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CERN Is Working To Move Further Away From Microsoft Due To License Costs Going Up By 10x

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GNU
Linux
Server
Microsoft

CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research that is home to the Large Hadron Collider and a lot of other experiments, is experimenting with moving further away from Microsoft products. Due to Microsoft license fee increases affecting their work in the research laboratory and its budget, they established the Microsoft Alternatives "MAlt" project.

CERN had already long been involved with developing Scientific Linux (now shifting to CentOS) but they have still been reliant upon Microsoft products in other areas, on some Windows systems as well as using the likes of Skype for Business.

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Also today: Ubuntu preinstalled by Lenovo.

Microsoft/Linux 'Crossover'

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
  • Chuwi AeroBook review: A successful move upmarket

    If given the choice I'd actually prefer a cheaper 128GB eMMC option and to add my own SSD. Why? Because the AeroBook works beautifully with Linux. I tried both Ubuntu 19.04 and the Intel-backed Clear Linux distro on the AeroBook and they ran faultlessly.

  • Bodhi is getting ready for rawhide gating [Ed: Bodhi is spyware and it is hosted on Microsoft GitHub i.e. NSA PRISM. If Fedora and Red Hat spread it further, it will damage their credibility]
  • Linux Foundation to Host the Accord Project to Develop Open Source Framework for Smart Legal Contracts [Ed: Dan Selman, whom LF has just made co-director of the Accord Project, apparently works or worked for Microsoft (or maybe it's another person with the same name). Zemlin PAC may be dead anyway. Stick a fork in it. This new group has nothing to do with “Linux"; Everything to do with 'IP' boosters Intel, IBM and Microsoft (see who’s cited in this press release).]

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of the Accord Project as a Linux Foundation project. The Accord Project is a nonprofit organization that builds open source code and documentation to maintain a common and consistent legal and technical foundation for contract management. The project comprises all the software necessary to author, edit and execute smart legal contracts in a standardized way. Many of the world's largest global law firms have signed on, as well as leading industry bodies and technology companies such as DocuSign, IBM, IEEE and R3.

    Smart contracts are showing promise for simplifying complexities in supply chain management and other contract-heavy areas of technology development, but they also introduce requirements for interoperability and consistency. The Accord Project provides a globally interoperable approach for creating contracts that bind legally enforceable natural language text to executable business logic. With an increased focus on enterprise digitalization, adoption of blockchain technologies and the growth of the API economy, the usage of computable agreements is rapidly increasing. Having a common format for “computable” legal agreements is an important cornerstone for the future of commercial relationships. One of the main purposes of Accord Project is to provide a vendor-neutral “.doc” format for smart legal agreements

Microsoft Layoffs/Closures, UEFI Trap Upgraded, Microsoft Puff Pieces (Lies) Emerge

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Microsoft
  • What's in store for Microsoft's US pop-up shops? Not much, they're being closed

    Microsoft has quietly swung the axe on a chunk of its retail operation, with "speciality stores" in America bearing the brunt of the blade.

    All 17 of Microsoft's kiosk-sized stores were disappeared from the company's website over the weekend, leaving some of the US states that had at least enjoyed a stub of retail presence from the Windows giant bereft of the limited line-up of stock available at the outlets.

    And, more importantly, somewhere to take their Surfaces to when the things break down.

    Disgruntled employees have taken to the usual social media outlets, with one posting on Reddit: "We had no notice beforehand by the way. They told us that on Sunday morning, we had a mandatory meeting Sunday night then told us we were all terminated. It's horrible to be treated that poorly after years of work."

  • UEFI 2.8 Specification Released With REST & Memory Cryptography [Ed: Intel continues its attacks, with Microsoft, on general-purpose computing, and it is disguised as a 'forum']

    The UEFI Forum today announced the release of the UEFI 2.8 specification.

    New to UEFI 2.8 for platform firmware is support for the REST software architecture as well as memory cryptography.

    The UEFI Forum is hoping the REST support will lead to better interoperability.

  • Open-Source ‘Great Satan’ No More, Microsoft Wins Over Skeptics [Ed: Watch out in the face of Microsoft PR. It looks like Bloomberg does a whole bunch of lies for them right now. Advertising as articles? That certainly matches their latest wave of PR campaigns. There's more from Bloomberg this past week. A Microsoft public relations machine this month? Cui bono and who's paying who? Now, for instance, it's also Shira Ovide pretending Bing matters. Marketing as 'news'. "Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal." They're well known for Microsoft boosting and Google bashing because of their owner.]

Facebook, Not Microsoft, Is the Main Threat to Open Source

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Microsoft

Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny and pressure at the moment. It's accused of helping foreign actors to subvert elections by using ads and fake accounts to spread lies—in the US, for example—and of acting as a conduit for terrorism in New Zealand and elsewhere. There are calls to break up the company or at least to rein it in.

In an evident attempt to head off those moves, and to limit the damage that recent events have caused to Facebook's reputation, Mark Zuckerberg has been publishing some long, philosophical posts that attempt to address some of the main criticisms. In his most recent one, he calls for new regulation of the online world in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability. The call for data portability mentions Facebook's support for the Data Transfer Project. That's clearly an attempt to counter accusations that Facebook is monopolistic and closed, and to burnish Facebook's reputation for supporting openness. Facebook does indeed use and support a large number of open-source programs, so to that extent, it's a fair claim.

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From same author today: Facebook Fails To Block EU Court Case That Could Rule Against Most Transatlantic Data Flows

China Prepares To Drop Microsoft Windows -- Blames U.S. Hacking Threat

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Microsoft
Security

First there have been the drafting of cybersecurity regulations that could see U.S. technology imports blocked on national security grounds. Now comes the news, first broken online by the Epoch Times this week, that China is preparing to replace the Windows operating system with an alternative that is being developed within China in order to "prevent the United States from hacking into China's military network."

Quoting a report from a Canadian military print publication called Kanwa Asian Defence, the Epoch Times revealed how the Internet Security Information Leadership Group (ISILG) in China has been created in order to replace Windows, and the UNIX system, used by the Chinese military.

The ISILG is part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and falls directly under the control of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This would make a lot of sense given that the United States Cyber Command was similarly formed to provide a separation between network security and national security groups.

I can certainly see how the technology environment has turned toxic at a national security level for countries on both sides of the East-West divide. While the West has become increasingly hostile towards Huawei, Chinese attention has been focused on networking technology made in the West. The Kanwa report talks of the ISILG believing that German-developed programmable logic controllers used in much of the Chinese industrial sector posing risks to national security.

Starting with the Edward Snowden NSA document leaks back in 2013 and bolstered by the Shadow Brokers group releasing NSA-developed malware more recently, China fears that U.S. intelligence agencies have the necessary tools to easily hack into operating systems such as Windows, and UNIX or Linux for that matter, and spy on Chinese military secrets.

The irony of a nation state oft-associated with cyber-attacks on Western targets, both in the business and government spheres, blaming the U.S. hacking capability for the need to develop a custom OS is not lost on me.

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Chinese Military Will Replace Windows Operating System

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The Chinese regime is getting ready to replace the Windows operating system in its military. The new operating system is independently developed by China, and it would prevent the United States from hacking into China’s military network.

An “Internet Security Information Leadership Group” was established to perform the task of replacing the Windows operating system, according to a report published on May 11 by Canada-based military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence.

The group does not trust the “UNIX” multi-user, multi-stroke operating system either, which is used in some of the servers within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kanwa reported. Therefore, Chinese authorities ordered to develop an operating system dedicated to the Chinese military.

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Linux Still Yields Better Multi-Threaded Performance On AMD Threadripper Against Windows 10 May 2019 Update

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

Curious whether the recent Microsoft Windows 10 Version 1903 (May 2019 Update) improved the multi-threaded performance at all for the likes of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, I recently carried out some benchmarks looking at Windows 10 1903 against the former Windows 10 Version 1809 release benchmarked against both Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and the latest Ubuntu 19.04.

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Many Openwashing Examples (Past Week)

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Top 15 Best Windows Emulators for Linux Enthusiasts

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Although it’s hard for us Linux fanatics to delve in the world of Windows, as it seems, we all need to embrace Windows in time to time for some specific tasks. Linux, despite all its rewards, is still not the household name among regular computer users and chances are that most of your non-technical friends use Windows as their primary system. So, if you want to share some standard software or play those latest games, Windows is still the way to go. However, it’s impossible for us Linux folks to shift on Windows permanently and overlook the flexibility Linux has been affording us over the years. Luckily, a comprehensive set of powerful Windows emulators for Linux exists to make our life more comfortable and allow us the benefits of both systems concurrently.

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Microsoft Swallowing Everything and DRM (or 'Cloud') Makes Users 'Slaves'

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Microsoft
  • One billion Linux desktops? [Ed: Pushing the nonsense that Linux counts only when it's spied on]
  • Neil Williams: New directions

    Third, my job hunting has shown that the centralisation of decentralised version control is still a thing. As far as recruitment is concerned, if the code isn't visible on GitHub, it doesn't exist. (It's not the recruitment agencies asking for GitHub links, it is the company HR departments themselves.) So I had to add a bunch of projects to GitHub and there's a link now in the blog.

  • We Are Tenants on Our Own Devices

    Today, we may think we own things because we paid for them and brought them home, but as long as they run software or have digital connectivity, the sellers continue to have control over the product. We are renters of our own objects, there by the grace of the true owner.

  • DRM and terms-of-service have ended true ownership, turning us into "tenants of our own devices"

    Tufekci's analysis points out a serious problem in the "Surveillance Capitalism" critique that says that paying for devices and services (rather than getting them through an advertising subsidy) would restore dignity and balance to the tech world. When Apple charges you $1,000 for a phone and then spends millions killing Right to Repair legislation so that you'll be forced to buy repair services from Apple, who will therefore be able to decide when it's time to stop fixing your phone and for you to buy a new one, then it's clear that "if you're not paying for the product" is a serious misstatement, because in a world of Big Tech monopolies, even when you're paying for the product, you're still the product.

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Android Leftovers

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

If you are new to the Linux command line, you may find yourself wondering why there are so many unusual directories, what they are there for, and why things are organized the way they are. In fact, if you aren't accustomed to how Linux organizes files, the directories can seem downright arbitrary with odd truncated names and, in many cases, redundant names. It turns out there's a method to this madness based on decades of UNIX convention, and in this article, I provide an introduction to the Linux directory structure. Although each Linux distribution has its own quirks, the majority conform (for the most part) with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS). The FHS project began in 1993, and the goal was to come to a consensus on how directories should be organized and which files should be stored where, so that distributions could have a single reference point from which to work. A lot of decisions about directory structure were based on traditional UNIX directory structures with a focus on servers and with an assumption that disk space was at a premium, so machines likely would have multiple hard drives. Read more

Games: Terminal, Donensbourgh, Voxel Tycoon, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, Truck the System, RPCS3 and Thrive

  • 5 command-line games for sysadmins
    Just because you prefer working in a text-mode interface doesn't mean you're not entitled to a little fun here and there. Last December, I took some time out before the holidays to explore some of my favorite command-line diversions into a series for Opensource.com. It ended up being a bit of an advent calendar for terminal toys, and I got some great suggestions from readers. Now summer has arrived, at least for us in the northern hemisphere, and for many of this means a time of summer breaks, vacations, and generally trying to fit in a little relaxation between committing code and closing tickets. So to that end, I thought I'd revisit five of my favorite command-line games from that series, and share them here with you on Enable Sysadmin.
  • Donensbourgh, a medieval farming RPG that could be one to watch has Linux support
    Currently in the early stages but it seems promising, Donensbourgh is a medieval RPG with no violence or combat of any kind for those after perhaps a more relaxing experience. I'm glad developers take risks and make games like this, as I do enjoy games with plenty of combat but I often find there's not enough outside of that. Sadly, it seems they don't do their development videos showcasing gameplay in English so I've not a clue what they're saying.
  • An early build of the tycoon strategy game 'Voxel Tycoon' will release on itch.io later this month
    Voxel Tycoon, another in-development indie game that will have Linux support is arriving soon with an early build. What exactly is it? The developer says it's a "tycoon strategy game about transportation, building factories, and mining in a beautiful voxel landscapes" which sounds interesting. Even more interesting perhaps, is their claim that it will include "all-new features never before seen in the genre". I'm keen to see if it will live up to that in any way, so I will be taking a look when it's ready.
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG
    SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, the fun card-based tactical RPG from Image and Form (developer) and Thunderful (publisher) can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG.
  • Truck the System, an upcoming game about building trucks and then racing them sounds amusing
    Currently in development by UK developer jorgen games (hooray, a fellow Brit!), Truck the System is a slightly unusual racing game that's coming to Linux. It's not a standard racing game like Dirt or Grid as you will be actually building your vehicle, possibly adding a bunch of weapons and then race or fight your way to the finish. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun! There's no full trailer yet since it's still in development but here's a few quick clips to give you an idea:
  • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 has a new report out, over 40% of listed games now "Playable"
    RPCS3, the very impressive PlayStation 3 emulator continues advancing quickly with the team putting up a new report. This latest report covers April, with the delay being due to not having enough contributors. They're actually looking for help writing them, which you can apply for here.
  • Thrive, a free and open source game about the evolution of life
    Thrive [Official Site] is a game I came across years ago, a game about the evolution of life with you starting as a tiny Microbe and eventually working up to something more complex. That idea might sound familiar and for good reason, as it was originally inspired by the game Spore. However, they're attempting to go a little further by being scientifically accurate and have the evolution play-out across both you and everything around you.

Hack Computer review

I bought a hack computer for $299 - it's designed for teaching 8+ year olds programming. That's not my intended use case, but I wanted to support a Linux pre-installed vendor with my purchase (I bought an OLPC back in the day in the buy-one give-one program). I only use a laptop for company events, which are usually 2-4 weeks a year. Otherwise, I use my desktop. I would have bought a machine with Ubuntu pre-installed if I was looking for more of a daily driver. Read more