From Wikipedia :
Spyware is a software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such information to another entity without the consumer’s consent, or that asserts control over a computer without the consumer’s knowledge.
“Spyware” is mostly classified into four types: system monitors, trojans, adware, and tracking cookies. Spyware is mostly used for the purposes such as; tracking and storing internet users’ movements on the web; serving up pop-up ads to internet users.
In case you haven’t worked it out from the reference, Richard Stallman is banging his gums, again, about Ubuntu being Spyware. Which, it isn’t, even while it is indeed sending search terms to Canonical so that you’ll get some Amazon results in the Shopping Lens when you use the Dash. Why isn’t it spyware? Well, because spyware actually requires that someone is spying on you for a start.
You still think it sounds like spyware? Let’s be clear here. Spyware tries to compile information about the user, then pass that information to a third party. Canonical’s early attempts at the Shopping Lens are completely anonymous – not so much as a tracking cookie. Their long terms plans (the “100 Scopes” project) will actually make searching the internet even more anonymous, rather than less.
So, it’s a nice attention grabbing term, but utterly, utterly false. For many other reasons, none of which will interest Stallman, because it’s inconvenient to him that the most popular linux distribution on the planet contains non-free software and is trying to monetise itself.
With every rant, Stallman loses credibility. With his latest Youtube video from February being dredged up on Google+, Stallman now reminds me more than ever of a zealous religious fanatic. Inappropriate use of emotive language, blindly convinced of his beliefs and out to hurt those who offend him, in any way he can.
And that’s what struck me about this latest video – Stallman’s proponents don’t appear to have any trouble using non-free methods to promote the koolaid. Stallman’s video is on Youtube, Google+, people are tweeting about it, they’re using flash to see the video. And yeah, on the Youtube video there’s a small reference to use Muktware to do all this with entirely free software, but seriously… who would?
[update : just tried to view the non-free version, but apparently it doesn’t work and the best advice is to use minitube to download the video from Youtube. Welcome to Stallman’s world, yet again.]
So, is this a bit of guerilla warfare from Stallman? Using the tools of the enemy to spread the propoganda? Seems to be. He no doubt has nothing to do with posting the video, but it’s the message that matters here and the irony is obvious.