Automatic updates

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Do you like automatic updates?

Yes, they're important for security.
9
24%
Yes, I like having the latest features.
2
5%
No, I don't like having my workflow interrupted/changed without notice.
9
24%
No, I want to be in control of what's installed on my system.
13
34%
Meh, I don't really care.
2
5%
What is a computer?
3
8%
 
Total votes: 38

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Sizik
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Automatic updates

Postby Sizik » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:54 pm UTC

This is a hot issue nowadays, especially with Windows 10.
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Soupspoon
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:48 pm UTC

I was just turning off my Samsung tablet, earlier today, when I noticed it was downloading a Samsung Software Update (or very, very similar). Couldn't be helped, I had to shut it down as I was moving off the hotspot and also needed to save the battery.

Upset that it wasn't a "There are updates, click here to install", akin to the Play Store notification that I can review and ignore when I'm on a metered connection. Let's see what it does when I next turn it on and connect it.

(Because I inexplicably skipped straight over my opinion and onto the anecdote, ETAing to say that so long as there is a choice (e.g. "do silently", "do on user review/confirmation",... down to "tell me there's an update, I'll manually check it") then I'm happy, in and of myself. But having seen what a total mess other people have made of it, and not even manually updating when they shouod/could have), I'm not sure I'm actually in full agreement with myself. If I could trust all auto-updates to be non-breaky, and also never ever spoofed in the manner of a trojanical worm, then I'd put up with it. Also, bandwidth. But then these days very few people worry about that, and (it seems) even fewer developers.)

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Re: Automatic updates

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:35 pm UTC

I don't care if they're a default as long as I have the ability to turn them off. I'm good with updating software when it constitutes a meaningful improvement and doesn't ruin the usability, but even when I go with the updates, I want to be the one to decide when that happens - especially when it's something like Windows Update where not having that under my control can equal "surprise! The reboot you needed to do XYZ is now going to take fifteen to thirty minutes longer! Enjoy!"

I'm still waiting for the inevitable incident where Windows 10's habit of spontaneously rebooting the computer in order to complete updates happens on some mission-critical system for something like navigation/medicine/industrial control and a person is killed because of it. I guaran-fucking-tee it's only a matter of time.
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somitomi
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby somitomi » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:25 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:I'm still waiting for the inevitable incident where Windows 10's habit of spontaneously rebooting the computer in order to complete updates happens on some mission-critical system for something like navigation/medicine/industrial control and a person is killed because of it. I guaran-fucking-tee it's only a matter of time.

When I first discovered Win10 does that, I was furious for a week. You'd think a company specialising in making operating systems for a wide variety of computers has at least one person who knows that shutting a computer down without user permission is an all-caps TERRIBLE IDEA.

ETA: I'd personally prefer computers to just remind me once every day, if there are uninstalled updates. But there are people who just click the prompt away every time so that may lead to trouble. Windows 8 had a nice, unobtrusive habit of updating when the user shut the computer down, but then there are people who turn their computers off maybe once a month. I don't know what the solution to this conundrum is, because I haven't yet seen it.
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Derek
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Derek » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:41 am UTC

Automatic updates are good, the problem with Windows 10 is that it tries to force restarts at bad times. This is a separate problem. Lots of programs have automatic updates but only apply the updates when you restart the program normally.

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Flumble
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Flumble » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:31 am UTC

How many people actually leave their session open overnight? I do, but I'm also in the group of people who know how to disable the automatic-update-and-thereby-force-restart policy.
Also, what's the restart policy for updates on android flavours and ios? Don't they every force you to restart after a (security) update?


Anyway, what john totally forgets in his doomsday scenario is that companies have a different way of getting updates to their machines: the computers can't download updates from microsoft, they have to be allowed and distributed by the company's servers.
Note that that same mechanism is what left half the computers vulnerable to WannaCry because the IT at some companies hadn't deployed a month-old security update yet. Goes to show that either you get annoyed by windows updates or by malware, and microsoft simply makes that choice for you.

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Xenomortis
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:42 am UTC

Flumble wrote:How many people actually leave their session open overnight?

I used to, before I installed Windows 10 and now my computer cannot wake up from sleep, forcing a reboot (or several).
Forced restarts, even in the Win 7 days, where therefore an annoyance (albeit very minor).

Flumble wrote:Goes to show that either you get annoyed by windows updates or by malware, and microsoft simply makes that choice for you.

To be fair, most malware goes unnoticed. Being part of a botnet is unfortunate, but at least it doesn't force a machine restart. ;)
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:12 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Anyway, what john totally forgets in his doomsday scenario is that companies have a different way of getting updates to their machines: the computers can't download updates from microsoft, they have to be allowed and distributed by the company's servers.

Yes, there are workarounds. However, if you think that every important computer system is going to be running in an environment where that kind of thing is correctly configured and not just sitting in the back office running Win10 Home because it was running 7 and got upgraded in that aggressive GWX push and none of the half-dozen employees in the office "know computers" enough to fix it and the owner won't pay for a tech to sort it out, you don't know IT.
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Soupspoon
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:18 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:To be fair, most malware goes unnoticed. Being part of a botnet is unfortunate, but at least it doesn't force a machine restart. ;)

There's an old, old meme (memory puts it as refering to Windows 95) comparing a typical computer virus (of the time) vs Windows, with on one side statements of "well written", "bugchecked", "efficient", "easy installation", etc, with the opposite side obviously being the Windows one.

With toolkitted/module-built malware being much more a thing, these days, for assembly by someone who isn't even deserving the title 'script kiddie', that description of the typical payload isn't necessarily the same, these days, but adding installation being by the end-user's choice, and I'm sure you could still compare 'favourably' vs the modern Windows thing.

(Many Several's the time when I arrived at work in the morning, to find my XP machine, running some lengthy analysis, had rebooted thanks to the prompt to reboot for an update (unless I disagree) having happened without my being aware, of even present, to veto/postpone it.)

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Xenomortis
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Re: Automatic updates

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:25 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Xenomortis wrote:To be fair, most malware goes unnoticed. Being part of a botnet is unfortunate, but at least it doesn't force a machine restart. ;)

There's an old, old meme (memory puts it as refering to Windows 95) comparing a typical computer virus (of the time) vs Windows, with on one side statements of "well written", "bugchecked", "efficient", "easy installation", etc, with the opposite side obviously being the Windows one.

That would be a little harsh today.
Compared to anti-virus software on the other hand...
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