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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Kind of reminds me of what was Mandrake/Mandriva doing in their last years.

Unfortunately almost no Linux distro ever achived economic independence on their own (without relying on (temporary) external company finances). A depressing fact when you give it a second thought.

I think you confuse economic and financial independence. Sorry to be picky but this distinction is important to me because too many people confuse finance and the economy. The economy involves production and consumption and GNU/Linux is a great success in that regard. Production is opulent and consumption is booming. Finance involves money flow and GNU/Linux, in that regards, is a failure when compared to proprietary counterparts.

I take it you meant financial independence. I think you meant that few companies got much financial profit from GNU/Linux. Red Hat is one instance of a company profiting a lot financially but hundreds of others are failing. I believe this is no different than the other industries. Hundreds of companies fail or survive with low profile for one Microsoft to succeed at that level of success. What is different here is that failure is made in public, because of the open nature of the GNU/linux industry, whereas the vast majority of failed proprietary software never ever see the light of the day and nobody hear about them. This nature may give you the illusion that GNU/Linux is failing more than others. The reality is that GNU/Linux is the main cause for the failure of many proprietary software, because it is successful.

The thing that makes GNU/Linux a success is that it is not dependant on finance so much as other proprietary software. Debian, for instance, thrives with almost no financial input. That is why it cannot be stopped. Mandrake SA has been killed many, many times but Mandrake still rolls, barely affected on its name.

Edited 2013-01-03 17:54 UTC

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