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Messages - Brad

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Economics & Investing / Re: The land that ambition forgot (Europe)
« on: June 18, 2021, 02:04:47 PM »
Twitter meme: European vs American out of office

Traffic / Re: Brave Search Engine Preview - SEJ
« on: June 18, 2021, 01:57:44 PM »
I found this from March on Wired:

Eich says Brave isn’t starting its search engine or index from scratch and won’t be using indexes from Bing or other tech firms. Instead Brave has purchased Tailcat, an offshoot of German search engine Cliqz, which was owned by Hubert Burda Media and closed down last year. The purchase includes an index of the web that’s been created by Tailcat and the technology that powers it. Eich says that some users will be given the ability to opt-in to anonymous data collection to help fine-tune search results.

“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich says. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it's getting bigger.” He admits that the index will not be anywhere near as deep as Google’s but that the top results it surfaces are largely the same.

I tried Cliqz when it was out.  I was not impressed and it looked like they were copying Google's listings for page 1.

So the index is only going to be like 1st page SERP results for popular terms.  Shallow.  They definitely need backfill and I don't blame them for not using Bing for backfill because every man and his dog are using Bing.

I don't have a demographic on who uses Brave browser, but I can't see an index that shallow flying for anybody but newbies.  Plus there is the question of how long can they afford Google backfill and or how long will G provide it?

It is decent of them to provide a Mojeek link.

I think the days of Google dictating some new standard and everybody just obeying is nearly over.

Hardware & Technology / Re: It's the charging stations, stupid
« on: June 17, 2021, 04:48:23 PM »
> suburban

And most suburban 2 car households will probably keep one gas car because of longer distance trips and one electric for the foreseeable future.

Short term: you can't even get an electrician to wire a new home, good luck finding one to install a Level 2 charger in your garage.  But note, there is a business opportunity there for a company that only installs home chargers within a reasonable time.

Do we still have 3 - 4 different proprietary charging stations: Tesla, Toyota and somebody else?  Can you just carry around an adapter or are you locked in?

We really need to saturate the cities and suburbs with fast charging stations like we once did with gas/service stations and worry about lining the transcontinental Interstates later.  Most EV's are going to be used locally for now.

Traffic / Brave Search Engine Preview - SEJ
« on: June 17, 2021, 01:44:08 PM »
Sneak Preview of Brave Search – A Challenger to Google

It appears Brave is building it's own index.  However, you have the option of using Google backfill, somehow blended with Brave's results.  Interesting.

DuckDuckGrowth over the last 12 months: 50M+ app downloads, 55% search traffic increase, #2 search engine on mobile in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands & more.

That #2 search engine on mobile caught my attention.  Sure you can be a poor second to Google and still be #2, but it's the fact that they are bumping Bing from the second slot that seems telling to me.  I think that DDG privacy browser app might be the key.

All these rankings could change overnight if Apple releases their own search engine on iOS.  Apple's been real quiet.

Economics & Investing / Re: Why are used cars so expensive?
« on: June 16, 2021, 10:28:55 AM »
There are 5 car dealerships in my town: Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Kia, Chevy, and all of them are just about out of new cars and trucks.  Used cars are thin on the ground at all 5.  Production is waiting on chips and other supply chain issues.

Water Cooler / Re: Qwant after 8M EUR from Huawei to stay afloat
« on: June 15, 2021, 04:45:46 PM »
> true

I don't think so.  Coding spiders and algos is no longer uncharted territories (here there be dragons) like it was with the first generation of search engines.  And costs have come down combined with knowing what not to waste money on.

Everybody keeps saying the costs are too high to start a new search engine as if that was holy writ, but the reality is lack of will and the inability to see beyond the next quarter.  It ain't easy, but it can be done.

Also, everybody thinks success with a search engine means getting as big as Google, which is a monumental task.  That's unrealistic.  It's more like take a chunk out of Google and stay in the black.

The key is more about Google's ad network dominance.

> Qwant

Qwant drove me off.  It's been a year or two but Qwant's English results were just a retread of Bing.  But what drove me off, is I would do 5 searches: (eg. journal apps windows, journal software windows, journaling software windows, best journal apps windows 2020, best journal software windows 2020)  and Qwant would hit me with a captcha saying it thought I was a robot.  This happened a lot.  I'm not a fast typist and have never had this happen to me with Bing, DDG or Mojeek, so I ended my month long test way early and never looked back.

My conclusions:

1. I don't need that annoyance for a Bing retread.
2. Qwant had a lot of JS on the serps which slowed things down.
3. Qwant, in English, wasn't giving me anything I couldn't already get from DDG.

> Chromium

I don't know if Google's tracking is being built into the open source Chromium rendering engine or only into Chrome and other Google branded software.

I have seen assurances by other browser producers that use Chromium as their rendering engine, that they are on the lookout for Google spyware code and will remove it.

Water Cooler / Re: Just learned about the Dixie Dingo
« on: June 13, 2021, 06:13:15 PM »
> Dixie Dingo

I never gave this much thought but yes the Native Americans had dogs before the coming of Europeans to the New World, and those dogs probably survived along with their masters.  At least we have the DNA technology to trace that today.  Very cool.

> **

I remember during the Clinton years and the whole PC debate, somebody finally asked, "Where the Indians ever asked if they wanted to be referred to as "Native Americans"?  So some university did a study and found that 1. the native peoples were not asked, so the term Native American is something cooked up by white people (again), 2. when asked most native peoples at that time preferred to be known by their tribal and band names.  Of course, the PC crowd ignored this.

The last thing I read was the term Native American, was cooked up in the Bureau of Indian Affairs in either the late 1960's or early 1970's for some big policy report. 

Water Cooler / Re: So this happened...
« on: June 10, 2021, 02:01:19 PM »
I swear, the Pfizer needle used on me is the smallest needle I've ever been jabbed with.  I barely felt it.  If the vaccine contained chips they had to be microscopic to get through that needle.

> magnetize

Fortunately I did not get stuck to the side of my truck in the hospital parking lot afterward.

I'm looking forward to using the RSS reader (remember them?).  The reader will also handle podcasts and Youtube channels.

Vivaldi thought this suite of features through as a good way to get away from Big Tech.

Web Development / Re: Off the shelf directory software you like?
« on: June 09, 2021, 10:53:01 AM »
If I were going to build a new directory today I would use:

It's a Wordpress plugin.  You can build either a web directory or a local (w/ maps) directory with it.  A friend of mine has used this for several directories with good results.  Spiders well.

I'm told it let's you manage a mature directory well (find dead wood, etc.) 


I use WSNLinks which is old school PHP directory script.  It's still under active development and support, but it is old school so less flexible than the new plugins/scripts.  There is also a separate script WSNDirectory which supports maps for local directories.

While I'm not dissatisfied with WSNLinks, it is showing it's age.  It looks like an old time directory and that confuses some of the youngsters on the Web who have never seen Dmoz or Yahoo.   It is a full powered script,  it lets you manage the directory after it's built and even includes things like like it's own internal anti-virus/malware scan.

Traffic / Google Makes Android SE Choice Free Under Pressure from EU
« on: June 08, 2021, 02:21:11 PM »
Previously, rival search engines had to bid for a spot on Android Choice which lets users chose their default search engine upon setup.   Google just dumped the bidding process and choices are free after pressure from EU.  Only in the EU.

Las Vegas’s new strategy for tackling drought – banning ‘useless grass’

The ban targets what the Southern Nevada Water Authority calls “non-functional turf”. It applies to grass that virtually no one uses at office parks, street medians and the entrances to housing developments. It excludes single-family homes, parks and golf courses.

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