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Sick of Windows spying on you? Go Linux
ZDNet ^ | 8/15/15 | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Posted on 08/15/2015 12:48:08 PM PDT by markomalley

You can try to turn Windows 10's data-sharing ways off, but, bad news: Windows 10 will keep sharing some of your data with Microsoft anyway.

There is an alternative: Desktop Linux.

You can do a lot to keep Windows 10 from blabbing, but you can't always stop it from talking. Cortana, Windows 10's voice activated assistant, for example, will share some data with Microsoft, even when it's disabled. That data includes a persistent computer ID to identify your PC to Microsoft.

If you do use Cortana, you'll be sharing your keystrokes and voice with Microsoft. That's to make Cortana and other Microsoft applications work better; but if privacy is your first concern, just forget about using Cortana.

And, that's leads to another problem. You see, Windows 10 is Not a desktop operating system in the way every earlier version of Windows is. Windows 10 is a hybrid cloud/desktop operating system.

For Windows 10 to really show off its stuff it must share your data with the cloud. For example, not only is Cortana useful as an assistant -- in the way Apple's Siri and OK Google are -- but it also supplies the data for Microsoft's software-as-a-service (SaaS), business intelligence (BI) program the Cortana Analytics Suite.

So if your company plans on using Cortana to its best advantage, not only will all your keystroke, voice, and Edge and Bing data be collected, everyone else's data will be collected. That's great for big-data BI, but it may not suit you.

So, what can you do? Well, you can't go to Android, Chromebooks, iOS, or Mac OS X. All of them, to one degree or another, also share your data with their parent companies.

It's worth noting that Android and ChromeOS are both based on Linux, while Mac OS X traces its roots to BSD Unix. In all these cases, just like Windows 10, their vendors have decided that the cloud is where the future lies.

You know all that stuff you've heard about how all of IT was going to the cloud? Guess what: That's already happened for most major data center and server operations and now it's come for the desktop.

So, if that gives you a privacy panic attack, you can either stick with your old operating system, which is likely Windows 7, or move to Linux. Eventually, when Windows 7 is no longer supported, if you want privacy you'll have no other viable choice but Linux.

There are other, more obscure desktop operating systems that are also desktop-based and private. These include the BSD Unix family such as FreeBSD, PCBSD, and NetBSD and eComStation, OS/2 for the 21st century. Your best choice, though, is a desktop-based Linux with a low learning curve.

For Windows users, I think Linux Mint 17.2 with the Cinnamon interface is your best choice.

TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: linux; windows
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THE LAST Windows update you will need.

What he doesn't really tell you is "how to", particularly if you've always been a Windows person.

I suggest you try a little Windows application called Linux Live USB Creator (or LiLi for short). It allows you to install what's known as a "live" Linux distribution on a USB stick. Then you can boot your computer with that USB stick and try the distribution out to see how well it will actually work on your machine. The nice thing is that you can try out any number of distributions until you find the one you like. (For me, the best one for my desktop machine is Linux Mint -- link above -- and the best one for my old eeePC netbook is Peppermint. But that doesn't mean there's one that would work for you better)

The other thing that he doesn't mention is that with Linux, you can install the OS along-side your existing Windows installation, creating a "dual boot" machine. You are asked, whenever you boot up your machine, which OS you would like to boot up. I did that for several years, and would alternatively go between Windows one of several Linux distros.

1 posted on 08/15/2015 12:48:08 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Picked up a copy of Ubuntu 64bit ($3) to try out on my 7 yr old hand-me-down desktop. No W10 for me thanks. Vista Ultimate was not?

2 posted on 08/15/2015 12:51:38 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Ive given up on aphostrophys and spell chek on my current device...)
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To: markomalley

3 posted on 08/15/2015 12:54:33 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: markomalley

I’ve already planned on going Linux when my current computers need replacement. I will never accept MS 10.

4 posted on 08/15/2015 1:01:19 PM PDT by ballearthout
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To: Paladin2

Linux is cool and a great way to use old hardware.

But most people don’t know how to re-IPL using ISO images so it (LINUX) will stay in the realm of geekdom.

I had to use many different ISOs until I found one that took.

5 posted on 08/15/2015 1:02:58 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (When things are rightly ordered, man is steward of God's gifts and civil law enables him to do so.)
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To: markomalley

I went Unix over a decade ago. Never looked back.

6 posted on 08/15/2015 1:03:03 PM PDT by SWAMP-C1PHER (G.A.L.T., Government Absent Laissez-faire Technique)
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To: markomalley

I agree with you regarding Linux Mint. I use Linux Mint 17.1 and that’s simply because I haven’t yet updated to 17.2. A person does have to be aware however that not all laptops function well with different lines of Linux.

I have one that will overheat and it doesn’t run well. That same laptop will allow you to use a live distribution without any problem at all, but because of the drivers that it utilizes in its hardware, it gives me a terrible time actually installing Linux, and using it.

I have used it on another laptop without issue at all whatsoever, and I absolutely love it.

For those people who are really attached to some of the Windows programs you’re not out of luck at all. You can run Windows as a program in Linux, and you can install your old favorite Windows programs also within the windows that you use as a software.

It’s taken me a few years to field various flavors of Linux and how well they work and what fits me, but part of the fun of using it is that you can load several different versions on the same computer. It’s extremely flexible and I think it’s wonderful.

7 posted on 08/15/2015 1:03:31 PM PDT by PrairieLady2
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To: markomalley

8 posted on 08/15/2015 1:04:43 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< | :)~)
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To: Fiddlstix; ShadowAce
There's some hatred for Linux (and the BSD flavors) because of its supposed leftist origins and due to the socialist rants of GNU's Richard Stallman. Yet a good percentage of FReepers are on board. And Free Republic itself runs on a Linux platform with plenty of Perl doing the backend work. Both of those things make it A-OK to me.
9 posted on 08/15/2015 1:07:24 PM PDT by re_nortex (DP - that's what I like about Texas)
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To: markomalley

I’ve been using Ubuntu 14 and except for a few minor bugs it works great - very happy with it.

Though installing new apps sometimes forces you to use command lines. Not as easy as Windows or Mac in that respect.

10 posted on 08/15/2015 1:12:31 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: markomalley

The latest Firefox update (#40) was completely incompatible with my Ubuntu (12 something)

The address bar menu did not work
The desktop toolbar vanished if the browser was fully opened and the unity sidebar did not work in this situation
The mouse scroll wheel and the right button did nothing
Youtube froze it up

Since Pale Moon and Chromium won’t do a lot of stuff any more (Facebook, Twitter, email, videos) Firefox is all I have.

I spent hours looking and downloading the old version, and the first download failed.

Now that I got it, I’m back in business.

11 posted on 08/15/2015 1:13:10 PM PDT by GeronL (Cruz is for real, 100%)
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To: markomalley

In trying to sell any Linux system, there are several things that must be mentioned.

1) Any associated costs. Assuming a Windows user who wants something like typical Windows use, what is it going to set me back to get a close approximation?

2) What “must have” software is out there for Linux? I’m talking antivirus, VLC for media, DVD burners, Firefox for Linux, Open Office, others?

12 posted on 08/15/2015 1:24:49 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative." -Obama, 09-24-11)
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To: markomalley

Only wish I could - Being a service tech for SOHO and Residential, I have to keep myself in Windows in order to remain familiar enough to fix it - BUT, I recently made the decision that my servers and media machines are not going to survive this update - All of my backbone stuff is going Linux... I’ll keep my laptop and my test-bench boxen on Windows, but the rest, where my data actually resides, is going Linux from now on.

Interesting about the eee Notebook running Peppermint - I have one of those laying in storage, as it could barely run XP - It would be a handy machine if I could get it to run quicker...

13 posted on 08/15/2015 1:27:44 PM PDT by roamer_1
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To: markomalley

Unigraphics, MasterCAM, Verisurf... Until ported to LINUX I’m stuck in the MS world. I doubt it’s going to happen anytime soon. When you’re in the realm of software I’m using the last consideration is how much the OS costs. It’s what’s supported.

There’s also simply unplugging from the internet. Not always practical for me BUT, some of my machines are offline.

Linux is good for someone who just wants to browse and check email. But not a workstation in the engineering world.

14 posted on 08/15/2015 1:28:49 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: markomalley
The only piece of technology I want is a time machine, to travel back to a time before all these despicable electronic doodads (and co-requisite software) existed.

Sent from my iPhone

15 posted on 08/15/2015 1:28:59 PM PDT by Wyrd bið ful aræd (Exsurge, Domine, et judica causam tuam)
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To: markomalley

Or some other UNIX variant, such as Mac OSX

16 posted on 08/15/2015 1:45:44 PM PDT by HangnJudge (Cthulhu for President, why vote for a lesser Evil)
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To: GeronL

Have you tried the regular Google Chrome? You have to go to Google to download the Ubuntu version but open it up with Ubuntu Software Center and it should install it for you.


17 posted on 08/15/2015 1:48:55 PM PDT by Conservative Gato
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To: re_nortex

How would I acquire Unix or Linux for my W-7 machines? Do I have to unload Windows first? What are my odds of getting thru it with my puter still operating?

18 posted on 08/15/2015 1:52:40 PM PDT by Tucker39 (Welcome to America! Now speak English; and keep to the right....In driving, in Faith, and politics.)
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To: Tucker39; GeronL; ShadowAce
How would I acquire Unix or Linux for my W-7 machines? Do I have to unload Windows first? What are my odds of getting thru it with my puter still operating?

One possibility is to run it on a virtual machine to get an idea of what it's like. Since I don't have any form of Windows on my systems (Linux and Solaris), I have no experience with dual booting or adding/replacing Windows with Linux. That's why I pinged those listed above who are more savvy on that matter than I am.

19 posted on 08/15/2015 1:55:36 PM PDT by re_nortex (DP - that's what I like about Texas)
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20 posted on 08/15/2015 1:56:51 PM PDT by RedMDer (Support Free Republic and Keep FReedom ALIVE!)
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