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Thread: Ubuntu and Amazon

  1. #31
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Thanks for that informative post 3rdalbum! I hadn't known about the Music and Video Lenses as well.

    As Copper Bezel noted, the basic idea of providing an universal search is very good, just that the way it has been implemented so far is controversial. When you use a phone or something like Chromebook, you do expect just about everything to be sent online, but NOT when you search the 'Home' Lens of your desktop. If it had been either opt-in or separated into its own 'Online' Lens then I suppose most would've welcomed it.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    10,988

    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by jsvidyad View Post
    Can someone please help me here?
    I'll try

    Back in post #23 you asked:

    What I'm asking is whether in ubuntu 12.04 there is some other feature/program which, like the amazon ads feature in ubuntu 12.10, collects data from the user's computer and sends it over the internet to some server or to some organization.
    My simple answer is NO, but I'm doing some 12.04.2 SRU testing anyway so I'll get real specific. The only unity lenses installed by default are these:

    unity-lens-12.04.jpg

    Not even the app review lenses are installed by default:

    app_review_lens.jpg

    And even the stat info is disabled by default in Software Sources:

    stat_info.png

    So there should be no worries with Precise

    But to be perfectly honest there should never be any worry about Ubuntu or Canonical IMHO. I simply trust SABDFL to not rip me off

  3. #33
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by jsvidyad View Post
    What I'm asking is whether in ubuntu 12.04 there is some other feature/program which, like the amazon ads feature in ubuntu 12.10, collects data from the user's computer and sends it over the internet to some server or to some organization.
    Since you're obviously concerned about this issue, I suggest you learn to monitor for surreptitious communications yourself.

    Aren't there free (and paid-for) tools available to check what you want?

    Don't rely on assurances from people in forums or elsewhere. How can you be sure they're trustworthy? There have been reports of munchkins or people whose job is to portray certain companies in a favorable or unfavorable way in forums and in the comments section of blogs.

    Who's to know whether a trustworthy company today may turn evil tomorrow or even sporadically during the day; unless you keep continuous logs you may miss some things.

    Then there are the updates we receive. Even PPAs can be evil: see How do I check whether a PPA package has been tampered with?. And don't forget the browser and its extensions and plug-ins. There's a cute article linking, in turn, to an article on aspects of Java updates here: The Tool Designed To Fool – We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Toolbar! (Revisited)

    You need to monitor all of this and much more in order to be somewhat "safe". Don't just limit your totally well-intentioned efforts to Ubuntu and Amazon unless, of course, you've identified Ubuntu and Amazon as the primary/only dangers.
    de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum -- Wiktionary

  4. #34
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    If this is about popcon, isn't it opt-in?
    What is popcon?

  5. #35
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Since you're obviously concerned about this issue, I suggest you learn to monitor for surreptitious communications yourself.

    Aren't there free (and paid-for) tools available to check what you want?

    Don't rely on assurances from people in forums or elsewhere. How can you be sure they're trustworthy? There have been reports of munchkins or people whose job is to portray certain companies in a favorable or unfavorable way in forums and in the comments section of blogs.

    Who's to know whether a trustworthy company today may turn evil tomorrow or even sporadically during the day; unless you keep continuous logs you may miss some things.

    Then there are the updates we receive. Even PPAs can be evil: see How do I check whether a PPA package has been tampered with?. And don't forget the browser and its extensions and plug-ins. There's a cute article linking, in turn, to an article on aspects of Java updates here: The Tool Designed To Fool – We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Toolbar! (Revisited)

    You need to monitor all of this and much more in order to be somewhat "safe". Don't just limit your totally well-intentioned efforts to Ubuntu and Amazon unless, of course, you've identified Ubuntu and Amazon as the primary/only dangers.
    IMHO trust is ultimately an unresolvable issue, at least not 100%. For instance how can you trust the wiretapping tools and it's creator? As Mark Shuttleworth recently said, on a daily basis we are trusting tons of binary code from makers all over the world. It would be impossible for each one of us to personally examine every line of the source for every bit of software and then compile them ourselves with a 'trusted' toolchain/host system!!

    While it's good to get informed about all these issues of trust, security, privacy and so on, there only so much an average user can do in terms of personal action, without having to devote all his waking time for this. And it's not worth it too.

    Certainly Linux being open source is subjected to peer review from all over the world, and hence while access to tamper the code is also more easier than say a protected company like Microsoft, the self-correcting mechanisms of the community are there to counter this.

    Closed-source code must be taken on blind faith while with open-source at least, faith can be reinforced to a large extent by personal and community monitoring.

    Personally I trust any reasonably large (in terms of developers and user base) Linux distribution under the assumption that any malicious code would be quickly discovered by the community, if in the unlikely case someone is mad enough to attempt this!

    Individual binary programs are more risky of course, even under Linux since most of us don't compile from source, and more so under Windows.

    Thinking about this gives me a headache, so while I make myself reasonably aware, and do adopt may secure habits, I don't want to become paranoid over this! It isn't worth it; better go with the flow.

  6. #36
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by jsvidyad View Post
    What is popcon?
    popularity contest.

    Closed.

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