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Author Topic: Microsoft Windows 10
jasonr
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Interesting news on this subject, namely Microsoft releasing this software for free for the first time.

The first thing I thought of naturally was the B movie plot to the Kingsmen movie, where Samuel L. Jackson's character hands out SIM cards to the entire world promising unlimited free internet, but instead using them as a trojan horse to kill off excess population by driving everyone mad with some kind of audio signal projected from cell phones.

But I digress. Some may not be aware that the new OS contains default keylogger software that automatically ties in local searches with Bing, automatic Siri like software that basically requires your microphone to be on at all times. It also automatically sends data from the file you were working on to Microsoft whenever there is a crash and driver updates are now mandatory and automatic.

Apparently you can disable alot of this stuff through careful registry editing and a few workarounds such as designating specific files as being non writable (deleting them doesn't work because the OS will keep regenerating them) basically technical fixes that almost no one will know how to do. Of course automatic driver updates are mandatory, so if you install that new video display driver or something and Windows Update decides it knows better than you you can literally end up in a battle with your own OS as it constantly rewrites your new drivers with its old defective ones.

Now alot of this strikes me as typical Microsoft stupidity rather than anything sinister. I mean the whole idea of taking data from any file you happened to be working on at the time of the crash is almost laughably stupid and possibly just straight up illegal (imagine lawyers working on confidential client files from their home computers and finding that data automatically dumped and sent to Microsoft) and to be fair alot of it only applies to the free consumer version so presumably law firms and sensitive business users will purchase enterprise versions without the built in keylogging and wiretapping.

But still, it's pretty well a given that Microsoft is going to give certain governmental organizations unfettered access to its technology, which means that if everyone's computer is logging keys and monitoring people through always on microphones, so is the government by default. Indeed, so is pretty much any malicious party that gets access to the system.

I guess I'm wondering what people think? Maybe this is all the wave of the future. But I can tell you right now, speaking as someone who is normally not too concerned about privacy or paranoid about big brother - Windows 10 kind of scares me a little.

Of course it does virtually nothing new and upgrades nothing specific from Windows 7, so it's not exactly like you have to download it. But still, WOW, creepy creepy.

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DJQuag
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I was going to upgrade, just hadn't had the time yet. Keylogger and microphone details means I won't be anytime soon.
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jasonr
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One other thing I forgot to mention - while the software does essentially nothing new (it basically fixes the flaws in Windows 8 and renders it useable as a desktop OS) as far as features, since all new versions of DirectX will be released exclusively on Windows 10, if you are a gamer you pretty much have to upgrade, no choice in the matter.
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LetterRip
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Most of it can be turned off via choosing 'custom install'.

Incidentally every time you go on the internet with windows 8/7 (and others) microsoft checks a server (which is how the icon that shows whether you are 'connected' is enabled/disabled). So they already do location tracking anytime you turn on your computer.

Most browsers do search completion, etc. which means everything you type in the browser is going to either google, microsoft, or yahoo.

Every crash reporter in existance tends to send parts of your data when there is a crash, since malformed data is a possible crash cause. Read what the crash reporter actually says next time any software crashes and asks to send a file.

Seriously none of this stuff is 'new' except the voice/sound data for the search tool (which happens for voice search enabled phones that have 'always on').

[ August 08, 2015, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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LetterRip
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The only benefit I see of upgrading from Win7/8 is reduced memory footprint, reduced hdd footprint, better windows menu.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
. I mean the whole idea of taking data from any file you happened to be working on at the time of the crash is almost laughably stupid
I do not think that people who reboot their computer after a crash and find themselves able to pick up exactly where they left off will find such a feature laughable or stupid. And the general, anonymized data for the purpose of crash analysis has been collected going back at least as far as 7, if not XP as well.

I do agree that, especially if you're using a desktop and not intending to use table/phone style mobile learning features that you should use the custom setup option and consider which features you can do with out in exchange for privacy protection.

Overall, my experience has been that the interface on a desktop is more familiar and intuitive than 8's tablet/phone bias, and that it performs remarkably better memory management than 7 did. Performance-wise it seems to be nearly as much of an improvement over 7 as 7 was over xp. But then I haven't yet had the time to leave a system running for weeks at a time to confirm long term resilience yet.

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Mynnion
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Still waiting for my free upgrade notification so I can play [Frown]
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jasonr
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quote:
Incidentally every time you go on the internet with windows 8/7 (and others) microsoft checks a server (which is how the icon that shows whether you are 'connected' is enabled/disabled). So they already do location tracking anytime you turn on your computer.
You do see the difference between location tracking your computer and actual keylogging everything you type in and dumping that data into a file, not to mention always on microphone monitoring, don't you? It's the difference between knowing you're at the Toronto Trump Hotel and knowing that you're there with a call girl named Sandy snorting coke off of her belly.

quote:
Most browsers do search completion, etc. which means everything you type in the browser is going to either google, microsoft, or yahoo.
Yes of course when I type something in to Google I expect it to be monitored by Google, obviously. Quite a bit different from finding all your e-mails, text messages and other documents monitored, wouldn't you agree?

I know that privacy has become illusory on the internet and all, but I do prefer not to have my OS keylogging everything I type in and dumping it into a nice central file for anyone who accesses my computer to peruse. A small fig leaf of privacy would be nice.

quote:
Every crash reporter in existance tends to send parts of your data when there is a crash, since malformed data is a possible crash cause. Read what the crash reporter actually says next time any software crashes and asks to send a file.
Except in the past they always gave you a choice. Now it dumps your data automatically - no choice in the matter.


I'd also like some say in what programs get installed on my system. Now with mandatory automatic Windows Update, you turn on your computer one day and here's this new stuff and don't like it? Tough. No way to disable that "feature". Like you think you want to browse with Firefox? WRONG! You really want to browse with Internet Explorer - no worries, your OS will helpfully install it and make it your default browser free of charge.

I feel like there was a time, maybe a couple decades ago, when Microsoft was in the business of creating software to address the wants and needs of its customers. They'd release something and say: here's this new feature that you might like. And maybe it would be hype, or maybe they'd be inept at it, but at least they tried.

At this point they just tell you "look, our software is revolutionary!" and you find out, yeah, it kind of is, but not in a good way.

[ August 08, 2015, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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jasonr
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quote:
I do not think that people who reboot their computer after a crash and find themselves able to pick up exactly where they left off will find such a feature laughable or stupid.
First of all, you're confusing features. The ability to resume work on a Word file after a crash (for example) has zero to do with your OS sending Microsoft your data after a crash.

And as I mentioned, crash reporting was always voluntary before. Now it just happens automatically. So I'm just working on, say, a confidential legal opinion for a client in Word and whoops - crash - and my legal opinion gets sent to Microsoft for "crash analysis" automatically? Wow, what could go wrong?

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Fenring
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One small note about referring to what "Microsoft" is doing: It is no longer accurate to speak of companies like Microsoft and Google as being private corporations in the traditional sense. At the top level they are in not only direct communication with but also direct partnership with the NSA and probably FBI as well. Microsoft no longer makes business decisions in a vacuum based on what will sell better, and in fact what will sell is no longer necessarily their primary goal as they receive both funding and directives from government to employ certain backdoor (and frontdoor) features into all of their integrated software. The mandatory software integration for which they were previously sued in the anti-trust case is now the government's favorite feature.

I view installing this O/S without disabling the backdoors as not only creepy, but distinctly dangerous. Not dangerous because men will come to your door one day (although this happens to some people), but because of the more extreme version of what can happen, which is the forced shutdown or damage of your system should a nasty force decide to make use of these easy entries to your machine. Cell phones and PC hardware have already been deliberately compromised, and now the basic O/S has followed suit.

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Mynnion
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I finally loaded it earlier today. I plan on removing the permissions. I will say it appears to be much faster.
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LetterRip
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jasonr,

you are misunderstanding what is going on. They are doing statistical analysis on word groups to improve predictive search. They are sending two word, and three word patterns, but it isn't going to reveal what you have typed and it is anonymised so it isn't associated with you specifically.

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LetterRip
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Regarding the crash reporting - it can be disables in services.msc. Generally the crash reports they are doing statistical analysis (only bugs that have 1000's of crashes are going to be worth investigating for them, and using tools is far faster then looking at it directly), and not doing hand disassembling - so they aren't going to be pawing through your crash report.
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LetterRip
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Also Microsoft has always made their browser the default, except when there was antitrust oversight. They have always aggressively pursued getting you to use their software and services.
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jasonr
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Windows Terms of Service

quote:
Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to: 1.comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2.protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3.operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4.protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.

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KidTokyo
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I ruled out going from Windows 7 to 10 when I learned that it would not (or would somehow complicate) a dual-boot with linux. I only use Windows at work with Citrix (no choice) and at home about 10 % of the time, when I want to play a video game, or need to use some particular kind of music software or office software that I do not have readily available on Mac or Linux (such as creating an OCR from a PDF in One Note, or for viewing .bat files), or for when I simply hate myself and would like a bland, malevolent user experience as a kind of electronic hairshirt.

I'm sure that Apple is doing nefarious things too so I am not naive enough to see some panacea there. I generally resent the top-down control of both companies not only for privacy issues, but also because it more generally teaches people everywhere not to look beyond the surface of the tools they use everyday and to not think (to actively fear) really treating it as it should be treated, i.e., a device for doing excactly what you want it to do within it's capabilities and nothing more.

I actually do use a Windows phone (it was cheap) and I like the little squares and everything.

[ August 09, 2015, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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jasonr
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Windows 7 and 8 now compromised

Reluctant to upgrade to Windows 10? Have no fear - Microsoft now offers the same spyware for Windows 7 and 8, automatically downloaded for your convenience.

In all seriousness, this is kind of the last straw for me. I'm not sure if this means switching to a Linux system but that may be the only choice at this point. I don't think I can justify purchasing a Windows based system for my next computer. It's been a good 25+ years with Microsoft (30+ if you count MS DOS and Windows 3.1)

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Pete at Home
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Finally secured a laptop, system 7, and got it to dual boot to Linux. I miss the right-drag feature but otherwise I actually like it better, and am pleasantly surprised at all that's there.
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