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Thread: Ubuntu and Amazon

  1. #11
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    L/Xubuntu 12.10 are free from the Amazon lens by default. You don't have to disable anything.
    Last edited by Elfy; January 25th, 2013 at 12:35 PM.
    If you install Buntu 17.10 remember to download a new ISO file.

    Old files might contain a bug which can damage UEFI hardware. Updating an existing installation and upgrading to 17.10 (if one has faith in upgrades in general) are safe.

  2. #12
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    whoops - meant to move this to recurring, sorry.

    re-opened it too

  3. #13
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    There are no versions of Ubuntu without integrated access to at least one search engine.Yahoo, Bing, Google, YouTube, Amazon... the only way to avoid search engines is not to use the internet at all. Even on other operating systems - every web browser contains some sort of integrated search function.

    Now that search engines are now classed as "spyware" because it sounds scarier, I fully expect internet use to drop off soon, and in a few years there will be so few internet users that we can go back to IPv2.

    But seriously, to answer your question, the Amazon search engine is not in 12.04 and it is easily removed or disabled from 12.10 (there are two officially-sanctioned methods). Or, you know, you could simply try to resist the urge to type your credit card details into the Dash.
    Last edited by 3rdalbum; January 26th, 2013 at 06:33 AM.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  4. #14
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    I don't think the problem is what you referred to as spyware. The problem in my mind is the install default condition. The default should be "OFF" and if Canonical believes it's a necessary component of the install, an informational popup box could request buy in.

    I could care less about Amazon, but any time data is collected from users - IMHO it should only be done with permission and agreement. Hiding it or defaulting it to "ON" implies deception. I'm not saying it's deliberately deceptive, just that it might and I believe has been (by some) perceived that way.

    I've read the arguments that support this data collection and can understand their view. My only argument is the default condition. If one is worried that few would buy in, then perhaps that should raise a huge red flag.

    It OK to make an honest profit, just be open and assure that all users are aware that they are participating. Set the default to "OFF" and question users up front during the install (before any data is collected from said users). It really is that simple and as I said, if one's concerned that few would buy in - then perhaps it's a questionable decision to begin with and should be reaccessed.

    Hopefully, all of Linux stays away from the carrot and stick model of doing business. I believe transparency builds confidence and provides users with a sense of security. Present trends or what other's do, shouldn't be used as justification.

    Just my $0.02
    "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."
    Ellen Glasgow

  5. #15
    monkeybrain2012 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlynmac View Post
    I don't think the problem is what you referred to as spyware. The problem in my mind is the install default condition. The default should be "OFF" and if Canonical believes it's a necessary component of the install, an informational popup box could request buy in.

    I could care less about Amazon, but any time data is collected from users - IMHO it should only be done with permission and agreement. Hiding it or defaulting it to "ON" implies deception. I'm not saying it's deliberately deceptive, just that it might and I believe has been (by some) perceived that way.

    I've read the arguments that support this data collection and can understand their view. My only argument is the default condition. If one is worried that few would buy in, then perhaps that should raise a huge red flag.

    It OK to make an honest profit, just be open and assure that all users are aware that they are participating. Set the default to "OFF" and question users up front during the install (before any data is collected from said users). It really is that simple and as I said, if one's concerned that few would buy in - then perhaps it's a questionable decision to begin with and should be reaccessed.

    Hopefully, all of Linux stays away from the carrot and stick model of doing business. I believe transparency builds confidence and provides users with a sense of security. Present trends or what other's do, shouldn't be used as justification.

    Just my $0.02
    I agree. People who argue that this can be switched off is missing the point. Yes, it can be switched off easily but many inexperienced users (the kind that Ubuntu wants to attract) would not even know that it is turned on, so why would they look for ways to switch it off.? Personally I don't think it is a big deal other than a mild annoyance (I never buy from Amazon and have turned it off), but as you say, the user should be asked to give permission first. If it were an opt in feature, or even a pop up to say that this feature is turned on and a check box to choose off when the dash first starts, I think most criticism will stop, so why don't they do it?
    It is such an easy way to regain good will.

    I will have this feature turned off by default if I install Ubuntu 12.10 for others.
    Last edited by monkeybrain2012; January 26th, 2013 at 08:40 PM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    monkeybrain2012
    so why don't they do it?
    It is such an easy way to regain good will.
    I will have this feature turned off by default if I install Ubuntu 12.10 for others.
    I think your on target.

    If in the future should I assist anyone with installing Ubuntu - the first thing I will do is explain it and ask them if they wished to participate. If not, I will turn it off - but I would give them the choice. Which is exactly what Canonical should do/have done.

    Why they didn't or don't I will not comment on , as it would just be speculation (opinion). What's frustrating are those who believe that simply because others do it, that it's acceptable. Reminds me of justifying bad behavior, based on other bad behavior. I think the ethical thing to do, is notify users up front and explain the rational. Rather than just assuming everyone wishes to participate or not disclosing until questioned.

    As you indicate, new users would have no idea that it was turned on by default unless they read it on the net or someone informed them. IMHO that's not a good way to start off the new user experience. Unfortunately, debating this in the forums will have zero impact. Debating, without involving Canonical is IMO a waste of time. Opinions will remain and the topic will eventually fade, which I believe is why this thread was moved to the RC. OOS-OOM

    But that's just my $0.02
    "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."
    Ellen Glasgow

  7. #17
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Yeah, there are really two problems to solve; the user needs to be notified and the feature should be opt-in, because sending data without obvious feedback it's happening is problematic; at the same time, online searching needs to still be a kind of default, because the more advanced features of the Dash need to have a chance to catch on. So you need something vaguely coercive, yet still technically the user's choice. = ) I picture something like this - and please excuse the silly; I made this mock-mock-up in response to a debate on the topic on the xkcd forums:





    There are real mockups for a Dash search control center, and it's very unfortunate that the shopping lens feature was pushed into development without completing this step. But there needs to be a first-run confirmation of some kind, too. Otherwise, the simple fact that local searches are captured and logged on serverside without explicit confirmation from the user sounds just enough like spyware to be politically unfortunate.

    There are still some folks who don't use Google Chrome simply because the search string in the address bar is sent character-by-character instead of on hitting Enter. But even there, the user at least can't confuse the omnibox for a simple local search.

    And no, Amazon isn't the point. Giving Ubuntu access to your Google account for Empathy means that your search strings are sent to Google in case you have a Drive account, again without explicit confirmation.

    (I didn't find the opt-out behavior troublesome until talking it out in that discussion at the xkcd forums I referred to. Ultimately, though, I found that I really couldn't defend it.)

  8. #18
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Why have two people on this thread said that new users wont know the Amazon search is active? The very first keyword they type in Dash Home, they will be presented with Amazon results. THIS IS NOT SPYWARE. Spyware sends information without giving any feedback to tell the user what has happened. The Shopping lens search gives immediate obvious, relevent feedback that any user with half a brain and limited computing experience can decipher as "What I typed has been sent as a search query".
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  9. #19
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    That was my thought, too, but then I ran into people who were surprised it was happening. I messed with it and found that short strings (3 characters) usually don't pull up Amazon results. People used to the Gnome Do philosophy really might never notice. Of course, then all that's being logged is three-letter strings.

    Edit: And believe me, I found it very odd that there were any users unaware, too. I should have probably said that first. My only initial problem with the Amazon results was that they were so very obtrusive, and certainly not that the remote searching was overly silent.
    Last edited by Copper Bezel; January 27th, 2013 at 10:13 AM.

  10. #20
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    Re: Ubuntu and Amazon

    Still no new news in these threads.

    As we've said before and will no doubt say again - the place to get these things changed is not on the forum.

    Closing now.

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