Adult Imagery Stays in Ubuntu 12.10

The Shopping lens issues will not be resolved for the next Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) is almost upon us, but it seems that one of the anticipated problems with the Shopping lens will not be resolved.

The new Ubuntu 12.10 will feature a Shopping lens. What could possibly go wrong, especially when we know that the Internet is such a lovely and safe place?

The Shopping lens can be used to search for products, straight from the Unity Dash. You start by typing and Unity returns results, much like a search on Google.

The results are displayed in the form of small thumbnails (large enough to read a title of a book though), but some results can be depicted with adult imagery or NSFW.

NSFW is an acronym that stands for Not Safe for Work. Google, for example, filters the results. If a user searches for something that could also be interpreted as adult material, Google will first display a “safe search” of those terms.

A bug was submitted to Launchpad a week ago and needless to say, it provoked quite a debate. John Lenton, a developer at Canonical has marked the bug as “won't fix,” and explained that it would be impossible to filter the search.

“Given that filtering the kind of content is essentially impossible, and that you will be able to disable the whole thing from system settings, I'm closing this as Won't fix,” Lenton stated.

It's safe to assume that the other users participating in the discussion were not pleased by the decision. Canonical has assured its uses that an option to disable the online searches through the lenses will be made available, but that setting affects all searches on that account, including Gwibber, for example.

The fact that the default setting for the shopping lens will be ON by default will also present a problem for Ubuntu beginners who don't know that a setting to turn OFF the online searches for the lenses is implemented somewhere.

Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) will be available for download on October 18, 2012. In the mean time, you can download Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2, the final development version before the official launch.

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