Windows 10 Is Spying on You, BlackBerry Adopts Android… [Tech News Digest]

   
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Microsoft shows off its data collection, BlackBerry adopts Android for 2016, Motorola is no more, John Legere curses the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and get set for Game of Thrones.

Windows 10 Usage Stats Reveal Spying

    I don't care what the apologists tell you. Microsoft is spying on you. All of you.

We now know just how much Windows 10 is spying on everybody, and it’s all thanks to Microsoft itself. In a Windows Blog post, Microsoft details a number of stats related to Windows 10 usage. However, these usage stats inadvertently reveal how much data the company is collecting on Windows 10 users.

For example, Microsoft knows that over 44.5 billion minutes have been spent in Microsoft Edge across Windows 10 devices over the last month. And that Windows 10 users have asked Cortana 2.5 billion questions since launch. And also that more than 82 billion photos have been viewed within the Windows 10 Photo app.

There are two distinct schools of thinking here. One, led by Forbes and BetaNews, claims that this amounts to spying of the highest order, and condemns Microsoft for embarking on such a program. The other, led by Ed Bott at ZDNet, claims this is nothing more than analytics, and it’s the same sort of harmless data harvesting that all big tech companies do.

We will leave you to make your own minds up, but suffice to say we have been reporting on Microsoft’s new privacy policies since launch, and detailing how to ensure your Windows 10 data isn’t gobbled up. Spying or analytics, this kind of thing still makes a lot of people feel very uncomfortable.
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BlackBerry Goes All In On Android

BlackBerry will not be releasing a BlackBerry 10 handset this year, with the company instead doubling down on its adoption of Android. According to CEO John Chen, in an interview with CNET, BlackBerry plans to release one new product in 2016, and, like the BlackBerry Priv before it, that device will run on Android.

The BlackBerry Priv looks to be selling rather well, ensuring BlackBerry’s immediate survival. However, that means the company has little reason to release a new BlackBerry 10 device, when its first Android-powered smartphone is doing OK. BlackBerry 10 may return in the future, but, for now at least, BlackBerry is going all in on Android.
Say Goodbye to Motorola

    I'm really bummed about Motorola going the way of the Dodo. Motorola is a better sounding brand name than Lenovo, period.

    — Florence Ion (@Ohthatflo) January 7, 2016

Goodbye, Motorola, Hello, Moto by Lenovo. The Motorola brand name is being phased out, with Lenovo slowly transitioning to a new brand called Moto by Lenovo. Which, we’re sure you’ll agree, is really catchy. It literally rolls off the tongue with no effort whatsoever.

Lenovo acquired Motorola from Google in 2014, but the brand name of the company which invented the cellphone in 1973 is now seen as surplus to requirements. Fans of the hardware need not worry though, as Lenovo is committing to continuing with the Moto X line of smartphones.
John Legere Hates the EFF

    .@EFF pic.twitter.com/pv6V4oOJwS

    — John Legere (@JohnLegere) January 7, 2016

We think it’s fair to say John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, isn’t a fan of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In fact, he barely knows who or what they are, besides someone or something making trouble for him and his company.

This admission of ignorance came during a Q&A session on Twitter. The EFF asked John about T-Mobile’s Binge-On program, which has been accused of throttling YouTube, and John replied with a sweary video embedded in a tweet. It’s NSFW but definitely worth watching.

The EFF responded to Legere’s attack with a blog post describing itself as “an advocacy organization fighting for civil liberties in the digital world,” funded by “the donations of tens of thousands of regular people”.

As reported by Ars Technica, Legere later backtracked, tweeting, “Let me be clear- I know who the @EFF is. I’m sure they do a lot of great things for a lot of consumers, but innovation can be controversial!”
Game of Thrones Returns In April

And finally, HBO has announced the start date for Season Six of Game of Thrones. The sixth season of the show, based on the books by George R.R. Martin, will debut on April 24th, 2016. As usual, the season will comprise of 10 episodes, with bloodshed, shocks, and nudity all likely to play a part.

With Game of Thrones being a particularly geeky television show, we have started covering it in recent months in our Entertainment section. So be sure to check out intriguing Game of Thrones fan theories, the real history behind Game of Thrones, and how to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you bothered by the amount of data Microsoft is collecting on you? Should BlackBerry continue pushing its own mobile operating system? Are you sad to see the Motorola brand disappearing? Is John Legere right to question the authority of the EFF? Are you excited about the return of Game of Thrones?

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.

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