the phone:

@Fuzzy how'd you get the stickers? Asking for a friend.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Mark Hurst:

@Seth & @SeanG, thanks! @Fuzzy, I would guess that Google would say "the users just misunderstand us... 'Incognito' is just a marketing name - it doesn't actually MEAN you'll be incognito"
  6:23pm JakeGould:

Private browsing protects you from other people who use your computer from snooping on you. Google knows all!
Avatar 6:24pm northguineahills:

My google search profile says I'm a male in his 60s, If only, I have 20+ less years before the sweet, sweet , relief of death (I have a lot of boring interests, apparently)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Fuzzy:

@Phil: It was a promo that DDG offered years ago when they were just starting out -- just emailed them my snailmail address. I don't know if they are still available for the asking or not.
  6:24pm JakeGould:

Also, I do web development for a living and kinda quit the content/ad game back in 2011. Back then things were reasonable, ad sizes were consistent and videos did not autoplay. 7 years later it’s another, obnoxious world.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Mark Hurst:

Things have certainly changed online in the past few years.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Michael 98145:

us geezers never foresaw all this back in '89
Avatar 6:27pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

The promise of Decentralized connectivity really went out the window...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Michael 98145:

at least it gave us downstreamers WFMU
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Fuzzy:

Firefox 59 beta!
Avatar 6:28pm geezerette:

I use Duck Duck Go & Firefox.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Are we not men? We are Devos!
Avatar 6:29pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

@Micahel98145: Via a specific Browser & a Provider...
Avatar 6:30pm glenn:

so instead of googling drunk sorority squirt queens, i what, duck them?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm Michael 98145:

i still have my 2005 copy of "don't click on the blue e!" and the 1.5 CD of firefox
  6:31pm JakeGould:

Google’s sway over the Internet is crazy. Nowadays it’s Facebook or a Google search… But now, what does a Google search provide for the small guys? Very little.

Search for “Weather” and you get Google’s internal weather results first before any small service.

If you are a designer and want to do RGB to HEX conversion? Google tosses their results first.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm queems:

Avatar 6:31pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

DuckDuck seems very good @ image search. Does Google have any real monopoly on a better wider Search? Does Duck have any special virtues in this way (the small matter of PRIVACY aside) ?
  6:32pm JakeGould:

Ever hear of “Canvas fingerprinting?” Creepy way to ID a user without using traditional tracking techniques. Interesting technique and pretty creepy. en.wikipedia.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Fuzzy:

I hate to admit it, but I think Google Image Search is better.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Mark Hurst:

Years ago Microsoft got in anti-trust trouble for the same behavior, trying to kill Netscape in favor of their wonderful Internet Explorer browser.
  6:33pm seth from muddy creek:

Is the tracking equal for public vs private entity websites?
Avatar 6:34pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

@Fuzzy: Are we a self-fulfilling prophecy by using Google more?
Is there anything comparable to faceborg for Networking??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Carmichael:

I remember Netscape ...
  6:34pm JakeGould:

@RevolutionRabbitNov63: The conundrum is for a system like reverse image search to work best it needs more data. So the more data it gets, the better it is and it ends up being the dominant tool. And it uses all of the data. It’s a screwy and scary codependency model. It’s the irony of absorbing data.
  6:35pm JakeGould:

Nutscrape versus Internet Exploder
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Fuzzy:

@Jake: yeah, that's a tough one to beat without using Noscript disabling Javascript altogether, which is hardly a practical solution.
Avatar 6:36pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...like - what's close to iTunes for all my Audio in one place?...
  6:36pm JakeGould:

@RevolutionRabbitNov63: Exactly.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Mark Hurst:

I'm also interested in that question - if Duck Duck Go replaces Google, then what more community-minded product could replace Facebook? iTunes? etc.
  6:37pm JakeGould:

@MarkHurst: Go back to the Usenet.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Fuzzy:

@RR63: I admit it's tough to kick the Google when you've been using Gmail for years and that's the email address that everyone knows me at; and I use an Android phone too. A real conundrum.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm ultradamno:

A My Deja relaunch?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Mark Hurst:

@Fuzzy I'd recommend FastMail.com for email - just send out the new email address to friends :)
Avatar 6:38pm βrian:

I toggle javascript on and off all the time, just trying to maintain some level of security hygiene.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Mark Hurst:

You can also set up your Gmail account to forward all its mail to a folder in your FastMail account.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Michael 98145:

... not to mention many employers are migrating their private email systems to Gmail and Outlook. smart move, huh?
  6:39pm JakeGould:

@βrian: Use Mozilla FireFox and install Privacy Badger and AdBlock Plus.
Avatar 6:40pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Thx for fastmail tip.
Harry Shearer on 'LeShow' likes reporting on 'smart home' hacks...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Fuzzy:

@Mark: I have a Proton Mail address set up and ready to go, when I finally decide to "go dark" to most everyone except friends and family.
Avatar 6:40pm βrian:

+1 re FastMail. It also makes it easy to set up alias e-mail addresses if you don't want to expose your primary address.
  6:41pm JakeGould:

Perhaps the future of the Internet is local meshed networks and LANs? So like a local LAN that is literally just for you and your neighbors? Has anybody done that? Like a useful captive portal that is like a hyperlocal Craigslist?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I've been thinking of getting a Google Pixel 2 phone. Will that track me? Is there a DuckDuckGo package to block its tracking of me or a DuckDuckGo phone I could buy?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Mark Hurst:

Call us at 201-209-9368. Question - What do you think about switching away from Google (as well as, potentially, other Big Tech services)? What's your experience been in trying out alternatives?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Phil with the phone:

Yeah, what Mark said.
Avatar 6:42pm Folsom:

what where the last two browsers Gabriel mentioned?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Phil with the phone:

@Folsom Brave & Vivaldi
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm queems:

i'm uncomfortable with the idea of switching away from my gmail account because it is just so ubiquitous. and i'm uncomfortable that i'm uncomfortable about it. but i already left facebook like 5 years ago, so i guess that is a start
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Fuzzy:

I have Brave on my phone -- it's pretty good, but might switch to Firefox if it has the same tracker-blocking functionality as the Windows version.
Avatar 6:44pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Oh - fastmail has a fee...ok...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Fuzzy:

@queems: ditto.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Michael 98145:

guess freedom isn't free
  6:45pm sim:

Hey, have they had Cliff Stoll on?
Avatar 6:46pm herb.nyc:

switching away from google? i'm like queems. but maybe if my circle of friends and family do so, then i will.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Ken From Hyde Park:

How about the report today that fitness trackers used by soldiers in Afghanistan are disclosing their every move?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm queems:

@fuzzy it makes me skin crawl to think about how intertwined my whole life is with my dumb gmail account. bank account, insurance, etc
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Fuzzy:

10minutemail.com is a free temporary email address service that I haven't actually used yet, but sounds like it might help in the privacy wars.
  6:46pm JakeGould:

I believe the web browser is called “Brave”: brave.com

“Vidalia” is what TOR’s web browser used to be called.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Michael 98145:

has the smoke cleared regarding net neutrality? don't think so. wait till $$ is involved.
  6:47pm sim:

IceWeasel and Palefox are also secure browsers focused on privacy.
Avatar 6:47pm βrian:

I have no problem with the FastMail fee, since I really do need e-mail and the functionality is good. Plus since I own my own domain, I can switch if I want to without losing my permanent address.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Fuzzy:

@queems I know it -- my gmail address is my main email. That's not right -- I need to change that.
  6:48pm Lixiviated Life:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm queems:

@fuzzy same! at the time, i just didn't even think about it, because it seemed so much better than my previous yahoo email address
Avatar 6:49pm geezerette:

We need to skip ahead to actual telepathy. (Yes, I know there's no such thing.)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Fuzzy:

Google Ate My Balls.
Avatar 6:50pm Bas NL:

From Wikipedia: "Some of DuckDuckGo's source code is free software hosted at GitHub under the Apache 2.0 License,[10] but the core is proprietary."
Avatar 6:50pm northguineahills:

I work for a small environmental startup, and at 41, am the youngest member. I'm trying to navigate the whole organization away from gmail, and have gotten us away from sharing data via gmail. Baby steps...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm melinda:

Ugh, hadn't really thought about the gmail issue. It's not my primary email but it works better on my ipod so all my regular mail is forwarded to it.
  6:50pm JakeGould:

@northguineahills: The thing is that the alternative to Google mail in most offices is… Microsoft Exchange.
Avatar 6:51pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'If it's Free - *you* are the Product.'
...oh yeah, that's right...
  6:51pm J:

Is Proton free?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm melinda:

I wouldn't mind a small fee, I just need it to work on my mobile device.
Avatar 6:52pm βrian:

I know a lot of people who pay to watch TV. I just can't do that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Fuzzy:

I have a Proton Mail free account -- thinking about going paid for a small monthly amount and adding their VPN to the mix. Oh -- and I should actually start using it and get off the Gmail.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Michael 98145:

what JakeGould just said
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Ken From Hyde Park:

The school district here has issued ChromeBooks to the students and the teachers are starting to use the Google education package. Ruh-ro. At least it isn't Apple-focused, right?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm queems:

i remember when only college students were on facebook
  6:53pm Lixiviated Life:

Pretty sure protonmail is free
  6:53pm J:

  6:53pm JakeGould:

What about Ello? ello.co
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Fuzzy:

Proton has a basic free account, and 2 or 3 paid tiers with more storage and such.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Michael 98145:

this is a great discussion. you don't hear this sort of thing on NPR :)
Avatar 6:54pm geezerette:

Can we replace FB with...faces?!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm chris:

google OS laptops
Avatar 6:55pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

This is a great Program - super relevant - useful even...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm queems:

now i'm having an existential email crisis
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Fuzzy:

The Proton VPN service just started -- there's a free option, as well as paid options with more servers and faster speeds.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Michael 98145:

i'm prettier on facebook. oh, wait, i'm not on facebook.
  6:55pm Gilly:

Signing up for Protonmail now
  6:55pm SeanG:

how do you get to that "youtube-nocookie" site?
Avatar 6:56pm northguineahills:

Yahoo is my dummy account.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm ultradamno:

I still have a Hotmail throwaway acct
Avatar 6:57pm βrian:

Purge your cookies early and often. I do it several times per hour.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Michael 98145:

interesting protonmail is "Based in Switzerland" like a bank account
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm queems:

dare i say, toss your cookies
  6:58pm JakeGould:

@Brian: Hate to break the news to you… It’s not just cookies anymore!
Avatar 6:58pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

This Program is Podcast too...that could be handy...
Avatar 6:58pm Honeybear:

There are plenty of "social network-like" sites that aren't FB - Reddit and Quora are probably the largest. But they're only partially "social". In general, the more "social" you are, the more... FB you are. And the nature of monopolies being what they are... there can kind of be only one "big" social network -- which right now is FB.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm ultradamno:

Cut out cookies altogether, go Web TV.
Avatar 6:58pm βrian:

Thanks, Mr Mark Hurst. Good to hear these things being discussed, and sanely.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Fuzzy:

@Michael: yes, that is a strong selling point!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm queems:

rip myspace
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm chris:

thanks, Mark. great one!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Michael 98145:

... there are also Flash Cookies ...
Avatar 6:59pm Jeff Moore:

I really don't recall examples of underhanded or deceptive practices by Google - sure, it's disturbing that they're so pervasive (monocultures are generally worrisome) but AFAIK they do what they say in their Terms of Service (and I've seen them send warnings - with multiple followups - when the privacy policy for a product was scheduled to change from the product's initial policy). Because they're so big, they could turn on us and there'd be little to do about it - but so far they seem to behave impressively honorably.

By contrast - I don't trust Facebook as far as I could throw their gigantic datacenters. They routinely change how they use your data, don't announce the changes ahead of time, and keep moving where you go in their settings to opt out of stuff. They just seem to act in bad faith really consistently.
  6:59pm JakeGould:

MySpace ate my balls.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Fuzzy:

@Brian: check out Cookie Autodelete extension for Firefox.
Avatar 6:59pm Davee:

I've been using DUCK DUCK GO for 10 years now and I am very happy!.
Avatar 7:00pm βrian:

A good discussion topic: Are there open source authentication sites?
Avatar 7:00pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

How many times has gmail been hacked?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm Fuzzy:

Good stuff-- see y'all next week! Thanks Mark!
Avatar 7:05pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
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