Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 08:57 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Proprietary software like Windows often includes surveillance code to track user behavior and send this information to vendor servers. Linux has traditionally been immune to such privacy violation. Ubuntu 12.10 now includes code that, by default, collects data on Dash searches. The code integrates Amazon products into search results and can even integrate with Facebook, Twitter, BBC and others as per Ubuntu's Third Party Privacy Policies. This article at the EFF tells how it all works and how to opt out of information sharing, while Richard Stallman himself comments here.
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Wow... I didn't even notice their site got so bad. I bet they wish now that they didn't promise right from the start that Ubuntu will be free, because now it wouldn't exactly be a good idea to change that and force charging as I'm sure they'd love to do since they've reached such popular status. I looked at the site, and it really does seem to give more prominence to donating than actually downloading.

I would argue that the "download" page is actually the worst place to put this kind of nagging/begging anyway. It should be a dedicated page linked to on the home page (and other pages) where everyone will see it, neatly out of the way but still visible. What happens when potential new users arrive to the site? They might be impressed at first, but then scared away by the download page before they even get to try it. From a possible new user's perspective, it would seem more like they're begging for a donation first, being given a download later.

Meanwhile, all the faithful users of the distribution will no doubt remember the Ubuntu website and check it periodically for updates. These people will have already seen all there is to see at the site, so the existence of a donation page will not be unknown. They already know and probably like Ubuntu; these are the people that are likely to be willing to donate, and they need no help learning about donations. Why scare away the newcomers?

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