Why are you surprised?
If you use Google, Bing, Zune, Windows Media Player and hundreds of other programs and / or websites, you are being spied upon. (For example: Google tracks EVERYTHING you search for and builds a database of your habits and they are selling the information)
Have you ever wondered how they know how to put ads on your webpages that are from your area?
There are ways to circumvent a lot of the tracking but it is a sizable task to do so and not usually worth the effort to block all of the privacy violations.
One way is to run FireFox and load some of the plugins for privacy and / or blocking apps.
I run Adblock Plus and it removes a lot of the intrusive video ads and popup ads on many sites. But there are a lot of options to consider other than that..
The only real solution is to unplug the internet but we all know that is not an option.
When we give up Freedom for Security...
We loose them both.
Just my 2cents.
Rejoice in the Thunderstorms of Life . . .
Knowing it's not about Clouds or Wind. . .
But Learning to Dance in the Rain ! ! !
I have them all on my Mac - Safari, Firefox, Opera, iCab. I use Firefox once in a while; I use Opera quite often, especially for downloading big files over a long period (even days) cos' you can always resume the download process; I hardly use iCab; I use Safari most of the time. Opera is a CPU/memory guzzler especially if you save all your prior visited websites for later quick and easy access; but it is quite cute.
And for mails I use only Mails (the Email client on my Mac), with all my E-mail services (MobileMe, OperaMail, my website mail services, My O2 mails services, etc) securely setup on it.
I run Windows on my Mac in virtual machine environment, and considering that I use this Windows environment ONLY for my NT (I don't browse or check mails), I seem to be at a long distance from Microsoft's antics.
And if Apple starts to play "pranks" like Microsoft, I know how to know.
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That's why I've been using Firefox for quite a wile.
You can also look at the "Task Scheduler" (under "Administrative Tools") and look at the active tasks.
There are some Microsoft tasks (and others) that are very suspicious.
I closed all tasks that are not needed and the computer starts a bit faster now.
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