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10 Unique Search Engines That Serve Very Unique Purposes

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10 Unique Search Engines That Serve Very Unique Purposes

So your Google searches just return slash-fiction, you find Bing far from beautiful, and Yahoo is, well, Yahoo. Where do you turn to find all that mega-specific information you needed for that witty blog post? Have no fear: we’re here to help. Below is a list of 10 of the most obscure, specific, niche search engines available on the internet:

The Way Back Machine

Do you have an urge to see what The Guardian looked like in 2006? Or yearn to experience Yahoo as it was 16 years ago? Do you have a lot of free time on your hands? Then The Way Back Machine is for you. Essentially a collection of screen grabs since the dawn of time (or at least the internet), you can go back and catch-all those memes you missed the first time round. So nostalgic it hurts.

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Blekko

If you’re all about customization, Blekko is the place to be. On one level, it’s a regular search engine. On another, it’s a user-designed tech-gasm. Add your own sources; make use of their (slightly confusing) slashtag system to create an engine that is all about you. Impressed? We were.

Artcyclopedia

Now take a wild guess as to what this search engine could possibly do. If you said ‘look up all artists and their work’, you’re both right and an idiot for answering a rhetorical question. Basically, the most-comprehensive artist database on the web, a search will return images, articles and – best of all – listings for galleries all over the world housing specific paintings.

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Oh My God LOL!!!

Are you an objectively awful person? Do you still have icanhascheezburger bookmarked in your antique copy of IE 6? Check out ohmygodlol, a search engine devoted to dredging up ‘funny’ pics from all over the internet. Upside down cats, horses pulling faces, badly-spelled slogans, it’s all here and it’s all horrible. For those who cannot let an old meme die.

Wacko Search

A novel twist on the tired ‘search engines finding what you were looking for’ formula; Wacko Search deliberately sets out to supply you with the wrong answers. How delightfully quirky! You might be thinking, if you’re a desiccated, soulless husk of a human being.

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Chilling Effects

Finally, we emerge from the disease-ridden bowels of internet ‘humor’ to find something really useful. Chilling Effects tracks the attempts by angry, uptight people to silence internet free-speech, allowing you to search a particular subject-area and follow links to various resources. Also of interest is their regular ‘weather report’ measuring the barometer of online censorship. Chilling indeed.

Complete Planet

The ‘front door to the deep web’, Complete Planet allows you to search over 70,000 databases not indexed by ordinary search engines. Great for finding absurdly specific topical information you might not otherwise be able to access.

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Horror Find

So it’s Halloween and once again, you’ve failed to prepare anything. Luckily, Horror Find is here to help you find, well, take a wild guess. A not-very-vast database of all things creepy, kooky and spooky; featuring a design that looked cool once, in 1998, Horror Find is the last word in tacky.

Million Short

Now this is an ingenious idea: Million Short removes the first million search engine results, leaving you with the rarely indexed, the neglected, and the downright weird. At least, that’s the idea. When we tried, searching for ‘Red Dwarf’ the first result was the official fan site: whether that’s a testament to Million Short’s uselessness or Red Dwarf’s ever-declining popularity we can only guess.

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Wolfram Alpha

An attempt to create a logical search engine dedicated to finding answers, Wolfram Alpha still has a long way to go. While typing in ‘what is the meaning of life the universe and everything’ gets you the single result ‘42’ (good), typing in almost anything else just confuses the hell out of it (bad). Couple this with advertising even our adblocker can’t dispose of and the whole set up begins to seem just a tad less impressive. Nice homepage though.

Featured photo credit:  Finding your way in a challenging environment via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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