Data Privacy Winners And Losers

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   Privacy on the 'Net is something all of us consider important so the recently released study done by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) regarding the "who's who" of Data Privacy reveals data of interest to just about everybody. Those receiving a 5 star rating are fewer than we might hope but it's not really surprising - beyond that which online entities have less than 5 stars is not surprising either. Do we really expect AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to be completely open and forthcoming?


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Microsoft to Change Their Business Model


  With the release of the newest Microsoft OS next year there will also be a formal change to the way Microsoft generates revenue with its software. According to Microsoft's current COO Kevin Turner the company is looking to change its business model to conform with changes occurring in many businesses including technology and software. What Microsoft has done for decades, as most every other software manufacturer also had done, is to charge the customer up front for the full cost of their software products. Whereas many of Microsoft's products now have competition from other Tech Giants offering free alternatives as well as subscription alternatives, Kevin Turner states that Microsoft "needs to monetize it differently". This can refer to the upcoming Windows 10 OS and other Microsoft offerings. So what exactly does this mean for the consumer?




Windows 10 Technical Preview Now Available


  No more speculating on what the "new Windows" will be named - Microsoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview yesterday for those who wish to evaluate it and essentially help them develop Windows 10. Microsoft has moved things up a notch (or maybe that's 1.9 notches) by skipping over what might have been named Windows 9 and gaining a degree of separation from Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This Technical Preview is really exactly that, meaning two basic things: To use this software requires a certain level of Technical capability, AND it is only a Preview of what Windows 10 will eventually become. There are definitive caveats which accompany downloading and using the Windows 10 Technical Preview, so please do be very careful as to how you might proceed if you decide to become a Windows Insider and actually use this software. Please note that to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview you must have a computer currently running either Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8/8.1.



Microsoft Still Issuing Some Updates For XP


  Microsoft had stated that as of April 8th 2014 Windows XP would no longer be supported; however, evidently Microsoft is in fact still supporting Windows XP to a certain extent. Starting later in April with several updates to Windows Defender and one for Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft later also issued a Security Update for Windows XP on April 11th 2014 (KB2510531). Since that time, there have been updates to Windows Defender, IE8, Microsoft Office, and even Silverlight. Interesting also that there was an update issued specific to Windows XP (KB890830) entitled "Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool July 2014". But wait - there's more...


September 10th is the Internet Slowdown


  This is a major effort to save Net Neutrality from those who would destroy it for their own personal and corporate gains, and yes, it is the Battle for the Net. The most powerful ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc.) are bringing heavy corporate forces to bear in order to "sway" the FCC into removing the level playing field which has always been the backbone of the Internet, known as Net Neutrality. This is something that the average PC and Internet user is NOT GOING TO ENJOY and will in fact serve only to detriment the experience of using the 'Net.