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News Flash from Redmond: FOSS Causes Dissatisfaction!

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Microsoft
OSS

"This isn't about switching to open source software, but to a format widely and well-supported by open source office formats," noted blogger Chris Travers. "The government could continue to run Microsoft Office, but the preferred data format would be ODF. This makes Microsoft's argument seem to be rather shrill. Why on earth would changing the default format of released documents be a big deal?"

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • The long road to getrandom() in glibc
    The GNU C library (glibc) 2.25 release is expected to be available at the beginning of February; among the new features in this release will be a wrapper for the Linux getrandom() system call. One might well wonder why getrandom() is only appearing in this release, given that kernel support arrived with the 3.17 release in 2014 and that the glibc project is supposed to be more receptive to new features these days. A look at the history of this particular change highlights some of the reasons why getting new features into glibc is still hard.
  • Maintainers for desktop "critical infrastructure"
    That work is great, but it is limited by a number of factors: funding and the interests of its members, primarily. Few of the companies involved have much, if any, interest in the Linux desktop. Some might argue that there aren't any companies with that particular interest, though that would be disingenuous. In any case, though, desktop Linux is a community-supported endeavor, at least more so than server or cloud Linux, which likely means some things are slipping through the cracks. Kaskinen left his job in 2015 to be able to spend more time on PulseAudio (and some audio packages that he maintains for OpenEmbedded). For the last four months or so, he has been soliciting funds on Patreon. Unlike Kickstarter and other similar systems, Patreon is set up to provide ongoing funding, rather than just a chunk of money for a particular feature or project. Donors pledge a monthly amount to try to support someone's work going forward.
  • Important CentOS 7 Linux Kernel Security Patch Released, 3 Vulnerabilities Fixed
    CentOS developer and maintainer Johnny Hughes is announcing the availability of a new, important Linux kernel security update for the CentOS 7 series of operating systems. CentOS 7 is derived from the freely distributed source code of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system series, which means that it also benefits of its security patches. According to the recently published RHSA-2017:0086-1 security advisory, which was marked as important, three security vulnerabilities are patched.
  • Trump's New Cyber-Security Advisor Runs a Very, Very Insecure Website
    According to Phonos Group founder Dan Tentler, Giuliani's security company website runs a very, very old Joomla distribution, an open-source, free-to-use CMS. That's Joomla 3.1.1, released in April 2013. Since then, two major zero-days have plagued Joomla, so grave that they could allow attackers to take full control over a Joomla installation. Those are CVE-2016-9838 and CVE-2015-8562. But that's not the worse of it. The Joomla admin panel login page is also freely available, meaning anyone could access it and attempt to brute-force the admin password.
  • Reminder: Microsoft to no longer update original Windows 10 release after March 26 [Ed: Microsoft will leave even more Vista 10 back doors open, unless you install the latest doors]
    As Microsoft noted last year, the company plans to update only two Current Branch for Business versions of Windows 10 at any given time.
  • St. Louis' public library computers hacked for ransom [iophk: “Those who installed Windows on them have not been brought to justice”]
    Hackers have infected every public computer in the St. Louis Public Library system, stopping all book borrowing and cutting off internet access to those who rely on it for computers. The computer system was hit by ransomware, a particularly nasty type of computer virus that encrypts computer files. This form of attack renders computers unusable -- unless victims are willing to pay an extortion fee and obtain a key to unlock the machines.
  • Microsoft Targets Chrome Users With Windows 10 Pop-up Ad
    Microsoft really wants you to use its software products as well as running Windows 10, and that includes the Edge browser. But it can't stop you choosing to use an alternative web browser. However, if you opt to use Chrome, then expect to start seeing adverts right on your Windows desktop.
  • United Airlines Domestic Flights Grounded for 2 Hours by Computer Outage
    All of United Airlines' domestic flights were grounded for more than two hours Sunday night because of a computer outage, the Federal Aviation Administration said as scores of angry travelers sounded off on social media.
  • There’s no glory in patching
    Regular patching is essential but not without risks. Missing a critical patch is an easy way of getting your service compromised but insufficient testing is an even easier way of getting it to fall over. Here at drie we talk a lot about why trying to build your own infrastructure around AWS can be, to put it mildly, a bit of a pain. Today I’d like to go a little deeper on one issue most people encounter when going it alone in AWS and why you’re better off making it someone else’s problem. While it may seem like a mundane concern, keeping up to date with the latest patches and security fixes for your dependencies is a significant undertaking and neglecting server patches is a swift route to getting your infrastructure hacked.

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Microsoft Demise (More Layoffs), UNIX Demise, Rise of GNU/Linux

  • Microsoft expected to cut more jobs
    Microsoft will announce the final 700 job cuts for FY 2016-17 next week at its quarterly earnings report. Analysts are saying that is not too bad for a company employing more than 114,000 people. Indeed, these layoffs had already been announced last June as part of a 2850 right-sizing that was to be completed by end of January 2017, presumably after the US holiday season and before the end of Microsoft’s financial year.
  • Oracle lays off more than 1,000 employees
    According to the Mercury News, Oracle is laying off approximately 450 employees in its Santa Clara hardware systems division. Reports at The Layoff, a discussion board for technology business firings, claim about 1,800 employees company-wide are being pink-slipped.
  • A Night On The Town
    We talked for an hour about teaching in the North and how I came to GNU/Linux. He could relate because he had also done work in the North and served customers there. There was absolutely no discussion of the flaws of GNU/Linux or why it’s inferior to That Other OS. We both found GNU/Linux far superior for reliable IT. Amen.