Tech Talk #114 – October 12, 2019

Duck Duck Go

If you want to loosen the leash Google has around your neck during your online activities, consider using Duck Duck Go (DDG) as your search engine. It’s a silly name, but a serious company with a serious purpose. DDG doesn’t track you, collect or share any of your information, or store your search history.

You can search for something like “Philco TV parts” on either Google or (DDG), but DDG won’t store your search and use it for targeting ads to you. The results from DDG do vary slightly from Google, but they’re close. If you have a specific thing you’re looking for, like a “left-handed #2 Ganglia wrench pre-1930,” you may be better off using Google. For the mainstream stuff most of us search for, DDG’s results are fine.

DDG also offers a Privacy Essentials browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. With the extension loaded, DDG will block any ads that show up as you browse the web. Privacy Essentials also blocks trackers and lets you see who’s trying to track you.

Get DDG here:

Their site has instructions on how to set your default search engine and on how to install the Privacy Essential app in your Chrome or Firefox browser.

iOS 13 settings

There are lots of changes to Apple’s iOS 13 for iPads and iPhones. Here are some settings you might consider after updating your iPhone or iPad to 13.

Before we get started though, there have been two updates since 13 came out, right now we’re at iOS 13.1.2. If you’re not there yet, go to Settings > General > Software Update and get the latest version.

Dark mode

When you first install iOS13, you can enable the new Dark Mode during set up. If you missed it, or “noped” right by it, here’s how to get back to it: Settings > Display & Brightness and Toggle Dark Mode.

Dark Mode changes the background and elements of your apps from light color shades to black and dark grey. Dark mode’s reverse color scheme is designed to improve readability and reduce brightness at night. On iPhone X and later iPhones, Dark Mode might even improve your battery life by turning off the black pixels.

If you don’t want Dark Mode on during the day, enable the “automatic” option to switch back to Light Mode at sunrise.

You can also enable Night Shift on this same screen. Night Shift uses warmer colors in the evening to reduce eye strain at night. The default setting is from sunset to sunrise, but you can customize the schedule.


It seems iOS 13 has some new ways of undoing changes on your phone. You can now undo by swiping left on the screen with three fingers or double-tapping the screen with three fingers. The same three fingers, I guess.

There’s a “shake to undo” feature (why, Apple, why?) you can now turn off. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch and toggle “Shake to Undo” to off.

You can redo a change after you undo it by swiping right on the screen with those same three fingers. These gestures work in all applications that support gestures.

Silence unknown callers

If you never answer calls from unknown numbers, iOS can take care of that for you. Go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers to silence calls from unknown callers. Your phone won’t ring, but you’ll still get a record of the call in your Recents list, and the caller hears your phone ring and then go to voicemail. Silence Unknown Callers lets numbers in your Contacts list and numbers you’ve recently called get through but silences the rest. Nice.

Google doesn’t know everything

I wonder what my parents did to fight boredom before the internet? I asked my 18 brothers and sisters, and they don’t know either

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

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