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Ubuntu's New Firefox Is Watching You

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the don't-be-sneaky dept.

Privacy 330

sukotto writes "Ubuntu recently released an unannounced and experimental 'multisearch' extension to Firefox alpha 3, apparently in an effort to improve the default behavior of new tabs and of search. In a response to one of the initial bug reports the maintainers mentioned that the extension's other purposes were 'collecting the usage data' and 'generating revenue.' Since this extension installs by itself and offers no warning about potential privacy violations, quite a few people (myself included) feel pretty unhappy. The only way to opt out is to disable the extension manually via Tools > Add-ons." Most posters to this Ubuntu forum thread are not happy about multisearch.

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Not new (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#28988383)

This is not actually far away from how Firefox generates its revenue too - from ad clicks in Google search and by direct sponsoring from Google.

The two main ways to monetarize and support OSS projects is giving support and ads. In the later case you always lose some of your privacy. Developing Linux and its distro's need money aswell. You could choose a distro that is financed in other way (maybe by you), use commercial software that doesn't do this or be fine with generating some ad income to support the development. "Perfect" package is usually impossible to obtain because of financial limitations.

Google is build completely around this model too and it seems to work good for them - even if people lose some of their privacy. Hell, slashdot is maintained by ad revenue too. Another distro that also does same kind of stuff is Linux Mint.

Its nothing new, but it might surprise those who believe in pure, not-revenue-generating OSS. It's how the free for user projects are financed.

Re:Not new (5, Insightful)

SBrach (1073190) | about 5 years ago | (#28988461)

WTF. Way to give Mozilla a free pass because it's OSS. You know, I use both open source and closed source software but I guess I am the only one who judges both by the same standard. What an asshole I am huh.

Outrage calibration (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | about 5 years ago | (#28988569)

Well, here's the outrage [slashdot.org] from when Microsoft slipped the .NET Framework Assistant into Firefox without asking. Adjust your outrage accordingly...

Re:Outrage calibration (5, Informative)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#28988673)

ICEWEASEL!
# apt-get update
Get:1 http://your.favorite.mirror/ [your.favorite.mirror] sid Release.gpg [378B]
Get:2 http://your.favorite.mirror/ [your.favorite.mirror] sid Release [79.6kB]
Get:3 http://your.favorite.mirror/ [your.favorite.mirror] sid/main Packages [4514kB]
Get:4 http://your.favorite.mirror/ [your.favorite.mirror] sid/main Sources [1280kB]
Fetched 5874kB in 11s (523kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done

# apt-get install iceweasel
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Suggested packages:
    iceweasel-gnome-support latex-xft-fonts xprint mozplugger
The following NEW packages will be installed:
    iceweasel
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
Need to get 8933kB of archives.
After unpacking 27.2MB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://your.favorite.mirror/ [your.favorite.mirror] sid/main iceweasel 2.0+dfsg-1 [8933kB]
Fetched 8933kB in 9s (975kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package iceweasel.
(Reading database ... 68428 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking iceweasel (from .../iceweasel_2.0+dfsg-1_powerpc.deb) ...
Setting up iceweasel (2.0+dfsg-1) ...
Please restart any running Iceweasels, or you will experience problems.

# _

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_IceCat [wikipedia.org]

Re:Outrage calibration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989293)

"E: Package iceweasel has no installation candidate"

Re:Outrage calibration (4, Insightful)

SBrach (1073190) | about 5 years ago | (#28988837)

Right, people were outraged Microsoft installed a .net plugin but it is ok for Ubuntu to datamine my Firefox activities because it is free and I need to pay for it somehow. That is basically what the OP was saying. Thats bullshit.

Re:Outrage calibration (2, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#28988953)

At least the Ubuntu add-on easily uninstalls unlike the .net one.

Both are annoying but one is a lesser evil and while Linux is still primarily a OS for more advanced users, they shouldn't really have a problem with this.

Re:Outrage calibration (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#28988995)

Both are annoying but one is a lesser evil

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Re:Outrage calibration (5, Informative)

gparent (1242548) | about 5 years ago | (#28989035)

The .NET one has been updated to uninstall fine.

Re:Outrage calibration (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28989101)

But you have to realize that the reason why people use Ubuntu is because it is pre-configured and you don't have to do much to get it how you wanted. Ubuntu wasn't much "better" than Debian, other than the fact it had regular releases and was pre-configured. If Ubuntu stops being pre-configured how most people like it, it will stop being used. This is a suicidal move for Ubuntu which has been losing mindshare after the 8.10 and 9.04 releases which dumbed-down the distro to a new low (the annoying update window which pops up as a window, removing the useful CTRL+ALT+Backspace shortcut, the notification boxes that can't be quickly closed, etc). Ubuntu needs all the good press they can get, I don't understand why they would risk it.

Re:Outrage calibration (5, Informative)

calc (1463) | about 5 years ago | (#28989239)

"Ubuntu needs all the good press they can get, I don't understand why they would risk it."

That's pretty funny considering Ubuntu is still in the lead on DistroWatch on all timespans except the last week. For the last week an Ubuntu derivative Linux Mint is number 1 with Ubuntu at number 2.

Re:Outrage calibration (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989259)

Actually, I think the CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE was a change in Xorg...so it wasn't their fault. I had to re-enable for FC11.

Re:Outrage calibration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989057)

Right, people were outraged Microsoft installed a .net plugin but it is ok for Ubuntu to datamine my Firefox activities because it is free and I need to pay for it somehow. That is basically what the OP was saying.

That's also what your parent post was agreeing with, in case you didn't catch it.

Re:Outrage calibration (1)

diamondsw (685967) | about 5 years ago | (#28988965)

Of course, that was also due to the fact that you couldn't easily uninstall it - the uninstall options were all disabled, and you had to do some deep mucking in the registry and obscure directories to get rid of it completely.

I assume this can be uninstalled the normal way. I don't like it - so there should be some outrage - but I don't think it's as pernicious as the .Net one.

Re:Outrage calibration (3, Informative)

gparent (1242548) | about 5 years ago | (#28989049)

No, not at all. A few days after it all happened, MS came out with a fix that allowed the addon to be easily uninstalled.

Re:Outrage calibration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989313)

Sometimes I have to wonder what planet some people live on. So a potentially useful (for some people), but non-useful for most people piece of software that was installed automatically behind the scenes is now WORSE than another piece of software that is also installed behind the scenes that TRACKS YOU BEHAVIOR? Where do people come from that can get those backwards? Of course the Ubuntu one is worse. Geez... Not that either of them is welcome mind you, but tracking me by default install is just not cool.

Re:Outrage calibration (5, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#28988969)

1) This is the default browser, and Ubuntu shipped it with modifications for years. That they would change the nature of those modifications in an update is hardly surprising.
2) The summary says the only way to disable it is by using the add-ons dialog, as if that were some onerous distinction. .NET was unremovable through the add-ons dialog, which was the primary reason people were pissed. Ubuntu's really done nothing to break the user trust here. You don't like it, remove it, it will take all of 10 seconds, and be completely gone.

Also, it's clear this won't make it into the release candidate. That is the value of an open source OS with a public bug tracker, in which the most minor problems (and the most vitriolic responses) are archived and freely available on the internet.

Re:Outrage calibration (1)

gparent (1242548) | about 5 years ago | (#28989061)

The .NET plugin has been removable for quite some time now. MS released a fix shortly after 1.0 came out. So many people do not seem to know this.

Re:Outrage calibration (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#28989191)

If Ubuntu fix this issue, we also won't hear of it -- it won't make the front page of Slashdot.

Re:Outrage calibration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988977)

Apparently people do not understand what that plugin does. It transmits your .net framework version to the server. I use this information to know what build of my application to send to the user. If they have .net v3.5 I send them the clickonce version which the plugin will let you run.

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988925)

you've underestimated the fanboi factor here. Apple and OSS can do no wrong, and if you question that, then you must be a terrorist or an M$ employee here to astroturf.

Re:Not new (3, Insightful)

elzurawka (671029) | about 5 years ago | (#28988469)

The difference is that we all know that Google is a giant Advertiser.
Most people are under the impression that Ubuntu is a free OS, not an Ad Sponsored/Data mining revenue oriented OS.

Free as in speech (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28988571)

Most people are under the impression that Ubuntu is a free OS, not an Ad Sponsored/Data mining revenue oriented OS.

Canonical is Free to distribute a computer program that watches how people use it as long as people who use the program know what's going on. But because Firefox/Iceweasel/whatever is free software, you are also Free to download the source code, rip out the data mining, and rebuild it, or to hire someone to do so for you.

Re:Free as in speech (5, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | about 5 years ago | (#28988627)

All true statements, but pointless because you left out at least one freedom: people are also free to complain until Ubuntu does something about it to save their brand.

Re:Free as in speech (3, Insightful)

mattventura (1408229) | about 5 years ago | (#28989003)

It's not just that they are doing that, but that they do so without warning. Of course they are free to put that in their software, and you have every right to disable it, but (from my understanding) they are doing this without telling the user. So how would you know to disable it if you didn't know it existed?

Re:Free as in speech (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 5 years ago | (#28989233)

Isn't that supposed to be the main argument for "Free" (as in source code available / modifiable) source? That you don't have to trust the vendor to tell you what's going on, you can see for yourself? Why is it that when MS releases something, everyone darkly talks about hidden backdoors, but when an open source vendor releases someone, people complain that the vendor wasn't completely forthcoming in the release notes?

Re:Free as in speech (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28989299)

Why is it that when MS releases something, everyone darkly talks about hidden backdoors, but when an open source vendor releases someone, people complain that the vendor wasn't completely forthcoming in the release notes?

Because not everybody has the skill and time to decipher megabytes of source code, especially potentially obfuscated source code. Nor does everybody have the money to hire someone to do so. Also because free software is the relative newcomer and it has to be better in order to displace its entrenched proprietary counterparts.

Re:Free as in speech (1)

falconwolf (725481) | about 5 years ago | (#28989381)

source code available / modifiable

I doubt that there are that many Ubuntu users that know how the program or read the source and understand it though. Ubuntu's supposed to be a user friendly Linux distro for the masses.

Why is it that when MS releases something, everyone darkly talks about hidden backdoors, but when an open source vendor releases someone, people complain that the vendor wasn't completely forthcoming in the release notes?

What's the difference between MS's backdoors and Ubuntu's backdoors if nobody is told? Windows and other proprietary software company fanbois would be complaining if Linux/Ubuntu/FOSS fanbois didn't complain, and here you're complaining because they are complaining.

Falcon

Re:Free as in speech (5, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | about 5 years ago | (#28989019)

Canonical is Free to distribute a computer program that watches how people use it as long as people who use the program know what's going on. But because Firefox/Iceweasel/whatever is free software, you are also Free to download the source code, rip out the data mining, and rebuild it, or to hire someone to do so for you.

Emphasis mine.

The problem here is that Canonical did not ask for permission.

For the record, I would be perfectly willing to use a reasonably private datamining program to support Ubuntu, as long as everyone is clearly informed on what it can do and what it can't.

Re:Not new (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 years ago | (#28989329)

Actually, I bet most people don't really know how Google's business model works, or that Mozilla (or Apple or whomever) gets some money every time they do a search using the 'search' field when it's set to use Google (or from Microsoft if set to use Bing).

Re:Not new (1)

godless dave (844089) | about 5 years ago | (#28989359)

And many users would be happy to opt-in to a fundraising scheme, and many more would be happy to donate directly. It's the automatic opt-in that's not cool. Also, if you read through the bug report, it seems like the people at Canonical weren't aware how popular Google Image search is, and had no idea Google's currency conversion and unit conversion features existed.

Re:Not new (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988587)

The add-on doesn't bother me.

Installing it without any notification does.

I work for a company which has standardized on Ubuntu, but I'm pushing for them to switch to CentOS. This is just another bullet in my arsenal.

Re:Not new (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#28988715)

The add-on doesn't bother me.
Installing it without any notification does

My thoughts exactly. Nothing immoral about datamining your user base, so long as you give informed consent and allow an easy opt-out.

I work for a company which has standardized on Ubuntu, but I'm pushing for them to switch to CentOS. This is just another bullet in my arsenal.

Why not Debian? Debian runs rings around Ubuntu performance-wise IME, and there's no real learning curve coming from Ubuntu.

Re:Not new (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#28989107)

>>>Installing it without any notification does.

Microsoft did the same thing to Firefox about two months ago. I guess all megacorporations including Apple and Ubuntu Linix eventually succumb to MS-like practices. The only people you can trust are the non-corporations (aka individuals).

Re:Not new (1)

Nossie (753694) | about 5 years ago | (#28989115)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/02/centos_alive/ [theregister.co.uk]

by linking to a response of an article I guess I'm not doing my own argument any favours =D (hey at least I'm honest)

but maybe you should hold off a bit before leaping into what could become a company that disappears over night. Something canonical are unlikely to do.

Re:Not new (1)

Simon80 (874052) | about 5 years ago | (#28989173)

What notification do people expect? When you restart firefox, it will probably tell you that a new addon has been installed, at which point it's trivial to disable it. Also, this addon has so far only been installed on systems running Ubuntu 9.10, which hasn't been released yet, so it remains to be seen what notification they would provide if they decide to deploy these changes to a stable release.

Re:Not new (1)

space_in_your_face (836916) | about 5 years ago | (#28989319)

So it bother you to have another bullet in your arsenal?

Re:Not new (4, Informative)

readin (838620) | about 5 years ago | (#28988641)

Google and Slashdot have the ads where you can see them. There is no pretense about it. And you know what when you log into a site or when a site has cookies, there will be some tracking. You control the tracking by deleting cookies or not logging in. There are limits to what Google and Slashdot can do because of the security built into the browser

This is different. In this case Firefox is the browser that is supposed to protect your privacy and security. Your browser is supposed to do a job - and it isn't collecting data on you. If the program is going to execute on your CPU and collect data about you to send to someone else, it should be very clear about that intention. This sounds like Firefox has become a Trojan. I wonder if my anti-virus software will warn me about it.

Re:Not new (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 5 years ago | (#28988747)

Its nothing new, but it might surprise those who believe in pure, not-revenue-generating OSS. It's how the free for user projects are financed.

That is really not the problem - at least for me. You can gather user data, you can generate income with it, but you do need my permission. You can't do that without a clear notice.

Re:Not new (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | about 5 years ago | (#28988851)

I dont mind linux mint though....its a nice free product.

Re:Not new (2, Insightful)

Paaskonijn (1220996) | about 5 years ago | (#28989007)

Here's what the Linux Mint's lead developer had to say when they did the same thing:

The highest single source of revenue for Linux Mint isn't the donations, it isn't ads on the website, it is the default start page in Firefox. This simple search plugin is estimated to generated from 2 to 40 times more money than the start page itself.

(source [linuxmint.com] )

I know I won't be disabling this extension. It's a no-effort, free-as-in-beer way of supporting my favourite OS.

Re:Not new (2, Insightful)

idlemachine (732136) | about 5 years ago | (#28989187)

I know I won't be disabling this extension. It's a no-effort, free-as-in-beer way of supporting my favourite OS.

You don't think Canonical should have asked for your permission first?

Re:Not new (5, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | about 5 years ago | (#28989125)

Lots of people like sex. Very few people like to be raped. The difference is in the consent. Same situation here.

Re:Not new (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 5 years ago | (#28989447)

Answer this question: Would you feel the same if it was MSFT and IE? What about Opera? I have NO problems with this kind of behavior IF and ONLY IF the users have EXACTLY what it does explained to them before install AND they get to choose at install whether to have it or not. Otherwise this is NO different than those spyware toolbars that you get on Windows with "free" applications.

I have been wondering how Canonical would "monetize" a free Linux OS. If this is their plan I predict that Ubuntu will be dropping off the radar pretty soon. Unless the FLOSS advocates are willing to drink the koolaid and give up their privacy because "its not M$ Windblowz!". Considering there is PCLOS, there is Mint, there is easily a dozen other 'user friendly" distro out there you would have to seriously luv the Ubuntu to put up with this BS.

Big projects need funding (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988455)

There's no point denying it: Big projects need funding. Funding creates dependencies. Since there is no way around the need for funding, it is of utmost importance that dependencies and privacy implications are disclosed. So Ubuntu: FAIL.

Re:Big projects need funding (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988725)

I can deal with advertising and such. Spying on me is something completely different.

Splatter ads all over my screen and I'll get annoyed but continue on. You start watching what I do, log what web sites I visit, analyze who I'm talking to, and other invasion of privacy stuff and I'll get angry. Angry enough to stop using whatever shit you're peddling.

Yes I know Google does this but that's a single external point that I can watch out for. I can choose to block their ads/tracking stuff or use a proxy. Integrating spying into the software I use is an invasive act which is harder to recognize and defend against. That's the kind of stuff that pisses me off.

And that's not all... (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 years ago | (#28988577)

I hear the Ubuntu extension also has a feature for euthanasia of old people.

Re:And that's not all... (5, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28988889)

Hey! Thats one feature that would make it easier for all tech support people! Can it be remotely activated?

Which is it? (1)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#28988921)

Youth in Asia, or old people? You aren't even making any sense and you spelled 'youth' wrong.

Re:And that's not all... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#28989051)

Please let t his be true!

Re:And that's not all... (-1, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#28989063)

I hear that Obama-care also has a feature for euthanasia of old people.

Fixed that for you ;)

Sincerely yours, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

(One wonders if people will pick up on the sarcasm in my post or if the democratic partisan lynch mob will mod me down to -1 and show up at my doorstep with torches and pitchforks)

WHARRGARBL! (1)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#28989355)

How dare you insult the Obamessiah! You just wait until I perfect the device that lets me stab people in the face over the Internet.

There's an App for that! (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 years ago | (#28989181)

yadda yadda yadda.

Re:And that's not all... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 5 years ago | (#28989271)

I hear the Ubuntu extension also has a feature for euthanasia of old people.

And I *still* haven't seen it's long-form birth certificate!

some people... (0)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | about 5 years ago | (#28988581)

if you are smart enough understand what Linux is, or to install a version of Linux, you obviously know what you are doing. so i dont see how this would be a problem.

Re:some people... (5, Informative)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 5 years ago | (#28988667)

Collecting user data without asking for agreement is wrong, whatever you say.

Re:some people... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#28989085)

My son installed his first copy of Ubuntu 2 years old. Linux has been brain dead easy to install for at least 3 or 4 years. Being able to install Ubuntu, and understanding privacy concerns, are not even on the same scale. Particularly when the data mining is undisclosed.

Do not panic (5, Informative)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | about 5 years ago | (#28988593)

I've been following this for some time. The multisearch add-on was only intended for the pre-release versions, as part of a research project. It will NOT be included in the final Karmic release.
That is what alpha releases are for, after all: testing. Admittedly, the devs could have bothered to mention that they were planning this, but it's better that they did it here than in the final release.

Re:Do not panic (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 5 years ago | (#28988717)

The multisearch add-on was only intended for the pre-release versions, as part of a research project. It will NOT be included in the final Karmic release.

Citation please?

Note that we did not necessarily foresee Multisearch as code that we would ship in a stable release. Whatever actions we take in response to the information and feedback will depend on the information and feedback that we collect from this effort.

That's quite a different statement.

Re:Do not panic (4, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | about 5 years ago | (#28988947)

Perhaps I didn't word that quite right.

The multisearch add-on was only intended for the pre-release versions, as part of a research project. It is very unlikely that it will be included in the final Karmic release in the same form as its current incarnation.

There, fixed that for me.
My point was, anyway, that the Ubuntu devs didn't intend to make this Multisearch a part of Firefox as we know it. Some of the same concepts, maybe, but they will assuredly be more fleshed out, more intuitive, than in the Alphas. And next time, maybe they'll tell us first?

Re:Do not panic (1, Funny)

JoeCool1986 (1320479) | about 5 years ago | (#28989165)

And always remember your towel.

Linux Mint had this already... (3, Interesting)

analog_line (465182) | about 5 years ago | (#28988609)

I installed Linux Mint about a month ago looking for a new Linux distribution to put on a cheap laptop I had just gotten. All the search pages, no matter where I searched, were coming up branded "Linux Mint". Didn't take too long for me to get annoyed at this, especially when I found out there was no way whatsoever to remove the addon from Firefox. I ended up downloading the mozilla.com distributed package and overwriting the symlinks by hand. Mint is based on Ubuntu, but my 9.04 installs don't have this in there. I guess this is one "innovation" that made it back up the food chain. Personally embarassing for me, since I had just finished recommending Linux Mint to several friends, aquaintances, and customers.

Vanilla Firefox Build (5, Informative)

melikamp (631205) | about 5 years ago | (#28988613)

0. Once prerequisites are installed on Ubuntu,

1. Download the source:

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.5.2/source/firefox-3.5.2-source.tar.bz2

2. Unpack source:

tar xvfj firefox-3.5.2-source.tar.bz2

3. Create .mozconfig in the top-level directory:

. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/objdir-ff-release
mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS="-j4"
ac_add_options --enable-optimize
export CFLAGS="-gstabs+"
export CXXFLAGS="-gstabs+"

4. make -f client.mk

5. Enjoy objdir-ff-release/dist/bin/firefox

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988685)

nerd.

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#28988817)

Nice, but the proper way is to roll your own deb [kidkonia.com] from the source.

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (0)

melikamp (631205) | about 5 years ago | (#28989111)

I never "make install", so I don't have to worry about cleaning up. Rolling a deb seems like extra work, imho.

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989263)

I first read that as "roll your own doob."

--
flag@whitehouse.gov

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 5 years ago | (#28988849)

Is this really necessary? If it's just an extension, you can remove it like normal..

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (2, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | about 5 years ago | (#28988887)

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the summary, but isn't the multisearch deal part of the Ubuntu add-on, not Firefox itself?

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 5 years ago | (#28989089)

Yes. But this way is rather painless after the first build, and you get to have the very latest, natively compiled and optimized FF on the day of release with none of those Ubuntu dependencies which I find useless anyway.

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (1)

gparent (1242548) | about 5 years ago | (#28989079)

Shorter instructions: 0. Tools - Addons 1. Select addon and click on "Disable".

Re:Vanilla Firefox Build (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989207)

Or, you know, just download the Firefox Linux binary from mozilla.org.

(note you may need to visit the ftp site [mozilla.org] to get certain builds like 64-bit).

Evil Evil Monk.... (1)

Twillerror (536681) | about 5 years ago | (#28988649)

Penguin?

Watching you from the closet...

Isn't this just a WIP build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988651)

Can't we remove the code and recompile it or not use it, I mean I am glad people caught this bullshit but that person should be removed from his ability to check in code or warn people that they are doing testing and that testing is generating revenue for him, its dam shaddy dont get me wrong but it seems easy to fix? Am I wrong? If so how?

I know it's a money issue... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 5 years ago | (#28988657)

I'm not bothered by Canonical wanting to leverage potential sources of revenue. They're providing me with a service free of charge, as is Google.

I'm bothered by the fact that it replaced the normal Google UI with something less usable. I'm also bothered that they used a Firefox extension rather than using a standard search engine plugin, making it much more difficult to undo.

Browsers. (2, Insightful)

saintlupus (227599) | about 5 years ago | (#28988659)

Epiphany is available in Ubuntu -- it also looks a hell of a lot nicer with GNOME than FF does. Give it a try.

--saint

Re:Browsers. (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 5 years ago | (#28988697)

Can Epiphany remember my tabs from my last session? Apparently only if it crashes. That's rather infuriating -- they implemented 95% of the feature but didn't put in a GUI and a gconf key for it.

Re:Browsers. (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28988845)

I actually use that often in Firefox, if I want to save my tabs (usually I don't) I simply killalll firefox-bin.

Re:Browsers. (1)

MiKM (752717) | about 5 years ago | (#28988775)

I'm a fan of Midori (also in the repos), which uses WebKit for its rendering engine.

i knew it was coming (2, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 years ago | (#28988731)

as soon as Linux gained enough popularity that spyware and spyware like activities would start creeping in, glad i learned Linux early, fortunately i dont use ubuntu, and i wonder how long until this is embedded in to firefox itself and not removable, i am using an unofficial build of firefox (Shiretoko-3.5.2) and for all i know it may already have it, if it does i hope word gets out and it bites mozilla.com on the ass. it might even be prudent to just remove the damn thing and use lynx or links instead. maybe even just abandon Linux completely and switch to one of the [Free/net/open]BSDs not sure i could trust PCBSD to not pull the same crap canonical/ubuntu is doing...

Re:i knew it was coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988799)

your retarded.

Re:i knew it was coming (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28988963)

If you are going to troll, at least troll with proper grammar otherwise you attract the wrath of grammar Nazis.

Re:i knew it was coming (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 years ago | (#28989255)

i will admit my grammar is not great, but when is defending my privacy with enthusiasm on a level equivalent with the paranoid considered being a troll? i am not genius when it comes to analyzing source code but i do manage to install linux and build some of my own packages from source. in both this comment and my previous comment has both mine and everyone else's best interest at heart with the exception of those that benefit from invading other people's privacy, so to hell with canonical/ubuntu, i want to see what the big dawds of FOSS/Linux has to say = people like Stallman, Torvalds, Volkerding...

Re:i knew it was coming (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | about 5 years ago | (#28989431)

He was responding to the AC who said "your retarded" in response to you.

Grammar Nazis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28989309)

It's "Grammar Nazis", not "grammar Nazis".

Re:Grammar Nazis. (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 5 years ago | (#28989375)

Um, actually, it's "Gram-ma Nazis".

Re:i knew it was coming (1)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | about 5 years ago | (#28989371)

i wonder how long until this is embedded in to firefox itself and not removable

You do understand that open source means that the source is um, open. You can remove whatever you would like. If you can't, it ceases to be open source software. If you are really concerned, there are other OSS browsers. The other distros can only "pull the same crap" if you use their packages. Do we really need to go into the whole "Linux is just the kernel" discussion here?

Strange Screenshots (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | about 5 years ago | (#28988777)

The screenshots are odd. They all look the same to me and they look like a login page to that forum, not anything to do with Google at all.

On a side note, does anyone know how to completely disable Firefox from opening new tabs without permission? I've tried to disable it every way I can and I've mostly got it, but every so often I run into a website like this Ubuntu forum that somehow nevertheless manages to force Firefox to open a new tab.

Why is it that web "designers" can't understand that I have perfectly functional "Open in New Tab" and "Open in New Window" options if the right click menu if I want to do so and if I don't use those options it's specifically because I DON'T want to open a new tab or window.

Re:Strange Screenshots (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 5 years ago | (#28989403)

Why is it that web "designers" can't understand that I have perfectly functional "Open in New Tab" and "Open in New Window" options if the right click menu if I want to do so and if I don't use those options it's specifically because I DON'T want to open a new tab or window.

What makes you think they don't understand? The web page developer is coding the page the way that the paying client wants him to code it. Your desires don't factor into it. The site owner wants your primary view to remain on his site so that's the way it's coded. If you would like it to behave differently, install greasemonkey and start coding.

Another end for Ubuntu... (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28988787)

Its becoming more and more obvious that Ubuntu's reign as the king of distros is slowly ending. From the new non-disableable notifications, to the annoying new default behavior for the update notifier, to the elimination of an often used shortcut (CTRL+ALT+Backspace, on the default install), I can't see Ubuntu keeping its spot at number one. I'm not sure which distro will take over, but my guess would either be Mint or Fedora.

Obligatory (0)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | about 5 years ago | (#28988861)

[obligatory]

In soviet russia, Firefox watches YOU!

[/obligatory]

New Tag Request (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 5 years ago | (#28988883)

ialwaysfeellike

Iceweasel (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 years ago | (#28988893)

FTW! Free as in "we don't spy on you".

it has been added in a alpha cycle (5, Informative)

dominux (731134) | about 5 years ago | (#28988915)

it was introduced in Karmic which is an alpha distribution. It wasn't introduced without announcement to the main production users of Jaunty. It may have been introduced without announcement to the Karmic alpha, because introducing it to the alpha *is* the announcement. It was done to see if it was better, results from alpha testing may reveal it is not better, or may reveal it is better. The results of the experiment will help decide whether it should stay, or go.

Sounds like a good way to give back to Canonical (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28988997)

So let me get this straight. All I have to do is install some plug-in and Canonical can get money for it? Where do I sign up?

And so it begins... (2, Insightful)

spectro (80839) | about 5 years ago | (#28989131)

Ok, I guess is time to start looking at alternatives. Not saying I will switch but I better keep options open.

Any user-friendly, easy to install linux distribution like Ubuntu around? (Fedora need not to apply, btw)

Preferably one without that pulseaudio crap installed by default...

Re:And so it begins... (3, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 years ago | (#28989297)

stick with the grand-daddies of Linux, Debian is your best bet since you are already familiar with ubuntu, if you feel adventurous maybe give Slackware a spin.

This is a complete non-issue (1, Informative)

Homburg (213427) | about 5 years ago | (#28989369)

The Ubuntu modification uses an Ubuntu custom Google search, rather than the Mozilla custom Google search. Google collects the same data in both cases; the only difference is that, with the Ubuntu search, Ubuntu gets to see aggregates information about popular searches, while, with the Mozilla custom search, Mozilla gets to see this aggregated information. In both cases, Google are the only people who get individually identifiable information about searches. Ubuntu isn't "watching you" any more than Mozilla is watching you when you search using a stock Firefox.

Don't care... (1)

Nomaxxx (1136289) | about 5 years ago | (#28989433)

I use SeaMonkey.

Just one word: (1)

yet-another-lobbyist (1276848) | about 5 years ago | (#28989439)

Sad!
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