owsf2000: (default)
So they decided to make a few changes to Windows 10 for the anniversary update. It's like they're using their datamining to find things people do the most with Windows 10, then take it away from the Home and Pro users.

In a nutshell:
Cortana can no longer be turned off.

The ability to turn off various Policies has been removed with a note it's "only for Enterprise and Education editions". Policies such as the Microsoft Consumer Experience (Probably so they can start advertising stuff in here later on), Show Windows Tips (Probably to start suggesting you buy stuff to do what you need to do), Do not display the lock screen (You know, where ads are currently shown iirc), and Disable all apps from the Windows Store.

The policy manager thing as a whole is yanked from Home users as well - they figured that out last week when they found Cortana could no longer be turned off and the button to conveniently turn it off that was in the start menu had disappeared. Now, I believe you CAN turn Cortana off still, at least for now, but it's just no longer easy to do. They took the button away, policy manager is gone for the bulk of users as well, but you can still do it the old risk-bricking-your-system editing the registry.
owsf2000: (default)
So a week or two ago people started complaining about how Microsoft changed a few things to trick even more people into installing an OS they didn't want. Namely they went against the very nature of convention and changed the functionality of the big X button in the corner - that up until now would cancel the attempted upgrade the way it should - to instead mean confirmation of the scheduled time for the upgrade. Normally when you click an X it doesn't mean "OK". But that's what Microsoft did.

And it pissed people off. So Microsoft did their half-step back apology and promised it would soon have an update to get rid of that deceitful behaviour.

And it's now out! What change did they make? They removed the X button entirely. There is now no way to cancel the attempted install scheduling, beyond making sure none of the Windows 10 nagware patches are on your computer. (There's a few programs to help with this apparently, but it's getting progressively clear you'll have to shut off Windows updates completely before too long.)
owsf2000: (default)
As we near the last 4 months of the trade-your-paid-OS-for-datamining-OS offer from Microsoft, the already intrusive upgrade nagging has become even more intrusive.

Now, instead of asking you if you want to upgrade, Microsoft automatically schedules when you will be upgrading the PC. Currently you can reschedule for a different date or cancel it (Although I'm sure it will re-schedule you again anyway, so why the heck bother with a "cancel" other than to get people to let their guard down.) but I'm sure that's just there to help the lawyers with angry lawsuits.

Imagine people on vacation with their PC left turned on (And since Windows 10 loves to cache itself on your computer, you don't even need it connected to the internet.) They come home and... wow, new OS with no intervention from them.

Hell, it's not like you even need to be on vacation for getting bitten in the ass by this.

I've never seen a company apparently hate their own products quite this intensely.
owsf2000: (default)
So you see all these new privacy invading things being added to Windows 10 as Microsoft tries to monetize their user base. Sending all manner of information back to Microsoft, forced updating (Which has already led to several rounds of computer bricking from poorly executed updates - bricking that could have been avoided if users were allowed to at least hold off on patches.)

One thing that people keep going on about to defend MS's behavior is that Windows 10 is Free! So they gotta make their money back somewhere amirite?

What people seem to lose in this misdirection is that Windows 10 is NOT a free OS. It's just being programmed to act like one. (Forced advertisements (currently being tested), Forced upgrades, Forced choices (Their desktop search just recently got made Bing-only and MS Edge-only) etc.)

What IS free, is that you can freely exchange your valid, PAID-FOR Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 OS for this data-mining OS. If you don't have a PURCHASED Windows OS, the only way to get Windows 10 is via buying a new PC or BUYING it. I checked amazon.ca to find out the cost, but it was "hidden" unless I put it in the shopping cart. I clicked on their "Why" link for why this was hidden and it's because their price tag for the Home version of Windows 10 was cheaper than the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail price. So by law they can't show it on the website unless you show an interest by actually putting it in the cart first.

Their cheaper-than-MS's price tag for Home was over 100 bucks.

In other words, not really much cheaper than any previous paid-for Windows installer. And it's definitely not free. Keep in mind that you're likely paying for Windows 10 on a new PC the same way you were when you were buying a Windows 7, 8, XP, 95, whatever computer. The price is just tacked on to final cost.
owsf2000: (default)
So, for Win7 and 8.1 users, Patch Tuesday brought some security updates for Internet Explorer. That patch apparently has a "trojan" update KB3146449, which is an advertisement generator for Windows 10 for when you open up a new tab.

Best be careful when applying the security updates going forward I guess.
owsf2000: (default)
Shouldn't be any surprise with this, airite?

It was only a short while since the last crash inducing update for Windows 10, this time it appears to be causing crashes, BSODs, and the inability to reboot even in safe mode.

The apparent recovery for this, is to be booting to a recovery ISO, uninstalling the update/rolling back, and hoping you don't get hit again.

I'm rather surprised that it's possible to uninstall updates with a recovery ISO, given how hard Microsoft is trying to force the updates down our throats.

Here's a problem. A LOT of Windows 10 installs in the wild, that are probably being hit up with this bricking, are FREE digital upgrades from their working, stable Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installs.

I doubt they have recovery ISOs for Windows 10.

Even if Microsoft has this recovery ISO available on their website as a free download (I have no idea if they do or not), how many regular people have the thought of "Oh, perhaps I'll need a recovery tool in case Microsoft fucks over my computer in the future. I better do that now while I can still use the internet."

People comment that Windows 10 has millions of beta testers. This is the truth. The problem is that the beta tester is the end user.
owsf2000: (default)
You know this kinda thing was going to happen eventually yes? Sure, you can turn off the advertising but not everyone is going to know how to do that, and if a lot of people do you know they'll just "redesign" the layout so that you have to dig through an extra 10 menus to get to the option that a "faulty" windows upgrade will conveniently turn back on.

I'm -assuming- that the ads are purely images right now. Can you imagine the annoyance factor if your computer started screeching out full screen TV quality ads? Flash ads? javascript ads?

The stupidity of this is that this is on the lock screen. You know, the screen likely to be displayed WHEN NOBODY IS PROBABLY AROUND TO SEE IT. Probably why they picked that screen to "test the waters" actually. "Oh we started doing this and didn't get much negative feedback so we figured it was ok to add it to the joke of a start menu as well."

Perhaps it'll become the new screen saver - with the user having to pay a fee to disable it so they can choose their own screen saver.

If they do start running flash/javascript ads in this manner, I'm going to fucking laugh when malware gets through their QA marketing team and people start getting infected as soon as they lock their computer. (or it locks itself after X idle minutes, for those with good security sense.)
owsf2000: (default)
I can only assume Microsoft has been having trouble keeping up with people determined to prevent Windows 10 overwriting their current Windows installation.

So to fix that, they've made Windows 10 a "recommended" update. Previously it was, regardless of how it seemed to infest people's machines, only an "optional" update.

Apparently they want people either to be on Windows 10, or have windows updates disabled. As eventually that's going to be the only way to avoid it. (I think we can all see this eventually being updated to "required update" and the like at some point this year or next.)
owsf2000: (default)
Really not very surprising I guess, but 'Get Windows 10' Turns Itself On and Nags Win 7 and 8.1 Users Twice a Day.

Essentially if you have been rewriting registry settings to stop the windows 10 nag on your 7/8 boxes, the new update now looks for manually edited register settings and "corrects" them, then proceeds to nag you if you're eligible for a free Windows 10 upgrade - after downloading the 6gig update.

Seriously, with how hard Microsoft is trying to obsolete their older software, I can't help but wonder exactly what benefits they're REALLY getting out of all the datamining they do on Windows 10.

In related news, I've been testing out Linux installs. The Ubuntu 14 upgrade from 12 didn't work very well - functional but some errors. I'm sure things would work fine with a pure 14 install instead of an upgrade, but I've also got a few other distros downloaded and burned to DVD to try out.
owsf2000: (default)
If you did that big ass patch barrage on Tuesday that had like 50+ security patches (at least 2 of which were being actively exploited already) you might want to check to see if your computer is losing 3 gigs or so of harddrive space mysteriously. Apparently Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 out to Windows 7 and 8 users without their consent "just in case" they want to suddenly change their mind and upgrade despite not taking advantage of the free upgrade for the last couple of months.

There are reports of people who are on metered broadband who blew right past their data cap for the month as a result of this, causing them to incur additional charges to their internet bill. Apparently Microsoft wouldn't toss it out if you mark your connection as "metered". And apparently finding that option is trivial in Windows 8, although it's hidden deep deep into the settings of Windows 10. (Maybe if you set your connection to metered in windows 10, they won't go abusing your connection to send data about yourself and forcefeed you the updates? That would certainly explain why they'd take the trouble to hide it yes?)

Problem is, most people don't know about that. Second problem is, the option is new to Windows 8. Windows 7 users thus can't mark their connection as metered to stop Microsoft from forcefeeding them many gigabytes of UNWANTED data.

You can see if this is happening to you by looking for a hidden directory labeled '$Windows.~BT'. It'll apparently also trigger a lot of "failed to upgrade to windows 10" errors. Either way the directory will probably be between 3.5 and 6 gigabytes.

You know, this whole situation is pretty fucking hilarious if you look at it. Normally Microsoft is suing companies and trying hard to put a clamp on pirated copies of their OS. Why? Because people want it, but don't want to pay a few hundred bucks for a full version.

Now it's the other way around. People are trying hard to STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE OS but Microsoft is trying to force it on them with every trick (several times underhandedly so) in the book from sleazily marking the upgrades and nagware patches as "important/critical" to trick people into automatically installing it if they have their Windows Updates configured to ONLY download things that should be necessary. (And those are generally SECURITY updates. There's nothing important about setting a nagware button in your tray.)

The more they push that OS out unwilling computer users, the more I wonder WHY they're trying to do so. Especially with all the privacy invading aspects built in and the degrees people have to go to simply to avoid it.

Kinda reminds me of when Apple forcefed everyone one of U2's new albums. Pissed off shitloads of people. (IE: Everyone who wasn't a U2 fan. Which is actually a lot more of than fans.) Only difference here is that Apple spent over 100 million dollars to piss off their customers. And they still apparently honored their "auto-download" feature - that is, only auto-downloaded it to those who had that turned on. Of course, those turning that on expected it to auto-download things they explicitly added to their account. And only those things.

Meanwhile Microsoft is simply forcefeeding everyone their new OS, bypassing the host file settings and as often as possible their own Windows Update settings. All so they can track the users and get info on every little thing (I kinda hope I'm exaggerating here.) a person does on their computer. Expect that shit to help them send targeted advertising to you eventually. You know they won't be able to resist, assuming it's not already being done. (I don't have Windows 10 so really can't say for sure.)

If Microsoft ONLY has over 100 million users WORLDWIDE for their new flagship after a couple of months, when they're giving it away for free AND trying to sneak it onto Win7/8 computers every chance they get AND this is despite lots of people resisting it as much as possible... there's gotta be something bad about it. I'm not that big of a PC gamer. I'll have no problems jumping over to Linux if the alternative is Windows 10. (Oh wait. I already have a computer running Linux. :P)
owsf2000: (default)
You know, I'm not sure if this is a reason to upgrade to Win10 or not.

Ok, actually for me personally it doesn't change anything - I'm still not thinking of upgrading to Windows 10 due to all the other things they're doing with it. The fact that I have no games that have SecuRom/etc means this doesn't affect me.

But for those gamers out there that swallowed the DRM in the effort to being legit/etc, this is essentially going to kill off a portion of their library unless they... download cracks that remove the disc-requirement. Or avoid Windows 10.
owsf2000: (default)
Part of a summary on Soylent News:
"A Czech site went one further and did a traffic analysis on a default Windows 10 install, what did he find? Well it looks like the Win 10 Keylogger in the beta is still running with pretty much every keystroke, voice, and webcam data being sent to Microsoft even with Cortana disabled."

Linux is sounding better and better the more I hear about Windows 10. I should really try to buy that extra harddrive to start playing with additional Linux distributions on the spare computer sooner than later.
owsf2000: (default)
Aw, didn't even take a month for this to happen. A pity home users are UNABLE TO REFUSE UPDATES and thus get force fed things that may or may not be tested, for which they'd want to hold off on applying an update a week or so to see how it goes over with the majority.
owsf2000: (default)
This, if true, is probably the largest WTF I've seen Microsoft attempt in a long time. Here's the gist of it. If you share your wifi password/login with someone, and they happen to be running Windows 10, then their computer will automatically share the ability to log into your network with all their "contacts".

"Those contacts include their Outlook.com (nee Hotmail) contacts, Skype contacts and, with an opt-in, their Facebook friends."

Supposedly WiFi Sense only lets the other person use the internet, not access your computer directly. But there are 2 problems with this that ANYONE with two brain cells to rub together should have noticed.

1. Hackers make computers do things that the developer did not intend. Give it a year, and I'm being generous, and you'll probably start to see serious attempts to hijack this. It may have been active on Windows Phones since 8.1 but Windows Phones aren't 70%+ of the computer market.

2. Even if I gave access to my wifi to a friend, it doesn't mean I want to offer my limited internet access to THEIR ENTIRE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. What the fuck does Microsoft think I am? A fucking ISP?

The way to disable this, is a clunky, stupid change in the name of your wifi network to include "_optout". In other words, Microsoft knows full well of the security risks this is opening up. Anything even remotely like this should always be OPT IN.

I don't know if this means if I had a Windows 10 computer, and I didn't know about how to opt-out of this retarded scheme - and I DIDN'T give anyone my wifi login info explicitly - would it automatically share my wifi with all of my own contacts? Thankfully I don't use outlook, or skype, and my Facebook is pretty much non-existant (And I wouldn't opt in to it anyway.) but even still, this is a reason to avoid jumping up to Windows 10 when I get a new computer, or that computer would only be running Windows when I needed to work on projects. And I'd make sure IT doesn't have access to my Wifi.

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