A few weeks ago at about 10 am my time I was reading an article about how the United States is the only country where you have to “jailbreak” you phone. Here in Europe, you buy a phone and it’s yours. If you want to change carriers, you take out the sim card from your own carrier and put in a new one from another carrier. This is convenient for some of our international friends, who can use one phone company here in Finland, and then go back to their home country and use the local phone company there — with the same phone! In the US, you’re beholden to one carrier, and they won’t let you use the phone with someone else. Even though it’s your property, and you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

Anyway, I’m reading this and my laptop reboots without warning and starts installing updated. It’s not the first time it’s done this. At some point in the past I realized that 10 in the morning here is midnight on the East Coast of the United States, so there’s probably some push notification that doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass what time zone I’m in. I’ve been through every Windows Update setting, made every attempt to turn it off or get it to warn me, and from what I can see it’s supposed to. I should get a prompt, and an option to do it now or schedule it for later. Yet it still happens.

This is why I was reading an article on how corporations think they control the devices we own, rather than writing. The content of the article was ironic coincidence. Just in case it decided to pull this crap on me again, I don’t want to risk losing any work. It’s one of the reasons I write in Scrivener, which saves every keystroke.

Anyway, I’ve never bothered trying to contact customer support, because seriously. Why waste time and possibly money to have someone in Bangalore, posing as an American, tell me I’m an idiot and it’s all my fault and here buy this thing that won’t actually solve your problem. I gave you money when I bought the computer, and the operating system, and the software (sorry, apps, we don’t say software or programs anymore because words with single syllables are cool), and my only expectation is that it works.

And it does. I love this laptop. It’s been solid for a year, gives me no troubles other than this, runs fast, does what I need it to, yadda yadda yadda.

So a few days after that I get a popup on my screen from the HP “support assistant” app. It’s an HP, and I had a one-year warranty, and that warranty just ran out. Would I like to renew it it? Well, no. I will take my chances that HP won’t intentionally blow the thing up so I have to buy a new one. I back up my data regularly, have an old laptop as a backup just in case, and there are a couple of excellent and affordable repair places here in town that’d I’d use rather than shipping this thing off the HP. After it nagged me for a few days I uninstalled it, since I’ve never used it and never will.

Then I realized that it also wanted to manage my updates, and the mysterious reboots-against-my-wished may have been coming from there. The balls, right? I tweak the Windows settings to tell Windows when to update Windows, and HP says nah, we’ll ignore that and do it our way. Invasive much?

It hasn’t rebooted and updated without prompting me since. In fact, I now get the Windows prompts I was supposed to get, telling me when an update is available and giving me a choice. I can only conclude that was the issue. I’m so sick of corporations pretending to be “helpful” while really controlling and manipulating us to behave the way they want us to behave.

One thought on “Jailbreak

  1. Actually the carriers here in the US have been moving away from the “buy the phone” model to a “rent the phone” model. At least that’s how the carrier I use is operating.

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