24Nov15 – Windows 10 Alert

A wave of reports of problems with the November Windows 10 Update are hitting the news. Microsoft has begun pulling the update without much explanation. You need to read these 3 short articles if you are a Win 10 user. Just a few of the issues I have seen apparently related to this update include the loss of Start button right-click function, denial of access to features or total loss of some apps, “[O]thers are reporting all manner of bugs, such as machines that instantly wake after sleeping, excessive processor usage by the Mail app, the lock screen failing to hide the full desktop, and more besides,” Ars Technica writes.
http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/23/windows-10s-fall-update-is-deleting-certain-apps-without-asking/
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/11/windows-10-november-update-mysteriously-pulled-as-concerns-about-bugs-grow/
http://bgr.com/2015/11/24/windows-10-november-update-bugs/

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15Nov15 – DoctorLaptop’s Tips #43 – Win 10 Finally Some Good News

I am now seeing some successful upgrades to Win 10. These are all PCs that originally came with Win 8.1 installed, and that were properly prepared for the upgrade (that procedure was detailed in a previous post). However be aware that some people are breaking their new Win 10 upgrade by installing 3rd party software that is not Win 10 compatible. Common culprits are Adobe Photoshop and Essentials. Before installing ANY new programs or drivers after you successfully upgrade to Win 10, visit the homepage of the program/driver and be absolutely sure it is certified as Win 10 compatible. Then google “the name of the program + Windows 10 compatibility” and do some reading about problems other users are experiencing. Do not depend on the Windows Compatibility feature to allow you to run older software or drivers!
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08Nov15, pt2 – New Ransomware Warning

A new version of ransomware, meaner and harder to recover from, has been released on the public.  At this time you cannot depend on any software, like Hitman Pro Alert, to protect you. Backups are required to fully recover from this type of attack.

Read the full article here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/cryptowall-4-0-released-with-new-features-such-as-encrypted-file-names/

08Nov15 – Win 10 News – Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped

 

From : http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/11/02/microsoft-confirms-unstoppable-windows-10-tracking/

These are the facts straight from Microsoft.  Remember, you do not own Win 10, you license it only. So MS can do what they like with it, whenever they like, without notifying you, as long as they deem it best for the optimal performance of THEIR operating system!!

By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis

Last week changes to the Windows 10 upgrade path mean it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-techy users to avoid being pushed to Microsoft MSFT +0.00%’s new operating system. But given Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 and Windows 8, why would that be a problem? Because of policies like this…

Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default. More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped:

“In the cases where we’ve not provided options, we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system,” he said. “In the case of knowing that our system that we’ve created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that as so helpful to the ecosystem and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”

This backs up detailed data that some had chosen to dismiss as conspiracy theories.

Still, whether or not you agree with Belfiore’s standpoint that this doesn’t invade user privacy, it does seem strange that it has taken Microsoft so long to come clean and admit core Windows 10 background data collection processes cannot be stopped. Instead it gave the impression that turning off all user accessible spying options in Windows 10 settings would provide owners with full privacy – that’s tantamount to spying

To his credit, Belfiore does recognise the controversial nature of this decision and stresses that:

“We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.”

Interestingly Belfiore himself won’t be around to oversee this as he is about to take a year long sabbatical. When he comes back, however, I suspect this issue will still be raging as Windows and Devices Group head Terry Myerson recently confirmed Windows 10 Enterprise users will be able to disable every single aspect of Microsoft data collection.

This comes in combination with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users’ ability to permanently disable automatic updates which are forced upon consumers and shows the growing divide between how Microsoft is treating consumers versus corporations.

So how concerned should users be about Windows 10’s default data collection policies? I would say very.

By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis.

The good news: even if Belfiore states you cannot switch off everything, editing your privacy settings will disable the worst of these. To find them open the Start menu > Settings > Privacy.

The bad news: despite Belfiore’s pledge “to continue to listen”, Microsoft’s actions (including the impending Windows 7 and Windows 8 upgrade pressure) suggests the company’s recent love for Big Brother tactics is only going to get worse before it gets better…