Tres uncool, Apple droids.
DuckDuckGo for Privacy
Having read DuckDuckGo's privacy statements, you might decide to switch Safari's default search to DuckDuckGo. If we enter a new search in Safari, we can then search the logged data to see who the search terms are actually sent to.
The logs show that a copy of your Safari searches are still sent to Apple, even when selecting DuckDuckGo as your search provider, and 'Spotlight Suggestions' are disabled in System Preferences > Spotlight.
Non-Cloud Mail Account
When setting up a new Mail.app account for the address
email@example.com, which is hosted locally, searching the logs for "fix-macosx.com" shows that Mail quietly sends the domain entered by the user to Apple, too.
Definitely worth looking at Linux if Apple and Microsoft keep doing this crap. Or just re-installing that old copy of XP we all have kicking around in the closet. It still works. According to my experience, using XP on this exact box I'm running Win 8 on right now doesn't slow down what I do every day. I'm sure some things are faster with Win 8, but I don't -notice- them being faster and so I don't really care. If I need FAST I can stick an off-line compute server in a corner and feed it by sneakernet with thumb drives.
Dear Apple and Microsoft, my files, my keystrokes, my stuff generally is none of your business. If I have to finally bite the bullet and learn Linux to keep your sticky fingers out of my PC, I will. And if I will, millions of other will too. Anything you corporate wankers can make, we users collectively will jailbreak, hack, pervert, fold, spindle and mutilate.
And if you piss me off I'll switch my phone back to a Blackberry. If for no other reason than RIM is Canadian.