Besides the privacy problems, making your software into adware is incredibly destructive to its image. Ubuntu can no longer be used by any self-respecting or privacy-conscious company or individual. Imagine the CTO of IBM - "So, this Ubuntu is adware? And it sends all our searches to Amazon? Are you kidding me? Get out of my office and get me a list of real OSes, you know, business-class operating systems."
I mean what I say when I say, "can't". The image of adware is too low to be considered business class. Would you buy a bottle of wine that had an ad for hemorrhoid medication on the side? You might for yourself, maybe, if you're a wino, but would you buy it as a gift? Would you buy it for a restaurant? Would you buy it for a dinner party?
Ubuntu has just classified itself in with the Netzeros of the world, as bottom-of-the-barrel software. It marked itself on the forehead with a big tattoo that says "substandard software" - they set the brand on fire. That change is going to hurt more than any extra revenue is going to help.
Thing is , I imagine most of Ubuntu's current users are savvy enough to just remove this and get on with their lives therefor grossly reducing the affiliate revenue they would get.
I actually wouldn't necessarily be against some amazon integration into the OS, for example having a 'shopping' lens might be convenient, especially if it let me manage my cart and track shipping etc all from inside my OS.
I don't even understand how this is especially useful to amazon anyway. I usually use the home lens to search for programs, what use is knowing that I typed in 'sublime text' to amazon?
Ubuntu is now low-class software, and high-class people use high-class software.
has Java, flash, vmware installed, and has had social clients removed. I imagine that the next version of this would omit the 'enhanced' Dash search 'feature' as well.
Enterprise is not the issue, the issue is the consumer tablet/netbook/TV space with crapware added.
Instead, they're using... basically affiliate links. Instead of a real monetization strategy involving a real partnership, they're using the "blogger who just realized he could make money off of this thing" strategy.
I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't their "feeling out" period before launching exactly what you're suggesting in a year or so.
An affiliate deal seems to make a much lighter impact to Ubuntu's ability to make independent decisions, in part because the revenue stream is less and also because the service is somewhat fungible–Ubuntu can switch to another online retailer (or suite of retailers).
Also, the perceived switching costs for a consumer to convert from Ubuntu One to Cloud Drive is going to be a helluva lot higher than `sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping` (unless they make ubuntu-desktop a dependent package, making apt return a scary message)
By trying to do too much too soon they were only ever going to produce second rate products compared to the competition (a company with the resources of Microsoft can barely win some of these verticals, let alone Canonical).
It was always going to end with them stripping out and shutting down their own solutions and integrating with the best possible partners with each service.
But I worry about slippery slopes ... will rightsholders demand DRM that subverts openness?
Canonical sure needs money. Before this, the deal was that Ubuntu is free in both ways and Canoncial tries to earn money with support-contracts for corporations. That wasn't succesful enough (which maybe isn't too surprising with established forces like Redhat already in the market), so Ubuntu One marked a new approach, to monetize the wide distribution of Ubuntu by offering paid services (but also a free offer). The try to participate on the in-app-purchases goes in the same direction.
So far, there was a balance. Unity in itself can be seen as a tipping point, where Canoncial tried to steer Ubuntu in one direction without even trying to align that with the community. That alone made Unity a hard sell for established ubuntu-users, its bad state in the beginning didn't help.
And now ads. Ads are seldom in the best interest of the user. Sometimes they are, when they offer exactly the product the customer searched for (i once got a cheaper dsl-connection because i arrived via a google-ad when i searched for dsl connections, for that i was thankful). In the Unity dash, the user is trying to start a program or to open a file of his, so it is almost guaranteed that the ad will never be what the user searches for.
So all this default does is enabling a probably very small revenue-stream to canonical, while cluttering the dash and irritating users by givem them the feeling that this ubuntu-desktop is doing strange things not in their control (even though they can disable it, a new user won't know how and even if he did, the system did something unexpected, which will bother him).
I hope there are better ways to monetize (maybe donations, paid features like the already existing ones, integrating google music, an ubuntu-tablet, facebook-integration paid for by facebook, certified hardware - but sure not simple ads -.-).
sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping --purge
sudo flay the-marketroid-who-came-up-with-that -v -v -painful -transcript -violate-human-rights
sudo dpkg -P unity-lens-shopping
root@fw:~# dpkg -P libssl1.0.0
dpkg: dependency problems prevent removal of libssl1.0.0:amd64:
python-openssl depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.0).
openssh-client depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.1).
ntp depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.0).
bind9-host depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.0).
tor depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.1).
tcpdump depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.0).
libruby1.8 depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.0).
postfix depends on libssl1.
dpkg: error processing libssl1.0.0:amd64 (--purge):
dependency problems - not removing
Errors were encountered while processing:
root@fw:~# dpkg -P coreutils
dpkg: error processing coreutils (--purge):
This is an essential package - it should not be removed.
Errors were encountered while processing:
I demonstrated that dpkg will not remove packages with dependencies. Furthermore some packages are so crucial (ie: essential) that dpkg does not even bother checking dependencies before erroring out.
How does that not change your point?
> the point of apt-get being better than dpkg for this still stands.
When removing packages it just doesn't matter. When installing, it also doesn't really matter. dpkg can't fetch packages from the repositories, but it will mark them and a following apt-get install -f will fetch them flawlessly.
A few years ago you had to be careful when mixing apt-get and aptitude, and thus probably also when mixing aptitude with dpkg, as far as i know that is not the case anymore. Even a following autoremove should work.
You haven't mentioned one single valid cause why it should be wrong to use dpkg, and I'm pretty confident that you won't, because afaik it isn't. And i'm pretty sure.
(Just jumping in because dfc mentioning he really wants to know. Just think about apt-get as a frontend for dpkg which calls dpkg to install and remove .debs, but also fetches them from the internet and notices when they are no longer needed because they were installed as a dependency for a now removed package.)
I'm not being snarky, I'm generally interested in learning more about Debian and it seems that you might be able to improve my knowledge.
The only time I've been forced to use dpkg in the past ten years was when the system was seriously messed up e.g. in the middle of a failed upgrade.
Did you read anything I wrote? I specifically mentioned that dpkg would not remove an essential package...twice:
In my initial reply I demonstrated that dpkg would not remove an essential package:
root@fw:~# dpkg -P coreutils
dpkg: error processing coreutils (--purge):
This is an essential package - it should not be removed.
Errors were encountered while processing:
"Furthermore some packages are so crucial (ie: essential) that dpkg does not even bother checking dependencies before erroring out."
> "The only time I've been forced to use dpkg in the past ten years was when the system was seriously messed up e.g. in the middle of a failed upgrade."
Just because the only time you had to use dpkg was when your system was messed up does not mean that dpkg is likely to mess up your system. Its like saying that the emergency room causes life threatening trauma because the only time I was seriously injured I had to go to the emergency room.
Does anyone know if there a name for this kind of fallacious reasoning? It seems like an amalgamation of "post hoc ergo propter hoc" and "cum hoc ergo propter hoc."
The OP is, I believe, trying to argue that apt-get is in general less likely to blow your foot off, therefore you should default to using apt-get in general since it makes you less likely to lose a foot in the long run.
If you prefer to memorise specific safe cases for brevity of typing, that's absolutely fine. The OP, I think, prefers not to do so, and the same goes for me.
Assuming I'm correct in describing the OP's argument, hopefully you can now both go "oh, okay, that's what he meant" and move on :)
alias canhaz='sudo apt-get install'
alias donotwant='sudo apt-get remove'
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
The typical Ubuntu user probably won't miss much on Xubuntu. When they find that mrxvt doesn't let them use Ctrl-C/V to copy and paste, they'll be mystified. Ditto for Openbox's wu wei panel management.
I use tint2 as a "panel" of sorts in Openbox, and modify menu.xml for anything else I need. I like it well enough. Also, modifying rc.xml allows one to set hotkeys.
So even if you are just searching for a local file or application, that search string is being sent to Amazon. Thus, an entire history of what you search for on your computer will be stored with Amazon.
This is no different to how adware functions. It opens up massive privacy implications that are not addressed or discussed in OP (or anywhere else that I have seen) but need to be before this feature is released in a stable version.
Edit: I have no problem with integrating Amazon for affiliate fees, just think it needs to be thought through a little more so that there are no surprises to users. Add to that the privacy implications needs to be disclosed to users frankly and upfront.
*No, Dell's half-assed shitty Ubuntu machines don't count.
To make Unity and the DisplayPort port (as opposed to just VGA) work, I had to go into the BIOS and change a graphics setting to make it not automatically switch between the integrated and better graphics card. This made unity work, but it also made something terrible happen when I actually plugged in a monitor with DisplayPort. I believe that both the laptop screen and monitor went to 1024x768 and couldn't be coerced out.
The next step, to get full resolution on our 30" monitors, was to install some different video drivers. That was going to be harder to reverse, so I just gave up and dealt with nonoptimal resolution via VGA.
I also had a terrible time disconnecting monitors. Half the time when I unplugged the VGA it would just give me a blank screen.
Also, a few times when listening to music, the entire machine froze and it played the last ~2 seconds of audio repeatedly, with no sign of escape besides restarting.
We've come a long way from when several hours of work to make wifi work was a given, but I still don't think I've ever owned a Linux laptop where all hardware worked perfectly.
If Canonical could handle the technical support for Lenovo machines with pre-installed Linux I think that would be a match made in heaven.
http://www.emperorlinux.com : provides laptops preinstalled with Linux from Dell, Lenovo, Panasonic and Sony
[Firmware Bug]: ACPI: BIOS _OSI(Linux) query ignored
How I want it to work: I click on the icon and get taken to a page that shows whether I've donated. If I do, I say how long the donation is for. (E.g., I choose $10 and 6 months.) My icon goes green across all my machines and I feel smug. In 6 months, it looks sickly, so I click on it and donate again.
I can't find any hints on ubuntu.com on how to donate (though they have a shop, I don't want any "swag").
Shuttleworth has always said he wants to make it a viable business; perhaps he's worried people would donate instead of having their business buy support (or whatever). Hrm.
EDIT: I searched their site and found the donate page. It doesn't seem to be linked from anywhere; only discoverable by using search.
If you want up-to-date, use testing, which is at python 2.7.3:
They both have python3 versions available, too (3.1.3 and 3.2.3 respectively). There are legitimate complaints about Debian, but being stuck on python 2.4 is not one of them.
I would pay if I were still an Ubuntu user. The only reason I don't use stock Ubuntu now is because of Unity.
> You can charge nothing, a penny, a dollar, or a billion dollars.
Ubuntu's full of non-free software and binary blobs. This is why it pretty much works out of the box. There's little fucking around with drivers, non-free codecs, etc.
In any event, adding non-free "premium" features doesn't make the operating system itself any less free.
If this is because they were not getting enough donations from the users, then I am disappointed in us for not supporting them (I give $25 annually, maybe it is time to up that to $50).
If they are getting enough in donations, but they just got a taste for money, then I am disappointed in them for compromising the spirit of open source (even if it adheres to the doctrine).
If they are getting enough in donations but really want the capital to take Ubuntu to the next level, then I am disappointed in all of us (especially me) who just couldn't find the time and energy to join the project, write some damn code, and help make the project great.
But at least this last one is an interesting prospect...
Historically, the "spirit" of Open Source (or the motivation to part from the FSF, which was the birth of the movement) was to present whatever was happening in the Free Software world to businesses precisely with the goal of attracting money. Loads of it.
Open Source is a method of work. It says, my value is not in my source code, I'm not afraid of sharing it with the world (as a matter of facts, I get more value by doing so). But it is furthermost a methodology aimed at helping businesses make more money. (Or else all this commotion would've never happened in the late 90s and we'd all be still calling it Free Software).
Canonical is a business. It needs money and if you've ever owned a business, or worked in a financial position in one, you know there's no such thing as "getting enough". If they don't make money, they'll die and the project might terminate. Take it or leave it.
That being said, I chose to leave it a while back, for very similar reasons (I moved to Debian which was familiar and more ... free). But I cannot say I'm surprised they do similar deals, and cannot stand by when people accuse them of ... not following some convenient definition that was never there to begin with.
But getting books about empathy in my Dash when launching a chat client is plain silly.
Who searches their programs and wants to see matching books and music? I could understand listing other software for sale, but this is daft.
I doubt they'll get anything but complaints about this and it'll go away.
The default for me is a combined pane that shows recent apps, recent files and downloads. If I start typing a search term, whichever categories has matches show up.
If I want a specific category, such as just applications, I can select that.
Maybe they'll change the defaults, or ask question during install, but I suspect most of the people who might care will easily figure out how to remove/disable it.
(Frankly Unity is the most productive UI I've had since my Amiga days. I was planning on installing a tiling WM before I tried it, but then I ended up staying with Unity because it was such a smooth experience, even with far less tweaking than what I'm used to have to do.
My most frequently used apps are all just one key combination away. Everything else one key + search. I run most stuff full screen, but with the global menu enabled in most apps, most apps waste very little space even when I "just" have them fill all the available space. It's the closest approximation Amiga-style screens using workspaces I've experienced on Linux.
The only thing I hate is the loss of spatial file browsing)
That yellow circle with the pencil in it. It should yield a pop-up for you to state whether it affects you.
"When you use Ubuntu we receive affiliate revenue based on your usage. How would you would like the money distributed?"
Then have some sliders like the Humble Bundle to proportion it to the program authors, GNU/fdo etc, EFF and Canonical. Everybody wins that way - folks who don't like Canonical can set their share to zero percent. And just by using the system you cause the appropriate people and organizations to be rewarded.
So either they can be an adversary, or they can work with them. It is a far better story that Google kickbacks for the Firefox usage on Ubuntu go to more than just Canonical.
You didn't buy a phone or a car (both of which are hardware and have large per unit BOM and manufacturing costs) from a company that is community oriented and where the vast majority of the components were provided for free by others in the spirit of openness, freedom and community.
Now Canonical can (and has the legal right to) take every cent and modify everything so they are the only ones to gain. And in a short term oriented business sense that is the right thing to do. But it doesn't help in the long term. Canonical depends heavily on its users and its suppliers.
I use the amazon search via DuckDuckGo all the time in Firefox. Granted, I still tell DDG explicitly to search Amazon (via !), but it is not a far step to simply returning it always.
Maybe adding something like the !-notation for special searches to unity would be the golden way.
ps- Aadvertising Aardvark? Commercial Coelacanth?
Lubuntu 12.04 is unbelievably good. Everything works out of the box and it just stays out of your way. You can choose Openbox at the login screen too. Highly recommended.
sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping
They are really stretching the definition of free software. Is a software free if I don't pay for it up front but made the company get revenue based on the data I provide. I find this very insidious to be honest. True, they need money; and money does not grow on trees that is very true but is this the best approach? Irritating the user base with every major decision you made does not seem to be a good move in my humble opinion.
sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping
10.04 is still the best Ubuntu, if newcomers to Linux want simplicity and usability that's what I recommend whether they're not very tech savvy or programmers. I still use it on my work laptop. (I've been using Gentoo on my home devices since 2007 or so.) The .deb model of packaging is sane, Ubuntu just can't be trusted anymore with what comes installed out of the box and what's available to install/uninstall out of the box.
I'm still looking for a good Ubuntu/Debian derivative that's at least as good as 10.04. Xubuntu is always a "good enough" option in many respects. A lot of people recommend Mint and I don't see why. But I'm also very biased in favor of Gnome2.
The RHEL 6 clones (CentOS, PUIAS Linux, Scientific Linux) have Gnome 2.x and support for ages.
Anyway, this is all a non-discussion for an experienced user, since the lens can be removed easily. Also, Ubuntu 12.10 is still beta, so they might still remove this functionality or make a separate shopping lens, or whatever.
Non-administators can't add a password through the graphical dialogue if they are currently without password. "Choose password at next login" was the next best option for fellow family members interested in trying out Linux.
The infamous obscurity of the power off and restart buttons. You can read all about it on Google. Family members are sure to reach for the physical power off button and do cold shut downs once they want to use Windows.
The Firewall thing assured me that SSH is a trusted protocol, but incoming SSH connections were met with "No route to host." Disabling the Firewall fixed this.
Selecting Terminal in Activities gives focus to a currently open Terminal. Opening new Terminals can be done through the File dialogue.
Entering a non-existing command results in a very noticeable delay before the prompt returns.
I haven't found a way to enable focus follows mouse. Instructions on the web seem outdated.
I was met with a confusing "Enter password to unlock login keyring" window when trying to set up instant messaging accounts. I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with my changing from the original Fedora user password, or with using passwd. Empathy didn't really work out for me because of detail-lacking connection error messages.
These are some of the surprises I have encountered during the first day of working on it. I will probably stick with it for quite a while as it is acceptable to work on.
Nothing shitty, I bet many (not you guys who read HN, but non-power users) will like this feature. I don't think I'll disable it.
And that: it's possible to disable, that is nice.
Depending on what language I am coding in I either have IntelliJ mostly full screen, or I have emacs and a few term windows open that cover most of the screen.
Question: does anyone know if they ads will be visible in these work modes?
I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon and I am glad Canonical will get a little cut.
It won’t only be down to donations and sponsorships anymore, your activity on the web, every search query you make and product you buy will help fund our project.
* * *
Try Trisquel http://trisquel.info/ which based on Ubuntu, with non-free software removed.
If you don't like it, it's not very difficult to turn off. If you find it too difficult to turn off, maybe Ubuntu is not the right operating system for you.
A lot of people are upset, but this isn't like having a banner ad on the desktop. It's a real feature, just with a nice side effect for Canonical.
What makes you say that?
Privacy concerns aside, in what ways does this actually worsen the user experience?
Xubuntu is pretty nice... but I might end up moving to Debian if they start pushing this out.
%> sudo reboot
pulseaudio works fine for the majority of users.
pulseaudio actually brings some nice features to the linux desktop
pulseaudio bashing was cool a couple years ago, you're late to the party
And - quite frankly - the GP didn't state his problems at all, so you were just trolling (-> 'Remove this software package that really is just an elaborate hoax to destroy sound. The internet says so!')
And .. 'you're welcome' is really low..
you should too if you feel strongly enough.
I'm still on Lucid Lynx.
No joke. Steve Jobs is listed on a patent for serving ads at boot time.
There is no limit to how low they will go.
Neverthless, what on earth is Canonical thinking?!?!?
The 'feature' we are discussing can be easily removed, I don't see that rms will have too many additional problems with Ubuntu.
Dual revenue. Sell your product. And your users.
Advertising is just a more trivial case derivative. But information gathering (pretexted: customer servive) can easily be repacked (consumer intelligence) and set to the highest bidder. Because there is de-minimus incremental complexity to the U product business, entry into the D derivative business makes sense both from a profit and a strategy perspective as costs of digital platform tools decreases (and/or skills, toold, expertise becomes more widespread.)
This isn't in your browser, this is in your entire operating system...
Adblock won't do anything to help you with this one.
>For example, when you want to search for “dishwashers” on Amazon you can just enter “Dishwashers” in the Dash and a small line of “suggested items” from Amazon will appear.
>The same happens when you search for a local file or app from the Home Lens.
>So yes, you can expect to see self-help guides on compassion when trying to launch Empathy.
>‘More Suggestions’ is a strange turn of phrase; most people don’t tend to expect product suggestions when looking for their e-mail app. But I can cede that it’s a far better name than that used in development: ‘treat yourself’
Showing ads when you search locally seems a tad much and a waste of system resources. Isn't this equivalent to showing shopping ads based on keyword searches in Spotlight and the Windows Start menu?
Edit: Just realized that I sometimes type keywords to find local files matching filenames and content that's personal in nature. Does this mean all those keywords are sent to Amazon and perhaps data mined to show personalized results?
Exactly my concern as well. It honestly seems like an awfully broad spray to have these results on every search – why not just make it a selectable mode instead of populating every time?
That would have been fine for me if Amazon din't make it really obvious. Every damn time I search for something while signed in I am sure to receive an email from them the very next day suggesting similar items. It was even wierder when I watched a documentary about sex on xbox's amazon video and the next day I received an email talking about my "interest". So now I have to do all my lookups in incognito mode and will only sign in when I am ready to make the purchase.
You can add them to the home dash as well (or whatever their terminology is) which would send your normal search keystrokes, but that hasn't been the default for any other net based queries in the past.
Not to mention rather obvious privacy issues.
Mint used to set Firefox's default search engine a customized (read: craptastic) version of Google that's designed to rake in the ad revenue. I wouldn't have a problem with it if it wasn't utterly useless and ugly as sin. (It looked like the Google site search for webmasters.)
Now the default search engine is DuckDuckGo. I have no idea if they have a revshare agreement with them.
Are you referring to the default home page?
Ubuntu server is still excellent.
If their goal was to provide something that novices could get comfortable with quickly, I think they did a good job. It fell down for me in making the transition easy for people comfortable with the old UI, but that's clearly an audience they didn't intend to address, so I'm willing to cut them some slack.
An example of a free-software violation would be the bittorent clients, which have to way to disable obeying the private bit. While one does have access to the source code, and can therefore modify this themselves, the software is designed with the explicit intention to remove the users freedom to dis-obey the private bit.
Adds are annoying, but do not affect any user freedoms.
Discussion on ubuntuforums: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2060764
Here is a quote of a quote of the technology director of Canocial:
"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."
I got that from the linked forum, but haven't searched the mailing lists to validate it.
One that even happened to look nice: http://imgur.com/a/AbCwV/
(Not associated with elementary OS but very much enjoying it. It is a bit buggy still).