back to article Scroogle busted again after Google tweak

Scroogle is once again offline after Google made yet another change to the auxiliary web interface the not-for-profit uses to serve up a privacy-friendly version of Mountain View's search engine. "Here we go again," Scroogle founder Daniel Brandt says in a post to the site. "We regret to announce that Google changed their output …

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FAIL

Random News

Some random website can't scrap from Google.

Why is this news?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes

It's news because plenty of people find it to be a valuable service.

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Stop

@MacRat: Fail indeed

Because scroogle is not "some random website." Scroogle is probably the best known, long established Google scraper. It also makes a strong point of being a non-commercial protest/public interest site regarding individual privacy on the Internet. Whether you think they are completely full of themselves or not, they are far more relevant than "some random website."

-d

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

marrow

Throw the troll and bone.

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because we do

News because so many use it. I've used it since 2006.

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Raz

Not a real title

Yes, saw that since yesterday night. I am using Bing now, no way I will use Google directly.

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FAIL

Out of the frying pan..

into the fire...

Enjoy your snookums with microsoft. Just be careful you know where Ballmer puts his hands!

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Edit

s/conflicting options/conflicting opinions/

No snide comment, everyone makes mistakes.

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JDX
Gold badge

My word...

Scroogle's site is TERRIBLE. Is it on purpose? Regardless, why isn't the search box on the main page?

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Plugins

I think many people use the plugin for Firefox (or search bar from Opera) to access Scroogle. I think its show of results are easy to read, pretty much plain test, and no rubbish cluttering the screen. But personal preference seldom counts for much these days (did it every?)

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JDX
Gold badge

Why do Google allow it?

It must cost them a load of resources and normally screen-scraping is considered dodgy... on this massive scale especially.

I love how the guy mentions "bloat" so much, rather than "change". Stupid bloated Google.

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Bronze badge

It could be much worse

I don't like Google's model but it is undeniable that they put an awful lot behind delivering their search results. If others want to write their own search engines, build their own service to a different model, then that's their choice but scraping is a somewhat questionable practice at best.

I don't particularly like it when I find my own site's contents simply copied and hosted elsewhere when it's not licensed for that and I suspect most wouldn't either.

Google could make life really difficult for scrapers if they put their mind to it so the real story is perhaps that they seem to have been so tolerant of it, and the background to why that might be.

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Anonymous Coward

Startingpage

www.startingpage.com provide secure Google searches without tracking, cookies, logging or profiling and it is all above board through an independent contract with Google.

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Black Helicopters

Probably a coincidence

About the same time scroogle went down again (Tuesday-ish) my employer's web filter blocked access to it. It is in the category "Anonymizer Services" and is therefore inappropriate for me to use at work. That's fine, I'll just use regular ol' google now and they can retain all the records they want on what I search for. My browser appears to be coming from corporate HQ three states away anyway. I am using the SSL version at least so my employer can't see my search terms.

Yes, I'm aware of ixquick, duckduckgo, clusty, etc. I tried all of them the last few times scroogle went titsup and found their results wanting.

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Pint

SSL version

"I am using the SSL version at least so my employer can't see my search terms."

If I go to the SSL version of Google and search for "coconuts", I get redirected to here;

https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1680&bih=806&q=coconuts&aq=f&aqi=g10&oq=&gs_rfai=

Your employer would have to be pretty slack not to notice the "q=coconuts" in that URL

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Anonymous Coward

re:SSL version

"Your employer would have to be pretty slack not to notice the "q=coconuts" in that URL"

It may be a good idea to learn how https works before criticising other posters.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: SSL Version

Hmmm ,looks like you need to learn what SSL is.

You might want to ask yourself why HTTPS search results display in plain text.

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oops

Perhaps, use the POST instead of the GET over HTTPS.

https://ssl.scroogle.org/sslnote.html

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JBH

Why should I trust Scroogle exactly?

"We don't use cookies, we don't save search terms and logs are deleted within 48 hours."

How do I know that's true? Am I really supposed to trust everything I read on the internet? Like those nice Nigerians chaps who are always offering to share their millions?

Thanks, but I think I'll stick with what I know for now.

Also, I know it's not really relevant to the subject in hand, but Scroogle could really use a facelift. Come back with an interface that looks like it was designed this century, then we'll talk...

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Silver badge

So,

get your hand in your pocket and donate...

Simples.

Dont sit there moaning about it not looking pretty, it's a free service.....

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WTF?

Dodgy Scroogle hating going on

There are some unusual comments here - I wonder where they could be coming from. Somewhere with a good panorama over the peaks perhaps? Scroogle has, for a long time, provided a great search alternative for those of us who despise Google's insatiable manic desire for data collection and mining. And a facelift? Oh, do be brief. Use Scroogle SSL in FF's search box and you never even get to see the home page, just the clean and useful results it produces.

Of course it all comes down to personal preference. If you don't care about your privacy, use Google. If you do, use another search engine with a good privacy policy, or use a service like Scroogle.

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Hold still, damn you

I can't feed off you parasitically if you keep moving around like that!

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Big Brother

Bloat

Google won the search engine war because it was lean, mean and focussed. OK they've got no responsibility whatsoever towards Scroogle but IMO it's a sign that they're getting fat, just like all the other new contenders do eventually.

So who's lining up to take the crown? Bing? Someone else? A rejuvenated Altavista?

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New owners?

Daniel doesn't sound very keen about keeping this service running anymore. I wonder if somebody else would be willing to take it over. A trusted authority like the EFF maybe?

Interestingly, DDG no longer seems to require JavaScript. I might try them out now:

https://duckduckgo.com/

Their privacy policy is superb: https://duckduckgo.com/privacy.html - They don't log IP addresses or User Agents, they have a Tor onion address, and they even go out of their way to prevent search terms leaking to the destination site via referers...

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Black Helicopters

Strange this one...

I'm surprised Google never sued them for having a similar name as is normal for the silicon valley companies...

Or maybe that's just how apple does it (ipood/anything with pod in the name etc)

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Thumb Down

Ttir,amcla/od

"Some random website can't scrap from Google.

Why is this news?"

This post made me wish there was a Let Me Scroogle That For You site.

Honestly, how uninformed do you need to be about a subject to stop yourself making a post about it...

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Title

Could someone please enlighten me as to the motivation for using services like this?

You don't like Google, so why not just use Bing, Yahoo or whoever you *do* like?

Or, maybe you like Google but don't like the idea that they are retaining information about you to be used for future ad targetting etc? Surely that is the contract that you enter with Google - you get to use their search engine and information about you is the cost of entry. After all, everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch.

In either case I'm afraid I don't have any sympathy for Scrooglers.

On a higher note, using Kant's Categorical Imperative, if everyone used Scroogle then Google's search service would die, meaning nobody could use Scroogle. Ergo using Scroogle is ethically bad :-)

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Silver badge

Oi, Kant.

If everybody trained to be a doctor, there would be no finance/support for people to train to become doctors, hence there would be no doctors. Ergo, training to become a doctor is ethically bad.

I could go on but you'll be pleased to hear that I won't.

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Headmaster

Doctor vs Kant

That logic doesn't work. If there's a good reason for everyone to become a doctor now and the training is available, there is absolutely no reason for that to stop in future. We don't stop funding for childrens' education just because they all go to school.

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Thumb Up

I, for 1, welcome it back...

Variety is the spice of life and free competition the essence of capitalism, right?=)

I don't hate Google, but I do hate having my all my eggs in the same basket, especially if that basket is in the hands of an American mega-corporation intent on ruling the (digital) Earth.

I use Scroogle as one of the quicksearch box search engines of Firefox, with the plugin I retrieved from http://mycroft.mozdev.org/search-engines.html.

I very seldom have to go to Scroogle's site, usually only when something like this interruption happens. So be it as it may, Scroogle is welcome back.

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