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Microsoft DRM, Security, and Apple's Combustion Threat

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Microsoft
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Security
  • You Don't Own What You've Bought: Microsoft's Books 'Will Stop Working'

    The latest in our forever ongoing series, recognizing in the digital age how you often no longer own what you've bought, thanks to DRM and copyright: this week, people with Microsoft ebooks will discover they're dead.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox, firefox-developer-edition, libarchive, and vlc), CentOS (firefox, thunderbird, and vim), Debian (firefox-esr, openssl, and python-django), Fedora (glpi and xen), Mageia (thunderbird), openSUSE (ImageMagick, irssi, libheimdal, and phpMyAdmin), Red Hat (libssh2 and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (firefox, thunderbird, and vim), SUSE (389-ds, cf-cli, curl, dbus-1, dnsmasq, evolution, glib2, gnutls, graphviz, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and libxslt), and Ubuntu (python-django).

  • Kali Linux in the DigitalOcean Cloud

    DigitalOcean is a cloud provider similar to AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and many others. They offer instances, called “droplets”, with different Linux distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, etc. Similar to AWS, DigitalOcean has datacenters around the world and sometimes multiple datacenters in each country.

    However, one feature in particular sets them apart them from their competitors. A little while ago, they added support for custom images, which allows users to import virtual machine disks and use them as droplets. This is perfect for us as we can use our own version of Kali Linux in their cloud.

    While it might be possible to load the official Kali Linux virtual images, it wouldn’t be very efficient. Instead, we’ll build a lightweight Kali installation with the bare minimum to get it working.

  • Cybersecurity Experts Blocked 5 Million Attempted Hacks of IoT Cameras

    Trend Micro cybersecurity experts report that they blocked an astounding five-million hack attempts on IoT cameras. It’s quite frightening to think what may have happened if these experts weren’t hard at work.

  • Public Certificate Poisoning Can Break Some OpenPGP Implementations

    OpenPGP installations can grind to a halt and fail to verify the authenticity of downloaded packages as the keyserver network has been flooded with bogus extra signatures attesting ownership of a certificate.

    Vulnerabilities that allow this type of certificate spamming attack have been known for years and a timely fix or mitigation is nowhere in sight, neither from the keyserver network community nor the OpenPGP Working Group.

  • Report: Apple Discovers MacBook Air Logic Board Issue

                   

                     

    Not all 13-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display units from 2018 are believed to be affected by the logic board issue. The memo reportedly said that only units with certain serial numbers were affected; Apple plans to inform the owners of those devices via email. Affected units can be taken to Apple's retail stores or authorized repair shops until four years after their original purchase date, 9to5Mac said. 
     

                     

    It's not clear why Apple didn't publicly announce the replacement program.  

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  • Apple finds issue w/ logic board in some 2018 MacBook Airs, offers free repair

                   

                     

    Apple has confirmed in an internal document to repair staff that it’s identified an issue with the main logic board in what it says is a “very small number” of MacBook Air models. Apple Stores and authorized repair staff have been informed to replace the main logic board in affected machines at no cost to customers, according to the document obtained by 9to5Mac.  

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  • Apple Recalls 15-Inch MacBook Pro Laptop Computers Due to Fire Hazard

                   

                     

    The batteries in the recalled laptop computers can overheat, posing a fire hazard.  

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  • Apple recalls 432,000 MacBook Pro laptops for fire and burn risks

                   

                     

    Manufactured in China, the recalled computers had a retail price of $2,000 and more, and were sold at Apple and electronics stores nationwide, as well as online, from September 2015 through February 2017.  

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  • 2015 15" MacBook Pro Recall Applies to About 432,000 Units, Apple Received 26 Reports of Batteries Overheating

                   

                     

    Last week, Apple launched a worldwide recall and replacement program for select 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro units, sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017, due to batteries that "may overheat and pose a fire safety risk." Apple will replace affected batteries free of charge.  

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  • 'Dangerous' Muslim Brotherhood fatwa app in Apple Store's top 100 downloads

                       

                         

    The Euro Fatwa app, which was launched in April, was created by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a Dublin private foundation set up by Yusuf Al Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
     

                         

    Touted as a guide to help Muslims adhere to Islam, critics including Germany’s security service, say the app is a radicalisation tool.  

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  • Jony Ive found Tim Cook's disinterest in design 'dispiriting'

                       

                         

    But more damagingly, the WSJ highlights that Ive was left "dispirited" by Tim Cook, in stark contrast to his close relationship with Steve Jobs. Cook, apparently "showed little interest in the product development process" according to the paper's sources. Ive was also left frustrated by the makeup of Apple's board of directors, which was filled with people with backgrounds outside of Apple's core business (the pun is ours, and very much intended). 
     

                         

    As well as these reports, Ive's own words have come back to haunt the company. Back in 2014, he told The Times he'd leave Apple if it stopped innovating. Awkward.  

>Microsoft's Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM

  • Microsoft's Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM

    Your iTunes movies, your Kindle books—they’re not really yours. You don’t own them. You’ve just bought a license that allows you to access them, one that can be revoked at any time. And while a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers.

    Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good. The company had made its foray into ebooks in 2017, as part of a Windows 10 Creators Update that sought to round out the software available to its Surface line. Relegated to Microsoft’s Edge browser, the digital bookstore never took off. As of April 2, it halted all ebook sales. And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them.

    Other companies have pulled a similar trick in smaller doses. Amazon, overcome by a fit of irony in 2009, memorably vanished copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from Kindles. The year before that, Walmart shut down its own ill-fated MP3 store, at first suggesting customers burn their purchases onto CDs to salvage them before offering a download solution. But this is not a tactical strike. There is no backup plan. This is The Langoliers. And because of digital rights management—the mechanism by which platforms retain control over the digital goods they sell—you have no recourse. Microsoft will refund customers in full for what they paid, plus an extra $25 if they made annotations or markups. But that provides only the coldest comfort.

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More in Tux Machines

GNU Parallel Released and 10 Years of GNU Health

  • GNU Parallel 20191022 ('Driving IT') released [stable]

    GNU Parallel 20191022 ('Driving IT') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/ No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release. GNU Parallel is 10 years old next year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.

  • GNU Health: 10 years of Freedom and Equity in Healthcare

    I am back from my trip to India, where I spent a week with the team of All India Institute of Medical Sciences – AIIMS –, the largest public hospital in Asia and a leading research institution. They have taken the decision to adopt GNU Health, the Free Hospital and Health Information System. One key aspect in Free Software is ownership. From the moment they adopted GNU Health, it now also belongs to AIIMS. They have full control over it. They can download and upgrade the system; access the source code; customize it to fit their needs; and contribute back to the community. This is the definition of Free Software. The definition of Free Software is universal. GNU Health is equally valid for very large institutions, national public health networks and small, rural or primary care centers. The essence is the same.

Programming Leftovers

  • NumFOCUS and Tidelift partner to support essential community-led open source data science and scientific computing projects

    NumFOCUS and Tidelift today announced a partnership to support open source libraries critical to the Python data science and scientific computing ecosystem. NumPy, SciPy, and pandas—sponsored projects within NumFOCUS—are now part of the Tidelift Subscription. Working in collaboration with NumFOCUS, Tidelift financially supports the work of project maintainers to provide ongoing security updates, maintenance and code improvements, licensing verification and indemnification, and more to enterprise engineering and data science teams via a managed open source subscription from Tidelift.

  • Python Plotting With Matplotlib

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and with Python’s matplotlib library, it fortunately takes far less than a thousand words of code to create a production-quality graphic. However, matplotlib is also a massive library, and getting a plot to look just right is often achieved through trial and error. Using one-liners to generate basic plots in matplotlib is relatively simple, but skillfully commanding the remaining 98% of the library can be daunting.

  • Nominations for 2019 Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize

    Malcolm was an early core contributor to Django and had both a huge influence and large impact on Django as we know it today. Besides being knowledgeable he was also especially friendly to new users and contributors. He exemplified what it means to be an amazing Open Source contributor. We still miss him. The DSF Prize page summarizes the prize nicely: The Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize is a monetary prize, awarded annually, to the person who best exemplifies the spirit of Malcolm’s work - someone who welcomes, supports and nurtures newcomers; freely gives feedback and assistance to others, and helps to grow the community. The hope is that the recipient of the award will use the award stipend as a contribution to travel to a community event -- a DjangoCon, a PyCon, a sprint -- and continue in Malcolm’s footsteps.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pkgKitten 0.1.5: Creating R Packages that purr

    This release provides a few small changes. The default per-package manual page now benefits from a second refinement (building on what was introduced in the 0.1.4 release) in using the Rd macros referring to the DESCRIPTION file rather than duplicating information. Several pull requests fixes sloppy typing in the README.md, NEWS.Rd or manual page—thanks to all contributors for fixing these. Details below.

Commitment To Elevating The Very Best

OSI applauds the efforts of every individual who has ever spoken up and taken steps to make free, libre, and open source software communities more inclusive. Without you, the movement would be less vibrant, less welcoming, and irreversibly diminished. Whether you’ve led your community to implement a code of conduct or taken the time to mentor someone who isn’t like you, whether you’ve reported toxic behavior or pressured community leaders to act: thank you. It takes courage to change the status quo, and all too often, that comes at a personal expense. Ultimately, ours is a moral movement, and our integrity hinges on whether we rise to meet the challenge of seeking justice and equity for all. As we move forward, we hope that we can learn as a community and incorporate the lessons of the past into building a better future. Further, we hope we can build bridges to those who have been shut out of our movement, whether by omission or commission, at the hands of systemic bias as well as toxic and predatory behavior. As the saying goes in open source, “Many eyes lead to shallower bugs.” So too do many perspectives lead to better software. Here’s to a better, more inclusive tomorrow. - The OSI Board of Directors Read more

NextCloud on Pi Adventures and Escaping Google

  • NextCloud on Pi Adventures

    I spent yesterday *finally* setting up a NextCloud instance of my own. It’s been on my todo since I installed fiber at home and got a decent Internet connection. I started out with Rasbian Lite and combined it with the NextCloudPi install script from ownyourbits. I then used certbot to install certificates from let’s encrypt before migrating the data directory using these instructions. After that it was happy account creation time, before realizing that I could not upload files larger than ~10kB. Very annoying.

  • Escape Google!

    Being practical most people are going to want to keep using Google services, but at least knowing what the issues are, how you can use privacy-enhanced versions or escape completely with your own services is good to know. While Nextcloud is so slick these days and with pre-packaged options it’s certainly fun just to try out, if not deployed as a full-time personal cloud solution. But it’s not all worrying about invasion of the privacy snatchers, we’ve plenty of down-to-earth tutorials and projects to keep you busy. We take another look at using Audacity to improve your YouTube audio and create effects, we test out of a bunch of server distros to see which is best for you in Roundup, there’s some lovely retro loving with a look at running ZX Basic and we look at building a wearable webcam from a Pi Zero. Enjoy!