Ubuntu wants you to buy more crap from Amazon

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, advertisements are staples of the internet. It just doesn’t work without ads. But do they belong on your operating system? Canonical seems to think so, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is by shoving advertisements into Ubuntu 12’s Unity Dashboard.

For starters, try searching for an app on your system. Normally you’d expect to find apps and files, but now you’ll also be getting lots of other ‘helpful’ hits, namely shopping suggestions from Amazon. Good stuff, huh?

What about places where Amazon suggestions might actually be useful, like in Music Lens? No dice. Even though it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to go buy something from Amazon when they really just want to check their mail, that’s the approach being taken here. Although suggestions in Music Lens have been improved from previous versions of Ubuntu, you won’t find any Amazon results here. That’s a shame, since they might’ve actually been, you know, useful.

The good news is that it’s a snap to get rid of the advertisements. Just open the terminal and run ‘sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping,’ and you should be good to go. The real question to ask yourself is should you do it. Canonical says that including advertisements in Ubuntu will help them build a better OS by giving them more revenue to work with. What’s your take?

Source: OMG Ubuntu | Image via OMG Ubuntu

Thanks to Dale Williams for the tip

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35 Comments

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wow super stupid.

thanks for the info i will avoid this like the plague !
Although i just heard about this dashboard crap so i doubt
i would use it anyway just for that reason alone.

PC industry is a dying bloated whale carcass rotting on the beach..
I see nothing to look forward to and the general outlook looks grim.
At least i will save money not buying all kinds of retarded crap.

Far better would of been "would you like to see related results from our partners? (y/n)" which then installs the shopping stuff. I have no problem with developers trying to find ways of monetising their products, but I think it could often be implemented in a better way, one that would please both "power" and "casual" users. Simply dropping this in is sure to irk one camp or the other, so the answer would seem to be give the user a simple opt-in option.

1. This is indeed a questionable move by Canonical.

2. The title of this article plain sucks. What kind of trolling title is this? Is it purely to get more views? Or to get people to start a flamewar about Ubuntu?

Mathiasdm said,

2. The title of this article plain sucks. What kind of trolling title is this? Is it purely to get more views? Or to get people to start a flamewar about Ubuntu?

Humor

The look & feel of the implementation isn't too bad - I've tried it. However, I would like to see an SSL connection to the remote server and optional opt-in. I would probably use it if these two were added.

siah1214 said,
This is the year of the Linux desktop baby!

notsureifsarcastic.gif Was said last year, year before that, year before that... LOL

"Just open the terminal and run.."

Lol i love how in 2012 you still have to use a terminal to do stuff in the most popular and "user friendly" Linux distros. And this is why Linux is still not ready.

NoClipMode said,
"Just open the terminal and run.."

Lol i love how in 2012 you still have to use a terminal to do stuff in the most popular and "user friendly" Linux distros. And this is why Linux is still not ready.

1. Launch Ubuntu Software Center
2. Search for "unity-lens-shopping"
3. Click remove.

Simples. The terminal is only suggested because it's faster and more convenient.

NoClipMode said,
"Just open the terminal and run.."

Lol i love how in 2012 you still have to use a terminal to do stuff in the most popular and "user friendly" Linux distros. And this is why Linux is still not ready.


There are different reasons why linux fails at userfriendlyness. But this thing is not it

NoClipMode said,
"Just open the terminal and run.."

Lol i love how in 2012 you still have to use a terminal to do stuff in the most popular and "user friendly" Linux distros. And this is why Linux is still not ready.

Windows fanboys are funny. Like none of you have ever used the Windows command prompt lol.

Mike Frett said,

Windows fanboys are funny. Like none of you have ever used the Windows command prompt lol.

To uninstall factory-bundled adware? Can't say that I ever have.

Mike Frett said,

Windows fanboys are funny. Like none of you have ever used the Windows command prompt lol.

Seriously. What's the fastest way to know your IP address? Win+R, CMD, ipconfig.
Alternate method: Start > Control panel (wait to load) > Network and Sharing Center (wait to load) > Change adapter settings > right click adapter > status > details

cybertimber2008 said,
Seriously. What's the fastest way to know your IP address? Win+R, CMD, ipconfig.
Alternate method: Start > Control panel (wait to load) > Network and Sharing Center (wait to load) > Change adapter settings > right click adapter > status > details

Precisely.. and if Microsoft didn't think a stripped down command line only option wasn't a good idea, Server Core wouldn't exist.

Have never really liked Ubuntu anyway, but now I'm positive I will NEVER install it again! I don't care if it is as easy as pie to remove, which it isn't to me, if I have to use the command line. Not a professional typist and command line stuff is about as Greek to me as anything can be.

Almost have to wonder if Ubuntu is run by the same moron who runs Charter Cable? Both those seem to like to run on stupidity!

This is just as dumb as Charter has been recently with their limiting HSI plans to just 2 and forcing customers to use their (Charter) modems!!

cork1958 said,
Have never really liked Ubuntu anyway, but now I'm positive I will NEVER install it again! I don't care if it is as easy as pie to remove, which it isn't to me, if I have to use the command line. Not a professional typist and command line stuff is about as Greek to me as anything can be.

Almost have to wonder if Ubuntu is run by the same moron who runs Charter Cable? Both those seem to like to run on stupidity!

This is just as dumb as Charter has been recently with their limiting HSI plans to just 2 and forcing customers to use their (Charter) modems!!

1. Launch Ubuntu Software Center
2. Search for "unity-lens-shopping"
3. Click remove.

Simples. The terminal is only suggested because it's faster and more convenient.

Ad supported "free" software I can understand when you download something from whatever app store, but it's a serious turnoff for being built into an OS that's touted as being free, personally would rather pay for the OS and have an ad-free experience. At least it's easily removed.

Max Norris said,
personally would rather pay for the OS and have an ad-free experience.

Maybe they should add a "Donate now to get rid of ads!" on the results as well.

Then technical people can remove it manually through apt, and the non technical people may donate if they don't want it. Win-win

GreenMartian said,

Maybe they should add a "Donate now to get rid of ads!" on the results as well.

Then technical people can remove it manually through apt, and the non technical people may donate if they don't want it. Win-win

I hate it when things want you to "donate" to remove ads or add features. At that point it's no longer a donation but a purchase. This is rampant in the Android marketplace. The real donation apps are the ones who have a paid version that is exactly the same as the free version.

GreenMartian said,

...Then technical people can remove it manually through apt, and the non technical people may donate if they don't want it. Win-win

because a lot of non technical people are running Ubuntu?

GreenMartian said,

Maybe they should add a "Donate now to get rid of ads!" on the results as well.

Then technical people can remove it manually through apt, and the non technical people may donate if they don't want it. Win-win

I don't see that happening. Give Unity time to mature, and it will be an option in settings somewhere to enable/disable the lenses you want.

You can uninstall this. I much prefer this approach than them setting yahoo as the default search engine *yes im looking at you linux mint*. At the end of the day if I want to buy something from amazon i can look at what they sell from a glance from the dash. It's not really advertising the way I see it. Just another USEFUL lens, if you want to view it as an ad just remember ubuntu is free and it needs revenue.

My take is that Canonical needs to sort out their priorities...
Since 12.04, Unity is quite okay, but if you look at the development of 12.10, they're focusing on almost nothing but the dash where you'll normally spend 10 seconds.
And now ads in dash? Although it's easy to remove them, it's also easy for the average Linux user to switch distribution, a path I guess more people will take from 12.10 and on...

What Canonical really need to do is alienate more of their user base.

This is especially true given the rousing success that their Unity desktop environment was..


Ubuntu is going to get pasted for this >.>