back to article Ubuntu 13.04 beta touts search privacy - before it hooks in eBay, IMDb etc

Linux distro Ubuntu 13.04, which hit its first beta today, is already showing promise: there are small but very useful usability tweaks planned for Ubuntu's Unity user interface. Assuming you've managed to get past last year’s privacy fiasco, either by being comfortable with Canonical sending your search queries to Amazon and …

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Re: Question

>So they are not getting rid of unity? Does it have a button that says get lost to unity, or here is Gnome or KDE. >Oh well, here is to the next iteration.

The problem now though is Gnome 3 is nearly off the rails as much as Unity. KDE is still good ole bloaty KDE (love it or in my case hate it). XFCE is fine but really digging on my current setup with both Mate and Cinnamon sessions available.

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Re: Question

@asdf, I used Mint in the first couple of Ubuntu's Unity iterations, and it's very nice. But eventually I drifted back - largely because I want a TRUE operating system on my tablet and phone, and Canonical seems to be in the best position to make it happen (KDE's Plasma Active is nicely done, but I think less likely to be available pre-installed in Texas where I live).

But that's me. What I love about the free software movement is the choice, such as the environments you list. I'm happy that you have choices you like, and I'm happy for me as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Bye bye Ubuntu. For good.

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Happy

Cya!

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Anonymous Coward

"...shaping up to be a high-water mark for Unity fans"

'High-water mark' - the place on the beach where all the seaweed and other detritus is deposited. Usually a messy and smelly place.

Until Ubuntu comes with all that external search crap off by default I'm really not interested in how much they tweak the UI.

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Linux

Re: "...shaping up to be a high-water mark for Unity fans"

$sudo vi /etc/hosts

127.0.1.1 videosearch.ubuntu.com

127.0.1.1 productsearch.ubuntu.com

:wq

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Meh

Switched to Kubuntu

I got my new computer a couple of months ago, and didn't want to go with Unity. I probably could have, from what a friend says. I just want a blank desktop with a single task bar on the right hand side of my screen. Apparantly I *can* set it up that way. Anyway, I've ended up going with Kubuntu. I've never used KDE before, so there was a learning curve, but it seems to be going OK now. The biggest problem was that I spent a day or so getting sound to work. Turns out it was fine, but somehow my mixer (there's a mixer? Huh?) settings had all ended up as disabled, and the little red icons at the bottom of the various columns weren't jumping out at me.

My big problem with Unity is that it appears to force me to do a lot of stuff with the keyboard. I'm a touch typist, but I have a horrible memory - trying to remember all the funny key combos is quite difficult for me. Similarly, trying to remember the goofy names of many Linux tools is painful - having them readily available in a categorized menu is the way to go for me.

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Linux

Re: Switched to Kubuntu

Nothing wrong with KDE - it's quite a nice environment!

One of the nice things about Linux is that unlike Mac, its keyboard shortcuts usually default to those used in Windows. If you find those less than intuitive, Ubuntu's Keyboard utility (press Super and type "keyboard") allows you to map them to whatever you like, and to create your own - I'm confident KDE has a similar keyboard shortcut utility, and I apologize for not knowing its name right now.

Whatever environment you use, just pin your most common apps to the launcher bar (in Unity) or menu (in KDE), and you won't need to remember their names. If you have an unusually large number of apps, though, I can see why you would prefer KDE's multi-level menu to Unity's flat launcher. Glad it works well for you, and glad you're not stuck with (oh, I don't know) huge tiles instead. ;-)

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Re: Similarly, trying to remember the goofy names of many Linux tools is painful

Indeed, that's why I add ClassicMenu Indicator to my default Unity desktop - it restores the functionality of the pre-Unity menus.

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Pint

I installed Ubuntu in 30 minutes and it always worked perfect right from the start about 5 years ago.

When they changed to the Unity interface, I gave it a fair try and then ditched it... by just changing the desktop options right at the log in box. It's still Ubuntu, just back to the regular desktop.

Some updates have given me strange error messages regrading the OS, but were later fix by the next release or updating some of the applications.

Overall, I like Ubuntu, just not with the Unity desktop.

What really can't understand is why everyone else who doesn't like Unity doesn't just choose another desktop at boot?

If me, a true Linux newbie can figure this out, why can't anyone else? What's the difficulty?

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Windows

Linux Mint 13, MATE interface.

I write letters, open internet, play music/videos. Create presentations, whatever.

Just 'floats my boat'. Unity simply got up my nose. It seems to be a classic case of engineers showing what they can do, without listening to the end-user's requirement.

I've seen it in a lot of products. Almost without exception, they are all landfill now.

(Nicolet 660B is the exception - yet I'm possibly the only bloke left drawing breath on this planet who could still fix one, saw one advertised for $25,000 the other day. 25 years old, fuse-programmed ROM's..Joking or what?!)

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Mint: the ultimate Linux hipster dist.

I like Ubuntu and you can ditch unity if you want but I can't see the reason to hate. Just use the distro if your choice and move on.

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Headmaster

"Hate"...?

"Hate" is the wrong word. Try "disappointment," "disillusionment" or "dismay." Ubuntu has long been the de facto standard-bearer for Linux on the desktop. It's a blow to see it going off the rails in some key ways. Too many once-great companies have self-destructed over the years, with the first symptom being an arrogant belief that they no longer needed to listen to their core customer base.

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Re: "Hate"...?

The advantage of Unity compared to (say) Cinammon is that the phone, tablet and TV interfaces are very synergistic with the desktop interface while still being efficient and (imho) quite elegant. KDE Plasma Active (for instance) has a delightful activity-centric tablet interface, but it always strikes me as a unique interface rather than a complement to KDE Desktop.

Of course, you can always simply install the environment you want on Ubuntu, and be happy. Or install the distro you prefer, and be happy. Hence, those who constantly complain that Canonical has "gone off the rails" become a bit tiresome. It's easy to see why someone would call that "hate", no?

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WTF?

Privacy aside, what is new?

I don't use GNOME or Ubuntu, I use Debian with KDE, but some things listed in this article as "new" are strikingly generic and have no place as being listed as "new".

"...optional Launcher button to reveal the desktop and an option to remove the Workspaces button from the Launcher."

Is it really "new" to have a button show the desktop?

"...outlines the window that's about to get focus with a red glow."

Uh....

"...a bit more user friendly by grouping updates into relevant sections."

Uh...

"...the system didn’t crash once during my tests."

At this point I asked myself what is going on? Is there usually that much crap packed into a beta that you EXPECT it to fail ?!?!

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Alert

It would be good if Ubuntu made the TCP/IP comms params for the search queries sent to 3rd parties easy to block on outbound chain in ipchains or external firewall.

Perhaps always send the query from specific local port which then could be blocked outbound.

Perhaps salt the packets with specific & disclosed value in the unused bits between LEN and FLAGS in the TCP header.

This matters at the least because a business using Ubuntu on desktops could leak information if users turn the 3rd party search feature on. Network/security staff could block the traffic at firewalls.

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Ubuntu

No thank you.

Ubuntu sucks. I've pretty much had it with the Ubuntu distro. I grew tired of having to fix things with every release. It went from working well on my laptop with no problems, to progressively worse problems that required me to fix Ubuntu's junk.

An OS that needs fixing for brand-new installs is just completely stupid. Ubuntu had the winning formula between v6.06 and 9.10. After that, it went downhill.

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Anonymous Coward

How much ...

are Canonical paying the Register for all of this coverage? Every week a new Ubuntu "story". No mention that other distros even exist (and are more used).

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Re: No mention that other distros even exist

They'd never publish anything like the two OpenSUSE articles I saw on the front page just now.

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The Internet search could be really sweet

I like Ubuntu, but I have privacy turned on. Not because I'm tin foil hat, but because I don't want shopping results mixed with everything else. The search could be greatly improved if it was categorised - search for a term and a list of your documents and applications appears (default). A row of icons also appears - Applications, Documents, Shopping (containing Amazon, eBay and so forth) and Internet. If they did that I'd turn off privacy and praise the innovation of Ubuntu.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Internet search could be really sweet

They have this already but they need to publicise it more! Tap Super (Windows key) to open the dash and search _everything_ (including online). But if you instead press Super-A it will only search your Applications, and Super-F will only search your files. Neither of these two shortcuts will send your data back to Canonical. If you're a mouse person, then if you right click on the dash button in the launcher, you can select Applications or Files & Folders.

So as long as you can always remember to search with Super-A and Super-F, none of your searches will go to Canonical until type Super-V and start searching for iPlayer videos.

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WTF?

I Don't Speak Umbongo

".....across ALL scopes for any given session in the Dash" Eh? Can someone translate that?

The Ministry Of Silly Names is still in operation I see, Raring Ringtail, or how about Rasping Ratarse

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