Confirmed: Windows 10 Cannot Be Stopped From Spying On Users And Will Be Mandatory From January 2016

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Windows 10 users are unable to stop the new operating system from spying on them, and even Microsoft is unable to prevent it from collecting some types of data. Microsoft has continued to insist that Windows 10 users enjoy full privacy and can always choose to turn of the data collection options in settings. But, for the first time, the Redmond-based software giant has admitted that the process of collecting core background data in Windows 10 cannot be stopped.  Continue reading

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Even when told not to, Windows 10 just can’t stop talking to Microsoft

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Windows 10 uses the Internet a lot to support many of its features. The operating system also sports numerous knobs to twiddle that are supposed to disable most of these features and the potentially privacy-compromising connections that go with them.

Unfortunately for privacy advocates, these controls don’t appear to be sufficient to completely prevent the operating system from going online and communicating with Microsoft’s servers.

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Monsanto and Others Caught Paying Internet ‘Trolls’ to Attack Activists

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Have you ever seen a post, comment, or reply that absolutely reeked of behind-the-scenes compensation by corporations like Monsanto? In the growing age of internet activism, and the expansion of social media as a tool to spread the word on real issues, paid internet trolling is becoming a new career path.

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Google, Microsoft Speak Out on Gov. Requests; New Firefox Plug-in Informs Users of NSA Spying

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On Friday, Facebook’s general council member Ted Ullyot publically announced that his company had been inquired by various local and federal government agencies to provide personal information of up to 10,000 users within the last six months of 2012. In all, those 10,000 demands implicated up to 19,000 personal Facebook user accounts. Continue reading

“Police raided me” says leaker who tried selling next-gen Xbox dev kit

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(ArsTechnica) -Leaking information and materials regarding upcoming consoles is serious business. Just ask SuperDaE, the anonymous source whose parceling of information and attempted sale of his supposed Microsoft “Durango” development kit has purportedly earned him a visit from police and an FBI agent.

The mysteriously well-informed source posted on Twitter this morning that “police raided me,” apparently based on a warrant that cited Microsoft, eBay, and Paypal. He later followed up to say that an FBI agent and seven to eight police were involved in the raid.

We’ve been unable to independently confirm SuperDaE’s claims. The clandestine source says he was tweeting from an Apple Store and was therefore unable to post proof of the warrants that were sitting at home. While his location on Twitter is listed as North Carolina, the second attempted eBay sale of the Durango kit (Which went for over AUD$50,000) lists the location as Perth, Australia. That would raise questions about the involvement of the US FBI, but it would help explain how he was supposedly posting from an Apple Store during what was the middle of the night for the United States.

Console makers routinely place strict controls on the distribution of development kits, especially before a system’s formal announcement and release. Developers are required to sign strict nondisclosure and no-resale agreements before receiving hardware, so the thought that Microsoft would get law enforcement involved isn’t outside the realm of possibility. When Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios was liquidated recently, Microsoft publicly intervened to try to prevent the resale of its Xbox 360 development kits. Then again, SuperDaE has said that his first attempt to sell the kit on eBay was blocked by Microsoft—without the need for a police raid.

Last June, supposed documents describing the next Xbox’s features and hardware specs were taken down from the Web at the request of an IP law firm that frequently represents Microsoft.

Munich city council saves over $12 million through switch to desktop Linux

(SmartCompany.com) The Munich city council has realised cost savings of over €10 million ($A12.36 million) as the result of a recent program to migrate its desktop PCs from Windows to Linux.

H-Online reports the city council conducted a study on the IT savings made by switching in comparison to two scenarios in which the city council continued using Windows.

Under the first comparison scenario, using Windows with Microsoft Office, the council would have incurred around €11.6 million in operating system related costs, including €4.2 million in Microsoft Office related costs, €2.6 million for Windows, around €5 million for hardware upgrades, along with application migration costs of around €55,000.

In the second scenario, where the council had continued using Windows but had migrated to an open source office suite such as Open Office, Libre Office or Calligra, it would have incurred additional costs of €7.4 million, gaining one-third the cost savings of a full switch to Linux.

By comparison, the Linux migration has cost the city council just €270,000 in application migration costs, with no licencing fees for open source software and no need to upgrade older desktops to support the platform.