Tech musings from a non-tech: search engines and the nightmare of AWS

A great quote from Penn Jillette in Cracked:

Einstein comes up with this idea E = mc² — a profound, powerful, mind-blowing idea — and he has to work forever to make people understand that and to share that reality. Woodward and Bernstein are pretty sure the president of the United States committed crimes, and they work their asses off to try to prove that. But if you’re deep in the MAGA movement, you can just type that Biden went to China and set up a secret nuclear arsenal, and you get this incredible amount of praise with seven-minutes [sic] work.

So much of the modern world seems to be about getting praise for minimal work, and social media, with their likes, have been an enabler.
There’s a lot of search engine stuff that’s not worth reading. This, however, is: Rohan ‘Seirdy’ Kumar’s analysis of all (mainly Anglophone) search engines with their own indices.

It was referred by Mojeek in a Mastodon post yesterday.

If you want to understand the search landscape better, then the 6,000-word piece is worth your half-hour. Seirdy even looks at some small search engines, which were interesting to try. He also agrees with me about the sources for Duck Duck Go and others (viz. they’re Bing), and discovered the same phenomena with Qwant and Kagi. The test results are pretty obvious—neither of us is talking theory or repeating marketing claims, we are only writing about what we have observed.
Speaking of search engines (again), here’s Google for a search of the label Self-Portrait and where its Instagram might be. And I thought Bing’s repetition of 40 per cent of results was bad.
Google search results' page

The URLs differ very slightly with the hash after &ig_rid but the results are the same: Self-Portrait’s main Instagram page. Google should know this. But it doesn’t, or it intentionally fails to force you to use it more (and thanks to the DOJ’s lawsuit and discovery, we know why).
Finally, on the topic of tech, Dave Lane hits it on the head regarding AWS (which I have very little good to say about) and Microsoft Azure (which I have no experience of).


As I said to Dave before this post, ‘Tech should be democratizing, or at least I expected it to be, and AWS does the exact opposite. It should be considered offensive to anyone who believes in the promise of technology.’

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