Leaving Apple & Google: next /e/ release and what features are in the pipe We’re working on stabilizing the current /e/ beta so that we can release a V1.0 on early 2019. It will include an /e/ application repository that will let users install most Android applications, in two clicks.

Like: Leaving Apple & Google: next /e/ release and what features are in the pipe – /e/

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I have an Android phone.  For the most part it gets the job done, except it’s always reporting back to the Google Mothership, which I do not like at all. That Google spyware is a deal breaker for me with Android. I’ve had iPhones, and I like them, except over time I get tired of always having to do things Apple’s way, plus I get bored with iOS.  But there is a couple of ways I can get a third choice in smartphones. Here is my current Big Plan, to de-Google my phone life.

Plan A/e/ Foundation.  I’m a donor and supporter of /e/ Foundation’s effort to de-Google Android.  What makes their effort different is they realize that you can’t just fork Android and say you are done.  You have to come up with replacements for all those Google apps you can’t avoid or delete on Android: Gmail, Chrome, Maps, cloud storage, Google Play, Calendar, SMS and more.  Google has infested Android so deeply that it becomes useless without all those Google services.

/e/ Foundation is coming up with a whole host of open source cloud services to replace the Google spyware.  Plus they are forking Android, plus they intend to bring out phones with this all pre installed.

My worry is they won’t have a phone I like that will run on US GSM networks.

Plan B: If I can’t get a suitable phone with /e/ Foundations OS pre-installed I may try to install their OS on my existing phone.  I’m not keen on trying this, but I might.

Plan C (Provisional): Purism Librem 5.  This is Linux on a smartphone.  This is heavy duty privacy.  I have one on pre-order.  While I like the idea I have reservations: 1. This is new untested waters.  I really have to have a phone that just works in all the core smartphone functions. No excuses.  My fear is that i will be a perpetual beta tester. 2. Purism will provide the basics: email, phone, SMS, calendar, browser etc. all untried on a phone, but after that I would be totally dependent on web apps via the browser.  3. will this be another walled garden?  If I can get a working phone via Plans A or B I will cancel my pre-order.

Plan D (If all the above fails): Back to iPhone.  iPhone isn’t really private, but it’s way way better than Google Android.  I don’t like this though, the Xseries of iPhones are way over priced and don’t have a fingerprint reader. Duh!

The bottom line is I hope /e/ Foundation succeeds and soon.  I’d like to buy a T-Mobile US phone with a big screen from them and switch to their services and apps.

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LONDON — In the battle for online privacy, U.S. search giant Google is a Goliath facing a handful of European Davids. The backlash over Big Tech’s collection of personal data offers new hope to a number of little-known search engines that promise to protect user privacy. Sites like Britain’s Mojeek , France’s Qwant , Unbubble …

Like: European privacy search engines aim to challenge Google – 570 NEWS

Privacy is important. You don’t have to put up with losing it to your search engine.

This is a really good article because it sheds some light on the Euro search engine scene and provides some details.

Read the article but here are some of the things that it clarified for me.


Qwant:  Growing. The substantial index they are building is of French, German and Italian pages. That makes sense, focus on your core niche.  Great news.

Mojeek: keeps growing in usage. Especially over the last year.  I’m liking this.

Swiss Cows: has it’s own German language index, for other languages it serves sanitized Bing.  Another win.

There’s more in the article.

This addresses some of my concerns about lack of EU and UK based search indexes.


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Source: European Search Engine: neutral & confident – US Version

This is a quickie, first impressions introduction.

Unbubble bills itself as a European meta search engine, based in Germany with all other operations based inside the EU.  Normally I don’t get too excited about meta search engines but this one caught my eye for a couple of reasons:

  • One of the search engines it uses is my favorite: Mojeek
  • Exactseek is used. Exactseek’s search results are actually pretty good, but given the nature of the Exactseek parent company I wouldn’t exactly associate it with privacy. Hmm.
  • EU privacy laws.
  • Unbiased results by using many different search sources. Yeah I like.

The meta search engine for the US mainly pulls results from Exactseek, Mojeek and Yandex as the heavy lifters. That’s a pretty good trio because just those three blended can produce a very good search result.  But add in Qwant, Faroo and some others and the results get even more interesting.  Unbubble specifically talks about “directories” as being providers and I like the sound of that.

Search results pages are clean and neat without too many distractions.  Search results are very good, although sometimes the search is a bit slow.  The pages use a lot of JS so that might be the cause.

There is a search plugin for Chrome (why TF are you using Chrome?) and also an assistive search installer for other browsers that may not normally allow you to add search engines.

How Private is Private?

Unbubble makes it clear that they don’t share information other than the search keywords with any third party.  I’m a little blurry on if Unbubble keeps any personal tracking info on you for themselves.  If they do keep any identifying info, it’s protected by EU laws.  And maybe I need to read the privacy policy again.  In any event, Unbubble appears to be way more private than Google and Bing which is still a major plus.

Bottom Line:

Unbubble is definitely worth trying.


Notes on Exactseek:

  1. Their search results are really quite good.
  2. They claim to be a directory, but their search result algo is way better than any directory I have ever seen.  And they must have a huge index.
  3. They are owned by Jayde Online Network. Which is a marketing firm.

This was also posted to


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This flexible device will voice-enable your life. Use Mark 1 to answer questions, control your IoT devices, drive a stereo system, or build a robot!

Bookmark: Introducing the Mycroft Mark II Pre-Order – Mycroft

I’ve linked to the hardware home speaker but there are really two products to take note of on this site.

  1. The hardware home speaker with software.
  2. The software Mycroft home assistant.

The first is important because you can have a home speaker/assistant thing that has privacy in mind.

The later is important in that it can run on Linux which means your Linux laptop and things like Raspberry Pi.

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Like via Tim Cook data privacy speech: Apple CEO calls for comprehensive data laws in America – The Verge

“data-industrial complex” in which private and everyday information is “weaponized against us with military efficiency.”

He’s right and it has gotten out of control.  The fact that everything Google owns and the breadth and depth of our contact with Google, is all collecting information about us is creepy and alarming.

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Like: Framasoft ~ Portal Homepage

  • A network dedicated to globally promoting “free” and particularly free software.
  • Many services and innovative projects freely put at the disposal of the general public.
  • community of volunteers supported by a public interest association.
  • An invitation to build together a world of sharing and cooperation.

Framasoft is a French based, public interest organization promoting free software and services on the internet.  Note: one of their campaigns is to de-Google the internet, which is shorthand for providing free, opensource alternatives to web services provided by the internet silo’s.

The Framasoft’s goal is to offer, mainly online, a set of concrete and practical tools to facilitate adoption:

  • of free software (directory, USB sticks, installer…);
  • of free cultural creations (blog, translation, publishing house…);
  • of free services (more than 30 free services in the project De-google-ify Internet).

Presented as a “gateway to the Free World”, the network Framasoft wants to position itself as a bridge between the librarian community and the general public.

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Findx – a privacy-by-default search engine. No logging. No tracking. Transparent algorithms. Hosted in Europe. Users like you help shape the results.

Bookmark: findx — keep searching, in private

Currently in beta.  I literally found out about this 15 minutes ago so I have not had time to really look it over.  Based in Denmark, Findex is an open source fork of Gigablast.  Hopefully they will improve on Gigablast’s algo.  Good news on the decentralized search front!

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