Sorry for being away for about 6 months. I do enjoy blogging, though I mainly do it to retain articles I find interesting (or that some people close to me might find interesting). I suppose I use it as my own version of Pinterest, except that I have complete control over the presentation.
Anyway, I plan to return to blogging more regularly (so long as work/life permits).
I am still using the Long Term Support version of Linux Mint 13 (maya) with the MATE interface (which is as close to Gnome 2.x as we can get and still get maintained packages). It is most-definitely my distro of choice and likely will remain so for some time.
In addition, there’s some fiery talk about how Ubuntu’s default Unity interface is sending your local searches (made on your local system, looking for files or applications) to a 3rd party. The software also has an opt-out approach on-installation, which means that upon standard installation any searches you make are sent to those 3rd parties by default apparently in some desperate attempt to monetize the userbase. The article stipulates that if this indeed the case, it could very well be the beginning of the end for Ubuntu.
In which case, I expect distros like Mint and others to just use default Debian as their base distro to source their spinoffs, instead of Ubuntu proper.
Richard Stallman has browbeaten Canonical for this and a flame war has erupted — a good read (but don’t try to without some popcorn or your favorite finger-food of choice). The source article links out to the various posts by Stallman and Canonical.