Quack & Hack Bangalore Chapter

Posted on Jul 11, 2015

I’ve been a DuckDuckGo user for few users now. The idea of having no history of my searches, or rather not having to provide any identity to search the Internet, has always attracted me. Almost all the other search engines actively keep a track of who is searching what so that they can search better “personalized” results. Which also means that they know what you are looking for, at what time, from where etc.

Data is beautiful. The more you have, the more patterns you can find in them. It’s hard to imagine what someone can learn about you when they look at your search history over years. Your whole life becomes a plain text book that someone can read.

For such reasons DuckDuckGo has been my primary search engine for years. And over time, I’ve come to know more about how much customizable DDG is. DDG has something called Instant Answers that tries to provide you what you’re looking for without any extra clicks. Like the currency changing IA -

Currency Convert Instant Answers

And the fun part is that, this IA part of DDG is open source. And there is a whole community around it. I started contributing to the IA repositories few months back and started to meet people virtually. I found some more people around me who were contributing to DDG. Well, a meetup was inevitable.

DDG organizes an event called Quack and Hack around the planet that brings together the developers that contributes to DDG. Around 3 months back when they organized one in New York, I replied back on Twitter saying that it’d be nice to have one in India too.

With me, Abdul also expressed the same for Bangalore.

After that Abdul and me got in touch with the DDG community about organizing a Q&H here in India and we finally found a date and organized one in HasGeek House, Domlur, Bangalore on June 3rd.

About 15 people attended that event. We gave introduction to how DDG works, how the Instant Answers work. And how people can use a search engine that they can hack themselves for better results.

Here are some tweets and pictures from the first event -

After that a lot of people showed interest to attend the event, so we decided to organize another event after a month. So we organized the second event on July 5th at Mozilla Community Space Bangalore. The space was larger. About 40 people attended. Hence we had to cover basics once more. We had some contributors demo what they have been building too. We showed how to build Cheat sheets. Some of the attendees also worked on their own cheat sheets. We’re hoping to get into something advanced in next event. :) We also had pizza and Pepsi for lunch and got couple of nice group pictures. :D

Here are some pictures and tweets from the second event -

We’re getting more and more people interested to use DDG and building Instant Answers. It’s actually fun to be able to customize your search engine. DDG brought back the fun to search the Internet.