THE SEARCH ENGINE WARS!? Google vs. Scroogle!??

“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, and the one I’ve been recommending to people for years, has finally closed up shop.

Scroogle News Story

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 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 site. After days of fighting Brandt has officially announced he is closing down 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 to scare people away from adopting or visiting Let’s put it this way, now that Brandt’s has closed up shop, the pornographic 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 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 The best way I can see to honor Scroogle’s passing is by having even more people avoid using Google. 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!)

YIPPY– My backup search engine is, formerly called Works great and is as accurate as Google.

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:

Scroogle demise News Story written by Kelly Fiveash


Search engine alternatives by Chetan Pinto

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

Urgent Request! Haiti Liberte

I want to forward this urgent update I just received from HURAH. I’ve spoken of them and the Haitian situation before. If you can give, please do.

It’s a complicated situation in Haiti.

I’m always inclined to side with the man willing to take up arms to protect his own. His hearth and his home.

Because I can understand the need for Militancy. Militancy in the face of oppression is what freed Haiti in the past. Demanding on their feet, not asking on their knees.

But there is a difference between Militancy, and anarchy.

And at the same time, if a non-violent approach can win the day, can save lives AND liberty, it should be, with all effort… pursued.

So, I choose my charities… with care.

You look at a lot of charities and 90% of what you give goes into “administrative fees” which is a fancy way of saying in the pocket of the people who don’t need it. I look for a charity that answers your questions, and actually uses the bulk of your donation for the people you’re trying to help. Also one that is communicative about how the funds are being used.

I like charities like that.

I like this one.

Check out the website, and when you’ve satisfied yourself you can say the same… give.


I know the battles are many, and the resources few.

But the winning is not won in our high days, but in our low. When you have nothing left to give, and nothing left to fight with, is when the fighting and the giving matters most.

Victory only promised, to those who will not, ever, ever, content themselves with defeat. Not their own. And not their brother’s.

To those who will never surrender.

Not even to themselves.

From LA to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Haiti.

To Haiti.

A country, one of the first to crack the shackles of the slave trade, that is owed a debt of gratitude by an entire hemisphere; and that debt has only been repaid with bloody horror by our governments.

But increasingly that’s all governments have to give. To give to others and their own.


I ask more of myself.

And I ask more of you.

Now is the time to fight.

Now is the time to give.

Today you can give just money to help another’s problems, and perhaps avert a quickly descending tomorrow… where you must pay in blood to resolve your own.

The request is as follows:


Dear Reader,

While 15 of the members, children and wives, of the Grand Ravine Human Rights Council (CHRC-GR), are hidden away in safe housing because of death threats, other supporters of the CHRC-GR who want its mission to continue have come out to help. (Photos: temporary replacements for the leaders-in-hiding attend a special meeting Tuesday, 2.17.09.)

Those in hiding as well as these others who have stepped up to do the work need our help. Financial always. Back-up work like helping to raise money, write grants, to do the tasks that keep Hurah, Inc. viable (serving on the board, doing database management, website maintenance) more than ever. E-mail me to volunteer:

AUMOHD is a champion defender of the poor anonymous champions on the grassroots who want to promote a peaceful way of striving for their rights, all their community’s rights. They need help. They have worked without pay and with a small ($200 per week) grant from Hurah, Inc. to help out with communication, transportation, court expenses, etc.

NOW IT IS RENT TIME! THE RENT IS DUE ON MARCH 15 OTHERWISE AUMOHD LOSES A PRECIOUS RESOURCE, THE OFFICE. The office has served as a neutral place away from the battlegrounds of the inner city neighborhoods for victims to meet. It has a large meeting room, a reception area, a courtyard for large gatherings. The rent has been raised to $3000USD annual. Any gift you can give will be appreciated. Go to our website and click on DONATE (2008 has been a horrible disaster with multiple storms, famine. All Haitians have been majorly strapped on top of being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Later in the month in our regular bulletin we’ll publish a startling, ground-breaking report of negotiations, face-to-face meetings between AUMOHD/CHRC-GR and armed men who have given the death threats to the CHRC-GR. Because of Atty. Fanfan’s reputation for really working for the poor, these men have asked to meet with him instead of threatening him also. A brief dialog was entertained where each side laid their position on the table.

The nature of things in GR as in the past is that politically motivated turf battles are waged with guns, even massacres, to control voters. Sometimes the police are involved. Right now the police seem to be incapable of dealing with the murder of two policemen in the area.We are working on an inter national campaign to put the spotlight on the lawlessness in Grand Ravin and to get the State involved in constructive ways to re-establish order–instead of the violent campaigns waged in previous years.

The CHRC-GR was instituted by AUMOHD to pioneer a path to another approach, non-violent advocacy for justice. The armed men are objecting to Franzco and the CHRC-GR working with the police to control criminal behavior because they have been accused of crimes. They think that AUMOHD is tied to foreigners with lots of money. They think that Franzco and the CHRC-GR promoting non-violence is a disservice to the community. A very, very complicated and delicate state of affairs.

Please consider helping us support these non-violent champions of human rights!

Thank you,


Tom Luce, President
Hurah, Inc. – Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti
In Partnership with AUMOHD, a Haitian Human Rights Advocacy Group 800 US Advocates – a Vermont 501(c)(3) 1515 Fairview St. Apt. 3
Berkeley, California 94703-2317
To donate (tax exempt org 501(c)(3))
Joan Rae, Treasurer
P.O. Box 418
Fayston, Vt. 05673