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Microsoft

Supporting Burning Platforms

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"

    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10.

    As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license.

    This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

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Microsoft
Security
  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine.

    It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.

  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers

    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed.

    The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.

Microsoft and Apple Lock-in

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Microsoft
Mac

Windows 10 Battery Notification Pushes a Creators Update User Over the Edge… To Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Of course, he couldn’t resist saying that his opinion won’t be a popular choice. “‘Switch to Linux’ is an unpopular option to raise in a Windows centric subreddit, as the downvotes on my previous comment indicates [sic]. But it is still a valid option for certain people. If any of you reading this are unsatisfied with Windows, and if Linux fits the bill for your use case, give it a shot,” he dared to invite others to the other side too.

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It’s Windows Time in Linux Land Again

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Windows being Windows, a monkey wrench was thrown into the machinery right off. I booted the laptop into Windows, which then refused to connect with the Wi-Fi. It found the on-board Broadcom Wi-Fi just fine, but every time I’d try to get it to connect, it’d throw up an “unknown error” notice and ask if I’d like to enable logging so I could figure it out myself. This was odd, considering I’d used the machine to do my taxes last year, and it connects with the Wi-Fi just fine in Linux. But I wasn’t going to spend the better part of a day trying to fix it — I had no desire to start relearning my way around Windows. Time for Plan B, which was the reverse of Plan A: boot the desktop to Windows and use the laptop in Linux for finding all my facts and figures.

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Security and Microsoft Back/Bug Doors

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Microsoft
Security
  • Security updates for Friday
  • careful with the chrome HSTS

    I mean, yes, I set the HSTS header, but that was with the same cert that chrome is now insisting can’t be trusted. Why in the world would you permanently store “must have trusted cert” on the basis of an untrusted cert?

  • Hacked NSA tools put Windows users at possible risk

    The hacking group known as Shadow Brokers claims to have released National Security Agency malware designed to break into Windows computers. The software could make millions of Microsoft users vulnerable to malicious parties.

    [...]

    The NSA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But this isn't the first US intelligence agency whose tools have been leaked to the public. Just last month, WikiLeaks released techniques it claimed the CIA used for breaking into phones, computers, cars and smart TVs.

  • Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

    The Shadow Brokers have leaked more hacking tools stolen from the NSA's Equation Group – this time four-year-old exploits that attempt to hijack venerable Windows systems, from Windows 2000 up to Server 2012 and Windows 7 and 8.

    The toolkit puts into anyone's hands – from moronic script kiddies to hardened crims – highly classified nation-state-level weaponry that can potentially compromise and commandeer systems around the world. This is the same powerful toolkit Uncle Sam used once upon a time to hack into and secretly snoop on foreign governments, telcos, banks, and other organizations.

  • Microsoft blocks Kaby Lake and Ryzen PCs from Windows 7, 8 updates

    That means all updates, including security updates, will be unavailable on PCs with brand new hardware running the two older operating systems.

  • Microsoft says U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance requests more than doubled

    Microsoft said it received between 1,000 and 1,499 FISA orders for user content between January and June of 2016, compared to between 0 and 499 during both January-June 2015 as well as the second half of 2015.> Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Thursday it had received at least a thousand surveillance requests from the U.S. government that sought user content for foreign intelligence purposes during the first half of 2016.

Microsoft EEE and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Windows Trying to Catch Up With Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Will Microsoft’s next attempt to take on cheap Chromebooks fare any better than its last?

    A few years before that, Microsoft tried to take on a different type of small, cheap notebook: the netbook. When Asus launched the original Eee PC in 2007 it ran a Linux-based operating system rather than Windows. For some people that was part of the appeal. For others, it was an obstacle to overcome.

    Part of what prompted me to start this website was the amount of interest there was in my articles about how to install Windows XP on the Eee PC.

    Microsoft lowered the Windows license fees for small, low-cost laptops and Linux netbooks became a thing of the past as more and more PC makers shipped models with Windows software. Then netbooks themselves sort of faded away.

    Or did they? Almost nobody uses the word “netbook” anymore, but their legacy lives on in affordable portable computers including Windows, Android, and iOS tablets and convertibles, cheap Windows notebooks, and perhaps most of all, in Chromebooks.

    Not all Chromebooks are dirt cheap. But some certainly are. And part of the reason is that device makers don’t have to pay for the operating system. Google gives it away for free.

    [...]

    One problem is that new PCs aren’t just competing with Chromebooks. They’re also competing with older PCs. Can’t find a super-cheap 2017 model? Then consider picking up a refurbished 2016 model.

  • Are Chromebooks responsible for PC market growth?

    Chromebook sales have always been a bit of a mystery just like Microsoft’s own Surface sales, but we won’t know the full impact unless Google is willing to share how many are being used on a daily basis. Until then, it’s a guessing game of vague statements from analyst firms, or victory claims in small markets. Either way, it’s about time Chromebooks are considered as PCs by all involved.

  • Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance
  • Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue [Ed: Microsoft and privacy do not belong in the same sentence. Vista 10 is malware.]

Openwashing and Microsoft

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Microsoft

Android's popularity eclipses Windows among internet users

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

The stat trackers at StatCounter have come out with their internet usage numbers for the month of March, and they have, for the first time, reported Android as the world's most popular operating system. Nudging ahead of the once-untouchable Windows by a tiny fraction, Android is now the world's most-used platform for getting online according to these latest figures. This represents a natural progression from the difference in devices shipped every year — more than a billion for Android versus 200-something million PCs per year for Windows — but StatCounter is among the first to claim that Android is now in the lead in usage numbers as well.

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More in Tux Machines

Introducing the potential new Ubuntu Studio Council

Back in 2016, Set Hallström was elected as the new Team Lead for Ubuntu Studio, just in time for the 16.04 Xenial Long Term Support (LTS) release. It was intended that Ubuntu Studio would be able to utilise Set’s leadership skills at least up until the next LTS release in April 2018. Unfortunately, as happens occasionally in the world of volunteer work, Set’s personal circumstances changed and he is no longer able to devote as much time to Ubuntu Studio as he would like. Therefore, an IRC meeting was held between interested Ubuntu Studio contributors on 21st May 2017 to agree on how to fill the void. We decided to follow the lead of Xubuntu and create a Council to take care of Ubuntu Studio, rather than continuing to place the burden of leadership on the shoulder of one particular person. Unfortunately, although the result was an agreement to form the first Ubuntu Studio Council from the meeting participants, we all got busy and the council was never set up. Read more

today's leftovers

  • My Experience with MailSpring on Linux
    On the Linux Desktop, there are quite a few choices for email applications. Each of these has their own pros and cons which should be weighed depending on one’s needs. Some clients will have MS Exchange support. Others do not. In general, because email is reasonably close to free (and yes, we can thank Hotmail for that) it has been a difficult place to make money. Without a cash flow to encourage developers, development has trickled at best.
  • Useful FFMPEG Commands for Managing Audio and Video Files
  • Set Up A Python Django Development Environment on Debian 9 Stretch Linux
  • How To Run A Command For A Specific Time In Linux
  • Kubuntu 17.10 Guide for Newbie Part 7
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  • Why Oppo and Vivo are losing steam in Chinese smartphone market
    China’s smartphone market has seen intense competition over the past few years with four local brands capturing more than 60 percent of sales in 2017. Huawei Technologies, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi Technology recorded strong shipment growth on a year-on-year basis. But some market experts warned that Oppo and Vivo may see the growth of their shipments slow this year as users become more discriminating.
  • iPhones Blamed for More than 1,600 Accidental 911 Calls Since October
    The new Emergency SOS feature released by Apple for the iPhone is the one to blame for no less than 1,600 false calls to 911 since October, according to dispatchers. And surprisingly, emergency teams in Elk Grove and Sacramento County in California say they receive at least 20 such 911 calls every day from what appears to be an Apple service center. While it’s not exactly clear why the iPhones that are probably brought in for repairs end up dialing 911, dispatchers told CBS that the false calls were first noticed in the fall of the last year. Apple launched new iPhones in September 2017 and they went on sale later the same month and in November, but it’s not clear if these new devices are in any way related to the increasing number of accidental calls to 911.
  • Game Studio Found To Install Malware DRM On Customers' Machines, Defends Itself, Then Apologizes
    The thin line that exists between entertainment industry DRM software and plain malware has been pointed out both recently and in the past. There are many layers to this onion, ranging from Sony's rootkit fiasco, to performance hits on machines thanks to DRM installed by video games, up to and including the insane idea that copyright holders ought to be able to use malware payloads to "hack back" against accused infringers. What is different in more recent times is the public awareness regarding DRM, computer security, and an overall fear of malware. This is a natural kind of progression, as the public becomes more connected and reliant on computer systems and the internet, they likewise become more concerned about those systems. That may likely explain the swift public backlash to a small game-modding studio seemingly installing something akin to malware in every installation of its software, whether from a legitimate purchase or piracy.

Server: Benchmarks, IBM and Red Hat

  • 36-Way Comparison Of Amazon EC2 / Google Compute Engine / Microsoft Azure Cloud Instances vs. Intel/AMD CPUs
    Earlier this week I delivered a number of benchmarks comparing Amazon EC2 instances to bare metal Intel/AMD systems. Due to interest from that, here is a larger selection of cloud instance types from the leading public clouds of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine.
  • IBM's Phil Estes on the Turbulent Waters of Container History
    Phil Estes painted a different picture of container history at Open Source 101 in Raleigh last weekend, speaking from the perspective of someone who had a front row seat. To hear him tell it, this rise and success is a story filled with intrigue, and enough drama to keep a daytime soap opera going for a season or two.
  • Red Hat CSA Mike Bursell on 'managed degradation' and open data
    As part of Red Hat's CTO office chief security architect Mike Bursell has to be informed of security threats past, present and yet to come – as many as 10 years into the future. The open source company has access to a wealth of customers in verticals including health, finance, defence, the public sector and more. So how do these insights inform the company's understanding of the future threat landscape?
  • Red Hat Offers New Decision Management Tech Platform
    Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has released a platform that will work to support information technology applications and streamline the deployment of rules-based tools in efforts to automate processes for business decision management, ExecutiveBiz reported Thursday.

Vulkan Anniversary and Generic FBDEV Emulation Continues To Be Worked On For DRM Drivers

  • Vulkan Turns Two Years Old, What Do You Hope For Next?
    This last week marked two years since the debut of Vulkan 1.0, you can see our our original launch article. My overworked memory missed realizing it by a few days, but it's been a pretty miraculous two years for this high-performance graphics and compute API.
  • Generic FBDEV Emulation Continues To Be Worked On For DRM Drivers
    Noralf Trønnes has spent the past few months working on generic FBDEV emulation for Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers and this week he volleyed his third revision of these patches, which now includes a new in-kernel API along with some clients like a bootsplash system, VT console, and fbdev implementation.