Thursday, July 30, 2015

Microsoft Using Windows 10 to Spy On You.

Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It

Windows 10‘s privacy settings very much need to be frowned at. Essentially: unless you pay close attention to the fluffy options offered when you first install Microsoft’s new operating system, it’s going to quietly track your behaviour and use it to fire targeted ads at you, as well as keeping tabs on your location history, data from messages, calendars, contacts and God knows what else. It is a bit scary. At least some of this stuff can be turned off after the fact, however. I’ll explain how to do that below.

Yesterday we talked about whether or not you should upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system and before that we looked at the potentially dodgy WiFi Sense feature. Privacy is an even bigger issue.

Conventional wisdom has it that Microsoft’s fight for technological relevance is against Apple. For a time that was true, but as of late they’ve effectively ceded the floor to the Cupertino mob when it comes to hardware (although I hope the Surface Pro line continues – I’m a big fan) and have once again narrowed their computing focus to software. The battle there is against Google, whose search, browser and productivity tools increasingly form a loose, web-based operating system. People aren’t so hot on paying for things these days, which means the money comes from harvesting data and flogging it to advertisers and other organisations who want to know exactly what we’re all up to online. Microsoft want a piece of that, so if you ever wondered why they’ve made the Windows 10 upgrade free to Win 7 & 8 users, here’s one possible answer. Windows 10 has all sorts of user tracking baked right in.

Read the entire article here.

I bet I can whip up a PowerShell script to change the local settings from “Take all my data” to “Mind your own damned business”.

Also, Lifehacker has a nice article with more info on what settings need to be changed in Windows 10.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Windows 10 shares wifi passwords like an STD

Windows 10 Shares Your Wi-Fi With Contacts

Starting today, Microsoft is offering most Windows 7 and Windows 8 users a free upgrade to the software giant’s latest operating system — Windows 10.

But there’s a very important security caveat that users should know about before transitioning to the new OS:Unless you opt out, Windows 10 will by default share your Wi-Fi network password with any contacts you may have listed in Outlook and Skype — and, with an opt-in, your Facebook friends!


My suggestions:

  1. Prior to upgrade to Windows 10, change your Wi-Fi network name/SSID to something that includes the terms “_nomap_optout”.
  2. After the upgrade is complete, change the privacy settings in Windows to disable Wi-Fi Sense sharing.
  3. If you haven’t already done so, consider additional steps to harden the security of your Wi-Fi network.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hackers gonna hack your ride

I WAS DRIVING 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.

Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.

As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car’s digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought.

Last thing I need is for some zit popping basement dweller to fuck with my brakes while I’m trucking across town on a donut & coke run, all from the comfort of his mom’s house in BFE. Two guys accomplished this in a few years, imagine what it’s going to be like in 5 years now that folks KNOW it can be done.

Like I need another reason to prefer older cars to the new hotness.

Poached from Wirecutter.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015



I’m so going to the Renaissance Fair this year, especially if I can convince Red to wench up!

Above pic from Wirecutter’s.