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Category Archives: Microsoft

The 2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index is now online

“Microsoft has unseated Google at the top of the 2019 RDR Corporate Accountability Index. Telefónica outpaced Vodafone among telecommunications companies. Yet despite progress, most companies still leave users in the dark about key policies and practices affecting privacy and freedom of expression, according to the 2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index, released today.

The 2019 RDR Index evaluated 24 of the world’s most powerful internet, mobile ecosystem, and telecommunications companies on their disclosed commitments, policies, and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy, including governance and oversight mechanisms. Research showed that in the past year a majority of companies improved and clarified policies affecting users’ privacy—a trend that appears to be driven by new data protection regulations in the EU and elsewhere. But even the leading companies fell short in key areas. Few scored higher than 50 percent, failing to even meet basic transparency standards, leaving users across the globe in the dark about how their personal information is collected and protected—and even profited from.

Companies evaluated by the 2019 RDR Index collectively provide products and services used by more than half of the world’s 4.3 billion internet users, thus providing a snapshot of the extent to which users’ rights are protected and respected across the globe. The RDR Index methodology sets minimum standards for what companies should disclose about their rules and processes for enforcing them, data privacy and security policies and practices, and how they handle government demands to remove or block content, to shut down internet services, or to access user information and communications…”

Microsoft stops selling ebooks and will refund customers for previous purchases

The Verge – Ebooks will no longer be accessible as of July 2019: “Starting today, Microsoft is ending all ebook sales in its Microsoft Store for Windows PCs. Previously purchased ebooks will be removed from users’ libraries in early July. Even free ones will be deleted. The company will offer full refunds to users for… Continue Reading

Paper – Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features

In Control with no Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features, Jason Morris, Ingolf Becker, Simon Parkin – University College London Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) 201924 February 2019, San Diego, CA, USAISBN 1-1891562-53-3 http://dx.doi.org/10.14722/usec.2019.23008 – www.ndss-symposium.org: “Home computer users are regularly advised to install software updates to stay secure. Windows… Continue Reading

How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy

Dark Patterns – How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy. The Norwegian Consumer Council (the Forbrukerrådet or NCC) report criticizes “features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, but which benefit the business in question.” “In this… Continue Reading

Microsoft really doesn’t want you to use Internet Explorer anymore

The Verge: “Microsoft killed off the Internet Explorer brand nearly four years ago, choosing Edge as its modern browser for Windows 10. Internet Explorer lived on as plumbing for Windows and for business compatibility, but Microsoft isn’t supporting it with new web standards – it’s legacy code. Chris Jackson, a cybersecurity expert in Microsoft’s Windows… Continue Reading

Visualizing Data in 3D

Visualizing Data in 3D – “Microsoft has published a free data visualization tool called Charts 3D that allows PC and Surface Hub users to create 3D visualizations of multi-axis data without knowing how to code. After users import datasets, Charts 3D generates an interactive graphic, such as a geospatial plot, scatter plot, or line graph.… Continue Reading

These are the websites your clean-install Windows PC connects to by itself

MSPoweruser: “Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has been accused of breaching privacy and connecting users to services without proper disclosure. The company now has released a list of websites and services that a Windows PC connects to after a clean install. The list mostly consists of Microsoft services which provide data endpoints to… Continue Reading

TIME – 100 Most Influential People of 2018

The 100 Most Influential People of 2018 [Searchable List] – “TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is happening right now.” Thoughts about each individual on the list are written by a wide range of iconic individuals who likewise have been pioneers in… Continue Reading

Survey says – digital technology may not always improve worker productivity – surprise!

Impact of technology on productivity depends on company culture: “Economists have been puzzled in recent years by the so-called “productivity paradox,” the fact that the digital revolution of the past four decades hasn’t resulted in big gains in output per worker as happened with earlier technological upheaval. Many developed economies have actually seen productivity stagnate or decline.… Continue Reading

Google muscles in on Microsoft using Chromebooks and Google Earth Voyager

Google: “…Recently we announced a new browser-based version of Google Earth that makes it easier than ever for teachers to bring the world into the classroom using Chromebooks. Today we are excited to introduce 10 new stories in Google Earth Voyager, our new storytelling platform, built specifically for the classroom. We collaborated with National Geographic… Continue Reading