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posted by martyb on Thursday September 30, @09:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

KDE's Telemetry: The Tip Of The Iceberg?:

Recently, there was a debate on the PCLinuxOS forum about KDE Plasma's implementation of telemetry through KUserFeedback. While in PCLinuxOS, we can remove it without any collateral effects to the system, while other users reported that doing the same in other distros (like Debian 11) results in the complete removal of KDE Plasma! Why force such an implementation, if, as KDE's developers say, it is just an innocuous, privacy-respecting measure?

Coincidence or not, in the past years many popular Linux distributions started rolling out optional telemetry. Then it was the time of computer programs: news broke out in May regarding Audacity, a popular audio editing app, which announced it was starting the use of telemetry. The move was finally pushed back after users revolted against it.

While many point out that the data collection is by opt-in and entirely anonymous, others have found that, even if you don't activate telemetry, data is still collected, using computer resources, registering "apps and boot, number of times used and duration in /home/user/telemetry folder." As such, they argue that, because of the way Linux permissions work, other programs could have access to these log files. KUserFeedback's FAQs page confirms this:

"KUserFeedback is designed to be compliant with KDE Telemetry Policy, which forbids the usage of unique identification. If you are using KUserFeedback outside of the scope of that policy, it's of course possible to add a custom data source generating and transmitting a unique id."

Do any Soylentils have opinions about this, or experiences with it?


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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @09:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @09:52PM (#1183202)

    I develop an app that is semi academic. Without telemetry, my users could experience a failure and they'd never let me know. Or worse, then think "this app is shit, and I'm not going to use it again". Problems that can occur are not just (my) software bugs, but mobile network failure, eduroam blocking arbitrary ports, and questionable UI phrasings that confuse people. I need to know to help my users.

    But I would never accept it on stuff I run for myself.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by krishnoid on Thursday September 30, @09:53PM (9 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday September 30, @09:53PM (#1183203)

    I just remember there was one KDE release that had animated icons, where you could wave your mouse pointer over the icon and it would loop a very short animation. Like a folder would open, a piece of paper would slide in, and the folder would close. Sure would be nice to have those as "training wheels" for older (or younger, at this point) people who have a little trouble working with the desktop.

    Like if you need to "save" a file, what's that little square with the oval near the top? A "floppy disk"? I need to Wikipedia it to know what it is? Man, computers with their funny little pictures sure are confusing.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by srobert on Thursday September 30, @11:42PM (4 children)

      by srobert (4803) on Thursday September 30, @11:42PM (#1183231)

      You don't recognize the floppy disk icon because you're young, and it was before your time. I didn't recognize it when it was new, because I was already old then.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by shortscreen on Friday October 01, @05:39AM (3 children)

        by shortscreen (2252) on Friday October 01, @05:39AM (#1183283) Journal

        The problem here is that most of us didn't learn hieroglyphics in school, we learned this new-fangled 'alphabet' stuff. Most of us, except for software developers evidently, who are still stuck on the idea of using little abstract illustrations to represent concepts. And when it comes time to choose an appropriate hieroglyph for their GUI, they don't choose one of the ones that've been around for centuries and are known to a billion+ Chinese, etc. They make up their own heiroglyph. BECAUSE THEY ARE SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS!!

        https://uxmyths.com/post/715009009/myth-icons-enhance-usability [uxmyths.com]

        • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Friday October 01, @06:21AM

          by Dr Spin (5239) on Friday October 01, @06:21AM (#1183298)

          I vote for a complete ban on all Icons that could be replaced by Kanji.

          --
          Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday October 01, @03:13PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 01, @03:13PM (#1183391) Journal

          Thirty years ago user interfaces were fairly stable and being genuinely improved. Now UI design is a crazy free-for-all. No consistency. Hey, let's change the brake pedal into a cool hand crank control and put it where nobody will expect to find it!

          --
          Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
          • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday October 01, @06:10PM

            by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 01, @06:10PM (#1183452) Homepage Journal

            let's change the brake pedal into a cool hand crank control

            Just the kind of thing I'll need if diabetic neuropathy makes me unable to control my feet anymore. (I hope never)

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Friday October 01, @03:53AM (2 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Friday October 01, @03:53AM (#1183273)

      Well if "Ctrl" + S stops working I be screwed too.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:55AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:55AM (#1183290)

        Apple did that. You want to open a document for reading only, but you look at it sideways it thinks you edited it (and writes to disk). You're supposed to remember to revert to get the previous state back.

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday October 02, @03:31AM

          by acid andy (1683) on Saturday October 02, @03:31AM (#1183546) Homepage Journal

          That's kinda like all the Settings dialogs nowadays that have no OK button and apply as soon as you change them. That way if you change your mind about them you often don't have an easy way of getting the old settings back. It sucks.

          --
          Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:54AM (#1183288)

      You can still do that on a number of Linux DEs and Windows. I still pull the prank of changing the static icons to animations from time to time.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Freeman on Thursday September 30, @09:56PM (20 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday September 30, @09:56PM (#1183204) Journal

    When done properly, some feedback is useful for fixing bugs, etc. When done improperly, it's just another data siphoning tool, which isn't cool. I'm much more in favor of allowing the user to submit feedback/error information. Than a system that always monitors and phones home about it.

    --
    Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @10:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @10:16PM (#1183213)

      I'm much more in favor of allowing the user to submit feedback/error information. Than a system that always monitors and phones home about it.

      Exactly, nobody objected to Mozilla's crash reporter.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by corey on Thursday September 30, @10:33PM (11 children)

      by corey (2202) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 30, @10:33PM (#1183216)

      I’m in the anti-telemetry camp. It seems to have been normalised by Microsoft and we forget that one day software was able to be made - to good quality - without it.

      I guess my thought now is that they (KDE) could go ahead with it, but they really need to spend a lot of effort in educating the users what it is intended for, how it will be used, what it collects and when. And be really transparent so to minimise skepticism. Mozilla are doing this with their Firefox password remember system, well others might disagree. But KDE could justify it on the grounds that they really need to know how people use the system, where they can improve it and what bugs people are getting. But that’s going to be a lot of education and communications.

      Otherwise we’re all going back to fluxbox. I use gentoo, sans systemd , there might be a compile flag to omit the telemetry.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by acid andy on Thursday September 30, @10:47PM (4 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Thursday September 30, @10:47PM (#1183218) Homepage Journal

        I don't know about everybody else, but it doesn't matter to me how transparent they are, or how important they consider the data--I still don't want their software recording my behavior. This culture needs to die.

        --
        Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by EJ on Friday October 01, @02:11AM (3 children)

          by EJ (2452) on Friday October 01, @02:11AM (#1183256)

          Telemetry is not always bad. For example, some games and applications have a crash reporter tool that pops up after a catastrophic failure to give you the option of sending the data to the developer.

          If the thing just collected the data, then let you inspect all of the data before choosing to send it, there wouldn't be a problem for me. It would have to be something that doesn't nag me, and I have to go searching for outside of a crash.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @06:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @06:06AM (#1183293)

            Yep. Taking a look at a dump with all the correct symbols is brilliant. We had a couple Heisenbugs that we couldn't reproduce for years. So many unhelpful emails and reports. Finally, we got an email out of the blue with an attached minidump. It took a total 2 hours to fix it and to determine that all of those bugs were the same underlying bug rearing up its head differently.

          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday October 02, @03:24AM (1 child)

            by acid andy (1683) on Saturday October 02, @03:24AM (#1183543) Homepage Journal

            Yes an option to upload a crash dump is sensible and fair. Tracking behavior like how often I run the application or, worse, (and this is not applicable to KDE to my knowledge) tracking all my mouse movements and how long I hover over each area of a window, is horrendous.

            --
            Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
            • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday October 02, @03:28AM

              by acid andy (1683) on Saturday October 02, @03:28AM (#1183544) Homepage Journal

              Meh, ignore me. Freeman already said it [soylentnews.org] further up the thread.

              --
              Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:10PM (#1183226)

        Yep, gentoo has a use flag for it: https://packages.gentoo.org/useflags/telemetry [gentoo.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @08:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @08:52AM (#1183314)

        M$ just hopped on the bandwagon. It was normalized by Google (Chrome, Android).

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Marand on Friday October 01, @09:28AM (2 children)

        by Marand (1081) on Friday October 01, @09:28AM (#1183321) Journal

        I guess my thought now is that they (KDE) could go ahead with it, but they really need to spend a lot of effort in educating the users what it is intended for, how it will be used, what it collects and when. And be really transparent so to minimise skepticism.

        I checked what it's doing after seeing this "article" [soylentnews.org] and it already does all of that very well. Off by default, can't lock application features behind enabling it, is per-application, logs what it shares for each, has multiple levels of sharing, provides a bullet list of everything it shares at each level, and even has a button to show exactly what data it provides in JSON format at each level.

        It's about as obtrusive as the existence of Debian's off-by-default "popularity contest" package ("popcon") and less personally identifying.

        • (Score: 2) by corey on Saturday October 02, @11:44PM (1 child)

          by corey (2202) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 02, @11:44PM (#1183793)

          Thanks, that’s informative (but your post is already +5).

          That’s the type of telemetry I’m ok with, however I do still want Linux free of this type of behaviour. Unless it makes Linux much better.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Marand on Sunday October 03, @02:19AM

            by Marand (1081) on Sunday October 03, @02:19AM (#1183809) Journal

            Thanks, that’s informative (but your post is already +5).

            If my karma weren't already at max I'd feel bad at the upmodding because I kind of spammed the same basic "no, that isn't what's going on, look here" comment to a bunch of people. Didn't expect moderation, just didn't want to repeat the same stuff to multiple people but figured you guys would want to some facts, so I had to reply to everyone individually since there's no way to tag multiple users in a single reply :/

            That’s the type of telemetry I’m ok with, however I do still want Linux free of this type of behaviour. Unless it makes Linux much better.

            Same here. I'm leaving it disabled because I disagree with telemetry in general, but I can see the value in what information it sends and appreciate the transparency of the implementation. Like I said in another comment, some people want to give something back to FOSS but can't give money and don't feel like they can do the necessary work, so if nothing else it might give them a way to provide information that's useful to the project.

            KDE's implementation is a far cry from the "off means only slightly off" kind of telemetry bullshit you get with Windows 10 now, and is probably the best example of it I've seen. To be clear, though, I'm not specifically calling Microsoft out on this, because they're honestly no worse (and somewhat better in some ways) than a lot of the other big tech assholes cramming telemetry down our throats. Google started this trend of big tech companies being addicted to data and its profit potential, and its abuse is so commonplace now that even mentioning telemetry causes a backlash even when the developer does everything about it right.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday October 01, @06:13PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 01, @06:13PM (#1183455) Homepage Journal

        I use gentoo

        The Linux distro?
        Or the desktop?
        Or both?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:46PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:46PM (#1183232)

      > some feedback is useful for fixing bugs

      Who the hell is requesting UI feedback to remove functionality that ALWAYS gets implemented? While my bug reports end up in an unread list year after year.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @06:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @06:16AM (#1183296)

        It is easier to paint a bike shed than build a nuclear reactor.

    • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Friday October 01, @07:01AM

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday October 01, @07:01AM (#1183306)

      For the record: KDE already has crash reporting the way you suggest. I am a KDE yser and was not aware of KUserFeedback. A quick search revealed that KUserFeedback is completely disabled on OpenSuse, which I'm running. Apparently, there are concerns about the reporting. Maybe, for once, the GDPR has done something good by making vendors highly sensitive to data recording and exfiltration.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by loonycyborg on Friday October 01, @11:39AM (1 child)

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Friday October 01, @11:39AM (#1183337)

      "Telemetry" is inherently a bad idea. They will be limited by exact types of information they're gathering and very often misinterpret statistical data. The weak spot of any sort of large scale opinion poll or the like is the fact that participants don't get to choose the questions thus results might get skewed by originator's biases(both due to choice and wording of questions and cherry-picked interpretations) turning entire thing into one huge tautology. The same applies to software telemetry. I think significantly better tool for software makers is to monitor how people talk about the software on public forums. At least such data comes based on people's own initiative thus is unlikely to miss what people really care about.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Saturday October 02, @01:22AM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday October 02, @01:22AM (#1183525)

        But that data is still subject to self-selection bias [sagepub.com]. The people quiet/shy/beaten-down-because-of-their-incomplete-questions enough to not be posting on fora won't be represented.

        Sure you can misinterpret statistical data, but at least you have something to misinterpret (and start targeting your efforts towards removing technical debt [slashdot.org]) in areas where at least some people are using your code. Better that than nothing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @08:59PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @08:59PM (#1183478)

      DONE PROPERLY:
      1. Identify is the system online.
      2. Identify isn't the system in the pay-per-kilobyte connection.
      3. Do it using crystal ball, without making any connection. Having the ball out of cupboard, determine won't the link be used for something important in next quarter.
      4. Ready. Perform an onion connection disguised as Skype-like or some online game traffic.
      5. Verify is connection OK, send the data plus random amount of padding to defeat bandwidth analysis.

      Anyone seen such method? For me it always looks like this:
      1. Without thinking that user may pay for it, connect to the server leaving the IP in the server and allowing everyone in the block see which software is used and in which version.
      2. If there is an opportunity, just hand the data to whoever pays and modify ToS (see Protonmail).

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday October 04, @02:01PM

        by Freeman (732) on Monday October 04, @02:01PM (#1184109) Journal

        All ISPs charge $$, I don't know of an ISP that charges by the kilobyte anymore. Even the Internet Cafe types charge by the minute or whatever.

        You are literally complaining about kiloboytes of data being sent over your connection. I guarantee you Facebook is using boatloads more data. Even your average internet enabled game is likely to be sending much more information.

        You are complaining about something that isn't worth complaining about. At least in this instance. Games that require 50gb downloads, with 5gb+ patches, I can get behind, because that's stupid. Sure, one can manage to get the 50gb downloaded on a slow connection, but when you as a developer release huge updates, frequently. You cut out the people on slower connections. Especially, if you like to play more than one game like that.

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by acid andy on Thursday September 30, @10:21PM (10 children)

    by acid andy (1683) on Thursday September 30, @10:21PM (#1183214) Homepage Journal

    I liked KDE, although Plasma wasn't to my taste. If they carry on down this path that's another set of software to strike off my list.

    --
    Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:31AM (#1183243)

      I agree with you. The old KDE was nice, but resource hungry. Plasma improved a lot, but there are holes in there you can drive an 18-wheeler through without slowing down. One simple example: set your clock to 12 hour or 24 hour. Good luck. I have completely discounted KDE Plasma as a desktop. Their KPatience though is the best, significantlybetter than the Gnome one and Pysol. Apart from that ONE game, the rest is a pile of used tubing looking for a dumpster. [my 2c]

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Friday October 01, @03:02AM (6 children)

      by Reziac (2489) on Friday October 01, @03:02AM (#1183264) Homepage

      [whispers] ... Trinity ... the updated KDE.... in one of PCLOS's core community editions.....

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by PinkyGigglebrain on Friday October 01, @07:42AM (3 children)

        by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Friday October 01, @07:42AM (#1183309)

        [whispers] ... Trinity ... the updated KDE.... in one of PCLOS's core community editions.....

        [nodes silently in agreement. Slips you a shred of paper with the web address [trinitydesktop.org] to go to for more info]

        --
        "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday October 01, @02:35PM (2 children)

          by Reziac (2489) on Friday October 01, @02:35PM (#1183379) Homepage

          I liked Mandrake with old KDE and I love Trinity on PCLOS, but when last I used it, it wasn't sufficiently stable. (Meanwhile my KDE setup, also PCLOS, has never crashed or misbehaved in any way.) But as proactive as they are about bug-squashing, I need to give it another shot.

          q4OS is very polished and runs slick, but didn't attract me (mighta been the Debian underneath, not my preference).

          Alas, the various other incarnations I've tried have all been pretty rough, but I can't think of another where TDE is a flagship desktop and gets primo attention.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @09:05PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @09:05PM (#1183480)

            Another TDE user here. TDE requires to be carefully configured, as default settings may suck.
            For example, the Debian version had a clipboard manager installed by default, and it was quite useful - it could for example fix URLs copied to clipboard. However, when the file on the disk was copypasted, the manager mangled its path like URL fix and pasting crashed Konqueror.
            So, configure, configure, configure. Start with the general settings and predefined "packs", then customize it going deeper and deeper in settings until you find that it's effective. That's my method and it works well.

            Ah, yes, effective. Most people should think about esthetics too. For me, it may look like CDE.

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday October 03, @01:08AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Sunday October 03, @01:08AM (#1183802) Homepage

              I see that Konq paste bug has been fixed. I never ran into that but did have it freeze up on me a few times (which has never happened with our KDE incarnation). Just haven't got around to fetching a fresh copy to play with.

              Yeah, I appreciate the retro look... mine ends up looking like WinXP, except for some bizarre reason I seem to think TDE is supposed to be lavender and Ford puke green... this was four years ago...

              http://doomgold.com/images/linux/trinity-snapshot3.jpg [doomgold.com]

      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday October 02, @03:16AM (1 child)

        by acid andy (1683) on Saturday October 02, @03:16AM (#1183541) Homepage Journal

        That's awesome, thanks! I love that they even kept the look of the old logo. It's almost like the SoylentNews of Linux distros, isn't it?

        --
        Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Saturday October 02, @03:55AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Saturday October 02, @03:55AM (#1183550) Homepage

          Welcome. LOL, yeah, it's fully in the spirit. And it really hasn't changed much since 3.5, other than bugfixes and visual cleanup; it's still wholly traditional.

          Try it, you'll like it!
          https://wiki.trinitydesktop.org/LiveCDs [trinitydesktop.org]

          [I prefer PCLinuxOS; seems every distro I like is some Mandrake descendant. And install takes 5 minutes.]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Marand on Friday October 01, @09:17AM (1 child)

      by Marand (1081) on Friday October 01, @09:17AM (#1183318) Journal

      If they carry on down this path that's another set of software to strike off my list.

      "this path", as defined by this bullshit pretending to be an article, doesn't even exist. I don't want to duplicate the entire wall of text again, but refer to my reply to an AC farther down [soylentnews.org] for an explanation of what it's doing and how. TL;DR: any telemetry is off by default, has multiple levels of data reporting, adheres to KDE's (sane and user-friendly) policies on data collection, and makes it very clear what you send if you choose to send something. You can see the JSON data before it ever gets sent and it even keeps a log of what it's sent and when.

      The sensationalist attitude of the article should have been a red flag to everybody reading it, along with ludicrous claims like saying that KDE's dumping data right into $HOME/telemetry (who the fuck does that? Most everyone in FOSS follows XDG spec and uses .local and .config since like the past ten years, or at worst still uses ~/.foo).

      But apparently people prefer to get mad first and ask questions never.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:50PM (#1183447)

        lots of glorified Windows users use Linox now.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by fustakrakich on Thursday September 30, @10:21PM

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday September 30, @10:21PM (#1183215) Journal

    Should I switch to something else?

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday September 30, @10:35PM (4 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday September 30, @10:35PM (#1183217)

    I don't much like GNOME, but it has one unbeatable feature: the G in its name. It ensures that sort of shenanigan will never happen.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by acid andy on Thursday September 30, @10:53PM (2 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Thursday September 30, @10:53PM (#1183223) Homepage Journal

      Does it? Where in the GNU license does it disallow slurping? Pretty sure KDE has the same license, at least for now.

      --
      Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:11PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @11:11PM (#1183227)

        KDE / QT licensing was all over the place, but is gpl/lgpl now. Generally, I trust a group dedicated to protecting user freedom, FSF over a for profit corp any day to not go full spy mode. That said, gnome project seems to be controlled by redhat/ibm to an unhealthy extent.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE_Projects#Licensing [wikipedia.org]

        KDE software projects must be released under free licensing terms. In November 1998, the Qt framework was dual-licensed under the free and open-source Q Public License (QPL) and a commercial license for proprietary software developers. The same year, the KDE Free Qt foundation was created which guarantees that Qt would fall under a variant of the very liberal BSD license should Trolltech cease to exist or no free version of Qt be released during 12 months.[8]

        Debate continued about compatibility with the GNU General Public License (GPL), hence in September 2000 Trolltech made the Unix version of the Qt libraries available under the GPL in addition to the QPL which eliminated the concerns of the Free Software Foundation.[9] Trolltech continued to require licenses for developing proprietary software with Qt. The core libraries of KDE are collectively licensed under the GNU LGPL but the only way for proprietary software to make use of them was to be developed under the terms of the Qt proprietary license.

        Starting with Qt 4.5, Qt was also made available under the LGPL version 2.1,[10] now allowing proprietary applications to legally use the open source Qt version.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @05:58PM (#1183450)

          Unfortunately, the PHWs (pointy hair'd whores) are turning Gnome into Windows whether anyone likes it or not. They only care about gaining Windows users, not existing Gnome users. Just look at how they implemented software updates: total shameless ripoff of Windows. What kind of dumb bitch thinks Windows does updates properly from a user experience perspective.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Marand on Friday October 01, @09:23AM

      by Marand (1081) on Friday October 01, @09:23AM (#1183320) Journal

      These shenanigans aren't happening in KDE either, this whole thing is a mix of FUD and outright lies. I looked into it on my system and commented about what I found [soylentnews.org], and TL;DR: it's bullshit. It's per-app, everything's off by default, it logs everything it sends so you can always see what you're sharing, and even at its most permissive setting it wants to send very little and nothing identifiable. Applications using it are even restricted from locking functionality behind telemetry sharing to stop devs from "forcing" users to share data to get more features.

      It's probably the best example I've ever seen for how telemetry reporting should be handled.

  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @10:52PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, @10:52PM (#1183222)

    you will be assimilated

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @01:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @01:45AM (#1183255)

      I feel ok after being assimilated.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:13PM (#1183346)

      Well, at least somebody wants me.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @04:05AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @04:05AM (#1183275)

    I think KDE / Plasma has had telemetry for a long time. For example, if a program crashes, you are shown a dialog to submit a crash report, and create an account for filing KDE Bugs. You are shown (and can edit) what information is sent to KDE. For newer versions of KDE / Plasma, you can also turn it on/off or use a slider control to control what info is sent. You always know what is being sent, and can always control if you send anything to KDE. It's really transparent, and 100% opt-in.

    If you want more info, you can read KDE's policy here [kde.org]

    Could a malicious entity exploit it? Yes. But a malicious entity could do far more damage and data exfiltration using other methods, and they would not be as visible to the user as doing it via telemetry. If the telemetry package isn't easy to remove (like, if it's a dependency), that is due to a decision by the distribution the package maintainer(s)

    The article is not that well-written or informative :-( I've been using KDE for years and think it is very careful with telemetry data, keeping it minimal and the process being GDPR compliant. I manage IT for a company and find other company's products to be much less reputable when it comes to telemetry. Even Mozilla, which is pretty trustworthy, has telemetry on by default, and will collect/send info before you turn it off. And don't get me started on Microsoft, especially for the non-enterprise version(s) of it OS and other products :-(

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Marand on Friday October 01, @09:10AM (10 children)

      by Marand (1081) on Friday October 01, @09:10AM (#1183316) Journal

      Yeah, this "aritcle" reads like the same kind of nutjob fearmongering that the Dihydrogen Monoxide - the Invisible Killer [dhmo.org] joke page satirizes.

      So what if KDE applications depend on the libkuserfeedback library? That doesn't mean it's automatically using it, just that the library's available for if it's enabled and used. There was a similar outcry because some applications had libsystemd0 as a dependency, because the morons thought that meant they were having systemd "forced on them". No, dumbasses, it just means that application has the ability to interact with systemd if it's available, and those applications kept working just fine without systemd installed.

      Furthermore, I just checked a couple KDE applications to see what this awful telemetry actually is, and it's a joke. Some applications have an extra sub-section of their "Settings" area named "User Feedback", and it has sliders for two options: "Contribute Statistics" and "Participate in Surveys". Both default to off and have multiple options ranging from "off" to "give them everything". The setting immediately after "don't share anything", meaning the lowest possible "enabled" setting, says it shares the following:

      * The version of the application.
      * Type and version of the operating system.
      * The Qt version used by this application.

      and the highest in the application I tested says this:

      * The version of the application.
      * Type and version of the operating system.
      * The Qt version used by this application.
      * How often the application has been started.
      * The total amount of time the application has been used.
      * Size and resolution of all connected screens.
      * The current region and language settings.

      with two more choices in between. They even have a little icon in the corner that you can click and see exactly what it's sending at each level to verify you're not sharing something you don't want to. Each application has different things it can request, but in all cases it defaults to off. This matches what's said in the KDE Telemetry Policy [kde.org], as does the claim that there's no sort of user ID or other identifiable information (like IP addresses) present. The most identifying thing I've seen in any application I've checked is the number of physical displays I have and their resolutions/DPI.

      The "article" is even outright false with this part:

      even if you don't activate telemetry, data is still collected, using computer resources, registering "apps and boot, number of times used and duration in /home/user/telemetry folder."

      No, it's not. I have not enabled the feedback shit in any application and there's no such telemetry folder. That bullshit shouldn't even pass the sniff test, considering nobody stores shit like that directly in $HOME. KDE used to put everything into $HOME/.kde once, long ago, but more recently anything KDE-related follows XDG guidelines and goes into $HOME/.local/ and $HOME/.config/ by default. Dumping shit directly into $HOME is not something that has ever happened with KDE applications. And just to verify, I enabled the user feedback at the lowest level in one application (RSS reader, akregator). ONLY AFTER DOING SO, it created a folder named "kuserfeedback" inside akregator's data location, which means the telemetry log was stored in $HOME/.local/share/akregator/kuserfeedback/. In that directory there's a log file showing exactly what was sent and when.

      If you're going to lie, at least try to make it believable.

      Oh, and this is just the telemetry nonsense. The second portion of this "article" is making baseless accusations about KDE's non-profit structure and being in bed with Google for data harvesting. Fucking LOL WHAT. That's a major stretch that's completely ignoring the presence of verifiable information. The whole thing reads like conspiracy nutjob fanfic from somebody that had a fever dream that the KDE illuminati wants our data after taking too much of whatever the current popular anti-vax pseudo-science COVID cure of the month is.

      This "article" shouldn't have been posted and never should have made it to SN. Its only purpose is fearmongering and a poor attempt at generating rage-bait arguments.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday October 01, @02:13PM

        by Reziac (2489) on Friday October 01, @02:13PM (#1183372) Homepage

        Thanks for the detailed info. I admit I was kinda scratching my head because one of the points made was to check how many people are using which applications and versions, lest they drop support for something still in use. How is that not a user-centric approach?

      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday October 02, @03:19AM (1 child)

        by acid andy (1683) on Saturday October 02, @03:19AM (#1183542) Homepage Journal

        I take your point. All the same, the direction of travel makes me a little uncomfortable. They obviously want the full data, otherwise they wouldn't have spent time coding options to enable its collection. I remember back when M$ used to ask whether you wanted to share details of your "setup experiences". Look at them now.

        --
        Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Marand on Saturday October 02, @05:31AM

          by Marand (1081) on Saturday October 02, @05:31AM (#1183568) Journal

          They obviously want the full data, otherwise they wouldn't have spent time coding options to enable its collection.

          Sure, but wanting something if you're willing to give it doesn't mean you only want that and don't get value from anything else. I want someone to give me a billion dollars, but I wouldn't scoff at somebody handing me $100. The idea here is that anything you offer helps them, so share only what you're comfortable with, including nothing. They don't even ask you about it at launch or anything, it's just tucked away in the settings, waiting to be enabled if you choose to. In fact, it's so unobtrusive that I literally had no idea it existed until I started fact-checking this article, because I haven't looked in the settings of any of the relevant applications in a while and they did nothing to even indicate the existence of this new feedback feature. It just sits there waiting in case you want to use it.

          To look at it another way, a lot of people use FOSS software and would like to give back, but don't feel qualified to contribute in the normal ways. These kinds of reporting options are presented in a way that lets them do something for a project without putting any pressure on anybody, without being obtrusive or invasive to others.

          Also, it doesn't even seem to be the kind of data that leads to bad telemetry-based decision making. Everything I checked just had basic stuff like "how many displays are you using? Do you use this program often? What version and OS are you using?" kind of metrics. That stuff is legitimately useful as a gauge of things like how much focus you should spend on high-DPI or multi-monitor worflows, whether you have enough users on 720p-ish resolutions to be concerned about dialogues being too large by default, and how long you should be willing to support older versions of software. If you have a disproportionately large number of users on Debian stable, you're going to want to keep that in mind when dealing with bug reports and backporting fixes, for example.

          I remember back when M$ used to ask whether you wanted to share details of your "setup experiences". Look at them now.

          Slippery slope fallacy. Just because it's possible to go from A to B doesn't mean that's the only possibility, and the fact that KDE itself built this feature with end-user privacy and choice in mind from the start is a good sign that it won't happen that way just because someone else with completely different motives went that route. Rather than judging their actions based on those of a completely unrelated entity, we should be judging them based on what they did and their own track record in the past. There's no reason to be assuming the worst here when they've done nothing even slightly bad with it so far.

          If anything, the way they've done it helps give some measure of trust to the process. If an application is using the official KUserFeedback mechanism you have a reasonable idea of what's going to happen because it all works the same and falls under the same standards. Any KDE application that chooses to not use it and instead provide its own appears shady in comparison, because it indicates they want extra data and less oversight with how it can be used.

          Also, it's been done in a way that should make it fairly easy to do an LD override with a stub library if you really want to get rid of it. They aren't hiding it or doing anything remotely like forcing it on people here.

          If it starts becoming more forceful, then that is the time to start fighting back, but until then it's about as harmless as it can get.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, @06:03AM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, @06:03AM (#1183573)

        >There was a similar outcry because some applications had libsystemd0 as a dependency, because the morons thought that meant they were having systemd "forced on them". No, dumbasses, it just means that application has the ability to interact with systemd if it's available, and those applications kept working just fine without systemd installed.

        An installation of either kde or gnome desktop has a hard dependency on either systemd or elogind -- both of which are part of systemd. So right now to even install either one i have two choices: systemd or a part of systemd.
        I'm not against systemd, nor I am against such a dependency -- I run it on a few servers. However, the fact remains that systemd is forced on the user (the software *does not* work without some parts of systemd installed, which makes it a hard dependency).

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Marand on Saturday October 02, @10:25AM (5 children)

          by Marand (1081) on Saturday October 02, @10:25AM (#1183609) Journal

          An installation of either kde or gnome desktop has a hard dependency on either systemd or elogind -- both of which are part of systemd. So right now to even install either one i have two choices: systemd or a part of systemd.

          I don't know if you are familiar with this and remember it, but the outcry I was referring to was when Debian first started defaulting to systemd a few years ago. At the time, not using systemd was as simple as just not installing it and sticking with the sysv-init package, but there were still people having ridiculous freak-outs over the fact that some software had some libsystemd dependency listed because they were conflating "software uses a library that makes it compatible with systemd when present" with "OMG SYSTEMD GOT INSTALLED AGAINST MY WISHES WTF THIS IS HORRIBLE". I continued to use Debian systemd-free well past the supposed systemd-apocalype without issue because all those libsystemd dependencies were the same non-issue as the kuserfeedback is: just a library to work with it if it's available.

          It was overblown histrionics that did the anti-systemd group (myself included) no favours, because the shrill screeching about a non-issue undermined and obscured better arguments against it. It just made us easier to ignore as a group because a vocal subset at the time was laser-focused on something that literally did not matter (because it wasn't actually systemd being installed); they were helping construct their own strawman arguments for the pro-systemd people to refute. :/

          That's what I was talking about in the part you quoted: a very specific situation during the early systemd adoption phase, not the current state of things.

          Going a bit off topic:

          However, the fact remains that systemd is forced on the user (the software *does not* work without some parts of systemd installed, which makes it a hard dependency).

          For what it's worth, I believe it's still possible to go systemd-less on Debian even now, even with KDE or GNOME desktop, but it's slightly less simple than it was. The problem, IIRC, is that some of the higher-level desktop packages like KDE rely on something lower-level (PAM? Not sure) that, in turn, relies on systemd's cgroups management capability. There used to be a shim package that provided that feature, which let everything work simply, but it's not included with Debian anymore so you have to find it from another source. Once you do, though, it's just like before.

          I'm still not a fan of systemd, but after systemd-shim got removed from Debian itself I finally gave it a chance. I figured the few years I managed to put it off gave it enough time to mature a bit and get past most of the buggy, broken shit (aka Poettering syndrome) I was avoiding, so I'd let it go a bit before fighting it and going back to sysv-init. At this point it's, well, still not the best but not unusable and has just enough useful features (like systemd-nspawn, which is way more convenient than normal chroot creation) to be worth the headaches in some situations. It also helps that Debian keeps sysv-init helpers around and still retains a high degree of sysv-init compatibility even when it's installed, too: all the /etc/init.d/ scripts are still there and runnable so my muscle memory still works, logging's still in the usual files, etc.

          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday October 03, @01:16AM (4 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday October 03, @01:16AM (#1183803) Homepage

            PCLOS does not use systemd but KDE is our flagship desktop... apparently whatever dependency exists can still be worked around.

            I don't have a hard stance either way; when I was using Fedora, systemd never gave me any grief and was sometimes convenient, but I also grok the problem of too many tentacles. Just happenstance that I prefer a distro without it, for other reasons entirely. If we had to switch to systemd, I'd shrug and keep using PCLOS.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Marand on Sunday October 03, @02:57AM (3 children)

              by Marand (1081) on Sunday October 03, @02:57AM (#1183814) Journal

              PCLOS does not use systemd but KDE is our flagship desktop... apparently whatever dependency exists can still be worked around.

              Yeah, and I've heard that even GNOME can still work without it, though they've tried to make it a hard dependency so I don't know how that works out in practice.

              Aside from that, the main issue is needing a shim to deal with the cgroups stuff because something lower in the stack than KDE itself relies on that functionality, so distros like Debian have it listed as a dependency. However, it's still possible to provide that functionality without it (that's what systemd-shim does), and any package system today should (well, .deb does at least) offer a way to say "this other package here also provides this feature". With .deb it's the "Provides:" field, which is how systemd-shim works at a package level: it claims it provides the same feature as the other package, making itself an alternative that satisfies the dependency tree so nothing gets removed when you swap systemd out for it.

              The problem if you want to do that for Debian right now is that it's not part of the repos any more, so you have to find a third-party repo that's still maintaining it. There are some around, but I haven't bothered to do it myself so I don't want to name any because I don't know offhand what's current and trustworthy.

              Though, it's worth noting that one distinction between GNOME and KDE with regard to systemd is that KDE still tries to be relatively init-agnostic and capable of working on other OSes like the BSDs, whereas GNOME (or perhaps more accurately, Redhat) has, as I briefly mentioned above, doubled down on absorbing the entire software stack and treating it as a single entity under their purview. GNOME devs have been obsessed with branding and the idea of a "GNOME OS" where they control everything. They don't really care about whether GNOME works on BSDs, or with non-GNOME applications, or anything that isn't GNOME, and are actively hostile to interopability with others.

              One of the reasons systemd adoption happened the way it did, and as quickly as it did, was because GNOME took a hard stance on "use systemd or fuck off" as part of its GNOME OS vision. Distros were faced with a choice of "remove or maybe even fork GNOME, or use systemd" which helped push people toward systemd that were on the fence; I remember the Debian discussion over systemd adoption being brigaded by GNOME folks who attempted to (and succeeded at) swaying the decision.

              I don't have a hard stance either way; when I was using Fedora, systemd never gave me any grief and was sometimes convenient, but I also grok the problem of too many tentacles. Just happenstance that I prefer a distro without it, for other reasons entirely.

              That's more or less where I'm at with it right now. Initially I didn't want to deal with it because, in addition to technical complaints about its design, it was still too buggy and unreliable. I don't want my system crashing or failing to boot because an overly-ambitious PID 1 fails to work properly.

              I still think it's too ambitious, tries to do too many things, and makes it more likely PID1's going to explode as a result, but I waited long enough that most of the problems got ironed out. Since then, most of my issues haven't been with systemd-the-init, it's been with other parts outside of that. Like having five minutes added to bootup and shutdown every time because my network was configured through /etc/network/interfaces, so systemd's networking bullshit would sit there for five minutes waiting on shit it had no control over every time, despite having the timeout for it set to like 5s which was supposed to fix that problem. The solution, according to everyone: "just give systemd what it wants, stop configuring your network that way". No, fuck you random internet guy, that's precisely why people get pissed about systemd's feature creep.

              For what it's worth, I eventually got that mostly dealt with somehow, but it's an example of the kind of weird tangential breakage that still occurs. But luckily the init itself has been pretty stable, at least once it had some time to mature and everyone else did free beta testing for a few years before I switched :)

              If we had to switch to systemd, I'd shrug and keep using PCLOS.

              That's what happened with me and Debian. They kept the shim around long enough that I didn't have to deal with the rough edges, so rather than make extra work for myself fighting to keep it removed, I shrugged and gave it a shot, knowing I could still go back to being systemd-free if I needed. So far, I haven't, but the option's still on the table if I change my mind.

              That's why I use Debian and tend to stick to the stable repo. It's conservative about pushing major changes on people, and even now it continues to work with people that don't want to use systemd, still providing alternate inits and desktop options that don't need it. Though, like with anything else, some choices may restrict availability of some software on the system. But despite making systemd the default, they still provide sysv-init rc files, other init systems, etc. in an effort to provide choice instead of forcing one solution on everyone. Sure, it gets new software and feature updates of stuff slower than Ubuntu or Arch, but I don't care. I want most of my system to be boring and unchanging; the few things I want newer I can compile myself or get from another source, like nixpkgs, a third-party repo, or I can use an appimage or flatpak.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday October 03, @04:06AM (2 children)

                by Reziac (2489) on Sunday October 03, @04:06AM (#1183832) Homepage

                Heh, totally agreed on the value of the boring system. Mine take a while to mature, then remain set in stone for years, because I bloody want them that way, dammit! PCLOS is pretty much a one-man band, so it gets whatever pleases the maintainer. But for the most part that's choices I find agreeable, and we're generally pretty much up-to-date, not that I'd especially care (my main box still runs XP!)

                Hadn't heard about Gnome playing little tin god, but it gives me hives and makes me long for Windows 10, and mostly I avoid it (when I'm touring new distros, I don't even bother looking at the Gnome-centric). If a person has to be in that ecosystem, well, that's why we have Mate. KDE is sufficiently agnostic to build K-apps for other platforms; somehow I can't imagine Gnome doing that.

                I don't really have anything intelligent to add, but thanks for all the info, made for an interesting read.

                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Marand on Sunday October 03, @02:15PM (1 child)

                  by Marand (1081) on Sunday October 03, @02:15PM (#1183889) Journal

                  Hadn't heard about Gnome playing little tin god

                  Worse: they're playing at being Apple.

                  It's nothing new, though, this shit has been happening slowly since GNOME 3 first appeared, and like I said it's not just GNOME, it seems to be a common view of things from various Redhat people. Poettering has written before, long ago, about wanting to basically destroy the concept of Linux distributions by creating a standard Linux core that's the same for every Linux user, so that distros have no value. Systemd brings Linux part of the way there because, in a way, it's a lot like how BSDs have a central chunk of software that gets updated in lockstep and acts as the core OS, with extra software provided outside of that in some form. That's precisely what systemd is, just for Linux, though it's still handled by distros which is undesirable (to him). The talk about GNOME, branding, and unified look and feel has been happening as long as GNOME 3 has been around, too, and keeps coming up in various ways. They don't care about breaking extensions because, since extensions mess with the GNOME L&F, breaking them is a good thing, and every so often talk about making extensions impossible so that GNOME can't be moved away from their vision happens Same with themes, and now there's some more drama with that because they decided to merge their Human Interface Guidelines library (libhandy) with their UI theme (adwaita) into a single library, libadwaita, that enforces theming and makes it non-modifiable for GNOME applications.

                  Non-GNOME Gtk applications can still do CSS themes when that change hits, but it means using GNOME applications on, say, KDE is probably going to look even more out of place unless something changes there. It's even led to some GNOME-adjacent DEs looking into alternatives, like Solus with their Budgie desktop, because they're losing the ability to theme their applications while also following GNOME HIG for consistency. So they gave up and decided to rewrite for Enlightenment instead of moving to Gtk 4.

                  Gtk used to just be a general FOSS toolkit, back when it was the Gimp Toolkit, and even past that for a while when it was Gtk+, but ever since Gtk3 it's basically been the "GNOME Toolkit" in all but name: the tail wags the dog and everyone else has to live with it. You can tell they share devs, too, because they both have the same asshole NOTABUG WONTFIX attitude toward anyone outside of GNOME having issues or reporting bugs. When Gtk3 was newer, MyPaint (an infinite canvas art program) devs ported it to Gtk3 and it had some horrible bugs with pressure-sensitive pens because they removed the Gtk2 menu configuration in favour of auto-configuration that "does the right thing". Since MyPaint was basically the first project to actually use this stuff, it uncovered some fun bugs, and I remember how Gtk devs handled it. I reported a bug to MyPaint, we confirmed it was an issue for others and not just something weird with me, figured out where the problem was and how to repeat it, and the MyPaint devs took the bug to Gtk because it was a Gtk problem. Gtk dev immediately declared it "not a bug" with barely a glance, told the MyPaint devs their program was wrong, and ignored it. Then like six months later, a GNOME program hits the same bug, reports it, and suddenly it's a bug now and worth fixing. That showed me what dealing with GNOME and Gtk is like, and I've avoided interacting with them since.

                  You'd think as difficult as dealing with Gtk and GNOME is, people would jump ship. They keep breaking things for their own benefit and treating non-GNOME projects like second-class citizens (including one terminal, roxterm, being abandoned for years over annoyance at their treatment), but people keep putting up with it because it just kind of sucks to use other stuff. A big part of why it's tolerated is because it's made in C, which makes bindings for various languages easier and thus ubiquitous. Qt and KDE have a better user experience, but Qt's entire toolchain and the fact that it uses C++ makes providing bindings for other languages a pain in the ass, so there aren't bindings for many languages and they tend to be massively outdated and often broken. As a result, it gets a lot less use outside of dedicated "I want to make KDE software" devs or proprietary devs that license it from the Qt Company. Similar issue for wxWidgets, which is also C++, except it doesn't even have the KDE angle going for it so it has even fewer language bindings than Qt usually.

                  So Gtk gets used despite it and GNOME pissing everyone off just because it's the easier option to deal with unless you want to use C++.

                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday October 03, @04:28PM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Sunday October 03, @04:28PM (#1183909) Homepage

                    I remember the uproar about how Gnome3 utterly ignored what users want and you will like it or else, but by then I'd stopped paying much attention to what they did. And when I did check out the shiny new Gnome3, it was everything I hate about cellphones, Win10, and MacOS, all in one handy package!

                    However, what you say explains a lot. I noticed a long time ago that Gtk apps frequently would not play nice with system settings, were my-way-or-the-highway, and whatever bugs they had went on forever; meanwhile, Qt apps gracefully adapted to user preferences, and bugs seemed to go away before I could get around to reporting them. And that generally speaking, Gtk apps were designed for programmers, while Qt apps were designed for users.

                    Developer attitude matters. The Mozilla codebase has NOTABUG WONTFIX issues that go back over 15 years, and despite reams of reproducible bug reports, for those of us who are not coders it's just tough shit.

                    BTW thanks for reminding me about MyPaint, which I had somehow completely forgotten exists.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by turgid on Friday October 01, @07:21AM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 01, @07:21AM (#1183307) Journal

    You have the source. Remove the telemetry and recompile.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday October 01, @03:23PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 01, @03:23PM (#1183393) Journal

      If the telemetry happens in a certain shared dynamically linked library, simply build a neutered version of that library from its source code, with all of the actual telemetry operations commented out. All of the API functions to the library are no-ops.

      --
      Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @10:49AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @10:49AM (#1183331)

    25 years ago, the nerds on this site would just about have had a fit over the idea of a program gathering info on you to send back to the mothership. Whose computer is it, anyway? But people have been beaten into submission on this issue. Even automobiles will now log such things as when you open the door or turn on the radio, how fast you were driving, etc., and the cars have cellular communications to send info to the mothership. Let's not forget the microphones installed in the automobile, either. It's a dystopia.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:11PM (#1183345)

      Yep, so true.

      They push the needle of unprivacy in slowly just like a mosquito so you do not notice.
      Also, the greater problem is that it is like "feature" creep.
      More lines of code, more bloat and more security surface vectors to attack and missuse.

      No thanks,
      Please fuck off with this shit.
      Next, they will make the Linux kernel phone home like M$.

      Our privacy is under attack under the guise that it is optional and "good" for us.
      Fuck telemetry.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, @12:34PM (#1183350)

    Distrbutions should tell their users what the packages do. Informed consent, etc. A .deb file has many fields, and they can be extended.

    So: There ought to be a "Phones-Home: " field with values "never", "on confirmation", "opt-in", "opt-out" and "google".

    You'd be supprised to see how many things dial back. The arduino ide, for instance...

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