Just about the only thing I vaguely liked was Cortana, which was kinda fun for 10 minutes but I don't care about in day-to-day computing.
And it is Cortana that sends your voice to MS's servers obviously.
Why not just an option to opt out?
I think this was the start menu update originally planned for Win8.1 in the first place.
It is not that privacy is dead. It is more like that a lot of the privacy concerns are overblown.
MarkMonitor only registers the domain, and it is not uncommon either.
MultiFinder had a workaround for Excel 1.x where it had to be loaded below the 1MB line.
Given to anti-piracy groups?
It is not that simple I think.
But OP also mentioned switching to Fastmail too. SQM is not new and I know about the forced telemetry on non-enterprise editions, but I do feel bad about in particular the hosts file bypass BTW if it is actually true.
Why do you dislike it so much?
I don't believe that it is collecting the actual text.
In space, no one can hear you fart.