DuckDuckGo Is The Default Search Engine In New Adblock Browser

Today, privacy search engine DuckDuckGo announced it is the default search engine in Adblock Browser for iOS and Android devices.
In addition to being the default for the Adblock Browser, DuckDuckGo says it is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on a new “Do Not Track” standard, and also has agreed to sign the “Acceptable Ads Manifesto” – an effort to promote non-intrusive ads – along with Reddit, Stack Exchange and Adblock Plus.
All three of these initiatives are in effort to reduce tracking across the Internet, which will reduce the ads following you around and more questionable issues like charging different prices to different people based on profiling.DuckDuckGo Blog
While ad-blocking has been available on Android phones for some time now, the issue has taken center stage with the release of Apple’s iOS 9 and its new content-blocking capabilities that make it easier to block cookies, images, resources and pop-ups on mobile devices.
You can read more on the

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Apple Brings Public Transit, New Search Capabilities To Maps

As anticipated, at its WWDC conference today, Apple introduced public transit routing as part of iOS 9 Apple Maps upgrades. It also introduced new local search capabilities, which are part of a broader search initiative that we discuss separately.
The company did not announce anything new regarding indoor mapping however. Enhanced indoor location capabilities and content were among the rumored upgrades to Apple Maps.
Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi began his discussion of the new mapping features with two stats:

5 billion map user requests per week
Apple Maps is used 3.5X more than the “next most-used mapping app” (which is Google)

He then introduced public transit information, which can be accessed manually and via Siri query. Google of course has had this information in its mapping product for several years.
Initially public transit information in Apple Maps will only be available for 10 cities outside of China.

By comparison Apple is providing public transit information for more than 300

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Report: Apple Using Camera-Equipped Minivans To Capture Map Data

It’s a very safe bet that Google has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Google Maps and Street View. While many people regard Street View as eye candy, it has actually served a more important function: capturing real-world geo-data for Google Maps.
Now Apple appears to following in Google’s tire tracks.
According to an article in 9to5 Mac the mystery of the earlier Apple minivan sightings has been solved. Speculation at the time was that these vans were either capturing Street View-like images or that this was part of Apple’s nascent effort to build a self-driving vehicle. The answer is neither, says 9to5 Mac, although Street View imagery is potentially part of the equation.

The 9t05 Mac article asserts these vans are helping Apple “develop[ ] its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom” and that a Street View-like body of images will potentially be a byproduct of the process. This is all part of a broad set of Apple Maps upgrades

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Report: Apple May Launch Google Now Competitor At June WWDC Event

According to an extensive report in 9to5 Mac Apple is about to bring to market a Google Now and potential search competitor, with comparable “predictive search” functionality. Microsoft’s Cortana also features predictive capabilities that Apple’s Siri lacks.
The new capability, allegedly codenamed “Proactive,” is built partly on Apple’s acquisition of personal virtual assistant Cue (founded as Greplin), in late 2013 for an estimated $35 million to $45 million. Like Google Now and Cortana, Cue used emails, contacts other on-device content to present an overview of to-dos, upcoming meetings and other information such as flight reservations.
According to 9to5 Mac, Proactive will provide time-sensitive and relevant contextual information and become a successor to Spotlight search (although chances are the Spotlight name will be retained; Proactive is too close to acne medication Proactiv).
Beyond the above, the new capabilities will include augmented reality content in Apple Maps:
Like Google Now, Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns, but

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Uber Teams Up With Baidu For HERE Maps, Apple Buys More Coherent Navigation

When Nokia announced HERE Maps was for sale it sought to generate interest from multiple buyers to drive the price up. That now appears to be happening.
Bloomberg is reporting that Uber and Baidu have teamed up, as multiple parties are now bidding for the mapping unit:
Uber Technologies Inc. is teaming up with Baidu Technologies Inc. and Apax Partners to pursue Nokia Oyj’s maps business, people with knowledge of the matter said, as a bidding war for the unit intensifies.
Another group, comprising China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., NavInfo Co. and Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB, is also bidding for the unit, which may fetch as much as $4 billion, three of the people said, asking not to be identified because negotiations are private.
Microsoft Corp. has offered to buy a minority stake, while three U.S. private-equity firms — Hellman & Friedman, Silver Lake Management and Thoma Bravo — are also in the running, the people said.
Previously it was reported

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