Since the repeal of the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, VPN use and traffic is rather predictably spiking, according to many VPN providers. VPNs are not the b-all and end-all of privacy though, and indeed the usual cretins have stepped in to provide shady VPN services that may actually sell on user data.
Also remember: ISPs still track your location data and DNS records, even if you're
using a VPN. Similarly, a VPN doesn't stop a company from using
on-device snoopware to track you (remember Carrier IQ?). Neither will it
stop ISPs from charging you a premium for privacy (something both AT&T and Comcast
have already experimented with). Nor will a VPN stop a company from
using your credit score to provide worse customer service (something CableONE has crowed about). DSL Reports
In a cleansing act before the turn of the year, a Microsoft bigwig has admitted that they may have gotten a little carried away in their zeal to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10.
Specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela referred to the upgrade notification that appeared to be deliberately deceptive in the way it handled a users response. If a user clicked the red "X" at the top right of the notice, that closed the dialog box but went ahead and installed the upgrade anyway.
To actually not accept the upgrade, you had to click a link in the notification window itself. Not a few users would come back later and find their system upgraded to Windows 10, or in the process of doing so, when they thought they had expressed their wish not to do so. "Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening
systems we have, we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course,
it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that …
Windows XP and Windows Vista are not truly dead, they continue to linger on in older computers, yet they are both obsolete, unsupported operating systems. What options are available to users of older desktops and laptops "Designed for Windows XP"?
Most reasonably-informed people might suggest installing a lightweight Linux distro, since this older hardware would be rendered pretty much unusable by Windows 10 (if it would even load properly). But which distro?
A "new" one came to my attention the other day from Techsupport Alert (aka Gizmo's Freeware) in the form of Q4OS, a Debian-based distro that looks a lot like Windows XP and runs on older hardware.