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Xubuntu What is the Zeitgeist package for?
#1
On Ubuntu 18.04 I like to turn off the data collection.  But in Xubuntu 18.04 there doesn't seem to be a way of just turning it off.  This lead me to doing some searching around to try and find out if Xubuntu 18.04 collected data in the same way Ubuntu does.  But I was unable to find a satisfactory answer.  So I went to a linux forum that I'm apart of to ask this simple question.  Then I got a can of worms.  Someone posted about the Zeitgeist package.  I looked it up in several places. What is zeitgeist used for?Arch Wiki: Zeitgeist It sounds scary to me.  Here is what synaptic package manager says about it.

Code:
Zeitgeist is a service which logs the user's activities and events (files
opened, websites visited, conversations hold with other people, etc.) and
makes the relevant information available to other applications.

It serves as a comprehensive activity log and also makes it possible to
determine relationships between items based on usage patterns.

Libzeitgeist is a client library to access and manage the Zeitgeist event
log from languages such as C and Vala.

This package contains shared libraries to be used by applications.
                       
The reason why I ask this question here is because I know you are not Anti Ubuntu.  I want to get your opinion on this.  Personally I don't care if my computer logs information.  What I care about, is if my computers sends out information that I don't know about!  Because that is the reason why I left Windows.
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#2
(05-25-2019, 09:43 PM)NewbieForever Wrote: What I care about, is if my computers sends out information that I don't know about!  Because that is the reason why I left Windows.

The following is the second answer from the Ubuntu stackexchange page you
included the link to:

Quote:Pretty-simplified answer, is that Zeitgeist logs your files accessed, sites visited, etc. (your computer-use-actions) and stores them LOCALLY. If your password is vulnerable, then the Zeitgeist database is just as vulnerable. Several Linux programmers have deeply investigated 'is Z uploading anything on you', and the answer is no, it is not. It is to facilitate searches and 'best-fit' to your local query only. That said, if you are using Firefox, Chrome, etc. as a browser, your browser is already logging your actions and THEY ARE being uploaded, depending on the site you visit and what they want to know relative to metadata.
[...]

As explained here, Zeitgeist stores things locally. It does not send
the data anywhere.

Zeitgeitst is, to my knowledge, not even remotely involved in Ubuntus data
collection, for the obvious reason that Zeitgeist collects personal
information while the Ubuntu data collection only cares about system
statistics.

Despite; If a program sends information to somewhere, it will tell you.
There would definitely be a warning in the Arch Wiki and also a note
in the package information the package manager displays. Free software
does not hide anything. And even if it did, people would have noticed,
as the source code is available.
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#3
Thank you for your response.  Why do they think Zeitgeist is a good idea.  What problem does it solve?  And why did they call it "Zeitgeist"  that name screams for controversy.  "The spirit of the age"  If you can address one or both of these questions, that would be AWESOME!

I've done lots of research on my own, and haven't found any "real" answers on my own.  I kinda think the project might be dying.  The email I sent to the dev came back to me.  And zeitgeist-project.com seems to be dead, and one time I got hit with malware trying to visit the site.  These were the two sites I had to google because I got redirected to them:   iyfnzgb.com  and sarah.runtnc.net  What I found called them malware.

https://launchpad.net/zeitgeist-project

https://launchpad.net/zeitgeist

https://launchpad.net/zeitgeist-explorer

https://launchpad.net/gnome-activity-journal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist_(free_software)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Do

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avant_Window_Navigator

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_(user_interface)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Activity_Journal

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/08/is-z...ing-on-you

https://linuxaria.com/howto/how-to-remov...tu-and-why

https://nixaid.com/disable-zeitgeist-in-ubuntu-16-17/

https://askubuntu.com/questions/994827/w...e-database
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#4
(05-30-2019, 03:43 PM)NewbieForever Wrote: Thank you for your response.  Why do they think Zeitgeist is a good idea.  What problem does it solve?  And why did they call it "Zeitgeist"  that name screams for controversy.  "The spirit of the age"  If you can address one or both of these questions, that would be AWESOME!

I believe it gathers information about what files you regularly open, what programs
you often use and similar things in a database to increse the speed of tools like
catfish, which is a file searcher. It might enable you to not just search for a files
name but also find it by its contents. Quite harmless.

The name is nowhere near controversial. The developers just needed a name for their
tool and as often in free and open source development possibly just typed a few things
into a translater to get a nice sounding word in a foreign language. The name is actually
rather fitting: A program that monitors your file / program usage does indeed kinda
monitor the "Spirit of the ages".


(05-30-2019, 03:43 PM)NewbieForever Wrote: I kinda think the project might be dying.

Just because a project has not seen active development in some time does not mean it is
dead or unusable. A lot of programs are simply declared "feature complete".


(05-30-2019, 03:43 PM)NewbieForever Wrote: The email I sent to the dev came back to me.

You might have accidentaly hit a mailing list. Often times the email adress for a project
does not belong to any singular person, but lead to a server hosting a mailing list,
which will then send your email to all people who have subscribed to the mailing list.
The thing might have simply auto-subscribed you, so that you do not miss any answers,
which will not be send to your email adress, but also to to the mailing list.

Basically every important free open source softare project uses mailing lists. They
are simply superior and more transparent than any other method of communication.
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#5
I PMed you the reason why I think the name Zeitgeist is controversial.  Since I had to bring in religion, I didn't want to post about it openly.

I found that same email address in Synaptic Package Manager, and when I searched for it, I also found it.  I don't think it's a news group.  But I will change my views if you can show that it is a newsgroup.  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RainCT - eMail: rainct@ubuntu.com
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#6
I tried the gmail account and got back some responses.

ME:
Someone told me about the existence of Zeitgeist.  I started researching.  Read some old articles from 2012.  I got some questions!  But firstly I wanted to notify you that synaptic package manager told me your projects website (zeitgeist-project.com) and when I tried to go there, these two URLs interrupted me.  iyfnzgb.com and sarah.runtnc.net.  After a little googling around I discovered they are malware.


Siegfried Gevatter:
Thank you for your email. Zeitgeist has been in maintenance mode for some years (ie. is no longer being actively developed). I guess we stopped renewing the domain and someone else snatched it up.




ME:
I have one more question, that I didn't find an answer too, in my searches.  Why did you and your team choose the name Zeitgeist?


Siegfried Gevatter:
The project got its name from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist, basically the word Zeitgeist desctibes s this overall spirit that characterizes a given time (and the software aimed to figure out, at a much smaller scale, what is the current task and how to help you with it).
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