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Microsoft

Here’s the glaring potential flaw in Windows 10X devices as Chromebook competitors

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Imagine an operating system that’s focused on using the web browser and you can’t install traditional desktop apps on. No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS. I’m talking about upcoming devices running Microsoft Windows 10X, a “lite” software platform that is reportedly debuting in roughly 9 months.

You may not recall that Microsoft tried a similar approach in 2012 with Windows RT and the first Surface device.

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Also: Linux Marketshare Dipped in July – But Not By Much! [Ed: No, it is wrong to base one's assessment on a Microsoft partner that pretends Android, ChromeOS etc. don't even exist]

Has Ubuntu 20.04 Finally Come Far Enough to Take on Windows? It Sure Seems Like It

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Microsoft Windows has become the default operating system on Laptops and PC. So much so that Laptops now come with Windows pre-installed. Previously it used to be the case that many laptop manufacturers used to offer their products with no operating system or DOS. Since Windows 10 came into the world everything changed. You can run Windows 10 for free and get all the updates as well and without using any cracked versions. One could even argue that Microsoft went the Google route with Windows. So is windows better now or not?

Well, it certainly seems that offering your product for free does come with a few compromises. One of the biggest ones is the compromise on Privacy. Most people are just average users who buy a machine and just use it without reading the terms of service and don’t tinker around with the settings. So is it worth it to use Windows still? The answer depends from one person to another but most users will argue that Windows has a polished UI and as a ton of support and software that will run flawlessly on the OS. That aspect of the argument is true if you are a content creator or video editor but if you are a developer or just a tech nerd then it might not be the case.

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Microsoft’s Edge browser is crashing if you have Google set as default search

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft’s new Edge browser started randomly crashing when users typed into the address bar tonight. The issues appear to have affected Edge users who have selected Google as the default search engine. Microsoft investigated the problem and now says it’s believed to have been resolved.

Microsoft recommends turning off Search Suggestions in edge://settings/search. The Verge has tested this workaround and it solves the problem if you have Google set as your default search engine.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers For Windows Users Looking to Switch to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Many people know “Linux” as an operating system, but the term “Linux” is actually referring to the Linux kernel. The kernel is the core of an operating system that controls and facilitates interactions between hardware and software components.

When packaged with different desktop environment and software, it becomes an operating system, just like Windows or macOS. More accurately, it should be called a “Linux distribution” instead of “Linux”.

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Hack Brief: Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old ‘Wormable’ Bug

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially "wormable" vulnerability—meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction—has appeared in Microsoft's implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company's researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years.

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Microsoft slips Bing search into Android through Outlook

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine.

Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world.

The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing.

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Also: Microsoft caught sneaking Bing search onto phones with the Outlook app

Microsoft's clever trick to get Android users search on Bing instead of Google

Microsoft to pull support for PHP

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
  • Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

    Born-again open-source fan Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of PHP by, er, pulling its support for the scripting language that is beloved (or dreaded) by server operators the world over.

    Microsoft engineer Dale Hirt confirmed the change on the PHP mailing list, warning that the Windows behemoth was not "going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond."

    Current versions, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, will continue to receive support as per the community's cadence, which sees around two years of bug squashing followed by a year of security fixes. PHP 7.4 emerged last November, so Microsoft's benevolence should last until 2022 at which point the plug will be pulled.

    Register reader Alain Williams, who tipped us off to Hirt's posting, remarked: "I suspect that it means that Microsoft will not provide any resources to make PHP 8 work but expect others to do so instead."

    After thanking the Microsoft gang for its work over the years, PHP 8.0 Release Manager Sara Golemon said: "I won't say I'm not bummed," before expressing the hope that some sort of alternative might be worked out by the end of the year, when version 8 is due to drop.

  • [PHP-DEV] Microsoft Support of PHP on Windows

    Hello PHP Internals,

    My name is Dale Hirt and I am the project manager for PHP inside Microsoft.

    We currently support PHP with development and build efforts for PHP 7.3, and PHP 7.4. In addition,
    we help with building PHP 7.2 on Windows when security fixes are required..

    However, as PHP 8.0 is now ramping up, we wanted to let the community know what our current plans
    are going forward.

    We know that the current cadence is 2 years from release for bug fixes, and 1 year after that for
    security fixes. This means that PHP 7.2 will be going out of support in November. PHP 7.3 will be
    going into security fix mode only in November. PHP 7.4 will continue to have another year of bug
    fix and then one year of security fixes. We are committed to maintaining development and building
    of PHP on Windows for 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 as long as they are officially supported. We are not,
    however, going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond.

Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

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Graphics: Mesa 20.1.3 and Collabora Working for Microsoft

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Microsoft
  • mesa 20.1.3

    Hi all,

    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

    There's a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to
    our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

    Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

  • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

    Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

  • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

    That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it's principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

    Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

  • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

    With over 15 years' experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

    Based in Canada, India, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Cyprus, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low

Filed under
Microsoft

If I told you that my entire computer screen just got taken over by a new app that I’d never installed or asked for — it just magically appeared on my desktop, my taskbar, and preempted my next website launch — you’d probably tell me to run a virus scanner and stay away from shady websites, no?

But the insanely intrusive app I’m talking about isn’t a piece of ransomware. It’s Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser, which the company is now force-feeding users via an automatic update to Windows.

Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for...

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More in Tux Machines

5 reasons to run Kubernetes on your Raspberry Pi homelab

There's a saying about the cloud, and it goes something like this: The cloud is just somebody else's computer. While the cloud is actually more complex than that (it's a lot of computers), there's a lot of truth to the sentiment. When you move to the cloud, you're moving data and services and computing power to an entity you don't own or fully control. On the one hand, this frees you from having to perform administrative tasks you don't want to do, but, on the other hand, it could mean you no longer control your own computer. This is why the open source world likes to talk about an open hybrid cloud, a model that allows you to choose your own infrastructure, select your own OS, and orchestrate your workloads as you see fit. However, if you don't happen to have an open hybrid cloud available to you, you can create your own—either to help you learn how the cloud works or to serve your local network. Read more

today's howtos and leftovers

  • Linux commands for user management
  • CONSOOM All Your PODCASTS From Your Terminal With Castero
  • Install Blender 3D on Debian 10 (Buster)
  • Things To Do After Installing openSUSE Leap 15.2
  • GSoC Reports: Fuzzing Rumpkernel Syscalls, Part 2

    I have been working on Fuzzing Rumpkernel Syscalls. This blogpost details the work I have done during my second coding period.

  • Holger Levsen: DebConf7

    DebConf7 was also special because it had a very special night venue, which was in an ex-church in a rather normal building, operated as sort of community center or some such, while the old church interior was still very much visible as in everything new was build around the old stuff. And while the night venue was cool, it also ment we (video team) had no access to our machines over night (or for much of the evening), because we had to leave the university over night and the networking situation didn't allow remote access with the bandwidth needed to do anything video. The night venue had some very simple house rules, like don't rearrange stuff, don't break stuff, don't fix stuff and just a few little more and of course we broke them in the best possible way: Toresbe with the help of people I don't remember fixed the organ, which was broken for decades. And so the house sounded in some very nice new old tune and I think everybody was happy we broke that rule.

Programming Leftovers

  • Podcast: COBOL development on the mainframe

    Nic reached out when COBOL hit the news this spring to get some background on what COBOL is good for historically, and where it lives in the modern infrastructure stack. I was able to talk about the basics of COBOL and the COBOL standard, strengths today in concert with the latest mainframes, and how COBOL back-end code is now being integrated into front ends via intermediary databases and data-interchange formats like JSON, which COBOL natively supports.

  • What I learned while teaching C programming on YouTube

    The act of breaking something down in order to teach it to others can be a great way to reacquaint yourself with some old concepts and, in many cases, gain new insights. I have a YouTube channel where I demonstrate FreeDOS programs and show off classic DOS applications and games. The channel has a small following, so I tend to explore the topics directly suggested by my audience. When several subscribers asked if I could do more videos about programming, I decided to launch a new video series to teach C programming. I learned a lot from teaching C, and in the process, I came across some meaningful takeaways I think others will appreciate. Make a plan For my day job, I lead training and workshops to help new and emerging IT leaders develop new skills. Outside of regular work, I also enjoy teaching as an adjunct professor. So I'm very comfortable constructing a course outline and designing a curriculum. That's where I started. If you want to teach a subject effectively, you can't just wing it. Start by writing an outline of what topics you want to cover and figure out how each new topic will build on the previous ones. The "building block" method of adding new knowledge is key to an effective training program.

  • Google's Flutter 1.20 framework is out: VS Code extension and mobile autofill support
  • Google Engineers Propose "Machine Function Splitter" For Faster Performance

    Google engineers have been working on the Machine Function Splitter as their means of making binaries up to a few percent faster thanks to this compiler-based approach. They are now seeking to upstream the Machine Function Splitter into LLVM. The Machine Function Splitter is a code generation optimization pass for splitting code functions into hot and cold parts. They are doing this stemming from research that in roughly half of code functions that more than 50% of the code bytes are never executed but generally loaded into the CPU's data cache.

  • Modernize network function development with this Rust-based framework

    The world of networking has undergone monumental shifts over the past decade, particularly in the ongoing move from specialized hardware into software defined network functions (NFV) for data plane1 and packet processing. While the transition to software has fashioned the rise of SDN (Software-defined networking) and programmable networks, new challenges have arisen in making these functions flexible, efficient, easier to use, and fast (i.e. little to no performance overhead). Our team at Comcast wanted to both leverage what the network does best, especially with regards to its transport capacity and routing mechanisms, while also being able to develop network programs through a modern software lens—stressing testing, swift iteration, and deployment. So, with these goals in mind, we developed Capsule, a new framework for network function development, written in Rust, inspired by Berkeley's NetBricks research, and built-on Intel's Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).

  • This Week in Rust 350
  • Firefox extended tracking protection

    This Mozilla Security Blog entry describes the new redirect-tracking protections soon to be provided by the Firefox browser.

  • Karl Dubost: Browser developer tools timeline

    I was reading In a Land Before Dev Tools by Amber, and I thought, Oh here missing in the history the beautifully chiseled Opera Dragonfly and F12 for Internet Explorer. So let's see what are all the things I myself didn't know.

  • Daniel Stenberg: Upcoming Webinar: curl: How to Make Your First Code Contribution

    Abstract: curl is a wildly popular and well-used open source tool and library, and is the result of more than 2,200 named contributors helping out. Over 800 individuals wrote at least one commit so far. In this presentation, curl’s lead developer Daniel Stenberg talks about how any developer can proceed in order to get their first code contribution submitted and ultimately landed in the curl git repository. Approach to code and commits, style, editing, pull-requests, using github etc. After you’ve seen this, you’ll know how to easily submit your improvement to curl and potentially end up running in ten billion installations world-wide.

Security: Zoom Holes, New Patches and etcd Project Security Committee

  • Zoombomber crashes court hearing on Twitter hack with Pornhub video
  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (net-snmp), Fedora (mingw-curl), openSUSE (firefox, ghostscript, and opera), Oracle (libvncserver and postgresql-jdbc), Scientific Linux (postgresql-jdbc), SUSE (firefox, kernel, libX11, xen, and xorg-x11-libX11), and Ubuntu (apport, grub2, grub2-signed, libssh, libvirt, mysql-8.0, ppp, tomcat8, and whoopsie).

  • The CNCF etcd project reaches a significant milestone with completion of security audit

    This week, a third-party security audit was published on etcd, the open source distributed key-value store that plays a crucial role in scaling Kubernetes in the cloud. For etcd, this audit was important in multiple ways. The audit validates the project’s maturity and sheds light on some areas where the project can improve. This sort of audit is required criteria for any project in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to qualify for graduation from the CNCF. Read the CNCF blog post that I co-authored to learn more about the audit and what it uncovered. As one of the project maintainers and one of two members of the etcd Project Security Committee, I’d love to share a few reasons I’m hopeful for etcd’s future and why now is a great time to contribute to etcd’s open source community.