Users Don't Care Windows 10 Spyware, It's Free

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 14, 2015

Just when I thought there wasn't much else to say about new Windows 10, several more headlines jumped out at me. In KDE news, Jonathan Riddell posted on the shiny new Plasma 5.4 Beta, Boudhayan Gupta detailed the next generation KSnapshot, and David Both shared a comprehensive guide to Dolphin. Elsewhere, Matt Hartley posted a slideshow of the best browsers for Linux.

Windows 10 is now being called spyware, directly. Euphemisms and sycophancy are falling away as it's becoming common knowledge that users upgrading to Windows 10 are selling the details of their lives pretty cheap. Several articles appeared saying just set the privacy settings and everything will be fine, but Arstechnica today revealed that might not be so. Writer Peter Bright said, "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." As Bright detailed the findings of a network traffic study, it's clear Windows 10 keeps close contact with Microsoft networks. Even when using a proxy, Windows 10 communication bypasses it. "Disabling these services for those who don't want to use them should really disable them. And it's not at all clear that Windows 10 is doing that right now." Bright wonders if many might not mind giving Microsoft their data in exchange for all the shiny convenient apps and services with a zero price tag.

TechRadar found that the purchase price has been the main draw of Windows 10. In fact, nearly 2/3 respondents say the zero price tag was the reason they chose to upgrade to Windows 10. The New American article suggested folks just upgrade to Linux, but it wasn't the first. Silviu Stahie today expounded on that thought by saying this is probably the best time for Linux to make its move. But not if Microsoft has it way. Christine Hall today posted of the deluge of advertising hitting the air- (and cable) waves not only for Windows 10 but also devices running it. She stated, "The ads are of the feelgood genre, and they attempt to get viewers to suspend belief enough to believe that every facet of life will be instantly transformed into something magically perfect with Windows 10." On second thought, perhaps the falling away of sycophancy isn't happening, as Hall points out towards the end of her post. The media is assuring the adoption success of this spyware with their articles building it up and downplaying the negatives.

In KDE news, Jonathan Riddell yesterday said that Plasma 5.4 Beta "brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons." It also contains a tech preview of Wayland sessions, new volume applet, yucky full screen launcher, and new Network applet graphs. Other tidbits include improved high DPI support, smaller memory usage and performance improvements, drag & drop in Sticky Notes and Trash can, updated documentation, new monitor configuration, and lots more. In a separate post, Boudhayan Gupta introduced new screen capture tool to replace KSnapshot: KScreenGenie. KSnapshot needed a "major overhaul" in order to get Wayland support and the result is a new faster app with lots more features.

In related news, David Both posted A comprehensive guide to Dolphin, a KDE file manager yesterday saying, "The purpose of a file management application like Dolphin is to enable users to locate specific files and open, delete, copy, or move them. It's very powerful and provides some very advanced features."

Elsewhere, Matt Hartley posted a slideshow of the eight Best Linux Browsers, although I think it's more like a rundown of all Linux browsers not in a terminal.

Gentoo has changed their main package repository to use Git. They moved from CVS to "facilitate the process of new contributors getting involved as proxy maintainers and eventually Developers." They began working on this in 2006 as a proof of concept and as of yesterday the rsync mirrors should be caught up. Regular users won't notice anything different.

Oh, and one I forgot to mention earlier in the week, the St George News in Utah posted this little helpful article suggesting folks can save back-to-school money by buying a used computer and installing Linux.