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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Super Mario Brothers Turns 30 & Scores A Google Easter Egg

This weekend, Super Mario Brothers celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Google honored the Nintendo video game by giving it an interactive Easter Egg hidden in the game’s Knowledge Graph card.
If you search Google for [Super Mario Brothers], the video game’s knowledge graph info includes a flashing image of its iconic question-mark brick. Clicking the image makes the Super Mario ringing sound of points being scored, and point totals rise from the brick.
“Rumor is a 1-UP sound majestically rings when you click 100 times,” reports TechCrunch.

Released on September 13, 1985, Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers grew to be one of the best-selling video games of all time.
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Google Gets A Brand-New Look: Updates Search & Now Card Visuals

In addition to updating its logo, Google announced today it is also updating the look of its mobile search results page and Now cards to reflect the company’s new visual language.
“You’ll start seeing our new logo, icon and animated dots soon across Google, including when you search on mobile web, and of course, the Google App,” writes Google product designer Kai Conragan on the Google search blog.
As part of the refresh, the Google App home page on Android devices has been updated so that users can “dive into diverse content such as images, videos, news stories and more” by swiping and tapping content.

Also, Google says Now cards will be organized by category so that users can find what they need more predictably. As the day moves forward, the cards will shift to display what’s most relevant.

These updates are part of a larger rebranding effort, including a new logo and “identity family” that applies to Google’s various icons

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Bing News Adds “Smart Labels” For Mobile, Making It Easier To Find Related Headlines

Bing News announced today it has rolled out a new “Smart Labels” feature for mobile that links articles by key topics, helping users explore related headlines.
The Smart Labels will appear at the bottom right corner of a news story; “advanced technology” enables them to deduce the primary topic of the story and how it relates to other news stories.
Users can click the Smart Label to explore more headlines related to a specific topic.
We’re offering a way to quickly understand how individual news articles relate to a bigger picture just by skimming headlines across different news topics.
Bing offered the following example, showing how users can navigate from a headline about Putin to a related headline concerning gas pipelines, and from there to the Turkish Stream, Russian Pipeline and Black Sea.
Bing News “Smart Labels”

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Google Updates User Ads Settings When Signed In Or Out

Google has updated the format of ads settings pages where users can exercise some control over how their data is used for ad targeting from Google ad systems. This is the place to go to find out what age and gender Google thinks you are and what kinds of things you’re interested in for ad targeting purposes. The last significant overhaul of the Ads Settings pages occurred in 2013. Google now shows separate pages depending on whether you’re signed in or out.
In effect, there are three places you’ll have to sign out, if desired: the signed-in page, the signed-out page, and finally, the display network page, because different information is used for ad targeting “depending on how you’re interacting with Google and whether you’re signed in with your Google account,” Google explains on the support page.
If you’re not signed into a Google account, these are the two options you’ll see:
Options for signed-out users.
The first choice is to opt in

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Special Olympics World Games Google Logo Celebrates 47th Year Of Competition

Google is celebrating the 47th annual Special Olympics World Games with an interactive logo to mark the start of this weekend’s competitions in Los Angeles.
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics this year will include 7,000 top athletes from 177 countries, competing in 25 different events.
This is an opportunity for athletes with disability to compete in one of humankind’s greatest traditions.Google Doodle Blog
Google’s Special Olympics logo was illustrated by the Doodle team leader Ryan Germick and inspired by, “…the circle of inclusion, which represents the acceptance of all people with intellectual disabilities.”
Here’s the animated doodle in action:

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Cortana For Android Available For Download Ahead Of Official Launch

A few days ago, Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana became available for download. This is not the official launch and it’s not clear the software is ready for all Android devices. It certainly didn’t function properly on my Nexus tablet.
Several people have already written about it and it appears to be fully functioning for some. I downloaded it onto my Nexus 7 and was able to execute certain functions and commands. However I had difficulty with others. I had planned to do a Cortana vs. Google (Now) comparison post but will have to defer that until later.
I was able to do some but not all types of searches. I successfully set calendar appointments, reminders and got driving directions. But I had surprising difficulty sending email, conducting local searches or getting answers to simple questions such as “how much is the Dollar worth vs. the Euro?”

Many of my queries yielded a blank screen (see above right). Presumably it’s the

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Independence Day USA Google Logo Reflects Timeless Fourth of July Traditions

Today’s Google doodle by Brian Kaas celebrates Independence Day with a classic Fourth of July scene: aluminum lawn chairs, a cooler and flip-flops.
“Some of the best things that America stands for are our simple and timeless traditions,” writes Kaas on the Google Doodle blog.
I spent a lot of my summers sitting on a lawn chair with my neighbors, friends and family.
Kaas recalls celebrating the holiday with his family and friends during 4th of July neighborhood block parties. He said today’s logo was inspired by the folding aluminum chairs often used at such events, and shared the following sketch to show a first draft:

Search Engine Land wishes all of our readers a fun-filled Fourth of July!
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Bing Sounds Off – Adds Audio To Homepage

Bing announced today it has added audio to its homepage.
Using video footage of geese taking flight, Bing’s search blog highlighted how users now can turn on sound for the homepage with an audio icon located in the lower right corner of the screen in line with the video controls.
Over time, we’ve evolved the way we tell stories about our world. In 2011, we released our first HTML5 video homepage. The following year, we enabled users to dive deeper with an interactive panoramic homepage. Then our fans shared that they would love to hear rushing waterfalls, distinct animal calls, or waves lapping the shores of a faraway beach when they see these evocative images on Bing.Bing Search Blog
The audio option is turned off by default, and will not necessarily be part of every homepage. (The announcement notes that users should look for the audio icon to find out if sound has been included for the day.)

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When Did The Statue Of Liberty Arrive In New York Harbor? Google Logo Marks Its 130th Anniversary

Google is celebrating America’s most famous gift from France today with a logo marking the Statue of Liberty’s arrival in the New York Harbor 130 years ago on June 17, 1885.
Standing 111-feet and six-inches tall and weighing 225 tons, Lady Liberty was shipped aboard the French warship Isere to America in 350 individual pieces, packaged in 214 crates.
“Today, the Statue of Liberty is more than just a symbol of solidarity. It’s a reminder that all countries thrive on the exchange of ideas and culture.” -Google Doodle Blog
Originally designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the statue took four months to assemble once it reached our shores. To complete its construction, the U.S. had to raise funds to build the granite pedestal she stands upon.
Google doodler Kevin Laughlin shared these early sketches of the logo on the Google Doodle blog:

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