Ubuntu bakes Amazon search results into OS to raise cash

Ubuntu logoThe new version of Ubuntu Linux slated for release in October introduces a feature that some users claim is at worst a violation of privacy or, at best, generally annoying. Ubuntu 12.10 introduces search results from Amazon into the Dash. That means you could be searching for a file or application on your computer and get shopping results under a "more suggestions" section after your general results.

Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth took to his blog yesterday to defend the move, saying the "Home Lens of the Dash should let you find *anything* anywhere." Adding Amazon results is just the first step in expanding the scope of Dash searches from the user's computer to the entire Web, a sensible place to start as Amazon affiliate links will help Canonical fund the development of Ubuntu. "We picked Amazon as a first place to start because most of our users are also regular users of Amazon, and it pays us to make your Amazon journey get off to a faster start," Shuttleworth wrote.

In response to accusations of privacy violations, Shuttleworth wrote, "We are not telling Amazon what you are searching for. Your anonymity is preserved because we handle the query on your behalf. Don’t trust us? Erm, we have root. You do trust us with your data already." The "we have root" statement raised some more hackles in the comments section of Shuttleworth's blog. Explaining what he meant, Shuttleworth said, "Every package update installs as root."

Shuttleworth also noted that users can use hotkeys to limit search results to local results, such as just applications, or remove the new functionality entirely. The terminal command to do so is "apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping."

In practice, it's not quite as intrusive as, say, the "special offers" on Amazon's Kindle Fire. But user complaints have increased over the past few days as people test out the prerelease version of 12.10. One user filed a bug report suggesting that Amazon make shopping results a separate, opt-in portion of the Dash. Not everyone hates it—a commenter on Shuttleworth's blog wrote, "I only wish I’d known about this before spending £400 odd quid on Amazon last week, I would have affiliated it to Ubuntu."

OMGUbuntu has more on how the Amazon shopping lens works in practice, including screenshots. In addition to the shopping results, the launcher bar in Ubuntu 12.10 comes preinstalled with an Amazon Web app link, the site also reports. But getting rid of it is as easy as dragging the icon to the trash.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Amazon, Linux, Ubuntu

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
You can use a security key instead of having a code sent to your phone
 
Adobe says that the AI can now achieve the intended result in seconds
 
A new security protocol replacing the aging WPA2
 
Download and install at your own risk, of course
 
More iPhone parts likely to be produced by Samsung
 
Starting on Friday, video views on YouTube will start to be counted by the Official Charts Company
 
LG has already announced two new V-series members in 2018
 
The method is blocked and the hack doesn’t work, it adds
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (10)