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Kagi


Yesterday I declared myself free of Google's ever-worsening search engine, and switched to Kagi, which has no ads, no tracking, and no garbage in the results. All the SEO-optimized crap and AI-generated sites that flood Google search results are absent in Kagi. Search for something, you get pertinent results.

It's the biggest improvement to my internet since the internet, and nobody's paying me to say that.

So without ads and tracking, how does Kagi stay in business? The user pays. It's $5 for up to 300 searches monthly, or $10 p/month for unlimited searches. The first 100 searches are free, but after only half a dozen searches, I signed up at $10 p/month.

B'bye, Google. 

Kagi search engine

And here's another rave review: After endless frustration from an enormous corporation that owns 10,000 grocery stores and also putzes around with prescriptions, I've switched all my meds to what might be Seattle's last local drug store, Bob Johnson's Pharmacy.

Bob did all the work of prying the prescriptions from Safeway's callous corporate fingers, and mailed me my meds, after one simple phone call. There was no journey through voice mail menus, no time on hold, no callbacks, and the price for my prescriptions was exactly the same as at the corporate behemoth (plus three bucks for mailing).

Someone I'm acquainted with is a sports fan, and really, really cares which team wins or loses. He gets seriously angry when the local baseball team loses. Angry, like:

"I was so pissed off at Julio Rodriguez in last night's game. We would've won if he'd just gotten a hit in the ninth inning, but he's a lazy fuck who can't do anything in the clutch. I hope he gets syphilis."

That's the first paragraph of this guy's text message, verbatim. There were two similar paragraphs after that.

Is that insane, or just an ordinary sports fan?

When I'm not boring you here, I'm collecting and collating bad cop news, and posting it to my Lemmy page. I moderate the discussions there, which, being anti-social and all, is not my natural strength. Sometimes people annoy me almost as much online as in person. Like, I'll crack a slight joke and nobody gets it, or I'll ask a question and it's misunderstood.

One weird moment was yesterday, after I'd posted a link to an item at Gothamist, a non-profit news site in New York City. It earned this quick reply from someone:

"Got a better source than whatever gothamist is?"

That question's been inordinately bugging me ever since.

You don't want to be hoodwinked by a wingnut website, so some skepticism is always warranted. When I land on an unfamiliar URL, I'll quickly click around the site, until I'm either satisfied that it's credible, or dissatisfied and I'm gone.

But that guy's response of, "Find this news at some site I already know," instantly eliminates any source that he doesn't already know.

That way lies very narrow perspectives — news and opinion only from corporate-owned sites. What's even the point of being on-line, if you limit yourself to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN?

Remember my flatmate Dean losing his keys? With no way into the house, and our eternally broken doorbell, Dean asked our other flatmate Robert to let him in when he banged, for a few days. (Robert's room is closest to the front door.)

On the second night, though, Robert was napping and didn't hear Dean banging. My room's far from the front door, so I didn't hear it either.

To get into the house, Dean came 'round to the side porch, which is right outside my bedroom, and he knocked on the glass of my window. And I let him in, which means I had to listen to him talk at me.

He said that with no way into his own room, he'd been sleeping on the couch in the living room, because getting a locksmith to drill the knob off his door would cost him $260. "And I can't afford that," he said, which — yeah, I'm rotten — made me smile. 

When Dean caught me smiling, he asked a favor. "I need to have a key made, for the front door," he said. "Could I borrow your key, just for long enough to go to the hardware store right now, and get it copied?"

It was that he'd be leaving *right now* that sold me, so I went all Albert Schweitzer and gave him my house key. "Please don't lose it," I said, and he promised he wouldn't, and left for Home Depot.

It wouldn't be a surprise if he'd lost my key, but unlike Dean I have a spare, so it wasn't a big gamble.

A few hours after handing him my key, he handed it back, and perhaps as a sign of gratitude, he did not say anything more than, "Thanks, here's your key back." 

9/23/2023   

 itsdougholland.com
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