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Proprietary Attacks on Software Freedom

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Microsoft
OSS
  • Microsoft Pentagon Win Changes Cloud Game But Will Face Protests

    In the past year, Azure has racked up some large deals from Kroger Co. to AT&T Inc., but a customer as big, demanding and secretive as the Pentagon will go a long way toward cementing Azure’s reputation as a serious contender.

    Amazon, which won a lucrative cloud contract with the Central Intelligence Agency in 2013, was seen to have the upper hand in the competition. But politics entered the picture. Trump has long been at odds with Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos. The world’s richest man also owns the Washington Post, which Trump claims has treated him unfairly in its coverage.

  • I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu

    We're back again with Who, Me?, The Register's Monday morning crowdsourced tale of reader misdeeds and close calls.

    Today's confession from "Pete" will tighten the sphincters of those who flew on Boeing's finest back when 1990 rolled around.

    Pete was something of a multimedia whizz at a time when Windows 3.0 was a thing, sound cards were unusual and CD-ROMs even more so. He was fresh off an award-winning stint coding up the multimedia add-on for a well-known UK publication.

    It was early days for the technology, and Pete had cleverly coded things so audio would play from the mixed-mode CD if users lacked a sound card, but the indexing software leaked memory like a sieve under Windows 3.0. The vendor ended up having to send their lead programmer over to Blighty to sort out the issues but Pete persevered "and my CD-ROM launched successfully on Mac and Windows".

  • Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina

    Users who download and attempt to run LibreOffice on the new macOS Catalina are presented with two options – "Move to bin" or "Cancel".

    In the face of being told that the developer cannot be verified, savvy users will know that there must be more options – and there are. If you cancel the dialog, you can head to Security and Privacy in Preferences, where there is an option alongside the blocked application to "Open anyway". Then you get another warning message, but this time with an option to take your chances and Open. The good news is that you only need to do this once, but it is a considerable annoyance.

    Apple reminded developers earlier this month that apps must be notarized to run on Catalina. "In June, we announced that all Mac software distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized by Apple in order to run by default on macOS Catalina. Make sure to test all versions of your software on the macOS Catalina GM seed and submit it to Apple to be notarized."

    [...]

    LibreOffice is not the only open-source project to suffer at the hands of Catalina. The GIMP image-editing application also has problems, giving permission errors when trying to access files in locations such as Desktop and Documents. What should happen is that macOS prompts you for permission, but this dialog is not being triggered. A workaround is to run GIMP from the Terminal, visiting any required folders from the command line before launching the application. The thread referenced above has more details.

  • Ethical Open Source: Is The World Ready? [Ed: Can we please stop feeding known trolls who are trying to destroy Software Freedom with so-called 'ethical' licences?]

    Most users of OSS have been content to rely upon OSS licenses (many less restrictive than the GPL), that are approved and maintained for the ‘good of the community’ by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), a California-based public benefit company that sees itself as the steward of the cause. OSI is the creator (and proponent) of the Open Source Definition, a detailed document that sets out the central tenants of certain OSS philosophy —including requirements of free distribution, distribution of source code, integrity of the author’s source code, code not specific to a product, license to be technology-neutral, etc. —governing which OSS licenses can be labeled with the open-source certification mark, the OSI “seal of approval.”

    However, the open source status quo is increasingly being challenged by a number of developers who are unsatisfied with the current state of ethics in open source. These individuals advocate a more activist approach to ethics by creating new OSS licenses that contain deliberate moral clauses that most certainly contravene the current Open Source Definition. Three such licenses will be briefly discussed, followed by analysis as to likely next steps.

More in Tux Machines

Native Linux & Raspberry Pi support for checkra1n jailbreak hinted by developer

Despite hitting the market first, iPhone comes behind Android in terms of popularity. We admit the price plays a significant role here. But, a Samsung or Huawei flagship user who can afford an iPhone will tell you the level of customisation or convenience is what brought them to Android. Let’s set the convenience part aside because it is not really an issue after we get accustomed to the whole ecosystem of a device. However when it comes to the customisation, we can’t deny Android from bagging the pole position. Read more

today's howtos

Linux Kernel Security in a Nutshell: How to Secure Your Linux System

The Linux kernel is the core component of the Linux operating system, maintaining complete control over everything in the system. It is the interface between applications and data processing at the hardware level, connecting the system hardware to the application software. The kernel manages input/output requests from software, memory, processes, peripherals and security, among other hefty responsibilities. Needless to say, the Linux kernel is pretty important. However, with power comes great responsibility, and the Linux kernel is no exception to this rule. Kernel security is critical: it determines the security of the Linux operating system as a whole, as well as the security of every individual system that runs on Linux. Vulnerabilities in the kernel can have serious implications for Linux users, and it is extremely important that users stay up-to-date on news and advisories pertaining to kernel security. Read more

Mozilla: Webcompat, Firefox 71, Privacy Advice and Rust

  • Karl Dubost: Saving Webcompat images as a microservice

    Thinking out loud on separating our images into a separate service. The initial goal was to push the images to the cloud, but I think we could probably have a first step. We could keep the images on our server, but instead of the current save, we could send them to another service, let say upload.webcompat.com with a HTTP PUT. And this service would save them locally.

  • Multiple-column Layout and column-span in Firefox 71

    Firefox 71 is an exciting release for anyone who cares about CSS Layout. While I am very excited to have subgrid available in Firefox, there is another property that I’ve been keeping an eye on. Firefox 71 implements column-span from Multiple-column Layout. In this post I’ll explain what it is and a little about the progress of the Multiple-column Layout specification. Multiple-column Layout, usually referred to as multicol, is a layout method that does something quite different to layout methods such as flexbox and grid. If you have some content marked up and displaying in Normal Flow, and turn that into a multicol container using the column-width or column-count properties, it will display as a set of columns. Unlike Flexbox or Grid however, the content inside the columns flows just as it did in Normal Flow. The difference is that it now flows into a number of anonymous column boxes, much like content in a newspaper.

  • The Mozilla Blog: Can Your Holiday Gift Spy on You?

    Mozilla today launches the third-annual *Privacy Not Included, a report and shopping guide identifying which connected gadgets and toys are secure and trustworthy — and which aren’t. The goal is two-fold: arm shoppers with the information they need to choose gifts that protect the privacy of their friends and family. And, spur the tech industry to do more to safeguard consumers. Mozilla researchers reviewed 76 popular connected gifts available for purchase in the United States across six categories: Toys & Games; Smart Home; Entertainment; Wearables; Health & Exercise; and Pets. Researchers combed through privacy policies, sifted through product and app specifications, reached out to companies about their encryption and bug bounty programs, and more. As a result, we can answer questions like: How accessible is the privacy policy, if there is one? Does the product require strong passwords? Does it collect biometric data? And, Are there automatic security updates?

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 313

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.