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Microsoft

Linux for Windows 10 users

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Linux
Microsoft

MAYBE it’s how intrusive Windows 10 can be. Or maybe you’re just fed up with working under the constant threat of viruses and other malicious software. Or perhaps, you’re tired of paying thousands of pesos for applications and equally weary of breaking the law by installing pirated versions of the software. Indeed, there are many reasons to dump Windows in favor of the free and open-source Linux operating system. Here’s what Windows users who are contemplating the move should keep in mind.

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A Grand Experiment

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
BSD

The latest debacle over the "forced" upgrade to Windows 10 and Apple's increasingly locked-in ecosystem has got me thinking. Do I really need to use a proprietary operating system to get work done? And while I'm at it, do I need to use commercial cloud services to store my data?

I've always used Linux since the first time I tried installing Slackware in the mid-90s. In 1998 we were the first national TV show to install Linux live (Red Hat). And I've often advocated Ubuntu to people with older computers. I usually have at least one computer running Linux around, in the past couple of years Dell XPS laptops have been great choices. And a couple of months ago I bought a 17" Oryx laptop from System76, an Ubuntu system integrator, for use in studio.

But as time went by, even Ubuntu began to seem too commercial to me, and I've migrated to community supported Debian testing and the Arch-based Antergos distros for everything. (i use Antergos on my Oryx on the shows.)

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Also: Microsoft lays off remaining handful of Microsoft Press staff

Wine 1.9.15

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Microsoft
Software

GNU/Linux Desktop

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Intel Developer Has Been Working On Systemd Support For Chrome OS

    Google's Chrome OS currently relies upon Upstart as its init system, but work done by an Intel developer is pushing towards systemd support.

  • The Linux Setup - Jerry Bezencon, Linux Lite

    My name is Jerry Bezencon and I’m a technology consultant, investor, programmer and promoter of/advocate for free and open source software.

  • Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

    A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security.

    The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data privacy watchdog with the power to levy fines against companies. The CNIL has been investigating Windows 10 since its launch and has now drawn up a damning list of criticisms.

    "The CNIL has decided to issue a formal notice to Microsoft Corporation to comply with the Act within three months," said the group on Wednesday.

    "The purpose of the notice is not to prohibit any advertising on the company's services but, rather, to enable users to make their choice freely, having been properly informed of their rights. It has been decided to make the formal notice public due to, among other reasons, the seriousness of the breaches and the number of individuals concerned."

Feral Linux users should learn when to shut up

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Linux
Microsoft

The very words alpha in the name of the release indicate that the Skype which was announced on 14 July is not ready for prime time. That should be apparent to anyone with the IQ of the common cockroach.

But it is apparently not evident to some Linux users.

Things do not seem to be clear to some so-called Linux writers, either. Here is one claiming that "The Skype for Linux alpha does not have all the features that will be released into the final version."

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7 Differences Between Linux and Windows: User Expectations

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Linux
Microsoft

When I was a boy, I imagined that other languages were codes, whose words had a one-to-one correspondence to English. In the same way, many Windows users expect Linux to be an exact equivalent.

The reality, of course, is quite different. Both Windows and Linux are operating systems -- the programs used to run other applications -- but they often fulfill basic functions in different ways. Like any application, they have their own unspoken logic, and part of learning either is to learn their logic.

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'Good' Microsoft

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Microsoft
  • Europe Is Going After Google Hard, and Google May Not Win

    Microsoft pulled the strings.

    At least, that’s what Google and so many business and tech journalists said when the search giant first faced antitrust complaints in Europe six years ago. And indeed, Microsoft had filed one of those complaints. It was also the money-wielding mastermind behind the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, a group that lobbied the European Union and helped others bring complaints against arch-rival Google. But all these years later, Microsoft has removed itself from the fight, reaching an agreement with Google that says both companies will drop all regulatory complaints against each other. And yet, Google’s antitrust problems are only getting worse.

  • Study Backed By Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Claims Enterprises Can Save Millions by Switching To Windows 10 [Ed: Forrester ‘Research’ is again being paid by Microsoft to lie to the public. Previously for anti-Linux too. Microsoft propaganda being framed as ‘study’ to promote malware.]

    Microsoft Corporation (NASADQ:MSFT) has backed a study conducted by Forrester Research...

  • Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

    When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted.

  • One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

    Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed.

    According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t actually need to replace their client after all.

Microsoft silently kills dev backdoor that boots Linux on locked-down Windows RT slabs

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft has quietly killed a vulnerability that can be exploited to unlock ARM-powered Windows RT tablets and boot non-Redmond-approved operating systems.

The Register has learned that one of the security holes addressed this week in the July edition of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday closes a backdoor left in Windows RT by its programmers during its development.

That backdoor can be exploited to unlock the slab's bootloader and start up an operating system of your choice, such as GNU/Linux or Android, provided it supports the underlying hardware.

Read more [Ed: Microsoft LOOOOOOOVES Linux]

Microsoft and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Unity on Malware

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Microsoft
Ubuntu
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More in Tux Machines

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Stardew Valley is now in beta for Linux
    The Stardew Valley developer tweeted out a password for a beta, but after discussing it with them on their forum I was able to show them that we can't actually access it yet. While what I was telling them may not have been entirely correct (SteamDB is confusing), the main point I made was correct. Normal keys are not able to access the beta yet, but beta/developer keys can, as it's not currently set for Linux/Mac as a platform for us.
  • Physics-based 3D puzzler Human: Fall Flat released on Steam for Linux
    Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics puzzler with an optional local co-op mode, developed by No Brakes Games, and available now on Steam for Linux.
  • 7 Mages brings a touch more of traditional dungeon crawling to Linux
    Controlling a party of adventurers, exploring dungeons and fighting weird magical creatures is an RPG tradition as old as the genre. Expect all that and more in this modern iteration of the classical dungeon crawler.

Linux and Graphics

Security News

  • Security advisories for Monday
  • EU to Give Free Security Audits to Apache HTTP Server and Keepass
    The European Commission announced on Wednesday that its IT engineers would provide a free security audit for the Apache HTTP Server and KeePass projects. The EC selected the two projects following a public survey that took place between June 17 and July 8 and that received 3,282 answers. The survey and security audit are part of the EU-FOSSA (EU-Free and Open Source Software Auditing) project, a test pilot program that received funding of €1 million until the end of the year.
  • What is your browser really doing?
    While Microsoft would prefer you use its Edge browser on Windows 10 as part of its ecosystem, the most popular Windows browser is Google’s Chrome. But there is a downside to Chrome – spying and battery life. It all started when Microsoft recently announced that its Edge browser used less battery power than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera on Windows 10 devices. It also measured telemetry – what the Windows 10 device was doing when using different browsers. What it found was that the other browsers had a significantly higher central processing unit (CPU), and graphics processing unit (GPU) overhead when viewing the same Web pages. It also proved that using Edge resulted in 36-53% more battery life when performing the same tasks as the others. Let’s not get into semantics about which search engine — Google or Bing — is better; this was about simple Web browsing, opening new tabs and watching videos. But it started a discussion as to why CPU and GPU usage was far higher. And it relates to spying and ad serving.
  • Is Computer Security Becoming a Hardware Problem?
    In December of 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people. The cause was determined to be a single 2.5 millimeter defect in a single steel bar—some credit the Mothman for the disaster, but to most it was an avoidable engineering failure and a rebuttal to the design philosophy of substituting high-strength non-redundant building materials for lower-strength albeit layered and redundant materials. A partial failure is much better than a complete failure. [...] In 1996, Kocher co-authored the SSL v3.0 protocol, which would become the basis for the TLS standard. TLS is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS and is responsible for much of the security that allows for the modern internet. He argues that, barring some abrupt and unexpected advance in quantum computing or something yet unforeseen, TLS will continue to safeguard the web and do a very good job of it. What he's worried about is hardware: untested linkages in digital bridges.
  • Your Smart Robot Is Coming in Five Years, But It Might Get Hacked and Kill You
    A new report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security forecasts that autonomous artificially intelligent robots are just five to 10 years away from hitting the mainstream—but there’s a catch. The new breed of smart robots will be eminently hackable. To the point that they might be re-programmed to kill you. The study, published in April, attempted to assess which emerging technology trends are most likely to go mainstream, while simultaneously posing serious “cybersecurity” problems. The good news is that the near future is going to see some rapid, revolutionary changes that could dramatically enhance our lives. The bad news is that the technologies pitched to “become successful and transformative” in the next decade or so are extremely vulnerable to all sorts of back-door, front-door, and side-door compromises.
  • Trump, DNC, RNC Flunk Email Security Test
    At issue is a fairly technical proposed standard called DMARC. Short for “domain-based messaging authentication reporting and conformance,” DMARC tries to solve a problem that has plagued email since its inception: It’s surprisingly difficult for email providers and end users alike to tell whether a given email is real – i.e. that it really was sent by the person or organization identified in the “from:” portion of the missive.
  • NIST Prepares to Ban SMS-Based Two-Factor Authentication
    The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the latest draft version of the Digital Authentication Guideline that contains language hinting at a future ban on SMS-based Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). The Digital Authentication Guideline (DAG) is a set of rules used by software makers to build secure services, and by governments and private agencies to assess the security of their services and software. NIST experts are constantly updating the guideline, in an effort to keep pace with the rapid change in the IT sector.
  • 1.6m Clash of Kings forum accounts 'stolen'
    Details about 1.6 million users on the Clash of Kings online forum have been hacked, claims a breach notification site. The user data from the popular mobile game's discussion forum were allegedly targeted by a hacker on 14 July. Tech site ZDNet has reported the leaked data includes email addresses, IP addresses and usernames.
  • Hacker steals 1.6 million accounts from top mobile game's forum
    [Ed: vBulletin is proprietary software -- the same crap Canonical used for Ubuntu forums]

The saga continues with Slackware 14.2

Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and has been maintained since its birth by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware has a well deserved reputation for being stable, consistent and conservative. Slackware is released when it is ready, rather than on a set schedule, and fans of the distribution praise its no-frills and no-fuss design. Slackware adheres to a "keep it simple" philosophy similar to Arch Linux, in that the operating system does not do a lot of hand holding or automatic configuration. The user is expected to know what they are doing and the operating system generally stays out of the way. The latest release of Slackware, version 14.2, mostly offers software updates and accompanying hardware support. A few new features offer improved plug-n-play support for removable devices and this release of Slackware ships with the PulseAudio software. PulseAudio has been commonly found in the audio stack of most Linux distributions for several years, but that is a signature of Slackware: adding new features when they are needed, not when they become available. In this case PulseAudio was required as a dependency for another package. Slackware 14.2 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. There is also an ARM build. While the main edition of Slackware is available as an installation disc only, there is a live edition of Slackware where we can explore a Slackware-powered desktop environment without installing the distribution. The live edition can be found on the Alien Base website. Both the live edition and the main installation media are approximately 2.6GB in size. For the purposes of this review I will be focusing on the main, installation-only edition. Booting from the install media brings us to a text screen where we are invited to type in any required kernel parameters. We can press the Enter key to take the default settings or wait two minutes for the media to continue booting. A text prompt then offers to let us load an alternative keyboard layout or use the default "US" layout. We are then brought to a text console where a brief blurb offers us tips for setting up disk partitions and swap space. The helpful text says we can create partitions and then run the system installer by typing "setup". Read more