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  • Showing only topics in ~tech with the tag "search engines". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. How are you dealing with AI generated results in your searches?

      I'm finding it more and more frustrating having to parse the things I'm actually looking for from what feels like a deluge of rubbish. Are there any strategies, extensions, add-ons, etc that...

      I'm finding it more and more frustrating having to parse the things I'm actually looking for from what feels like a deluge of rubbish. Are there any strategies, extensions, add-ons, etc that people are using to filter results?

      46 votes
    2. Privacy woes and autonomy, where do I go now?

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent. Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of...

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent.

      Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of privacy and autonomy, without ever winning. DuckDuckGo is my search engine, use a paid mail provider, I try to stay away from anything Google and Meta, use only Signal, ad blocking everywhere, hosting most services locally, etc. It seems, however, to make no difference in the long run. The user-profile-building just seems to enter the home faster than I can mitigate it. Kids install some new app or new hardware ends up listening in, privacy infringement is there.

      The reason I'm starting this post now is because I switched ISP and TV provider recently, but it has been on my mind for a long time. Finding one that isn't owned by one of huge 3 parent companies, is almost impossible here. After a year of deciding, I finally figured it was time to throw in the towel and just pick the least bad option. Yesterday was the day of switching and it has been such a frustrating process.

      The provided router doesn't allow me to turn off its WLAN. I live in a city, so the airwaves are already crowded enough as it is. No need to keep that antenna on, but screw me, that's not possible. Opened up the device to just remove the card, but everything is soldered on the board and disconnecting the antennas didn't do shit.
      It's possible to buy a modem/router myself, but it'll need to follow their requirements and will set me back $200. It would be okay if the rest of the service was great, but here comes the TV part!

      The device they use for TV is apparently Android TV. I assumed it would be IPTV with this subscription, but Android TV isn't that. Booting the device makes it immediately clear they are here to harvest data. It makes me so unhappy that a service I'm paying for, is also making money on the side by collecting data. To get a quick idea of what's being done, I routed the box through wireshark to sniff DNS traffic. It's riddled with domains used for data collection and ads. That combined with the features this box wants me to agree to (location, using the mic, access local network, sign into PlayStore, make a profile including real life information) does not make me trust this device. So I've decided to not play and will be sending it back.

      People around me are pretty conscious about what they do online, but compared to them I'm highly paranoid. Wherever I look, there are privacy issues. It seems impossible to escape from. How are other people dealing with this?

      UPDATE: I don't know if anybody is really interested, but I thought I would update anyway. I decided to listen to my gut and I cancelled the subscription. It feels like the best decision I've made in a long time. It's nice to feel like I'm still a little bit in charge, even though I know that's also just a false sense of autonomy. Suck it, Google! You're not the boss of me :-)

      33 votes
    3. Thoughts on the current state of discoverability and search

      I guess I'll post another thoughtful analysis rant on tech trends. It has been mentioned here in a few threads already but I simply wanted to try to start a focused discussion. Personally I first...

      I guess I'll post another thoughtful analysis rant on tech trends. It has been mentioned here in a few threads already but I simply wanted to try to start a focused discussion.

      Personally I first noticed significant degradation of search functionality around 2018 or so, while specifically Google was mentioned at least as far back as 2016. But it is not simply Google or even just general search engines. Any random site specific search functionality or discoverability algorithms on various sites share these trends too.

      It really seems that the focus is simply on delivering as many results as possible with actual quality or even relevance being somewhere on the tail end of priorities. It is not even just lack of(useful, consistent) search operators, lack of transparency, lack of structured search possibilities, lack of sorting options, lack of granularity - it is the simple disregard for the basic intent of the query with some implementations sometimes being actually more accurate with fewer keywords with no option to modify this behavior.

      It is especially damaging for(at least my) ability to research a topic. A decade and half ago I could go in with a topic I had no idea about and emerge two hours later with a very basic but likely mostly accurate and slightly in-depth overview by refining my searches. Now I'm lucky to get one single thoughtful blog post or discussion among dozens or tutorials, 10-bests and ads with the query being almost completely disregarded and keywords being straight up ignored to deliver this deluge of both low quality and mostly completely irrelevant results.

      Are there any projects, search engines or anything other that aim to deliver actually useful, steerable, user directed results?

      34 votes
    4. Kagi recently changed their dark mode, fix inside

      Since I know quite a few tilderinos use Kagi (far higher percentage than the standard population) I figured this might interest some of you. Kagi pushed out a new Dark theme that is not dark. It's...

      Since I know quite a few tilderinos use Kagi (far higher percentage than the standard population) I figured this might interest some of you.

      Kagi pushed out a new Dark theme that is not dark. It's possibly even worse than Googles non-dark official Dark mode.

      Here is a CSS fix you can throw in your custom css section in settings that I whipped up for some people in the Discord, should be useful.

          :root {  
        --custom-bg-color: #090c10;
      
        --search-result-gap: 20px;
        --search-result-gap-mobile: 10px;
        --app-bg: var(--custom-bg-color);
        --search-result-title: #fff;
        --primary-visited: #aaa;
        /*! --quick-search-bg: #000; */
        --color-search-input: var(--custom-bg-color);
        --result-item-title-border: rgba(255,255,255,0.25);
        --search-result-date-bg: rgba(255,255,255,0.15);
      }
      
      .__sri-time {
        font-size: 12px;
        border-radius: 2px;
        margin-right: 3px
      }
      
      .__sri-desc {
        padding-top: 3px;
      }
      
      .__sri-title {
        margin-bottom: 5px;
      }
      
      .__sri-url .__sri_url_path_box {
        margin-top: 0px;
      }
      
      @media screen and (max-width: 1300px) {
        .search-result, .sri-group {
          padding-top: 0px !important;
          padding-bottom: 0px !important;
          margin-bottom: var(--search-result-gap-mobile) !important;
        }
      }  
      

      This fixes the colors, padding, and some other general weirdness they introduced. They also don't follow their own variable specs so I introduced two new ones in there so you can modify to your liking (namely padding between links on mobile and desktop).

      26 votes
    5. Does anyone know a search engine for news articles only?

      I’m looking for a search engine just for news; kind of a Google News competitor but something independent. Any ideas? I know of Ground News, it’s already pretty good though it’s less search engine...

      I’m looking for a search engine just for news; kind of a Google News competitor but something independent. Any ideas?

      I know of Ground News, it’s already pretty good though it’s less search engine and more aggregator. Open to hear more.

      18 votes
    6. Asking advice re search engines, search technique

      So, in the past, I have been able to find new poems I enjoy by reading a critical essay about poetry and taking the referenced poem and author and typing the information into Google search. It...

      So, in the past, I have been able to find new poems I enjoy by reading a critical essay about poetry and taking the referenced poem and author and typing the information into Google search. It used to be that that technique turned up a copy of the text of the poem and typically more poems by the author 95 percent of the time for me.

      This year, when I try that same technique, Google gives me general reference articles about the life of the poet, or news about celebrities with similar names (not the same name at all), or just no search results. Does anyone know what happened? Can anyone help me use the internet to find new poems again?

      Thanks very much

      21 votes