Tech News

Stop Windows 10 Nagging, Employers Can Read Your Private Messages… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 14-01-2016

Microsoft details how to stop Windows 10 nagging, European employees can legally snoop on private messages, YouTube returns to Pakistan, Twitter stock continues to drop, and Snoop Dogg isn’t happy with Xbox Live outage.

How to Stop Windows 10 Nag Screens

Microsoft has finally realized that not everyone wants to upgrade to Windows 10, even though it’s available for free. Therefore, at the same time as inviting more users to upgrade to Windows 10, it has also detailed how to stop your PC from nagging you to upgrade. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as ticking a box to make it all go away.

Those using eligible systems, which is everything other than Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, need to follow Microsoft’s guide. This involves disabling Windows Update and modifying the Windows Registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry Working with the Windows registry? Take note of these tips, and you'll be much less likely to do lasting damage to your PC. Read More . Neither of which are steps we would recommend for novices who don’t know exactly what they’re doing.

Still, this is better than nothing, and it comes at a time when Microsoft is offering free Windows 10 upgrades to more users than ever, bringing small businesses into the fold. Let’s just hope administrators taking Microsoft up on this offer avoid the various issues other users experienced when upgrading to Windows 10 6 Common Windows Upgrade Issues & How to Fix Them Upgrading Windows 10 can cause a number of complications. We show you what to watch out for and how to prevent or fix issues. Read More .

European Employees Are Snooping on You

If you’re reading this while at work in a country within the European Union, then your company could be spying on you How to Protect Yourself From Unethical or Illegal Spying Think that someone is spying on you? Here's how to find out if spyware is on your PC or mobile device, and how to remove it. Read More . And according to a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), they have every right to do so.

This legal right for employers to snoop on what their employees are doing during working hours came to light as a result of one particular case. Bogdan Barbulescu, a Romanian man who discovered his employers had read messages he sent through Yahoo Messenger while at work, appealed to the ECHR after losing his case in Romania’s domestic courts.

According to BBC News, the judges stated:

“The employer acted within its disciplinary powers since, as the domestic courts found, it had accessed the Yahoo Messenger account on the assumption that the information in question had been related to professional activities and that such access had therefore been legitimate. The court sees no reason to question these findings”.

The issue seems to be that Barbulescu’s employer had banned all employees from sending personal messages while at work. In order to check whether this was happening, they had to access his records. Which is where the line between personal and work became blurred.

Still, the judges made it clear that, “All employees should be notified personally of the said policy and consent to it explicitly”. So if you have never formally agreed to your employers snooping on what you do while at the office you may still have a case.

YouTube Offers Custom Homepages

YouTube is taking a much more personal approach to delivering its service in parts of Asia. Internet users in Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka now have their own versions of YouTube, which reside on separate domains, and are localized in terms of language and content.

By doing this, YouTube is hoping to deliver “the most relevant videos in a YouTube experience tailored for you”. However, even more relevant is the fact that YouTube has been banned in Pakistan since 2012 after the company refused to remove a low-budget flick called Innocence of Muslims. Curating content in this way may just be enough to get that ban overturned.

Twitter Stock Falls to New Low

Twitter could be in big trouble, as its stock continues to plummet. The social network’s stock soared to $70-per-share in the weeks following its floating on the New York Stock Exchange Twitter IPO, Android Profit, Silk Road Returns, PS4 Exposed [Tech News Digest] 37signals helps you work remotely, Silk Road 2.0 is launched, the Internet Archive is damaged in a fire, the innards of the PlayStation 4 are exposed to the world, and an iPad Air gets badly... Read More (NYSE). However, recent months have seen the stock tanking, and it has now (at the time of writing) hit a new low of less than $19-per-share.

There are various reasons behind investors running scared. The most obvious cause is the general downturn in the market, with tech stocks being hit particularly hard. There are also doubts as to whether Twitter can grow beyond its current levels. Add to that a muted reaction to proposed new features Internet Explorer Is Dying, Twitter Wants Longer Tweets... [Tech News Digest] Internet Explorer gets Edged out, Twitter reaches its limit, Lumosity pays the price for allegedly deceiving people, play Rick and Morty on mobile, and avoid playing Pac-Man Powered by Moff. Read More and an ongoing battle over free speech on the site, and this is the result.

Snoop Dogg Hates Xbox Live [NSFW]

And finally, with gamers now so focused on playing online with other people, when Xbox Live or PlayStation Network Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? If you're got a PS4 or Xbox One, you've probably thought about subscribing to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. Let's see what they offer gamers for the price. Read More goes down, all hell breaks loose. People rant and rave on social media, telling Microsoft and Sony exactly what they think of this latest outage ruining their evening.

Even Snoop Dogg is affected by all of this. We know so because Xbox Live went down for some people yesterday (Jan. 13), and Snoop made his feelings known in a foul-mouthed Instagram post. We’re not sure Bill Gates is the man to rally against, but still. [H/T VentureBeat]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should you have to mess with the registry to stop Windows 10 from nagging you? Should employers be allowed to spy on you? Should YouTube cater to individual countries? Will you be buying Twitter stock? Do you agree with Snoop Dogg?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Related topics: Surveillance, Twitter, Windows 10, YouTube.

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  1. Anonymous
    January 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    "Neither of which are steps we would recommend for novices who don’t know exactly what they’re doing."
    So what would you recommend novices do to stop the nagging?

    "If you’re reading this while at work in a country within the European Union, then your company could be spying on you."
    Your company is not spying on you, it is trying to protect its investment. If you're reading this while at work, you shouldn't be. Your employer owns the PC and/or the network you are using to connect to the 'Net. During work hours, you and your time belong to the employer. If you want to go surfing during works hours, maybe your employer should pay you only for the actual time you spend on doing work.

    US companies have been tracking the employees' computer usage for years. US courts have agreed with the employers - their equipment , their rules. Most of the malware infections in companies are due to the employees' private use of company computers.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Get someone who does know what they're doing to help?

      I disagree on the whole companies protecting their investments thing. Sure, you're at work to work, but it should never feel like your company owns you. You're an essential part of it, not some tool to be used and abused as they see fit.

      • Anonymous
        January 15, 2016 at 10:31 pm

        If you hire a tradesman to fix something in your house, how would you feel if he was fixing his car on your time? Or reading the latest bestseller? You are paying him to work on your house, not to be doing his own thing on your time.

        "You’re an essential part of it"
        ROTFLMAO! Don't bet on it! You'll find out how "essential" you are when the boss's nephew or daughter wants your job or when the company is "right-sizing." Then it's "Bye-bye, Dave. Don't let the door hits you on the way out." When you are an employee, be glad when the Boss is not trying to get 45 hours of work out of you for 40 hours of pay.