13h | Jan 27, 2021, 4:20:49 PM
OnePlus founder's new tech company is called Nothing

Carl Pei founded the smartphone company OnePlus alongside Pete Lau in 2013, and it gained immediate traction with the affordable "flagship killers."

The company has since evolved from a start-up into a proper smartphone manufacturer that has offerings in nearly every price point. The change accelerated especially recently, and might have been either a result of Pei leaving the company or resulted from it.

Nevetheless, Carl Pei left OnePlus in October last year, and informed that he was looking forward to new adventures. Today, Pei announced a new company he has founded.

Nothing, is a London-based consumer technology company that has attracted very influential investors, including iPod inventor Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, YouTuber Casey Neistat, and iPod inventor Tony Fadell.

So far there's no clear cut picture of what Nothing will release but they've promised one of their smart devices in the first half of the year, and more is to come.

Pei aims to release devices in difference categories and create eventually an ecosystem of devices.

When it comes to the name there are a few things Pei and co. have to say about it. Firstly they want to build devices from ground up, so much so that when they try to reach further, there's nothing.

Pei also wants the technology to be so seamlessly integrated with people that it feels like nothing.

In an interview with The Verge, he said that initially Nothing aims to make the bulk of their money from hardware but eventually they'll start focusing on software experiences more.

You can find more about the company on their website | Comments ...

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1d | Jan 26, 2021, 6:20:41 PM
Mozilla releases Firefox 85 to combat supercookies and more

Mozilla has announced today officially the release of the latest and greatest Firefox browser. There are a lot of updates to the browser but Firefox has made this one mostly about cracking down on supercookies and other user tracking.

According to Mozilla, the so-called supercookies, a more pernicious version of the rather mundane tracking method, are one of the greatest threats on the web for user privacy and security. The new version of Firefox combats this by disallowing cross-site tracking using partitioning.

The company has released an entire blog post about the new, and upcoming, measures to prevent the extensive tracking we experience on the web these days.

There are other changes too, though. Firefox 85 now finally removes Flash entirely and there's no longer an option to enable it. There also improved bookmark views with easy access to your bookmarks via a toolbar folder and bookmarks by default on newly opened tabs.

Another addition is the one click removal of all saved logins from the password manager that helps you clean your passwords faster.

More about the new Firefox 85 can be found in the official release notes. You can download the new Firefox 85 here.Permalink | Comments ...

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3d | Jan 25, 2021, 4:20:30 PM
Dead people talking? Microsoft has a patent for post mortem chatbots

World of the internet is a odd place for many reasons but perhaps the most eerie it becomes when a person passes away.

The social media accounts don't immediately, and definitely not automatically, disappear after the death, and I must not be the only one that often feels like there's still something alive when you can see past posts of the individual.

Microsoft is taking this another step further and has patented a technology for creating a chatbot from person's online presence, The Independent reported.

This post mortem chatbot would be constructed based on the digital footprint that the person left behind. If the AI behind the bot is intelligent enough and there's a large enough footprint to data mine, one could imagine pretty convincing chat partners.

In a simple text medium it would be easier to convince fellow chatters of the authenticity but a lot of people also have thousands of pictures and videos of themselves that could even be the basis for a realistic depiction.

Microsoft has made sure to cover all bases with the patent and it includes people both dead and alive, as well as fictional characters.Permalink | Comments ...

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3d | Jan 25, 2021, 4:20:30 PM
Apple issues warning about iPhones near medical devices

Apple has published guidance on the official website to clarify some things surrounding the magnets and radios that are used in both the iPhone 12 series as well as MagSafe accessories associated with the phone.

According to Apple, the magnets and radios in iPhone 12, including all its different variants, as well as the MagSafe accessories (MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger) can be dangerous near certain medical devices due to emitting electromagnetic fields that can interfere with other devices.

Most importantly Apple considers these devices to be a possible hazard near implanted pacemakers and defibrillators, and suggests you keep the iPhone or MagSafe accessory away from these devices.

The company says that you should keep the devices at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart or 12 inches (30 cm) apart if wirelessly charging.

Although the new iPhone 12 has more magnets than its predecessors, Apple believes that the impact of them is not greater than on previous iPhones.

This sounds like no matter the iPhone – or other phone if there are similar magnets – you might want to keep it away from your chest if you have a pacemaker.
ovitaskussa, jos käytössä on sydämentahdistin.Permalink | Comments ...

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6d | Jan 22, 2021, 10:20:19 AM
Google: We will shut down our search engine if we have to pay for news

In a very weird row, Australia is proposing a legislation that would force online giants Google and Facebook to pay for local news publications. Basically, every time an article from Australian news site would appear in Google search results or in Facebook feed, that news site would get paid.

Similar proposals have been suggested - and even executed - in the past. Spain, France and Germany have all demanded money from Google to local news sites, but in those cases, the demands have been focused on Google News, Google's own news aggregator. In Spain, government enforced such law in a way that all news headlines shown in local Google News were eligible for payments from Google.

The result?

Google simply shut down Spanish version of Google News. And Spanish news sites lost huge chunk of their traffic immediately.

In Australia, the law would be even tougher - all news headlines shown in traditional Google search results would be eligible for payments, too. The proposed legislation doesn't put any weight on the fact that both Google and Facebook actually direct readers to such news sites. According to Google, they send "billions of clicks" each year to Australian news sites.

Furthermore, all websites can block themselves from being shown in search engines by simply blocking the search engine indexing process. This is typically done by adding a robots.txt file to the website root, rendering the website invisible to search engine crawlers that index the web. But publishers obviously don't want that - they rely on traffic provided by Google and others, but they still want those entities feeding them traffic to pay.

Now, Google has responded to Australian government about the issue and has declared that if they're being forced to pay for news, they'd simply shut down Australian version of Google search and possibly block Australian users from accessing other Google search editions, too, if the legislation would include those, too.Permalink | Comments ...

Google: We will shut down our search engine if we have to pay for news
Australian government plans to add a link tax which would force Google and Facebook to pay for local news sites whenever their content shows up.
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7d | Jan 21, 2021, 3:20:24 PM
LG planning to sell its phone manufacturing to Vietnam

According to Korean sources, electronics giant LG is planning to sell its phone manufacturing division to Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup.

LG's phone business has been making losses for some time now and company has announced plans to restructure its operations. If the proposed deal happens, LG would retain its phone R&D and outsource the actual manufacturing to Vingroup's facilities. LG currently has phone manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, China and Brazil.

The outsourced model for phone manufacturing wouldn't be a very big shock to anyone - after all, companies like Apple have oputsourced their phone manufacturing to third party operators years ago.

Vietnamese government is supporting the deal, hoping it would expand country's high-tech sector significantly. The deal hasn't been approved yet, but according to Korean sources, it seems likely to happen.Permalink | Comments ...

LG planning to sell its phone manufacturing to Vietnam
LG is planning to sell its phone manufacturing facilities to a Vietnamese conglomerate.
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7d | Jan 21, 2021, 12:20:22 PM
Roomba model comparison chart (2021) - i3 vs i4 vs e5 vs i6 vs i7 and more

iRobot is the world's largest manufacturer of robotic vacuums. Its robovacs are sold under Roomba brand name globally. The problem is that there are tons of different Roomba models out there and Roomba's naming convention is no straightforward.

In this article, we try to clarify how various Roomba models differ from each other - and also to shine some light on Roomba's odd naming conventions. We have reviewed almost all Roomba models that exist, and thus the opinions mentioned on each model / series are based on our extensive reviews.

Naming convention Roomba 600 series Roomba 670 series Roomba e5 series Roomba e6 series Roomba 980 series Roomba 970 series Roomba i3 series Roomba i4 series Roomba i7 series Roomba i6 series Roomba i8+ Roomba s9 series Roomba 500, 700 and 800 series Comparison chart

Model names
First of all, Roomba's naming convention can be confusing. The company has improved its game lately in this particular area, but it still causes confusion to consumers all over the world.

If a specific Roomba model has three numbers in its model name, only the first two numbers matter.

That is to say: Roomba 675 is exactly the same device as Roomba 676 is. The last number only indicates that some small details might differ: typically the last number indicates the color but it can simply be a way to determine which retailing giant has exclusive right to sell the specific model - model still being exactly the same as everyone else has, but the last number differs. Sure, in some cases models that have different last numbers might carry a different set of bundled accessories: one model might come with one replacement brush, another one with two. But the vacuum is always the same if the two first numbers match.

However, there's an exception to this rule: Roomba's 600 series, with low digits, where all the models are the same: Roomba 605 is the same as 606 or 620 or 616. Clear, right?

If Roomba's model starts with a letter, only the letter and first number are significant.

For example, Roomba e5 is widely sold also as Roomba e5152 in Europe. But no matter what the numbers are, it is still the very same Roomba e5, the latter numbers don't matter at all. Sure, again, they can indicate either retail channel, number of accessories the device ships with, color - or simply the geographical area the device was aimed for (say, Europe or the United States).

...and finally, the third rule:

If the product name has a plus sign at the end of the model name, it ships with a Clean Base unit.

So, Roomba i7 and Roomba i7+ are technically the same device, but Roomba i7+ ships with the Clean Base dock, which has the auto-emptying feature for emptying the device's dustbin automatically.

For "non-plus" models, you can typically buy a kit separately that has the Clean Base docking station and required parts to modify your non-plus model to work with the Clean Base. But again, the plus model and non-plus model are otherwise exactly the same device.

Roomba 600 series

As of now, the Roomba 600 series is the cheapest entry-level robovac in Roomba's line-up. It is meant for people who are shopping for their first robovac - or don't have the means to use smartphone or don't have WiFi at their home.

Unfortunately, based on our tests, Roomba's 600 series is also the one that we wouldn't recommend getting. In our review of Roomba 605 we noticed that it doesn't do a very good job in cleaning, it has a tendency to stink like .. well, an old vacuum and it had serious problems with all sorts of rugs and carpets.

Key points to know about Roomba's 600 series:
Doesn't have recharge and resume option. This means that the vacuum can't continue its job after it runs out of battery. So, basically, it is suitable to small, max 2-bedroom apartments, not to anything bigger than that. Brush type is bristle (as opposed to rubber / silicone in more expensive models). This means basically that it isn't very suitable for a pet home, as untangling the pet hair from bristle brush is a pain. Can't be controlled remotely: doesn't support any sorts of network connectivity. Quite sub-par cleaning results. Can't be scheduled at all. Stinks like an old vacuum.

Roomba 670 series (Roomba 675, 676, ..)

Significantly better than the basic 600 series. Supports network connectivity and can be controlled with a smartphone. Has scheduling options. Better filter: doesn't smell bad, like the 600 series does.

If you're buying your first robovac and just want to try a cheap one first, the Roomba 670 series is a good option there.

Main points:
Doesn't have recharge and resume option - suitable for smaller apartments only. Uses bristle brushes - not recommended for pet households. Can be controlled over the internet with a smartphone app. Good cleaning results. Can be scheduled.
Roomba e5 series (Roomba e5, e5152, etc)

A very small step up from 670 series. Two main differences when comparing e5 to 670 series: e5 uses rubber / silicone brushes (vs bristle brushes used by 670 series) and has better suction power.

If you're considering between the 670 series and e5, consider these points: if the two cost currently the same, get e5. If you have pets, get e5. If there's a significant price gap (670 being significantly cheaper) and you don't have pets, get 670. They're almost identical, after all.

Roomba e5 key points:
Doesn't have recharge and resume option - suitable for smaller apartments only. Uses silicone / rubber brushes, so suits much better for pet home than those that use bristle brushes. Can be controlled over the internet with a smartphone app. Good cleaning results. Can be scheduled.

Roomba e6
Again, just to confuse the living heck out of consumers, the Roomba e6 is actually exactly the same device as Roomba e5. The only differences are that e6 has a different color than e5 and e6 ships with a virtual wall unit, while you have to buy one separately for e5. That's it. No other differences whatsoever.

Roomba 980 series (Roomba 980, Roomba 981, ..)

Roomba 980 series is Roomba's slightly older premium model, dating back to 2017. It is still widely available and has been software updated quite regularly by iRobot, so we added it to the list, too.

Roomba 980 was the first Roomba model to have full mapping features available: it can map the house and continue cleaning if the battery runs out of juice before it gets the entire area cleaned. This means that 980 is suitable also for very large homes, as it can continue its duties even after it has charged itself.

Roomba 980 also happens to be the loudest robovac we have ever tested. Its "carpet mode" feature puts a "turbo boost" to its suction when it detects carpet or a rug - and it sounds a bit like a fighter taking off when it does that.

Roomba 980 is overall an excellent product. Not as good as its successors in Roomba's top-end line, but as the model is currently being phased out, you might get yourself a great deal if you find 980 in deep discount.

Roomba 980 key points:
Supports resume and recharge - knows how to continue cleaning after it has charged itself. Suitable for very large homes, too. Very, very good cleaning results. Can be controlled via the internet, using smartphone app Has mapping function: shows the map of where it has cleaned and supports virtual no-go zones that can be created through the smartphone app.

Roomba 970 series (Roomba 971, Roomba 975, ..)

This one is weird. There used to be an older Roomba 970 series back in 2016 or so. But in 2020 Roomba released a new Roomba 970 series that has been available mostly outside the United States only - namely, in Europe and in some Asian countries.

The Roomba 970, the year 2020 edition is basically a slightly toned-down version of the above-mentioned Roomba 980. Most notably, 970 has a smaller battery than 980, it lacks the carpet boost feature and its mapping abilities have been slightly crippled.

It does, however, support the recharge and resume feature, meaning that it can continue its cleaning after it runs out of battery - and thus, is suitable for bigger homes than e5 and other cheaper models.

Roomba 970 key points:
Supports resume and recharge - knows how to continue cleaning after it has charged itself. Suitable for very large homes, too. Good cleaning results. Can be controlled via the internet, using smartphone app Has limited mapping functionality: shows the areas it has cleaned, but map can't be edited and doesn't support room-specific cleaning.

Roomba i3 series (Roomba i3, Roomba i3+)

Roomba i3 series was launched back in 2020 as the "higher mid-price" option in Rooomba's lineup. Basically, it is the cheapest Roomba that can have a self-emptying dustbin option.

What is a self-emptying dustbin then? The charging dock of such robovacs has a larger dustbin within the charging dock itself. Once robot has finished vacuuming and its own dustbin is getting full, it empties its own dustbin to the larger dustbin located at the charging station.

Now, here, it is good to remember that the self-emptying dustbin feature comes with the "plus models" only. So, i3+ can empty its own dustbin, but i3 can't. Otherwise, these two models are identical. And the dustbin feature can be upgraded to i3 separately, but it will cost more than the difference in the price of i3 and i3+.

As a vacuum, i3 is basically a stripped-down version of i7 series. A very good vacuum that has remote controlling, scheduling, good cleaning results, recharge and resume feature, and more. However, its mapping abilities have been slightly crippled, just like with 970 series. This means that while you can see the area the vacuum covered, you can't create virtual no-go zones or edit the map, or command your i3 to clean just a specific room.

Roomba i3 main features:
Supports resume and recharge - knows how to continue cleaning after it has charged itself. Suitable for very large homes, too. Good cleaning results. Can be controlled via the internet, using smartphone app Has limited mapping functionality: shows the areas it has cleaned, but map can't be edited and doesn't support room-specific cleaning. The "plus" version, i3+, comes with Clean Base and automatic dustbin emptying feature.

Roomba i4 series (Roomba i4, Roomba i4+, Roomba i4150, ..)
Yay for weird naming conventions again..! Roomba i4 is exactly the same thing as Roomba i3.

Only one difference: i4 can be only bought from Costco in United States and Canada (and possibly through some other exclusive retailers in othehr continents).

Roomba i7 series (Roomba i7, Roomba i7+, ..)

The i7 series is Roomba's former flagship robovac. And in our opinion, it is still the best Roomba you can get, even better than its successor, the s9.

Roomba i7 is, just like i3, a model that can have a self-emptying dustbin if you opt to buy the "plus" model. If you buy the basic i7, you can upgrade it later to have the Clean Base dustbin mechanism, but with a higher cost. Whether you buy i7 or i7+, they're the same device.

Oh, and man, i7 is good! It is the best robotic vacuum we have tested, ever. It is the only robovac that didn't get stuck with rugs or carpets in our test homes during our extensive four-month review period.

If you're shopping for a very good robovac, buy i7 or i7+!!

As its features, it has full mapping capabilities: you can name rooms, command i7 to clean only the rooms you want it to clean; you can create no-go zones through the smartphone app, etc.

Roomba i7 key points:
Supports resume and recharge - knows how to continue cleaning after it has charged itself. Suitable for very large homes, too. Excellent cleaning results. Can be controlled via the internet, using smartphone app Has full mapping functionality: rooms can be named; robot can be ordered to clean just select rooms if needed; no-go zones can be created through phone app, shows cleaning history maps. The "plus" version, i7+, comes with Clean Base and automatic dustbin emptying feature. Only robovac that doesn't get stuck in most common household objects (like rugs, etc)

Roomba i6 series (Roomba i6, Roomba i6+, Roomba i6550, ..)
Again, Roomba's model naming is confusing.. Roomba i6 series is identical to Roomba i7 series.

There are only two differences here: Roomba i6 is Amazon exclusive. And i7 ships with more accessories than i6 (namely, more spare dustbags and filters). Other than that, no difference whatsoever.

Roomba i8+
Okay, this one is bit like i6, but with a twist.

Roomba i8+ is almost exactly the same thing as Roomba i7+.

Roomba i8+ doesn't have a "non-plus" sibling, so there's the version with Clean Base only. The i8+ is Costco exclusive model, meaning that you can't buy it from anywhere else other than from Costco.

And i8+ actually has one significant difference when compared to i7+, too: Roomba i8+ has a 20 percent bigger battery than Roomba i7+ has. Other than that, they're the same thing.

As confirmed by iRobot:

The Roomba i8+ is a derivative of the Roomba i7+ sold at Costco, they are the same robot with cleaning and digital functionalities. The only difference is that Roomba i8 has a run time of up to 90 min and Roomba i7 has a run time of up to 75 min on hard floor surfaces.-- iRobot (@iRobot) October 21, 2020

Roomba s9 series (Roomba s9, Roomba s9+)

And finally, there's Roomba s9, the flagship model of the Roomba lineup, released back in 2019. It looks totally different from all other Roomba models, as its design resembles that of Neato robovacs: it isn't circular like other Roombas are.

It is the official successor or i7 series, but in our tests and reviews i7 beats it in most areas: the s9 gets stuck slightly more often and i7 does a better job at the actual cleaning than s9 does.

Again, s9 has two variations: the plus model and the "non-plus" model. The difference here is, again, the fact that s9+ comes with a Clean Base charging station while Roomba s9 ships with a traditional charging station.

It is an excellent vacuum, one of the best we've ever reviewed, but still, in our opinion, Roomba i7 is still a better choice.

Roomba s9 main points:
Supports resume and recharge - knows how to continue cleaning after it has charged itself. Suitable for very large homes, too. Very, very good cleaning results. Can be controlled via the internet, using smartphone app Has full mapping functionality: rooms can be named; robot can be ordered to clean just select rooms if needed; no-go zones can be created through phone app, shows cleaning history maps. The "plus" version, s9+, comes with Clean Base and automatic dustbin emptying feature.

Roomba 500, 700 and 800 series
These models are old Roomba models, phased out years ago. They're still sold at some retailers, but they originate from the year 2017 or earlier. As we haven't reviewed these models and as they're already end-of-life models, we aren't going to go into their specs or details here. The same applies to older 900 series models, like Roomba 960 series.

Comparison chart
tip: you can scroll the table sideways if it doesn't fit into your browser!

  Roomba 600 Roomba 670 Roomba e5 / e6 Roomba 970 Roomba 980 Roomba i3 / i3+ Roomba i6/i6+/i7/i7+ Roomba i8+ Roomba s9/s9+ Reviews Roomba 605 review               Battery 60 min 90 min 90 min 75 min 120 min 75 min 75 min 90 min 90 min Brushes bristle bristle rubber rubber rubber rubber rubber rubber rubber Recharge & Resume no no no yes yes yes yes yes yes Navigation tech iAdapt 1.0 iAdapt 1.0 iAdapt 1.0 iAdapt 2.0 iAdapt 2.0 Floor sensors iAdapt 3.0 iAdapt 3.0 iAdapt 3.0 Dustbin size 500 ml 500 ml 500 ml 600 ml 600 ml 500 ml 500 ml 500 ml 460 ml Allergy filter no no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes Self-emptyingdustbin no no no no no yes(plus model) yes(plus model) yes yes(plus model) Smartphone app no yes yes yes yes yes yesyes yes Maps no no no yes(limited) yes yes (limited) yes yes yes Suction power1x ("base level")1x5x5x10x10x10x10x40x Single room cleaning no no no no yes no yes yes yes Permalink | Comments ...

Roomba model comparison chart (2021) - i3 vs i4 vs e5 vs i6 vs i7 and more
In this article, we will detail how Roomba models differ from each other in depth, so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
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9d | Jan 18, 2021, 9:20:13 PM
Trump's last hurrah against Huawei

Trump administration has issued more restrictions to Huawei before leaving the White House. According to a Reuters report, Trump admin is now denying licenses that Huawei was required to work with American companies.

After May 2019 and the addition to the U.S. government's "entity list", Huawei's road has been a rocky one. While specific licenses made it possible for it to continue buying technology and products from U.S. based companies, it has had to get rid of Google services on its phones.

Now it seems that other products and technology from the United States might not be anymore available to the Chinese smartphone and wireless powerhouse.

Just before leaving office, Trump admin has started denying the licenses Huawei needs to buy products from the U.S. companies. This includes companies like Intel, whose chip shipments to Huawei will cease.

A total of eight licenses to four different companies have been denied and the source expects this to continue. Not only is this tough for Huawei, it's affecting the companies that are losing business and a massive customer at that.

According to the report, 150 licenses that gross $120 billion are pending and another $280 billion haven't yet entered the process. Many of these are now likely to be denied, although it's unclear what percentage will be affected.

There's currently no clear policy to point to which would explain the basis of the denials but dozens of licenses are expected to be denied.

Recently Xiaomi was added to a U.S. blacklist that lists Chinese companies with connections to Chinese military. U.S. shareholders of those companies have to divest their investments.Permalink | Comments ...

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9d | Jan 18, 2021, 8:20:26 PM
Steam releases "2020 Year in Review", reveals player numbers

Steam has revealed their 2020 figures in a post they call "2020 Year in Review." The company's fifth annual review includes some stats, including player numbers and most popular games.

The service broke new records with a whopping 120 million monthly active users and 62.6 million active users every day on average.

Steam recorded a peak to 24.8 million concurrent players, which happened during the bug-ridden Cyberpunk 2077 launch.

The situation the world has been for the past year has no doubt tremendously increased the usage of this online platform as well. A total game time recorded was 31.3 billion hours which is a massive 50.7% increase to the previous year with around 20 billion hours.

Not only was the year a success for Steam, according to the company it was good for the developers and publishers too. The number of games that grossed more than $100k increased by 36%. Seasonal sales also broke records.

As you can imagine, the data transferred coincides with the game time and increased over 50% to 25.2 exabytes. That's 25 200 000 000 000 000 000 bytes.

The post on Steam's website goes into way more detail about SteamVR stats, controllers, etc so you might want to check it out here.Permalink | Comments ...

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10d | Jan 18, 2021, 4:20:22 PM
DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day

Perhaps the most serious competition to Google's search engine comes not from Microsoft and Bing but a different perspective altogether. DuckDuckGo promises to keep browsing private and search results untailored.

The 2008 launched website has gained traction in recent years due to privacy issues with the Silicon Valley giants. Now, SearchEngineJournal has spotted that DDG has managed to break a new one-day record.

A week ago on January 11, DuckDuckGo was used to search a total of 102 million times. This is the first time the search has passed 100 million searches in a single day.

Just last fall DDG was hovering at around 40 million searches a day. Average in January will be around 90 million likely, unless the site gets a huge bump in the latter half.

DDG is a small player still, considering even Yahoo and Bing still clearly outrank in marketshare, and for a comparison Google's searches per day are counted in trillions.

However, people are becoming more privacy oriented my the minute, so who knows if DDG will start trending soon in the same vein as Signal just did.Permalink | Comments ...

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