Be aware: Not all LINUX distros are spyware free

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by KK4NSF, Apr 11, 2016.

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  1. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I left Ubuntu a year or two before this, and wonder why people still use that distro. The hubris of Canonical pushing this out on its community (like Unity) suggests a high disregard for its users. Maybe not an isolated incident. It takes a certain overall mindset to have been interested in enabling something like that, initially turned on by default. As a company, they're looking for way to monetize user behavior or content like M$ or Google+Android. But with Linux you have other options.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul
    WF9Q and KK4NSF like this.
  2. KM4BLG

    KM4BLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is this the ever mysterious "popularity contest" program that comes with Ubuntu? Popularity Contest has the classic "collects anonymous data about how you use your computer to help 'improve' Ubuntu"
  3. KK4GGL

    KK4GGL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I also dislike Ubuntu because of the things Canonical has done. They pushed/are pushing their new interface, buddied up to Amazon, and generally act as they know better than their users. They do have a lot of users, but that is because, IMO, they sent out free CDs in the early days. That built a large user base. Again IMO, those people switching to Linux were more comfortable ordering the CD than DLing the distro and burning it to CD. And yes, I realize that did bring lots of people to GNU/Linux. Still, I tend to think of Canonical as the Microsoft of GNU/Linux, but then, Oracle is right up there.

    I used a LOT of distros while learning GNU/Linux (LinuxPPC, Yellow Dog Linux, Mandrake , Fedora Core 1, Red Hat 9 PCLinuxOS, Debian and opensuse... I used Ubuntu at work while I learned to dislike Canonical). I have kept opensuse on my main desktop for many years and gone back and forth between opensuse and Debian testing on my netbook.

    It irks me than when reading many articles on how to do something "in Linux" they'll use Ubuntu, and rarely mention you can do the same thing in many other distros.

    Wow... I really didn't mean this to turn into a rant. :)

    Still, with the above being said, and IMO, users are much better off dealing with Canonical than Microsoft.
  4. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Canonical sells support contracts, which differentiates them from the many distributions that are based on Ubuntu. Mint offers a Debian edition for those who don't like Canonical.

    When I got started in Linux, the most common way of getting a distro was from included CDs with Linux Journal and other magazines. 19,600 land-line modem days.

    I'm not a Free Software Foundation type of purist. I use appreciate those companies and sole proprietors who develop good programs, free or paid for that can be used for Linux.

    Ted, KX4OM
    N6HCM likes this.
  5. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I generally agree, since I do IT professionally myself and need to get paid. But what's nice about the Debian arrangement is that your system starts out pure, and YOU decide what non-free things to add. But it should be an additive process, not a subtractive one (like rooting out unwanted viruses).

    Most of the people I know still using Ubuntu tend to be herd creatures, and don't do much independent analysis or experimentation. But my time with Linux dates to the late 1990's when I had to contact someone at NASA for the tulip.c source, to compile into my kernel and get the network card working... Such was the state of affairs then. But that sort of arcana is not required for distros today.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul

  6. N8MRG

    N8MRG Ham Member QRZ Page

    It sounds like the lenses in Unity, as well. Canonical thought it would be beneficial to hook into API's of "providers" to provide information in a place of unity, which was hinted at by the name: Unity. A search for "Chess" would pull up a screen with a section of local applications (author, name, category, and description search), local files to include content and names, and external searches to not just be a web search, but also specific "provider" search. Amazon was one of the first in the alpha of Unity to provide the hook, so books about chess, chess pieces, and movies for rent regarding chess would also be listed there on the same screen; in Unity. Of course, saying rationally to people "This external search requires outbound information to be sent to external sources external to your computer so that these external sources may externally evaluate the information and return, externally, a result for possible matches regarding the information" would not gain traction as much as "KEYLOGGER" and "SPYWARE".

    An update made this an "opt-in" feature. For a moment, I imagined that poor Canonical dev who thought how cool it would be to search for "chess" and not only get their chess game in the result, but also a book that could be clicked and purchased right there from the search turning into the single most convincing idea that the anti-christ is now upon us and it's name is Canonical. But, to each their own. Information and privacy should be transparent with not only what, but who and why, and a better implementation of the lenses in Unity could have alleviated many fears. Simple stuff, really: don't send what I'm doing to people unless you ask and tell me who, what, when, where, and WHY.

    So this is the u-turn to the u-turn that u-turned this one?

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