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    ON SECURITY By Susan Bradley Who regulates your software decisions? As an operating system comes to the end of its life span, we users have to decide
    [See the full post at: Being legal, supported, and secure]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2537583

      Please can I charge Microsoft/my bank/insert offender here for my time wasted reading a 19, or 30, page licence agreement? I even saw one recently that made me warrant I had been able to take the time to read the 19 page agreement – and all for a free trial piece of software. I did not buy it.

      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

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    • #2537613

      Susan, this sentence in your post caught my eye:

      I’ve long chided Microsoft for not making clearer to customers the risks of using out-of-support versions of Windows.

      To my mind, from an individual customer’s perspective the basic problem is the lack of comprehensive data on the actual number/percentage of users who are affected by various categories of risks over a given year’s time. Scary news headlines and marketing copy claiming that (to pick a number at random) ransomware attacks have gone up by 25%, mean next to nothing. Up 25% compared to what? What’s the baseline?

      Over the years I have asked this kind of question on a variety of forums, and I have yet to receive an answer. I don’t care what the relative risk is, what is the absolute risk? Is it on the order of 1/5, 1/100, 1/100,000? Until and unless the public is provided reliable statistics along these lines, everything we are told regarding the risk of malware infection needs to be taken with a grain of salt.



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    • #2537724

      Thanks, Susan. Since you talk about licensing, I plan on keeping Win 10 until it’s no longer supported (2025). Last night I watched a YouTube hardware journalist mention that Microsoft will no longer sell Windows 10 after the end of 2023 which isn’t a problem for me as I already have an unused retail version on hand.

      However, he did say that one could probably still buy it from retailers until stock was depleted. Then, to paraphrase, he said: “But you won’t be able to activate it after the end of 2023, especially if you are doing a clean install.” Did he misspeak?

      Is my unused retail version of no value after 2023? I hope not, because I might find myself needing to do a clean install to a different computer sometime in 2024 or 2025.

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      • #2538333

        Actually, that was Jan. 31, 2023. The beginning of 2023.

        -- rc primak

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        • #2540829

          Any light on my question about Wiin 10 not able to be activated on a new, fresh install?

          Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

          • #2541412

            Just because new licenses are no longer being sold, this does not mean the activation server has been shut down. Your Windows 10 license(s) should activate for the duration of Microsoft support for the product. In the case of Windows 10 that is until at least Oct. 14, 2025, maybe longer. But at least until then.

            -- rc primak

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      • #2541052

        I doubt that you would be unable to activate Windows 10. Microsoft is not going to turn off its activation servers for Windows 10 for a long time. That would raise too much of an uproar even for them.

        Windows 10 is still being supported with security fixes until October 2025. Microsoft will not stop activating a product it is still supporting.


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    • #2537751

      Susans paragraph about: “Read a EULA lately? So when was the last time you really read an End User License Agreement (EULA)?” Caught my attention, for sure, – thoroughly reading through an endlessly long End User Licence Agreement (EULA) can be quite a tedious endeavour. For a quick, and maybe fun, experiment, I find the program EULAyzer a helpful application to analyze and point out interesting phrases in the EULA. It is freeware from BrightFort (formerly: Javacool Software) a US-based software company. A quote from their website: “EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases.” The download link from their website did not work for me for some reason, but they also offer a Major Geeks download that did work for me. It is only 1.65 MB and Microsoft Defender finds no problems with it. I have been using it for years, it has a date of 05/25/2012 at the Major Geeks website.
      Information at: https://www.brightfort.com/eulalyzer.html
      I will insert a screenshot of Microsoft Services Agreement so you can see what it looks like, notice the high number of detected ‘interesting’ words and phrases. Near the top under Analysis Results clicking the plus signs shows a lot of “stuff” to be aware of. For me easier than reading the whole EULA. And yes, too many times I just click I Agree without reading.

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    • #2537754
      • “Read a EULA lately? So when was the last time you really read an End User License Agreement (EULA)?”

        I sure did, last week; Microsoft Windows 11, and Google’s texts, with a special interest in civilian privacy and ownership related to the EU citizen obligation.

      I did become more sad than I was before.

      Thanks Lars220 for the Eulalyzer tool: still very actual and handy to use indeed.


      * _ the metaverse is poisonous _ *
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    • #2538334

      Even open-source software isn’t without its mandates. For example, if you’re using Red Hat Linux, you’ll find lifecycle information that defines which distros are supported and for how long.

      Most but not all Linux distros are open-source. Red Hat (RHEL) (owned by IBM) is not Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). It is proprietary software with many nonfree components. Fedora (also owned by IBM) is the open-source distro based on RHEL. Another nonfree Linux distro is SUSE.

      That said, Ubuntu (Canonical) is Free Libre Open Source Software and does have a support life cycle for both the Long Term Support (LTS) releases and the interim releases. (Ubuntu Advantage, now renamed Ubuntu Pro is a value-added security updates layer which can be added to Ubuntu for a subscription — free to non-business users for up to five PCs).

      Ubuntu would have been a better open-source example than Red Hat.

      -- rc primak

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    • #2538389

      Assume that I have the inclination (and time) to read an EULA, where do I find them?  As far as I know, this is a standard plain vanilla software installation.

      I have Win10Pro and Microsoft 365.  Yes, I did purchase direct from Microsoft of the 365 subscription  (~$69/year)

      • #2538707

        Settings, System, About, Microsoft Software License Terms

        File, Account, About [app], Microsoft Software License Terms.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1778 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2541239

      How about “being legal” when it comes to using copyrighted material on the AskWoody site?

      Recently, I have noticed a number of posts that appear to have been blocked and copied from other sources – including PC World, betanews, Microsoft, The Verge, NIUBI, The Wall Street Journal, yahoo.com, etc. and then pasted into a number of AskWoody forums.

      While credit was given for each of the quotes, the content could have been summarized to avoid the appearance of copyright infringement.

      • #2541312

        We have a rule about that, so you shouldn’t see long excerpts or complete articles:

        Posts must respect copyrights. If you want to quote somebody, use a snippet with a link to the original source.

        General Rules

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1778 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

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        • #2541496


          It all comes down to how the AskWoody site’s User Account & General Rules are interpreted and enforced.

          The term snippet is a very imprecise and synonyms for the term include:

          • Extract,
          • Piece,
          • Bit,
          • Scrap,
          • Click,
          • Morsel,
          • Shred,
          • Fragment,
          • Small piece,
          • Smidgen, and
          • Part

          A case in point, the January 11, 2022 post by Alex 5723 at  https://www.askwoody.com/forums/search/betanews/ .

          The post refers to an article entitled, Linux Mint signs a partnership with Mozilla and contains a 1,299 word quote from a 1,453 word article. In other words, the quote contained 89% of the original text.

          Does the quote qualify as a snippet?

          And this pattern of quoting the works of others is repeated on a daily basis within the AskWoody forms.

          It all comes back to Susan’s question, “Who regulates your software decisions?”  Or in this case the use of the AskWoody site.

          As a practical matter, Susan is correct when she states, “Ultimately, determining how you use “your” software is up to you. Determining whether you are properly licensed often isn’t a consideration for smaller users — you just assume you are. The larger the user base, the more you assume these licensing and usage risks. Each business and even each individual ultimately has to determine what risks they deem acceptable in the technology they use. ….”

          What she alludes to is the risk/reward of violating the terms of a software user agreement. Is it worth the effort for Microsoft to go to court or arbitration to enforce its terms of service on a small user who is violating them by using a single unlicensed or out of date piece of software that originally cost $300?  Probably not.

          In the case of the AskWoody site, is it worth the staff’s time and effort to enforce compliance with the snippet rule?

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