Linux's distriubutions

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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:25 pm

craig10x wrote:I agree with zerozero, that this IS going off-topic...


Oh IDK... it's not that far off topic. The question is why to choose one distro over another and the principles of free software foundation "Putting the computer owner in charge and respecting our privacy and anonymity" is for many an important consideration.
Apparently a lot of people using Unity thought they were just searching heir local drives and not aware that marketing information about their personal habits might be collected. Whereas the DuckDuck search engine well for a start you know it's on the web and I don't see it's any different to the way Google operate. If anything I don't like monopolies so I might start using Duckduck on purpose... so that advertisers will use their services... and they will carry on supporting our Minty friends who provide us with cool free and fresh minty software :)
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby craig10x on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:45 pm

Sounds like a good idea...but just wanted to let you know the amazon search in the dash only serves as a search connected to various amazon items on their websites that one might be interested in...it does NOT collect data about you...or store information about what you do on your computer......just needed to clarify that...also, there are many who like having it on there...i only turn it off because i like to do my searching directly on the amazon website (which i do a lot, by the way)...not because i felt my privacy was being invaded (which it was not)...

Anyway, that duckduckgo seems like a nice search engine (i have used it myself)....so enjoy...
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby dee. on Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:21 am

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.

The problem is that the dash is the primary way of starting programs in Ubuntu. You can add shortcuts to the sidebar but it only fits so many, since it also functions as an active window list, you don't want to clutter it too much. So the programs you don't/can't add in the sidebar will have to be launched from the dash. Usually that involves typing a partial name to the dash to find it (which is sort of poor UI design by itself but I digress) so whenever you want to start an application, that search gets sent to Amazon. If you use the dash to find personal files on your computer, that filename gets sent to Amazon. And you have no way of knowing what they do with that data. The Ubuntu privacy policy is very vague about this, it only covers canonical's usage of your data, it doesn't say what 3rd parties get to do with the data they share with them.

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.
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby craig10x on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:59 am

Very well thought out, Dee...though i just wanted to comment that since turning off the amazon search in my "dash" the functionality seems to me identical to the way the dash was in prior editions of ubuntu that did not have the feature...so i can't really say that i see any break in the functionality at all...switching it off appears to simply turn it off and the dash works exactly as it did "pre-amazon" lens search...

From what i have read, ubuntu is working on concerns that have been voiced about it and i am sure they will get things straightened out on that account...meanwhile, as i mentioned, it is very simple to shut it off...
Last edited by craig10x on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby zerozero on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:33 am

craig10x wrote:From what i have read, ubuntu is working on concerns that have been voiced about it and i am sure they will get things straightened out on that account...meanwhile, as i mentioned, it is very simple to shut it off...

i don't want to sound paranoiac (actually i'm not even using unity in any form or shape so this is not an issue for me personally but i don't believe it will get better over time >> http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/01/unit ... g-in-13-04
i just want to point this comment http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/01/unit ... -784984513
and if i may highlight this part
I look forward to seeing how Canonical handles the reception of their first National Security Letter from the US government demanding a copy of the full query database as well as the web logs so an attempt at correlating an individual's query activity with an ip address can be performed using the data Canonical has compiled. There is a reason why entities like the internet archive purges its ip address logs. Canonical can have the best intentions in the world, but they can be compelled to handover the query data. Just having it, just compiling it, presents privacy concerns outside of Canonical's ability to control. Noone in Canonical might think the data they are compiling can be correlated, but I'm willing to wager their are much cleverer and much more determined individuals out there
unfortunately the danger is there.
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby craig10x on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:59 am

I happen to like unity myself (though i didn't think i would initially but after spending time came to appreciate it) so for me, it is simply a matter of hitting an off button...doesn't affect the search in other respects in the least....and those that want to run ubuntu but prefer a different desktop environment, can install cairo-dock session, gnome 3 fallback session, gnome 3 shell session, linux mint cinnamon desktop and soon the new consort desktop (from solus os) and then he doesn't even encounter it at all :wink:

Anyway, i prefer to support ubuntu by making an occasional donation, rather then using the amazon lens because i'd much rather do my amazon merchandise searching directly on their website...so, issues or not, i wouldn't be using it anyway and again, you are not FORCED to use it, even though it is enabled by default..
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby AnonKS on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:45 am

The biggest differences that I've noticed between distributions is how some of them handle wireless internet. On some distros everything you need for true plug n play, is there and it just works. On others you need to configure it a bit (especially with broadcom wireless cards).
Other than that, distros that use apt-get have moo power and pacman on arch can be configured so your progress bar is pacman eating pellets :-D

Sent from my HTC EVO 3D X515m using Tapatalk 2
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Re: Linux's distriubutions

Postby jmor8801 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:29 am

The only difference between the different distros is the packaging system. Fedora/Red Hat uses rpm's . Debian/Ubuntu/Mint/etc use deb's. You also have slackware which uses it's own. The same with Pclinuxos .Anything you can do in Fedora you can do in all the othres . Same for LinuxmInt. The difference with Linuxmint is it has a lot of the codecs already included for dvd playback, playing different types of online videos - youtube etc. With most of the others you have do a little more work to get the same features. Some are a little harder then others but it can be done.

Pclinuxos and Linuxmint and Ubuntu are the most friendly of the distros from my experience.
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