iHeartRadio hits Windows 10 with Cortana support

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Hello to RealSense: How the password is being sent to a slow death.

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of an operating system, there’s always a few users bitterly unhappy at the company’s decision not to support new features on older products. This Friday at 6AM PDT, Microsoft is going to be holding its live stream at IFA (labeled “Windows 10 Lights Up New Devices”,) and they’re sure to be showing off some of the new devices that will be running Windows 10. If you felt like Windows 7 and Windows 8 offered you a little too much privacy, rejoice: Microsoft is updating those operating systems with the same telemetry gathering software it deployed on Windows 10. We had noted earlier that the downloads won’t take place over a metered connection, although you can opt for this setting in the advanced options in WiFi.

It’s possible that Microsoft may use this platform in order to formally announce the rumored October event, in which they may finally go about announcing the flagships that Windows 10 Mobile so desperately needs. Hopefully, with an event with as much attention as IFA, Microsoft can recognize that now is a great time to work on building some excitement for its upcoming projects.

Companies like Lenovo and Toshiba have been very successful in incorporating fingerprint scanners on their computing devices and of late the same technology has started becoming popular in smartphones too. If you’re like me and intend to wake up criminally early to catch this live-stream, (or are lucky, and live in a place in which this event occurs at a reasonable hour) you can catch the stream right here. Additionally Windows 10 Education, Pro and Enterprise editions have a group policy editor option which will allow only ‘Priority’ updates to get downloaded. The KB also notes that “Most programs make CEIP options available on the Help menu, although for some products, you might have to check settings, options, or preferences menus.” This is a recommended Windows update.

It has also been reported that users can now control whether apps in the Windows 10 Store will update automatically, an option which was not available earlier. RealSense cameras are able to scan the faces and use the unique characteristics of the same to login in the device’s owner without the need for a password. KB 3075249: This update adds telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels. With Windows 10, Microsoft has envisioned the OS as a services platform and regular updates is a good thing, given that it will give users the latest security updates. What this appears to mean is that MS wants more information about the kinds of applications that trigger UAC in the first place, presumably because it wants to know what they do and why they need that access.

KB 3080149: This update is described in identical language to the first two. “This package updates the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.” It is provided as an Optional update, even though the first was classified a “Recommended” update. One of the assumptions made by various privacy advocates and journalists, including me, is that third-party utilities would be able to shut down the tracking Microsoft deployed in Windows 10. To some degree, that’s already happened, but there are certain new “features” of the operating system that can’t be blocked by any OS-level tweaks, including the hosts file.

In fact, the first RealSense camera on a smartphone will be on Google’s Project Tango devices, the first prototypes of which were on show during the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The only way to block some of these connections is if your router has a firewall you can configure and if that firewall allows you to block HTTPS connections instead of simply passing them through.

It’s still possible to reduce the amount of information flowing to Microsoft, but disabling it completely seems to be impossible unless you build a software router or replace your current hardware with a dedicated box. Windows 7’s GPEdit.msc contains a setting that allows users to disable all application telemetry, and another setting that can shut off user participation in the Consumer Experience Improvement Program.

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