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Thread: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    Showed up today in proposed, maybe related to unity-webapps
    While can be stopped if desired there doesn't seem to be a gui settings to do so if one finds it bothersome (I do
    couple of random screens

    Also to note - the upgrade has 'suggestions' showing in the video lens, after removing & the re-installing the lens the video lens no longer shows 'sugg'
    Amazon results are Only shown in home lens & video lens with the remote scope installed

    edit: MS blog on
    J.Bacon -

    bugs on just user control, nothing more

    Regarding security, ect.
    While this thread doesn't ask about security/privacy concerns to put 1 that's been raised out front
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mc4man; September 27th, 2012 at 01:58 AM. Reason: MS blog, some bug links, ect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Vancouver, Canada
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    Please do file a bug report over here:
    This feature materialized very late, and it needs a lot of tuning. Hopefully either all the bugs will be fixed, or all the bugs will serve as ample demonstration for why you don't land features like this after feature freeze.

    I'm trying to remember now, but I think there was a lot of discussion last cycle when a scope, added by default, was searching for software in the repository — in some cases talking to online services. It was changed to only happen in the Applications lens for a bunch of reasons, but I think "let's not surprise people by sending all their searches to random web servers" was one of those reasons. Sending everyone's searches to Amazon by default, a company famous for being quite aggressive with tracking people and learning their behaviour, seems a few orders of magnitude worse.
    Last edited by Mr. Picklesworth; September 21st, 2012 at 05:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    will take a look tomorrow to see if there is a current bug, though I'm sure there must of been some discussion about.

    It may also be that there is some revenue to be had, if so that's ok though wouldn't hurt to state that somewhere/sometime.

    While the intent of this didn't happen on unity upgrade here, at least in this case it's easily removed if desired

    (- As far as the current unity upgrade - no icons were added & not sure that it's ok to do so in an existing dev, ultimately irrelevant anyway as only the current state or upgrade from earlier release matter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    Yeah, today's OMG!Ubuntu! article tells how to opt-out: just uninstall unity-lens-shopping. On the other hand, if you do buy stuff from Amazon and use those links or the new Amazon webapp launcher that should be arriving this weekend, Amazon will pay a commission to Canonical which they can use to pay for the substantial expenses of Ubuntu development.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    article tells how to opt-out: just uninstall unity-lens-shopping
    For those that don't want it totally gone it can be filtered from the apps lens on a per session or atm basis by choosing "local" as a source. The 'home' lens has no filtering but that doesn't matter.

    There are also dconf settings related to this.. (as to who or what can integrate, ect.

    Amazon will pay a commission to Canonical which they can use to pay for the substantial expenses of Ubuntu development.
    Would be nice to know if that's only on a sale or does a click thru produce some $.

    (see no reason to file a bug on as Canonical is free to & should try to make money any way they can..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Williams Lake
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    It does generate revenue for Canonical:

    Hi Everyone,

    my name is Olli Ries (olli on IRC) and I am a Director of Technology at
    Canonical, responsible for most of the Canonical client upstream
    projects such as Unity and web apps. In addition to a long overdue
    introduction of myself I also wanted to share some updates for 12.10
    that my teams have been working on.

    A few new features are appearing in Ubuntu 12.10 that relate to
    searching offline and online content and in some cases, generating
    affiliate revenue to helps us to support the Ubuntu project. Let me
    share some further details about this work and invite you to give us

    Firstly, we have been building improvements around searching and
    previewing content directly from the dash (you will have seen the dash
    previews already in Quantal). A new feature we have introduced extends
    what was already introduced in the Music and Video Lenses, with a =93more
    suggestions=94 results category that is added to searches performed from
    the home dash. This helps users find content available online in
    addition to what already resides on their device (thus continuing the
    maturation of the dash as a viewer to different types of offline and
    online content). As with the other lenses, a preview section, accessible
    by right clicking on the result, will allow users to instantly view
    descriptions, app ratings, music previews, purchasing options when
    relevant and more, directly from the dash.

    For some of this content, if a user clicks the item and purchases it, it
    will generate affiliate revenue that we can invest back into the project
    (in a similar way to how we generate revenue from the Firefox search
    bar). We have found affiliate revenue to be a good method of helping us
    to continue to invest in maturing and growing Ubuntu.

    Another addition is that we will be including Launcher web apps icons to
    Amazon and the Ubuntu One Music Store by default. We feel that these
    icons will provide convenient access to these resources for our users
    and also benefit the project with the generation of affiliate revenue in
    those cases that these resources are used. If our users choose to not
    use these Launcher icons, they can be easily removed by the user by
    dragging the icon to the trash.

    These are features we have been working on throughout this cycle, and we
    apologize that it was added after Feature Freeze. Unfortunately, we had
    a few complications that occurred in the development of these features
    (such as some staffing adjustments and scope adjustment) and some
    technical issues we needed to resolve before we felt it was ready for
    inclusion. We appreciate that it is suboptimal that it is landing late,
    but we are confident it will be an interesting and useful feature for
    our 12.10 users.

    We have been sure to take care of the necessary documentation to get
    these features included after Feature Freeze. We also appreciate that
    these features have not had as much testing as we would like, but we are
    coordinating with Nicholas Skaggs on the Community Team to get
    additional manual testing and we are continuing to building extensive
    automated tests for the feature (like we do for the others features our
    team delivers).

    Naturally, if you have any further questions, please let me know. I am
    looking forward to working closer with you.

    I quoted the whole email for those that haven't seen it yet. Some of the formatting may seem a bit wierd due to my disappearing email problem, I had to copy and paste it directly from the mail box.
    Last edited by cariboo907; September 22nd, 2012 at 03:22 AM. Reason: added info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    Each default lens should have an easy way to toggle online/offline searching.
    eg, when I use the music lens to search my music collection I don't want to bring up unnecessary links to the U1 music store or amazon.
    I should be able to toggle online searches only when wanted.
    Similarly, I don't want a shopping advert when searching from the home lens,
    unless I want to go shopping.
    The only lens I can see which has a local source filter is the video lens.
    I want to be able to search offline or online not
    offline and online.
    Last edited by stinkeye; September 22nd, 2012 at 10:59 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    This is a bit problematic area yes and probably there is no real answer. Generally speaking i don't think users are against producing income for Ubuntu development but generally speaking users probably don't want data from every single search operation to be send to one of the big companies that sell stuff on-line and track users.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: "More suggestions", (unity-lens-shopping) should have a settings 'opt out'

    It should teach the meta-complainers. If nobody called this out, these improvements would not happen.

    There is also work being done to actually encrypt the search data.

    But I still think it is better to have it disabled by default.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodowiz View Post
    these are not adverts.
    Oh yeah!!11

    They are just intrussive unrequested suggestions to purchase products from a third party in such a way that purchasing such products give money to the party showing you those suggestions!

    They are not adverts!
    Xye incredibly difficult puzzle game with minimal graphics. Also at playdeb
    Got a blog: Will Stay Free


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