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Microsoft

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

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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

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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)

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Microsoft
OSS

Top 15 Best Windows Emulators for Linux Enthusiasts

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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.

The Huawei Ban: Will Linux Replace Windows On Future Huawei Laptops?

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As I write this, Bloomberg has learned that other U.S-based tech giants like Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom will cut off their supply of components to Huawei. Losing access to Intel processors will obviously affect future Huawei laptops, but what about the operating system Huawei will ship on these devices? What about the installation of Windows 10 you currently have on your Huawei laptop?

[...]

Linux Out Of The Box?

We know that Huawei has prepared for this situation by developing its own in-house alternative operating systems to both Android and Windows, though the state of said development is unknown.

Its Windows alternative is almost certainly a custom Linux distribution. And it's not far-fetched to speculate that Huawei has it playing nicely on its own processors.

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Latest Red Hat and Microsoft Openwashing

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Microsoft

So Long Dual-Booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated

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GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
  • So Long Dual-Booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated
  • So long dual-booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated

    Project Campfire turned up in the Chromium world this past August. The intent was to let a Chromebook boot not just into Chrome OS but directly into another operating system such as Linux or Windows. I thought the latter was a positive outcome since it would allow Chromebooks to natively run Windows desktop apps on a Chromebook, and add value to devices.

  • 'Project Campfire' effort for dual-booting Windows on Chromebooks is shutting down

    Google's "Project Campfire" -- a project to allow Chromebooks to natively run Windows desktop and Linux apps -- is being deprecated before it ever debuted. As noted on AboutChromebooks.com on May 15, code removals from "AltOS" (the more official name of Campfire) are indicative that the project is closed.

    Since December 2018, activity on the Project Campfire front had gone quiet, according to AboutChromebooks.

    If Pixelbooks and other Chromebooks were able to run Windows, users who still want and need Windows to run certain apps would have had a new laptop option available to them.

    Google still would have had to pass Microsoft's hardware certification process for Windows 10 before such a feature could come to market. But throughout much of last year, many thought this development was at least somewhat likely to happen.

  • Windows dual booting no longer looking likely on Pixelbooks

    Just under a year ago, there were signs that Google was modifying the firmware of its Pixelbook laptop to enable dual booting into Windows 10. The firmware was updated to give the Pixelbook the ability to boot into an "Alternative OS" ("AltOS" mode). The work included references to the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (WHCK) and the Windows Hardware Lab Kit (HLK), Microsoft's testing frameworks for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 respectively.

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Top 20 Best Openbox Themes for Linux System in 2019

Have you ever heard about the stacking window manager, Openbox? It is broadly used in Unix-like systems. Most probably, it’s among the most customizable parts out there. You can easily modify and beautify this with a little bit of effort. The question may arise- with what and how can you do this? Well! We are going to disclose it now. It’s by Openbox themes, which lets you have a minimalist and fantastic visual interface for your desktop manager. Read more

Fedora IoT Review

With the rise in IoT use, we are witnessing a demand for ready-made operating systems to support smart device development. Currently, the race is between proprietary versions such as IoT Plug and Play by Microsoft and open source operating systems. One such emerging open source player is Fedora which has a workstation that supports virtualization and containers. Fedora is also slated to release an Internet of Things edition called “Fedora IoT” in future. Here is a review of the open source product’s support capabilities for IoT and relevant installation details. Read more

5 Practical Examples of the Read Command in Linux

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Programming: C++, C and Python

  • Extend C++ capabilities with LLVM STLExtras.h

    The LLVM compiler project provides a header file called STLExtras.h that extends the capabilities of C++ without any dependency on the rest of LLVM. In this article, we take a quick look at its basic functionality.

  • Rewriting Old Solaris C Code In Python Yielded A 17x Performance Improvement

    While we normally hear of rewriting code from Python and other scripting languages into C/C++ when its a matter of performance, in the case of Oracle Solaris it was taking old C code and modernizing it in Python 3 to yield a ~17x performance improvement. Shared today on Oracle's official Solaris blog was an interesting anecdote about their listusers command being rewritten in Python 3 from C. Oracle's Darren Moffat noted the C code was largely untouched since around 1988 and given its design at a time when systems were less dense than today with hundreds or even thousands of users per system.

  • Python Projects for Beginners: The Best Way to Learn

    Learning Python can be difficult. You can spend time reading a textbook or watching videos, but then struggle to actually put what you've learned into practice. Or you might spend a ton of time learning syntax and get bored or lose motivation. How can you increase your chances of success? By building Python projects. That way you're learning by actually doing what you want to do! When I was learning Python, building projects helped me bring together everything I was learning. Once I started building projects, I immediately felt like I was making more progress.

  • PyCon 2019: The People of PyCon

    I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet the individuals I read, listen to, or who make the tools I use. I was so happy to meet the authors that helped me to grow over the last few years, especially Dan Bader, Peter Baumgartner, Matt Harrison, Reuven Lerner, Harry Percival , and Lacey Williams Henschel. I love podcasts, so it was wonderful to meet Michael Kennedy and Brian Okken in person. And I was happy to meet Paul Ganssle, Russell Keith-Magee, Barry Warsaw, and other maintainers and contributors. It was a delight to meet Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira from PyBites.

  • Find the first non-consecutive number with Python

    Your task is to find the first element of an array that is not consecutive. E.g. If we have an array [1,2,3,4,6,7,8] then 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 are all consecutive but 6 is not, so that’s the first non-consecutive number. If the whole array is consecutive then return None.

  • Perceiving Python programming paradigms

    Early each year, TIOBE announces its Programming Language of The Year. When its latest annual TIOBE index report came out, I was not at all surprised to see Python again winning the title, which was based on capturing the most search engine ranking points (especially on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu) in 2018.