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.
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.
| 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
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.
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.
Sorry, can't resist.
No ads here and none in sight.
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.
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
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'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
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.
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
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).
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
They may create new versions, there will just be less and less
reasons to change.
| > 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
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.
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.
| 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,
changed with the release of Win10:
The non-business EULA says you agree to their
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:
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.
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
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.
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! :>
| 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
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.
| 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! :>
I saw that one. Interesting, though by the
end the author seemed to be more tongue-in-
cheek than serious.
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
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
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
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.
| > 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.
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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