I do not understand why there's such a backlash against anyone that points out that:
1. It's not intuitive to have to both disable "Include Spotlight Suggestions" in Safari and in Preferences.
2. People like my father who are privacy conscious but are average computer users would not think to look for this in Spotlight and Search and instead would look in the privacy tab instead
3. Apple released and advertises cool privacy features like MAC address randomization that actually do not work. It only works with Location Services and 3G disabled according to the reports which is never going to happen. This makes me feel that the new focus on privacy from Apple is more for PR purpose than something they really care for.
That said, I like Apple products, I've been using macs since 2004 and I would have a hard time going back to using Linux (still have nightmares about all the work needed to support my laptop correctly) but that doesn't mean I'm giving them a pass on those privacy issues.
I know a lot of people here feel that all of this is much ado about nothing but really, it's clearly not obvious and if I hadn't read yesterday's thread I wouldn't have been aware that Safari sends my search to Apple even if selected Duck Duck Go and disabled Spotlight Suggestions in preferences.
It may well be something that some parts of the organisation care about, but clearly it is not something that the UX people designing the settings applets care about (assuming such people exist; for a company generally very good at UI and UX, Apple tends to have very confusing settings stuff).
Clearly they are doing it for their own purposes, and your post is fair comment, but if their interests and their customer's interests align then that's good for both sides.
It's also possible that while their current privacy oriented features leave gaps that are exploitable, that's just because the remaining gaps are trickier to address and will just take longer. Also just because elements of the communications infrastructure they don't control may be open, that doesn't mean they should therefore leave the elements of it they do control open as well. It certainly doesn't mean that them locking down those elemts is somehow necessarily a cynical move. That's not the sort of attitude I think we should be taking as it explicitly penalises and discourages individuals and companies from even trying to improve things.
I'm happy that they try to talk about privacy but for now I give them some flak because they're advertising this feature which actually never works for normal users (who turns off their cellular data before closing their phone?).
For my points #1 and #2, I think it's mostly an oversight in term of UI design but again Apple is well known for it's attention to details in UI design and this feels half baked like if they didn't spend time thinking about privacy implications and the way users actually behave. My disappointment is because I expected better from Apple, they usually are very good at clear UI design and thinking through things like this.
I hope I'm proven wrong and that Apple really delivers on its promises when it comes to privacy but right now, there's still some way to go beyond the speeches and ads that have been made.
When I searched on safari, I didn't see spotlight suggestions but I can confirm that it phoned home.
I don't get why people get so defensive when it's just a simple fact. Even someone technically minded like me who actually disabled Spotlight suggestions in Preferences because I didn't want to send information to Apple, ended up sending information when searching on Safari. This is an issue.
Obviously this is the extreme, and I'm not likening sending search queries to fulltime video surveillance, but the point is people have different thresholds of what they will tolerate. Apparently most HN users' tolerance is high, or at least they are willing to defend Apple on this for whatever reasons. Some of ours is low, so that's why we are complaining.
Maybe people got the message, irreconcilably disagree, and are sick of reading it again. I don't know why you'd still be in the thread, then.
It's also funny that I talked about being downvoted, and am now a little above 0 afterward, oops. I figured the thread was dying down and I'd respond before it was abandoned completely.
If you enter your email as @apple.com, it returns back:
For example, the highly inflammatory title for yesterday's submission (no privacy by design) stayed unmoderated for the entire day, until it went off the front page.
This issue has had multiple submissions in the past two days and they received plenty of votes, it doesn't seem "HN" is giving it preferential treatment.
And the concern wasn't about the fact that it shows products, but about the fact that data was being sent to Amazon (unencrypted as well, I believe).
That line is blurred these days.
It was a bad idea. But let's not throw random general statements in a concrete discussion.
Did you ever get a result from the shopping lens which could be mistaken for an advertisement rather than a product result you can buy on Amazon?
Copyright infringement is not theft.
Amazon lens is not advertisement.
It's a step which no-one should have to take.
Ubuntu is free (technically also Yosemite is, but it´s part of the Apple HW/SW package), and what it does it´s not so different than a Laptop manufacturer installing bloatware to subsidize the costs. It´s ugly but I understand it.
But one of the reason for buying an Apple product (and paying a premium price for it), it is not having to deal with things like this.
Also, where did I say it was a good thing? I also think that having to deselect privacy markers in two places is also a step no-one should have to take. This thread is about why Ubuntu got raked over the coals and Apple didn't, and it takes longer to navigate to and unselect the two disparate options for the Apple search issue than to uninstall the Ubuntu thing.
I mean seriously, of all the arguments against the Unity shopping lens, "I install ubuntu a lot and this wastes so much of my time" is such a non-starter. It takes more time to select a wallpaper.
It only takes a short amount of time for you because you know precisely what to do. There are literally millions of little "but that's so easy to change" on a computer, it's a huge cognitive tax.
Other people will be "Why's there shopping results, wtf? How'd I get rid of this. What's going on?". After a few weeks of it annoying them they finally google it , find old information, run an old command, doesn't work, get annoyed, go make cup of tea in annoyance. Forget about it. Get even more annoyed over the next few weeks at Amazon results popping up, google again, finally find up-to-date blog post, find the right menu, go to the right place, click, finished. Until they install the next version in a year or two and the process happens all over again as they've forgotten how they did it last time.
EDIT: There's a great little idea in the book Good Omens where the devil Crowley sets up projects of small amounts of misery to huge amounts of humans, rather than going after one soul at a time like other, old fashioned, demons. Auto-callers, motorways shaped like an ancient symbol for the devil (the M25).
Crapware like this would definitely be something Crowley would be proud to come up with.
I was responding to someone who phrased their comment that suggested they had installed ubuntu a number of times; not exactly the behaviour of a naif. I also commented that since we were talking about time, the ubuntu version compared favourably against the Apple find-in-two-spots version. Also, if you want to talk about the general behaviour of tech naives, they don't reinstall their systems every year, not by a long shot. I've worked in tech support in some form or other most of my life, whether it's family, school, medical equipment, office support, whatever. Your idea that the general computer user changes their operating systems every year (or two) is pure nonsense. OSX is the best to come along in that regard, and that's because they do in-machine updates. There are still tons of people on XP, which was superseded eight years ago.
Hell, if you want to talk about the behaviour of tech naives, at least with the ubuntu issue, it's clear and obvious that something distasteful is going on. With the Apple issue, the naives aren't going to be even vaguely aware.
Sod the strawman you built up around me; in both my comments I was referring explicitly to an experienced user. But no, you frame me as dismissive of tech naifs... while painting the use-case of a person who is a power user. Perhaps Crowley has been whispering in your ear?
Hell yes it does. Just sum it up over all consumers doing the un-install. Man years wasted, easily.
In fact, this shows two. Enabled by default in a release product.
IIRC, Ubuntu never shipped with said feature.
(I'm using both Ubuntu and Mac on a regular basis)
Defending Apple eg. very first comment below my comment claims Apple is not showing adds whereas someone showed this: http://i.imgur.com/1hdtCjB.png?1
for me - if it wants to convince me to buy something it's an
advertisement - no matter it's third party or not.
But as I said before I don't care - my only point is Apple...(trying not to be negative) fanboism level here (HN coments) is exceptional and that's funny :)
Your whole argument revolves around Apple doing something behind our backs; which the blatantly haven't. The warning is there, front and centre. That's not an apology, that's a fact.
My point is: there is an inequality of treating Ubuntu and Apple in HN comments in Apple's favour - that's all.
That's why this is different. But hey' research is for chumps, kneejerking those reactions all the way! Amirite?
Hint: you have to uncheck two checkboxes that OS X explicitly tells you about in the very same Spotlight preferences, plus another one in Location preferences.
However, I can understand the philosophy of searching the wen and the desktop in parallel.
Ubuntu does the same (they search Amazon, not sure if also the web in general), and they also got a lot of flak for it.
If one would never even open Spotlight preferences, then yeah, it is not possible to see, enable or disable those preferences. But then one should also not complain that it is impossible to enable or disable these preferences. By that logic, every application that does anything with any privacy implications should have it's primary interface littered with preference toggles to make it completely obvious how it's functionality can be altered.
Having people go to two preferences dialogs just to find out that contents of search box are being sent to USA datacenters is a dangerous dark pattern.
Are there some weird data being sent? Honestly, I might have missed some concerning communication but as far as I can tell, this is just for the sake of added functionality and can be disabled.
Expecting OS level stuff to work without network data at year 2014 seems somewhat bizarre. This is like complaining that apt-get leaks info to home, telling about the packages you install.
No, the difference is that people do have a general idea about whether things should be done locally or sent out into the Internet, and searching files stored locally does not belong in the latter category.
The irony of your comment, of course, is that this is a brand new feature that allows spotlight to include web content. So no, you don't have a general idea of what the feature does.
You can disable this feature.
UX design is partially about making pitfalls like this clear to users (and, where possible, getting rid of pitfalls altogether).
Quick test in Alfred: Seems to have learned that "to" = "todo.taskpaper" after 1 try.
Alfred feels like it was very much an "inspiration" for the new Spotlight but as is often the way with little helper type apps, if it's good enough, sooner or later it will get rolled into the OS.
The business model Joel Spolsky referred to as grabbing nickels from the path of an on-coming steamroller.
Why on earth not? Why can't the search box just talk to DDG?
As a HN user, I'm in that category of people. However, I was surprised, when using my phone that I expected Spotlight to search both locally and online. The difference is that I never use spotlight on my mobile, I just don't have that much stuff to look locally, so I had fresh user expectation: "cool I can make search anywhere", so when spotlight did not do it was a bit of a let down and since then I have never used Spotlight on IOS again, I just open the browser.
Not saying that Apple is right or anything, but the reasoning may simply be "if I have a global search button not looking online by default, will regular user not think of that as a bug"
Yes. Although note that it will not disable Safari's "spotlight suggestions" which have to be disabled separately via Safari's own preferences.
I have been a faithful Apple user for years, but this single report causes me to seriously consider switching to Linux for good.
Let's set this straight: anything that gives you suggestions (for search, products, dictionary definitions, songs, etc) from the internet, is by definition sending your query to some internet server.
Next drama: Google searches send my search queries to Google.
He obviously means something not like Ubuntu (or at least Unity in particular) that does not do the same thing. There are many many distros meeting this requirement, it's disingenuous to try and imply everyone is doing it.
You'd be surprised:
These are all questions that should have readily available answers.
Assuming everything here is accurate then Apple have screwed up and really ought to rectify this pretty quickly if they want anything they say about privacy to be taken seriously in the future.
It actually has an explanation of exactly what it's sending and where in the Spotlight preference pane (click 'About Spotlight Suggestions and Privacy'), and exactly how to turn it off (you switch off 'Spotlight Suggestions' and 'Bing Search' in the list of things to search). It's not like this secret...
When the user selects 'About this Mac' from the Apple menu, Yosemite phones home and s_vi, a unique analytics identifier, is included in the request. (si_vi is used by Adobe/Omniture's analytics software).
Wow. I am waiting for "Team Apple" to invent a radical defense on this one. But regardless this is shameful on Apple's part.
Besides why does Apple need to know the user clicked About This Mac? A crash log I can understand but this is unprecedented level of tracking on a desktop OS.
I'm not saying it to mean that it's okay - in fact quite the opposite. Both are doing it wrong, and I hope they stop, or at least give me an intuitive (not hidden within 100 other settings) way to disable it.
Pagehop (https://pagehopapp.com/), a launcher targeting only the Web, doesn't send your search queries to any server of ours, and allows searching in many different sources (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, StackOverflow, YouTube, even some very specific sources such as jQuery's API documentation, the Mozilla Developer Network or the NPM archive). You can add sources (recipes) yourself.
We don't use a central server, instead the app taps into free web services (where possible) or scrapes the sites (where not).
It basically is a pack of many horizontal and vertical search engines with a single UI and the ability to use tools for post-processing of web results such as Regexes and Fuzzy Matching.
Pagehop queries are a simpler version of executing commands in the Terminal and you can pipe tools, one after another, just the same.
You should check it out (or not) - it has an unlimited, free and fully functional evaluation period (nothing is locked, just like SublimeText).
edit: all right, jokes aside, the title is horrible and unparseable for many reasons:
"Yosemite" without stating it's OS X Yosemite throws you off with the first word. It "Sends Spotlight" (comma). All right, sends spotlight what? Is sends a verb, why is it capitalized? Let's move on... "Safari Searches", Safari searches what? Again with the random capitalization of searches? Or I guess it was a verb and "Spotlight, Safari" is a list. The fact that both are also common words doesn't help - it would be more obvious that we are talking about products/brands if "searches" and "sends" weren't capitalized. Continue... "to Apple" - yeah, this makes sense (first time in this sentence). Even "to" is not capitalized (but it makes you question your decision about sends/searches). Comma. Third parties. What?!
Seriously, it's awful.