Windows 10 sneakiness alert

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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One (of many) reason(s) I will not be using Windows 10 is that it sends usage data to MSoft and this cannot be turned off. This 'service' will also be applied to other windows versions via Windows Update - at least it can be uninstalled.

The update in question is 3068708. The OSs affected are Win 8.1, Server 2012 R2, Win 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1. Others may be affected, like Win 8 and plain Win 7.
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DrTeeth

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  • paranoid.

Posted 4 years ago

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Chris DL5NAM

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.... do you think you have any secrets that they not know ? Yes?

Believe me, also Santa bring not the presents at XMAS !

:-)
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Mark - WS7M

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Actually its been going on a lot earlier than you mention!   It just was not as easy to detect and I think M$ is attempting to stay out of trouble by notifying you and telling you right up front that they will be doing this.

Frankly the fact that you are posting here on Flex well the world has some usage info on you just by that.  They know your handle "Guy" and your ham calls (lots of info can be dug up that way).  I'm sure if you are actually on the air somewhere some system is tracking what bands you are heard on etc etc.

I think these days the ONLY WAY to avoid this kind of stuff is to go completely off the grid.  Use no power, radiate no signals, use absolutely no hard wire connections to anything.  Even then you can't hide from the satellites!  :-)

I think it is far easier to just be boring.  That way even though they are monitoring you, you just put them to sleep because you don't do anything interesting.
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Rob G6EIH

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Not doing anything to worry about, maybe we can bill MS for the data sent.
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Mark - WS7M

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Now that is an idea!!!   
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Dave - WB5NHL

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"this cannot be turned off. "    This isn't completely true. There is alot that can be done though MS doesn't necessary make it obvious. See the links below
Cortana

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2949759/windows/killing-cortana-how-to-disable-windows-10s-info-hungr...

Privacy in General

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2015/08/windows_10_privacy_problems_here_s_how_bad_...
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Michael Coslo

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Microsoft has for a while been ignoring those requests. I don't think this is a "All your data are belong to us" situation and we've been letting Big brother know every time our backside itches for years situation, just a grant to Microsoft to have total access to our computer.

There are ways to avoid the massive telemetry. It involves using a linux hardware firewall and dlocking the dozens of phone home requests and sites. I have a listing - it's impressively long.

Until I get that set up, My W10 is on a machine with nothing else except SmartSDR, fldigi suite, WSJT and WSPR. I rather like it that way.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or...people can simply abandon Microsoft products. Just imagine the bind Intuit has with their TurboTax and Qicken products. They won't just know your callsign, they will know your w-2_info.

That sounds kind of conspiracy theory, doesn't it? If enough users told a vendor they didn't want software requiring Windows, the products would change.
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AA0KM

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Mail man can`t deliver to you if you don`t have an IP address. To late for what ever you use online.

You have an Ip address they know what you been up to and looking into.

Your ISP and other servers along they way have the scoop on you.

Spying Vs Privacy is a big issue .

If you been on the internet anytime they already know your behaviors, likes and dis-likes.

Kind of late to hide. Yes there are proxies and ways of hiding but a lot of work for just a simple end-user to deal with.

But the new idea`s of the Os`es is to tailor your likes and dislike that's why you see all the

AD banners showing what you have all ready looked at. Hence MS and other operating systems

spies on you so they can be in the loop of making money off of advertisements that you may or may

not clicked on.

Yes there maybe ways of minimizing your presence on the www but it get`s harder and harder.

To much money to be made in advertising and such.

But doesn`t matter which operating system you use.

Usage tracks are often for product worthiness like how well it works or not and if it crashes or bug issues are returned to the OS programmer and how often it is used. 

If everyone understood an OS it would amaze us all what goes on under the hood.LOL.

Even me! lol

No fear here! Online since 1991. 9600Baud. wow to even think..

Be safe as you can update Anti-virus and run a few spyware removing programs.

My 2Ct`s

73 Jeff






(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or, run Linux Jeff, and end your worries.
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Ken - NM9P

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I am a fan of Linux Mint (latest version I have tried is v. 17, I think.)
If I could get SSDR, ACLog, and N1MM+ to run on it, i might consider a semi-permanent switch!  Until then, I am stuck with Win 10.  I can't afford an new apple computer right now!
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Walt - KZ1F

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When I last spoke to Tom (N1MM) permission to rewrite it was denied. I could maybe do a relatively close reproduction of it. It,actually, might be a good candidate for WINE.
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Michael Coslo

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They are extremely Windows Centric. I don't know if it is still there, but they used to have on their Website to not even ask for anything other than a Windows version.
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Walt - KZ1F

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My understanding is its written in VB. I suppose weirder things have happened, I am just not familiar with any. I totally get a hand full of people who all know VB not being terribly interested in learning a more modern language. This is why I offered to do it for them, and even give them the new source. I may not be able to nail every last flipping contest but I could nail the biggies. That I would open source, in the actual meaning of an open source project. I'd, of course, be the sole initial committer.
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DrTeeth

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Cor blimey! All I did was give my fellow hams a heads up ;-).
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Ken - NM9P

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Don't take it personally, mate.
There is nothing that gets folks over here involved in a discussion is the issue of privacy vs. government or large corporations!  it's in our blood!

You are likely to hear every position on the spectrum from "you got nothing to hide..so don't worry who sees it" on one hand to "You can't trust your information to those evil bureaucrats and 1 per-centers, so unroll the tin foil and build your Faraday cage!"

As many have posted...."Privacy" doesn't truly exist any more, so do what you can to minimize the risks."  (my paraphrase)

Like you, I get frustrated by all of the programmers that assume the right to use our computers to help market their stuff or generate add revenue for them unless we "opt out" or even the "let us use your machine to help us improve our program." 

If you opt out, who knows if they really abide by that?  And who is going to enforce it?

But we could all become like the eccentric guy played by Gene Hackman in the Will Smith movie, "Enemy of the State."  (A good flick, by the way.)

Ken - NM9P
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or Faraday hat.
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Walt - KZ1F

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This is yet one reason I think Windows is a sewer. It attracts all sorts of unsavory critters.
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Michael Coslo

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I don't do anything online I wouldn't tell anyone about.  Yes, my ISP has a record of my web habits.

The problem as I see it is that as AA0KM notes,  you get a "tailored web experience". Microsoft doesn't want to get you in trouble, they want to get your data, and sell it to people who want to sell you things. 

Some of us don't want a tailored web experience. If I might give an example, I had to turn off adBlock and noscript once to visit TireRack.com to look at purchasing some tires. I forgot to turn them back on, and the oddest thing happened. On every site I went to after that, there was a TireRack ad for the tires I had been looking at. 

It's not tinfoil hattery to be annoyed at  that. And this isn't to diss TireRack - just a personal experience from when I forgot to re-enable some of my browser software plugins. 
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WA2SQQ

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So what port does this service use? Find it and block it.
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DrTeeth

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I just uninstalled it.
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Rob G6EIH

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Every little post on here, Facebook, Twitter, etc means thy know more about you, personally I don't care but stealing my paid for bandwidth I do object to.
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Walt - KZ1F

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'Stealing my paid'? I am guessing that's a typo by no clue as to of what was meant.
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Ken - NM9P

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I think he means using his "paid-for bandwidth" to obtain data from his computer, when he might be paying a per/Gb fee for the "privilege" of letting them spy on him using his own internet connection.
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Rob G6EIH

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I pay for my internet connection and I don't like it being used to by others, it should be my choice and mine alone.

That's it end of this discussion for me and time to go play radio.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Thanks for the clarification Ken, Tom.
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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The paranoia exhibited here is quite entertaining. "Phoning home" was well established before Windows 2000. The main difference between then and now is they are required by law to tell you now.

Apple is the same as uSoft in this regard. And, unless you compiled your Linux from the source code yourself you are a beacon of data also.

If you are really worried about privacy, you certainly shouldn't have bought a networked SDR.
I have a nice KWM-2A that avoids these concerns. And it's EMP-proof, too.

The only spy-proof logging system is this one: http://www.arrl.org/shop/Amateur-Radio-Logbook/

Have Fun!
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Walt - KZ1F

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"Unless you've compiled your Linux from source code..."

And the basis for that entertaining paranoia is? If it were, as you profess, in Linux it would be in source code as well. Unlike Windows which require open ports, Linux can be completely shut off from the outside world. Unless less you've enabled port forwarding to the full address and port of the radio, it too is safe from intrusion. Have you ever heard of the program Satan?
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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No that's not what I meant. Linux from vendors has exhibited otherwise undocumented port activity that is not to be found in the source.

If you're after total security you have to compile your operating system and all installation utilities from the source yourself. Something I haven't bothered to do since the early 80s. 

People have been trading privacy for convenience for the entire electronic age.

The humor is found in the tech-averse paranoia exhibited by a small but vocal bunch of guys out here on the cutting edge. If you're that afraid of computers perhaps you would do better with a "dumb" radio.

What proof is there that the radio's software won't spy on you if given the chance?  Flex is a vendor for the government, too, you know.

Me, I'll just have fun with my Marvelous Toy on my Windows-powered network.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Bob, there are some people who just don't like Windows. They use it,perhaps begrudgingly, not because its preinstalled on the computer they bought from Dell, but rather because the software they want to use for ham radio is only written in VB or C# and is only available in a win32 or .NET package.

Security wise, Windows is a joke. The same is not true for Linux. I can't speak for Mac.

What I find amazing and heartening are the numbers of people who will, effectively, say "you give me another option and I'll drop Linux right on top of Windows and never look back.

To be sure, there are people on here with little to no computer savvy. There are others who are sysadmins, security people, software people.

I do not know if what you said above is belief or said simply for effect. I can tell you its largely wrong.
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Michael Coslo

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To the Mac - did you know that most users do not run anti-virus software.

Nor are they infected. Sounds insane to Windows only users - where an unprotected machine is a real hazard. 


Regardless, I was a computer nerd who had virtually dumped Windows for good. Years of supporting Windows left me a deep abiding dislike.

It speak to how badly I wanted a Flex Signature radio that I started using Windows again.

And W10 works pretty well aside from that darn telemetry.

Hoping DogPark is successful.
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Walt - KZ1F

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This whole thing is warming me to the idea of releasing XPSSDR. I think I'll even present it to the world running on a Raspberry Pi.
XPSSDR is a cross platform 'reimagined' version of a smart Flex 6000 control surface that runs virtually anywhere, even Mac. In order to make the whole thing 'come together' I'll also have to write a cross platform contest logging program that can talk to radios natively either via CAT (ewww) or XPSLib.

I do, however, completely relate to your 3rd sentence from the bottom. I did dump Windows for good, professionally as well as avocationally. I am, only in the most begrudging manner, using it now as I do like HRD and I need a cross plstform replacement for HRDLog integrated with XPSSDR and XPSLib. So I can either grit my teeth and build the remaining pieces or, .... go to plan B.

People likely don't consider HRDLog a contest logger so I will probably aim for a 'reimagined' N1MM style logger that runs virtually anywhere.

I've been in software development for over 40 years and mgr of Systems Programming for 5 of that.
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Michael Coslo

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I did get HRD to work in Wine. All but the DX spotting. Click on that, and it hung up on me. Then I got too busy to research much more.

But yes, an n1mm style contest logger wor Linux or OS X  would be tremendous.
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Walt - KZ1F

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And I'd need to do that, pretty much regardless of the final disposition of the radio. CQRlog does work on Linux but is not well suited for expansion.

DAX appears to be a casualty in any event.
(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Walt,

Your religious zeal is impressive. Your technical argument is not. And it's getting old and repetitive.

We get that you don't like Windows. Really.

Give it a rest, bro.

Peter
K1PGV
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Walt - KZ1F

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Peter, we get you have a vested interest in Microsoft and Windows. There was a time I did as well. If you'd pay attention, its not just me. But, to your point, one reason I reiterate my position is to quell criticism by some that I am bashing or trashing Flex, which I am not.

My like or dislike of Windows in no way alters the fact it is a magnet for malware, worms, and viruses, ergo, my comment on security.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I use Linux Mint as my main computer, I have been for years. I fully understand why Flex is built around Windows. In my mind Flex is the leader in ham radio, but Windows is the weak link. Keep in mind Windows is used by the masses. So for the sake of marketing it makes sense.
I don't connect my Flex computer to the internet and the SSDR is all that it runs, the radio is always very stable this way.

I have been working in software for 95 years and have produced over 5000 programs...Lol
(Edited)
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Mark - WS7M

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95 years!?  And you are still sane!?  LOL

I've been writing device control software for 2000 years.  I don't always like Windows but yes the masses use it and while I prefer a Mac just because of the polish I have had to work in the Windows field.

It just makes sense and proves that even those people that are writing the worms and malware are targeting the biggest user base too.  Same as flex!

I do try to write software these days in cross platform mode.  Recently I've been using Qt which offers cross platform but requires some work to get it really right.
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Michael Coslo

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Sure, the installed user base is bigger for Windows.That doesn't mean that everyone who has a Windows computer will be running a FlexRadio. Plus it isn't a digital situation. Having an OSX or Linux version of SmartSDR in no way detracts from Windows-only users having SmartSDR on their favorite OS.

These matters come down to a corporate decision, usually financial in nature, that since more people have Windows on their computers, the target audience will be bigger. It might have been true in 1999, but it is changing. And I had to balance my decision to buy my Flex. I wanted the radio badly, but I did spend some time considering that I was now going to have to hop back into the Windows pool. Can you imagine, a person considering not buying the radio because of the computer they would have to run it with?

In the end, the Flex won, and I just love it. But as you note the weak link in the chain is the computer we have to use to run the software.

And Windows lovers - please bear with us. Imagine your reactions if you had to buy a Mac to run your Flex.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Bill and Mark, working on Mac, Linux, Android, Raspberry Pi is NOT mutually exclusive of running just as well on Windows. XPSSDR runs just fine on Windows. Oh, Peter, it runs just fine on Windows 10 as well. You had asked me this past summer and I never got back to you.

Michael, the people I used to work with that had to use Windows at work, ran Linux at home. I believe the 'masses' use windows because they started out using DOS and that was the path when Windows went from being the DOS application to being the thing that was booted.

"Can you imagine, a person not buying the flex because of the computer they would have to run it with"?
Yep, if I wasn't um...mislead I never would have bought it. I can not speak for others because it is a question that, by definition, can't be answered here. The people on this forum DID buy it. But, to your rhetorical question. Yes.If it were designed to be non lockin, this would truly be a Flex fest on here, Windows users, Mac users, Linux users all happily taking the flex talk. The technology existed at that time, certainly since, to do that and the product would be every bit as profession looking.

But Michael, the better question is can you imagine the larger user base had the flex run on anything. Then this question would be moot. I use Windows for only two things now, TurboTax once a year and then this when I want to use it with something I haven't converted yet. As I said somewhere on the list of reasons I bought the radio there was not a line saying "development opportunities". Obviously, it has features I very much like. I tend not to love inanimate objects.
(Edited)
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K0GGC

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Apple does not collect any private data on customers. They have had press releases where they state that they do not collect customer data. 
In fact, they are in court right now because the Feds are trying to force Apple to crack the security on an iPhone running iOS 7 and Apple is refusing, saying that it is impossible because they don't keep passwords. Apple holds no private data and does not use private data for target marketing. 
(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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So much nonsense in this thread, and so little time to challenge it all.

Apple does not collect any private data on customers

Do you really believe that?  Perhaps you don't recall the lawsuit on the issue about iPhone and iPad location data being collected, even after the geo-location feature was turned off, and in explicit violation of Apple's stated policy.  The plaintiffs in the case lost, not because Apple wasn't collecting the data (they were) but because the plaintiffs could not show actual harm.

But, who cares, really. If you think you're using ANY internet-connected tools and that your data isn't being collected you're either misinformed or naïve.

Can you imagine, a person not buying the flex because of the computer they would have to run it with

Yes.  Absolutely. If I had to buy a Mac to use a Flex radio, I can tell you with certainty that I wouldn't have bought a Flex.  I have no desire to learn how to use or manage a Mac, for something that's a hobby.

more people have Windows on their computers, the target audience will be bigger. It might have been true in 1999, but it is changing

Well, this is undeniably true. But what's changing are the number of desktop machines purchased, not so much the ratio of Windows to Mac to Linux machines.  There have been small market-share gains by Apple in home desktop markets, but these are in the single digits percent-wise.  Linux has exactly no presence in home desktop markets (outside those of enthusiasts) and I have not heard that there's been any appreciable market-share gain either.

Look: The way I look at it is that operating systems are tools.  I don't have religion about my tools.  That's not to say that I don't have preferences, of course. I choose the one I prefer from the subset of systems that are suitable for a given particular purpose.  My company's web site runs on some Linux base, because... gee... it's WordPress and that really does run better on a LAMP stack.  Our routers, firewalls, and switches all run on Linux. Aside from being annoyed that I have to do so much from the console, which makes me feel like I've returned to the 1970s, I don't really care.  I professionally write OS code on Windows, because that's what I do for a living. For personal use, I've tried both Linux and Mac desktop/laptop systems, and found them not to my taste.  So I don't use them.  The system I spend the most time on during a week is my iPad.  I think IOS sucks, actually, but I can't argue with the iPad in terms of both form-factor and functionality.

So, no religion. The hating and religious exhortations just get tiring.  If I wanted to debate OS religion, I'd go over to one of the Linux lists where all the fanbois froth and foam and wave the penguin flag.

If we just stick to more to debating topics regarding ham radio, we'll all be good to go.

Peter
K1PGV

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K0GGC

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Apple does not keep any private data. It is a fact, it has been stated by the CEO Tim Cook. If he were lying then it would result in massive lawsuits and his firing. 
The issue you quote about the GPS lawsuit is an example where data is collected and used by local apps but is not stored or kept locally on Apple's servers.
Apple's one claim as a company is that it does not collect, keep, sell, or target market based on your private data. 
Where as both Google and Microsoft and many others make no such claims. Both collect and use your private data for their data mining and marketing. 

I am not saying that Microsoft is a bad company and doesn't make good products but if privacy is your main concern then Apple is a better company to use.
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David Warnberg

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Now you have to look at what "Apple" defines as private data.....  trust me they collect data...
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Walt - KZ1F

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Surprisingly I really don't have too much to debate on what you said. I will say this though I disagree with your comment about the Linux home market I would rather say the people who are professionally in the computer business tend to have Linux running at home. As far as the frothing at the mouth I totally agree with you. I would add to that some that people on here have been frothing at the mouth over their Flex goodness.

I 100% agree on your use of the term religion in this context also in the context of flexing and people irrationally exuberant over that. It's a radio it's a fun radio and ham radio is a fun hobby.

But I do think it's valid for those people who would like the product better if it didn't tether them to a product they prefer not to have to use, be that iPad or Mac or Linux or virtual machines or WINE. That does not resonate with you because you're perfectly comfortable in a Windows environment.
(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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If you use the internet, they can watch you... if you are on a network that has access to the internet, they can track you.....if you use a cell phone, they can hear you... if you use a land line phone (non-cell), they can still hear you... trust me they can and do listen.. your browsing habits are watched, your activities online are watched, your calls you make are watched, etc, etc,etc....

You want privacy?? unplug and don't use credit cards, cell phones, computers, etc, etc, etc...

Just the way the world is...  

FYI... I work for a large telephone / network / cell phone provider
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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And Facebook is the poster child for internet privacy issue or lack of privacy. So says Edward Snowden. Anything one uploads gets run through facial recognition. They, not only know who and where you are, they know who and where your friends are as well.
(Edited)
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K0GGC

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Agreed. There are many ways that you are being watched when using the internet or when using a cell phone, credit card, etc. 
However, there are ways to minimize exposure and using an OS that is constantly tracking your usage and storing it on Microsofts servers where it is used for data mining and marketing is something that can be avoided.

All I am saying is that Apple doesn't do that with their OS and if I am using Safari in private browsing mode, with ad blocking turned on, routing thru an encrypted VPN to an offshore private ip connection to the internet, there is less chance that I am being watched.
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K0GGC

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Agreed. Facebook is a disaster and is to be avoided at all costs.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Oxymoron: noun, People on Facebook complaining about the NSA.
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David Warnberg

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Walt... just make it "All Social Media".... facebook is just the best known... 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Apple does not keep any private data. It is a fact, it has been stated by the CEO Tim Cook.

"It is a fact"?  Really?  You personally know this to be the case, so you can vouch for it?  Are you on the board at Apple? Or, perhaps, you're legal counsel to Apple and have studied this issue personally?  If not, you don't know at all that "it's a fact."  It might be an article of your religious faith.  But that does not make it "a fact."

You ARE aware that Apple's legal counsel admitted that Apple was collecting and uploading geolocation data to Apple, right?  Including the cell-phone towers your phone is accessing?  Now, I grant you: This was back in 2010.  Are they still doing it?  I have no idea.  But I do know for "a fact" they were doing it, because the people who are actually in a position to know admitted as much.

if I am using Safari in private browsing mode, with ad blocking turned on, routing thru an encrypted VPN to an offshore private ip connection to the internet, there is less chance that I am being watched.

True.  Regardless of the OS on which you're running.  And, in fact, regardless of whether you're using Safari or Chrome (the master of all data collectors) or IE or Edge.

Personally, I don't give a darn if what I'm doing is being tracked.  I just assume it is.  I found the revelations about the NSA's data collection to be not the least bit surprising.

If you don't want to be tracked, TOR is your friend.  Regardless of the OS that you're using.

Peter
K1PGV

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Walt - KZ1F

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point for David!
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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If you're on the net, assume that everything you do is watched and recorded.
VPN, TOR, encryption helps momentarily, but only for a short time.

You can learn from one of my favourite movies, Enemy of the state:
Live without mobile phone, internet, credit card, bank account, car and house.

Who can do that? Oh - and forget our beautiful hobby. A ham is very visible,
even without APRS ; -)

BTW the satellites in this movie beep CQ CQ CQ....

Alex - DH2ID
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Walt - KZ1F

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Peter, quick shout out...

Yes.  Absolutely. If I had to buy a Mac to use a Flex radio, I can tell you with certainty that I wouldn't have bought a Flex.  I have no desire to learn how to use or manage a Mac, for something that's a hobby.
I appreciate, honestly, you having said that. That really is the distillation of my biggest complaint. So event though the foot is in the other shoe, I suspect at some level we understand each other. SmartSDR for Windows implies a version for others as well. I was patiently waiting for the others right up until I was told there would be no others.

If enough people come out of the woodwork and admit, them too, perhaps the powers that be will look again at the lost revenue they could capture. The hard work has been done. Maybe not but if it is just a single voice, definitely not.

If you really want to get a sense of the number of people wanting to and running Linux for ham radio, take a stroll over to the LinuxHamRadio forum on Yahoo. There is no way of knowing how many people didn't buy a Flex because it would require Microsoft Windows.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Alex, and others, privacy extends only to the interior of your four walls. And there are those that want to take that away as well.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
This post has run its course.  I am marking is as "not a problem" because there is nothing actionable FlexRadio can do to resolve it. I see no additional benefit to the Community to allow it to continue, so I am closing it.  73
(Edited)

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