Daft names and are you one of the 83%?

By | May 29, 2017
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One of the things I find entertaining about Microsoft is their daft names.

I don’t mean them personally – Bill, Paul and Steve sound sensible enough. I mean the way they name some of their products.

Windows sort of makes sense since the things on the screen are called windows too.  But when they came out with “Microsoft Bob” – well, there’s nothing wrong with Bob as a name for a person, but for a program it’s a bit odd.

And some of the versions of Windows – it’s like they can’t count. Version 1, 2, 3 – then 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10

And now we’ve got a new one – sort of. It’s not a completely new version, just an update to Windows 10. It’s called the Creator’s Update.

As far as I can tell the reason it’s called “Creators” is because it has a 3-d paint program. It sounds clever, but I doubt most people are likely to ever use it! And most of the other changes in the update are also things I doubt most people will ever notice.

So if you won’t use the new things, why am I telling you about the update? Because before you get it, you’ll get some questions pop up. It’ll say “Review your settings for the next update” and then give you some questions about privacy settings. When the update happens, it’ll use whatever you’ve answered to set it up.

In particular it’ll ask you about five settings – and it might not be obvious what they mean. So here’s a simple explanation – along with some advice about what you might want to choose.

(If you ever change your mind and want to change these again later, then once the update has happened you can go into the start menu, into settings (with the cogwheel logo) and click on Privacy – then you can change them whenever you like.)

First it’ll ask you about location. This just means whether you’ll allow Windows and other apps you have running to check what your physical location is and use it to change what they do. For example a weather program might automatically give you a local forecast. For most people, I’d probably recommend having this on.

Next is speech recognition. This one tells it whether you’re happy for it to send what the microphone hears across the internet to Microsoft’s computers to get their help in understanding what you’re saying. Microsoft’s computers will also use that to help them understand what it got right and wrong, so they work better in the future. It makes all kinds of speech recognition work better. But if you’re unhappy about what you’re saying being sent to Microsoft, don’t tick it! Of course, if you never use voice recognition, you might as well turn it off anyway!

Diagnostics is where your computer will send information about how things have gone wrong to Microsoft – so they can tell what common problems are (and also sometimes tell you about a way to fix it). I’d generally leave this on.

Tailored Experiences – is where it can check how you use your computer and make suggestions that might help you. For example if you often use Amazon’s website, it might recommend the Amazon app that you can download and use. I’m in two minds about this – the advice could be useful, but I don’t really want my PC telling me what to do. Up to you!

Relevant Adverts – I suspect a lot of people will want to turn this off. It looks at what websites you visit and so on and uses that information in apps to try to show you adverts about things you’re interested in. In theory that sounds great – you see adverts about things you’re interested in not things that are irrelevant. In practice lots of people don’t like it because it feels like they’re being spied on. Again, up to you!

So when this window appears you need to decide for each of those whether you want it on or off, then click on “Accept” near the bottom.

The actual update won’t happen straight away, but when it does, it’ll use the settings you’ve just chosen.

Are you one of the 83%?
The sleep book I’ve been mentioning recently is proving popular. But then, everyone sleeps… and lots of people don’t sleep as well as they should.

In fact, I’ve got a question for you: are you one of the 83%?

Not sure what I mean? Have a read about it all here.

Incidentally, the book is available on free trial. So if you’re left thinking “Maybe, but I’m not sure if it’s for me”, you can order a copy, and only pay if you are happy with it when it arrives – otherwise send it back and pay us nothing.

Here’s the info again – and the question about the 83%.

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