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Microsoft To Disable Policies In Windows 10 Pro With Anniversary Update (ghacks.net) 535

Reader BobSwi writes: More changes in the Windows Anniversary update, due August 2nd, are being discovered. After yesterday's news about Cortana not able to be turned off in the Windows Anniversary update, certain registry entries and group policies have been found to be updated with a note stating that they only apply to Enterprise and Education editions. Win 10 Pro users will no longer be able to turn off policies such as the Microsoft Consumer Experience, Show Windows Tips, Do not display the lock screen, and Disable all apps from the Windows Store.

You Can't Turn Off Cortana In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (pcworld.com) 369

Microsoft will release Windows 10 Anniversary Update next week. Earlier this week we listed some of its best features. PCWorld is now reporting about a major change that may annoy some users: once you've installed the update, Cortana can no longer be disabled. From the article: Cortana, the personal digital assistant that replaced Windows 10's search function and taps into Bing's servers to answer your queries with contextual awareness, no longer has an off switch. The impact on you at home: Similar to how Microsoft blocked Google compatibility with Cortana, the company is now cutting off the plain vanilla search option. That actually makes a certain of amount of sense. Unless you turned off all the various cloud-connected bits of Windows 10, there's not a ton of difference between Cortana and the operating system's basic search capabilities.

EU Plans To Create Database of Bitcoin Users With Identities and Wallet Addresses (softpedia.com) 130

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "The European Commission is proposing the creation of a database that will hold information on users of virtual currencies," reports Softpedia. "The database will record data on the user's real world identity, along with all associated wallet addresses." The database will be made available to financial investigation agencies in order to track down users behind suspicious operations. The creation of this database is part of a regulatory push that the EU got rolling after the Paris November 2015 terror attacks, and which it officially put forward in February 2016, and later approved at the start of July 2016. Legally, this is an attempt to reform the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). The current draft is available here. The current AMLD draft reads: "The report shall be accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals, including, where appropriate, with respect to virtual currencies, empowerments to set-up and maintain a central database registering users' identities and wallet addresses accessible to FIUs, as well as self-declaration forms for the use of virtual currency users."

Comment Re:Unfettered capitalism (Score 3, Insightful) 639

Wrong. When there are no brands that offer "fix it yourself" tractors, where are these smart farmers supposed to go? Abstain in protest and hope the manufacturers budge before they (the farmers) go under? This can only "work itself out" if there is proper competition in the marketplace.

The DMCA in this case is stifling competition by enforcing a legal fiction of "No user serviceable parts inside". Remove that roadblock, and other entities (diagnostic tool makers, etc.) are free to reverse-engineer the status codes and introduce competition in the servicing of these tractors. Then the market can work itself out. This is a case of a government-enforced monopoly artificially distorting the market. Free-market economics can absolutely fix this situation, and is exactly what the farmers are asking for. And this market (tractor service) has traditionally been free prior to this DMCA nonsense.

Copyrights were never intended to prevent someone from fixing a piece of equipment that they own, be it a tractor or a car. And make no mistake, auto manufacturers are heading this direction as fast as they possibly can, which is why us non-farmers should pay attention to this issue.

Comment Re:Makework (Score 1) 1145

Or figure out a way to control population growth. Because you can't continue to "give them money" forever; eventually the well will run dry. Then what?

Why not? It's not like money is a finite resource. Money represents access to resources but if those resources run out that's going to be a problem for everyone.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1145

The only question is what that does to inflation and whether that creates a de facto "tax" on the economy.

Luckily that question has an answer - printing more money the the (only real) cause of inflation and it will act like a universal tax on everyone, as everyone will pay through the devaluation of their earnings. Inflation is possibly the *most* unfair tax that there is.


In China, Fears That Pokemon Go May Aid Locating Military Bases (reuters.com) 173

The sleeper hit success title Pokemon Go is preventing many people in China from sleeping properly. Although the game isn't officially available in the world's largest smartphone market, some people fear it could become a Trojan horse for "offensive action by the United States and Japan," according to a report by Reuters. "Don't play Pokemon GO!!!" said user Pitaorenzhe on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. "It's so the U.S. and Japan can explore China's secret bases!" From the article: The conspiracy theory is that Japan's Nintendo, which part owns the Pokemon franchise, and America's Google can work out where Chinese military bases are by seeing where users can't go to capture Pokemon characters. The game relies on Google services such as Maps. The theory is that if Nintendo places rare Pokemon in areas where they see players aren't going, and nobody attempts to capture the creature, it can be deduced that the location has restricted access and could be a military zone. "Then, when war breaks out, Japan and the U.S. can easily target their guided missiles, and China will have been destroyed by the invasion of a Japanese-American game," said a social media post circulated on Weibo. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was unaware of reports that the game could be a security risk and that he didn't have time to play with such things. He gave no further details.

Free Upgrade To Windows 10 Mobile Will Continue Past July 29 (thurrott.com) 79

Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott writes: After I asked about whether the free upgrade for Windows 10 Mobile would end on July 29 as it is for Windows 10 for PCs, Microsoft's Dona Sarkar clarified the firm's evolving strategy: The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will now continue to be free past the end of the month. "So, the free upgrade to Windows 10 ends for Windows phones on July 29, too. Right?" I tweeted yesterday morning, seeking clarification for a reader who had asked me this question. After all, Microsoft had said nothing about the expiration of the free Mobile upgrade since last year. "Clarification from this morning," Ms. Sakar tweeted later in the day. "The free upgrade offer for PC ends on July 29 but as always there are no implications or cost on phone." Hm. Not sure about the "as always" bit, as Microsoft's plans for the free Windows 10 Mobile upgrade have changed repeatedly since the firm announced this upgrade in January 2015. And over time, many of these changes enraged users who had believed earlier promises. You may recall that the original plan was to upgrade all Windows Phone 8.1 handsets to Windows 10 Mobile ... for the first year only. But over time, that changed. It was going to be all handsets with at least 1 GB of RAM. And then it was going to be some subset of handsets sold over the previous two years, but not the Lumia Icon for some reason.

Let's Drug Test The Rich Before Approving Tax Deductions, Says US Congresswoman (theguardian.com) 760

Press2ToContinue writes from a report via The Guardian: "The [tax] benefits we give to poor people are so limited compared to what we give to the top 1% [of taxpayers]," Congresswoman Gwen Moore says. "It's a drop in the bucket." Many states implement drug-testing programs to qualify for benefit programs so that states feel they are not wasting the value they dole out. However, seven states who implemented drug testing for tax benefit program recipients spent $1 million on drug testing from the inception of their programs through 2014. But the average rate of drug use among those recipients has been far below the national average -- around 1% overall, compared with 9.4% in the general population -- meaning there's been little cost savings from the drug testing program. Why? "Probably because they can't afford it," says Moore. "We might really save some money by drug-testing folks on Wall Street, who might have a little cocaine before they get their deal done," she said, and proposes a bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000. "We spend $81bn on everything -- everything -- that you could consider a poverty program," she explained. But just by taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, a bit of the tax code far more likely to benefit the rich than the poor, "that's a $93bn expenditure. Just capital gains," she added. Why not drug-test the rich to ensure they won't waste their tax benefits? She is "sick and tired of the criminalization of poverty." And, she added: "We're not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let's start on the other end of the income spectrum."

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