Microsoft is breaking Windows 7 to get users to upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft has made a change to an update for Windows 7 that can prevent certain systems from booting. While you might expect me to say, “good news, the software giant has fixed the problem”, in fact what Microsoft has done is switch the update from “optional”, to “recommended”. So, on some systems, it will now install, and break Windows 7 automatically. There is good news though, and that’s you can solve the problem and get your computer working again by (can you guess?) upgrading to Windows 10. Hooray! The update in question is KB3133977 and what this does is fix a problem that stops BitLocker encrypting drives because of service crashes in svhost.exe. If that’s a problem you have, you’ll welcome the fix. Unless you have an ASUS motherboard. As Microsoft explains: After you install update 3133977 on a Windows 7 x64-based system that includes an ASUS-based main board, […] Read More

2015: Windows 10 spies on you by default

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system is immensely popular, with 14 million downloads in just two days. The price of the free upgrade may just be your privacy, though, as changing Windows 10’s intrusive default settings is difficult. Technology journalists and bloggers are singing Windows 10’s praises, often using words such as “amazing,” glorious” and “fantastic.” The operating system has been described as faster, smoother and more user-friendly than any previous version of Windows. According to Wired magazine, more than 14 million people have downloaded their upgrade since the system was released on Wednesday. While the upgrade is currently free of charge to owners of licensed copies of Windows 8 and Windows 7, it does come at a price. Several tech bloggers have warned that the privacy settings in the operating system are invasive by default and that changing them involves over a dozen different screens and an external […] Read More

Could Understanding Code Be Key In Avoiding Being Programmed?

Douglas Rushkoff’s” book published in 2013, Program or Be Programmed:  Ten Commands for the Digital Age may prove to be one of the most important of the 21st century. Rushkoff points out the many ways in which modern life is influenced by the new reality of software, and “algorithms” that make decisions and calculate outcomes that used to be the sole skill of other humans. The ramifications are much more far reaching than one may quickly surmise. And the access to what is going on in our machines is no longer available; when I got my first computers I had to learn that leaving out a letter in my “autoexec.bat” file would make my audio driver fail to load and I would have no sound. The inexorable logic of this was hammered home –if the syntax of code was wrong –it would not work. Programming had a logic that is unarguable. […] Read More

2014: Are We As Humans Really That Different From Computers?

Psychologically and even physiologically we tend to think of our technology in anthropomorphic terms and these days sometimes our computers seem to almost be alive. There is ample science fiction written about machines becoming conscious and taking over, along with the famous Turing Test of whether a machine’s communication could ever be mistaken completely for human. So with my own background in software training, and looking ahead to this week’s Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose where the nature of the “Self” is a huge topic, I want to explore this more deeply: where is the “identity” in the computer actually  located (if at all) and how does it coincide with our own similar inquiry. The genesis of this is once again my own work with Michael Jeffreys who often does a similar inquiry, and comes up with the realization that the “I” is the earliest sensation that was […] Read More

2013: A World Without The Internet: What Would It Be Like? How Different Would Your Life Be?

Internet, after all, is not without enemies… The Internet has become the Archimedean point in our daily life. Almost nothing gets done without it nowadays. The more we rely on it, the more it seems impossible to live without it. It is undoubtedly the most reliable machine Man has ever made. However, could this blind dependence of ours in itself be a threat to mankind? Are we investing too much in this new medium that we are risking to lose too much if we ever were to live without it? Why is the Internet so successful? How does it invade all aspects of life? The Internet, as a matter of fact, is the only manmade machine that has an organic structure. The way everything is wired up is unbelievably complex. Seeing that it has this organic structure, it seems to fit the properties of vitalism perfectly, and all aspects of human […] Read More