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Thread: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

  1. #1
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    Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    I have used Ubuntu in the past (version 9.x) and now want to install the newest version in a new laptop. But a red flag has popped up, causing me to hesitate.

    Katherine Noyes published in linux.com the following:

    Regarding Ubuntu, however, a number of issues have come up over the past year or so, including the inclusion of online shopping results in searches – an addition Richard Stallman and the EFF have called “spyware.”

    I did a little research, including reading Stallman's original piece on this subject and frankly, I find this a bit alarming. I expect this kind of thing from Microsoft, Apple, Google or other sellers of commercial proprietary OS's, but not from the Linux community!

    Has Canonical been seduced by the Dark Side of the Force?? What EXACTLY does this mean? Is Canonical paid to collect - through Ubuntu - information (anonymous or not) from my search behavior, enabling third parties to target me with sponsored results? Besides this, to what other "issues" is Noyes referring?

    I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered elsewhere in this forum, but my searches so far have turned up nothing that actually explains what the controversy is about. But Richard Stallman - a well-known and respected member of the Linux community - has pulled no punches in giving Ubuntu the poison pen, recommending that no one continue to recommend Ubuntu, let alone install it.

    If this horse is dead, please humor me and beat him some more for me. He probably won't care... He's already dead. But I'll be informed, and grateful. For others who, like me, need to be brought up to speed, it might even be good to put a sticky on it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Covered ad nauseum.

    Moved to Recurring.

  3. #3
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Now you have my interest. I know nothing of this yet, will dig up anything if I can.

  4. #4
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Code:
    sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping
    Some brief google searching shows this to remove it. Tried it, shows it worked.

  5. #5
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    This doesn't affect precise.

    And anyway, what makes you think Richard Stallman would ever recommend Ubuntu?
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
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  6. #6
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    It's simply a way for Ubuntu to get a little revenue back which i certainly think is a very reasonable move, considering the huge amount of $ Mark Shuttleworth puts into the project...they are not "spying" on you...the searches are simply linked to amazon to give some shopping suggestions in the "dash" (unity search)...much like you get "target ads" when you browse on yahoo or google, for example...

    However, you can turn it off (beginning in ubuntu 12.10 and beyond) by simply going to the privacy settings and hitting 2 off buttons....then you get no online searches in the "dash" at all...
    While it is turned on by default, you will ALWAYS (Mark stated this) have the option of turning it completely off..so, it is ENTIRELY up to you whether you want to use it or not...

    I wouldn't pay much attention to anything Richard Stallman writes about...I think perhaps he read his copy of the (rather famous) novel "1984" too much
    (in case you are not familiar, it was written a long time ago, about a society in which "BIG BROTHER" (the state) is always watching you...LOL
    Last edited by craig10x; April 5th, 2013 at 07:04 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Quote Originally Posted by deadflowr View Post
    This doesn't affect precise.
    I am quite proficient with English, but I don't know what that sentence means. Grammatically, syntactically and contextually, it is nonsense.

    And anyway, what makes you think Richard Stallman would ever recommend Ubuntu?
    I don't know him personally. But from your tone, you seem to be implying that you do. And that only an idiot could conceive of a universe in which some version of Richard Stallman might recommend Ubuntu. And that if I can't answer your rejoinder, I must therefore be an idiot. FINE! I'm an idiot! I don't have any idea what he would recommend. I only know ONE Linux distro he emphatically DOES NOT recommend.

    I've been away from Linux for awhile, so I haven't kept up. I remember ubuntuforums.org as a place where people from newbies to experts could get information. Has it in the interim degenerated into one of those forums where snide sarcasm and snarkiness rule the discourse?

  8. #8
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Quote Originally Posted by bonejob View Post
    I am quite proficient with English, but I don't know what that sentence means. Grammatically, syntactically and contextually, it is nonsense.
    "Precise" is the code name for Ubuntu 12.04. So the translation is "This (implementation of online search) doesn't affect Ubuntu 12.04"

    Hope that makes sense now grammatically, syntactically and contextually.

  9. #9
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    Red face Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Quote Originally Posted by craig10x View Post
    It's simply a way for Ubuntu to get a little revenue back which i certainly think is a very reasonable move, considering the huge amount of $ Mark Shuttleworth puts into the project...they are not "spying" on you...the searches are simply linked to amazon to give some shopping suggestions in the "dash" (unity search)...much like you get "target ads" when you browse on yahoo or google, for example...

    However, you can turn it off (beginning in ubuntu 12.10 and beyond) by simply going to the privacy settings and hitting 2 off buttons....then you get no online searches in the "dash" at all...
    While it is turned on by default, you will ALWAYS (Mark stated this) have the option of turning it completely off..so, it is ENTIRELY up to you whether you want to use it or not...
    Thank you for the info. The term "spyware" is thrown about rather loosely. Most broadly defined, "spyware" is seen by many as any program or routine implanted by a software vendor or distributor that collects information of any kind about the user for either the company's own use or on behalf of a third party, regardless of how malicious or benign the intent. By that admittedly very broad definition, this qualifies as spyware. Is it a deal-breaker for me? No. But it does disturb me a little. One of the reasons people come to the open-source community is to avoid this kind of crap. I can see how some might see this move by Canonical as a kind of betrayal.


    I wouldn't pay much attention to anything Richard Stallman writes about...I think perhaps he read his copy of the (rather famous) novel "1984" too much
    I've seen Stallman's name frequently. I know nothing about him except that he writes software in the open-source community, he writes about software, and he seems to be rather opinionated on the subject, too. Why should I not pay much attention to anything he writes? Is he ill-informed, passing on erroneous information?

    By your reference to Orwell's "1984", are you implying he is some kind of a paranoid nut? A tin-foil hatter?

    (in case you are not familiar, it was written a long time ago, about a society in which "BIG BROTHER" (the state) is always watching you...LOL
    OH, I remember it all right.... It was required reading in high school English Lit back in my day. And FYI, "back in my day" was when Johnson was president and computers a hundred times dumber and slower than your iPhone stored data on reel-to-reel tape drives and took up a couple of floors in a decent-sized office building!


  10. #10
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    Re: Coming back to Ubuntu, but have seen red flags...

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain2012 View Post
    "Precise" is the code name for Ubuntu 12.04. So the translation is "This (implementation of online search) doesn't affect Ubuntu 12.04"

    Hope that makes sense now grammatically, syntactically and contextually.
    Thank you! What was murky has been made clear!

    Mostly clear, anyway...

    Are you saying that this controversial implementation of online search is not part of Ubuntu 12.04?

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