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  1. #1
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    More on System Restore's disk-space needs




    LANGALIST PLUS

    More on System Restore's disk-space needs


    By Fred Langa

    Proper sizing of System Restore can resolve issues with seemingly mysterious backup/restore failures.
    Also this week: Google privacy, TiVo/DVR networking, and no-format XP reinstalls.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/more-on-system-restore-s-disk-space-needs/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Are YouTube and Google spying on me?

    Slight disagreement with Fred on some points, especially that the privacy threats are minimal and users must opt in to allow access to web cam and microphone permissions. (NOT true for many Apps.)


    Flash Player (from Adobe) has a similar provision -- a Flash Player application can use your web cam and microphone unless you visit the Flash Player Settings Page (actually a local place, not a Web Page) and deny permissions. Some sites or web apps may not ask user permissions each time the web cam and microphone are activated. I suggest for peace of mind at least, that folks who have privacy concerns should change the Flash Player defaults to NOT allow web sites using Flash to access your web cam or microphone. Settings take the form of a Flash Cookie or LSO. (These are diffferent from browser cookies, and are not cleaned by cleaning ordinary browser cookies.)


    Even so, these settings will revert to defaults (allow) if you clean Flash Cookies or LSOs off your local computer (which you should do from time to time, as they may contain personal information and some of these objects never expire). So, I take the further step of disabling the web cam and microphone in the Windows Device Manager. When I need these devices, I go back and manually turn them on. This way, I also prevent several Toshiba OEM Apps from starting up with Windows, which helps system performance during startups and account logins. Face recognition goes away, but it's not very accurate to begin with on my laptop.
    -- Bob Primak --

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Flash Player (from Adobe) has a similar provision -- a Flash Player application can use your web cam and microphone unless you visit the Flash Player Settings Page (actually a local place, not a Web Page) and deny permissions. Some sites or web apps may not ask user permissions each time the web cam and microphone are activated. I suggest for peace of mind at least, that folks who have privacy concerns should change the Flash Player defaults to NOT allow web sites using Flash to access your web cam or microphone. Settings take the form of a Flash Cookie or LSO. (These are diffferent from browser cookies, and are not cleaned by cleaning ordinary browser cookies.)
    The default is Ask, not Allow:

    Because the use of cameras and microphones can have privacy implications, Flash Player requests permission by default before enabling the camera or microphone for any website. No website can use your camera or microphone unless you have expressly given the site permission. Use the settings on the Camera and Mic panel to override this default, and allow or block the use of the camera and microphone by specific websites.
    Flash Player Local Settings Manager


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Even so, these settings will revert to defaults (allow) if you clean Flash Cookies or LSOs off your local computer (which you should do from time to time, as they may contain personal information and some of these objects never expire). So, I take the further step of disabling the web cam and microphone in the Windows Device Manager. When I need these devices, I go back and manually turn them on. This way, I also prevent several Toshiba OEM Apps from starting up with Windows, which helps system performance during startups and account logins. Face recognition goes away, but it's not very accurate to begin with on my laptop.
    But the default is still Ask:

    The user control is somewhat 'sabotaged' since at least as of April 2012 (v 11.2.202.233) updating by downloading a new Flash version 'resets' the security and privacy settings to the defaults of allowing local storage and asking for media access again.
    Local shared objects (LSOs), commonly called flash cookies


    Bruce

  4. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    @Bruce R -- Policies are nice, and Ask is a nice term to include, but how do we express our consent? Some web sites and apps do in fact have terms which state clearly that just by downloading something, or by using it, or just by using the Player at the site, the user agrees to allow the activation of a web cam or microphone. Other sites don't even make explicit statements in their terms -- they just do it.

    I stand by my statement that unless you hardware-disable or cover your built-in web cam, Flash Player Settings will not be universally honored by all Apps and all sites. Not when the Settings are removed whenever all LSOs are cleaned.

    Just what site interactions constitute "asking", and what user actions constitute "consenting"? I've never seen in print or electronic notices any definitive answers.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-05-25 at 14:08.
    -- Bob Primak --

  5. #5
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    Fred,
    In this column, you described a way to do a no format XP install. But, it is pretty time consuming, including the need to reinstall all the programs. If I had to do that on my computer, it would take days to get it back to where it was before the reinstallation. Why not do a repair-install instead. That way, all the programs remain active and there is no need to reinstall them? The way I do it is to make a slip-streamed version of Windows and do the repair install from that. It does save a lot of time.
    Guy

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