Thursday, July 13, 2017

Microsoft Still Sucks (Worse Than Ever)

So windows still, after all these years, chooses when I can use the computer I supposedly bought and own. For the past few weeks Windows has been blocking me from using the computer by opening a window that I can not close without accepting something but it is not clear exactly what I am accepting. Subservience. Submission. Again and again it does it telling me it cannot upgrade without me checking my privacy settings and more than once I set the settings and it apparently does not like my choosing to share nothing with Microsoft for even after I click accept it lets me use the computer for a little while and repeats the same process. hen it asks again it reset my privacy settings to share my information with MS in spite of my turning off any sharing with MS. Tonight it asked me to restart. For forty minutes it has been spinning it's wheels with

"Getting Windows ready.
Don't turn off your computer.

It should read

We have taken over your computer again,
Do something else or buy a MAC.
You can use your computer again when we tell you.
Go away.

Then, when Windows finally let me enter my password and get back into my computer and what do I see but a damned advertisement Windows SPAM. As if that is not bad enough, about an hour later the same window opened as I was typing (preventing me from saving my writing or doing anything else with the computer) showing the same message and with the same reset privacy settings that Microsoft seems to want. Again I turned off sharing with them and clicked accept and then clicked OK. I am not sure what I was accepting again and I hope the turned-off setting I chose does not get turned back on again by MS. This should be an illegal invasion of privacy.

This is the message I left on the MS webpage that they put up to explain what they are doing, but they don't care.

You are lying. I have set my privacy settings several times and clicked Accept and then OK and all I get are advertisements - SPAM - but no update. Each time the request to set my Privacy Settings window opens again, I find Windows reset my choices to your choices. The window blocks me from using my computer. Windows is losing me on this one. Mac does not do this. Give me my computer back and stop SPAMMing me on my own computer or I leave Windows for good.

Here is some information about what they have been up to.

Here are some suggestions about what we can do.

1. Go to Settings – Privacy and go through the 13 different screens there and turn anything which concerns you to off. The biggest, most universal settings are under ‘General’, while the other screens let you choose which apps can and can’t access your calendar, messages, camera, mic, etcetera. There may well be stuff you want to leave on – for instance, I do actually want Windows’ Calendar app to access my calendar data (obv), I just don’t want it to sell that data on because I don’t want to be bombarded with flower ads when it’s my mum’s birthday.

2. Depending on whether you’ve been finding it useful or not, you may want to go to Cortana’s settings and turn off everything there. It’s just working as a basic file search for me now, as I didn’t want its ‘suggestions’, I didn’t want it to lock me into Bing and I didn’t want a tiny part of my processor to be forever dedicated to listening out for voice commands I will never use.

3. This is the crucial one, and so fundamental to Windows 10’s tracking that Microsoft have stuck the setting on an external website, which they say is so that it’s on one easy dashboard, but I find it hard not to wonder if it’s in the hope that we don’t easily stumble across it while browsing Windows 10’s own Privacy menus. Said website is colourful and cheerful and can play a video at you talking about how wonderful targeted advertising is. Ignore the bumf and instead go directly here and set both options to Off. It’s the innocuous-sounding “Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” which is the likely root of all this, because having that on means Windows 10 itself becomes a hub for targeted ads. You’ll probably have set up Windows 10 with a Microsoft account, because it heavily encourages you to do so with talk of synchronised files and settings and a OneDrive cloud account during installation, but this means the OS is signed into that account all the time. As a result, Windows 10 itself has it spyglasses on, not just apps or pages that you’re signed into with your MS account.

I notice that every time I go back to that page, the “Personalised ads in this browser” setting has silently turned itself back on again. This is concerning, but I’m not yet sure if it’s a bug or if it’s exploiting sessions as an excuse to reset regularly. Judicious ad and cookie control with your plugins and browser options of choice can change this, however. Again, do remember that many websites are dependent on advertising revenue to survive, but opting out of targeted advertising – and having that opt out be respected – is another matter entirely.

4. You may also wish to remove your Microsoft account from Windows 10 and use a local account instead. This will double-down on restricting what’s harvested, though you’ll lose out on features such as settings synchronisation across all your PCs and will suffer more nagging from stuff like the Windows Store and OneDrive. Probably not a big deal for many people, I suspect. Go to Settings – Accounts – Your Account within Windows 10 (or just type ‘Accounts’ into haha Cortana) to get to the relevant options.

If you have multiple PCs already running Windows 10 you’ll need to do all of this on each of them, although your Microsoft account opt-out should be universal.

None of these options mean you’ll see fewer ads, but they do mean that not quite so much information about you will be gathered and sold, and also that the ads you do see won’t be ‘relevant’ to what algorithms have decided your interests are. It is worth noting that some folk find the latter to be preferable to entirely irrelevant ads, and in some cases even useful – but certainly not everyone. Hopefully you can use the information here to make an informed choice about what happens. Again, in many respects it’s not wildly different from what already happens on your smart phone or your browser, but it’s important that you should know about it, and that Windows now has something of an ulterior motive.

More options, or clearer options, may become available in time, depending on how much of the world frowns at Microsoft about this. I’ll let you know if I hear of anything else that needs doing in order to have Windows 10 respect your privacy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Google, Chrome, Blogger, and People in General.

Well, the entry this would have been epic in a much more meaningful blog than this one was deleted by google and blogger because I right clicked on a link in history to copy it and Chrome opened another a page in this window and blogger did not save this entry. So much was revealed and I was so happy with the writing, I am just sick about that. Worse, I just opened the same history page by left clicking on it in a new tab and Google's Chrome opened it in a new window, leaving the new tab intact. Fuck google and blogger for doing it. How counter intuitive is that?. Left click, open link. Right click, open menu. Anyway, Chrome just lost a lot of points and next time I come to the computer I will probably choose another browser. We shall never see what was, so all we can do is move on.

So wherever we were, we continue doing whatever we might have come here to do.

I have changed a lot over the years. A decade or few ago, definitely as a younger person, this blog would be a whole lot more amusing than it is. This world has been quite disappointing, all in all. Not that I came into it expecting anything, but I had so much hope. I don't tolerate pretense well at all and this world, in the form of people, is full of it (and people too). I am finally coming to terms with it the changes. I no longer see the glass of people (as in humanity) as half full. I see a drain of our own making and we are rapidly (in epoch time) swirling down it.

I'd say Have a Nice Day but even the sarcasm of pretense is losing it's elasticity.

I wish you peace, really I do.

I just don't think you really want it.

Narf.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Google

Google is proving once again that it has no concept of developing or serving a community. Note the lack of success of Google Plus. The new Blogger "Dashboard" is no longer a Dashboard. A Dashboard is supposed to provide all the important information a user needs at a glance. The new dashboard provides nothing but a single blog access page. have more than one blog, you have to select from a drop down menu and click a few times. Have more than a few blogs, clicks and scroll. Time consuming inconveniences replaced the useful at-a-glance information.

Ultimately, the most active users are complaining everywhere and Google tells them "Send us feedback" using the "Feedback button" which is insulting because active users know the Feedback Button is the Google Trash Bin. Like MySpace, Google Blogger is losing it's community and perhaps that is their business decision. Perhaps they do not want to continue paying for the server space to house the active bloggers. That seems to be the way of the big internet companies.

So I blog less. I look for other blog platforms. That appears to be what Google wants.

I used to respect Google.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Anti-Blogging Blog Site

I am realizing that I am not blogging nearly as much as I used to since Google Blogger changed the dashboard landing page to default to a single blog with the only access to other blogs by an alphabetical drop down menu. That removes any semblance of the concept of "dashboard" and eliminates the second most attractive and the single most useful aspect of the Google Blogger website. Easy single click access to multiple blogs.

I am looking for another blog platform and welcome suggestions.

Monday, November 28, 2016

CBSN - No Credibility

So I am sitting here minding my own business adoring myself and appreciating my free time (or is that languishing?... well, maybe lambasting a bit, at least) when Jackson texts a wonderfully cheerfully positive good morning and then asks if I heard about the Ohio State shooting. Since I care about her and want to know what might be upsetting her, I turned on the news (online CBS live news, cuz that is all I have). I find the headlines blaring with scared reporters shouting scary words about terror and mass shootings all over the news headlines and I listen to the analysis of past mass shootings and terrorist attacks. Sick propaganda, not news.

Then I hear a student interviewed stating emphatically that he was across the street from the incident and heard no shots, rather saw a car drive on to the sidewalk into a crowd of people and then saw the driver get out with a knife at which time he left. Hours went by with the news blaring terror and shooting reports. Fiver hours later the "homeland security" reporter with very sketchy information citing past reports of "incidents in Ohio" is still tensely claiming this was a "Lone Wolf Terrorist" attack and keep repeating the trigger words "lone wolf terrorist" ... "active shooter" ... "possible accomplice" ... ISIS ... "Al-Quaeda" ... in paranoid rants even as he and other reporters state it is "too early to tell" what the truth is in the same breath.

CBSN lost all credibility with me today.

I finally turned it off after they continued to hype the ISIS terrorist angle an hour after the actual facts of the incident were clear and no actual ties other than the driver's Nationality (Somali) were known. Don't let investigators with gacts tell us the truth. skew everything and report on scary theories and call it news. Call it CNS News. Ultimately, this type of paranoid scare-mongering news reporting is inciting more terrorist than ISIS or any other terror group. Suddenly millions of people are hearing about the "ISIS call for terror attacks." You think some mentally unstable Muslims are not hearing the report and getting ideas?

So I wrote this meaningless complaint to CBS.

You are the terrorists. You are the propagandists. Will you please stop selling the terrorist propaganda scare-mongers paranoid fantasies calling is "news." It leads to more fear, hate, and war and you chose that path. First you say it is a terrorist shooter. Then you say it is a lone wolf terrorist. Neither was proven while you sound the trumpets. You are encouraging the terror by creating this nightmare fantasy that has no proof at this time. This could have been a drunk Michigan football fan reacting to the overtime loss just as easily as anything else. Why not go off on that ridiculous tangent? Sick mentality at CBS News making this an extended "terror" broadcast. Sell your commercial time to someone else, you lost all credibility with any rational viewer.


Meanwhile, in other news on the same station and website, the self-proclaimed white supremist kid who killed 9 black people in a Charleston Church is not labelled "terrorist" or even "shooter" as his story is being reported side by side with the "Ohio State Shooter." Note the Ohio State idiot never had a gun, shot no one, killed no one, and we have no real knowledge of why he drove his car into a crowd. Even more importantly, note that we are not comparing the injuries or even the incidents here, we are comparing the headlines and the news spin that the United States media is putting on each story.

Propaganda is reporting uncertain facts as truth or ignoring certain facts to highlight certain aspects of a story. The discussion about the Justin Beiber look-alike killer in Charleston revolves around the legal process because he wants to defend himself in court. Ties to the radical hate groups he himself claims to be part of and the fact that he and those groups live right here and kill based on their hatred is omitted from the reporting. The discussion of the unidentified driver who drove into a crowd of people and exited the car swinging a butcher knife is about "Lone Wolf Terrorists" inspired by Somalian ties to radical terrorist organizations.

Ignore the bias and you are thinking like a racist.