Link Roundups & LinkDumps

5TtRT: Windows 10, Pixelbooks, Cambridge Analytica, James Comey, & the Trump Foundation

Today’s articles talk about Windows 10 and Cortana, Google’s possible Pixelbooks+Windows 10 aspirations, more Cambridge Analytica shenanigans, the FBI Inspector General’s report on James Comey’s email investigations and whatnot, and New York suing the Trump Foundation for being suuuuper shady.

5 Things to Read Today

💻 Lifehacker: How to Turn Off Cortana on a Windows 10 PC
This article isn’t exactly what it says it is. It doesn’t show you how to turn off Cortana completely, just how to turn it off so it can’t be accessed from your computer’s lockscreen. By the way, Cortana can be accessed from your computer’s lockscreen. Also, until a recent update, there was a hack available, using Cortana from the lockscreen, to break into your computer. That’s been patched. Still, doesn’t hurt to turn it off, and honestly, who needs Cortana on the lockscreen of their PC?

💻 Ars Technica: It looks like Google is readying the Pixelbook to run Windows 10
Google’s beefing up the firmware in their Pixelbooks so that – apparently – they can set their Pixelbooks up to boot either ChromeOS or some other operating system, like Windows 10 and/or Linux. I’m not entirely sure how useful this feature is going to be, personally. I assume if you buy a Pixelbook, it’s because you either didn’t need to run legacy programs (stuff you run from a desktop, which you can’t do on ChromeOS), or could do without them in certain circumstances, like when you’re traveling or away from your desktop or whatever. One one hand, I can see some use for occasionally booting into Linux or Windows 10 – games come immediately to mind. On the other, I doubt you’re going to be running a lot of games on a Pixelbook.

🗳️ Snopes: Code Developed By Canadian Firm Hints at Voter ‘Disengagement’ Efforts in United States
I’m not sure how big a deal this is, or how far to trust this story. It’s in Snopes, and Snopes is not known for bullshit, but I don’t know much about the sourcing Snopes is using here. At any rate, a security company recently discovered code owned by a Canadian company. This code is very similar to, and in some cases seems to use actual parts of, the code Cambridge Analytica was using to track and sway Facebook users on their vote. The Canadian company is AggregateIQ, a digital advertising company which was said to be working with Cambridge Analytica. AggregateIQ swears they weren’t working with CA, but allegations from CA, and this found code, casts doubt on their protestations.

⚖️ Bloomberg: Comey Broke From FBI Procedures in Clinton Probe, Watchdog Finds
Here’s one of today’s big news stories: The FBI’s Inspector General, the agency’s watchdog, has found that Comey screwed up real bad with his treatment of the Hillary Clinton investigation as it pertains to the “October Surprise,” where Comey pooched Hillary’s chances at the presidency quite thoroughly with that letter to Congress about reopening the email investigation. Josh Marshall of TPM has some useful thoughts on this news here and here.

⚖️ New York Times: N.Y. Attorney General Accuses Trump Charity of Sweeping Violations
And here’s today’s other big news (so far) – the N.Y. Attorney General is suing the Trump Foundation for operating illegally. Basically, the trump Foundation has been operating as a personal checkbook for the Trump family. They use the Foundation to raise money, then dip into that money whenever they want, for whatever they want, which is illegal. And New York’s suing them for it.