Since my last in-depth comparison review of alternative search engines in 2014, a lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same. Google is appearing as a loan-verb in more and more languages due to its continued dominance in the search engine market. But at the same time, Google is being increasingly demonized by privacy focused users. An even more interesting development is the trend of complaints that Google’s algorithm is producing results that are less relevant and more indicative of artificial stupidity than artificial intelligence. I belong in this latter camp, as I am more of a pragmatist than a privacy pundit. I simply want the best search results with minimal effort and no nonsense. Back in my 2014 article, I was hopeful that DuckDuckGo was quickly becoming a viable and attractive alternative to Google. While DuckDuckGo continues to be the darling of privacy conscious users and is enjoying more popularity than ever, I am concerned that its core search infrastructure and algorithms have largely stagnated. Read more
I have spent a truly frustrating past couple of days debugging poor performance of Samba (SMB/CIFS) on Linux, but fortunately there’s a happy ending. It all started when I resurrected an old NAS I had lying around by installing Debian stable (Buster) and OpenMediaVault on top of that. From now on I’m going to be more serious about making regular automated on-site backups of my various laptops. To do so, the easiest albeit not so performant solution is to simply connect the laptops over the 802.11g network provided by my old-but-good Mikrotik router. And this is where the trouble began.