I’d recommend reading this post about the search engine and what it’s about.
The Waterfox search engine is now live at https://search.waterfoxproject.org or from the browser since 38.1, just select it as your search engine to test it out! 39 will have it as the default search for new users. This search engine helps raise money for charity when you shop online, by taking commissions from retailers when you buy from their site. The websites who are part of the program will have a “GIVE” icon shown next to their link on the search results page. By choosing to shop on these sites, you will be generating funds for good causes.
Anonymity and Privacy
This has been a strong point for Waterfox and you don’t have to worry about any of your information here - we don’t collect any and the advertisers have NO clue who you are (we hide any information that could potentially identify you, similar to the way StartPage do it).
There is an issue though with generating revenue at checkouts for various stores such as Amazon in that the affiliate networks that generate money for the charities need to store a cookie to tell when you’ve completed a purchase. To counteract this, we take this cookie first and remove any of its abilities to know how you are, essentially making you anonymous to the affiliates.
I know Waterfox users are very tech savvy, so if you aren’t comfortable by this or think this is a bad idea, please let me know. It’s hard to find a way to get around this, as the affiliate needs to know when you make a purchase from one of the retailers. If you’d like diagrams or something similar to show the process, maybe that might help as well? Any idea for this would be greatly appreciated.
The mobile apps are developed in-house, which I hope you’ll enjoy some originality! They’re available to test at this current point in time for iOS and Android , still waiting for approval on Windows Phone and BlackBerry. As always, please leave any feedback :-)
Sorry for the delay on this, I had initially planned to switch over to Clang to build Waterfox and managed to get it working! The problem is that performance is abysmal compared to an Intel C++ build. So I'd wasted about 2 weeks of development time and had to quickly revert back to ICL. Changelog isn't very exciting this release, nothing has really changed here. Hopefully the mobile apps and search will be good enough :D.
I hope everyone is as happy and excited about all these releases as I am - this is a great opportunity to do some real good on the web and with your feedback, we’ll be able to make the search experience as you want it. At the moment the it may seem slightly UK focused, but US users have access as well to retailers raising money for charity. We’ll be choosing a US based charity fairly soon.
The first Charity which money will be given to is WellChild. There are thousands of children and young people in the UK living with a long-term or complex health conditions. WellChild is the national charity working to ensure the best possible care and support for all these children and their families wherever they are and whenever they need it.
Here's some press about all this as well, you even get to see my face and learn a little about who I am :-)
The Telegraph - New search engine from Waterfox founder aims to take a punch at Google
The University of York - Outfoxing the internet giants – York student aims high with his ethical browser
The University of York - University of York student awarded Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award
Trusted Reviews - From bedroom coder to building a Google search engine rival
These are all from interviewers who spoke to me directly! Also like I keep repeating don't forget to leave feedback, good or bad :-)
Smaller Side Note
Just to let you know there's also an unbranded version for users who don't use Waterfox called Storm and a new registered company called Storm Technologies (don't worry, just to handle giving to charity as it's highly regulated by the government and so a company needed to be set up for this). Only reason for this is that we couldn't use the name Waterfox to raise money for charities due to possible legal issues with the name.