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How to avoid being "upgraded to Win 10" against your will:


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But OT is not: have you all considered it's utterly ambiguous (viz. does it mean "On-Topic" or "Off-Topic"), yet it rarely, if at all, creates ambiguity?
The ways of the human mind, and humans approach to language, in particular, work in mysterious ways, reason enough for no good solution for machine translation exist up to now... :angel

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Indeed, which is why Google Translate is impressive even thought it makes mistakes.  I can correct a few of its mistakes in the Romance languages, and even successfully translated into Chinese the important instructions "Very hard starch in my shirts, please."  (I decided, however, not to add the word "bulletproof".)

Edited by glnz
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As one who worked on language translation software for a while back around 2008, my take is that the human ability to "get inside another person's head" - relying instantly on a rich set of common / shared experiences and perceptions during conversation - is why computers haven't made excellent interactive language translators.

That being said, it's been true for a while now that machine translators can work pretty well on reasonably well written text.  The software I worked on (for interactive language translation of chat sessions) took context into account (I.e., what was recently said) and even did modern lingo, abbreviations, and slang pretty well.

What I never expected is that it would take so long for the spoken word to be embraced by high tech.  Just look at the advances we've had with visual stuff (graphics, CGI, etc.) yet there's really very little that's done with sound!  It's still impressive when Jim Cantore's voice reads the "Local On the 8s" forecast on The Weather Channel.  Even high-end music synthesizers still optimize sampling and are only now starting to integrate purely electronically generated sound with sampled sound.

And why, even today, isn't there a good program to read things aloud?  I still rely on a piece of software from the 1990s called TextAssist to help me proofread things (like this post).  I did see where Acrobat now can drive text to speech output, but using it was pretty clunky when I tried.  It was clearly an afterthought.  Why wasn't a technically excellent text reader capability just built into Windows 10's right-click context menu?  Even our iPad offers Siri's voice to read things.

And in the other direction...  I've never met anyone who claimed a positive experience calling into an automated phone answering system.  Most often, it's all about "I'm sorry, I didn't get that.  Please enter or say your account number..." then ultimate redirection to a human where the real call gets done.

I haven't tried Cortana's speech recognition for quite a while now.  It must be improving, I suppose, but I don't know from personal experience.

--

To keep this a small bit on topic...  I just read on another forum that rumor has it Microsoft will be mounting another aggressive attempt to update Win 7 and 8 systems, so don't let your guard down!

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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Getting back ON  topic ...

I have finally gotten around to installing Office 365 Home on my Win 7 Pro 64-bit machine.  Needed MS's help because I didn't want to log in to my wife's MS account first in order to do the installation (she is the first user), but then MS helped my get over that, I did so and I immediately switched the new Office to my MS account AND had to reinstall because the first install was 32-bit and I wanted 64-bit.

(Is ANYTHING ever easy?)

Both MS phone persons were good, including Mr. Udid on the reinstall, who (in response to my lame joke about Scotch) told me he never drank and asked me what Scotch was like.  I told him, "It's liquid dirt.  Takes a while to really like it."

ANYWAY, I said On topic, yes?

Looks like Office 365 forced my PC to install update KB2999226 after all, even though it had been on my Hide Update list.  It's the "Update for Universal C Runtime in Windows".  Well, that sorta makes sense since Office 365 links to my OneDrive (MS) account.

I'm not 100% sure the install of KB2999226 really took because there are error messages in Event Viewer, but Windows Update "View Update History" has it installed.

What do you think?  Where's my Scotch?

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My question is this:  Why do you think the update to the Universal C Runtime needs to be hidden?

If it is solely because of the word "Universal" then you may need to do more research on what it is.

-Noel

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Possibly because it is on my list. But, then again, my reasoning is "things that require the Universal C Runtime are from the Win 10 set, so they have more telemetric potential than average". However, if one is willing to use Office 365 ( :puke: ), one shouldn't anymore actually worry about the Universal C Runtime, because the telemetric potential of Office 365 far exceeds that of the C Runtime, of course.

My list tries embeds my jugement of what is undesirable: it may be too paranoid for some, and too relaxed for others. YMMV, as always.

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Personally I think everyone should steer clear of RipOff 365. Just stay FOREVER with Office XP, Office 2007 (best one with the classic menus reinstated) or Office 2010. Everything after is EXTREMELY POORLY DESIGNED and INSANELY BLOATED, and licensed in the MOST HOSTILE manner possible.

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Well, 365 will solve the problem of putting Office on our five computers without  buying it five times up front.  (But agree that Office 2003 was a lot better than this weird, flat display with the damned ribbon.  I was tempted to install 2003 yet again, but after 13+ years there are security questions, and the world has moved on to the docx, xlsx, etc. formats.)

Meantime, dencorso's comment about telemetry is noted.  Haven't looked yet, but are there any settings in 365 to reduce the telemetry?

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@glnz

Off Topic again, please remember that Word is "by design" a container that can have *anything* inside it, if you circulate for revisions a .doc (and I presume also a .docx) there is no limit to the amount of crap that may be inside it, particularly it happens to me very often to find documents with old revisions/comments and/or corrections that reveal much more than they should, for something "serious" (like a contract or a negotiation) this may result in the leak of sensitive informations. (I have found in my experience documents where the - expected - amount was corrected, leaving the old one, and comments like "hey, this is crazy, let's ask for more" or where a "finalized" document was re-used as "base" or "template", leaving some personal data and amounts/dealings of the original viewable in the actual file ).

I will also - in passing by - re-tell an anecdote, many years ago we had some commercial correspondence with a firm, and we faced a queer problem, only some of their e-mails arrived, seemingly at random.

The fact was that every letter they were sending us was around 5 Mb in size or more, at the time the limit for a single message in the e-mail server we were using was 5 Mb, so only one out of three letters or so "went through".

Upon inspection, it came out that (I presume a secretary or a self-proclaimed computer guru) someone was tasked to make the new template for letters and managed to use directly a huge TIFF (or maybe JPG, cannot remember, anyway something in the thousands x thousands pixels size range) of the firm logo embedding it in the word document and shrinking it to something like 7% or so to make it fit in the top left corner of the page. :w00t:

They actually did mention how their network had become very slow when sending e-mails ... :whistle:

jaclaz 

 

Edited by jaclaz
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19 hours ago, NoelC said:

To keep this a small bit on topic...  I just read on another forum that rumor has it Microsoft will be mounting another aggressive attempt to update Win 7 and 8 systems, so don't let your guard down!

    Them rumor mills these days!  It ain't gonna happen.  :rolleyes:

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Still not updates on ether system everything seems alright with one exception something pops up once in a while about group policy failing and I have trouble using chrome, but ill figure that one out another day.

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Hey, secret society - are today's Win 7 updates all good?  Are we out of the woods, finally?

If yes, what will we DO with the rest of our lives?

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I suggest you check the MS-DEFCON level over on AskWoody.com.  He balances conservatism against the need for security updates.  He's currently at:  MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don't do it.

I'm personally a good bit more conservative than Woody, and without a specific description that means a bugfix applies specifically to my needs and systems, I'm no longer updating them regularly.  There is ZERO chance Microsoft will be making performance improvements to older systems, and frankly I don't trust them any more to get things right.  Bear in mind I have instituted security measures here that are way beyond typical.  Between these measures and my careful computing habits I have not seen an attempted infection caught by anti-malware software literally in years.

Make your own judgment about how strongly you fear that their security patches could affect you.

You also need to take into account your confidence in Microsoft getting the patches right.  That's not a given!  In fact, the change over the past year where Microsoft is pushing system testing onto users may well mean that newly released patches today need to be considered less trustworthy than ever!  You can be sure they have fewer folks than ever doing testing.

And I haven't the need to mention Microsoft's unfortunate stance regarding actively pushing things we don't want through Windows Update.

I personally suggest against updating until you've at done a fair bit of online research (as you are doing here), both to understand the individual patches and to get a feel for whether people are seeing new problems. 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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14 hours ago, glnz said:

Hey, secret society - are today's Win 7 updates all good?  Are we out of the woods, finally?

I always wait for the green light (or not) from Susan Bradley at Windows Secrets. Woody Leonhard also provides good info, but Susan seems to cover each month's updates more systematically. There's now a paywall for Susan's Patch
Watch column, but IMO it's well worth the $25 a year.

14 hours ago, glnz said:

If yes, what will we DO with the rest of our lives?

:lol:

--JorgeA

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This month's Windows 8.1 patches reset all my customized window metrics settings and DPI scaling. Thankfully I have a .REG file of my customized Setup so I just had to import the REG again and log out to fix it. As for Windows 7, I no longer use it since 8.1 with 3rd party apps does everything better than Windows 7 and XP *for me*. Microsoft broke the method I wrote to make Windows Update work quickly after doing a clean install with Convenience Rollup and certain KB updates slipstreamed. The updated ISO/install.wim that worked in May and June 2016 no longer works in August 2016. Windows Update on a clean install of 7 with Convenience Rollup and other essential updates integrated still keeps checking for updates for HOURS and never finishes. I've been tracking Woody Leonhard's blog but to no avail. WU on Windows 7 is just broken now (I am sure purposely by Microsoft). Windows 8.1 Update 3 (November 2014) rollup on the other hand works beautifully - WU scans are quick, it runs extremely fast in a Virtual machine compared to Windows 7, and all the deal-breaking, unacceptable aspects of 8/8.1 are fixed by third party apps which do a better job than 7's own features ever did. For example, Classic Shell, VirtualBox, Bvckup, Kodi replace the Start screen/menu, Virtual PC, Windows Backup & Previous Versions, and Media Center respectively.

As for Windows 10, OMG it's so horrible!! It's so awful I don't think I am ever going to use it. The latest Anniversary Downgrade removed the ability to search network files added to Libraries which was possible in Windows 7/8/8.1. Windows 10 is Microsoft's latest car crash that third party apps can no longer fix. "FREE UPDATES" will openly reduce your PC's functionality or slyly change it in a way that doesn't allow many things - ALL FOR FREE!

Update: July 2016 update rollup is now mandatory for clean installs of Windows 7 after installing Convenience Rollup if you want to have a working Windows Update.

Edited by xpclient
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