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  1. #1
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    Hubris Has Taken Over My Electronics

    I'm not sure what the final straw was, but for the past few years, I have been getting more and more pissed off at the no-holds-barred, we-are-the-most-important-thing-in-the-world arrogance of software makers.

    Take something as common place as a smartphone. I don't use my phone for many things other than calls and texts, but there are a couple apps I like to have and they only come on Android so that's what I use. I also don't use much data so a 2GB data plan is all I need. Well, the other day I happened to notice that, despite the fact that I hadn't done anything more than make a few calls, my phone had been consuming data all day (I wasn't at home where there was WiFi). A bit of digging showed me it was all background data, and the worse part is that most of it was being consumed by apps that I DON'T USE AND CAN'T REMOVE (they tell you how to disable these apps, but it doesn't work)! So I spent an hour going through all the bloody apps and turning off background whenever possible. Here's where the hubris comes in - why in the name of all the gods isn't background refresh off by default? Why do I have to opt-out of things rather than opt-in? I can only assume it's because the makers think that their stuff doesn't stink and that everyone should fall to their knees praising them for providing such a wonderful application.

    Now onto the Windows world. Have you ever seen how many services there are running on your computer? How many hidden apps there are in your system tray? How many programs launch at startup? Why is that? Why am I not given an option when I install something as to whether or not I want some background program running constantly so that if I do want the program, it can launch immediately rather than 5 seconds later.

    More and more and more, I find myself having to opt-out of things rather than opt-in. Often there's no simple way to stop something from consuming resources other than manually changing some setting in Services, Registry, or Group Policy. IOW, I have to hack my own computer to make it stop doing things I would never have allowed it to do in the first place.

    I'm not sure there is any answer to this because most people seem more than happy to shell out more and more cash for the minor convenience of not having to wait 5-10 seconds for something to happen. Is it just me or are we really doomed to be continually buried by background operations?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to gsmith-plm For This Useful Post:

    JC Zorkoff (2016-02-26),Rick Corbett (2016-02-25),Slorm (2016-02-26)

  3. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Thank you, Graham. My thoughts exactly!

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    ....I have to hack my own computer to make it stop doing things I would never have allowed it to do in the first place....
    Priceless!

  5. #4
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    Couldn't agree more

  6. #5
    3 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
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    Very well stated! After installing some new software, I frequently check the startup programs list to see if a new program was added.

  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    I don't use my phone for many things other than calls and texts, but there are a couple apps I like to have and they only come on Android so that's what I use. I also don't use much data so a 2GB data plan is all I need. Well, the other day I happened to notice that, despite the fact that I hadn't done anything more than make a few calls, my phone had been consuming data all day (I wasn't at home where there was WiFi). A bit of digging showed me it was all background data, and the worse part is that most of it was being consumed by apps that I DON'T USE AND CAN'T REMOVE (they tell you how to disable these apps, but it doesn't work)! So I spent an hour going through all the bloody apps and turning off background whenever possible. Here's where the hubris comes in - why in the name of all the gods isn't background refresh off by default? Why do I have to opt-out of things rather than opt-in? I can only assume it's because the makers think that their stuff doesn't stink and that everyone should fall to their knees praising them for providing such a wonderful application.
    Yet another good reason why I have only talk-and-text.

    Perhaps your cell phone provider makes it hard to turn this stuff off, so that they can sell you more data.

    As for Windows, in many cases you are the product, not the consumer, and so the more data they can collect on you (and phone home with), the more money they can make off of you. Could that be the reason?

    I got tired of most web sites running slower than molasses at Christmas, so I uninstalled Flash and installed NoScript and AdBlock. Things have greatly improved. Of course, that isn't the same as all of the Windows background stuff running constantly.

    NirSoft has lots of really neat, free utilities. Perhaps something there would be of help.

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