Friday, 7 December 2012

Richard Stallman Calls Ubuntu "Spyware"

Ha, well, it was only a matter of time, and we all know that, just like Linus, Mr Stallman pulls no punches. Take that, Canonical. I'm far from a free software zealot or a Ubuntu basher, although I try and live without proprietary stuff as much as possible (is that a reasonable stance?) and I'm generally not using Ubuntu because I do not particularly like it. There are a lot of alternatives out there. At present I'ld be more likely to run Haiku than Ubuntu but that's besides the point. Do what you like but be aware of why you're doing it and the potential pitfalls.

Here's an excerpt:


"Free Software Foundation President Richard Stallman today called Ubuntu Linux "spyware" because the operating system sends data to Ubuntu maker Canonical when a user searches the desktop.

But his complaint is already falling on deaf ears—Canonical said today that it plans to increase use of the feature Stallman objects to in order to deliver expanded Internet search results in the next version of Ubuntu.

In Ubuntu 12.10, searching the Dash (the hub for finding stuff in the Unity desktop interface) for files and applications returns not only results from a user's desktop but also Amazon shopping results, as we reported in September before the operating system's release. If a user buys something from Amazon as a result, money is sent to Canonical in the form of affiliate payments."

Gotta love old Rich. No dialectics without outspoken head figures. You can read the rest on Ars. More here.

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