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Posts published in “Polls”

Poll: You Vote to Outlaw Tracking by Advertisers

The FOSS Force Poll

Our latest poll indicates that our reader’s would support legislation that would prohibit tracking by advertisers.

Back on February 15 when we ran an article calling for a ban on advertisers’ practice of tracking users who just happen to drive by an ad, much less click on it, we ran a poll to find out what you think. Actually, we were pretty sure we already knew what you thought. You tell us everyday, either in the comments section to our articles or by blocking ads here on FOSS Force. The poll was mainly to put some numbers to what we already knew.

The poll was pretty straight forward. “Should advertisers and ad agencies be forbidden to track users as they surf the web?” we asked. There were three answers offered, “Yes,” “No” and “With exceptions.”

As far as FOSS Force polls go, the numbers were pretty low on this one. In all, 143 of you took the poll, a minuscule sampling by any measure, but with conclusive results: You’re completely against having your journeys through cyberspace tracked.

‘Opinion Stage’ Plugin Sneaks Ads onto WordPress Sites

Publishers of WordPress sites using the ‘Poll, Quiz & List by OpinionStage’ plugin, might want to check for unexpected advertisements.

FOSS Force has learned that the popular WordPress plugin “Poll, Quiz & List by OpinionStage” has been placing advertisements within photographs included in online quizzes that have been created using the plugin. The plugin is used by over 10,000 WordPress sites to create quizzes, polls and list articles.

Publishers using the plugin are not being made aware that ads are being placed on their sites unless, perhaps, they visit the plugin developers’ website and go to the “Pricing” page, where the developers say information about the policy is available. I say “perhaps” because we have been unable to find any such notice on this page. We discovered the issue on Sunday when considering whether to manually migrate the single FOSS Force Quiz created using the plugin to another quiz app we’ve since adopted as our default.

Advertisement from "opinion stage" in graphic.Advertisement from "opinion stage" in graphic.
Screenshot of a poll question using Opinion Stage’s plugin with advertisement at bottom of the graphic associated with the question.
Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Poll: You Say, ‘Ship Ubuntu Tablets by the Boatload’

The FOSS Force Poll

Our latest poll indicates that many FOSS advocates will end up purchasing a Ubuntu tablet when they become available in March.

Granted, you’re a special audience with a special interest. For the most part you use Linux, and not because you’re a mooch and it doesn’t cost you anything, but because you recognize it as the best that’s available. Certainly it doesn’t hurt that it’s free and open source software. Indeed, you probably think that’s what makes it best, as you most likely see FOSS as the best software development model.

You use GNU/Linux on your desktops and laptops, and most likely use Android on your mobile devices, mostly because it uses the Linux kernel and at least claims to be open source. But you know the difference between OSS and FOSS and would like nothing better than to be able to run GNU/Linux, real honest-to-goodness FOSS, on your phone or tablet — especially now that Firefox OS has been removed from the shelf.

That’s what we figured going in with our latest poll. It was an educated guess, for sure, but it turned out to be correct.

Readers Say ‘No’ to Antivirus on Linux

The FOSS Force Poll

A few weeks back when Ken Starks wrote an anecdotal column on an experience with a false positive from Avast antivirus on GNU/Linux, we started thinking. We run antivirus on our LAMP servers with the intent of protecting poor suckers on Windows, but on our Linux desktops and laptops? Pretty much, no. Some of us had tried the open source ClamAV at one time or another, mainly out of curiosity, but none of us had stuck with it. To our knowledge, until Starks wrote his column none of us even knew anybody who had ever run proprietary AV on Linux boxes.

antivirus can be picked like a lockantivirus can be picked like a lock
By Rudolf Simon [CC BY 3.0 ]
That was a far cry from our Windows days — and it would be a fair assumption to say that everyone here at one time or another relied on Windows as their primary operating system. In those days, the first thing we’d do with a new or new used box was download and install AVG, Avast or Symantec, and maybe even throw in a third party firewall such as Zone Alarm, just to be on the safer side.

Did any of it work? Who knows? But as an old friend of ours used to say, “We have to do something, even if it’s wrong.”

Distro or Desktop? You Say Both

The FOSS Force Poll

Inquiring minds wanted to know, so we asked. When choosing what to run on a machine — we’re talking computing machines running GNU/Linux here — what’s more important, the choice of distro or which desktop environment to run? We began asking the question among ourselves several weeks back when we were running our “best distro” poll and a few commenters observed that the desktop might be a more important metric for most users, since it’s the desktop that supplies the interface with which the user interacts. Good point, we thought.

So we put it to you in a poll that asked, “Which matters most to you: The GNU/Linux distribution you use or the desktop environment?” The poll went up on Sunday and on Monday we published an article introducing it. The poll concluded this morning, shortly after midnight EST.

Which is More Important: Distro, Desktop…or Something Else?

The FOSS Force Poll

A couple of weeks back when we ran our two part GNU/Linux distro poll, a couple of commenters made a single point that, at first glance, seemed valid.

It’s not the distro that’s important to most users, they said, because most users don’t interact with the distro itself as they work and play on their Linux machines. Instead, the average user’s direct interaction with a computer is primarily through the desktop environment, whether that be KDE, GNOME, Unity or something they rolled on their own on a Friday night instead of having a boys’ or girls’ night out.

In other words, they opined, it’s the desktop, and not the distro, which represents the operating system — or even the entire computer — to most users.

Arch Linux Gets Reader’s Choice ‘Best Distro’ Award

The FOSS Force Poll

The voting is all done for the second round of our poll to decide which GNU/Linux distro our readers would choose to receive our “Reader’s Choice Best Linux Distro” award for 2015. As in round one, Arch Linux won the day. The poll results are considered to be more a measure of a distro’s community support than any indication of a distro’s technical merits.

The first round of our poll was a qualifying round, which Arch won as well, racking up 1,376 votes. The second round of voting was “winner take all,” and with the voting lighter than in the first round, Arch still managed to put together 592 votes. In all, 2,625 votes were cast in round two, which was active for seven days.

Arch Wins First of Two Round Poll

The FOSS Force Poll

The voting is over in the first round of our annual GNU/Linux distro poll, which sought an answer to the simple question, “What Linux distro do you currently use most?” The result was a complete surprise, at least to us. By a decisive margin, you voted for Arch Linux. The poll was certainly one for the record books. By the time it was closed to voting, a total of 5,784 of you had cast votes, more than double from any previous FOSS Force poll. The poll was online for approximately one week.

It’s Time for ‘What’s Your Distro’ Round One

FOSS Force Best Distro 2015FOSS Force Best Distro 2015

The FOSS Force Poll

It’s time for our annual “What’s Your Distro” poll, to determine who gets the FOSS Force Best Distro Award for 2015. This year we’re pulling out all the stops. We want this one to be a metaphoric old fashioned slug fest that will be played until only one distro is standing.

What Hardware Platforms Do You Use? All of Them.

The FOSS Force Poll

The results of our hardware platform poll have been tallied and just as we suspected, FOSS Force readers in large part use every platform available. The poll, which asked what different hardware platforms you use, offered a slate of answers too long to list here. Let’s just say it covered the gamut, from smartphones to desktops, and included separate places to tic for different operating systems.

What Computer Platforms Do You Use?

The FOSS Force Poll

Star Trek Communicator computerStar Trek Communicator computer
Photo by David Spalding
When Star Trek first hit the air back in the “swinging sixties,” that’d be the 1960s for those too young to remember, many of the technically minded took one look and said, “Impossible.” Or if not impossible, it’d be at least the 23rd century, the era in which the show was set, for the technology to arrive. They weren’t talking just the space travel science, stuff like warp drive, inertial dampers and the like, but were talking the small stuff too, like the communicators and tricorders. Today we have something akin to both, built into a single device called a smartphone. In hindsight, we should’ve seen it coming, but as some folks say, hindsight has perfect vision.

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