More bad news for DuckDuckGo

If you saw my rant about Why You Should Stop Using DuckDuckGo, you obviously see I am not a fan of the site or the company. The search results are just not good and the marketing pitch of “privacy based” I just didn’t buy into the fact they are profitable and growing without some type of .

Well it seems the chickens, well ducks.. have come home to roost.

It was revealed by a security researcher that DuckDuckGo does not block any trackers for Microsoft.

Not a DuckDuckGo employee……

The tweet contains a few different posts but outlines the fact that while both versions of the DDG browser claims to use tools which “automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers”, there is a secret allow list that allows data flow from Microsoft including Bing and LinkedIn.

Personally, a company that is getting rounds of funding like this is bound to focus on ads to generate revenue. It just is a shame that it took a security researcher to find it before DuckDuckGo decided to come clean and admit while they track data, their “Microsoft Search syndication agreement” prevents them from blocking more.

I have never been a fan but another reason why I don’t trust this company. The recent Hacker News fallout as well as the messaging they are working to ease restrictions seems like their hands are tied maybe due to some investment or company leadership decision.

Today In The News, MS Teams Hacked, IT Admin Gets 7 Years

Daily News For:
05-20-2022
Bitcoin (BTC USD) Mining Is Back in China Despite Government Ban | Bloomberg

US accounted for 37.84% of global hashrate, a measure of computing power used to extract the digital currency, between September 2021 to January. China has reemerged as the second-largest locale despite a government ban on mining last year. The country has seen a sudden surge in activity through “covert mining operations” and has “re-emerged’s as a major mining hub” Russia accounted for 4.66% and has seen mining operations relegated elsewhere.

Apple sued after loud Amber Alert on AirPods said to damage Texas boy’s hearing

Apple Inc has been sued by the family of a Texas child who allegedly suffered permanent hearing loss from an Amber Alert on the company’s AirPod wireless earbuds. The family says the AirPods were defective because they play alerts at dangerous volume, regardless of the volume set by the user. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The lawsuit was filed in San Jose, California, federal court in California on Monday in federal court. It says the boy, identified as B.G., suffered from dizziness and needs to wear a hearing aid.

Microsoft Teams, Windows 11 hacked on first day of Pwn2Own

During Pwn2Own Vancouver 2022, contestants won $800,000 after successfully exploiting 16 zero-day bugs to hack multiple products, including Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system and the Teams communication platform. The first to fall was Microsoft Teams in the enterprise communications category after Hector Peralta exploited an improper configuration flaw. The STAR Labs team earned $150,000 for successfully demonstrating their Microsoft Teams zero-days. The top award for hacking a Tesla Model 3 is now $600,000 (plus the car itself).


Hacker shows how to unlock, start and drive off with someone else’s Tesla

Hack could allow thieves to drive off with Tesla Model 3 and Y cars. Hack involves redirecting communications between a car owner’s mobile phone, or key fob, and the car. The hack isn’t specific to Tesla, but it’s the result of his tinkering with the keyless entry system. There’s no evidence that thieves have used the hack to improperly access Tesla vehicles. To fix it, the carmaker would need to alter its hardware and change its system, researcher says.

IT admin gets 7 years for wiping his company’s servers to prove a point

An indignant IT admin, seemingly aiming to prove the lax security his employer had hitherto ignored, proceeded to delete a bunch of vital financial databases, and has subsequently been given seven years in prison as a result. It’s what’s known in the IT trade as ‘cutting your nose off to spite your face,’ or inadvisably hulking out on a server you’re known to have access to and have already complained about

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Today In Tech is a daily blog post and news letter aimed to provide a quick summary of the daily news around the tech world. Want to see something new or more content? Let me know! hello@nonstopdev.com

Today In The News, Google Files Bankruptcy, Netflix losing subscribers

Daily News For:
05-19-2022
Netflix customers canceling service increasingly includes long-term subscribers

Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers last quarter and potentially two million this current period, according to a note to shareholders from last month. New research highlights that the number of long-standing subscribers canceling Netflix rose precipitously in the past few years. Newbie subscribers accounted for only 60% of cancellations in the first quarter, down from 64% in the fourth quarter. Netflix is losing ground, but the streaming market as a whole is gaining more subscribers. Paramount+ and Peacock are the most affordable options among new subscribers.

Google Russia forced to declare bankruptcy after bank account seizure

Google’s Russia division plans to file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account. The Russian government still wants to rely on Google for some services, including YouTube. Google has been accused of having a cozy relationship with Russia. It’s not clear how much of a presence Google will have in Russia going forward. Google enjoys a 90 percent search market share in many countries, but Russia is one of the few places it faces a viable search competitor. The government said Tuesday it wants to keep YouTube running in the country.

Autonomous cars hit third of cyclists, all oncoming cars

Autonomous cars may be further away than believed, according to AAA. Testing of three leading systems found they hit a third of cyclists, and failed to avoid any oncoming cars. The tests [PDF] looked at three vehicles: a 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe with Highway Driving Assist; a 2021 Subaru Forester with EyeSight; and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 with Autopilot. There are no semi-autonomous cars generally available to the public that are able to operate above level two.

Billing systems are a nightmare for engineers

Lago’s co-founder Raffi explains why billing is still an unsolved problem for engineers. Lago, Pleo, Algolia, Segment and Fintech’s pricing systems are hard to build, hard to design, and hard to get working for you if you deviate from ‘the standard’ based on the number of monthly API searches. The team at Lago still has some painful memories of the internal billing system at Qonto, that we had to build and maintain, and deal with.

What is micro-SaaS?

You may have seen the wording and thought to ask, “what is micro-saas” when looking to start a new web business. Micro-saas is a software as a service business usually operated by one person or a very small team.

And should I build a micro-SaaS product?

You may have seen the wording and thought to ask, “what is micro-saas” when looking to start a new web business. Micro-saas is a software as a service business usually operated by one person or a very small team.

The benefit of them are they usually are very independent of location as they operate online and provide a very predictable recurring revenue stream.

Why are they useful you ask? The biggest factor of a micro-saas is they focus on a very specific problem for a small group. This means they are a very high margin, low risk business models that can sometimes operate with very little effort (outside of the actual building of course!). Since they focus on small market needs, this prevents you from getting lost in the shuffle of focusing on a very large market or problems that are too complex.

Do micro-SaaS platforms actually make real money?

Yes, and some do pretty well actually!

Below are three companies that are micro-SaaS projects. They are simple ideas that focus on a single problem and have grown monthly recurring revenue

SuperLemon

2 person team. $300,000 a year

Park.io

1 person. $1,500,000 a year.

Visalist

1 person. $55,000 revenue

Isn’t micro-saas just SaaS?

When working with people who are looking to build, a lot of comments they get are “Micro-saas just seems to be useless SaaS projects”

If it is making money, it isn’t useless. Also, the target market for micro-SaaS is a very specific use case so what may be useless to someone may be a no brainer buy for someone else.

Should I build a micro-SaaS project?

If you are looking to build a project and the complexity and features of SaaS is overwhelming, micro-SaaS maybe for you. Focus on the target use case, the users that would benefit from it, and start your project from there. If anything, you have a very minimal investment into a project to learn from!

The Launch Of Non Stop RPA

Robotic Process Automation is a powerful tool to give businesses of all size more efficient processes and deliver a better experience to their customers.

The growth of platforms like Zapier make the shift to automation easier than ever. With the launch of NS-RPA, we hope to help businesses take on this process and unlock the value with managed applications as well as helping you unlock potential and bottlenecks in your

Are you a small company working out of a email box and manually copying information to an Excel sheet? When you get a new lead, do you want to be notified in Slack as well as add this potential customer to your MailChimp environment? This is the power and cost savings available where processes that use to take a person hours a week to copy data between applications can now be automated to unlock you and your employees to focus on work that matters.

Why You Should Stop Using DuckDuckGo

I was told recently that someone had their VanillaGift.com VISA gift card number stolen online when trying to use it. This is a typical one you find in a Walgreens or other drug store that comes preloaded and if you remember how much is on it, you can use it like a normal credit card.

Tracing back their steps, they were trying to buy some furniture online. They were ready to use it but wanted to check the balance to make sure it was activated. They opened Chrome on their laptop, typed VanillaGift.com and hit enter. A list of results popped up, clicked it and entered the details to get an error. When they tried the process an hour later, they found their whole balance was gone.

It took about a whole 3 minutes to figure out what happened and this serves as a word of warning why Search Engines are not something to easily replace.

Marketing does a good job at pitching “privacy” when pitching new products as a differentiator to the competition. They focus on how their product doesn’t track, doesn’t sell data, doesn’t personalize, yada yada yada.. to keep your information safe and provide a more default experience to everyone.

Normally, yes. This is a feature you should look at when buying something maybe like a video camera from your house or a voice assistant. This is NOT something you should use to make your decision for a central point of your life like the default search engine in your browser.

This is NOT something you should use to make your decision for a central point of your life like the default search engine in your browser.

What happened was this marketing game that wannabe Google type search engines play. They want your browser so they make it easy to see a commercial, go into your settings and boom, your home page is now the new search engine.

The problem is not all search engines act the same. The results are differnet, but how they interact with the browser is different. When you enable something like DuckDuckGo, you are not just changing your search results that most people think happens. You are changing the default behavior that a lot of people are used to where they use the default behavior of where you enter a search term or URL. When this changes without you knowing, you are at risk in a big way.

Standard Google Homepage in Chrome

You can see above, Google allows you to type in terms or URL. If you enter VanillaGift.com as a lot of people are used to, it would bring you to VanillaGift.com, the legit website for the VISA gift card.

If you follow the “protect your privacy” marketing and move to DuckDuckGo using the standard Google search engine settings, the same home page format looks very similar (see below). The problem here is that the DuckDuckGo search box no longer routes you to the URL you enter.

Standard DuckDuckGo Search

In the same example, if you enter VanillaGift.com, you are not brought to the website you entered. You are brought to their search page for “VanillaGift.com”. DuckDuck go isn’t incentivized to route you right to the URL and would rather show you ads for revenue since they are not making money off data.

The problem is showing you ads on their website or ranking a website up from a bad actor is pretty common. There is plenty of URLs of websites that are not legit and because they don’t tailor search results, malicious websites can easily make it to the front page and even easier: place ads and capture enough victims to make it worth while.

All in all, the focus on privacy and being more aware is something we all need to do more of but if you are like most people who use Gmail, iPhones, Facebook, and every other website that tracks you, stick to Google and let them provide the level of protection and filtering that most people need since the majority of websites you visit are perfectly fine in their search results and can avoid a similar hearbreaking experience.

At the time of writing, the ad for the impostor site is no longer in the list of ads and seems like there is no ads being displayed. Simply entering VanillaGift.com into DDG does return the main links with no ads however, there are multiple URLs on the home page that imitate the original website looking to capture the victims gift card information.

Yes, you should have a blog.

Stock photo from Unsplash

When people talk about having a personal blog, they immediately go into a mindset with ideas of why they think they shouldn’t have one. “I am not interesting enough”, “I am not a good enough at your hobby to write”, or “will it even help you professionally as a CV when looking for jobs?”.

The truth is, writing has a bunch of benefits even if you aren’t going to get millions of views a year but still, there are plenty of benefits about having a way to write out your thoughts.

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After 15 years, we are here.

The idea of Non Stop Dev started while sitting on a patio at a local Panera with a close friend on our laptops, thinking of random website ideas and buying .com names on a whim.

The idea of Non Stop Dev started while sitting on a patio at a local Panera with a close friend on our laptops, thinking of random website ideas and buying .com names on a whim. We were working at our media startup where we would build and customize WordPress sites for businesses and also do some custom development for local sites trying to build their presence online.

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