Windows Recall madness and more… freelancers meeting on 5th June 2024

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On 5th June, eight freelancers met in the Battle of Trafalgar. A small but good meet up, we covered quite a few topics including the recent news about Windows Recall, a feature coming with certain new Windows computers.

Here’s broadly what we talked about:

  • Windows Recall madness
  • Photoshop alternatives
  • Proud dad moment: child in first gig!
  • Chicago trip coming up
  • “Rat utopias” research by John B. Calhoun
  • .Net portability
  • Standard investments and Crowd investing
  • Reading a bunch of PDFs with lashings of VMs in Docker
  • Analysing your outgoings and incomings
  • Chat-GPT use
  • Sankey graphs
  • Integrating your site with Matrix chatrooms
  • Organising yourself
  • “I’m ripe for being gamified”
  • Streaming and learning from film makers
  • The Millennial pause
  • Why is the Vision Pro failing as a product?
  • Good and bad VR experiences and games

Windows Recall

This is a new feature coming to Windows 11 where Windows will record what you do on your computer, and allow you to search your history. That sounds great, but the problem is security and surveillance.

What Recall does is take a screenshot of what you’re doing, then records all the text of whatever’s on your screen at that moment. So, that could be a report you’re writing, a spreadsheet you’re working on, an email to a client, it could be your bank details, the login for your investments, your holiday booking details, anything and everything you look at in your browser.

Now, legitimate uses of that are great, but also… illegal uses are really bad. Viruses and malware exist and so far, it seems very easy to get access to the record of what you’ve been doing. So, a virus would not need to add something like a keylogger to your computer to try to get your personal information. It can just access this record (a file that is a database) and send all of your information to someone else for processing.

I look at a lot of client and personal information on my computer. I don’t want the chance of that being leaked out to someone else just because having that helps power a small feature on my computer. It also adds liability for companies – if you get caught up in a legal case, will you have to provide a copy of this information to the court?

All of the problems are really easy to come up with, so we thought it very unlikely this hasn’t already been talked about within Microsoft and that they have gone ahead anyway, and with so little security on the file, seems incredible.

Basically, it’s all turning into a complete mess for Microsoft.

It’ll be interesting to see what Windows Recall turns into in the next few months, and whether it ends up being cancelled completely.