I’ve talked about it here before. Ken’s Rule.
It’s a simple rule I developed years ago when worry was beginning to cause me to become ill. As a business owner, I worried about a lot of things, both business and personal, and it was herding me toward a heart attack or a stroke. Ken’s Rule is easy in concept but it takes practice to put into play.
The thing that is worrying or bothering you? Jump ahead 24 hours in your mind. What will you most likely be doing? Does that thing you are worrying about now have any bearing on your life 24 hours later? Has that thing you are worrying about followed you? Has worrying about it made it better or go away? No? Then stop worrying. If what you are worrying about isn’t going to be important 24 hours from now, just stop it. Stop injuring yourself. And for those who don’t realize it…worry can often lead to anger. In fact, it most often does.
Why? Because you can’t do anything about it. It’s a cycle…worry, anger. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But as is true for most rules, there are exceptions. There are times when rules can or need to be broken. Sometimes for good reason, other times not so much. Right now, I’m angry, and I don’t want to be. I’m not angry about anything that is in my sphere of influence. I am angry because something in my friends’ and family’s lives is happening. It’s not a good thing and they have no idea they are becoming victims.
All they have to do is turn on their computers.
A few days ago the news cycle began reporting that Microsoft was “downloading” things to customers’ computers. In the first place, for tech sites reporting this news, Microsoft is uploading things to customers’ computers, not downloading. For God’s sake, don’t lower your terminology standards to that of laymen. The only way they can be taught right from wrong is for you to correct the perception, not perpetuate it. And you wonder why journalism isn’t taken seriously any more. Even Forbes can’t get it right.
So, to all my buddies who are stuck using or who prefer using and defending Microsoft, for those of you who touted the crowning of a new King at Redmond as a New Day and a New Way…
This isn’t your father’s Microsoft, you said.
Uh, no it isn’t. Even if my father did use Windows back in the day, his check mark to opt out of automatic updates was mostly respected. This new and improved Microsoft Windows? Apparently not. According to ing.com, your choice to ignore Windows update is kicked aside like a mongrel dog as the storm troopers march in unopposed.
“Aw Ken, relax buddy. Remember Ken’s Rule? And besides, no one is forcing that person to install the upgrade, they just give them a choice to do so.”
Yeah, I remember it, and it’s been well over 24 hours and I am still angry. Not for any other reason than the fact that those trusting, kind people who live across from me and on each side of me are being ramrodded…Those folks who have it in their minds that their computers wouldn’t do anything not in their best interests; they are getting screwed. They have no choice, they have no say. And as far as them having the right not to install the uploaded file if they have automatic updates turned off, then Microsoft is nothing less than a burglar, jimmying a back door to gain entrance. In my world, even according to current law, Microsoft is committing a criminal act.
And the folks being given the “opportunity” to upgrade? They have no idea the fraud that is being perpetuated against them. Yeah, yeah…EULA this and EULA that. Like my 75 year old neighbor is going to read that frickin’ lawyer-ese. Like you did as well.
Windows 10 is being shoveled onto the computers of millions upon millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide, and I can’t do a frickin’ thing about it. And a peek behind the keyboard? I had to edit then re-edit the word “frickin” a few times before my common sense could out vote my anger. Many of you will shrug and accept it. Business as usual from Microsoft. Nothing we can do here, everyone move along.
Move along my ass. Go door knocking at your neighbor’s house. Ask them if they know that Microsoft is doing this. Stop a neighbor in the local supermarket and talk to them. If they say yes and they are good with it? Then yes, move along. But not before many of us make even the puniest effort to tell folks about them losing control of their computers.
“Ken, hey. That’s a little strong. The whole losing control of the computer thing.”
Really? Strong? It’s not strong enough, but I have the responsibility of not using the Big 7. If I cannot control what goes on or into my computer…If I cannot control an enterprise from putting something on my computer, then I do not own my computer. The entity has now taken ownership of my computer and they are trying to persuade me to use a product that I don’t want to use. Aha, choice! So while you may make a half-hearted attempt to tell your neighbor about this outrage, let them know they have a choice. I live in a retirement community of 113 people and I’ve lived here for seventeen months. Sixteen of these people are now using Linux as their main operating system. All it takes is a little conversation and helping people understand that they have a choice.
A choice Microsoft is doing their filthy best to take away from them. Just how much of this are you going to take? For more people than I am comfortable with, that’s a rhetorical question.
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Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue