“There above the dead man’s torn body, man fought with demon under the pale light of the rising moon, with all the advantages with the demon, save one. And that one was enough to overcome all the others. For if abstract hate may bring into material substance a ghostly thing, may not courage, equally abstract, form a concrete weapon to combat that ghost”
—from SKULLS IN THE STARS by Robert E. Howard
One of the best search engines, and my search engine of choice Scroogle.org, and the one I’ve been recommending to people for years, has finally closed up shop.
Owned by privacy advocate Daniel Brandt, Scroogle offered search results gleaned from Google, but minus that site’s cookies and tracking features. So Scroogle more correctly was a search engine plug-in or cleaner; acting as a buffer between Google and the end user. Almost like a proxy.
Google was never happy with Scroogle. And almost from the first the non-profit Scroogle was subject to a variety of questionable harrasment style incidents. From someone buying up Scroogle.com and turning it into a porno site, so heaven help the unwary person looking for the Scroogle search engine, and forgetting to add the Org.
Of late the cold war between Google and Scroogle has escalated into a hot dispute, with Google actively barring traffic for extended periods of time to any of Brandt’s Scroogle servers. Necessitating frequent messages to users that ‘search results are not available and try again in 10 minutes’.
However the final straw came with concentrated, and very proficient denial of service attacks effectively shutting down Brandts Scroogle.org site. After days of fighting Brandt has officially announced he is closing down Scroogle.org and all his related sites and servers.
It’s a devastating blow to privacy advocates everywhere, as Brandt was also responsible for other sites such as Wikipedia Watch.
And the first argument I oft here from the uninitiated is “it’s Google’s info, they should be able to block who they want”. But that’s the rub, the info does not belong to Google, much like Scroogle they are middlemen redistributing other peoples’ site links and info. Scroogle had as much right to re-disseminate that info, as did Google.
But the larger question I have is why would hackers, an anti-big business, pro personal-privacy, bunch… attack the non-profit Scroogle. The simple answer is… they wouldn’t, they would attack Google rather than Scroogle… unless (like the speculated reasons behind Linux open-source attacks) they were hired to attack Scroogle.
Do I think someone paid to setup the pornographic domain Scroogle.com to scare people away from adopting or visiting Scroogle.org? Let’s put it this way, now that Brandt’s Scroogle.org has closed up shop, the pornographic Scroogle.com has also closed up shop.
Do I think someone hired hackers, to commit a crime by performing a DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attack on Scroogle? In effect attacking and shutting down a non-profit company.
Well it happened, so yes I do think it was paid for and premeditated.
And who do I think was behind driving Brandt’s Scroogle.org out of business? The same people you think.
It sends a troubling message across the board and one that will have to be addressed by all of us sooner rather than later. These bullies can’t keep taking our collective lunch money. :) .
In the interim here are a couple quick search engine alternatives to the now departed Scroogle.org. The best way I can see to honor Scroogle’s passing is by having even more people avoid using Google.
Scroogle.org may be dead, but its message seems to have spread to many Google alternatives.
The search engines are:
DUCK DUCK GO- Award winning search engine, it’s quick and easy to use but its results aren’t as accurate as Google’s results. Takes a bit more searching, but I personally don’t mind. Plus that Duck is just sooo CUTE! (Did I say that out loud? Doh!)
A few others are:
Both of the above are owned by the same Dutch company and I’m still testing them, so the jury is out, but so far so good.
Pages helpful in researching this article were the following:
Well that's all for now folks. Come back tomorrow for more news you can use! :) .
“Kane fought with his arms and his feet and his hands, and he was aware at last that the ghost began to give back before him, that the fearful laughter changed to screams of baffled fury. For man’s only weapon is courage that flinches not from the Gates of Hell itself, and against such not even the legions of Hell can stand.”
—from SKULLS IN THE STARS by Robert E. Howard