While we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking about Windows 10 (including new roadmap details), we know that organizations are still working with Windows 7 too, regularly updating their Windows 7 SP1 images to include the latest updates, app versions, and more. For those that are involved in that process, you’ve probably seen a display like this too many times:
New Windows 7 SP1 convenience rollup makes image creation much faster
We’re happy to announce today that we’re making available a new convenience rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that will help. This convenience rollup package, available to download from http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574, contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016. Install this one update, and then you only need new updates released after April 2016.
And since this update can be injected into Windows 7 SP1 media, it’s fully supported to mount a Windows 7 SP1 image (WIM file), then inject this update into it. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744559(v=ws.10).aspx for the details of how to do this.
This convenience update is completely optional; it doesn’t have to be installed and won’t even be offered via Windows Update – you can choose whether or not you want to use it.
Microsoft is removing part of its controversial Wi-Fi Sense feature from Windows 10. "We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," says Microsoft's Gabe Aul. "The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment."
Wi-Fi Sense was originally introduced on Windows Phone and then updated and included with Windows 10. It's a feature that lets you automatically connect to open hotspots, and share your Wi-Fi passwords with contacts. Some security experts had expressed concerns over Windows 10 automatically connecting to open hotspots, but Microsoft is keeping this feature in place. Wi-Fi Sense's password sharing feature generated unnecessary noise from people who didn't understand it wasn't sharing all Wi-Fi passwords by default, but Microsoft has clearly received enough data and feedback to show that it's not widely used.
A commissioner at the US Federal Trade Commission who is leaving the agency after six years of working on consumer privacy issues has some critical words for the ad industry.
Speaking with Ad Age, departing FTC commissioner Julie Brill lamented the current state of consumer tracking and data collection on the web, linking the rampant rise of ad blockers with the ad industry's foot-dragging and non-cooperation in the commission's efforts to create privacy systems based on user consent.
"We've seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen back then," said Brill, who has tackled a host of consumer privacy issues during her tenure at the FTC.
Like many critics, Brill points to Do Not Track, the failed system meant to allow consumers to opt-out of invasive tracking by flagging their browsers, which the ad industry fought tooth-and-nail and eventually killed by ignoring the flags outright. She says that the industry's resistance to doing things the “easy” way is at least partly to blame for the consumer response.
I got whiplash this afternoon doing a double-take on the improbable announcement that Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has seen fit to appoint David Cohen, senior vice president and chief lobbyist at Comcast, to the first-ever Digital Economy Board of Advisors, which counts among its goals protecting a free and open Internet. He will be joined by AT&T’s chief lobbyist, the omnipresent Mr. James Cicconi.
Neither has much patience for Net Neutrality. Cicconi and Cohen have both lobbied Congress and regulators to keep Comcast and AT&T free from regulation and oversight, even as Comcast imposes usage-billing and data caps on a growing number of its customers, while exempting its own streaming video content from those caps. For its part, AT&T is exploring “zero rating” preferred content partners to escape the wrath of its own wireless data limits and advocates against community broadband competition.
By now, usage caps on both fixed and wireless networks have grown increasingly common. And while broadband carriers are endlessly looking toward caps and zero rating for a competitive and financial advantage, overlooked is the fact that a huge amount of a user's monthly bandwidth allotment is now being eroded by good old advertising. How much? According to a new study by Enders Analysis, anywhere from 18% to 79% of your monthly data bucket can go toward delivering advertising. Previous studies had pegged this between 10% and 50%.
Today, we’re announcing a variety of new protections that will help keep Gmail users even safer and promote email security best practices across the Internet as a whole. New tools and industry standards make email even safer On Safer Internet Day this year, we introduced a new visual element to Gmail that lets users know when they’ve received a message that wasn’t delivered using encryption or if they’re composing a message to a recipient whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption. It’s the red lock icon featured below: