Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Micro$oft's new Terms and Conditions - A Bombshell


Microsoft Corp. changes their Terms and Conditions. Not that big an issue for me but when I think of millions of Windows 8 users who get tricked, conned and arm-twisted into establishing a "Microsoft Account", well, then I get a queasy stomach.

If I add in the many millions of unsuspecting users of email accounts with hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com and other M$ server names then the I get really nauseous.

And when I think of hundreds of millions of Windows 8 and Office 2013/365 users whose data gets "automatically stored in the cloud" plus many small businesses that think "cloud backup" is a good solution, man, then I actually want to p**e. 

To spare you (and me) wading through lots of legalese details here only hree quotes from Micro$oft's original text (highlights by me, some editing lost in transferring the text): 
  • 10.3. Binding arbitration. If you and Microsoft don't resolve any dispute by informal negotiation or in small claims court, any other effort to resolve the dispute will be conducted exclusively by individual binding arbitration governed by the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"). Class arbitrations aren't permitted. you're giving up the right to litigate disputes in court before a judge or jury (or participate in court as a party or class member). Instead, all disputes will be resolved before a neutral arbitrator, whose decision will be final except for a limited right of appeal under the FAA. Any court with jurisdiction over the parties may enforce the arbitrator�s award.
  • 10.4. Class action waiver. Any proceedings to resolve or litigate any dispute in any forum will be conducted solely on an individual basis. Neither you nor Microsoft will seek to have any dispute heard as a class action, private attorney general action, or in any other proceeding in which either party acts or proposes to act in a representative capacity. No arbitration or other proceeding will be combined with another without the prior written consent of all parties to all affected arbitrations or proceedings.
  • 11. NO WARRANTIES


    MICROSOFT, AND OUR AFFILIATES, RESELLERS, DISTRIBUTORS, AND VENDORS, MAKE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, GUARANTEES OR CONDITIONS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND THAT WE PROVIDE THE SERVICES ON AN �AS IS� BASIS �WITH ALL FAULTS� AND �AS AVAILABLE.� MICROSOFT DOESN'T GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OR TIMELINESS OF INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM THE SERVICES. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED UNDER YOUR LOCAL LAW, WE EXCLUDE ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING FOR MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WORKMANLIKE EFFORT, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. YOU MAY HAVE CERTAIN RIGHTS UNDER YOUR LOCAL LAW. NOTHING IN THIS AGREEMENT IS INTENDED TO AFFECT THOSE RIGHTS, IF THEY ARE APPLICABLE.
    YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT COMPUTER AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS AREN'T FAULT-FREE AND OCCASIONAL PERIODS OF DOWNTIME OCCUR. WE DON'T GUARANTEE THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE OR THAT CONTENT LOSS WON'T OCCUR.  
 If I still can read correctly the very last part of the last sentence "... or that content loss won't occur." contains the admission that Micro$oft can not guarantee availability of their services and that you data will be available to you when you need it.

This is much worse than expressed in my previous diatribe about cloud storage services.

And trust me, just by using any Micro$oft service you have agreed to these Term of Service.  Even if you only use your copy of Windows 8 that you set up with a MS account you have agreed to these Terms!

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

2014-06-02 WTKM Talking Points (June 02 2014)

First thing�s first: If you log in to Facebook on your computer and are mysteriously prompted to download a �unique software tool for safe and secure authentication� to your Android device,do not proceed.

If this occurs, your computer is already infected and downloading the software will infect your Android device as well. If you are seeing such a prompt you need help!

A new Trojan distributed through Facebook instant messaging and Yahoo! Messenger has claimed hundreds of victims.

Ebay data breach: Have you changed your password? Is it unique (on the whole big web)?
Ebay is very slow to alert affected customers.

Antivirus firm Avast: We got broken in to. Security guys can't secure their own computers? Oh PLEASE! Do NOT use Avast any longer! Replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials (or Windows Defender on Win 8).

Do you remember?
About 6 to 8 weeks ago the US government (DHS) advised NOT TO USE Internet Explorer! IE 8 still vulnerable; no fix yet. Upgrade to newer version!
In Windows version you should run at least
Vista SP2 IE 9
Windows 7 IE 9
Windows 8 IE 10
Windows 8.1 IE 11

AOL confirms security breach. Yes, we are in 1995 again!

Windows 8.1 Update went to Automatic Updates April 8th. 890+MB; huge;be VERY patient!

Apple has released updates for Safariweb browseron OS X fixing 22 serious security flaws.

Test if your Linksys/Cisco Routers is supported. If notyou have to replace it.
"Not supported" means that the firmware is unsafe andcan not be updated.

 Do NOT tolerate Youtube ads! Some of them distribute malware and trojan horse viruses!

"Microsoft scam calls":Sorry but neither MS not their "partners" know that we exist.
�I am calling from Windows�; there is no company named "Windows"!
Alldownloads, fixes updates a.s.o. offered for Windows XP are bogus; beware!
Yahoo and AOL hacked; serve infected advertisements!

Symantec: Antivirus (the Norton products!) is 'DEAD'� says Symantec's CEO.

US Senate slams advertisement servers for security failings.
Will anything ever be done about it?


Old Scam - New Clothes

A scammer from India came up with a new twist of an old ruse.  Look at this screen shot of the offending email as shown in my email progr...