Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ubuntu angers the linux community.

The linux community has been in an uproar over the alleged Ubuntu (Canonical) joint setup with Amazon to search Amazon on local searches that could invade your privacy. (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/10/privacy-ubuntu-1210-amazon-ads-and-data-leaks). Data coming back from the searches could easily be hijacked by man-in-the-middle and similar internet attacks. You would also be inundated with advertisements even with simple file searches.  What really irks the community is that if you installed Ubuntu 12.10, you were not warned and did not have an option to opt out. Most linux users believe it should be an opt-in not opt-out setup. This is pushing linux users to use other distros or variations of linux particularly Mint linux.   Ironically the Ubuntu server has had that same issue with the landscape software, so every upgrade you have to un-install it.

The software known as unity-lens-shopping is in the default unity desktop interface. If you use a different desktop such as KDE, you are allegedly not affected. Many long time users balked over the Unity desktop interface as being hard to use. To me it makes me think of a George Jetson R.U.D.I. (Referential Universal Digital Indexer) operating system.  Sort of a new trend in desktops.  In any case, Canonical took the view sort of (Do not you still trust us attitude.) This irked the community even more. Allegedly future versions of Ubuntu are suppose to allegedly remedy the issues.

How do you disable the software?  You can use the command line with:

$ sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

or a better choice might be:

$ sudo apt-get purge unity-lens-shopping

 You can also disable the software by changing your privacy settings.






You can also disable access to the site by using the hosts file as we discussed in an earlier article about host files. In your hosts file put:

127.0.0.1      productsearch.ubuntu.com


And lastly change your desktop to Gnome, KDE, or many others available. Hopefully the issue can be resolved  and Ubuntu aka Canonical will not do such an M$ action in the future.

 Per http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-ads-and-junkware-business-as-usual-7000007263/, beware of Microsoft doing the same thing with MSWindows 8.

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