I realize this is an old thread, but there is an absolute fix for anytime Places is opening with any program. I've had it open with Easytag, VLC, all kinds of programs. I had it happen in Mandriva, in Fedora, and in Linux Mint, recently, as of just a few moments ago. This WILL fix this issue, regardless of whether you're working in KDE, Gnome, whatever desktop:
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/places/inode-directory.svg
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/places/inode-directory.png
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/24x24/places/inode-directory.png
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/22x22/places/inode-directory.png
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/16x16/places/inode-directory.png
rm -rf /usr/share/icons/gnome/icon-theme.cache
gtk-update-icon-cache -qf /usr/share/icons/gnome
You can see Mandriva bug #44350
that I filed in September of '08, comment #8
, you will see it there.
Now, I keep this in my gnotes, whatever distro I'm running, so whatever distro I'm running at the time, whatever program Places is opening with, I have the fix. I can say I'm a bit distressed to see this still happening. It's been four years since I initially came across it. I've had it happen both in KDE and Gnome (this a few minutes ago, in KDE in Linux Mint). They need to get on the ball with it. I've used this fix for four years, probably over a dozen times, all successfully.