A few days ago, an update pushed into Unity lenses added many new features like enhanced effects, better stability and the Amazon search lens. What it means that Ubuntu users will be able to search Amazon products right from the dash. Well, though a innovative step, it drew a lot of criticism from users questioning the privacy and anonymity of the users.
Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog entry explaining what Amazon search lens is, and what it is not. He also answered the top questions that are currently in users' mind as below:
Why are you putting ads in Ubuntu?
Seems Mark is putting his idea about Ubuntu - “Anything and Everything” in action:
We’re not putting ads in Ubuntu. We’re integrating online scope results into the home lens of the dash. This is to enable you to hit “Super” and then ask for anything you like, and over time, with all of the fantastic search scopes that people are creating, we should be able to give you the right answer.
These are not ads because they are not paid placement, they are straightforward Amazon search results for your search. So the Dash becomes a super-search of any number of different kinds of data. Right now, it’s not dynamically choosing what to search, it’s just searching local scopes and Amazon, but it will get smarter over time.
I don’t wan’t to search Amazon for the Terminal
Use Super-A. You can tell Unity exactly what you want to search. And in future you’ll be able to do that from the home lens, too, more easily than the current Lens Bar at the bottom of the Dash.
I want to control what is searched on the Home Lens
So do I! Designs and patches welcome in the usual places. I’m pretty sure by 14.04 LTS we’ll have the kinks unkinked. Till then, come along for the ride, or stick with 12.04 LTS. We can’t wait till it’s perfect before landing everything, because the only way to learn what’s not perfect is to have other people – real people – use it.
This is just a moneymaking scheme.
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. Typing Super “queen marking cage” Just Worked for me this morning. I am now looking forward to my game of Ultimate Where’s Waldo hunting down the queens in my bee colonies, Ubuntu will benefit from the fact that I chose to search Amazon that way, Amazon benefits from being more accessible to a very discerning, time-conscious and hotkey-friendly audience.
Why are you telling Amazon what I am searching for?
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. You trust us not to screw up on your machine with every update. You trust Debian, and you trust a large swathe of the open source community. And most importantly, you trust us to address it when, being human, we err.