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GNU is Not Unix Privacy Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Community Manager: RMS's Post Seems a Bit Childish To Me 529

Posted by samzenpus
from the war-or-words dept.
spacenet writes "As a response to RMS speaking out against Ubuntu about its privacy-violating integrated Amazon search results, which he considers to be spyware, Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon has addressed RMS's statements. In his reply, Jono claims that Stallman's views on privacy do not align with Canonical's, that some of his statements are worded in order to 'generate fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Ubuntu' and that 'it just seems a bit childish to me.' The comments on the post itself are well worth a read."
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Ubuntu Community Manager: RMS's Post Seems a Bit Childish To Me

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  • Interesting.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 3seas (184403) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:58PM (#42236695) Journal

    Now I'm being managed.... What another good linux distro? Anyone?

  • by astrashe (7452) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:10PM (#42236793) Journal

    Doesn't Amazon pay Canonical if people make purchases? (I might be wrong about this -- if I am, please correct me.)

    *If* Amazon does pay Canonical, and Bacon doesn't mention that in his post, I kind of feel like Bacon loses the argument. I mean, if they're getting paid, and he's making posts that say, "We're doing this only because we want you to have the best search experience," it seems a little disingenuous.

  • Re:Busted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:15PM (#42236827)

    I think that is exactly their problem. As I posted in the other related story here, they seem to be hoping that they can make an OS with an 'oooooh, shiny' factors that makes people drop their principles. Asking their users for money is a much better approach than defaulting to sending search results to Amazon, and I think they'd get more money long term. By all means, have one of the 'lenses' installable so that people can do Amazon searches if they want, but having it as a default is not going to make very many people happy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:23PM (#42236913)

    Both can be annoying and counter-productive when pushed to extremes. Yet, it's not necessarily bad to have them in the world.

  • Re:Yeah.. and? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:30PM (#42236977)

    His big mouth is a counterweight.

    No, his big mouth is a liability for the open-source community. He is not a passionate but outspoken advocate of a movement; he is a single-minded, uncompromising advocate for his own opinions at the expense of everyone else's. Either you agree with him, or you are wrong.

    Have you ever encountered one of the Free Software Foundation's articles about a particular software topic, like copyright or patents or the advantages of free software? Ever notice that, typically, at least 80% of the citations in the article are to other articles by Richard Stallman? Like this one? [fsfe.org] The only opinion Richard Stallman really recognizes as objective or authoritative is his own earlier opinion.

  • Re:Goodbye, Ubuntu. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:47PM (#42237109)

    It's funny that you'd site a coke-head and a biggot to try to prove your point about being dismissive of people, then refer to anyone who disagrees with RMS as an obvious shill/troll.

    It's funny because Mel Gibson the man really did ruin Mel Gibson the Actor, and it has nothing to do with people "going after him". People didn't make up that he went on an anti-semitic tirade after being pulled over for drunk driving. They also never said he was a bad actor, just that in the future they don't want to work with a person like that. If you notice no one is doubting the things that RMS says as far as whether the Amazon search is in there, but plenty of people disagree about whether his opinion that most things people like should be wiped off the face of the earth should be put up on a pedestal.

  • Re:Interesting.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chronokitsune3233 (2170390) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:55PM (#42237139)

    Debian isn't too bad, and it's what Ubuntu is based upon, though it's not as "bleeding-edge" while still being stable. Others might suggest Fedora, Arch or Slackware if you want that, and I've heard good things about Sabayon as well, especially in the eye candy department, though it has been a few years.

    In all honesty, I keep going back to Debian. My needs aren't too difficult to satisfy, and I can compile something myself if I really need to. I'd recommend using virtual machines to test them first. Why overwrite a perfectly good installation just to find you don't like something?

  • Re:Exactly. (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:23PM (#42237319)

    Yes. I strongly believe he is wrong on every substantial issue he raises.

    You can disagree with him, but since the issues are usually subjective ones, there is no objective way to say that he's wrong.

    Software freedom is so much less importsant than other forms of freedom

    And getting punched in the face isn't as bad as being a starving child in Africa. Your point?

    and inability to express a coherent argument

    Or perhaps you just lack reading comprehension skills?

  • Re:Exactly. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:31PM (#42237383)

    "strongly believe"

    Its not a belief thing. He is either wrong or he is not. He has a good track record of being proved right, given time.

    "over-the-top rhetoric"

    He has in fact given the tools and a legal framework to operate under to enable exactly that, freedom from propriety software.

    This importance of software freedom could be the key to preserving the other freedomds you mention, without it the others fall.

    It would seem that the "sell outs" always attack the messenger. The movement is just fine whilst the foundations of its formation remain strong and are actively defended. Changing it into something else to achieve growth hardly helps the original organisation grow now does it.

    You sound like the established church bashing the messiah. If only he could have been more reasonable, a little less sermonising on the mount and attention seeking, if only he'd just grown up a little. It's just not they way we do things around here.

  • RMS is right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:32PM (#42237395) Homepage Journal
    Ubuntu is ultimately there for Canonical's profit. We thought we could work with folks like that, but obviously we were too optimistic. The goals of the Free Software community are important, and will only be achieved if people like you devote your free time to making the non-profits work as the direct path to users.
  • Re:Ooh boy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:52PM (#42237507)
    You mean like Gobuntu or gNewSense? The versions of Ubuntu that only contain free software? The ones that if you install on a laptop you have a 75% chance of not having wi-fi?

    RMS's demands end up being unworkable. Although he's had a pretty good track record for being right, any "free software only" distro ends up being limiting.
  • by davydagger (2566757) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:55PM (#42237539)
    No, RMS has a valid complaint.

    The concept of being more useful to the consumer is fine. After all, we ALL buy things online. Most of us use the computer for ecommerce of some sort. a feature that makes it easier would be useful.

    However, its not the what, but the how which make this pretty dangerous to your freedoms:

    1. The user doesn't have a choice of the backend. They don't have the right to select the online purchase service of choice. This is going to make the Ubuntu experiance as one giant advertisement to get you to buy partner related shit-you-don't-need.

    2. Targeted ads, at the operating system level. While targeted ads are good, as they reduced the obnoxious system destroying ads of 10 years ago, they do so by spying on the users habit, and compiling dossiers on users. These profiles are then bought and sold on the open market. They are the biggest gross violation of privacy that perhaps exists today.

    At least a few specialize in identifying complainers, and critics(silencing them?), to companies.

    Having this at the OS level, would make Ubuntu 13.04 potentially worse than MS Windows on the default install for privacy. This is certainly an entire OPERATING SYSTEM on par with the shovelware(removable) that comes with windows.

    Instead of selling you an operating system, or selling you service and support on an opperating system. Ubuntu is now selling YOU to the advertising/PR Companies, and through them, anyone else who has the money to pay.

    On the bright side, there are more GNU/Linux distro choices, and it should be easy to remove the spyware via apt.

    http://linuxmint.com
  • Re:Exactly. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by YukariHirai (2674609) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @08:30PM (#42237751)

    ...but his desire to prioritize the "freedom" of systems over those systems actually doing anything useful is totally unreasonable.

    I do have to agree there.

    While I believe that the computing world would be a better place if all software was Free, Stallman's approach to advocating it does little to move things in that direction. He divides everything into "entirely Free" and "not entirely Free", and everything in the latter category is demonized. A more useful approach would be to advocate mostly Free systems (ie, Free aside from the odd wireless driver or whatnot, such as Ubuntu) over entirely non-Free ones (ie, Windows). As these mostly Free systems gain actual wide use and further developer attention, their quality improves and it becomes easier to replace the non-Free bits with completely Free.

  • Re:RMS is right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:56AM (#42242167) Homepage Journal

    Way to piss on all the people who aren't Canonical employees that devote a lot of time and effort to making Ubuntu a successful and welcoming community of users and developers.

    As I said in my Linux.conf.au keynote, using your spare time to make Mark Shuttleworth richer isn't smart. We have a lot of real community projects, meaning operated by the community and entirely for the public benefit, where the present Ubuntu volunteers could better spend their time.

    Regarding the money, IMO it's not worth the negative part. And let's not forget that Ubuntu is essentially built by projects like GNOME and LibreOffice, and Debian. Should I be overjoyed by the little portion of what they make that they return to those projects?

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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