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Ditching Apple and Microsoft for GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac
  • Switching to xmonad + Gnome – and ditching a Mac

    I have been using XFCE with xmonad for years now. I’m not sure exactly how many, but at least 6 years, if not closer to 10. Today I threw in the towel and switched to Gnome.

    More recently, at a new job, I was given a Macbook Pro. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of this, but I thought I’d give it a try. I found MacOS to be extremely frustrating and confining. It had no real support for a tiling window manager, and although projects like amethyst tried to approximate what xmonad can do on Linux, they were just too limited by the platform and were clunky. Moreover, the entire UI was surprisingly sluggish; maybe that was an induced effect from animations, but I don’t think that explains it. A Debisn stretch install, even on inferior hardware, was snappy in a way that MacOS never was. So I have requested to swap for a laptop that will run Debian. The strange use of Command instead of Control for things, combined with the overall lack of configurability of keybindings, meant that I was going to always be fighting muscle memory moving from one platform to another. Not only that, but being back in the world of a Free Software OS means a lot.

  • Google is trying to poach Microsoft Azure partners by sending them free Chromebooks
  • Google’s Cloud Team Is Sending Chromebooks To Microsoft Partners

     

    Microsoft has its Azure platform, Amazon has AWS, Google is entering the arena with Google Cloud and each company is throwing serious money to grab a slice of this market as it continues to expand.

  • Windows loses the market share growth battle against Linux [Ed: Almost no site (that I've stumbled upon) mentions that the firm behind these numbers is Microsoft-connected. Microsoft sites like this one say Windows "market share collapsed from 90.45% to 88.77%." But no, it's more like 50%. ChromeOS, Android etc. are conveniently unaccounted for.]

    In August, Windows dropped to a 90.70% market share from 91.45% from July, despite Microsoft’s effort. This drop of 0.75% is the biggest one that the operating system had recorded since April 2016. Back then, the OS’s market share collapsed from 90.45% to 88.77%.

Linux Foundation Puff Pieces and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Rise of GNU/Linux at Windows' Expense

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Linux adoption on the rise as Windows market share collapsed once again [Ed: What's significant here: 1. this is a Microsoft propaganda site 2. citing a Microsoft-connected firm 3. claiming Windows "collapse"]

    Despite Microsoft’s Windows 10 is better than its predecessor, Windows market share has witnessed yet another collapse, while Linux adoption is on a rise. A new data published by NetMarketShare reveals that Microsoft’s Windows market share declined to 90.70 percent from 91.45 percent.

  • Linux Doubles Its Market Share Since 2015, Windows And Mac Adoption Slows Down

    The FOSS and Linux community tosses up this idea at the beginning of a new year and expects the Linux adoption to rise exponentially in the upcoming months. While a complete Linux dominance in the desktop scene looks like a far-fetched dream, Tux continues to make slow strides.

    According to the latest data from NetMarketShare, Linux is running on 3.37% desktop computers and laptops. This Linux market share number is from August 2017.

Security in Android, Windows

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Android
Microsoft
Security
  • With Android Oreo, Google is introducing Linux kernel requirements

    Android may be a Linux-based operating system, but the Linux roots are something that few people pay much mind. Regardless of whether it is known or acknowledged by many people, the fact remains that Android is rooted in software regarded as horrendously difficult to use and most-readily associated with the geekier computer users, but also renowned for its security.

  • Exclusive: India and Pakistan hit by spy malware - cybersecurity firm [Ed: When you use Microsoft Windows in government in spite of back doors]

    Symantec Corp, a digital security company, says it has identified a sustained cyber spying campaign, likely state-sponsored, against Indian and Pakistani entities involved in regional security issues.

    In a threat intelligence report that was sent to clients in July, Symantec said the online espionage effort dated back to October 2016. 

    [...]

    Symantec’s report said an investigation into the backdoor showed that it was constantly being modified to provide “additional capabilities” for spying operations.

Microsoft-Connected Firm Says GNU/Linux Desktop Market Exceeds 3%, Microsoft in Trouble in France

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Linux desktop market share has hit another all time high above 3%, according to netmarketshare [Ed: This Microsoft-connected firm says share on the desktop higher than 3%; in reality can be higher than this, especially if ChromeOS, Android etc. get counted.]
  • Linux Browser Marketshare Strikes Above 3%

    According to Net Applications' Netmarketshare, the Linux market share on the desktop as judged by browser interactions may now be above 3%.

    The company is reporting a 3.37% Linux marketshare for August 2017, a rise from 2.53% a month prior and the first time they have reported the Linux desktop marketshare above 3%.

  • France demands €600 million in tax from Microsoft

    France's tax authority is seeking 600 million euros ($715 million) from Microsoft's local subsidiary for billing French customers from Ireland, the weekly L'Express reported on Wednesday.
    The magazine reported that the bills concerned internet advertising and keywords for internet searches.
       
    Despite a considerable presence in France, Microsoft paid only 32.2 million euros in corporate tax there last year, according to L'Express.

Proprietary and Openwashing: Facebook. Skype, LinkedIn, Talend, and Slack

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Microsoft

Angelfire

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Microsoft
Security

Today, August 31st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Angelfire project of the CIA. Angelfire is an implant comprised of five components: Solartime, Wolfcreek, Keystone (previously MagicWand), BadMFS, and the Windows Transitory File system. Like previously published CIA projects (Grasshopper and AfterMidnight) in the Vault7 series, it is a persistent framework that can load and execute custom implants on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (XP or Win7).

Solartime modifies the partition boot sector so that when Windows loads boot time device drivers, it also loads and executes the Wolfcreek implant, that once executed, can load and run other Angelfire implants. According to the documents, the loading of additional implants creates memory leaks that can be possibly detected on infected machines.

Keystone is part of the Wolfcreek implant and responsible for starting malicious user applications. Loaded implants never touch the file system, so there is very little forensic evidence that the process was ever ran. It always disguises as "C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe" and can thus be detected in the Windows task manager, if the operating system is installed on another partition or in a different path.

BadMFS is a library that implements a covert file system that is created at the end of the active partition (or in a file on disk in later versions). It is used to store all drivers and implants that Wolfcreek will start. All files are both encrypted and obfuscated to avoid string or PE header scanning. Some versions of BadMFS can be detected because the reference to the covert file system is stored in a file named "zf".

The Windows Transitory File system is the new method of installing AngelFire. Rather than lay independent components on disk, the system allows an operator to create transitory files for specific actions including installation, adding files to AngelFire, removing files from AngelFire, etc. Transitory files are added to the 'UserInstallApp'.

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Bugs? What bugs? Microsoft sees no evil.

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Microsoft

On Aug. 23, Microsoft released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16273. This late beta doesn’t introduce new features. It’s all about stabilizing the next Windows 10 update before releasing it to the public. In short, it’s a bug-fix version — with a twist. While Microsoft tells us which bugs have been fixed in this build, it doesn’t say anything about new bugs, or old bugs that haven’t been fixed.

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Microsoft Openwashing of Visual Studio and LinkedIn

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Microsoft

Desktop: Entroware's New GNU/Linux Laptop, Microsoft Caught Red-handed

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
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today's howtos

Security: Uber Sued, Intel ‘Damage Control’, ZDNet FUD, and XFRM Privilege Escalation

  • Uber hit with 2 lawsuits over gigantic 2016 data breach
    In the 48 hours since the explosive revelations that Uber sustained a massive data breach in 2016, two separate proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts across California. The cases allege substantial negligence on Uber’s part: plaintiffs say the company failed to keep safe the data of the affected 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. Uber reportedly paid $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep news of the breach quiet. On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
  • Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities [Ed: ‘Damage control’ strategy is to make it look like just a bug.]
    While Intel ME security issues have been talked about for months, confirming fears that have been present about it for years, this week Intel published the SA-00086 security advisory following their own internal review of ME/TXE/SPS components. The impact is someone could crash or cause instability issues, load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system, and other possible issues.
  • Open source's big weak spot? Flawed libraries lurking in key apps [Ed: Linux basher Liam Tung entertains FUD firm Snyk and Microsoft because it suits the employer's agenda]
  • SSD Advisory – Linux Kernel XFRM Privilege Escalation

gThumb 3.6 GNOME Image Viewer Released with Better Wayland and HiDPI Support

gThumb, the open-source image viewer for the GNOME desktop environment, has been updated this week to version 3.6, a new stable branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements. gThumb 3.6 comes with better support for the next-generation Wayland display server as the built-in video player, color profiles, and application icon received Wayland support. The video player component received a "Loop" button to allow you to loop videos, and there's now support for HiDPI displays. The app also ships with a color picker, a new option to open files in full-screen, a zoom popover that offers different zoom commands and a zoom slider, support for double-click activation, faster image loading, aspect ratio filtering, and the ability to display the description of the color profile in the property view. Read more Also: Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4

ExTiX 18.0, 64bit, with Deepin Desktop 15.5 (made in China!) and Refracta Tools – Create your own ExTiX/Ubuntu/Deepin system in minutes!

I’ve made a new extra version of ExTiX with Deepin 15.5 Desktop (made in China!). Deepin is devoted to providing a beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users. Only a minimum of packages are installed in ExTiX Deepin. You can of course install all packages you want. Even while running ExTiX Deepin live. I.e. from a DVD or USB stick. Study all installed packages in ExTiX Deepin. Read more Also: ExTiX, the Ultimate Linux System, Now Has a Deepin Edition Based on Ubuntu 17.10 Kali Linux 2017.3 Brings New Hacking Tools — Download ISO And Torrent Files Here