back to article Stallman: Ubuntu spyware makes it JUST AS BAD as Windows

Free Software Foundation founder and noted weird-beard Richard Stallman has called upon Linux advocates to reject the Ubuntu distribution, claiming the latest version contains dangerous "surveillance code." In a lengthy post to his FSF blog, the GNU Project creator slams Canonical, the company in charge of Ubuntu, for …

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  1. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Bearded man has informed opinion

    Though that doesn't mean you need to share it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

      Are you a proponent of spyware, DRM and backdoors or you didn't read the article ?

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

        I agree with him for the most part about Ubuntu's Amazon search integration but then he descends into his usual Stallman-Knows-Best™ hyperbole.

        "Canonical does offer a way to turn the Amazon search results off – though it only did so under pressure from users – but even this isn't good enough, according to Stallman. Even if the feature were disabled by default, he says, allowing users to opt in still puts them at risk, because most won't fully understand what they're getting themselves into."

        Apparently people shouldn't be allowed to opt-in to a service Stallman disagrees with because that just shows they're stupid and shouldn't be allowed to make decisions for themselves. What if I don't give a damn about Canonical knowing my searching habits and am happy to let them place Amazon advertising in my search results in order to help fund their project? I do give a damn and I won't let Canonical do it on my machines but I'm also an adult, fully capable of making informed decisions and don't need Stallman metaphorically looking over my shoulder to make sure I don't do anything out of line with his often bizarre moral code.

        1. Annakan

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          you are unfortunately confusing opt in and opt out. ;)

          And of course a service that could work WITHOUT a potential opt-in will be forbidden if you don't opt-in, so you ARE paying with your identity, privacy and such.

          It stops to be free, you become the product.

          The people that poured code into Linux make another choice, that choice has to be respected.

          If amazon search is such an amazing product, canonical should try to sell it without Ubuntu, let's see how much people want it ... won't happen, small steps of blackmail are still blackmail

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          Funny how he doesn't seem to be too bothered about Android and all its data gathering.

          He almost seems to have different tolerance levels for free software vs commercial software.

          1. eulampios

            @AC

            And what about Android?

            1. David Hicks
              Meh

              Re: What about Android?

              Stallman, IIRC, shuns all mobile phones, including android.

              1. Christian Berger Silver badge

                Re: What about Android?

                Not using mobile phone actually is a good idea at the moment. It will take lots of time to get a decent open source phone which does not have the usual problems. A bit problem is the baseband firmware, for example. If you had an open firmware there, you could get rid of the mis-features of GSM like triangulation, or stop your SIM-card from interfering with your phone.

                ("Triangulation" on GSM works by evaluating the timing advance data in which the base-station tells the mobile device to send its packets earlier than expected when its far away. However there's a useful flaw in this. The basestation doesn't know the actual setting of the mobile device. So if the mobile station just lies to the basestation, the basestation will have to believe it. So you can arbitrarily change the perceived distance between MS and BS. With good antennas and a map of all BS you can spoof your position to some degree.)

              2. Paul 135
                Big Brother

                Re: What about Android?

                As someone who loves Android, I also find the growing uncritical Google fanboyism rather worrying.

                Google are allowed to get away with mass spying which other companies without a fanboy following would not have a chance at doing.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          "Canonical does offer a way to turn the Amazon search results off"

          Well:

          a) I was not told about it.

          b) I was not told that there was a way to stop it.

          c) I was entered into a contract with a third party without my knowledge or consent.

          d) I was not told offered the opportunity to opt in OR opt out.

          e) To add fuel to the issue, while Ubuntu is claimed to be free, and always will be, I object being traded as a pawn for revenue - this being the case, then it's not free is it.

          f) And how come they have never informed me of the silent shove in, nor the opt out?

          Sleazy.

          It's the ethical IQ of Microsofts ribbon.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

            Stallman is a bit short sighted. If you are using the internet, you can and are being tracked. You don't like it? Don't use the internet. End of.

            If I use the modem provided by my broadband provider, they can log on to it, all for maintenance and service reasons for the good of their customers.

            Email is mostly being sent unencrypted to the next email replay service. Sure enough, you can encrypt the email stream to that mail relay, but what happens on that email relay and beyond, you never know.

            Your iPhone or Android can track you too : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone#Secret_tracking

            Even Tor users can be tracked by monitoring the entry and exit nodes and the encryption keys can be used to decrypt traffic.

            But even if you encrypt and tunnel to your heart's content, you will still get all those cookies from the ad networks that profile and send you advertisements (what is this on El Reg's website: <embed src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com :-) )

            If now Stallman writes about that search feature in Ubuntu then either he doesn't now how to fill in bad-sites.acl on his outbound proxy server, or he doesn't know how to compartmentalize his desktop OS or he simply wants to satisfy his desire for attention and fame by writing something punchy.

            Fingerpointing is one thing, Mr Stallman, but making things better does require skill. Did you set up a public proxy server? Did you create a new internet layer protocol which provides security and anonymity? Did you create the router firmware for it?

            1. melts
              WTF?

              Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

              "If I use the modem provided by my broadband provider, they can log on to it, all for maintenance and service reasons for the good of their customers."

              you let your ISP log onto your CPE? really?

              Or do you not own it and plug a router into said device?

              every ISP here offers the router with a modem built in device here that you pay for up front at some 'discounted' rate when you join up. Then you get a branded box with stuff pre-loaded, but its yours and they won't go logging into it.

              Fair game if its their kit but I'd never let any ISP touch my gear, for optimisations or otherwise. If they feel the need to optimise they can drop me a line, they have my email address after all.

            2. lambda_beta
              Linux

              Fingerpointing

              To the person who posted this.

              " Fingerpointing is one thing, Mr Stallman, but making things better does require skill. Did you set up a public proxy server? Did you create a new internet layer protocol which provides security and anonymity? Did you create the router firmware for it?"

              You are an ASS!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

            Why the heck did you run the program in the first place? Pick snother if it bothers you!

          3. Windrose
            Facepalm

            Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

            Yet you voluntarily ran software you didn't have to run. Get a mirror, mate.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

            I actually would not have minded so much if it had of been offered, as an opt in.

            I mean seriously I have been using this generally brilliant software, for a long time and have paid fuck all for almost any of it. I am generally a retread short of a new pair of shoes...

            Yes I have volunteered lots of time fighting like cats and dogs with the Ubuntu crew and their shitty politically correct bullshit, their forums, the arselicking admins, the bugzilla forums that share your email with the world and it's dog etc., etc., etc., and especially with Open Office / Office Libre and their lack of font embedding etc.., etc., etc.,

            I do tend to hate the clueless and vacant that the open door policy to volunteers and what it attracts...

            But I'd also like to contribute to many things and a few million people taking a few dollars over a few years, and adding it to the coffers of Ubuntu etc., is quite a fair trade off.

            More so because it shits people off in Microsoft, and I get a great OS (Xubuntu thankyou) and Microsoft gets fuck all.

            1. Vic

              Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

              > I actually would not have minded so much if it had of been offered, as an opt in.

              The Fedora installer gives you smolt, and asks you to volunteer some information about your setup.

              The default condition is off - I turn it on for every installation I do that I expect to last.

              This is the thing with data gathering - it's not, of itself, evil. It is helping yourself to other people's data that is.

              Vic.

        4. Mike Kamermans
          Meh

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          And this is where critical thinking comes in: the problem is that even if you opt in, you don't know *what* you're opting in to.

          You don't just opt in to "Canonical gathering information", because Canonical won't gather information just to gather information and have it sit somewhere doing nothing. That data will be used for something, if it isn't already. In effect, you will be opting in to "Canonical gathering information on what programs you use, at what time, and anything they can think of that will generate them monetary profit or user base increases to effect monetary profit by either using or selling that data".

          Without knowing what those products are (and even Canonical might not know that yet, they could come up with a terrible, but legal use of the data sometime in the future) you CANNOT know what you're opting in to, and offering the choice to opt in should come with a warning that's as explicitly scary as can be: "opting in to this program means you are okay with Canonical roughly knowing what you do throughout the day (sometimes knowing exactly what you do, depending on your use of this program) and gives them full permission to exploit that knowledge for any form of company gains. Once opted in, opting out will not remove the data already collected about you, your daily routines, and your behavioural preferences."

          Unless someone reads you a nice long explanation of the ramifications of handing over personal day to day behavioural data in general, and relating to the technology industry specifically, your decision to opt in is based on incomplete information and a poor understanding of the ramifications of your actions. Should an OS maker be taking advantage of the fact that virtually no one understands the impact of the action when optin in? There's the crucial question: how you answer this determines, in a broad sense, whether you want to be free (in the *n*x philosophical sense) or not, and Ubuntu is currently breaking the rule that *n*x operating systems are free.

          (Applications running on *n*x are, ideally, free too. However, there are plenty that aren't, and that's fine. Canonical can even make such a product themselves and then offer it as a download or even an install option, with warnings on the ramifications of installing. They don't do that. They pulled a Microsoft)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: what programs you use, at what time

            They already collect that.

            $ apt-cache show popularity-contest

            ...

            The popularity-contest package sets up a cron job that will

            periodically anonymously submit to the Ubuntu developers

            statistics about the most used Ubuntu packages on this system.

            .

            This information helps us making decisions such as which packages

            should go on the first CD. It also lets us improve future versions

            of Ubuntu so that the most popular packages are the ones which

            are installed automatically for new users.

            Homepage: http://popcon.ubuntu.com/

            It is a *required* dependency of the ubuntu-standard package, which means you get it on every Ubuntu install (desktop or server) and can't uninstall it. However, for the time being at least, it is disabled by default in /etc/popularity-contest.conf.

        5. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          > Apparently people shouldn't be allowed to opt-in to a service Stallman disagrees

          Except that is NOT what is happening here.

          Something sinister is being installed by default. The clueless and the unwary won't be aware of what's going on here. They will be spied on without their knowledge or consent. That is why the parallels to Microsoft are being drawn here. This is precisely the sort of thing you expect from Microsoft or some random bit of Windows shareware.

          It's an OS level default rather than something that requires a "spy on me please" button.

          1. Fibbles

            Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

            "Except that is NOT what is happening here."

            I didn't say that was what was happening here. I was getting pissed off at Stallman for saying that the system shouldn't be allowed to exist even if Canonical made it entirely opt-in and users were actively choosing to use it (i.e. the opposite of what is happening now). Such a position has nothing to do with protecting users and everything to do with forcing his views on to everyone else.

            I don't know about you but I'm sick of having my options (in relation to computing) and freedoms (in relation to life in general) whittled away under the pretence of protecting the 'stupid people'. If a company offers an opt-in service and states in plain English before sign-up what data it will collect from you and you sign-up without reading anything, then you've got nobody but yourself to blame if you later realise it has been collecting more data than you are comfortable with.

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

        I am not a proponent of spyware, DRM and so on, and I agree with him. However there are people who disagree, those have different value systems which are foreign to me, but which I have to accept, as long as they don't impose them on me.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Holmes

          Re: Bearded man has informed opinion

          @Christian Berger

          However there are people who disagree, those have different value systems which are foreign to me, but which I have to accept, as long as they don't impose them on me.

          So who forced you to read the article Christian?.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    He's right, as usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He might be right this time, though it hardly seems a big deal, but when has he been right before? Isn't Stallman the one who doesn't use the internet or something weird, so people can't spy on him?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > [...] when has he been right before?

        rms is usually very careful with his wording. A possible or probable problem not manifesting doesn't mean "not right". For some people it might be more important that a problem will not happen than to be "right" (about an actually undesired possibility).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He sees things in black and white it seems. There are shades of grey and you can't really be polarised.

        Why doesn't he preach about open and free hardware? why doesn't he think companies should be able to run off x86 clones without any patent disputes?

        If anything it is Intel who he needs to be critical of.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Facepalm

          "Why doesn't he preach about open and free hardware?"

          If you had been paying attention you would have noted that he does.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      This is a great opportunity to gauge the current Reg reader demographic... "RMS is right as usual". Other than actual Linux mailing lists, I can't recall such staunch pro-FOSS bias on even the pure techy forums I visit.

      It's quite interesting... UK software people are clearly not uber-Linux fans as a rule so how has El Reg become such a beacon for them? Serious (non trolling) discussion... for those long-term members has it always been a similar make-up or has it slowly become more and more that way over the years? Because it's surely not the case the articles are of the same mindset as the member-base... articles and authors are fairly evenly split between liking MS, Apple and Google and NOT liking them.

      1. asdf Silver badge
        Trollface

        times are a changing

        The newer generation has had a chance to grown up on Linux and not exclusively on Microsoft as some of us older people. Now that the kids don't have to get a linux cd off a book or magazine or have to compile in all the device drivers for their computer or worry about getting the timings right on their X Server to avoid fubaring their monitor or getting on the internet with the dreaded winmodem (rated up there with changing out a motor in a car for many) its an easier world to get into. Not everyone is some hack MCSE praying they can make it to retirement before they ever have to use the command line or linux.

      2. Ole Juul Silver badge

        Reg demographic?

        This is a great opportunity to gauge the current Reg reader demographic... "RMS is right as usual". Other than actual Linux mailing lists, I can't recall such staunch pro-FOSS bias on even the pure techy forums I visit.

        I think that RMS actually has some Windows users supporting him because of his adherence to principles. I agree that Reg articles and authors are fairly evenly distributed among operating systems. However, regarding the Reg demographic, I'm not convinced that we're seeing "staunch pro-FOSS" here. I think we are seeing a split between those who think that principles are important, and those don't mind letting some things slide.

      3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        @JDX

        "articles and authors are fairly evenly split between liking MS, Apple and Google and NOT liking them."

        I am seriously offended, sir. I hate all those companies equally.

        1. ThePhaedrus

          @Trevor_Pott

          "

          "articles and authors are fairly evenly split between liking MS, Apple and Google and NOT liking them."

          I am seriously offended, sir. I hate all those companies equally."

          Do you hate them enough to not use their products? In which case how do you get by in IT world?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: @Trevor_Pott

            Hate is probably the wrong word. "Distrust immensely," perhaps. "Am exceptionally sceptical of" is closer to. "Refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt" is the net result. These companies must prove themselves to me each and every time. Each product I use must have its value and ROI proven, the TCO over a 6 year investment period shown to be better than that of alternatives.

            Unlike my fanboy brethren, I don't simply accept whatever bilge spews forth from the marketing departments of these companies. I don't pick one or more and devote my sense of self worth to how the companies are doing. I treat them like what they are: legally protected, powerful sociopaths who will ruin me without hesitation if there is the possibility that doing so will increase shareholder value.

            These are not nice companies. They are not run by nice people. They are engines for taking your money – and min, and his and hers – and giving it to those who already have more than enough. I use their products as little as possible. I ensure that if I do use their products I have a way out; a means to port my data and my workflow elsewhere at a moment's notice. I actively put my own time, effort and research – and invest corporate funds – into ensuring that I can live without them, if need be.

            When and where they offer the best available solution, I will use them. The very narrow offering that I deem to be the best of what's available. I do however assign value to "not being locked in," as well as to "not investing in a product likely to be fractured along feature lines into multiple products." So it's a balancing act; finding what's best not because a corporate whitepaper tells me that "best practices" are to invest my heart, soul and company into a stack of products from a single vendor…but doing what's actually best for me and my clients.

            So yes, I hate these companies equally. I don't trust them. I may be "forced" into using them in certain circumstances, but everything they say is taken with great big heaping dump trucks full of NaCl.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Trevor_Pott

              "These are not nice companies."

              I don't disagree, however you then say...

              "They are not run by nice people.."

              Whilst I am certainly no fan of Microsoft, I do believe that ex Microsoft Employee Number 1, one William Henry "Bill" Gates III, is a somewhat charitable chap having given away at least $30 billion to charitable causes etc. with an awful lot still to dispose of.

              Whatever I may have thought of him in his role a businessman I would say that his charitable nature qualifies him as a 'nice person'.

              Like I say, no supporter of Microsoft here. But kudos to Bill Gates for being a "nice person" or if your prefer, a 'decent bloke'! (Now I'd like to see more in his position do the same).

              Finally, you also stated, "They are engines for taking your money – and min, and his and hers – and giving it to those who already have more than enough."

              Of course, it goes without saying that personal enrichment of the monetary kind is the prime goal of capitalism. How else would you have a capitalism work Trevor?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Trevor_Pott

                one William Henry "Bill" Gates III, is a somewhat charitable chap having given away at least $30 billion to charitable causes etc. with an awful lot still to dispose of.

                You may want to investigate the conditions under which such "giving away" was offered. Don't get me wrong, it's good he redistributes some of it (let's face it, there is no chance on earth you'd ever be able to spend it, even if you create your own space flight setup) but it wasn't quite as charitable as it appeared.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Trevor_Pott

                  I know what you are saying and am familiar with the B&M foundation, but had I gone down that route my post would have been flying off at tangents everywhere, but I hope the gist stands :)

              2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                @Mike Hock

                Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft, you twunt. Ballmer does. Bill barely even pays attention long enough to periodically vote on the board.

                As to "how would I have it work?" I wouldn't use capitalism as the basis of society. Certainly not in it's modern form. I believe in social democracy, not capitalism. Capitalism leads to the United States, Greece or Somalia. I prefer Social Democracy like Sweden, Norway or - at a stretch - Canada.

                Publicly traded corporations must act like complete sociopaths in a capitalist society or they face shareholder lawsuits for not doing everything possible to maximise revenues. Ethics are functionally illegal.

                With a privately held firm - or tightly regulated public held industries - ethics are possible. The owners and/or operators can choose to employ people at living wages. They can choose licenceing strategies that are fair and equitable, building long term trust and realising gains over years or decades...not single digit quarters.

                Firms where ethical human beings can and do own and operate the business don't try to screw a man's family out of the money required to pay for the support he'll need for the rest of his life due to workplace injury. Especially when it would be a rounding error to the bottom line.

                I would replace rampant personal greed with personal responsibility. The CEO works as hard as any one else, makes more than others - due to rarity of required skillset - but not 250x times more. The CEO would accept responsibility for shit hitting the fan, and ask nothing of others he isn't prepared to do himself. Wages would be as high as is reasonably sustainable, with the understanding that the company does need to save for a rainy day.

                People with medical issues would be helped by the company, not fired. People would not be fired for being pregnant, the wrong weight, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or so forth. People would be rewarded according to skillset, contribution and time put in. Not according to ability to blackmail and backroom politic.

                I keep a shrink on retainer, to make sure my staff don't burn out, and that they are dealing well with issues at home. I make sure they are achieving their career goals by helping with training or even job placement with organisations that can offer more remuneration than my outfit can. My tiny startup can; squillion-dollar companies should be able to as well.

                In short, I believe that companies shouldn't forget about the people in the quest for the almighty dollar. I believe that accepting lower margins and even lower total revenue is an acceptable tradeoff for treating staff and end users with both compassion and respect.

                That isn't to say don't make a profit. It means that profit isn't all. It means that one quarter a long enough time horizon to plan for your company, and that a rising tide should lift all boats.

                If corporations are to have intrinsic rights, I believe they must have intrinsic responsibilities. The pursuit of profit, responsibly.

                I am not proposing the extremist elimination of the wealth gap. I propose the reintroduction of corporate ethics, the minimisation of shareholder loans as a bludgeon, and the use of corporate planning that works on the scale of decades.

                Treat your staff and your clientele with respect and earn their trust and custom for life. Oh, and assuming you aren't a complete sociopath, sleep better at night.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Mike Hock

                  "Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft, you twunt. Ballmer does."

                  Name-calling? You did surprise me there. Someone of your intellect name-calling? Really, does that add to the discussion or strengthen any single position or opinion? I have to ask.

                  But I take it you noted that I referred to him as 'ex Microsoft Employee Number 1"? No? Oh well, nvm.

                  But here's the kicker... I actually agree with most of what you say, in principle and with a number of cautions. The problem is, none of that is going to happen any-time soon. Probably not at all in our lifetimes, at least not at any meaningful scale. Two things will always get in the way, majority shareholders and human nature. Which basically reduce to one thing, greed.

                  My question about capitalism was not there because I support it (I am not a member of the '1% club' you see, so I wouldn't, would I), but rather it was there because it is not going to go quietly. Radicalism, anarchism, stalinist communism et.al, all failed ideologies and yet capitalism persists.

                  And don't get me started on Social Democracy otherwise I'll just end up writing a Farage-esque diatribe about Van Rumpoy, the way the EU's debt crisis is being handled and the EU's take on Social Democracy, which is better known as a failing Social Bureaucracy imo (although I note your specific references to Sweden and Norway).

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: @Mike Hock

                    Damned right, name calling. You're a commenter on El Reg; I expect the highest standards of you. Responding to a discussion about "people who run Google, Apple, Microsoft et al" by talking about what Bill Gates is doing today is utterly farcical. He doesn't run that company, and hasn't for a decade.

                    After he left he ship in another captain's hands, we then went about disbursing his personal wealth to the fuzzy wuzzies. Yay him. Ish. There's a whole other discussion to be had about the strings attached to that money; namely that a lot of it seems to be doled out in the manner of a pimp giving a new mark the first hit for free, with the attempt to tie them into the ecosystems of various companies he holds a stake in for the long run. Which significantly diminished the fuzzy wuzzy part…

                    But yes, name calling. You are expected to know better. If you're going to be posting around here there are some basic things you should know. Like fundamental POSIX commands, who runs which of the major tech companies and how the right click on a mouse works in various popular GUIs. This isn't EnTechVerge. It's The Register. If you don't know who run's Microsoft GTFO.

                    Regarding captialism: capitalism is a failure. Just as much as pure communism was. Bureaucratic socialism has been a mess, but the failure modes seem less awful than others, so far. Note that Greece got itself into trouble not because it was attempting to be a social democracy, but because it was attempting to out-capitalist America.

                    They were hell-bent on running up massive amounts of debt and shopping, shopping shopping. Live beyond their means personally and governmentally. Greece was a shining example of caring only about the next quarter's numbers and dammed be the first that cried "deficit!"

                    Capitalism failed for the exact same reasons as communism: the weakness and greed of the individual overwhelms the ability to work together towards a common good. Communism vilified personal greed while capitalism deified it. In both cases this religious dedication to rampant individualism resulted in the failure of both systems.

                    Social democracy – specifically the heavily regulated but not heavily bureaucratised versions practiced by Norway and Sweden – are the best we've got so far. Individuals are free to pursue their goals…to a point. Corporations are not considered "people" in the "citizens united" sense, and they are shackled with social – and legal – responsibilities. I like it.

                    In essence, the problem is allowing a corporation to shield individuals from responsibility for their actions. There is an argument to be made for this at a financial level, but taken to extremes it causes massive problems. Make the people who run – and who own all or part of a company - responsible for the social, ethical, legal and even environmental fallout incurred by corporations and society will start to look a lot different.

                    Will we lose some investment as some people refuse to take a risk if their own necks are on the line? Yes. Will such an economy "grow" slower than a more rigidly capitalist one? Yes. It will also be less susceptible to boom-and-bust economics and far less likely to get itself into the kinds of trouble that cause busts in the first place. It will also be better engineered at the societal level to handle busts because social responsibility to the unlucky will be ingrained into the fabric of the culture.

                    I don't care that capitalism will take some time to die. The wound is fatal, and it can lie there twitching for the next century if it so wished. I will do my damndest not to support the worst of that system's excesses. I will operate my company in such a manner as to respect my staff and my customers both.

                    Maybe I will be out competed by someone else. Maybe I won't reach the dizzying heights of wealth and power that my competitors do. I am okay with that. Doing right by my staff and my customers is more important to me than keeping up with the jonses. If I fail, I fail. I'll dust myself off and try again.

                    But I'll be able to sleep at night. It would be easier to accept capitalism and all of its brutal excesses if I were a sociopath, but I'm not. I'm a living, breathing, feeling, empathising human being. I am not the guy you want to run your cut-throat fortune 500 company in today's world.

                    But I am the guy that a reasonable percentage of folks will want to work with; as a colleague and as a supplier. It won't buy me a superyacht or a space station or a volcanic island. With luck, it'll pay the mortgage, keep my wife in shoes and let me die in a heated room instead of a frozen gutter.

                    In the end, that's all I really want.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Meh

                      Re: @Mike Hock

                      "...talking about what Bill Gates is doing today is utterly farcical. He doesn't run that company, and hasn't for a decade."

                      Please. Not again. Show me where I stated that he did currently run Microsoft.

                      No, it's not farcical, at least not in the context of any discussion referencing capitalism. After all, that's how he achieved that level of personal wealth - which is now being re-distributed. It's hardly farcical to discuss wealth generated by capitalism in a discussion referencing capitalism. That's like discussing chickens, but refusing to talk about eggs.

                      "Note that Greece got itself into trouble not because it was attempting to be a social democracy, but because it was attempting to out-capitalist America... They were hell-bent on running up massive amounts of debt and shopping, shopping shopping"

                      It's more than just that (both before and after joining the Euro) and attempting to "out-capitalist America". Unless of course by "out-capitalist America" you are also including corruption and widespread tax evasion.

                      Additionally public sector wages increased by over 50% in just 8 years. All added to the burden. To simply suggest the problem is overspending is short of the full story.

                      "Bureaucratic socialism has been a mess, but the failure modes seem less awful than others, so far."

                      Really? Do you live within the EU?

                      The kind of bureaucratic Socialism they peddle is proving to be a failure of epic proportions, in just about every conceivable fashion. So desperate are Germany to maintain this failure that they have claims on debt far in excess of their aggregate capital.

                      Say I was a bankrupt and a bank manager subsequently agreed to gave me a mortgage knowing this fact, would it really be my fault alone that I was able to incur debt that I have no foreseeable way of reconciling? No, of course not.

                      In short, irresponsible lending breeds irresponsible borrowing. The fault is not that of Greece alone. The blame lays, at least partly, with the German and the EU bureaucrats and the construction of an artificial currency.

                      The same blinkered bureaucratic Socialism and their enforced fiscal policies is leading to a rise in national socialism (see election results within areas of the EU in recent years). How that is "less awful than others" is beyond me.

                      The fact that it plays some not inconsiderable role in fuelling national socialism is far bloody worse! Look what happened in Europe the last time national socialism took root. Not pretty.

                      Now, with respect to the bureaucratic socialists mutual indebtedness madness. 100 billion being stumped up to Spanish banks, increasing their national debt by something like 10%. Of that 100 billion, 20 billion has to come from Italy (who pretty screwed right now too).

                      The Italians must lend this to the Spanish at a rate of 3% but, because they are broke they have to borrow the 20 billion at a rate of 7%. See how that is self-defeating madness?

                      Again, hardly an illustration of a political system with failure modes less awful than others.

                      So desperate are the Germans, the French and net gainer nations to maintain the failed Euro experiment that they are risking financial armageddon which will impact across the globe, should the shit actually hit the fan.

                      Not only is it a joke. You just could not make that up. It's a disgrace labelled as socialism, but of a very unique EU kind.

                      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        Re: @Mike Hock

                        Who ran Microsoft in the past has virtually no bearing on who runs it today. The company today is a starkly different one from even three years ago, let alone what it was back in Bill Gates' day. So yes, to have a discussion about "who runs Google/Apple/Microsoft" and including Bill Gates is utterly farcical. You might was well bring Jobs into the picture.

                        Gates' involvement with Microsoft today has little-to-no bearing on how it treats its customers or staff. Thus it has little-to-no bearing on how much I would hate - or not - those companies. (Or feel they were good/bad/etc.)

                        The fact that some dude who used to run the place is doing some things that are sort of nice now that he is no longer involved with Microsoft does have - and should have - zero influence on how I perceive Microsoft. Bill Gates' actions today aren't relevant to Microsoft's behaviour when he ran the place, and they aren't relevant to Microsoft's behaviour now that he doesn't.

                        I will judge Microsoft – and the people who run it – based on their actions today. I will not attribute any "halo effect" from Gates to Microsoft or others who work there.

                        As to how the EU's failure modes are less awful than others: the EU has the chance to pull out of this if they work together. They appear to be doing just that, the end result is still a "wait and see." This is totally different than the US where instead of mere governmental tailwaving, there is riot-in-the-streets anger over an out-of-control wealth gap.

                        Put simply: the EU's downwards spiral is less terrible because the relevant governments have been able to keep the discontent of the hoi polloi to a dull roar. In the US, the peasants are revolting; seemingly on the verge of real world violent civil war in many cases.

                        Slowly the EU nations are turning to a form of petty nationalism, but it does not seem to be coupled with anywhere near the kind of tribalistic hatred and bigotry that the US is devolving into. The EU may be one step forward, two steps back. The US is "shoot for the moon, burn up in an uncontrolled reentry to Earth."

                      2. jake Silver badge

                        Re: @Mike Hock

                        Ignore Trevor, Mike. It's easier. He's not capable of catching clues.

                    2. mhoneywell

                      Re: @Mike Hock

                      You expect the highest standard from a commentor. Yet you, an apparently regular contributor, throws name calling into the mix. High standards indeed.

                      I fear you require a mirror Mr Pott.

                      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        Re: @mhoneywell

                        I expect the highest standards of knowledge, not behaviour. If I want people who generally adhere to formal rules of debate, treat people with decency, respect and so forth...I'll go to Ars Technica. They have a totally different culture amongst their commenters than here. Ars Technica is widely populated by academics and they participate in discussion mostly as academics.

                        The Register is populated largely by festering pustules of seething nerd rage, and they behave accordingly. I called him a twunt for bringing up Billy G as someone to be discussed as "running Microsoft, Apple, Google et al." In the context of modern Big Tech, Mr. Gates is completely irrelevant.

                        I could have called him an idiot, a moron, a retard, a know-nothing or other such things. I could have specifically chosen an epithet that had a meaning related to his lack of knowledge. I didn't. I chose "twunt." Why? Because for all intents and purposes it has no meaning. It is an invective generally directed at people perceived as smug, but without having a directly assignable social stigma or any implied societal underpinnings.

                        "Twunt" adequately conveys irritation with the subject without actually insulting them in any way. It's easy to get your hackles all up in a twist because someone called someone else a name…except the name doesn't mean anything.

                        If the other party is raring to go, then calling them anything will provoke them, get them worked up into a lather and cause them to spew bilge. Calling someone a twunt is like saying you there, mhoneywell, you absolute carpet; you know not of what you speak!

                        Best of all: it worked. The name-without-a-definition calling got our dear friend Mike Hock all gnarled up in the cranial subprocessor, and he went charging off against the textual windmill to prove his point. I got to find out just exactly what the heck he was talking about with some finer detail – the point of the exercise, mind you – and achieved amusement all at the same time.

                        To put things more bluntly: I am a troll. I troll people. Trolly trolly troll troll. If you look at my Twitter description, it tells you that shock, horror, I'm a troll. Just like the rest of the community around here.

                        El Reg's commenttard community can be best described as a cyclone of shrieking trolls. I accept that; I will even play the part when I spend time mucking about here. But I do fully expect that you are all intelligent and plugged-in trolls. Otherwise, we might as well close El Reg's forums and all go hang out on YouTube.

                        You bunch of carpets.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Mike Hock

                  Oh, and I should perhaps add... I worked, for some considerable time, for an employer who 's moral, ethical and supportive nature reflects your prescribed list of ideals and practices - only for them to fall victim to market volatility, having to sell a percentage to outside investors. Investors who quickly 'rectified' all such 'nonsense'.

                  It is the only substantial workplace I have encountered like that in the last 30 years. Unfortunately, it has proven to be a rarity.

      4. Lars Silver badge
        Pint

        "pro-FOSS bias and the pure techy forums.

        Any list of those pure and no-FOSS forums you visit that you could share with us.

        What is your problem actually, would you like the Reg to check in advance what opinions those who read and posts on the Reg. I like the Reg because I have this feeling that they are not as forced to obey big money as some others.

        Some posts are rubbish (including some of mine) some are what ever but basically the Reg is not flooded bye shit.

        As for FOSS it is just a matter of fact, like it, use it or hate it, so what, if you cannot accept that people might have different opinions to yours then you have no right to express your opinions either.

      5. Eddie Edwards
        Linux

        @JDX

        I'd say selection bias. The upvotes for the pro-RMS comments are due to a predeliction of people who follow the religion to be zealous about it. GPL people care enough to upvote that comment; non-GPL or anti-GPL people don't.

        The existence of selection bias makes it hard to accurately gauge the demographic from the comments section. But the upvotes obviously prove the presence of a pro-GPL/RMS contingent which was either absent or less active a few years ago.

        As for "pro-FOSS", that could mean pro-BSD and anti-RMS. FOSS is a rather wooly term and I'm not sure anyone is *against* having open-source software available :)

      6. Displacement Activity
        Meh

        @JDX

        This is a great opportunity to gauge the current Reg reader demographic...

        Err... no. It's a great opportunity to gauge the demographic of those who are willing to read 174 comments on a Stallman story. Nothing to see here.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        how has El Reg become such a beacon for them?

        What the bastion if not home planet of angry opinionated trolls??? Surely you are not serious.

      8. Tom 38 Silver badge

        You can be stauch pro-FOSS, and still disagree with the statement "RMS is right as usual".

        In this case, I agree that he is right, but on a lot of things I disagree vehemently with him, particularly over GPL.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @skelband: I believe you meant...

      "He's right this time, even though he's mentally ill."

      Much better correspondence with reality now, don't you think?

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      He's right as usual...

      Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

      However while I usually disagree completely with his spoutings, or find them a load of hyperbollocks, at the time of issue some time, often years later, I find myself having come to the same conclusion.

      It doesn’t mean he's always right but its worth getting to grips with his ravings and taking the threats he sees in others activities to their logical and ludicrous conclusions as, despite your faith in humanity, business will find a way to go a step further down the path away from freedom than even you could imagine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

        Why not? If you get stuck for a long time and get really, really hungry you can eat whatever he stores in his feet.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I25UeVXrEHQ

        1. Rukario
          Boffin

          Re: Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

          "Why not? If you get stuck for a long time and get really, really hungry you can eat whatever he stores in his feet."

          That link should come with a "Cannot unsee" warning.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

            It reminds me of a Martin Perscheid cartoon of plane crash survivors who had taken to cannibalism. The caption read: "As a vegan, Marie had to survive by finding foot fungus". I'll leave you with that picture..

          2. TeeCee Gold badge
            Alert

            Re: Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

            I figured that warning was inherent in the concept of Stallman's feet, what he stores in them and eating it.

            Thus I did not follow the link for fear of being right.

      2. Vic

        Re: He's right as usual...

        > Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with.

        RMS is someone I'd like to buy a beer for - but I probably wouldn't stick around to drink one with him[1].

        I've slated him on a few occasions over the years. To date, every time I've disagreed with him, I've had to change my mind later. He might not be the world's greatest PR droid, but he knows what he's talking about...

        Vic.

        [1] That's a lie, actually. I like beer.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He's right as usual...

        "Stallman is not a man I'd like to be stuck in a lift with."

        Presumably, you too have experienced his interesting approach to personal hygiene, then?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not "as usual"

      RMS need a RMS-to-human-beings interface in the form of a spokesperson.

      He tends to screw up a good argument with almost religious BS. He is right insofar that Canonical should not have put that in as a default that is actually not easy to kill off - that is dangerously close to a breach of Data Protection laws and in general a breach of people's right to privacy. That is disappointing, and was IMHO actually a tad unexpected from Ubuntu (and teh best demonstrator it lost touch with its USERS, but I digress).

      Where he is NOT right is that Canonical should not offer it at all. If Canonical had said outright "look, we have this Amazon offer which brings us some revenue for more Linux work" it would have left it up to users to support them or not, and I can see a number of people then using it WILFULLY - much more positive in every aspect.

      I don't think RMS has the right to *prescribe* as he tends to do, he is welcome to advise but he publicises his opinions usually in a way that makes it appear he thinks he's just descended from the mountain with them inscribed in stone tablets, speaking with foaming, spittle flecked fervour. Having seen some video of him in presentations, I am not sure this is the man himself, but he sure expresses himself that way so maybe an interpreter would help. I would really like him to get the credit he deserves (Linux would not be where it was today without the whole GNU component) but he does make it hard to like him, and sadly, awards are rarely handed out objectively.

    6. J 3
      WTF?

      I agree he is right that what Canonical did was bad, etc., but as someone mentioned above, he does not need to be a condescending paternalistic douche about it.

      "Even if the feature were disabled by default, he says, allowing users to opt in still puts them at risk, because most won't fully understand what they're getting themselves into."

      Don't take me wrong, I'm a fan of RMS and his work, but even if he's right that most people are too stupid to be discerning about this, no one has appointed him or anyone else the guardian of the innocent of the world, last I looked. If grown ups are not allowed to take responsibility for their own choices, then the world RMS wants (and I do too) will never come.

      And, anyway, I suspect that whomever is too thick to understand what opting in to the Amazon search means is also very unlikely to come across it to even start wondering if it's a good idea, so opting in would not be that much of a big deal. Too bad it's still opt out.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

    ... loosely translated, it means "using Slackware requires at least ten functioning brain cells".

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

      I was under the impression that it translated ton "I am too dumb to use Debian" but you may be right. I am not too good at acient African dialects.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Pierre (was: Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ... )

        "I was under the impression that it translated ton "I am too dumb to use Debian" but you may be right. I am not too good at acient African dialects."

        Methinks that the "official translators" will argue my version & your version for decades.

        On the bright side, Debian & Slackware are still works in progress :-)

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

        No, it translates (loosely) as "some of us would like to use Linux computers to do actual work and not spend our entire lives getting the damn thing running"

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

          "some of us would like to use Linux computers to do actual work and not spend our entire lives getting the damn thing running"

          And exactly because of this I'm running OpenSuSE (11.4 at the moment, started with 6.something)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

            And exactly because of this I'm running OpenSuSE

            To be honest, I prefer that one too, but I've strayed of late because it's a bit off the beaten track in the way it works, so all the things I want to play with either demand a Debian-originated distro (using apt-get, but it's also about what's installed), or they go the CentOS way. I've heard of their build service, so maybe I ought to check in again. I've been using from well before Novell appeared on the scene :)

            Time to cut another DVD, I think :)

        2. Sir Codington
          Linux

          Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

          You could just use Debian. Ubuntu is based off it. You lose some bells, whistles and drivers but it's perfectly usable and runs almost everything Ubuntu does. It also runs on almost everything, I'd be surprised if your watch couldn't run Debian.

    2. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

      "using Slackware requires at least ten functioning brain cells"

      Actually, I thout Slackware was an ancient American word which translate (roughly) as "Your computer needs a 5.25" floppy drive, and a postbox big enough for 34 floppies to pass through it when the mailman appears".

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Andus: (was: Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...)

        That was then, this is now ... But I believe Slack 1.0 was 24 3.5s ;-)

        Regardless, it's been a fun roller-coaster, no?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Andus: (was: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...)

          But I believe Slack 1.0 was 24 3.5s

          14, actually. It was my first ever Linux distro, so I remember getting the stack being pushed in my hand at my new place of work with the words "I will help you install, and I will answer intelligent questions. Other than that, read the man pages" :) Nice change from SunOS - this I could mess with at home without burning money on dialup :).

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Ubuntu is an ancient African word ...

      "using Slackware requires at least ten functioning brain cells"

      Hahaha, like it :).

      However, the actual meaning does have a "sharing" implication, so maybe this Amazon deal was the plan all along?

  4. Evan Essence

    Kubuntu

    There's no spyware in Kubuntu, as far as I'm aware, or in any other *buntu.

    1. Mike Tubby
      Thumb Up

      Re: Kubuntu

      Yup... my Ubuntu Server(s) appear safe (for now :-)

      G

  5. ShelLuser
    Windows

    uhm...

    "This is just like the first surveillance practice I learned about in Windows," Stallman says, recalling how a friend first noticed the Microsoft OS phoning home with search queries.

    And what search queries would that be? Because if we're talking about that Windows desktop search application (which I never kept around) then the phone home aspect should hardly be a surprise considering this was mentioned just about everywhere in its (sparse) documentation.

    Or are we talking about search queries which people do within the file explorer, which seems kinda odd to me?

    1. YARR
      Big Brother

      Re: uhm...

      I think he means searches from the browser search bar.

      When installing IE8 + 9 (I've not seen IE10) the setup program lets you choose whether to enable 'SafeSearch' which blocks phishing sites before you view them. I'm sure Firefox does the same thing. For this to work it must either push an up to date phishing database inside the browser or send every URL you visit to Microsoft / Firefox / etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @YARR - Re: uhm...

        Nope, it was Windows explorer who rushed to connect to Microsoft as soon as you were searching for files. Oh, and Windows Media Player phones to Microsoft after you finished playing a media file.

        1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: @YARR - uhm...

          Oh, and Windows Media Player phones to Microsoft after you finished playing a media file.

          I thought that was only if you opt-in to the "User Experience Improvement Program"? Ive never seen WMP sending weird packets to MS, but then again, first, I dont really use WMP. VLC and even old WinAmp are better if you like tweaking your sound and secondly if I dont authorize it by writing a firewall rule for it, it doesn't leave my desktop. Lock down your firewall and it reduces or eliminates alot of bullshit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: User Experience Improvement Program

            Isn't there an African word for that?

            Not "Microsoft," that I'm sure of.

        2. ShelLuser
          Windows

          @AC

          "it was Windows explorer who rushed to connect to Microsoft as soon as you were searching for files."

          And is there any more proof than "he said so" ?

          I searched Google and Bing for this because I'm honestly a bit baffled considering how Microsoft has covered these "phone home" options in every detail possible with their Windows Phone & Windows 8 platform (you need to consent before...).

          But; I can't find anything.... Any URL or something which backs this whole thing up?

          Because, with all due respect, but one single guy saying isn't quite enough for me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC

            Did I miss the part where he said 'Windows phone or Windows 8'? For all I know, he was talking about windows 98 or XP and IE6

  6. Ilgaz

    Thank God for rms

    He is one of the rare people in entire IT World (including non oss) who hasn't fallen into politician like populism.

    I don't use Linux by the way. If I did, Debian would be my choice (minus Mono).

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Thank God for rms

      Have to love the "farting" guy even if one does not agree with him each time. There are many corners, in this world, that need to be occupied bye somebody who sticks to his opinions. Do I like my computer to have a social life of its own. No.

  7. Matt Bucknall
    1. asdf Silver badge

      Short and to the point. Long live MATE and may gnome die of a thousand cuts.

      1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Fedora with KDE or Xfce.

        Death to Unity and Ubuntu, and very slow excruciatingly painful death to Gnome.

        1. Fatman Silver badge

          RE: Death to Unity and Ubuntu

          I don't completely agree with you.

          Death to Unity - I can't stand that clusterfuck. Give me gmone session fallback any day.

          But, I do like Ubuntu (sans "lens"); but, as I am currently using 12.04, that shit (the 'lens') isn't part of the distro. If it shows up when i upgrade to 14.04 in 18 months, it will get stripped out.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Short and to the point. Long live MATE and may gnome die of a thousand cuts.

        Q'Plah!!

      3. keithpeter
        Boffin

        Just me being difficult

        "Short and to the point. Long live MATE and may gnome die of a thousand cuts."

        Good luck and all with the fork of Gnome 2, but what happens as more applications need the Gnome 3 Libraries?

        1. A J Stiles

          Re: Just me being difficult

          Then you install just the GNOME 3 libraries.

  8. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    WTF?

    I like Stallman

    He's out there on the edge. It's a reference point. He's about as far out to the 'left' as you can get without getting into Kooksville. I'm sure many would disagree and say that he is the Mayor of Kooksville.

    He's entertaining if nothing else, not in a John McAfee kind of way, but it's always worth listening to his sound bytes.

    Anyway, wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt? It's about the only distro I haven't tried out, though I use derivatives.

    I would avoid like the plague anyone who did this. Bye bye Ubuntu. This kind of thing is beyond the windoze/free software argument. It's just plain WRONG.

    1. LaeMing Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      Re: wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt?

      My guess is they were thinking "$$$$$$$$".

      1. garbo
        Linux

        Re: wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt?

        Shuttleworth, the businessman, always has the Profit Monkey on his back, whispering, "Not yet, not yet. OK, maybe now you can turn a profit on all your effort and investment." But it would've been nicer to tell everyone first.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt?

          Hmm, not sure that is fair. I've met him a few times, and he doesn't really strike me as that sort of a person.

          Sure, Mark has a profit motive in mind but I don't think it's as self serving as that. IMHO, Mark is seeking to prove that Linux can support a commercial LINUX OS enterprise (as opposed to a Linux USING enterprise, because we've got Amazon and Google demonstrating that on a daily basis) other than the RedHat model. Don't ask me why there should be another commercial vendor, but that was the sense I got from the whole setup, and he did originally come up with a version of Debian that was certainly a lot more dynamic and easy to install, it's only since about release 11 that things started to come off the rails because they seem to have increasingly discarded listening to their users (something you eventually pay for, without exception).

          However, I think the deal with Amazon was implemented wrong - if they had made it an option which said "you can support us financially if you install this" I am positive they would have had many willing supporters. Making it a not so easy to remove default was not right, and if they had someone bright for marketing they would have issued a mea culpa already..

          1. Allonymous Coward
            Linux

            Re: wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt?

            Only met the guy once or twice, but I have a lot of respect for Mark Shuttleworth. Despite a few major missteps, he's done more for F/OSS than I (or most of us) ever will. And the technical people I've spoken to at Canonical have always seemed on top of their game.

            My occasional dealings with their marketing people have, however, often left me scratching my head. I get the impression they don't really know what they're doing, or how to engage with their target market.

            This feels like another example of that. Might've been an OK idea if they'd been upfront about it and made it opt-in. But they misjudged their audience and went about it all wrong.

        2. The BigYin

          Re: wtf were Ubuntu thinking pulling this stunt?

          Canoncial is a business. It needs to make money. Why is this a surprise to many in the F/OSS community? Do they thinking money pops out of thin air or something?

          First thing I did was uninstall the lens. If I want to search Amazon, I'll go search Amazon; I don't need the PC to do it for me. Even with the lens, I am not worried about Amazon potentially data-mining me (won't be possible unless Canonical pass up some kind of GUID) but Canoncial could profile me.

          Oh, and Mr Shuttleworth? You don't have root until I say you can have root.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: Canoncial is a business.

            There is enough money in Linux support for Oracle to take an interest. Canonical wanted to to emulate Red Hat and turn a massive user community into a viable commercial Linux support business, The fact that they were unable to says a lot about them.

      2. Ilgaz

        What happened, more directly

        Rich, eccentric businessman thought there is money in Linux, from end users.

        Apparently, there isn't. Not that way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's just plain WRONG

      So simply uninstall/disable it, it's not enough of a reason to avoid Ubuntu.

    3. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      Re: I like Stallman

      I do, too.

      However, when I'm walking home, I always try to avoid stepping on the manhole covers that have "RMS" written in the middle..

      Always worried about tripping (?) on a beard, somehow....

    4. ShelLuser
      Windows

      @Bradley

      Well, I'm in between. I don't agree with his statements about how bad Windows is but I still think Stallman is the kind of guy we really need.

      I guess this is very hard for some people to grasp but I can actually respect a guys opinion and statements even if I don't fully agree with them. In this case especially since I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of other statements he's made.Take the rfid and radiation stuff.... Some people think he's going "cookoo" there but I think he has a HUGE point yet the people just won't see it.

      No, Stallman is not entertaining. He's stirring the pot and that is exactly what we need right now. Sometimes you need to get someone to enforce you to come to your senses.

      You like Windows? You like the way it all works; guess what: its not all that perfect as it seems to be. There are major issues. AHA; you like Linux? You like free and open source? Guess what: even THERE we have major issues rising. Its not the true savior perse.

      And THAT is IMO why we need guys like Stallman.

      (in case some nutjobs didn't notice: Ubuntu really is still Linux).

      Windows user.. Because, well, in day to say work I am... All my servers which matter are Linux though, but.. oh well :)

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I like Stallman

      This tread is a bit old now but the thing that worries me especially with Americans is this left/right thing.

      The far left and the far right are exactly the same thing, ideas and people. What was the Nazi called, National socialism. Does that sound more like right or left.

      Europeans have a better understanding of basically worthless words like right or left. How can you deal with reality if all you think there is, is either left or right.

      1. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

        To the left - to the right..l.

        I totally disagree with the left/right paradigm. I have arguments with my step-dad who is an old labour man.

        We talk about Marx, Fascism. The Trots....

        So I don't think it is just an American/European thing.

        I don't view the world as left or right.

        But maybe right/wrong would be too simplistic.

  9. nuked
    Thumb Down

    Well, I'm going to go against the grain and say this is a bit of a storm in a teacup. I understand there's a point of principle, but this is hardly malware.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      It sends your information to another party without bothering to get your consent or even inform you of what it's doing. That fits the textbook definition of spyware pretty well I think.

      Storm in a teacup? If it were proprietary software maybe, but Stallman is right about one thing. OSS users tend to not put up with this sort of nonsense. Personally I've never liked Ubuntu (it pales in comparison to Debian in my opinion), but if I did this would be my cue to find a different distro.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: It sends your information to another party

        It sends anonymized data to a third party, only Canonical knows where the query came from and where to send the results. If you don't like that you can disable it. Did people make the same sort of fuss when Mozilla agreed to push Google search?

        1. keithpeter
          Black Helicopters

          Re: re: It sends your information to another party

          "It sends anonymized data to a third party, only Canonical knows where the query came from and where to send the results. "

          Canonical servers based in UK and under UK law? So the searches and the key that links the ip of the search client with the terms sent to Amazon have to be recorded for a certain period (ISPs dp, not sure about servers providing a service like this)? Future 'polite request' for 'information useful to us' from a UK government agency? Do I need a foil hat?

          Real can of worms this once you start...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's open source, change it lol.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      it's boot lickers like you who let the top penguins at ubuntu get so delusional as to think this is acceptable! If you really cared about ubuntu, you would be pissed. I guess you shrug it off when your 5 year old is playing around the stove when you'r cooking, too? or do you get extra upset because you care if that bubbling grease gets dumped over on his/her head? also, there exists a totalitarian stench in some corners of the ubuntu temple that needs to be aired out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        boot lickers

        delusional

        [weird statement involving children]

        totalitarian stench

        the ubuntu temple

        You either got the dosage wrong of have forgotten to take your medicine altogether.

  10. Len Goddard

    Not in any non-U buntu

    AFAIK this crud is only in the Ubuntu unity interface, not in the other 'buntus. I moved to Xubuntu when unity appeared because it is as ugly and unpleasant as TIFKAM.

    Having said which, Stallman is quite right in this case and Shuttleworth should be ashamed of what he has done to what was a well respected distro.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Not in any non-U buntu

      Absolutely. _U_buntu is kinda dead for me. I've moved on to Xubuntu and might Kubuntu again.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Not in any non-U buntu

        And how long before in order to remain an official 'buntu you have to include something similar to this? If I were a Kubuntu or Xubuntu maintainer I'd be proposing the project break all links with Ubuntu and Canonical.

    2. Ilgaz

      Re: Not in any non-U buntu

      I don't understand this phobia from Debian, it has to have "buntu" in it?

      As a person who hates any kind of needless tech junk, I installed Debian to powerbook g4. It was almost easy as OS X install. Also it was the feared "stable".

      Every distribution which is derived from Ubuntu adds to their argument.

  11. Oninoshiko
    Trollface

    Alternate headline

    Stallman: Windows is as good a Ubuntu!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternate headline

      You're right on this and it's a sad situation.

    2. Ilgaz

      Re: Alternate headline

      Go to Ballmer with exact same idea and he will call security to escort you out of campus.

      Yes even that guy.

  12. Chris_Maresca

    Been using Fuduntu

    ... which, despite the name, is actually a Fedora fork. It's got, IMHO, the best UI of any desktop distro.

    Check it out at http://www.fuduntu.org

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been using Fuduntu

      The UI doesn't look much different to Xubuntu. I also think I'd rather suffer Unity than use RPM to be honest.

    2. Criminny Rickets

      Re: Been using Fuduntu

      I checked out the page. The pic of the desktop reminds me too much of a Mac. Sorry, not a Mac fan so tend to stay away from distros that have show that as the default desktop.

      I am a recent Windows convert who switched after finding out about Windows 8 and TIFKAM. The first distro I looked at was Ubuntu as it kept getting so much press on El Reg and other places on how easy it was to install and use. Though I must have been reading articles before that gawd-awful Gnome 3 Menu / Unity mess. I settled on Mint Cinnamon. It us a buntu derivitive without the unity mess.

      Even though I settled on Mint does not mean I have not looked at other distros. I have checked out a number, including Opensuse and Mageia. I think I could like Magae 3 if it didn't have that stupid Activities bar which reminds me too much of Unity and Windows 8 Desktop. (Yes, I did seriously check out Windows 8 as well).

      As a newish convert to Linux, I actually do not know too much about Richard Stallman, except what I have read in these comments. Reading the article however, I do agree with him about Ubuntu installing spyware.

  13. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Windows

    Btw..

    I use an Ubuntu derivative called Mint. Though it is also based on Debian.

    I use Debian more and more these days, as my Linux skills come up to snuff.

    Debian forums can be pretty brutal, but Mint forums are often indifferent.

    I got switchable desktops - lxde/xfce of Debian. It's a fast, efficient distro (Squeeze here).

    The default search providers can annoy in certain versions of Mint (Katya for one), but they can be changed quickly.

    But I would never install a pure Ubuntu. And that would be more along my dumb skill set. Instead, I go for broke and install Debian. God help me when I run into trouble...

    Sorry for the ramble. Maybe someone would find it interesting what a dumb punter is using.

    Debian expert installs to hard drive here. Oh Shuttleworth, where did it all go right?

    1. asdf Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Btw..

      Debian people have always come across as almost as big a douches as the BSD crowd. Still both have given us wonderful code so its the price you pay I guess.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According to wikipedia...

    ... stallman thinks that the belief that "voluntarily pedophilia harms children" is wrong...

    could be he has other reasons for avoiding having search results sent to canonical.

    1. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: According to wikipedia...

      was that before or after you edited it? Your title alone pretty much makes reading your post pointless.

      1. Turtle

        @asdf: Re: According to wikipedia...

        re: Stallman's attitude towards pedophilia:

        "According to wikipedia...was that before or after you edited it? Your title alone pretty much makes reading your post pointless."

        You can find that opinion on Stallman's OWN blog. (And it's been referenced on these forums before.) The reference on the Wikipedia page is not in the main article (geez, i feel dirty even have looked at it!) but is referenced on the discussion page, in notes dated 2009 with a link to the original remarks on Stallman's own site (and I feel even dirtier for having looked at that.)

        The "pointlessness" to which you referred is, once again, yours. Unless, of course, it was your intention to exhibit your ability to instantly deny unpalatable facts - even when those facts are very easily verifiable.

        1. The BigYin

          Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

          Just because RMS is wrong about one thing, does not make him wrong about another thing (I forget the name of that fallacy). Heck, Dawkins has some rather IMHO strange opinions on this subject. Does that now mean evolution is wrong, or that Dawkins is wrong about it?

          RMS is a strange fish (I feel I can say that, I've met the man and spent time with him), if he were British we'd call him eccentric. He is often right on matters technical, although he does sometimes have an odd way of expressing it.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: @The BigYin: "RMS is a strange fish"

            How does the saying go? Reasonable people adapt to the world around them, unreasonable people try to fix the world. Therefore all progress is made by unreasonable people. (Or something like that.)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

            Someone who thinks raping children is ok, is not someone I want to listen too. If hitler were still alive would you listen to what he had to say just becuase although he was wrong about the jews, doesn't mean he was wrong about anything else.

            Ask the victims of pedos if they think pedos supporters should be listend to... I'm amazed at how no one cares about what he is reported to have said. Maybe it's because most nerds will never have the chance to have children and so don't care.

            1. The BigYin
              FAIL

              Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

              @AC Appeal to emotion, appeal to fear, Reductio ad Hitlerum. Come back when you can actually construct a valid argument.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                ditto for you.

                So you support his views on pedophillia? Assuming you ever had the chance to have children, I assume you would be quite happy for some adult to rape them, as long as they convince your child before hand that they wanted to do it?

                If not, you have no right defending him.

                1. The BigYin
                  FAIL

                  Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                  "ditto for you"

                  I haven't presented an argument, merely pointed out that the one you provided was fallacious.

                  "So you support his views on pedophillia?"

                  Appeal to emotion. Ignored.

                  "I assume you would be quite happy for some adult to rape them"

                  Appeal to fear. Ignored.

                  "If not, you have no right defending him."

                  You have constructed a position for me which you have then attempted to tear down. Straw man. Ignored.

                  I have not discussed my personal views on such acts on children, nor my views on Stallman's purported opinion of such acts. l have restrained myself to pointing out that you have not yet presented a valid argument with regards the current topic; Canoncial's Shopping Lens and Stallman's assessment of that. Oh, and pointing out your fallacies.

                  So either present a valid argument or, as the saying goes, haud yer wheest.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                    My arguments are perfectly valid... if you think they are not you have no idea what an argument is. You haven't restrained yourself, you have come out with stock dumb answers, that with your limited intelligence, you believe make you sound educated. And all though you appear to dumb to realise it, you have discussed your views and opinions.

                    So either preset a valid argument that is logic and not childish, oder halt deine klappe.

                    1. The BigYin

                      Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                      "My arguments are perfectly valid"

                      What argument? All I see are some red herring statements on a totally separate topic.

                      "you have come out with stock dumb answers"

                      I think you'll find that all I have done is point out the irrelevance of your own statements.

                      "that with your limited intelligence"

                      "And all though you appear [too] dumb to realise it"

                      Ad hominems. This is what I mean about not being able to construct an argument.

                      "you have discussed your views and opinions."

                      I may have stated my opinions elsewhere within this forum, but I don't think I have discussed them with yourself; and I just checked, I haven't (until my recent statements, of course).

                      "So either preset a valid argument that is logic"

                      I have. I have logically and clearly deconstructed your statements and shown why they do not form a valid argument. I have managed to do this with resorting to personal slurs; something which I note you have failed to manage. A shame you feel the need to resort to such base tactics, if you would present and actual argument they would not be required.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                    'I haven't presented an argument, merely pointed out that the one you provided was fallacious.'

                    Which obviously in itself is a good old fashioned ad hominem. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

                    1. The BigYin

                      Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                      "'I haven't presented an argument, merely pointed out that the one you provided was fallacious.'

                      Which obviously in itself is a good old fashioned ad hominem. Don't hate the player, hate the game."

                      Except for the small matter that it isn't. Pointing out that your argument is fallacious makes no comment about you as a person, belittles you or otherwise insults you; nor did I seek to put words into your mouth (as you did with me).

                      As for me being hypocritical, I make no claims to being perfect and at least I have the good grace to post under a handle where you can see my past history. I wouldn't go too far back though, the opinions I expressed in the past may not be the ones I hold now. See that's the thing about debate - when one's argument is shown to be weak/false it needs to be reconsidered.

                      In order to assist you in this matter, I shall make two simple statements:

                      1) Stallman raises some valid points about the Ubuntu Shopping Lens. I am not certain I agree 100% with his conclusions as he is a exponent of the slippery slope. However when it comes to matters technical, he does have an annoying habit of being rather prescient. He does at least raise many points for debate and I thought Bacon's response failed to address many of them;

                      2) On the other matter; I can find no reference to your claim on his Wikipedia page, I did manage to find it on his blog from 2006. On that I think he is wrong, assuming he still holds that opinion of course. You could always ask him and see what he says.

                      As you can see, I have also cited my sources. If you are going to make claims in the future, I suggest you do likewise.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

                Hmmm, bookmarked that one for later use Mr Yin. See quite a few of those fallacies from yourself. How does the saying go? 'Do as I say, not as I do.'?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @asdf: According to wikipedia...

          Makes you wonder what other freedoms he would like.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: According to wikipedia...

      Maybe if you looked up 'ad hominem', you might manage to grasp the difference between reasoned argument and character slur...

      1. The BigYin

        Re: According to wikipedia...

        "Ad hominem". To the man and comes in multiple forms. I assure you I can recognise a reasoned argument, I am still awaiting one from yourself. Your abusive ad hominem wasn't really a good start, nor was the straw man you then attempted and which, in my opinion, also strayed into an abusive ad hominem.

        Note: I assume you are all the same AC. This may be wrong. But as you are posting AC I have no way of determining if this is one person or many.

  15. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    ..could be he has more the courage of his convictions

    ..than an anonymous coward.

    Right or Wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ..could be he has more the courage of his convictions

      And what exactly are his convictions? Is he on the sex offenders register?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ..could be he has more the courage of his convictions

      So Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance is your real name is it? Hypocrite.

      1. A J Stiles

        Re: ..could be he has more the courage of his convictions

        It's not necessarily about real names; it's about the ability uniquely to identify a person within a context.

        As long as only one user of The Register forum is calling themself "Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance", then it's a unique identifier in a way which "Anonymous Coward" certainly isn't.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In its defence Canonical says

    they're using money from Amazon to develop software.

    Weasel words for Canonical selling their users in bulk to Amazon.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an impartial observer

    It has been interesting to see the amount of bickering and disunity exhibited here.

    1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: As an impartial observer

      Thats because the Linux crowd is fragmented all to hell.

      Which sucks because disunity hurts the movement, as does behavior by developers such as Canonical with this "Selling Users to Amazon" garbage and the abortion of a UI that is Unity. Why in the fuck you would continue to use Ubuntu is beyond me at that point.

      You also have so many different layers of bureaucracy involved with any distro, which sometimes turns users against each other for whatever stupid reason. And supporters of one distro tend to hate on other distros. I don't, but others do. Its petty, its juvenile, and its a major social obstacle for development of Linux on the mainstream consumer level. Every time I say this I get the shit downvoted out of me because noone wants to hear it, but damn, I can't be the only person who sees this.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Fragmentation?

        Well the point is, no matter if you have Ubuntu or SuSE or whatever, you'll always have the same software. They are compatible except for some minor GUI stuff.

        The differences between different Distributions are about as large as the difference between different OEM installs. Some OEMs/Distributions bundle crapware, while others have exotic management interfaces.

        1. southpacificpom

          Re: Fragmentation?

          "They are compatible except for some minor GUI stuff"

          Oh and you forgot to mention they are packaged differently too - RPM and DEB packages do not mix well usually. That's another minus for Linux and continues the onslaught of fragmentation. Compiling from source is about the only true way to get compatibility across distro's but do we want to build from source everytime?

          Usually the answer to that is no, unless you're a Slacker maybe.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Fragmented to hell

        you make it sound like a problem rather than the beneficial melting pot it really is.

        My personal opinion is Unity is a big heap of dog doos. Lots of other people apparently like it. Fucking idiots to a wimp if you ask me but at least they have an opinion and a choice - in a couple of years proprietary software users will have a desktop that makes Unity look good forced on them and may not even be able to read their old office documents on ARM machines but will not have a choice as their IT dept will be off enjoying a well deserved retraining in their 'familiar' OS.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: As an impartial observer

      "It has been interesting to see the amount of bickering and disunity exhibited here."

      I think that might be your confirmation bias. I certainly never trust anyone who declares themselves impartial. My impression, reading this forum, that there is broad consensus that RMS is a bit nutty, but often says true stuff, and that Canonical did a bad thing with their Amazon integration. That may of course be my confirmation bias.

      If only there were some way of telling which of us were nearer the truth ...

    3. Anonymous Dutch Coward
      Coat

      Disunity?

      Better disunity than Unity, I'd think!

      Ok, I'll get it now.

  18. The Alpha Klutz
    Stop

    "In your install fests, in your Software Freedom Day events, in your FLISOL events,..."

    LOL, I'm not some kinda weirdo....

  19. mpeyton
    Linux

    Simple solution

    There's a simple solution to this - sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback.

  20. southpacificpom
    Devil

    All as bad as each other

    While I agree that spyware in any form isn't good I wonder how many FSF twats out there install their FSF approved distro's and then go on the net and spend hours on Twatter, Facebook and porn sites?

    The main difference between "spyware" on Windows/Ubuntu is that you can (at the moment) disable the Amazon shite in Ubuntu whereas I can't think of many ways to disable all the crap that Windows has spying on your sessions.

    Even FSF friendly Debian technically has spyware in the form of the popularity-contest package which reports back to base on the packages you install but, to be fair to Debian they do not install it by default, although they do prompt you about it during a net install.

    While RMS is correct about lots of things he observes there is just no give about his stance on it. True, he sticks to his guns but also shoots himself in the foot on many occasions. I'm beginning to find many of his "Freedoms" just freedoms on his terms - just like the GPL, true software freedom but only if you do it by these rules. If that's not political...

    BTW - love the way the FSF donation page automatically asks for a $100 donation right off the hat!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All as bad as each other

      I doubt whether any of the downvoters have actually read the GPL in any of its forms. It as much handcuff-ware as any of the EULA's any of the commercial firms use. What's more by it very nature it's viral, and not in a good freedom-of-choice way either. You are absolutely correct to say that it freedom on his terms. The only true "free as in libre" license out there is the BSD one. I personally try and avoid GPL encumber products where posible, sadly its quite difficult as the cult of Stallman is so pervasive.

      RMS may be right about many things, he utters so much drivel some of it is bound to stick, but there isn't any need to be such a massive sanctimonious dick about it.

      1. A J Stiles

        Re: All as bad as each other

        The GPL forbids only one thing: taking somebody else's hard work that they intended for everyone to have free access to the internals of, pretending it is your own work, and denying some people access to its internals.

        Which is actually pretty sociopathic.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: All as bad as each other

          If the GPL forbids only one thing, why does it take 5644 words to do it?

          If you were going to answer that one, you could also follow up with why the GPL forbids the inclusion of CDDL licensed works, when the CDDL license is so open that it can be included along with BSD licensed works?

          1. A J Stiles

            Re: All as bad as each other

            Well, strictly, it's not the GPL that forbids that, but copyright law. The GPL is the "written permission" required by copyright law to perform certain acts, and is granted subject to you satisfying certain conditions. It takes $(wc /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL | awk '{print $2}') words to explain precisely what you are permitted to do, and when.

            The GPL -- in its effort to preserve your freedoms -- requires you not to impose any additional restrictions on recipients of software licensed thereunder. (You can grant additional permission in respect of anything over which you have the right to do so, but this will not apply to the portions of the resulting work that you received under the GPL). The CDDL contains restrictions (basically, attempting to terminate your right to use the the licensed software if you make a patent claim against software so licensed) that are not in the GPL (which makes it clear that you have unconditional permission to use the software); and the only way you can comply with both licences at the same time is by not distributing software at all.

            Note that the doctrine of Fair Dealing / Fair Use allows you to compile software distributed under the GPL with legitimately-acquired software distributed almost any other licence -- you just can't distribute it. That's why you have to faff about to get proprietary graphics card drivers into the Linux kernel. If nVidia would just release the driver Source Code under the GPL, the issue would go away.

    2. Fatman Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Simple solution...sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback.

      Is the first thing I do with any new Ubuntu install

      End of discussion.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Profit...

    How *dare* canonical think of ways of making any profit!

    I mean, it's hardly like the founder of the company ever considered it... oh wait ...

    It's about choice. If the choice isn't transparent, you have a choice not to use it.

    If your unaware what the choices are, because they are hidden from view, you have a choice to find out or not use it or not give a damn and use it anyway.

    It's when you *have* no choice at all you should really start worrying.

    Like it or loath it, we live in a commercial world, a capitalist society where money is king.

    If FOSS principles were practised by everyone, I wonder how the wheels of software commerce would turn?

    How many people would effectively be out of work?

    Lots.

  22. The BigYin

    Money

    How do you think Canonical pays it's devs, testers etc? Kind wishes?

    The shopping lens may well have been misjudged, it was certainly not received very well at all, but unless Canonical start making money Ubuntu (and all its derivatives) will no more. So where does Canoncial get the funds from?

    OEM licensing deals? Not on the desktop (at least, not in any volume to make any real odds).

    Cloud services? Possibly, but that makes them just another service player and you'll still lose your desktop.

    Shuttleworth does not have infinite pockets, so where do the funds come from? It's got to come from you one way or another, so how does Canonical pay the bills?

    C'mon, sensible answers, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Money

      WTF? So just because you think that this is ok makes all other options moot? Or does it excuse the action? You sound like you are under the belief that this form of spying, for apparently ONE particular company, is the ONLY way they pay their developers. Either that or it is excusable because it "helps pay the bills". Is either of those implications sound to you? Now if you are not implying one of these two things, what the fuck was the point of your post?

      Anyhow, to me it is not excusable the way it is now. Like another poster mentioned, they should of let you accept or decline the terms before they started this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money

      I think you hit on the biggest issue here. RMS has always stated that it's about freedom not price free, yet the movement seems loath to actually 'pay' for anything. I have no issue with the ideals of software freedom. It's an admirable and noble cause, but it's been hijacked by the freetard. Personally, I'm going down the BSD route. Someone claimed that they were douches and not particularly friendly, but I've found the opposite to be true; I've always found the Linux crowd to be too confrontational and aggressive. Oddly enough I've found the Ubuntu crowd have always been the most approachable and open. Pity about Unity...

  23. Simon Ward
    Black Helicopters

    Way ahead of him ...

    I ditched Ubuntu, and stopped recommending it to others, quite a while ago.

    Granted, this was more to do with the Unity clusterfuck than any 'spyware', perceived or otherwise.

    For desktop use, I generally use one of the *buntu derivatives (Lubuntu at present, although Xubuntu is just as good) - I run CentOS on my servers.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stallman is absolutely right

      It's not pure if it's GPL'd.

  25. mrmond

    So Mint is fine ?

    Didn't Mint change the search to duckDuck or something so they could generate revenue ?

    No different to Firefox and Mozilla getting revenue from Google.

    Malware doesn't give you a switch to turn it off. Last time I looked Ubuntu has a privacy setting to disable the Amazon search.

    And if you want to be extra extra safe, uninstall the lens with one command that can be found just by searching "Remove amazon lens from Ubuntu" in your fave search engine.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: So Mint is fine ?

      DuckDuckGo is a search engine like startpage.com that preserves your privacy when you search the Internet. The guys who run this have actually offered some interesting interfaces to it and they PROTECT your privacy instead of handing to some profiling outfit, so I'm personally quite OK with Mint giving these guys the business.

  26. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    WTF?

    Welcome to the Real World

    Free Software is Free to Behave in Ways of which Man in Beard Disapproves Shock Horror Probe.

    The whole point of free software is surely that if you don't like what it does you can change it. It's profoundly hypocritical for Mr Stallman to demand that software suppliers take decisions on behalf of their users, or that he should dictate how other people's desktops behave.

  27. csumpi
    Linux

    Debian

    Why use Debian with a bunch of crap added to it when you can just use Debian?

    1. Unix_Jim

      Re: Debian

      "Nuff said"

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Debian

      Why use Debian with a bunch of crap added to it when you can just use Debian?

      I think the original Ubuntu concept helped both. Ubuntu was a heck of a lot easier to install and went straight from install to "I have something any end users can actually use" instead of having to piece it all together themselves. So it put Debian in the hands of those who do not have the time to read man pages ad infinitum and tinker under the hood. AFAIK, the Ubuntu crew pushed what they did back to Debian as well, so the original idea of taking Debian and make it an attractive package for beginners was IMHO an interesting, positive idea.

      It's a shame it came a bit off the rails.

  28. Spoonsinger
    Linux

    Very weird post respones here....

    Obviously all opinions are subjective, but my feeling is that 'Stallman = a flim flam merchant of the worst kind, a charlatan of the mediocre kind, and a dick in the general sense'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very weird post respones here....

      Not quite. He's also responsible for the core of most of the applications on top of the Linux kernel, and that should not be forgotten. RMS's main problem is that he can live the luxury of his convictions - he doesn't have to deal with the real world and thus lacks the feedback to come out of black and white mode. This gives him the appearance of a fanatic, but I have no data to judge if this is the person, or just how he presents himself.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Very weird post respones here....

        He's responsible? How much gnu stuff did he actually write?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Very weird post respones here....

          He's responsible? How much gnu stuff did he actually write?

          I wasn't actually there, but I get the impression it followed a similar curve to Linus Torvald's Linux kernel, but set slightly earlier in time. First a one man band hacking away at something interesting and making it "free" (*), and gradually others joined the effort. Eventually, Stallman then started to work on the GPL and the "freedom" framework he envisages, but AFAIK he's always kept his hand in coding as well.

          (*) "Free" is a matter of debate - some see the GPL as restrictive rather than free as it dictates how you should license your own code if it's derived from GPL licensed origins (this allowed Microsoft to proclaim it a virus). Long debate omitted - look up GPL and compare it to, for instance, the LGPL and the BSD license.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Very weird post respones here....

            He wrote the original versions of gcc, gdb and gmake, long since replaced (even their replacements have been replaced, eg gcc -> egcs -> gcc 4 are all major rewrites).

            He is responsible for emacs, and for that he can never be forgiven.

            1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: Very weird post respones here....

              He is responsible for emacs, and for that he can never be forgiven.

              Hahaha, love it. You're starting a new, massive thread all by yourself here :)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Very weird post respones here....

                Quite right, JOE ftw.

  29. fawlty
    Meh

    Meh.

    it can be disabled, or better yet removed easily (and Unity is a better reason for using another variant of buntu).

    Whilst Canonical are taking a different tack from previously, and that might annoy current ubuntu users, its their distribution to publish - if they put something unpopular in the build that's their lookout.

    I don't recall anyone forcing me to use Ubuntu - if you don't like what they've done, use another distribution (there are plenty of people out there happy to recommend one ;-)

  30. DrXym Silver badge

    Dangerous surveilance code?

    It's some stupid affiliate link. Arguably Ubuntu shouldn't have put themselves in this position but it's hardly the end of the world even in the worst scenario. Ubuntu should have thrown some checkbox setting somewhere which definitively disables the feature and that would have been the end of the matter.

  31. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Facepalm

    Mint search engines...

    Mint seems to use different default search engines with their different versions.

    Sometimes it is Duck Duck Go, sometimes it is Yahoo. I seem to remember one was a modded Google.

    It's a bit of a pain when you are used to using one, but can be changed by anyone that ironically enough, can use a search engine. I use Google. I believe them to be evil. But they give the best search. I choose my women on a similar criteria. So shoot me...

    I'm also a big windows fan. WinXpSp3 is just a masterpiece. I'm having a flame war at the moment winding up some people that didn't like my comments that win7 is not as efficient as winxp. I don't see what their argument is really, as winxp is obviously set to run with a lot less ram than win7. I have an install, I am proud to say of winxp that is on a 266MHz Dell with 64MB of RAM. It's fun to watch the disk swapping, especially so as the disk is failing and on it's last legs. HDTune gives it another 24 hours to meltdown. How did I get here?

    Look, I love windows, warts an' all. I love Linux. I've only been using it for less than two years.

    Stallman has probably forgotten more about computers than I will ever know. Shuttleworth? Someone said earlier that they knew some people that knew him and that he wasn't a 'bread-head' man...

    I'm prepared to accept that. Maybe it was just a bad error of judgement. I don't hate him or Ubuntu. But, where I have choice left and can vote with my feet, I choose not to use Ubuntu. Leaves me with those prickly bastards over at Debian forums. I find their almost abusive nature almost endearing.

    Please dear God don't let me become one of them ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mint search engines...

      Shuttleworth? Someone said earlier that they knew some people that knew him and that he wasn't a 'bread-head' man...

      He's actually quite down to earth, despite having left the planet for real, albeit temporarily :).

      Mark made his money with Thawte, for a long time the only real competition to Verisign and (in my opinion) several miles better in process and security. Mark himself codes, by the way, so he knows what he's talking about. When he sold Thawte, he distributed some of the proceeds amongst his staff, which should tell you more about the man than anything else.

      As far as I can see, he's pursuing a vision that he as yet has to articulate and he is more fixed on mobile computing, in my opinion that's also the real reason behind that recent horrid Unity interface. However, I have no idea where he's heading, I don't know him *that* well and I haven't spoken to him in years (too busy elsewhere). I think he just wants Ubuntu and Canonical to stand on its own feet, I don't think he really needs the income..

      1. keithpeter
        Windows

        Re: Mint search engines...

        *As far as I can see, he's pursuing a vision that he as yet has to articulate and he is more fixed on mobile computing, in my opinion that's also the real reason behind that recent horrid Unity interface. *

        @AC11:18

        This 'vision' really exists then? With HUD and then the Amazon thing both arriving late in a development cycle, I'm getting the impression that the roadmap is a bit of a random walk with occaisional stops to pick up something shiny.

        I would be delighted to be wrong on that, and I would actually queue up to buy an Ubuntu phone from a high street phone shop in the UK. That would be so good on a lot of levels.

        Unity is NOT a touch interface at present, I find I'm actually using the keyboard far more than I used to with 10.04. So if the roadmap (sketch plan? Napkin doodle?) does actually include a real touch interface then we are in for some changes...

        The tramp: I don't know anyone rich or famous.

    2. keithpeter
      Boffin

      Re: Mint search engines...

      "Leaves me with those prickly bastards over at Debian forums. I find their almost abusive nature almost endearing."

      There are lots of alternatives...

      CentOS/Scientific Linux/PUIAS are three 'clones' of RHEL, currently version 6, so classic Gnome 2.2x. The Scientific Linux forum is probably the least prickly. CentOS forums can get RTFMy when they have a cob on. PUIAS is not especially well supported, it is a University build for their own systems and made available outside as a favour sort of deal. RHEL 7 is based off Fedora 18. The LXDE based desktop on Fedora 18 is fast and reasonably light.

  32. Escapee from TalkTalk

    I remember Ubuntu...

    Ubuntu? Isn't that the one that was the Greatest distro of all time - until they utterly lost the plot?

    I actually used to sent them monthly donations, 'cos I thought they were doing so much for 'the cause' but that stopped when they started regarding their users as an annoying necessity, to be ignored as much as possible.

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: I remember Ubuntu...

      Ubuntu? Isn't that the one that was the Greatest distro of all time - until they utterly lost the plot?

      That'll be the one.

      To be fair, Ubuntu did do quite a bit to flatten out the initial learning curve associated with learning/installing/generally dicking about with Linux. All was well in the world. Sort of.

      That was, of course, until someone at Canonical decided that they wanted Ubuntu to look and behave like OS X and the net result was the unholy pile of crap we've come to know as 'Unity'. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the main reason I booted Ubuntu into touch was because Unity is a smouldering pile of fail. As a result of this, I now point folks at one of the *buntu derivatives although I'm currently in the process of downloading Mint so I can chuck it into a VM and take it for a spin.

      1. Dana W
        Thumb Down

        Re: I remember Ubuntu...

        OSX is better than that, and has a much more flexible desktop.

  33. Unix_Jim

    Roll your own distros ;-)

    I totally agree with Richard Stallman - Linux has strayed from its origins; by tweaking Debian and offering it as a Trojan ( if it goes commercial, it has a Trojan! ), betrays the very ethos of our community.

    I am afraid Canonical has "strayed" into the dark side. At least Redhat has the common sense to offer Fedora to the purists and RHEL to the forces of evil.

    Stick with Slackware or go back to Gentoo folks, bake your own or learn how to: the net is vicious.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Roll your own distros ;-)

      I've developed a real allergy for people using the word "community" or (worse) "movement", usually because it means intelligent discourse will be impossible.

      Aaaaand yes. QED.

      Thank you, and good night.

  34. Escapee from ubuntu
    Stop

    Re: According to wikipedia...

    The anonymous Wiki fan should perhaps look up the term 'ad hominem' and learn the difference between reasoned argument and character slur.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: According to wikipedia...

      You need to learn that "ad hominem" is bollocks put about buy fat bearded nerds who think it makes them clever.

      You need to learn not to avoid questions that you find difficult to answer, like the fact that you obviously support pro pedo views, and your education is lacking if the only way you can avoid valid arguments is to play the old "ad hominem" card, like it's the race card.

  35. Chubbymoth
    Pint

    A bit extreme maybe, but right in the core message

    Stallman may have strange opinions and unpopular views, but that doesn't mean he's not right in this case. Canonical fucked up on this Amazon search logging mechanism. How about security for companies that would like to use Ubuntu. Oh,.. that's nice. Some joker can now read what the people in the business are searching for? So a lot of activity at Shell went to this area in (place in the world), gosh... where did they invest in lately? How is this data sent? SSH encryption? What is the overhead of all those queries? If you pay for the byte, it makes a difference. And when does the canonical EULA change? Have you ever read it? Hmm,..

    The whole concept is insane. Had they asked nicely, some non paranoid people might have wanted to support them financially, but mandatory initially and then reluctantly opting out setting?

    Persoanlly using XP, win7, android and backtrack linux. For Linux users I can strongly advise using BackTrack, Debian based, good support for Ubuntu packages, but you'll have to hack some to get them to work as root. And all the tools to get a better look at the other OS's in my list ;-)

  36. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Mushroom

    +fravia will be turning in his grave.

    may +fravia rest in peace.

    It only took me three words in google.

    And I found this:

    http://www.searchlores.org/photos.htm

    Now, if you thought stallman was out there....

    1. keithpeter
      Boffin

      Re: +fravia will be turning in his grave.

      "Yet my most cherished advice to all friends is the following: learn to enjoy your contingent present, don't be obsessed by the future."

      Seemed a fairly sensible man to me. Sadly no longer around to argue with. This ubiquitous network malakey has only just started, none of us have any idea where it will lead us over the next 20 to 40 years. Stallman and a few other nutters might give us a way of measuring progress, a lead to swing (in the original sense).

  37. Dana W
    Thumb Up

    I hate to agree with beardo. But this time he is 100% right.

  38. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I guess we can see one big advantage of FOSS

    In a commercial world, we'd be stuck with Canonical's decisions. We'd either have to accept them, or move to something completely different.

    In the FOSS world, we can simply make a "fork" or "remix" of Ubuntu and pick the things we like.

    I can choose who I trust, and I can choose not to trust people I don't want to trust.

  39. tuxtester

    Oh, we can turn it off in Ubuntu's privacy settings. Thanks, done.

    * tuxtester taps a glass with a spoon until the cacophonous rabble become sorta-silent *

    To those who think this is just another small step towards the fictitious worlds of 'V for Vendetta' or 1984 or the real worlds of old East Germany ... shut-the-feck-up!!

    Amazon and Canonical are not governments. There isn't a Nazi or Communist nutta running either of these organisations and if you know anything about the way data is compiled it's actually worthless, it's fuzzy. It can be perceived in multiple ways, depending on our point of view.

    Data is always gathered within a context and so the information we manufacture from it will always be tuned to a particular context or agenda and if any of the data falls outside the context/agenda then it is called 'noise' and is disregarded.

    With enough data points, we can manufacture connections between any number of events that would otherwise be considered unrelated.

    Data about the living and other things that change, becomes worthless UNLESS it is constantly updated but that is a full time job. Unless we are the focal point of surveillance then the data that others have about us will become useless over a relatively short period of time.

    We will never gather enough data, we will always want more like chasing the end of a rainbow, believing if we just get that extra little bit then we will know the truth or then we will be able to control ... something or someone.

    It's a fool's gold because the data is not the end product; we MANUFACTURE information based on the data and if the data does not quite 'prove' what we hoped then we tune it slightly, probably unconsciously, especially if there is a few quid riding on the result.

    And by viewing this web page you are allowing theregister.co.uk to monitor your activity. They read and write stuff to your hard drive as soon as you view their web pages. Ooooo

  40. tempemeaty

    Turning it off is not the same as not having it

    Stallman is right. Stuff like this, even if turned off, the code sits there like a time bomb waiting to be tripped accidentally/intentionally back on by an update. In other words, turning it off is not the same as it not being there.

  41. Bob 18

    Ubuntu in the Workplace?

    Whatever your views on this behavior from an OS and Richard Stallman... I can't think of any workplace environments that would be happy with this stuff on their employees' desktops. We use a lot of Mac and Linux on our desktops at work, and Ubuntu is now NOT one of the options.

    1. keithpeter
      Boffin

      Re: Ubuntu in the Workplace?

      "I can't think of any workplace environments that would be happy with this stuff on their employees' desktops. We use a lot of Mac and Linux on our desktops at work, and Ubuntu is now NOT one of the options."

      True, however most ITS people I know would not be installing an OS with a 6 month upgrade cycle anyway. A couple of facts that might be useful...

      1) The current LTS Ubuntu is 12.04 and does not have the Amazon search installed. LTS vcrsions have 5 years of support, and are released every two years the next being 14.04.

      2) Canonical provide the Business Desktop Remix (http://www.ubuntu.com/business/desktop/remix) currently 12.04 which omits a lot of social networking / games/ file sharing stuff. I imagine (but don't know) that future users of this build will also be spared the Amazon search and similar...

      I, too, am critical of the Amazon search and the path that leads forward from that, but I'm sure that Canonical will continue to support corporate use cases. They would be really daft not to.

  42. fmaxwell
    Megaphone

    That's what happens when there's no viable, legitimate revenue stream

    User's want a polished, professional, supported Linux but don't want to pay for it. There's not a big revenue stream to be had from selling CDs when people can download the distro for free over broadband. Most users are unwilling to pay enough for support to make that a viable model for a company producing a Linux Distro, and the small percentage who are willing to pay have already bought contracts with RedHat. The other suggested avenues for profiting on desktop Linux distributions are even sillier than the ones mentioned above.

    Canononical has been bankrolled by Mark Shuttleworth since 2004 and it still has yet to turn a profit. What's the business model, people?

    As far as politics and values go, Stallman and I are very similar, so this is not some right-wing condemnation of liberal ideals. It's just a recognition of the ugly truth: Linux is dying on the vine largely because of the lack of a viable business model for a major company producing a distribution. That Apple and Microsoft have drastically reduced the price of their operating system offerings is not helping the Linux market, either. Canononical is fighting for a slice of a very small pie, so how do they turn a profit?

  43. Cyfaill
    Linux

    Freedom means a fight for it

    Shame on Canonical for even thinking they could get away with this.

    Worse yet... that the idea of getting away with something they should understand as evil, would be something to try.

    RMS is correct. The idea of Linux is that Freedom means Freedom.

    Yea- yea, I understand the modern world demands capitulation and compromise.

    Well, stuff it.

    Freedom means the will to fight the evil that is driving the world into ruin.

    Your computer should be an extension of your mind. An expression of that will is to be free in thought and action. I have met Mark Shuttleworth, do you think he would tolerate the loss of freedom to act on his own, needing to look over his shoulder at who is watching? Why should you. The opt out option to satisfy those who do not mind the observation and records of interests... should be an auto off and an informed decision to switch on, at a minimum. that is my idea of compromise, such as it is... not the lack of information within the minds of their customers that Canonical seems to be depending on to get extra money. That's like a sucker punch... money they get, means you must loose your Freedom... What is it that, that seems complicated to understand. Get a spine and take a stand. That is what is wrong with the modern world.

    They can have my hard drive, when they pull it from my cold dead fingers.

  44. Ross K Silver badge
    FAIL

    Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (In Any Sense Of The Word "Free")

    That type of behavior is a strict no-no to the free software maven, who lumps it in with DRM and hidden back doors as malicious practices that should result in the offending code being treated as malware.

    Luckily nobody cares what Stallman thinks.

    If it wasn't for the popularity Ubuntu, there would be a lot less people using Linux.

    Canonical should tell Stallman to go and do one...

  45. southpacificpom
    Paris Hilton

    RMS doesn't care about Ubuntu anyway

    Ignoring the issue about spyware, would RMS actually endorse install Ubuntu at Linux install fests?

    The simple answer is no he would not. It does not fit in with his "free" criteria therefore his latest call to abandone such distros at install fests is just trumpet blowing.

  46. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    His "just as bad" actually means "not perfect".

    I sort of admire Stallman and have exchanged email with him in the past. However, he always lets the perfect be the enemy of the good, and the real-world problem is that nothing is perfect. This greatly limits his influence on the real world.

    Actually, one (or more) of our exchanges involved alternative economic models for OSS, and one of the features of the funding model described below was actually crystallized by a question he asked. I regard that as strong evidence of his high intelligence, since it was a problem that I had been wrestling with for months or even years, but he worded his question in a way that helped lead me to a solution--but not a perfect solution, so he didn't care.

    http://eco-epistemology.blogspot.jp/2009/11/economics-of-small-donors-reverse.html

  47. RISC OS

    I like ubuntu and the shopping lens....

    ... I have just started using linux because of ubuntu... I think it's great what shuttleworth is doing. Hippies with beards don't interest me, I have no idea what "free as in beer" guff means nor do I care, but if you have to explain it to people you analogy has failed, like gnu, people say linux for a reason and not gnu/linux, and no - no one think sit's funny that gnu is a recursive accronym... when stallman makes an OS as popular as ubuntu then I'll listen... how many people use HURD? 5?

    1. Ross K Silver badge

      Re: I like ubuntu and the shopping lens....

      Exactly, hippies with beards live in their own little dream world when it comes to Linux.

      I think it gives them somewhere to direct their OCD and/or autistic tendencies.

      The way I see it, Ubuntu us at least trying to bring Linux to the mainstream.

      As long as you have nerds squabbling over whether KDE is better than Gnome (or whatever the latest "thing" is), the Linux will remain the non-entity of an OS that it is...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing Australian PM Harold Holt found in Stallman's beard

    along with Jimmy Hoffa, long lost dingo child Azalia Chamberlain and enough nutritious fungus laden food particles to feed starving children Africa for seven years.

  49. Zc456

    lolwut?

    So, what does that make Android? Seriously, I dig the GPL, but holy shit this guy has a few loose bolts under his sleeve sometimes.

  50. Normandy

    SuSE

    I have stopped using SuSE-Linux long before Ubuntu had been known to a greater public for reasons quite similar to the points that you are discussing, here. It is not due to the popularity of Ubuntu, that Linux is popular, and even though you do not remember.

    What Mister Stallman is asking for is that people act coherently and avoid lip service (If that is the word; I am not a native english-speaker). But I guess that only those who also dare to put their own actions in context with the evolution of our society can really measure the weight of Canonical's decision.

    Do as you please, but later spare us the complaints. Some of the trouble that you are in is not the fault of "the others". I support Richard Stallman's opinion on Ubuntu.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if something is free, YOU are the product being sold

    That is all

    1. Normandy

      Re: if something is free, YOU are the product being sold

      You take a citation out of its context. That is more.

  52. FSM

    What about {K,X}ubuntu?

    I recently got Xubuntu to replace my terrible GNOME 3 Fedora 17. Presumably, if you don't pick the Unity ubuntu, you're safe?

  53. Miek
    Linux

    Stallman is a cock, there, I said it.

  54. kiwi8mail
    Meh

    Is the Amazon search feature now been disabled by default?

    I did a fresh install of Ubuntu about a week ago, and didn't see any sign of this Amazon search functionality. The suggested method of disabling it gave a message that seem to suggest the component wasn't installed.

    Is it because I have switched to the Gnome desktop that this functionality is missing?

    Anyone else experience this?

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: Is the Amazon search feature now been disabled by default?

      "Is it because I have switched to the Gnome desktop that this functionality is missing?" -- Yes, I believe the Amazon search thing runs under the Unity shell. When you search in the shell it also passes those searches over to amazon to do a product search at the same time.

    2. YellowApple

      Re: Is the Amazon search feature now been disabled by default?

      On a completely-vanilla and freshly-downloaded Ubuntu CD I'm still seeing shopping results in the Dash. Searching for "terminal" brings up a bunch of movies (I think...). "synaptic" brings up shopping results as well - and *only* shopping results (instead of, say, showing me something from the Ubuntu Software Center).

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If veryone did what the bearded hippie wanted....

    ... there would be know internet, no amazon, no ebay, nothing.

    How many nutters here who think he is right also believe what the nutters said about the horsless carriage? I bet you all still drive a car, here seems to be angry that he isn't famous* for anything whereas bill gates, steve jobs and now shuttleworth are making a name for themselves. He's like those two brothers who "claim" to have invented facebook.

    * No a few nerds on sites like this and osnews who have heard of him dosn't mean he is famous. It doesn't matter what you do, it matters who does it first, stallman is like Joseph Swan, no one has ever heard of him (relatively speaking), where as everyone has heard of eddison.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: If veryone did what the bearded hippie wanted....

      > ... there would be know internet, no amazon, no ebay, nothing.

      There is nothing about the Internet, Amazon, or Ebay that requires bending over and saying ahh for every corporate overlord that comes along. Amazon in particular benefits very much from Free Software. They probably could not run their operation without it.

      Amazon probably owes it's existence to Stallman.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't really an Ubuntu problem.

    It's only a Unity problem.

    But I agree, the Canonicalisation of Ubuntu is getting on my nerves a little.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But who's nuttier?

    RMS or ESR?

    There's only one way to find out... FIGHT!

    </harry_hill>

  58. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Joke

    @Miek - Cocks

    I agree. Stallman is a Cock. A major cock. A most upright member, or was it 'most valuable member' as Lynne Featherstone said.

    A good hard stiff cock. Ooh, suits you sir!

    Tell me Miek, are you so vital, old chap?

    Are you? Are you? ooh!

  59. YellowApple
    Thumb Down

    RMS is right

    He's still batsh*t insane, but every once in awhile the cloud cuckoolander is right. Why is this enabled by default? Why is this not in a separate Lens and segregated from the Home Lens? Why Amazon instead of an actual search engine like - ahem - Google? Why do Shuttleworth & Co. not care about what the *users* want? Why is Canonical turning back on the very concept of 'ubuntu' that their operating system was once built upon?

    Why, why, why? So many questions. Absolutely zero answers. I want answers. I feel betrayed. I was a happy Ubuntu user, yet now I can't recommend this operating system to anyone without feeling a massive amount of guilt. Is this really the future of Ubuntu? If it is, then count me out. I don't mind some limited online tracking - that's understandable and inevitable - but my operating system is *not* the place for it.

    Canonical gets a massive thumbs down from me. Now *that's* something I never expected to say.

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