Check your Windows 10 block settings

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Those of you who are using the common methods for blocking Windows 7 and Windows 8.1's obnoxious Win10 upgrade procedure take note. Apparently an update released yesterday changed an important registry setting -- DisableOSUpgrade -- that prevented Windows 7 and 8.1 from proceeding with the forced march to Windows 10.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/2993835/microsoft-windows/check-that-your-windows-10-upgrade-block-settings-are-still-in-force.html
Does anyone know if Microsoft will be offering a paid version of Win10 that doesn't spy on us? I suspect the medical business will need it to satisfy HIPPA laws.
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On 10/16/2015 04:59 PM, Microsoft Bob wrote:

There is a utility to help
http://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10
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| Does anyone know if Microsoft will be offering a paid version of Win10 that doesn't spy on us?
There's been no such indication. They may offer a paid version next year that does spy on you. :) The version for corporations with large, multi-copy contracts allows them to have more control and block updates. I don't know that it allows disabling spyware. I haven't seen the contract or EULA for the corporate version. There may not even be a single version of those. And a surprising number of companies are falling for the cloud fad, in which case they're handing over all of their docs for someone else to hold. Or they're using Office 365 online. How do we define spyware when the users give their docs to Microsoft willingly and work on them under Microsoft's control?
Windows 10 is an aggressive attempt to coerce the Windows customer base into using online services and giving up control of both the device and the software. Microsoft is pushing what they call "universal apps" that run on Win10 PCs, phones, tablets and X-Box. Universal apps are something like sandboxed webpages. Even the software developers have no control over the system. Actual Windows software is still usable, but much of that is going to subscription (like Adobe Photoshop and MS Office). Over time it's likely that real Windows software will be phased out altogether. Photoshop might still install as software, but you'll access it in a limited way, with no direct access to the actual files, while your use of the software will appear to be online. In that case even Adobe would only have such access to the OS as Microsoft deems necessary. It's basically the kiosk operating system model. Anyone using a computer-phone or tablet has already accepted that level of restriction and spying.
It's all headed in that direction: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Adobe.... Companies are trying to own the whole thing, selling you a locked-down device and then selling you services to run on it, while showing you ads and spying on you. Microsoft has been trying to get to this point ever since Active Desktop in 1998. The only way they might realistically be expected to reverse course would be if their strategy turns out to be a total failure, with the 10s of millions of people tricked into Win10 deciding to do something like switch to Linux. That is *very* unlikely to happen. The whole Microsoft strategy is underhanded and very gradual. You're posting arcane instructions about how to block Win10 from installing. The vast majority of people will never know about that. Many will never even realize their Win7 box has changed into Win10. They won't know about the increased spying. They won't be bothered by the Desktop ads. They already accept that Microsoft is in charge -- so long as they can get their email. So why would MS decide to kill the potential golden goose and change Win10 into an honest product?
There might be some hope with the EU, which is notably more civilized than the US when it comes to personal rights vs corporate profits. But even if the EU cracks down that does nothing for US customers.
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On 10/16/2015 2:59 PM, Microsoft Bob wrote:

Doubtful. MS has belatedly learned that the "real money" is NOT in selling software but, rather, selling *people*! Always last to the dinner table, count on them to now excploit the hell out of this "sudden realization" -- as if their business depended on it!
Relying on ANYTHING inside your PC to block MS is pure folly. "Hello Mr Fox. Please keep a watchful eye on this HEN HOUSE..."
Install a firewall upstream and invest the time to figure out what you truly want to block/permit.
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Sorry, can't resist.
No ads here and none in sight. Fedora Linux.
I hear OSX is drawing more converts. AAPL doesn't need to sell software.
Microsoft knew all along they couldn't stay the same size selling the same old OS for new machines only. People don't upgrade because the OS is good enough. MSFT is going to try to create an on-going revenue stream, but I think they'll fail. Ultimately, they'll be a smaller company.
--
Dan Espen

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On 10/16/2015 6:12 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

They've been "smart enough" to put changes in the API's and core services to coerce developers to move forward... which coerces end users to move forward, etc. This has been their modus operandi for each of their products (Office, etc.).

I suspect smart IT departments will just opt to stay with older releases (I run XP on my workstations and there is nothing that I need to do that I *can't* do -- efficiently!)
The disincentive for doing so is the lack of "support" (drivers) for old OS's on new hardware.

That's pretty obvious.
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:47:39 -0700, Don Y

I've had every mainstream version of Windows except 8/8.1, and not encountered any serious issues with any of them. Windows 10 a pleasant surprise. I've yet to download the NVIDIA drivers for my high end graphics card, and am playing a number of graphics intensive games with what MS provided in the vanilla install of Pro. It's leaner than Win 7 by about 5gb. Important to me, since I image. The BS about spyware is just.....BS. Just stay off the net if you "feel" that way.

I suspect large corporations will migrate to Windows 10. The don't like pain.

Smaller in employees, market cap, revenues? I don't see them losing market share in the desktop market any time soon. They're selling easy to use does-it-all software to the masses. Not until somebody can cover the bases as well as MS does. They may improve sales in the cell phone, tablet area, but I know nothing about them. Besides, I don't buy the notion that Windows 10 is "the end." They'll have more versions to take advantage of new technology.
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On 10/16/2015 10:49 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

That wasn't my point. You can't, for example, support a device that was W98 vintage on a W10 system. E.g., I was annoyed that I couldnt run /After Dark/ on XP (beyond some token subset).

I don't let any MS machines talk to the outside except this one -- which has essentially two applications on it: Tbird and Ffox. It takes longer for me to dig out a USB cable and the image disk than it does to restore the original image (made when I built the machine). I.e., nothing "valuable" to lose (even the email can be retrieved from the servers).

I'm not so sure. I see companies dragging their feet more and more... resisting the MS "imperative" to "upgrade or die". I know many places that skipped Vista altogether!

Smaller in stature. A "has been".

I would look to folks like Dell and HP to more aggressively move to offering cloud services (even if they are *local* clouds) to leverage their *individual* hardware offerings. I.e., lock clients into using their special "appliances" (modern day X terminals) to connect with software running on their (more expensive) servers.
All the existing infrastructure can remain in place. IT department can do all maintenance from the "server closet". Appliances can be inexpensive/disposable as they won't need lots of resources (diskless). Perhaps All-in-One form factor devices without the *bulk* of current AIO offerings.
Most business seats can probably easily be handled with a "productivity suite", browser and mail client. Highly technical seats ("engineering") can stick with "compatible" workstations; perhaps even deliberately offered to exploit *old* drivers (with more MIPS).

MS hasn't had much notable success in the phone business. They see the world as WindowsWindowsWindows... (something about having a hammer and everything looks like a tack...)

I think the hardware vendors may be wanting a piece of that pie. And, can possibly pitch a centralized solution as having a much lower TCO than what Windows has already *taught* all of these customers!
(some of the whitepapers are startling in illustrating these differences)
For every customer (business) that goes down this road, there are potentially thousands of MS licenses lost! And, anyone who finds a *good* experience will be an excellent salesperson *for* this approach: "We managed to cut our equipment budget by $XX and have done away with N support positions!"
I do all of my software development work using this model. I sit down at any of ~dozen machines and start typing, compiling, debugging, etc. No need to be in any particular place to have a particular piece of software available.
My workstations are dedicated machines -- largely because each has very specific peripherals that are tethered to those individual machines (scanners, motion controllers, cameras, high end sound, video acquisition, electronic test equipment, device programmers, etc.). These machines cost me a disproportionate amount of time (money) to maintain and tend to see very *few* upgrades -- because installing all that software takes *days* for each machine (assuming it *will* run on whatever upgraded hardware/OS I put in place).
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I'm guessing all of the above. Certainly further development of their OS is requiring less and less people and bringing in less and less money.
They've done pretty well introducing incompatibility into their office suite but I expect diminishing returns there too.

Agreed. But users sticking with XP, W7, etc. don't bring any revenue to keep MSFT going.

OSX is reputed to be easier to use than Windows. I know complete novices that switched and are very happy. I find Linux just as easy to use, and I'm not alone.

You should know that Linux is dominating that market. Android, Kindle, Samsung, the only real competition comes from Apple.

They may create new versions, there will just be less and less reasons to change.
--
Dan Espen

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| > They may improve sales in the cell phone, tablet area, but I know | > nothing about them. | | You should know that Linux is dominating that market. | Android, Kindle, Samsung, the only real competition comes from | Apple. |
And Microsoft is making a bundle extorting patent fees on Android from most phone makers. I haven't followed that story lately. Last I heard MS was getting companies to agree to payments without even needing to tell them which patents they claimed were relevant. Monopoly maintenance has always been Microsoft's primary product and primary skill.
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Google says MSFT collects 2 billion a year on Android royalties. In that same space, MSFT is loosing 2.5 billion per year on XBOX, Skype, Windows Phone.
Reportedly, MSFT gets $3.81 for each Samsung phone sold.
--
Dan Espen

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| The BS about spyware is just.....BS.
You can say that you think it's "BS" for people to be concerned about privacy and security.... though it would be nice if you could be a bit more articulate. :)
But you clearly haven't looked into the actual facts, so you have no basis for your opinion about there being a spyware aspect to Win10. That's actually a surprisingly common reaction: ostrich logic -- "I don't want to know about it, because I don't want to make an effort, therefore the problem is not there."
For anyone who cares about the actual facts, in order to make their own *informed* opinion, first there's the new privacy policy, which MS changed with the release of Win10:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement/default.aspx
The non-business EULA says you agree to their privacy policy. The privacy policy, in turn, says, you will be spied on in numerous ways and not all of them can be blocked. In other words, Microsoft themselves are saying in plain language that Win10 is spyware, and that you must agree to that in order to use Win10. It's part of the longstanding tradition of writing mickey mouse licenses for software and justifying it with the claim that you are not buying, but licensing, the product.
Further, even the parts that can allegedly be turned off may still be in surveillance mode after being disabled. Anyone who wants to know the basic issues can look at these links:
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/windows-10s-privacy-policy-is-the-new-normal/
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/
http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2015/07/29/wind-nos/
Just stay off the net if you | "feel" that way. | | >> MSFT is going to try to create an on-going revenue stream, | >> but I think they'll fail. | > | >I suspect smart IT departments will just opt to stay with | >older releases (I run XP on my workstations and there is | >nothing that I need to do that I *can't* do -- efficiently!) | > | >The disincentive for doing so is the lack of "support" | >(drivers) for old OS's on new hardware. | > | | I suspect large corporations will migrate to Windows 10. | The don't like pain. | | >> Ultimately, they'll be a smaller company. | > | >That's pretty obvious. | | Smaller in employees, market cap, revenues? | I don't see them losing market share in the desktop market any time | soon. They're selling easy to use does-it-all software to the masses. | Not until somebody can cover the bases as well as MS does. | They may improve sales in the cell phone, tablet area, but I know | nothing about them. | Besides, I don't buy the notion that Windows 10 is "the end." | They'll have more versions to take advantage of new technology. |
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On 10/17/2015 7:07 AM, Mayayana wrote:

Why is ANY of this surprising? And, why is MS's *belated* adoption of this such an issue of concern?
When you walk into a department store, cameras watch your movement through the store -- where you stop, what you look at, etc. If your phone is on, they can track its motion. When you make your purchase (credit card!), they know what your buying habits are (over time) -- what time of day you shop, what products you buy at which time of the month/year/etc.
Costco member? Do you think they just use that card to "authorize" you to make a purchase? Of course they track the sorts of purchases you make, etc.
Frequent a casino? They've characterized how much they can count on you to *lose* before you'll depart. And, how frequently you'll return for "another lesson". Likewise, the size of the incentive that they need to coerce you back a bit earlier than you'd otherwise like.
Drive a car? Chances are your license plates are routinely scanned and the approximate location of your vehicle as well as your typical travel activities recorded.
Visit a web site? "Welcome back!" E.g., cookies were originally a hack to allow a site to *avoid* having to store data about your visit on *their* server (we'll let the user pay for that storage on *their* computer!). Anyone who thinks a site can't store information about every visitor now ECONOMICALLY has their head too far in the sand. Turn off cookies? Pfft! Who cares. You can be identified by your browser footprint, IP address, etc.
Of course, google tracks your searches. And, reads your mail (if you or the "other party" are serviced by google's mail servers)
[N.B. You needn't have a gmail.com address to be a victim!]
USPS routinely images the outsides of all first class mail. So, to and from are typically known.
The more insidious aspects of MS's spying include their ability to catalog audio and video (e.g., have YOUR voice "on file")
[Ever hear a machine speak *in* your voice? It's scary! "Wait! I never said that!!"]
Facial recognition software tracks your presence in public places.
etc.
In virtually all of these cases, you have an option to NOT be tracked; by simply not participating in the activity that is being tracked! E.g., don't send USPS mail, don't shop in department stores, don't do web searches, etc.
The same applies to MS/W10 -- don't *use* it! :>
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| Why is ANY of this surprising? And, why is MS's *belated* | adoption of this such an issue of concern? |
It's of concern to me. The behavior is indecent and uncivilized. Don't you care to help build and maintain a healthy society? We're currently in a transition period where we have to figure out how new technologies will be used. Do you want to leave those decisions to amoral corporations whose only interest is in getting you to buy more stuff? Don't we all deserve better than that? And that's just the current issue. With near-total surveillance between business and gov't we're getting into unknown territory. We're inadvertently redefining human rights.
I talk about it, also, because I'm in a position to know more than most people do. A big part of the success of spyware/targetted advertising is that it's done in a non- intrusive way, so that most people don't actually see it working. I figure that if they care then they have a right to know. They also have a right to know and understand that the products they've been using are being redefined. It's not just a matter of whether you mind Microsoft doing market research by spying on you. Microsoft is actually taking the product out of your hands.
Your examples are all good examples, but as everyone's mother knows, the fact that "the other kids are doing it" doesn't make it right. :)
And there are numerous degrees involved. I'm not a Costco member. I try to be loyal to locally owned and family owned companies when possible. I don't have any store loyalty cards. I almost never use Google and have most of their domains (from google analytics to doubleclick) blocked in my HOSTS file. I've moved toward cash for more purchases, both for privacy and security. I don't use a debit card. (Why? Your bank gets a fee for every purchase, which you ultimately pay. They're charging you to use your own money.)
I don't go to casinos, no. I never did understand that habit. Though I can see the appeal for people struggling financially. Once you buy the lottery ticket or feed the one-arm bandit, for a brief period you've bought a fantasy that just possibly all of your troubles might be solved.
I exercise maximum privacy online and don't find it terribly inconvenient. Why would I allow cookies, other than the occasionally necessary session cookie that gets deleted when I leave the site? It's an easy setting in Firefox. There's no need for anyone allowing themselves to be tracked that way. I don't use a cellphone very much. If I did I wouldn't leave it constantly turned on. I certainly wouldn't agree to wear an Apple or Google tracking collar -- which is what their phones are.
All of the examples above are ways to improve privacy. Most involve very little effort or inconvenience. All that's required is that we pay attention a bit and not always grab the cheapest price or easiest convenience no matter what.
Your solution of "just don't use it" can work to some extent, but when there are no other options that's not a solution. Clearly you think there are already no other options, since your suggestion is presented snidely. All I'm saying is that it doesn't cost you much to sit up, pay attention, and make deliberate decisions, rather than simply throwing your hands up because it's easy.
| When you walk into a department store, cameras watch your | movement through the store -- where you stop, what you | look at, etc. If your phone is on, they can track its | motion. When you make your purchase (credit card!), | they know what your buying habits are (over time) -- what | time of day you shop, what products you buy at which time | of the month/year/etc. | | Costco member? Do you think they just use that card to | "authorize" you to make a purchase? Of course they track the | sorts of purchases you make, etc. | | Frequent a casino? They've characterized how much they can count | on you to *lose* before you'll depart. And, how frequently you'll | return for "another lesson". Likewise, the size of the incentive | that they need to coerce you back a bit earlier than you'd | otherwise like. | | Drive a car? Chances are your license plates are routinely | scanned and the approximate location of your vehicle as well | as your typical travel activities recorded. | | Visit a web site? "Welcome back!" E.g., cookies were originally | a hack to allow a site to *avoid* having to store data about your | visit on *their* server (we'll let the user pay for that storage | on *their* computer!). Anyone who thinks a site can't store | information about every visitor now ECONOMICALLY has their head | too far in the sand. Turn off cookies? Pfft! Who cares. You | can be identified by your browser footprint, IP address, etc. | | Of course, google tracks your searches. And, reads your mail (if you | or the "other party" are serviced by google's mail servers) | | [N.B. You needn't have a gmail.com address to be a victim!] | | USPS routinely images the outsides of all first class mail. So, | to and from are typically known. | | The more insidious aspects of MS's spying include their ability | to catalog audio and video (e.g., have YOUR voice "on file") | | [Ever hear a machine speak *in* your voice? It's scary! "Wait! | I never said that!!"] | | Facial recognition software tracks your presence in public places. | | etc. | | In virtually all of these cases, you have an option to NOT be tracked; | by simply not participating in the activity that is being tracked! | E.g., don't send USPS mail, don't shop in department stores, don't | do web searches, etc. | | The same applies to MS/W10 -- don't *use* it! :>
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On 10/17/2015 11:18 AM, Mayayana wrote:

> http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/11/if-youre-not-paranoid-youre-crazy/407833/
Perce
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| http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/11/if-youre-not-paranoid-youre-crazy/407833/ |
I saw that one. Interesting, though by the end the author seemed to be more tongue-in- cheek than serious.
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On 10/17/2015 8:18 AM, Mayayana wrote:

Sure! And, besides grumbling, wat do you suggest folks do about this? And, what portion of their lifestyle should they sacrifice to take on this effort??

People, for the most part, are incapable of understanding the ideas behind "big data" -- except on only the grossest levels ("young males are more likely to have car accidents"). If you explained the sorts of inferences that could *reasonably* (not "certainly") be made from the data available, they would probably not believe you. Or, would fail to see the potential "threat" involved.
I have been developing an automation system, here. It watches the occupants of the house and makes estimates as to their activities and, from that, deductions about their likely *needs* and requests.
E.g., if you get out of bed in the middle of a "sleep period", chances are, you're headed to the bathroom. If it's dark, then turning on *some* light would probably be helpful to the occupant!
What value might the fact that I'm *routinely* awake at night have to <someone>? If you looked at (say) 300,000,000 people and correlated sleeping habits with cancer risk or likelihood of buying a particular record album, does that have value? If you noticed that folks who bought rocky road ice cream AND listened to Motley Crue were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, does that have value? Or, people who visit a shooting range "religiously" and attend church services "most of the time" correlated with incidents of domestic violence? etc.

No. *You* are the product.
[big snip -- time for me to head off to bed]

I think there *are* "other options". But, most of them require some sort of initiative on the part of the "consumer". IME, people are lazy. They opt for the easy way out. So, can be exploited because of this!
I don't use charge cards unless it's a purchase that I need to "insure" or suspect I may have problems returning. So, unless you coordinate camera imagery of me at a variety of different stores, you are unlikely to understand what I purchase and when I purchase it.
I can't remember the last time I wrote a check. And, my checks don't bear my address or phone number (I typically only use them for transfering funds between accounts or to pay off credit cards). Certainly no need to use them to buy a quart of milk!
I don't let my workstations talk to the outside world -- yet *still* benefit from "Windows Updates" (I just have to take extra steps to acquire and apply them "offline"! Far LESS convenient than Joe Consumer who just lets his machine fetch and install them itself).
I use a variety of different search engines so no *one* sees the entire complement of "subjects of interest" to me.
I can't avoid having a rather unique browser fingerprint -- because I choose not to enable the "features" that most folks rely on (e.g., Jscript, flash, etc.). So, I draw attention to myself by "being different". Given how many Zetabytes of storage google has, I'm sure they can set aside a megabyte or two devoted *solely* to me -- even if they don't know my name (yet)!
I can't legally obfuscate my license plate while driving. OTOH, I *walk* to many places (for the exercise). So, no tie in to the vehicle (that I'm *not* driving).
I can't prevent the USPS from imaging my correspondence. But, don't have much *to* image (bills -- which are usually pretty easy to GUESS at; or, ask my letter carrier).
I'm careful as to what I say in email and particularly so when corresponding with gmail addresses and folks that I know who forward their "other" accounts to/through gmail.
I don't use google phone (of course, they can listen in to your conversation "for quality purposes" as well as note who you communicate with).
Google thinks I live a few miles from "here" -- I've not bothered to correct their error.
We don't have a cable subscription so no one knows what broadcast media we "consume" -- nor when we consume it. (even my MythTV doesn't subscribe to a "schedule/guide" service so no information leaks that way).
Our "discount cards" at various stores have no names assigned to them. So, they can figure out that "customer XYZ bought these things on this day and these other things on this other day" -- but, can't associate that with *me*. And, if the card doesn't give me a discount on the items that I've purchased, it stays in my wallet (so, you don't see the "non-sale items" that I purchase).
My automation system goes to great lengths to do things "locally" so *it* doesn't leak information to a casual observer (that, in the case of a machine intelligence, can have *infinite* patience to gather information about my behavior/interests)
OTOH, I can't stop my city from contracting portions of its services out to third parties. And, in doing so, disclosing my transactions regarding those services.
While each of these are "trivial" inconveniences, they are, nonetheless, inconveniences. Most people, IME, don't want to bother with even *this* level of inconvenience.
Here's an interesting experiment, next time you "move": take out a POBox near your new home and arrange for ALL mail to be sent there. Then, watch the various search engines and services to see how long it takes for your *real* address to show up.
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| > With near-total surveillance | > between business and gov't we're getting into unknown | > territory. We're inadvertently redefining human rights. | | Sure! And, besides grumbling, wat do you suggest folks do about | this? And, what portion of their lifestyle should they sacrifice | to take on this effort?? |
I'm only suggesting making an effort to deal with it, which you seem to be doing yourself. We can't completely protect email, but we can avoid free webmail that redefines our own files as their property.
CVS now sells customer data to drug companies. What to do about that? I can go to other drug stores. But is Walgreens any better? I don't know. In any case, I can keep track of it and vote with both my votes and my wallet. If most people even just disabled 3rd-party cookies it would be a crisis for online advertisers.
Partly this is to discourage the practices and partly it's to help prevent them from getting worse. If people accept that Google owns their email then Google will own their email. It doesn't have to be that way.
I once had a Jewish friend whose entire extended family was lost in WW2. Only his parents got out. I once asked him why the Jews didn't leave Germany, despite the restrictions, abuse, forced wearing of Star of David.... The treatment kept getting worse, yet most of them just stayed. He said that's a common question that Jews ask among themselves. I suppose probably it was just another case of the slow-boiling frog: The water doesn't seem *too* hot yet, and it's a lot of hassle to jump out.
I think the Star of David emblems are a pretty good analogy to current issues. (At the risk of melodrama, perhaps. :) One could easily accept them with excuses. Who cares? What are we going to do? Move to France? That would be one big headache. And aren't we Jews, anyway? So what harm is there in wearing these emblems? But the requirement itself was a humiliation and a step in the systematic abuse of the citizenry.
I wonder how people have even allowed things to go as far as they have, with email being spied on while geographic location and activities are tracked.
There's very little privacy protection at present. The only example I'm aware of is the Video Privacy Protection Act, which resulted from Robert Bork's video rental history being leaked to the press.
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On 10/17/2015 01:55 PM, Mayayana wrote:

I know that librarians typically won't tell you who has a particular book out, but whether that's because of a legal restriction or simply because of the librarians' code of ethics I don't know.
Perce
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On 10/17/2015 11:14 AM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

I think there was (legal?) a push for libraries to track your "borrows". I recall some years ago our local librarians taking a stance and NOT doing that.
OTOH, our catalog (and user interface -- including reserves, checkouts, etc.) is now farmed out to a Canadian company (apparently, city workers aren't smart enough to maintain a database of books and lenders -- yet, I don't recall hearing of any layoffs! I guess they must be maintaining something *equally* important, now...)
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