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Microsoft

Microsoft-Connected FUD and EEE

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Microsoft

Microsoft 'Imprisons' GNU/Linux, Spreads FUD Against FOSS (via Former Staff)

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Microsoft

IWD 0.2 Released for Linux, Microsoft Desperate to Stop GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • IWD 0.2 Released For Advancing Intel's Linux WiFi Daemon

    Last week marked the release of IWD 0.2, the second public release of this WiFi daemon for Linux systems destined as a replacement for WPA Supplicant.

    It was back at the end of 2016 that the code was made public while now there is finally the second version release. IWD 0.2 brings support for several new features as well as several bug fixes.

  • Microsoft's Linux Adoption: How Things Change [Ed: Surely Matt Hartley understands how Embrace, Extend, Extinguish works, no? Seems so...]

    When Microsoft began promoting themselves as the company that "Loves Linux," some Linux community members were skeptical. Some even believed that Microsoft's move to embrace Linux was based on the once tried and true “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach to technology we've seen in the past. And this concern is based on a hisory of the past use of this strategy.

    While it's a valid to worry about Microsoft's motivation behind their self-claimed embrace of Linux, I think Microsoft's motivation is more selfish than a desire to extinguish Linux would suggest. Based on their activity with cloud computing and more recently, the Internet of Things (IoT), I believe Microsoft is looking to utilize technology that has proven itself in those fields - Linux is that technology.

    Linux is a means to an end for Microsoft. It allows the software giant to participate with greater efficiency by utilizing existing toolsets. The official reasoning that Microsoft offers is Linux and open source in general provides a great ecosystem. An ecosystem Microsoft is now (apparently) motivated to give back code to. My own concern, however, is how much of this code being given back upstream is good for the community.

     

    The concern that I have is I believe the code being sent upstream must always benefit Microsoft directly or indirectly in some way. I haven't seen any examples of Microsoft providing code that benefits projects that are unrelated to their own efforts. Perhaps I missed something along the way, but due to their anti-FoSS history, it's unreasonable to expect Microsoft to give back to projects that might not benefit them directly or indirectly. And yes, Microsoft's sponsorship of various Linux conventions is an example of indirect benefit to Microsoft.

Even Microsoft Admits Its Products Are Inherently Faulty

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft to replace Surface Pro 4 tablets affected by screen flickering

    Microsoft is formally launching a replacement program for Surface Pro 4 devices affected by screen flickering. Any Surface Pro 4 units experiencing the problem will be covered for up to three years from the time of original purchase. “We have heard your feedback and after careful examination, have determined that a small percentage of Surface Pro 4 devices are exhibiting a screen flicker that cannot be addressed with a firmware or driver update,” the company said on its support page with details on the program.

    The annoying flickering has been well-documented on Microsoft’s support forums, with some users taking drastic steps like putting their Surface Pro 4 in a freezer to temporarily fix the issue. Back in February, Microsoft said it was closely monitoring the situation, and the company came to the conclusion that there’s no convenient fix.

  • Microsoft can’t fix “flickergate” Surface Pro 4s with software, so it’s replacing them
  • Don't Skype Me: How Microsoft Turned Consumers Against a Beloved Brand

    In March tech investor and commentator Om Malik summarized the negativity by tweeting that Skype was “a turd of the highest quality” and directing his ire at its owner. “Way to ruin Skype and its experience. I was forced to use it today, but never again.”

Microsoft Lies and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Google and Microsoft

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Google
Microsoft
  • Security update for Chromium

    I have uploaded new packages for Chromium. The version 66.0.3359.139 is a security update addressing a critical bug (and some more bugs too) and you are advised to upgrade.

  • Fuchsia Friday: Where is Fuchsia at Google I/O 2018?

     

    Flutter, if you’re not familiar, is Google’s new cross-platform app development kit, designed to work natively on both Android and iOS. Earlier this year at MWC, Flutter moved out of alpha phase and into beta testing.

  • Google embraces, extends, and extinguishes

     

    What of Google’s role as a participant in open source? Sure, they make a lot of software open source, but they don’t collaborate with anyone. They forked from WebKit to get Apple out of the picture, and contributing to Chromium as a non-Googler is notoriously difficult. Android is the same story - open source in principle, but non-Googler AOSP contributors bemoan their awful approach to external patches. It took Google over a decade to start making headway on upstreaming their Linux patches for Android, too. Google writes papers about AI, presumably to incentivize their academics with recognition for their work. This is great until you notice that the crucial piece, the trained models, is always absent.

  •  

  • Linux Containers [Crostini] For Samsung Chromebook Plus In The Works

    Linux container development continues to plow forward with each day that goes by. More feverish than the entire Android app initiative for Chrome OS ever was, the Crostini project seems to introduce new features into the fold on what seems like a daily basis.

    If you haven’t kept up to date with all that is going on with Linux containers on Chromebooks, you can click here to read all we’ve written on the matter and get caught up with the latest info to date.

    Now that we’re on the same page, there’s a wrinkle in this whole development cycle we’ve known was coming. Dating back years, Linux support has always been better and more-supported on Intel-based devices. As we are seeing more ARM devices in the works (especially one being made with the powerful Snapdragon 845), we can’t forget about the existing devices that are currently out in the market.

  • Windows 10 April 2018 Update Hitting BSODs with CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED Error

    We’re seeing an increasing number of reports pointing to BSODs experienced after upgrading Windows 10 devices to April 2018 Update (version 1803), and one of the most common stop codes appears to be CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED.
    Judging from user reports online, the said BSOD happens on a wide variety of hardware configurations and the error appears to be triggered by different tasks, like launching apps, such as Skype, browsing the web, playing games, or watching videos.

    At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern that would help reproduce the bug, but some users on reddit speculate that the BSOD might be caused by the GPU. Some believe it’s a driver compatibility issue, though by the looks of things, reinstalling the drivers doesn’t make any difference.

Apple and Microsoft on the Line

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Microsoft
Mac
  • 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards failing twice as frequently as older models

    Apple launched its new butterfly key-switch keyboard with the MacBook, with some usability complaints starting nearly immediately, but it wasn't until its adoption in the MacBook Pro in 2016 that reliability concerns started popping up —and AppleInsider has the hard data on failure rates.

  • Apple demanding 'unnecessary' repairs before replacing iPhone batteries

    If you've forgotten, Apple was last year forced to admit that it's deliberately throttling the performance of older iPhones running newer versions of iOS. At the time, the firm justified the move by claiming it prevents processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, which degrade over time struggle to deliver the peak currents and battery life they could when new.

  • Viral Video Shows How Hard It Is to Remove Windows 10 Bloatware

    Microsoft came under fire several times for not making Windows 10 a bloat-free operating system, and despite several updates, this hasn’t changed in a substantial way since the debut of the original RTM build nearly three years ago.
    Removing the Windows 10 pre-installed apps shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do since Microsoft itself included uninstalling options, but it’s not a secret that these items come and go with each update.

    In other words, even if you delete the pre-installed apps, they could be restored by a future update, not to say that in some cases, it’s much harder than you think to get rid of them in the first place.

    The video that you see here was posted on reddit by user drakulaboy and shows just how difficult it is to remove the apps that you don’t want in Windows 10. Uninstalling one game brings back another, and it happens in an infinite loop which for the casual user has no end.

Desktop: Microsoft Puts in Prison People Who Make Microsoft 'Addicts', GNU/Linux Mistakes Newbies Make, Tagged Window Manager Views

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Defends Putting A Computer Recycler In Jail With Misleading Statement

    Last week, we wrote a post on the appeals court ruling upholding the 15 month prison sentence for Eric Lundgren. Lundgren gave an interesting interview with the Verge explaining his position on all of this, while Microsoft -- feeling the heat from multiple stories criticizing its role in the prosecution -- put out a somewhat scathing blog post from VP Frank Shaw insisting everyone has this wrong, and presenting an argument that Lundgren was a low down dirty pirate who is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

    [...]

    Microsoft (and some of its... rather vocal supporters...) argue that this is all proof that Lundgren is full of shit and just a common criminal pirate. But, again, this is confusing things. In our original post, we talked about the difference between the copyright, the software, the license, and the disc. And the distinctions matter a lot. A few years ago, we noted that copyright system supporters have spent decades blurring the lines between "the copyright" and "the content." This plays out in all sorts of funny ways, including whether or not selling a piece of content is considered a sale or a license. As we've pointed out in the past, copyright proponents use a sort of Schrodinger's Download setup, whereby they call it a sale or a license (and deny it's the other) depending on which benefits them more.

    In this case, the situation is fairly similar. The fact that Lundgren was hoping to profit from selling convenience to refurbishing/repair shops does not, automatically, mean he broke the law. But many people seem to think that the profit motive alone proves the copyright infringement. But... used book stores are for-profit entities selling copyright-protected materials all the time (without a license from copyright holder), and no one is locking them up as criminals. That's not to say that Lundgren did the same thing as a used bookstore dealer, but merely to point out that the profit-motive alone does not prove infringement.

  • Former Judge Accuses IP Court of Using ‘Pirate’ Microsoft Software

    A law firm has filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's Office of the Intellectual Property Rights Court in Russia with an extraordinary claim. According to its client, who is a former assistant judge, the IP-focused court has been running Microsoft software for years without an appropriate license.

  • Linux Mistakes Newbies Make

    If you are new to the world of Linux, it is important to learn from the mistakes that others have made before you so that you can avoid making them yourself. After all, while some mistakes can simply be annoying, others can be costly. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the common Linux newbie mistakes to avoid.

  • Tagged window manager views

    I find myself talking about these pretty frequently, and it seems many people have never actually heard about them, so a blog post seems appropriate.

    Window managers traditionally present (for “advanced” users) “virtual” desktops and/or “multiple” desktops. Different window managers will have slightly different implementations and terminology, but typically I think of virtual desktops as being an MxN matrix of screen-sized desktops, and multiple desktops as being some number of disjoint MxN matrices. (In some cases there are only multiple 1×1 desktops) If you’re a MacOS user, I believe you’re limited to a linear array (say, 5 desktops), but even tvtwm back in the early 90s did matrices. In the late 90s Enlightenment offered a cool way of combining virtual and multiple desktops: As usual, you could go left/right/up/down to switch between virtual desktops, but in addition you had a bar across one edge of the screen which you could use to drag the current desktop so as to reveal the underlying desktop. Then you could do it again to see the next underlying one, etc. So you could peek and move windows between the multiple desktops.

Security: Attacks on Hospital, NHS Pays Microsoft After Getting Cracked Due to Microsoft, Other Windows Problems

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Microsoft
Security
  • This Russian Company Sells Zero-Day Exploits for Hospital Software

    Moscow-based Gleg provides zero-day exploits for medical software, and those in the medical industry are concerned about disclosure. But the exploits themselves may not be all that important in real world attacks.

  • NHS will upgrade all systems to Windows 10 following WannaCry outbreak [Ed: NHS rewards Microsoft after its back doors killed many British people. iophk: "Vista 10 was still vulnerable, just low market-share at the time; vendor lock-in through centralisation is harder to break out of"]

    "The introduction of a centralised Windows 10 agreement will ensure a consistent approach to security that also enables the NHS to rapidly modernise its IT infrastructure."

  • This Code On USB Can Trigger BSOD Even On Locked Windows PCs

    In the past, we’ve told you about the perils of picking any random USB drive and using it. It might contain malware and dangerous scripts to target your online accounts. A Bitdefender security researcher, Marius Tivadar, has underlined the importance of this issue with his proof-of-concept code (Via: CSO Online).

  • PoC code triggers BSOD on vulnerable Windows boxes even if PC is locked

    A malware researcher published proof-of-concept code that, when put on a USB stick, can trigger the dreaded Blue Screen of Death on various versions of Windows even if the system is locked.

    Bitdefender’s Marius Tivadar discovered a vulnerability in the way that Windows handles NTFS file system images. When publishing the proof-of-concept code on GitHub, he explained, “One can generate Blue Screen of Death using a handcrafted NTFS image. This denial-of-service type of attack can be driven from user mode, limited user account or Administrator. It can even crash the system if it is in locked state.”

  • Federal 'turf war' complicates cybersecurity efforts

    While Homeland Security is broadly recognized as the main agency defending federal networks and critical national assets from cyberattacks, individual agencies also play a major role in guarding their own networks and personnel from malicious cyber actors.

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More in Tux Machines

Canonical/Ubuntu Watching You

  • Two-thirds of Ubuntu users are happy to give up data on their PC
    As announced back at the start of the year, Canonical made the decision that Ubuntu would collect data on its user base – and now the initial results of those statistics have been published by the firm, including the headline fact that 67% of users were happy to provide details of their PC (and other bits and pieces). So, this scheme that has been unfavorably compared to Microsoft’s collection of telemetry data in Windows 10, which has long been a point of controversy. However, it appears that the majority of folks are happy to give up their data to the company providing their Linux distribution, and don’t seem perturbed by this prospect.
  • Ubuntu reports 67% of users opt in to on-by-default PC specs slurp [Ed: 33% of Ubuntu users say to Canonical "don't spy on me" and Canonical then counts them, which means that Canonical collects data on them, too]
    However just 33 per cent of the undisclosed number of users Canonical’s analysed didn’t opt in to the slurpage. Which is where things get a little bit weird, because Canonical’s post reports an “Opt In rate”. Yet the data slurpage is selected by default: there’s an active opt out but a passive opt in.
  • The Average Ubuntu Install Takes 18 Minutes (And Other Stats)
    Did you know that the average Ubuntu install takes just 18 minutes? That’s one of several nuggets of information Canonical has collected (and now revealed) thanks to the new “Ubuntu Report” tool included in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This tool, when given permission to, collects non-identifiable system data about new Ubuntu installs and upgrades and ferries it back to Canonical for analysis.

Linux Foundation's TODO and New Chinese Ties

  • The Linux Foundation and TODO Group Release Chinese Versions of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise
    -The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has released Chinese translations of 10 Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created to help executives, open source program managers, developers, attorneys and decision makers learn how to best leverage open source.
  • Tencent joins the Linux Foundation as a platinum member
    Chinese tech giant Tencent has announced it’s joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member. Tencent is one of a few companies to offer the highest level of support to the Linux Foundation. Other tech companies in this stable include IBM, Microsoft, and Intel, as well as fellow Chinese titan Huawei. As part of the deal, Tencent will take a chair on the Foundation’s board of directors. It has also promised to offer “further support and resources” to the Foundation’s efforts. So far, this has taken the form of Tencent donating several pieces of its software.
  • Tencent becomes a Linux Foundation platinum member to increase its focus on open source
    Tencent, the $500-billion Chinese internet giant, is increasing its focus on open source after it became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation. The company has long been associated with the foundation and Linux generally, it is a founding member of the Linux Foundation’s deep learning program that launched earlier this year, and now as a platinum member (the highest tier) it will take a board of directors seat and work more closely with the organization. That works two ways, with Tencent pledging to offer “further support and resources” to foundation projects and communities, while the Chinese firm itself will also tap into the foundation’s expertise and experience.
  • Tencent Supports Open Source Community With Linux Foundation Platinum Membership
    LinuxCon China -- The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announces Tencent has become the latest Platinum member of the foundation. Tencent is a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, offering some of China's most popular websites, apps and services including QQ, Qzone, Tencent Cloud and Weixin/WeChat.
  • TARS and TSeer Form Open Source Project Communities Under The Linux Foundation to Expand Adoption and Pace of Development
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China in Beijing that TARS, a remote procedure call (RPC) framework, and TSeer, a high availability service discovery, registration and fault tolerance framework, have become Linux Foundation projects. Both projects were initially developed by leading Chinese technology company, Tencent, which open sourced the projects last year. This follows the announcement of Tencent becoming a Platinum member of The Linux Foundation, and reflects the foundation’s growing collaboration with the Chinese open source community.
  • Tencent Becomes Latest Platinum Member of Linux Foundation
    Chinese behemoth looking to cultivate open source ties The Linux Foundation has announced that Tencent has become the latest member to obtain platinum membership. The non-profit American tech company, which is funded by membership payments, uses the funding for sustainable open source projects. Within the foundation, there are three membership tiers, starting from silver to gold, all the way up to platinum where members have to pay $500,000 a year (approx. £377,643) for that category.
  • Tencent Joins The Linux Foundation, Open-Sources Projects
    China's Tencent holding conglomerate that backs a variety of Internet services/products is the latest platinum member of the Linux Foundation.

Events: DebCamp, openSUSE Conference, OSSummit Japan 2018

  • Yes! I am going to...
    Of course, DebCamp is not a vacation, so we expect people that take part of DebCamp to have at least a rough sketch of activities. There are many, many things I want to tackle, and experience shows there's only time for a fraction of what's planned.
  • Dates, Location set for openSUSE Conference 2019
    The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the location and dates for the 2019 openSUSE Conference. The openSUSE Conference 2019 will return to the Z-Bau in Nuremberg, Germany, and be Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26. Planning for the 2019 conference will begin this summer and community members are encouraged to take part in the planning of the conference through the organizing team. The openSUSE Board proposed the idea of having organizing team for openSUSE Conferences last month at oSC18. An email about the organizing team was sent out to the openSUSE-Project mailing list.
  • OSSummit Japan 2018
    Some Debian developers (Jose from Microsoft and Michael from credativ) gave a talk during this event.

Games: Warhammer, Steam, OpenSAGE and Wine