Trololol: grep -R Doesn’t Automatically Search Amazon



There is no shortage of controversy regarding Ubuntu 12.10’s partnership with Amazon in it’s efforts to fully monetize it’s operating system.  There are cheers and there a jeers regarding its implementation and possible search results, but one thing remains clear; Canonical will continue to push the boundaries of how a free operating system can be monetized.  They will likely inspire others to follow suite as well.

But in between the cheers and jeers is a tolling good time in the form of another Launchpad bug report.  The report, entitled “grep -R doesn’t automatically search amazon”, provides a grim look into how far commercial integration could go in a very comedic way.


The “bug”, reported by Launchpad member akeane, complains that when grep’ing through text on his system, relevant search results from Amazon aren’t included.  Here are some of the highlights:

Dear “root owning” overlords,

When using grep recursively I only get local results:

grep -R fish_t /home/noob/fish_game/*

/home/noob/fish_game/fish.h: struct fish_t {
/home/noob/fish_game/fish.c: struct fish_t eric_the_ fish;

or worse:

grep -R shark_t /home/noob/fish_game/*

/home/noob/fish_game/fish.h: struct shark_t {
/home/noob/fish_game/fish.c: struct shark_t_t mark_sw;

I declare this a bug for two reasons:

1. The output is boring.
2. The terminal has more than 2 lines!!! It’s an unefficient use of my screenspace.

And the trolling continues…

I believe the reason for this is that the grep command only searches locally for things I am actually looking for, I kind of expect the results I get from my codebase and as such it removes any sense of mystery or something new and exciting to spice up my dull geek existence. That’s boring, grep -R should also search amazon, so I get more exciting results such as:

Shark Season 1 Starring Steven Eckholdt, Nora Dunn, Patrick Fabian, et al.
Amazon Instant Video
to buy episodes: $1.99
to buy season: $34.99 ($1.59 per episode)

Watch instantly on your PC, Mac, compatible TV or device.
Product Details
See Color & Size Options
NHL San Jose Sharks Primary Logo T-Shirt Men’s by Reebok
$16.95 – $19.99…

Is this our future?

Doubtful.  What you’ve read just now is simply a trolling good time, though executes brilliantly on it.  I think we can all agree that if Amazon search results were to get tangled in with your STDIN and STDOUT any any manner whatsoever, there would be a fairly brutal mass exodus.  But this is just funny.

Source | Launchpad

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
  • ldrn

    Well. Using fuse, he should be able to do something like this if he wants.

    Of course, he doesn’t really want to. But I have a hard time taking that particular side of this entire thing seriously. I mean, should the mycroft project ban search engines for shopping sites? Why is there all this uproar about adding another search engine to Unity’s goofy spotlight-esque launcher?

    • Vadim Peretokin

      I think it’s a combination of a) it being an open project, so all changes pass under intense scrutiny, b) people disliking Ubuntu for one reason or another, and being on the negative side, are taking snippy shots at it, and c) people not realizing that other, less open in their development systems like Android already do this on their own phones (searching online and submitting data when doing local searches).

      All in all, it did spawn a good discussion and in the end it received a kill switch – so it’s a good outcome for all.

  • akeane

    The C library should be changed to open another file descriptor; STDAMAZON

    Then you could unbreak all your shell scripts like this:

    grep -R superfrog /home/noob/frog_wars_game/* 3> ads.txt