* Posts by JustaKOS

1581 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

JustaKOS
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Does the "Keep Calm..." mug exist?

I would really, really like one of those so that when the chore of continually checking updates on my machines to keep the slimy fuckers out, one glance at the mug will remind me why I'm doing it.

What is encouraging about all this is the number of forums that have threads on the subject of Windows 10 data slurping and on keeping Windows 7 and 8 machines free from W10 and the telemetry threat. Threads such as this on Wilders Security Forums List of Windows 7 telemetry updates to avoid are quite handy.

Plenty of self help about it seems. Which is fortunate, as we don't seem to be well served by the security industry or regulatory bodies.

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Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

JustaKOS
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Re: Uninstalls counted?

Probably still counted. It depends, I suppose, on what exactly "on 75 million devices" means - ie how they are counted.

For instance, my Microsoft Account says I have it on 4 devices. One of them I haven't a clue about and another is the laptop that I splatted with Mint 17.2 the other day. Only two actually exist and they are in VMs on my Windows 7 machine.

A few weeks ago it thought I had six because I had changed the names of two of the machines and it counted them as new.

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JustaKOS
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Re: Small Survey.

Whiners? Insane? Last gasp insults from someone who just can't accept that their view isn't shared by the rest.

I've read many comments here and over on "answers.microsoft.com" from people who are genuinely disappointed in what Windows 10 is vs what it could have been. Many, if not most, of them (me included) have spent a lot of effort and resources to assess the nature of Windows 10.

That we find it wanting is not because we are intellectually challenged. Rather it is because Windows 10 is not a significant advance on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

I could get used to Windows 10 - it isn't that bad to use, but I will not accept the level of monitoring and control that Microsoft have put into it. Ever.

Cardinal above has it right : I will go to Linux when all attempts to keep Windows 7 clean have failed. The moment I feel that Microsoft is looking over my shoulders I will switch, having spent the time to carefully prepare the appropriate Linux configuration.

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JustaKOS
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Store Apps

... and the appearance of compelling Store apps would be a strong incentive to upgrade.

They ain't there yet, and that's perhaps why microsoft went for enticing Windows 7 users to the store by offering the free upgrade. What it has on offer sure isn't attractive.

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AT&T accused of Wi-Fi interception, ad injection

JustaKOS
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Legality?

Intercepting and modifying communications seems to me to be on the wrong side of legality. Or has the world just caved in to the big companies?

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Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

JustaKOS
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@Evil Graham - Re: What do I think?

Actually, I'm inclined to agree with you on the subject of artifical regional restrictions. All too often the only motive is maximising profit.

I wonder if, in this case, the result would be of overall benefit to the likes of Estonia. One thing that is true is that British and US media products tend to dominate in the world. It would be nice to see more Estonian output but the result might be that Estonia gets swamped by British and American imports.

That was the thinking behind the Flashing Blade reference. I know we have some good stuff from Europe, like The Returned and The Bridge, but I have the feeling that way back in the past we had a lot more available (at least for children).

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JustaKOS
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What do I think?

I don't really care. There's nothing on offer from satellite and cable providers that I would be prepared to pay a subscription for.

I'm not interested in Estonian football (or any other for that matter) but I might be interested in Estonian drama (don't know until I see it) - is that sort of thing available on Sky?

I remember the good old days of dubbed European children's programmes. Is The Flashing Blade still on anywhere?

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Swiss watch: Cuckoo-clock cops threaten Win 10 whup-ass can pop

JustaKOS
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Re: I guess this is what MS gets...

At least there are options to turn it all off if you bother to read

I don't know about you, but if there was someone stood behind me while I was typing out something personal, I would be very unhappy, even if they promised not to look.

I would only trust Microsoft if the functions were not there in the first place.

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

JustaKOS
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@Sporkinum - Re: not cause for celebration

I've had my laptop since 2011, but the create dates on the file structure indicate it was initially imaged in 2009.

The Support Assistant is something that I've thought to be vaguely useful so I've left it in. A while back I read a comment somewhere about it prodding for the W10 upgrade but I saw no sign. It was telling me that an update was available, but I ignored that.

The other day, while checking out with Wireshark what my OS was doing behind my back, I noticed a conversation with HP. Looking closer I saw an xml file being downloaded and, in that, was an item for Windows 10.

I ran the Support Assistant - it told me there was an Important Message : "Get prepared for Windows 10!". Clicking that led to a page telling me all about how HP and Microsoft were preparing materials to help me make the transition. Yeah, right.

So, that's HP added to the 'Do Not Trust' list. Gonna need a new sheet.

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JustaKOS
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Re: What did they think they were doing?

@Chairo - my problem device is Broadcom, not surprisingly. The thing is, I previously ran Mint 14 on the same machine and it either worked or I easily installed the needed drivers. This time, with mint 17.2 I went around in circles and decided to give up that part and plugged in a Belkin N300 micro thingy, that works just fine.

I know there are valid reasons for driver problems (lack of open-source drivers for one), but I had got used to stability in this respect.

That being said, I do find that Linux distros are generally far better at providing drivers (and just working when you plug a new device in) than windows. It's just funny that in this particular case Microsoft and Windows 10 proved superior.

Anyway, the machine I'm actually going to migrate to is the one I'm using now, which is more recent and which Mint 17.2 quite likes.

@Rotwang Gyroscope III - I can get very confused trying to keep track of which chipset in which machine works with which distro. I like the Belkin N300 as a last resort. It also works nicely with a Pi

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JustaKOS
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Re: What did they think they were doing?

It's really incredible how an actually rather good product that should be an easy winner is damaged by arrogance, negligence and greed.

I think that about sums it up. It really could be a nice product but for the consequences of the aforementioned attitudes.

It was very good on my test laptop (vista-era dual core), far better than Linux Mint currently does (we seem to be back to the bad old days of Linux distros not playing well with certain wireless technologies).

However, it would take a radical overhaul of Microsoft's attitudes and a new release which physically removes all of the spying/tracking/controlling shit before I would consider giving it another go. Despite the problems I'm having, the laptop will continue to have a minty (rather than shit) flavour.

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JustaKOS
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Re: not cause for celebration

Pushed indeed.

As an added bonus, having eradicated all trace of the GWX malware, I found that HP had signed up to be the backup plan - prodding me via the "HP Support Assistant" to upgrade. That just added HP to my shit-list I'm afraid.

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

JustaKOS
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Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

Then once we are gone they can cuddle up to the great computer Illiterate and become their friends for life and slurping their data at the same time?

Well said and, I think, spot on.

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JustaKOS
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Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

I think they already are doing this with Windows 7.

The last four updates offered to me all had the same uninformative descriptions. Going to the KB articles revealed that two were concerned with potential problems and two were purely concerned with adding tracking and telemetry functions.

I think Windows 10 is a lost cause but it is well worth taking responsibility for researching every update offered for Windows 7 ( and 8.1, for that matter).

And furthermore, knowing that 'little insignificant person vs Microsoft' can only end one way, plan now on what non-Windows OS you would like to move to.

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Microsoft turns on Windows 10 file backup to Azure

JustaKOS
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Re: That's two backups per machine

Hmm. Azure backup could sure hide even higher data-sucking (sorry, 'telemetry for your own good') than they currently do.

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Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

JustaKOS
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Clever stuff

Quite amazing, really.

But I find it quite horrifying.

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Google reveals OnHub WiFi router, complete with GLOWING RING

JustaKOS
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@AC - " I would actually trust Google more than my ISP"

Depends on your ISP, I suppose.

I'm sure all ISPs would sell my data in an instant if they thought they could get away with it, but as far as I can tell they aren't currently. Phorm caused a lot of fuss and I think my ISP would think carefully about breaching the fundamental basis of its arrangements with its customers (who, bear in mind, also include businesses and government organisations).

It would be naive of me to assume that my ISP won't ever play this game, but my point is that I absolutely know that Google is playing it now.

Security - never used an ISP router so I'm a bit better off than some. Google may understand and implement security better than ISPs, but that really just means ensuring only they can get at the data.

So I do what I can to say 'fuck you' to the data gatherers, and that includes putting things as much in my control as possible. Convenience isn't an issue.

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JustaKOS
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Re: I don't believe the conspiracy

No, there isn't a conspiracy - it's all out in the open and everyone seems to be playing the same game.

Why compromise the router when they already know all about you centrally

They know something about me centrally, I'm sure, but it isn't that meaningful or useful compared to what they could know if I fully embraced Google.

With this thing Google would have the same level of access to my internet traffic as my ISP has (even more, actually, since it gets in before the ISP sees what's going out). While I accept that my ISP can see all my traffic, it's primary function is to shift that traffic where it's supposed to go and not to monetize it. Google's primary aim is to make money out of aggregating and selling information : do you really think they're going to resist the urge to do something with it?

I don't, so no, not never.

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JustaKOS
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Re: Yeah, yeah...

Two points on that quote:

1. A router is a device which should have one, and only one, function. It is expendable. It is NOT a member of the family.

2. We’ve drawn a very strong, hard and fast line around inspecting any information or websites about the content you’re looking at in your home - that means absolutely nothing. Is the line a barrier to inspection, or does it define who can inspect and why?

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JustaKOS
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Er, no thanks

It's stylish and cool and all that, and I'm sure it'll sell well to those who like/can afford that sort of thing, but no, no thanks.

What with having to ensure Microsoft don't get the Back door with Windows 10, why would I now give Google control of the Front door?

I was musing recently about whether or not Microsoft had plans for such a thing - it would seem to fit with Windows 10's ideas about sharing WiFi access and acting as a distribution hub for Windows Update. If they weren't planning it, then Google have shown them the way.

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Indian Mars probe beams back 3D canyon snaps

JustaKOS
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Thumb Up

Excellent stuff

Quite impressive.

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Microsoft replaces Windows 10 patch update, isn't saying why

JustaKOS
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@Doctor Syntax - Re: Those of us who haven't "upgraded"

I wonder if some of the AV vendors will bring out a product to do this - or make it an option in existing products.

A nice idea. Certainly, if the AV vendors were truly independent of the OS supplier their products should flag up the dodgy behaviour that the GWX and other updates exhibit.

But of course, they won't do anything of the sort.

I think the best we can hope to see is widely published tools (or even just scripts) that cleanly eradicate traces of the infection. Of course then we have the problem of trusting in random bods on the internet vs trust in Microsoft. Not much to choose between them.

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JustaKOS
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Re: Those of us who haven't "upgraded"

As with all malware that throws up irritating pup-ups, the solution is to uninstall it. I found that there was a certain pleasure in saying 'fuck you' to Microsoft by uninstalling the relevant updates, along with the others that helpfully 'prepared' my machine for the upgrade.

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Boffins nail 2FA with 'ambient sound' login for the lazy

JustaKOS
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Re: @Charles 9 - This from a security team!!?

the one demanding the relaxation is ABOVE rather than BELOW you

True. In that case I would suggest that you do not have the required authority to go with your responsibilites. That doesn't seem uncommon these days, unfortunately.

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JustaKOS
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@Charles 9 - Re: This from a security team!!?

If you try to make the second factor too onerous, people will say, "Sod this!" and look for shortcuts

I lean towards the 'sack them for undermining security' solution, rather than weakening overall security to make their lives easier.

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

JustaKOS
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I did say maybe. I was making a serious point : I firmly believe that Windows 10 cannot be trusted for anything involving sensitive / personal / valuable information. Furthermore, having spent some time clearing the 'GWX' and 'Preparation for upgrade' infestation out of my Windows 7 PCs, I don't believe Microsoft can be trusted even for Windows 7.

They seem very, very, determined to get people into an environment where they get to know everything they're up to.

Those who really care will not stay with Windows. It boils down to how many actually care, I guess.

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JustaKOS
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Or maybe increase the diversity of Linux operating systems in widespread use, as previously die-hard Windows users realise that the only way to get back to a relatively private existence is to migrate to a world which is, for the moment, largely unmonitored.

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FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP

JustaKOS
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Re: surprise! you really thought there was perfection there?

What me? Expecting perfection? Not at all.

That business about the last beta release being the first general release is logical I suppose. The problem is we expected a last beta release before general release and there wasn't one. Nothing to cure the many problems logged and not solved.

The big issue to me is that normally it's the keen ones who are first to upgrade, and they tend to know what they're getting into.

What Microsoft did here was to encourage millions of people who would never have thought of an upgrade to just press the button and let it come. These people, I submit, would not have done it unless pushed by Microsoft. I thought it was shockingly careless of them.

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JustaKOS
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Not ready for Prime Time at all

The last preview build, 10240 arrived on 15th/16th July and between then and the public release there was only two more weeks of 'Insider' testing.

'Insiders' were originally told they would be upgraded to the public release when it hit the streets. After a long wait and many people questioning the absence of a new build we were told that we already had it. ie Build 10240 plus a few updates prior to the 29th were identical to what was released to the public.

Oh dear. In other words they went with whatever they had come the promised released date.

It is hardly surprising that the poor unsuspecting public are having problems - the Insiders were still having problems on the 29th. And still having problems now.

It is a puzzle that many people are having odd problems. I have a strong suspicion, taking what I've observed over many months, that Windows Update itself has some inherent flaws that are randomly borking installations.

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Pi-eyed: Microsoft ships slimmed-down Windows 10 IoT Core for gizmos

JustaKOS
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Awfully decent of you Microsoft, but ...

I would expect the OS for an embedded device to be slick and unobtrusive. This thing looks anything but.

Universal Windows Platform? Not impressed from the PC experience. The clincher for me, though, is that the privacy statement implies the same level of unavoidable monitoring and telemetry as the PC previews.

Those two things alone would make trying this out a pointless exercise. So thanks, but no thanks Microsoft - you're not getting a slice of my Pi.

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Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

JustaKOS
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@AC - Re: the numbers arent right

But it'll come back with the next update

Indeed, which is why I have hidden the relevant updates and made sure that there is no update automation. I will regularly check to ensure that only those updates that I choose are allowed in. No update will be allowed until I have researched its true purpose.

Basically I am treating Microsoft as a Threat henceforth. It's a pain, but I value what I have and have no intention of letting them take it away

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JustaKOS
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Re: the numbers arent right

Windows 10 is the future. You are straying from the clearly laid out path and need some gentle correction to show you the error of your ways. It's just a couple of downvotes. Nothing serious. Yet.

For my part I've cleaned the GWX malware from two of our home machines and am in the process of updating another, carefully avoiding and hiding the updates responsible for it. One more after that and it's 4 that I will have saved from degradation.

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JustaKOS
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@Geoffrey W - Re: @ khisanth

What trick did they use to make boot up seem faster?

Might that be the "Fast Startup" power option, which enables some form of hibernation instead of full shutdown?

It was defaulted to "Set" in the preview and if it is also Set in the general release then startups (and shutdowns, I suppose) would be faster.

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'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

JustaKOS
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Re: WTF

I have to concur. Having read the article I have no idea what the error was - simply that a group of people have now rationalised two inconsistent data sets by modifying one of them.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

JustaKOS
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Re: What a shift in concerns

Perhaps they'll do both. ie do everything to satisfy businesses that their networks and their information are safe with/from Microsoft, while at the same time doing precisely nothing to address the issues for the home users.

Tricky actually, because many businesses are using home/pro versions rather than enterprise, so it's hard to see how Microsoft could treat them and home users differently. Going to be interesting, I think.

..

edit: Ah it's obvious : for a monthly/annual fee Microsoft will promise not to fuck you over.

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JustaKOS
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What a shift in concerns

If the above comments are anything to go by (particularly dkersten's), Windows 10 upgrades are causing a mountain of grief for admins across the world.

At one point, reading the comments I had a sudden flashback to the sort of things I was reading and hearing in my place of work when Conficker was ravaging networks worldwide. Yet it's the OS itself that is the cause for concern!

I only have family machines to worry about and that's worrying enough: you all have my sincere sympathies.

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Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

JustaKOS
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WTF?

Silence

I'm more than a little puzzled at the virtual silence from people who make a living talking and writing about security matters.

Plenty of people bang on about government surveillance and keeping malefactors out of your systems and networks, yet when it comes to the manufacturer of the OS used by billions of people in their homes and small businesses (and a whole host of other small operations holding personal or sensitive information) encouraging them to upgrade to a version which by default exposes their private information and activities to Microsoft and their 'partners', they seem to have very little to say.

Isn't 'privacy' a fundamental part of Information Security?

Apart from some notable exceptions (Krebs is one), the usual suspects seem to quite like Windows 10 and, if they say anything at all, it is to explain why we shouldn't be concerned.

Perhaps I'm just not widely-read enough and I'm missing the hoo-hah.

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JustaKOS
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The last Windows Version?

I think the model is now to continuously upgrade Windows 10 (as a paid-for service of course) so it could be seen as the last Microsoft Desktop OS.

I would suggest that as far as Microsoft is concerned, the last Desktop Windows OS was Windows 7.

In future, the desktop will merely be there to provide support to the App layer and any other uses people have (maybe not even gaming, since they seem to have got XBOX-PC streaming working) at the moment don't seem to figure in their plans.

This privacy bullshit has, for me, totally and contemptuously discarded decades of trust people have had in Microsoft.

Next year - Linux On The Desktop, by default.

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Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

JustaKOS
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625 lines

Ha ha, I suppose I should be thankful you didn't also mention monochrome or 405 lines.

Perhaps a few more than 625, but I can't see these massive resolutions being useful enough except for really large screens.

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JustaKOS
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Higher and higher resolution

Why??

I mean, I understand why some might want/need high resolutions for certain reasons, but mass broadcasting of athletics in stupidly high resolutions?

It's depressing how the spectacular advances in communication speeds and capacities are being negated by dumping higher and higher resolution crap down the pipes.

It mirrors the waste of processor advancements over time, I suppose.

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If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

JustaKOS
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@Anonymous Coward - Re: I wonder....

on another note, how anonymous is this post really, you all love your privacy, but if a reg hack wanted to know who posted what ... well..... I'm sure it isn't hard for them to see

I assume you're referring to your own post and of course el Reg can link it to your real reg username. However, they can only link to the real you if you gave that info up when you registered.

They would have no hope of identifying the real me from the information they have. They'd have to break a few laws/do a few deals to get the info needed to identify me.

But that isn't the point is it? The fuss is about giving one corporation wide access to your info where you live, ie on the machine that you're posting from/working from/writing personal diaries on etc.

On the subject of Reg hacks - yes they can get to you via your e-mail address. Happened to me once.

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JustaKOS
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Re: I wonder....

All that credit card info stuff is true, but as someone on the Insider forum commented (roughly) is that any reason why I should cc Microsoft on everything I do?

If you're looking for convincing examples of harm, I can't help you. All I can say is what I feel having used the thing for quite a few months :

It's a great OS if you subscribe to the vision that is being put forward, but when I consider all that Microsoft are putting under the hood, I get a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach. I won't use it for real, and I won't suffer it's presence on any devices attached to my network.

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JustaKOS
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@Stephen leslie - Re: Some steps

A very useful list, thanks.

One thing I noticed, though :

Turn off Cortana and instead search locally, otherwise everything is sent to Bing.

Done that but I found that even on a local search the thing connected to Bing, sent it a packet of data and got a whole load of packets back. Looked suspiciously like it was sending the search request in anyway.

So blocking in the Hosts file seems the only way - can't trust the UI to actually do what you want.

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JustaKOS
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@Brandon 2 - Re: It's pretty bad... Really

i think I'll stay with 7 for a bit longer

Me too. But I will also be paying close attention in future, not only to what updates come down the line, but also to what traffic the OS is initiating. If only just to say "Fuck off Microsoft, you've gone to far."

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W3C's bright idea turned your battery into a SNITCH for websites

JustaKOS
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Re: Solution?

Block javascript?

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'Cilla Black introduced me to my wife on Blind Date': Channel man's heartwarming story

JustaKOS
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IT?

She was a National Icon. Close enough.

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Boffins: Spooky, spinning SPACE PEANUT butters up Earth with close flyby

JustaKOS
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@Stoneshop - Someone who thinks we're monkeys

Hadn't thought of that. Should we be feeling insulted, then? I guess if they can chuck stuff that large about, we'd best smile and take it.

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JustaKOS
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MegaKong

15 per cent of near-Earth asteroids larger than 600 feet ... have this sort of lobed, peanut shape

So who is out there lobbing giant peanuts at us? We really need to know. Before it's too late.

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Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

JustaKOS
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Counting Insiders?

Microsoft have previously quoted the number of Insiders as ~5 Million. I doubt if the stats counters can tell the difference between an Insider build on the internet and an upgrade.

Which calls into question the true number of newly-upgraded machines being detected. That 14 Million figure was originally given in the statement :

While we now have more than 14 million devices running Windows 10,....

Note that the rep didn't say "14 million upgrades". I have three distinct Windows 10 Insider installations, so it is conceivable to me that the majority of devices being measured are actually test builds, not true upgrades.

Who knows, eh?

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

JustaKOS
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I remembered them too. Didn't even have to look at the video to understand the reference.

By the way - congratulations to Alistair for the usual humourous read which, at the same time, was more insightful into what MS are up to than many of the more serious articles so far.

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