Mozilla's Firefox & Apple's Safari browsers add anti-Facebook and Google privacy protections

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Google hasn’t heard from me in months:

I heard about it here first, formerly ixquick dot com.

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Is it just me, or are their search results kinda crappy? Like crappier than google’s crappy search results. SEO has ruined the Internet.

There are some occasions where I still need to fall back to Google (usually for image search, though DDG still has a “view image” button, so it’s still my first stop), but generally speaking, I don’t find them to be bad. Usually the stuff I have trouble searching for on DDG is also fairly difficult to find on Google.

One nice thing is that if you have DDG set as your browser’s default search engine, you can use their bangs right from the address bar.


That was the case even as recently as a year ago. When I first started using DDG I would resort to startpage at least half the time. More recently I’ve found that DDG often has better results! The only reason I know this is up until recently I still had a couple of browsers defaulted to startpage, now they’re all DDG and I haven’t used startpage at all for over a month.
That said, the fault may lie elsewhere, as the last time I used them was for something extremely esoteric and actual Google was the winner. The takeaway there is that Google may be “de-tuning” results for searches from startpage proxies. :unamused:

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I’m pretty sure NoScript (and now uMatrix) have always been preventing Google, Facebook, and anyone else from tracking my movements around the web when I’m not on their site. Unless there’s a technique that can do this without client-side scripting.

But it’s good to see browsers making improvements in this area. Script blockers are certainly not for everyone and can be quite a hassle to manage.


Yeah, and Google periodically re-engineers its algorithm to “punish” sites that attempt to approximate content (just to get your eyeballs on the page) by overusing keywords, etc.


A lot of places lump “the tech companies” together, but Apple is really quite different from Facebook and Google. You really are Apple’s customer because you pay them for real, tangible things. Jokes aside about how you’re probably over-paying, the fact remains that Apple’s business model involves selling you real stuff. They have no need for your data.

Facebook and Google, on the other hand, don’t sell you anything real. And their customers are the advertisers who them for the ad space, not you who use their services for free. So the only thing they have to offer their customers is your data, which is why they couldn’t care less about privacy protections and are working to actively circumvent new privacy protections.


I prefer’s UI - plus with bang commands you can add “!s” if you want to fall back to Startpage.


This is still a choice they make. Hardware makers could try to take two bites of the Apple, just like how cable TV eventually added ads.


Thanks to a tip from a bbs member a few months back, I’ve switched all of my non-work related browsing to pass through the Tor Browser; built on a modified Firefox framework.

I believe that it’s a secure way of browsing, but am open to further schooling on the subject. Since I’m old and shit.

If Google wants to track my work browsing habits, they’re welcome to. It’s some boring stuff.

Apple notes that cookies can appear in unexpected places, such as sites that embed “like” and “share” buttons.

Like Boing Boing?


I would find the whole, “You are not a product” message a bit easier to believe if they didn’t have the central woman wearing a hat with their logo.

That said, this is a browser that you would stand behind?

ETA Testing it on my phone now; it’s moving pretty fast.

ETA2 Yes, I’m liking this. I still might stick with the Tor browser on my iMac, but I’m going to try Brave on my phone for awhile.

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Too bad Safari is a crappy browser. My wife has a Mac and she’s constantly complaining that this or that website is broken, my answer is generally “stop using Safari, use a real browser (Chrome) instead”. Indeed, when she uses Chrome instead, it works.

Ghostery on my Firefox counts 3 trackers on this forum page alone


First time I’ve heard of start page. I’ve been using DDG for years now (I’ve even contributed a couple of patches to their source code for some esoteric !s). I’m a big fan of DDG’s philosophy and privacy. Their search results are good enough, but I still resort to the occasional g! or gi!. Though I will look at start page.


Brave is my default browser on mobile devices, with Firefox + the usual protections as the backup, for sites that are a problem for Brave.
I think it is a good compromise between speed, security, usability and hardware requirements. At least for now.


I use Safari for everything, and have never had problems with it – the number of times I’ve had to fall back to Chrome over the years is minuscule, and half the time it turns out the site is just broken, period. Obviously I don’t move in the same online circles as your wife so I probably don’t have the same online haunts that she does, but “it’s not a real browser” is nonsense. It’s a perfectly capable browser that performs better than both Chrome and Firefox in my experience.

My only real beef with it right now is that Apple is rapidly deprecating the HTML/CSS/JS-based extension platform and pushing devs to use a new app-based extension platform. I can understand why from a security standpoint – app-based extensions have way less insight into what a user is doing than the old platform, which is in line with Apple’s stated goal of protecting user privacy – but the new platform is still severely lacking in features compared to the existing one, and the barrier to entry into that market is way higher. So while it’s great that my ad blocker can’t spy on my activity in exchange for blocking ads because Safari just loads a pre-compiled list of blocking rules from the app’s extension, it also sucks that at the moment, it’s impossible to build something like Quickscript, Stylish, or AnyList’s recipe importer with app extensions, and there would be little motivation to try because now you have to build a whole app shell to stuff them into.