New DuckDuckGo Bang – !photics

DuckDuckGo LogoYou’re not seeing double. This is another DuckDuckGo article. In the previous post, it was announced that the “!pho” bang was available. While “pho” is short for “Photics”, it’s also a vietnamese noodle soup. That might get confusing. Fortunately, this site now has more than one DuckDuckGo bang. Now you can use “!photics” or “!pho” to quickly search from the DuckDuckGo website or from a DuckDuckGo powered search bar.

You might be wondering, “Why should I care?” Google is clearly the current powerhouse for web search. I’m not so sure that’s healthy for the overall wellbeing of the Internet. I’ve been seeing some questionable activity this United States Presidential election cycle. It’s caused me to doubt the neutrality and honor of Google. It’s not just Google either. When you see trending terms just disappear on Twitter, or significant articles on Reddit suddenly get buried, it shows how wonderful technology can also be used nefariously.

While DuckDuckGo isn’t quite as powerful as Google, DuckDuckGo has gotten better. It continues to be my default search engine. Healthy competition is an essential part of American life. Capitalism is the basis for the U.S. economy. That’s why I’m willing to give the underdog (underduck?) a shot.

I think my biggest complaint with DuckDuckGo is the name. It just doesn’t flow. Fortunately, there is an alternate URL.


That’s not terribly memorable either. Fortunately, I don’t even have to use the URL to get DuckDuckGo to work.

Safari - Search Settings - DuckDuckGo

Switching my default search engine to DuckDuckGo basically feels the same. Many of my searches are related to web development issues. I’m usually able to find a solution by using DuckDuckGo. Even when I run into trouble spots, it’s just a matter of learning the website features.

How do I search by date?

How do I search for news?

I still find myself going back to Google for advance searches, such as driving directions. Search for an address in DuckDuckGo and the limitation is apparent. While DuckDuckGo can display a map, it also includes an option to pick your mapping service. You can pick Bing, Apple, OpenStreetMap or even Google. The result is not very intuitive. I’d rather just use a bang, such as “!gm” for Google Maps or “!bm” for Bing Maps.

Privacy is the big feature for DuckDuckGo. It’s “the search engine that doesn’t track you.” But in setting itself apart as an advocate for privacy, it might be a champion for democracy. Protecting privacy is part of the constitution, but so is protecting freedom. If you don’t have a choice, then how can you be free? That’s why I think it’s important to entertain the idea of other search engines. If everything just defaults to Google, that could lead technology down a dark road.