Windows 10

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Charlie
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Windows 10

Unread post by Charlie » October 5th, 2015, 10:18 am

Every Microsoft office document for about the last 15 years contains the Mac address of the computer that it was written on.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address
“A media access control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment”

this unique identifier is supposed to be unique worldwide and for the most part it is. A couple of virus writers were actually caught using this method many years ago. Unless you’re doing something wrong there’s no real reason that you would care about this because it is passive and doesn’t actually send your data anywhere. It does show that Microsoft can bury anything they wish anywhere they want to do anything they want.

At this point I’m hoping I’ve given you enough evidence to prove that privacy is a myth with Microsoft. However it is unrealistic to believe that the world is going to turn their back on Microsoft over these issues and Microsoft lack of concern over your privacy is not the real issue. The real issue is that your privacy is being attacked on all fronts without your knowledge, so with that in mind what follows are some suggestions that should help you or at least open your eyes to what’s going on.

Privacy Badger: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger
“Privacy Badger blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.”I
Privacy badger is 1.0 and as such very crude and does lack many of the features that I would like to see such as being able to export your settings so that you can import them from browser to browser. As it stands now you need to manually set up each and every browser that you use. I’ve been using this for about six weeks and when I go into my settings privacy badger reports
“Privacy Badger has detected 821 potential tracking domains so far.”
The good part about blocking a bunch of these domains is I have far less ads the bad part is if you get too aggressive in the blocking you can actually screw up the webpage and if you turn off or block a dozen trackers at a time you will not know which one of those dozen you actually need. All in all I do like it, even though it is very crude and primitive. Privacy badger is also used over and above AdBlock Plus. I've also been considering whether or not it is actually making my browsing faster because I'm not downloading all the extra ads but these trackers bring with them. On some sites the coders are tying the trackers and the information together so if you block one you blocked both.

Browsec VPN https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/browsec/
“Browsec encrypts your traffic and routes it through our secure cloud. No one will be able to identify, track you or sniff your traffic.”
This bounces your IP address around a bit making it harder to tell where you actually are. One of the added advantages for Canadians is US Netflix is a walk in the park and can be viewed on demand very easily. The CEO of Bell Canada recently admitted that she wants this practice to stop and we should shame people into it. She also tries to put across the idea that this is copyright infringement and is stealing. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bell-me ... -1.3099972
“she cited her 15-year-old daughter, who upon returning from the U.S. one day decided she was "bound and determined" to get around Netflix's geolocation rules for Canada”
This idea that you can control what people see or watch in this day and age is asinine at the very least. One can easily go get a satellite dish and watch anything from anywhere in the world with a little work legally. The only possible reason for the Bell CEO to do away with VPNs is “US Netflix” affects their revenue stream because Bell is too stupid to realize they are overpriced and they no longer have a license to print money. There are actually small businesses starting up that will teach you how to cut the cord for cable companies etc.

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Re: Windows 10 Part3

Unread post by Charlie » October 5th, 2015, 10:27 am

Windows 10 Firewall Control http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/order.html This application seems to be fairly effective monitoring traffic. This application also controls what applications can launch and communicate with and in which direction with Internet. I’m using the free version and so far so good.

Privatefirewall 7.0 http://www.privatefirewall.com/
From http://download.cnet.com/Privatefirewal ... 71057.html
“Privatefirewall 7.0 is easy enough for beginners to master yet powerful and flexible enough for advanced users. Privatefirewall's features include a Process Monitor, Port Tracking, and Applications Monitor. You can customize many settings, yet Privatefirewall also teaches itself to protect you from hackers and other threats just by studying your habits.”
О&O ShutUp10 v1.1.1347 http://www.neowin.net/news/o-shutup10-v111347
“O&O ShutUp10 a small portable utility that provides access to almost 50 privacy-related tweaks, most of them hidden or not easily accessible to the average computer users. Using a very simple interface, you decide how Windows 10 should respect your privacy by deciding which unwanted functions should be deactivated. Using ShutUp10 you can easily disable Windows Defender, turn off telemetry, disable peer-to-peer updates, turn off Wi-Fi Sense, disable automatic Windows updates, turn off and reset Cortana and more.”
I have not actually use this on Windows 10 but it does appear to be one of the better ones and I will be testing it out in the near future. This is the only one that will not run on Windows 7 or Windows 8 everything else will work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

I did look at using Microsoft’s firewall but it is overly complicated and because it’s Microsoft I’m not sure you can trust the firewall it could be coded to let communications to the mothership go through which is why I chose third-party firewalls.

I have also implemented most of the applications that have been discussed earlier in this thread over the last couple of months but with Microsoft hard coding IP addresses into their DLLs (dynamic link libraries) and executables it’s pretty much a waste of time and as I feared turning the stuff off does not appear to stop Windows 10 from sending data to the mothership. I also have a Linux firewall that I built myself.

One would think with all of these applications and firewalls that I would be safe and secure from spying and I would like to say that I am. Quite simply put I’m not even sure that everything I’ve done has even made it harder for anybody but the hackers, never mind stopping Microsoft or any government agency. After all as previously stated even when it’s configured not to talk Windows 10 continues to talk.

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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Allen Dick » October 5th, 2015, 10:35 am

Actually anyone's DNS requests leave a trail, regardless.

Of course, calls to these hard-coded IPs we are now discussing don't make DNS calls, but then again, that makes them fairly easy to block with a firewall since they are hard-coded and (probably) known -- if we care enough to do so.

I think that the big three figure -- Google, Apple, and M$ -- that if the others track (as do most of the apps we 'buy'), that we have no choice -- and we really don't.

Just like cattle in a pen, we walk down the chute when the gate is opened without knowing what awaits around the bend.

After all, things have gone well thus far...
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Re: Windows 10 Part 4 final

Unread post by Charlie » October 5th, 2015, 10:37 am

I use the term government agency very loosely and I’m going to pick on the Canadian government with Bill C 51 but I’ve also heard rumors that Homeland Security and the NSA have similar tools at hand. A very quick Google search about “security agencies backdoors”
https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=sec ... +backdoors is somewhat revealing because they don’t care they want to be able to read your data, although in the US they promise I’ll get warrants first. Unlike Canada with the passing of bill C 51 no warrant is required law enforcement are basically entitled to have their way with you and you’re not allowed to say anything. Numerous groups have voiced serious concerns about this new law.
http://www.nbpea.nb.ca/en/nbu-media/ite ... -bill-c-51
“The NBU is not alone in its criticism. A recent piece in The Globe and Mail written by former Prime Ministers, Supreme Court justices, ministers of justice and past members of the intelligence review committee, among others, talked about the need for oversight.
"[L]ack of a robust and integrated accountability regime for Canada’s national security agencies makes it difficult to meaningfully assess the efficacy and legality of Canada’s national security activities. This poses serious problems for public safety and for human rights," the letter states.
The National Union of Public and General Employees has produced a pamphlet regarding its opposition to Bill C-51. Among the criticisms it states, "Bill C-51’s definition of 'a threat to the security of Canada' is so vague that our secret police and spies will be able to wield their new powers of arrest and detention against Canadians peacefully protesting a pipeline, Aboriginal peoples calling for their treaty rights to be respected, or trade unionists defying unconstitutional 'back-to-work' legislation."
When I read this type of article I expect that to be in some third world country with some kind of tinhorn dictator. To me it sounds like North America has just become a “Police State” but the police say they’re doing it to protect this from the bad guys but who protects us from the police.

So in conclusion if you’re using a mainstream operating system such as Microsoft, Apple and/or Google (as in a Chrome Book) the privacy you enjoy it is a myth and nonexistent If you're connected to the Internet. The most annoying thing is that people don’t wish to believe it, don’t want to believe it but will believe a authority figure even when being lied to. Jim Jones is a prime example.

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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Charlie » October 7th, 2015, 12:10 pm

О&O ShutUp10 v1.1.1347 http://www.neowin.net/news/o-shutup10-v111347
“O&O ShutUp10 a small portable utility that provides access to almost 50 privacy-related tweaks, most of them hidden or not easily accessible to the average computer users. Using a very simple interface, you decide how Windows 10 should respect your privacy by deciding which unwanted functions should be deactivated. Using ShutUp10 you can easily disable Windows Defender, turn off telemetry, disable peer-to-peer updates, turn off Wi-Fi Sense, disable automatic Windows updates, turn off and reset Cortana and more.”
Just loaded this up on a Windows 10 laptop and I like it a lot and would highly recommend it if you are using Windows 10. I would suggest that you go through the settings first and export your current settings as a starting point and to create a restore point the program asks you to. This way you can always import your settings back in. I wish privacy badger had this functionality.

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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Allen Dick » October 7th, 2015, 12:23 pm

Is something like this necessary for Windows 7? I wonder about P2P updates when I am operating on tethered cellular data.

I really am astounded how the major players think we all have free unlimited Internet to share with them.

Windows 10: the most expensive Windows version yet.
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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Charlie » October 7th, 2015, 3:38 pm

Allen Dick » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:23 pm.
Is something like this necessary for Windows 7? I wonder about P2P updates when I am operating on tethered cellular data.
A quick search does not reveal anything suggesting that this "peer-to-peer updating" functionality has been put into Windows 7. This could mean nobody has found it yet or Microsoft hasn't done anything about it either way it's not conclusive.

However my first suggestion would be to turn your wireless off and use the USB tethering. It's virtually impossible to hijack something on a wire. As long as you're just tethered to your phone via a USB and your phone is not configured to be a wireless hotspot, you should be fine.

Secondly I would download the Windows 10 firewall control, it is a nuisance to set up but it does give you a pretty good control over your traffic. I've been running it on my Windows 7 machine for over a month now and I quite like it. There is a connections tab with the following columns: program name, protocol/port, and the IP address it's connected to. This should allow you to watch very carefully what's going on and makes it easy to spot traffic that your suspicious of.

Thirdly I would disable your automatic updates while you're traveling.

There is a bunch of UI tweaking programs but really there's nothing that we haven't already discussed in this thread as far as security goes. I did disable all the debugging services on my Windows 7 machine. Overall it appears Windows 7 is nowhere near as chatty as Windows 10.

I have tried the peer-to-peer blocking programs and I have not found one that I'm ready to recommend.

PS: Windows 10 blue screened on me again today.

I hope this helps you.

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Windows 10 gets its first big update

Unread post by Allen Dick » November 19th, 2015, 10:16 am

Windows 10 gets its first big update
By Tracey Capen on November 18, 2015

The much-anticipated fall update for Windows l0 has arrived. If you’re looking for significant changes, you’re going to be disappointed.

Version 1511 is an important update, but many of the enhancements are either buried in the Settings menus or under the hood.

The latest Win10, aka Fall Update, is far from a routine patch. According to Microsoft, it’s about a 3GB download, and on my test system it took around three hours for the full installation. And though it was officially released on Nov. 12, it could take days before it shows up on individual machines. On my test system, the update arrived sometime over the weekend; on my personal system, I received a notification but no actual update — yet.

Aside from Microsoft throttling the release of the update, there are...

http://windowssecrets.com/newsletter/wi ... ig-update/
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By default, Windows 10 turns your PC into a server for distributing updates

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 5th, 2015, 9:35 am

How to stop Windows 10 from using your PC's bandwidth to update strangers' systems | PCWorld

By default, Windows 10 turns your PC into a server for distributing updates to other machines. Here's how to make it stop.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2955491/ ... stems.html
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Microsoft sets stage for massive Windows 10 upgrade strategy

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 8th, 2015, 11:32 am

Uses updates to enable -- and re-enable -- Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs for next move: auto-downloads of Windows 10 upgrade bits...

Microsoft has been preparing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs for a more aggressive Windows 10 upgrade strategy that the company will kick off shortly, according to the developer of a tool that blocks such upgrades.

"Over Thanksgiving weekend I started getting reports that the Windows Update 'AllowOSUpgrade' setting was getting flipped back on on a number of peoples' PCs, and it keeps re-setting itself at least once a day if they switch it back off," said Josh Mayfield, the software engineer who created GWX Control Panel....

http://www.computerworld.com/article/30 ... ategy.html
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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by MT204 » December 8th, 2015, 9:32 pm

Interesting. I used GWX on 3 win 7 computers 2 weeks ago and all are still turned off for the updates.

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Hijacked by M$?

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 9th, 2015, 3:51 pm

Suddenly, now, after installing updates, links in Thunderbird open in Internet Exploder and I can't stop it on one Win 7 machine. The defaults are locked. I did on the other.

(Later) - Apparently not, now the other machine has also reverted to calling up the Exploder.
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How to Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Downloading Updates

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 9th, 2015, 3:52 pm

How to Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Downloading Updates
http://www.howtogeek.com/224471/how-to- ... g-updates/
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How to Roll Back Builds and Uninstall Updates on Windows 10

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 9th, 2015, 4:15 pm

How to Roll Back Builds and Uninstall Updates on Windows 10
http://www.howtogeek.com/235474/how-to- ... indows-10/
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Microsoft is at it Again

Unread post by Allen Dick » January 11th, 2016, 7:25 pm

Both my computers were in need of a reboot. It is Monday night, so I did not expect any updates and I had them set to notify, not install, anyhow.

When I rebooted, both computers went into a long install and after I could not see any new updates. They are there, but hidden. I feel violated, but my computers seem to work.

I checked Ultimate Outsider and sure enough the GWX Control panel has an update now. I thought I checked the other day, but apparently this version was released in December, so I updated. Anyone who does not want to wake up some morning and find a strange looking computer screen and essential programs uninstalled or not working just when they are needed most should consider this --Ultimate Outsider - Software Downloads
http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/

(Oh, wait. My Explorer jump list is gone on one machine. Oh Joy!)
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Re: Microsoft is at it Again

Unread post by Charlie » January 11th, 2016, 8:40 pm

Allen I was unaware of this tool and on the surface it looks pretty good.

However Microsoft can come along with a update to change the registry settings and totally ignore this tool. Essentially what I’m saying is GWX Control panel will only be effective as long as Microsoft allows it to be effective. Microsoft is certainly pushing Windows 10, if I may say "pushing it down people's throats whether they want it or not" would not be a very large exaggeration. Anyone who has been following Windows 10 since its release I believe if they were honest would say that Microsoft has been less than ethical in this release. Windows 10 does have issues like any other operating system and realistically I do not believe it's as good as Windows 7 however they have incorporated a few new features like "Hyper V" and a "16-bit subsystem on a 32-bit install" which are great for people like myself, so it is not completely without merit.

For the last quarter of a century I have been a big believer in Microsoft as a desktop operating system for businesses and even for personal use. Far more than Apple products or Linux products. The release of Windows 10 has left such a sour taste in my mouth that I have been looking for alternatives. I personally will never own an Apple product because they're more invasive than Microsoft. Consider if you wish to download Google Chrome on an iPad you need to do it through the App Store and they demand a credit card number or a gift card number in which you tie up hard-earned money. After looking at various Linux distributions and even BSD distributions the short list for my personal needs is "Linux Mint 17.3" and "PC-BSD".

The rumor mill has it Linux Mint 18 will require a fresh install so there will be no upgrading allowed on this particular version it is expected by July 2016. This would not be an issue for me because I learned a long time ago to keep all my documents bookmarks etc. outside of my operating system. Reloading an operating system is as inevitable as paying taxes, you know it's coming so you might as well planned for it.

PC-BSD (BSD=Berkeley Software Distribution) is probably the single most secure operating system that I've ever looked at. I have to admit I am way more comfortable in Linux than BSD, probably this is based purely on the number of hours that I've spent in each. BSD looks like it's more than adequate for a typical user, but I have not tracked down all of the functions that a professional geek may need. BSD also has the added avantage of being the base operating system for most of the Apple products. It also has a long history of stability which is also very appealing to myself.

In a sense Windows 10 has been a blessing in disguise. It has caused me to go look at many many things and made me realize just how invasive websites, search engines, and operating systems can be. Just a couple of examples.

Forbes Makes Visitors Turn off Their Ad Blockers, Then Infects Their Computers w\Malware
http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/01/1 ... -wmalware/

Privacy badger is an absolute must have, to see the amount of tracking that goes on with every website that you visit. If I may paraphrase information on Internet is no longer free everybody wants to know who you are and wants to run scripts on your computer. Google search "no script" and install it, I personally was surprised at how many websites I broke by doing this.

My personal plan for going forward for my personal machine will be Linux Mint or PC-BSD and I expect it will come down to which one handles voice dictation the best. Firefox will be my main browser (try it with reading mode, it gets rid of all the exstrenuous crap) my main search engine will be one that swears they don't do tracking other than DuckDuckgo, but I will keep chrome and Google for backup purposes.

I hope course I will have a Microsoft machine around so that I can support my customers because like everyone else I am still a slave to the almighty dollar :-(


As much as I would like to say that we live in interesting times, I fear as far as Internet and computers we live in disheartening times.

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Backup Failure

Unread post by Charlie » January 12th, 2016, 2:17 pm

I have one desktop computer that I converted to Windows 10 and after a few days restored Windows 7 as per Microsoft documented procedures. It all looks like it ran well and everything seems to work in Windows 7 except for it will not back up anymore. It did backup before Windows 10.

Just something to be aware of for anybody who is thinking of going to Windows 10.

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Sneaky Microsoft Tricks

Unread post by Allen Dick » January 13th, 2016, 1:06 pm

After the hidden updates recently experienced, when I rebooted today, GWX Control panel warned me that the W10 upgrader had become active again, so I disabled it.

Then I was notified that there were 'important' updates offered and I looked them over.

Watch out for and do not install the Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2952664)

It is a Microsoft trojan.
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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Charlie » January 13th, 2016, 9:49 pm

It's been about six months since Windows 10 was released so I thought I would go through the exercise of basically installing Windows 10 on a clean machine to see exactly where we are today with Windows10.
I took a Dell Vostro 460 desktop machine and did a clean install of Windows 7 Pro and made sure all the drivers were installed and working properly. Then I installed Windows 10 by going to the Microsoft website and downloading a stub to install Windows 10 and did all the updates etc. I started manually disabling features to prevent spying and soon found it was a waste of time however a quick Google search on how to stop Windows 10 spying gave all kinds of results. Listed below are the ones that I've installed and tried with my opinions of them. Most of them do not need to be installed which is a huge bonus in my opinion. However I was unable to find a program that listed all of these possible things that can be changed and their current state and certainly I have not found anything that would monitor all of these for changes. Although I have not spent very much time looking for a Windows 10 version of the program that Allen told us about "GWX Control panel" that would tell us when Microsoft is up to its "Sneaky Tricks".

Destroy-Windows-10-Spying
http://http://dws.wzor.net/
This one actually checks for the latest updates when you run it and it seems like it does a decent job.

Disable Win Tracking
https://github.com/10se1ucgo/DisableWin ... /releases/
This program appears to be a solution for all the apps that you cannot uninstall. At least the stuff is disappeared from the menus. It also seems like it does a decent job.

Windows 10 Privacy Fixer
--- github.com/lordfiSh/win10privacyfix/releases
This application doesn't appear to be maintained and quite frankly I wouldn't waste my time with it, Microsoft has probably done 50 updates since the newest version of this program and at best it will give you a false sense of security.

O & O ShutUp10
https://www.oo-software.com/de/shutup10
Use chrome to go to this website because it's written in German and Chrome can translate to English for you. This application seems to be well written and appears to be well behaved and does appear to do a decent job.

W10 Privacy
http://www.winprivacy.de/deutsch-start/download/
Again you will be wanting to use chrome for this one because the website is also in German and chrome will translate it for you. Whoever wrote this application is not going to get any points for form, it's incredibly crude by today's standards and is not very pretty. It's looking pretty does not matter because the function of this app is really quite extensive. This application will definitely go in my toolbox and I would recommend it to everybody. It also has the ability to tweak some of the Windows settings which I quite like because it saves me from hunting and pecking and 50 different locations to make Windows perform like I want.

DoNotSpy10
--- pxc-coding.com/portfolio/donotspy10/
Again you will be wanting to use chrome for this one because the website is also in German and chrome will translate it for you. This one actually wants to install a program on your computer. You will want to watch the install process very carefully because they also want to install extra third-party software at the same time and any software that does this makes me automatically suspicious of it. After installing and running this software I find it's nothing special compared to some of the ones above. Considering the install and it does not seem to offer or have any redeeming features I would recommend that you not bother with DoNotSpy10 because the risk reward equation is more risk than reward.

Without doing a matrix up of each program and what they change I can't tell you absolutely that one program would do it all but I would say that W10 Privacy comes the closest.

I started with Windows 7 with 49 processes running before installing Windows 10 after installing Windows 10 I was about 65 processes. After running these applications and turning everything off that I could possibly turn off and down to 52 processes on boot. What this means is the computer will be faster because it has less processes to service. If things work as expected this would also mean that Microsoft is getting squat from me as far as information goes.

I will need to use it for a few days to make sure that I haven't broken anything. I also don't want to jinx anything by saying with all the bug fixes and all the spyware turned off the early returns makes Windows 10 seem quite usable. I will continue looking for an alternative operating system in spite of the last statement, mainly because I don't believe Microsoft can be trusted at this point.

I did see a bunch of programs installed in Windows 10 today that you could not uninstall without one of these above-mentioned utilities and the vast majority of these programs could be traced back to Microsoft's desire to generate more money. Their desire for money makes me wonder if they are not having issues with their revenue streams. I suspect at some point in the future we will be hearing about a Microsoft downturn, I suspect this will be five years away at the earliest.

As always I hope this helps somebody.

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Allen Dick
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Re: Windows 10

Unread post by Allen Dick » January 13th, 2016, 10:08 pm

I am actually quite shocked that Microsoft has resorted to spyware, adware and trojans. :shock: Aren 't these all the no-nos of the internet? I suppose they will soon be into spamming us with popups and ads having infected a majority of the world's computers if they achieve their goal?

Also, I cannot imagine what good most ads do for the advertiser. Even if they manage to target perfectly, their targets only have so much money and with many purchases can/will only buy once.

Just as hunters with tech game cameras, night vision, and drones, are wiping out the game with efficiency, targeting advertisers are hunting down all every last victim and eventually destroying their own ecosystem.

Enjoy what little freedom you have while you can.

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

PS. I saw a list of W10 spyware phone-home IPs somewhere the other day and I should think that one could block them in a router quite simply and shield the whole network.
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