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Unity_Torrent_Scope

Ubuntu to include torrent search in Dash search

Ubuntu users will soon be able to ‘search’ for torrents from sites like The Pirate Bay right from Unity Dash. A torrent lens created by developer David Calle will be available by default on Ubuntu.

Initially Calle was uncertain of it being included by default owning to the opt-out policy of Ubuntu Dash online search.

He expressed his apprehension when someone asked why he thought it could not be included by default, “…because, in the actual state of the Unity API (opt out instead of opt in), unless I manage to make the lens target only freely licensed content (awesome abandonware games, CC licensed music, etc.), I’m 99% sure that the functionnality would be abused, misinterpreted and would generate a lot of FUD for Ubuntu.”

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, joined the discussion on Google+ and encouraged the developer. He also cleared the lens to be included by default in Ubuntu, “David, let’s go ahead. The tool is super-useful and it’s perfectly justified to make it available by default. We use Torrents for distributing ubuntu itself. So please don’t hold back!”

Ubuntu uses lenses and scopes to help users a convenient way to search quickly for information. Users can search items locally or online (Amazon, Google, Twitter etc.). Lenses categorize the search results into apps, files, music and video. Scopes are the back-end for the lenses. For e.g. Rhythmbox, Banshee serve as back-ends when a user searches for music available on the local machine. Both lenses and scopes can be extended.

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Presently, in Saucy (13.10), the scope will be available in the Home scope only with a separate category for torrents. David wants work on the new Scopes API to be completed before the torrent scope can be split across music, videos and files.

An IT guy, I have been working as a QA professional for around 6.5 years. I keenly follow technology with a special focus on open source. After much distro-hopping, I settled down on using openSUSE as my distribution of choice. A fan of Arsenal ever since I started following football, I keenly follow sports and am good for a game always.

18 Comments

  1. Great to see support for Torrents. Its such a strong message from the world’s favorite free desktop OS.

    Some people need to learn that NOT ALL torrents are illegal. Thanks for the support Ubuntu!

    • I agree but how many legal torrents do people actually download? If you are talking about Ubuntu ISO torrent does it make sense to write a lens just to be able to download two torrents per year when you can just grab it from official site?

      • :)
        There’s tons of free stuff that is legal. Besides if some people do wrong things why should the rest of us suffer.

        Canonical, Ubuntu or we can’t control what some people do.

        In addition, downloading new versions of LibreOffice, Ubuntu etc from torrents eases the burden on their servers.

      • It actually isn’t the worlds favorite. That would be crunchbang right now.

    • I support torrents but I don’t support spam and adware. If the user is ignorant about dash then it is spyware until it is turned off

  2. So which torrent sites does it search? The Pirate Bay? :p

    • TPB is the site it searches. IMHO this is really dangerous as Canonical will now know what pirated content users are searching for.

      • I’m not searching for web sites through a shell browser. I don’t search for crap with the dash search. Honestly, why kind of lazy user searches for everything from the search bar at the top of Unity? I use a web browser. Call me old fashioned or an old fart but yeah… I use a web browser. Unity is kinda overkill. I search for an app. Maybe a setting. I switch entirely to classic gnome.

        • The last sentence obviously gave out that you are not the target market for Unity anyway. =p

          I am personally a KDE user but have supported (vocally, I don’t program) efforts to make KRunner more Dash-like, particularly in terms of the Unity HUD — which is a great idea.

        • Your not weird or an old fart(or maybe you are I don’t know you), it is more of an half-ass way of making an income. I almost feel sad for them it’s so depressing.

      • Let’s just hope SABAM and BREIN don’t find out, our it won’t be long before Ubuntu is banned in Belgium and The Netherlands.

  3. I think the dash is stupid. If you really want to download a distro it would be better to just go to the official website instead of using the dash. If you want to download the Breaking Bad the dash is a rather circuitous route. Simply go to torrentz in your browser and type in Breaking Bad but be prepared to have your internet cut off by your provider after they receive an abuse complaint. The fact that you are interested in Walter White could be used against you if you if the government ever suspects you of being a meth dealer in which case they will come out with some outrageous search warrant. In the event they do come out with a warrant they won’t be looking for the truth because they already made up their mind that you are guilty. The prosecutors will have their own understanding and interpretation of your interest and online searches. Convictions happen not from the quality of evidence but from the quantity and anything that you do online can and will be used against in the court of law. Just like the video gamer who was arrested and jailed over a sarcastic comment.

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