craig10x wrote:I agree with zerozero, that this IS going off-topic...but i just wanted to make one last comment regarding this...doesn't mint get financial support from certain search engines that are included by default? I haven't used mint for awhile, but i recall something about duckduckgo being the DEFAULT when you install mint and open up your firefox web browser, and it was my understanding that if you use that default search engine, mint then gets contributions from them to support it...
If that is the case, well then how is that different from ubuntu including the amazon search in the "dash"....
It is very much different. When I click on the mintmenu button on the panel and select "all applications", or type a search term in the mintmenu search box to find an application I need, I won't get cluttered with unrelated shopping results from Amazon (which I don't want to buy stuff from anyway, due to their use of DRM in ebooks). Ubuntu mixes up shopping results in the operating system GUI. What's worse, they include these ads into the main search lense, which is usually active when you click on the dash - you have to explicitly set the dash to search for local apps or files only in order to not get search results sent to amazon.
Next you probably say "if you don't like the feature just turn it off". Well, this has two problems - one, most computer users are used to the fact that what they write in something that is an inherent part of the operating system GUI stays local. A "feature" that breaks this expected functionality should definitely be opt-in, not opt-out. Two - the choice to turn it off is binary, you either turn it off completely (which AFAIK when I last checked, disables some other functionality as well) or have it on, there's no between, no room for the users to configure it the way they like. Which btw seems to be a trend in unity - the whole desktop is very much "our way or the highway", even the very basic functionality requires 3rd-party apps to configure (Ubuntu tweak), and even then most of the things you can configure are superficial, like colours and such - you don't even get to move the sidebar where you want it, it's stuck on the left side.
If canonical wanted to implement this feature smartly, in a way that respects their users, they could easily just implement it as an additional lense, and they could easily give users the option to choose what is included in the main lense and what isn't. Why don't they do this? It's simple - they calculate that not many users would use the amazon search if it weren't shoved in their face. So they figure, it's best to drown the user in ads when they search for private files or want to launch programs. The lack of transparency, the lack of configurability and user options, the blatant disrespect of their users, these are things that made me move away from Ubuntu, and so far I don't see these things in Mint.
Now of course, on mint, you can easily switch the search engine in a few seconds if you desire (to say, yahoo or google for example) and you can switch off the amazon shopping lens in ubuntu's dash in the same amount of time...
So, why object to ubuntu doing that, when linux mint does something very similiar? In other words, why is it bad when ubuntu does it but good when mint does it?
What Mint does is very much transparent and easily configurable. They say it right out - there's this search engine we have by default, and it provides us some revenue if you use it, but if you don't want to use it here are other search engines you can use. Removing the duckduckgo search engine doesn't break any other functionality. Like someone already mentioned, when you're on the browser, you already know you're online. When you use a search engine whose purpose is to search for webpages online
... why wouldn't you assume that your searches are being sent online? Mint doesn't integrate a duckduckgo search in the core UI, you don't get blasted with ads from duckduckgo when you search for files on your local computer, instead it stays in the browser where it's supposed to. All it even does is adds a small tag to the search terms that identifies you as a mint user, it doesn't do anything else to your data. If you would use duckduckgo either way, then there's really no reason why you wouldn't want to identify as a mint user, since that is an easy way of supporting Mint, but even so you can still change it if you want and use duckduckgo without the tag.
I'd be fine with Ubuntu's amazon search if they implemented it in a way that respects their users and is configurable. Now, they're not doing that. I'm still hoping they rethink their direction, because I still actually like Ubuntu and I hate to see what they're becoming recently.