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Ubuntu 13.04 Will Allow Instant Purchasing, Right From the Dash 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the easy-buy dept.
sfcrazy writes "Ubuntu is becoming a shopping center. Instead of addressing the queries raised by Stallman and the EFF, Canonical is now pushing for making Ubuntu a shopping cart. With Ubuntu 13.04 Canonical is going one step forward, and soon you will be able to purchase software and music right from the Dash without opening the software center or web browser.This is intended to make the whole experience even more interactive and useful for the end user."
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Ubuntu 13.04 Will Allow Instant Purchasing, Right From the Dash

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  • Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:21PM (#42234299)

    As the Canonical developer's Unity DE shows, Canonical is not really that interested in the opinions of its current users.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Uh, current Ubuntu user here. I'm all for this.

      • Uh, current Ubuntu user here. I'm all for this.

        Current Xubuntu user here (2 desktops, 2 laptops). I don't particularly care how Unity is distorted, other than remarking that this sort of thing ensures I stay away from it. We had Gnome 2 on all the PCs, but switched every one of them to xfce when both Unity and Gnome 3 showed their differing ugliness while testing them in a VM.

        • by Pinhedd (1661735)

          xUbuntu 12.10 is solid. I run it in VMs on both my desktop and my laptop and do all my work on it.

      • Re:Unity (Score:5, Informative)

        by Volanin (935080) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:51PM (#42235135)

        Current Ubuntu user here as well.
        I'm all for this too... but in a ***separate*** shopping lens.

        Even Stallman said so:
        "[To protect users' privacy] is easy: all it takes is to have separate buttons for network searches and local searches, as earlier versions of Ubuntu did."

        Goddamn, having shopping result when I am searching for local files is not only a privacy issue... it is damnright annoying.

        • Re:Unity (Score:5, Informative)

          by agiacalone (815893) <agiacalone@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:08PM (#42236297) Homepage

          Current Ubuntu user also.

          I completely agree with Stallman on this issue: Canonical needs to seperate this out for users who don't want this stuff showing up in their dash searches.

          But in the mean time, there's always this:

          'sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping'

          Solves the problem for me rather easily.

        • Have to agree, also whenever I search for programs and turn up paid software amongst the usal FOSS stuff it feels wrong, and this is the crux of the problem (for you and I); Canonical's focus is on making Ubuntu a non-technical OS with things that are nice for non-technical users, like a free i-Device.

          There's nothing wrong with that, but because it's based on Linux many of the existing users are technically inclined and are increasingly being disenfranchised as Canonical moves closer to their target demogra

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I'm not sure why you're modded as flamebait. It's a valid opinion, and I could see it being useful. My original post has been marked as 'troll' as well, although I suppose it's closer to that than yours is to flamebait. I still think send search data to Amazon is a poorly thought-out move though.

      • by epyT-R (613989)

        uh, why?

    • It's following the same course as Microsoft. I'll stick with Linux Mint for now.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, I'm on 12.04 LTE with Gnome Classic for now. I don't see my next upgrade being Ubuntu.

        • Me too. On the other hand, 12.04 works just fine, and it's going to be supported for five years, so it's not like people like us have to make any abrupt decisions. Come August 2017, who knows what the landscape will look like?

      • Re:Unity (Score:5, Informative)

        by cheesybagel (670288) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:21PM (#42234843)

        Dash -> Privacy

        Record Activity: OFF
        Include Online Search Results: OFF

        • Re:Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:33PM (#42234985)

          Those should be the defaults, in my opinion.

        • by Culture20 (968837)
          Note the wording:
          Include Online Search Results =/= Search Online Also
          They can still search and give amazon et al your searches, but they just won't show you the results.
          • by allo (1728082)

            and where should they profit from? They search online, to make you buy something. not for the sake of searching itself.

          • by PvtVoid (1252388)

            Note the wording: Include Online Search Results =/= Search Online Also They can still search and give amazon et al your searches, but they just won't show you the results.

            Do you have a shred of evidence that this is actually how the privacy settings work?

            • by Culture20 (968837)

              Note the wording: Include Online Search Results =/= Search Online Also They can still search and give amazon et al your searches, but they just won't show you the results.

              Do you have a shred of evidence that this is actually how the privacy settings work?

              No, but if you'll note my wording, I don't exactly accuse them of doing so. I'm just pointing out that the phrasing allows for things which people don't expect at first glance. It should be phrased more clearly one way or the other.

              • by Roderic9 (2454194)

                Do you have a shred of evidence that this is actually how the privacy settings work?

                No, but if you'll note my wording, I don't exactly accuse them of doing so. I'm just pointing out that the phrasing allows for things which people don't expect at first glance. It should be phrased more clearly one way or the other.

                When this first came up I checked with Wireshark and confirmed that nothing is sent to cannonical or amazon if on-line search results are turned off.
                However, you're right that the wording does not preclude this in the future, so I wouldn't trust them.

    • As the Canonical developer's Unity DE shows, Canonical is not really that interested in the opinions of its current users.

      Charity begins at home. Ubuntu needs money to cover the cost of all it's offices, staff, and some reserve for growth and support.

      If you are not happy about it, switch to another distribution.

    • By making one questionable move after another we begin to believe Ubuntu's business model has failed. Now they seem to be grasping at straws. They're completely turning their back on the open software that got them here. It doesn't bode well for Linux at all.

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        Why, because the success of Linux rides on the back of Ubuntu?

      • Re:Unity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:06PM (#42235245) Homepage

        By making one questionable move after another we begin to believe Ubuntu's business model has failed.

        No wonder, when they're trying to make money off a user base that froths like a rabid dog whenever they feel they're being monetized. That tend to get furious any time a website uses a workaround to get past their ad blocker without the slightest bit of irony in that they use an ad blocker as a workaround to get content without ads. Or get their panties in a bunch over product placement after advertisers switched to those because everyone was skipping ads on their DVR/PVR. Ubuntu may be free as in beer and in speech, but it's also free as in "There's no such thing as a free lunch". You're not required to say yes to anything of course, but if the "free" lunch never results in any business you're not going to get invited to any more lunches.

        Red Hat figured this out long ago when they killed Red Hat Linux, spun off Fedora and bet everything on RHEL that had paying customers, they could offer a damn good desktop distro but they couldn't make any money off it. Now Ubuntu is starting to feel in the same bind, they're spending lots of money building Ubuntu for the desktop but they're not making any money off it so they're aiming for smart TVs and tablets and trying to cash in on their users without them disappearing in a puff of smoke. I wouldn't be surprised if they disappear out, a new company comes in thinking they can become another Facebook or Youtube if only they get enough users but in the end "We lose money on every sale, but we make up for it on volume" is not a good business model, not even for Linux distros.

      • Re:Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:09PM (#42235271)

        I'm sorry to be overly blunt, but that is asnine. Ubuntu is integrating an app store to its DE, that's all. It's a convenience every other major OS already has (Windows, Android, OSX, iOS etc), only made a bit more convenient by not requiring you to open the store app. It's not the end of the world. As long as they stay firmly based on Debian, strenghtening Ubuntu strenghtens Linux and open source as a whole. The more market/mind share it gets, the better driver support we get, more attention from developers and so on.

        So I wish Ubuntu lots of success. If I dislike a particular feature, I can either deactivate it in Ubuntu, use a different DE, jump ship to their source, Debian, directly, or a derivative that doesn't implement those functions, like Mint. I can even roll my own flavor of Ubuntu, since the source is public. Such plethora of alternatives is exactly what free/open software is all about and people bitching that Ubuntu is "turning their backs on open software" don't seem to understand it at all.

        • It's the not the technical means that matter here. it's the way it's headed.
          It will come a day, if that model keeps getting more support, where your Ubuntu will be far from "free and open" and just another android-like-for-the-desktop with some open source parts such as the kernel, and that's mostly it. (mind you, paid apps are closed source, tracking users is against privacy, etc)

          • Re:Unity (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mysidia (191772) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:06PM (#42236261)

            Ultimately, do you think the end users mind that their apps are closed source?

            Most of the world's developer mind share is closed source. If you want your OS to be successful, you have to embrace developers. Which means you have to support both closed source and open source applications.

            And you have to make it just as easy for both types of apps to be deployed as well. If unusual or extra steps are required to deploy a closed source app on your platform, most closed source devs will simply ignore it.

            Most applications that are professionally designed, and do what users will want will be closed source, due to the cost. It is a minority of projects that are developed as open source -- most of them get funding from large corporations.

            Linux itself is the exception to the rule rather than the rule.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Every major OS that has a store is asinine. Customers aren't asking for stores, it's never in the list of requested features, no one ever says "I've got too much money make it easier for me to give it to you."

        • Re:Unity (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jedidiah (1196) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:06PM (#42237215) Homepage

          > I'm sorry to be overly blunt, but that is asnine. Ubuntu is integrating an app store to its DE,

          Except there is no technical or usability justification for such a thing.

          Tools don't need to be "integrated". This is Unix where you can have a toolbox full of tools that all work together. You don't need to take the "microsoft office" approach to things.

          In truth, the app stores on the other platforms don't need to be any more "integrated" than the Linux tools that they are knockoffs of.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        By making one questionable move after another we begin to believe Ubuntu's business model has failed.

        They're making moves you or someone else find's questionable. But I do not believe a businessperson would find their latest moves questionable; in fact, I think a businessperson might find their latest moves to be brilliant.

        The only question will be, if the community tolerates their latest moves. Will you still recommend Ubuntu?

        What exactly are your objections to their latest moves, and are they re

    • by dgharmon (2564621) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:23PM (#42234863) Homepage

      > Canonical is not really that interested in the opinions of its current users ..

      If not satisfied, then why not ask for your money back ..

    • by flyneye (84093)

      Well Stallman and the EFF can refocus on Debian which IS closer to being their damn business.
      The use of FOSS and OSS and such to make money with, really is the point in the end. This is Canonical business.
      If I use a free cad program to design something for money or to make money with, is Stallman going to get the kit shicked out of him for criticizing my efforts? Magic 8 ball says "bet'cher ass!"

  • ... you can just download another distro. Because it's Linux and Linux comes in more flavors than ice cream. Heck if you don't like any of the flavors, make your own. No need to log on Slashdot and moan and cry about how terrible Ubuntu is and how much it reminds you of them terrible yanks uppin Micro$oft yonder, because you don't know anyway. You wouldn't come within 1000 feet of it, right? You despise it, you loathe it, yes? Good.
    • by Livius (318358)

      ... you can just download another distro.

      I really liked Ubuntu but that is what's going to happen.

  • by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:26PM (#42234347)
    Ubuntu would make more money by moving towards Red Hats model of licensing instead of their (outrageous) support hours. Their cost model for enterprise support is a huge reason my workplace won't use them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:26PM (#42234351)

    "When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.)" from -> http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/12/07/1527225/rms-speaks-out-against-ubuntu [slashdot.org]

    * Says all I needed to see... & though Mr. Stallman MAY be a wee bit "odd" in some things he does or has done or said? He's not "off" here... no way.

    APK

    P.S.=> Thus, I suppose the next time I try Linux, it will be MINT vs. KUbuntu (my former favorite)...

    ... apk

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:35PM (#42234421)

      Actually, his best point is this:
      "free software won't spy on you, unless it's Ubuntu,"

      Ubuntu's actions make all free software look bad.

      • by YurB (2583187)
        I agree with you. All these ads, "for purchase" software, give-us-money-with-one-click stuff just takes away the spirit that was always important to me: it used to make me feel like they (the individual developers) really want the software to be useful because they do it for themselves and/or their close people, and because they just love doing it. Now Ubuntu is showing an example of doing free software the way proprietary software is done: for some abstract success of some corpocation. But luckily it's sti
      • Yup, the spying problem also made Ubuntu a total no-no for government use.
    • by thereitis (2355426) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:48PM (#42234523) Journal
      This is an absolutely unacceptable spyware 'feature' from Canonical. I'm sad to say they've obviously lost the plot. Thankfully there are other Linux distros that behave much better.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      You know... the versions of Ubuntu I used had no 'desktop search feature'. Are we complaining that a new search tool actually uses online resources to search?

      Have you ever used Google desktop? I believe you might well find that other desktop search tools submit queries to remote sites as well.....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    All purchases will require the use of BitCoin.

  • It's their binary. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jartan (219704) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:37PM (#42234429)

    How they want to compile it is their choice. That's the entire point of open source.

    • Its certainly part of the point of open source. We are free to criticize it, fork it, and move away from it. That too is part of the point of open source. Its a bazaar (though sometimes it feels like competing open air cathedrals).
  • by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:46PM (#42234501)

    From the Canonical Blog Post [canonical.com] on the new feature:

    Privacy is extremely important to Canonical. The data we collect is not user-identifiable (we automatically anonymize user logs and that information is never available to the teams delivering services to end users), we make users aware of what data will be collected and which third party services will be queried through a notice right in the Dash, and we only collect data that allows us to deliver a great search experience to Ubuntu users. We also recognize that there is always a minority of users who prefer complete data protection, often choosing to avoid services like Google, Facebook or Twitter for those reasons – and for those users, we have made it dead easy to switch the online search tools off with a simple toggle in settings.

    So while I think the privacy concerns with sending data to Canonical when you'e doing searches is significant, so long as the user is aware and has the option, more power to them. I don't think I want to integrate my desktop and network search, but I certainly see a mass market that may want this. Depending upon how easy it is to create and configure these "scopes" to plug into this system it might be a great way to build customized searching without the need for Google to know everything about me.

    I think people are too reactionary when it comes to both privacy and commercialism. From the previous posts you'd think this was a mandatory feature and Canonical was selling user data or something. They seem to be responsible players here creating cool tech that some of us may not want. I see nothing for me to get upset about.

  • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:48PM (#42234517)
    For each of such change we're seeing in Ubuntu, people are coming back to Debian. Welcome back!
    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:06PM (#42235247)

      Actually, my discontent with recent Ubuntu releases has driven me not to Debian, but to Mint.

      When I was recently frustrated with Ubuntu, I did attempt OSS purity by installing Debian. But the relative complexity of the installation process, including lack of closed-source drivers, reminded me of the rough edges that Ubuntu smooths over.

      Fortunately, Mint smooths over what I consider to be the rough edges that Ubuntu introduces.

      • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @04:47PM (#42236095)

        Actually, my discontent with recent Ubuntu releases has driven me not to Debian, but to Mint.

        Eh. I have a serious moral problems with mint, starting with their stance that search engines should "share the revenue Linux Mint users generate for them" [linuxmint.com] with Mint, and stunts like editing code to make them amazon affiliates in banshee's music store [slashdot.org] instead of the original developers or the ubuntu packagers, ie, the people who actually did all the hard work.

        Granted, this shopping lens bullshit from Ubuntu is making me having severe moral problems with them as well, but that's definitely a reason to switch back to Debian, not Mint.

      • by sgage (109086)

        You have issues with some aspects of Ubuntu, so you use Mint which simply parasitizes off of Ubuntu.

        • You have issues with some aspects of Ubuntu, so you use Mint which simply parasitizes off of Ubuntu.

          Well yeah, but why shouldn't I?

      • by mverwijs (815917)

        > But the relative complexity of the installation process,....

        Funny story.

        My first job in IT was for Cistron Internet Services in the Netherlands. They were one of the first ISP's in NL. And had a few Debian developers working there. They had built this CD-Rom that, when inserted into your Windows 9x PC would autorun some installer that would setup your dial-in modem and stuff. Since the diskspace on the CD-rom was about 99% unused, they also included a complete copy of the first disc of Debian. Which wa

  • "This is intended to make the whole experience even more interactive and useful for Canonical and their online retailer partners."

    What's pretty clear is that Canonical is now trying to cash in. The good news is that it's easy to switch to another distro.

  • ... It's for the ability to east the separation of me from my money. I constantly think about it, every time I use a computer. "The one thing lacking in this OS, the one fault of the developer, is that not once did they think about my pocketbook and how it's too full. They really should divert development time from other features to make it easier to spend money. I really don't do enough of that, and there are so few ways for me to do it."

    Dammit, and I was just getting to like Ubuntu as a mature competitor

  • by Framboise (521772) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:59PM (#42234651)

    If Canonical becomes that much unfriendly, some users will be encouraged to setup a light daemon generating a multiple of random queries for each real ones. Then Canonical will try to filter out the noise, and the escalation with more clever scripts inundating their servers with trash will continue :)

  • Embarrassing (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This almost seems like a sick joke at this point. Not only are they loading up the system with advertising, but it's so poorly implemented at this point that Canonical is slowly becoming a caricature of modern software companies. What does anyone have to gain from this? When did opening a web browser and typing "amazon.com" become too much work? Have we reached the point where the only thing people want out of their computers is a shopping/advertising hub?

    Seriously, this fails on so many levels that I'm com

  • It simply seems that Ubuntu has seriously started to look into ways for collecting more money. Remember, it started with the donation page being shown when you download the ISO. What do you think, will more robust money backing make better open source software?
  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NOSpam.davidgerard.co.uk> on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:16PM (#42234789) Homepage

    "I wanted to update/install my nvidia drivers, so I opened the dash and typed "drivers". IT DISPLAYED GOLF CLUBS on sale at Amazon! [google.com]"

    Presumably the new version will buy them for you as well.

  • The boneheaded decisions of Canonical, plus the existence of Mint Linux, have all but decimated the Ubuntu userbase. Yes, I know there must be some Ubuntu users out there still, but they're somewhere at the fringe of society: you know nobody in your circle of friends, colleagues, family or acquaintances who uses Ubuntu.

    It's like IE: who the fuck uses Internet Explorer at this stage? Yeah, there must be people using it, according to various webstats... but nobody know those characters.

    IOW, Ubuntu has become

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      They did ship, but:

      1) the products were not made available from the main site. They were hidden so that you couldn't find them unless you knew exactly where they were.
      2) after some time, they dropped them.

  • Linux Mint (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:58PM (#42235193)
    I'll say this before and I'll say it again, if you haven't ditched Ubuntu for Mint, now is the time
    http://linuxmint.com/

    Its also funny to note that install base of Ubuntu has taken a nose dive in the last year(two?). with mint taking up the slack.

    I wonder why.
  • by epp_b (944299) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:20PM (#42235335)

    It's essentially the same to use as Ubuntu 10 -- the last version before all the Unity crap, crippled Gnome and spyware commercializing -- plus, the software and updates are carefully vetted and upgrades are not so annoyingly frequent. And, of course, there's none of this commercialization BS.

    I've been running it in a VM to prepare for the switch and it will be soon.

  • Can't wait until Ubuntu starts altering grep and find to start using libcurl to report search terms to amazon. Maybe even return ads to a new IO stream: stdadvert.

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