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While pumping gas the other day, I was bothered by the suddenly high price---thanks, Russia!---but there was something else that irritated me more. While I was standing there, nozzle in hand, I was assaulted by the screechy blare of video advertisements playing on a tiny screen on the pump. I hate this kind of intrusion, but what I really hate is that I can’t turn it off.

Naturally, this made me think of Windows, and of Microsoft’s incessant, slow boil moves to forever ruin its user experience with crapware bundling, forced telemetry tracking, and, yes, advertising. These are the times that try one’s soul, as Thomas Paine once opined of an admitted more serious historical crisis. But I feel the pain all the same. And as time goes on, and Windows 8 becomes Windows 10 becomes Windows 11, it just gets worse.

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