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Microsoft

Desktop News

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Microsoft
  • Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

    Microsoft has backed down on its plan to hustle owners of certain PCs to Windows 10 by crimping support options.

    Redmond revealed the plan last January, when it decreed that PCs running 6th-generation Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs and Windows 7 would only get limited security and stability support until mid-2017. By March it backed off a little, extending support for another year and promising critical patches would flow until end of life.

  • People Demand Control Of Their PCs

    You can no longer dictate to the world what folks will do with the hardware they own.

  • The Best Chromebook You Can Buy Right Now (Aug. 2016)
  • Attention, College Students: Chromebooks Are About to Get Awesome

    Here’s some unhelpful back-to-school advice: Don’t buy a laptop. Borrow one, steal one from a family member, buy a piece of junk for 40 bucks on Craigslist. If you can find a way to wait a couple of months before dropping serious coin on a new clamshell, you’ll be glad you did.

    Later this fall, Apple’s almost certainly going to release a new MacBook Pro, which is desperately in need of a revamp. And there will be Windows PCs practically falling from the ceiling—maybe even a few made by Microsoft itself. But the real reason to hold off on your purchase is to wait for the new breed of Chromebooks that are on their way.

Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation to Publish Pro-Microsoft Articles

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Linux
Microsoft
  • Inside How Microsoft Views Open Source [Ed: So that how it works. Microsoft pays the Linux Foundation and now the Linux Foundation needs to print Microsoft propaganda. Sadly, Linux OEMs that Microsoft is now paying have to play along with Big Lies like "Microsoft Loves Linux". Money talks? Screams? It's also a well established fact that Microsoft demands speaking positions in FOSS/Linux events that it 'sponsors'. "I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?" -Microsoft's chief evangelist]

    Editor's Note: This article is paid for by Microsoft as a Diamond-level sponsor of LinuxCon North America, to be held Aug. 22-24, 2016, and was written by Linux.com.

Wine and CrossOver

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Microsoft
Software
  • Run Your Favorite Windows Apps and Games on Mac with CrossOver 15

    CrossOver 15 for Mac and Linux helps you run your favorite Windows games and apps on OS X and Linux computers. No more dual booting, no purchasing of Windows license, nada. Simply invest $19.99, get today’s awesome deal and use CrossOver 15 to run any and all of your favorite Windows games right on your Macs. Of course, this means one click installation and native speeds when you run Windows applications. Who could say no to such an awesome offer, especially if you have a long list of Windows apps and games that you would want to use on your Mac and Linux systems. Head over to WCCFtech Deals for more details about today’s featured deal.

  • Wine 1.9.16 Brings Further Direct3D CS Improvements

    Wine 1.9.16 is now available as the latest bi-weekly release of Wine for running Windows programs on Linux and other operating systems.

10 reasons you should use LibreOffice and not Microsoft Word

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LibO
Microsoft
OSS

The Document Foundation just released version 5.2 of its fully open source office suite LibreOffice. This release brings many new features and UI improvements. When I got the press release, I started updating LibreOffice on my MacBook. But here's the thing: I'm also a user of Microsoft Word.

That made me pause and consider why I use LibreOffice when I am forking over $99 a year to Microsoft. The flash of introspection surprised me. I'm an unabashed open source and Linux fan, but I am kind of agnostic when it comes to the tools I use. I use what works for me. So I reached out to my followers on Google+ and Facebook to learn about their reasons for using LibreOffice.

Here are some of the many reasons why people, myself included, love LibreOffice.

Read more

The 'new' Microsoft Wipes GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft Loves [to Sabotage] Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Is Windows 10 Anniversary Update Deleting Linux Partitions?

    Yikes — if you plan on installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update on your PC you may want to be extra careful.

    It seems that the latest version of Microsoft’s OS has attention issues. Not content with forcing itself on users who didn’t want it, it may be taking even more drastic steps of hosing other operating systems entirely!

    A handful of reports surfacing on social media suggest, anecdotally, that the Windows 10 anniversary may interfere with, affect and even delete other partitions on the same disk.

  • Linux desktop marketshare has grown for three consecutive months [Ed: Net Applications, for the uninitiated, is Microsoft-connected, so expect real numbers to be a lot higher]

    Not strictly gaming related, but we do cover other important or interesting things here and there. According to netmarketshare [Net Applications] for three months straight Linux marketshare has gone up.

    2016
    April: 1.65%
    May : 1.79%
    June : 2.02%
    July : 2.33%

Microsoft Proxy Black Duck Wants to be “Global Center for Open Source Research & Innovation”

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Microsoft
OSS

MOOCs platform: Not all is open or SWAYAM about it

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Microsoft

A Rs 38 crore mandate awarded by the Union HRD Ministry in June to an affiliate of Redmond-based Microsoft Corp for developing a flagship web-based education platform is coming under increasing fire in the academic circles — both for the manner in which the contract was handed out and on the choice of proprietary software over free open source options already being deployed by premier educational institutions in the country.

Microsoft was selected as the technical partner for the HRD ministry’s SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) platform based on the recommendations of a “technical committee”, presumably after the tendering process for selecting a system integrator for SWAYAM —a MOOC or massive open online courses platform — floated thrice through the e-procurement platform since November last year failed to elicit any response. While the Ministry of Human Resource Development has cited the decision of a “technical committee” behind its choice of proprietary software over open source software and that selecting Microsoft does not run foul of the rulebook, the deal has raised eyebrows over the lack of objective criterion on how the decisions were taken in the first place.

The choice of proprietary software, entailing costs of Rs 38 crore and more for tools such as SQL (structured query language), is being questioned on the grounds that the selection of proprietary software on payment basis was done despite a clear option of going in for open source platforms such as Open EdX. For instance, Open edX — an open-source, not-for profit platform floated by MIT and Harvard University that was released as open source in March 2013 to act as the WordPress for MOOC platforms — is used across at least 126 universities and organisations globally. Even more intriguing is the fact that an MoU is already in place between IIT Bombay and edX, under which edX released complete platform code in open source. The signing of the MoU in June 2013 was actually facilitated by the Ministry of HRD. Open source platforms such as Open edX allow users to use plug-ins to expand the core functionality, thereby imparting tremendous flexibility when it comes to scaling up the platform or modify it to suit the specific requirements of a particular college or university. Since January last year, IIT Bombay decided to opt for Open edX and launch a customised version called IITBX as an extended online educational services for the benefit of Indian learners and training workshops for teachers, wherein the premier engineering institute has added significant functionality to the Open edX platform to create and offer MOOCs. Similarly, IIT Madras had a Google-based Course Builder platform ported in their own computer infrastructure while IIT Kanpur had a homegrown platform called MOOKIT, based again on open source software.

Read more

Microsoft Watch

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft to Cut 2,850 More Jobs in Exit From Phone Business [iophk: "and how many permatemps are also getting axed?" Ed: Lots of other layoffs for years now]

    Microsoft Corp. is more that doubling an earlier job cut plan, part of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s move to pare the company’s smartphone ambitions.

    Some 2,850 positions worldwide will be eliminated in fiscal 2017, the company said Thursday in a regulatory filing. That’s in addition to 1,850 job cuts, primarily in the smartphone hardware business and sales, announced in May.

  • Cortana removal will not be tolerated in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

    CORTANA IS taking over. The forthcoming Anniversary Update of Windows 10 has shown a new twist in Microsoft's 'do as we say' attitude towards customers.

    It appears that the update, due for release on 2 August, just three days after the end of the free upgrade period for Windows 10, removes the ability to turn personal assistant bot Cortana off, reported PC World (not that one, the IDG one).

    In all fairness, the upshot of this is fairly minimal. Cortana butts into your computing only if it's told to, and it's very easy for it not to.

    However, the fact that it's always on means that it's always collecting metadata, and that might leave some people feeling a tad uncomfortable.

  • Microsoft faces two new lawsuits over aggressive Windows 10 upgrade tactics [Ed: more of the same, still...]

    Microsoft is facing two more lawsuits over the company’s questionable Windows 10 upgrade tactics. Both suits are seeking class-action status.

    The first suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Florida. It alleges that Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade prompts “violated laws governing unsolicited electronic advertisements,” as reported by The Seattle Times. The suit also says Microsoft’s tactics are against the Federal Trade Commission’s rules on deceptive and unfair practices.

    The second suit was filed in June in Haifa, Israel alleging that Microsoft installed Windows 10 on users’ computers without consent. Microsoft already paid out a $10,000 award in a previous U.S. suit over similar circumstances.

    Microsoft told the Seattle Times it believes the suits won’t succeed. The Times also reports that Microsoft said Windows 10 upgrades (the Times report called them “updates”) are a “choice, not a requirement.”

    The story behind the story: That’s quite a disingenuous statement considering that Microsoft violated the known behavior of the Windows interface to essentially trick people into upgrading.

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The OpenELEC 8.0 open-source embedded Linux entertainment operating system received its second maintenance update, versioned 8.0.2, which fixes various issues reported by users lately and updates some core components. Read more

Red Hat Financial News

  • Red Hat announces latest version of Ansible
  • Red Hat On An Expansion Spree In India
    Red Hat is aggressively expanding its operations in India. The company recently announced the opening of two new offices in Bangalore and New Delhi. With the opening of the new offices, Red Hat is expanding its footprint in India with a goal of supporting interest for open source solutions and services from customers and partners and further promoting the benefits open source solutions can offer enterprises in India. Red Hat now has six offices in India, including additional facilities in Bangalore and New Delhi, and offices in Mumbai and Pune. Red Hat’s new Bangalore office is a 14,000 sq. ft. facility at Lavelle Road. It is designed to act as a training and enablement center for customers and partners. Through the new facility, which features a cafeteria, and space for networking, meetings, training and certification exams, and an indoor game zone, Red Hat aims to bring its open, collaborative culture to life. The additional New Delhi office is a 12,405 sq.ft facility located close to the international airport at Aerocity, designed with an eye toward enabling collaboration with customers throughout the region.
  • Somewhat Positive Press Coverage Very Likely to Affect Red Hat (RHT) Stock Price
  • Red Hat Inc (RHT) Releases Q1 Earnings Guidance

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

    Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

  • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

    The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

  • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

    BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

  • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
  • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files
    Webroot's security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process. Not only were people's individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup. Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot's gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.
  • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates
    Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That's the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve. Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what's coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week's DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn't enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.
  • Security Updates for Ubuntu Phone to End in June
    Security updates for Ubuntu phone and tablet will end this June, Canonical has confirmed. Current OTA updates are currently limited to critical fixes and security updates — a decision we were first to tell you back in January. But after June 2017 Canonical “will no longer deliver any further updates”.
  • Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu Phone in June
    Canonical had already announced development of its Ubuntu Phone software was ending. Now we know when the final nail goes in the coffin: June.
  • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets
    Researchers say they've discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We've often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices ("smart" doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they're often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we've ever seen (including last October's attack on DYN).

GNOME/GTK News

  • The Way GNOME Handles Wallpapers Really Annoys Me
    I love GNOME Shell — and no, not just because I’ve little choice now that is Ubuntu’s default desktop! But the more I use GNOME the more I learn that the desktop environment, like every other, has its own share of quirks, bugs and inconsistencies. Like the following appreciably niche niggle in the the way GNOME handles desktop wallpapers.
  • Drag-and-drop in lists
    I’ve recently had an occasion to implement reordering of a GtkListBox via drag-and-drop (DND). It was not that complicated. Since I haven’t seen drag-and-drop used much with list boxes, here is a quick summary of what is needed to get the basics working.