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Stop the gloating, Cable tells Osborne

daily alternative | alternative news - Stop the gloating, Cable tells Osborne

The business secretary’s call for caution appears deliberately timed to clash with the chancellor’s own triumphalist approach this week.

Osborne had claimed Britain is “turning a corner” in a speech at the start of the week. In Treasury questions yesterday he emerged from three years of defensiveness over the economy to an upbeat position he used to attack Labour’s pessimism.

Cable’s intervention will infuriate No 11. “Some of the reactions to the news over the last few weeks have somehow suggested we’re out of this dark long tunnel,” the business secretary told the Today programme.

“Until we get long-term sustained investment, a commitment to industry building up exports over a long period of time we will not have solved the problem.”

In his speech later he is expected to say one of the dangers to the economy is “complacency, generated by a few quarters of good economic data”.

Cable wants to portray the Liberal Democrats as taking a much more long-term approach to the economy than Labour or the Conservatives.

“The business investment figures over the last few months have been good. A few months is not years,” he added this morning.

“I’m talking about different time periods. What we have to get embedded this time… it’s got to be much more securely based on productive activities.”

Cable’s different approach to the issue, which he characterised as being based on the premise that “this is a marathon and not a sprint”, is partly due to his role at the Department for Business, he claimed.

But his failure to reject the frustrations of outgoing Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, who said she would leave parliament at the next general election in disgust at the compromises her party has made in government, is likely to leave party leader Nick Clegg as infuriated as the chancellor.

He praised Teather’s resignation letter as having “very eloquently” outlined its arguments opposing the coalition’s approach to immigration, which he made clear he disagreed with.

Home secretary Theresa May is currently developing plans to introduce immigration bonds, but Cable made clear he would fight them from within government.

“I think we’re going to have to do this in a much more sensible way,” he said.


daily alternative | alternative news – Stop the gloating, Cable tells Osborne

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Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped

Last week changes to the Windows 10 upgrade path mean it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-techy users to avoid being pushed to Microsoft MSFT +0.00%’s new operating system. But given Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 and Windows 8, why would that be a problem? Because of policies like this…

Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default. More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped:

“In the cases where we’ve not provided options, we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system,” he said. “In the case of knowing that our system that we’ve created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that as so helpful to the ecosystem and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”

This backs up detailed data that some had chosen to dismiss as conspiracy theories.

Windows 10 has great potential, but aggressive update and user tracking policies. Image credit: Microsoft

Still, whether or not you agree with Belfiore’s standpoint that this doesn’t invade user privacy, it does seem strange that it has taken Microsoft so long to come clean and admit core Windows 10 background data collection processes cannot be stopped. Instead it gave the impression that turning off all user accessible spying options in Windows 10 settings would provide owners with full privacy – that’s tantamount to spying.

To his credit, Belfiore does recognise the controversial nature of this decision and stresses that:

“We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.”

Interestingly Belfiore himself won’t be around to oversee this as he is about to take a year long sabbatical. When he comes back, however, I suspect this issue will still be raging as Windows and Devices Group head Terry Myerson recently confirmed Windows 10 Enterprise users will be able to disable every single aspect of Microsoft data collection.

This comes in combination with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users’ ability to permanently disable automatic updates which are forced upon consumers and shows the growing divide between how Microsoft is treating consumers versus corporations.

So how concerned should users be about Windows 10’s default data collection policies? I would say very.

By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis.

The good news: even if Belfiore states you cannot switch off everything, editing your privacy settings will disable the worst of these. To find them open the Start menu > Settings > Privacy.


daily alternative | alternative news – Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped

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