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Old 09-24-12, 10:40 AM   #1
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Post Ubuntu bakes Amazon search results into OS to raise cash

The new version of Ubuntu Linux slated for release in October introduces a feature that some users claim is at worst a violation of privacy or, at best, generally annoying. Ubuntu 12.10 introduces search results from Amazon into the Dash. That means you could be searching for a file or application on your computer and get shopping results under a "more suggestions" section after your general results.

Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth took to his blog yesterday to defend the move, saying the "Home Lens of the Dash should let you find *anything* anywhere." Adding Amazon results is just the first step in expanding the scope of Dash searches from the user's computer to the entire Web, a sensible place to start as Amazon affiliate links will help Canonical fund the development of Ubuntu. "We picked Amazon as a first place to start because most of our users are also regular users of Amazon, and it pays us to make your Amazon journey get off to a faster start," Shuttleworth wrote.

In response to accusations of privacy violations, Shuttleworth wrote "We are not telling Amazon what you are searching for. Your anonymity is preserved because we handle the query on your behalf. Don't trust us? Erm, we have root. You do trust us with your data already." The "we have root" statement raised some more hackles in the comments section of Shuttleworth's blog. Explaining what he meant, Shuttleworth said, "Every package update installs as root."

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