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Linux Kernel News and Microsoft Breaks PowerShell

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  • Coherent Accelerators, FPGAs, and PLD Microconference Accepted into 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference

    It has been more than a decade since CPU core clock frequencies stopped doubling every 18 months, which has shifted the search for performance from the "hardware free lunch" to concurrency and, more recently, hardware accelerators. Beyond accelerating computational offload, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and programmable logic devices (PLDs) have long been used in the embedded space to provide ways to offload I/O or to implement timing-sensitive algorithms as close as possible to the pin.

  • Linux's brilliant career, in pictures

    Aug. 25 marks the 25th anniversary of Linux, the free and open source operating system that's used around the globe in smarphones, tablets, desktop PCs, servers, supercomputers, and more. Though its beginnings were humble, Linux has become the world’s largest and most pervasive open source software project in history. How did it get here? Read on for a look at some of the notable events along the way.

  • Quarter Century of Innovation – aka Happy Birthday Linux!

    Happy birthday Linux. You’ve defined how we should be using and adoption technology. You’ve disrupted and continue to disrupt, industries all over the place. You’ve helped define what it means to share ideas openly and freely. You’ve shown what happens when we collaborate and work together. Free and Open Source is a win-win for all and Linux is the Gold Standard of that.

  • Microsoft Open Source Czar Takes Spotlight at LinuxCon [Ed: Microsoft paid for this]
  • Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

    You'd be forgiven for thinking Microsoft is actively trying to stop people using Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. A patch this week broke one of the key features of the OS: PowerShell.

FOSS in Government

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  • Uganda eager to tap into open source

    Uganda's Ministry of ICT recently developed a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) policy to regulate the deployment of open source software and use of open standards to accelerate innovation and develop local content.

    At the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), organised in conjunction with Uganda's National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) to encourage industry partnerships and uptake of OSS in East Africa, open software was recognised for its contribution to innovation.

    Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of ICT and National Guidance in Uganda, said, "Free and open software services will help my ministry to innovate better because it forms the platform (for) many of the innovative ideas. Free and open source software in Uganda is certainly something we have been talking about and I am sure we will do so even more in the next few days. Some of the things Uganda has put in place to harness the benefit from free and open source software include a Software Strategy and Policy in accordance with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) Trade, Services and Development expert meeting's determination that free and open source software is an inseparable component of the global technology ecosystem."

  • Ireland's govt IT: Recession and job cuts forced us to adapt

    Ireland was hit hard by the global financial crunch of 2007 and 2008. It was the first of the EU member states to slip into recession immediately following the bursting of the economic bubble.

    As the economy contracted, banks faced default and government debt increased, with Ireland eventually taking an €67.5bn loan from the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    Falling tax income and the need to bail out banks saw the Irish government spending in other areas of public life.

    The government had introduced the Public Sector Recruitment Embargo in 2009, which stopped hiring of all civil servants across government and cut pay and pensions – in return for a promise of no compulsory redundancies.

  • Oh! The Horror! Ireland Stays Enslaved To MS

    For 15 years or so, I was in those same financial straits in schools where I taught and GNU/Linux and FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) was the obvious solution. Obviously, one is better off to have IT for all rather than paying monopolistic prices for IT for a few. In schools, that meant extending the life of IT, elimination of malware and re-re-reboots, freedom from paper, freight for paper, storage for paper, … For governments freedom from lock-in to M$ and “friends” saved huge sums which could have been better spent on hardware or employees. Sigh.

Liberating PCs and "Mac"-branded PCs

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  • Reviving Old Macs Using Linux

    All Macintosh computers from about 2006 onwards were made using Intel CPUs and installing Linux on these computers is a breeze. You don’t need to download any Mac specific distro — just choose your favorite distro and install away. About 95 percent of the time you’ll be able to use the 64-bit version of the distro. On CoreDuo Macs, from 2006, you’ll need to use a 32-bit version.

    Here is a screencast video I made on a revived Macbook that came into my hands recently. I downloaded Linux Mint 18 Xfce 64-bit ISO, burned it to DVD, inserted it into the Macbook (after the Macbook was turned on) and then booted the Macbook from DVD by holding the the letter “C” (which tells the Mac to boot from the optical drive).

  • Linux breathes new life into old Mac computers

    Apple is known for its planned obsolescence strategy that encourages customers to upgrade their Macs every so often. This can result in older Macs that can't update to the latest version of macOS, but are still perfectly functional computers that can perform many everyday computing tasks such as web browsing, word processing, image editing, etc.

    So what can you do with an older Mac that no longer gets macOS updates? You can install Linux and breathe new life into that old Mac computer. Distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and others offer a way to continue using an older Mac that would otherwise be cast aside.

  • The EFF Calls Out Microsoft's Ongoing Bullshit On Windows 10 Privacy Concerns

    While Windows 10 is generally well-liked by reviewers and users, it's relatively clear that it's not the OS to choose if you actually want to control how much babbling your OS does over the network. While a lot of complaints about Windows 10 have been proven to be hyperbole or just plain wrong (like it delivers your BitTorrent behavior to Hollywood or it makes use of menacing keyloggers), Windows 10 is annoyingly chatty, sending numerous reports back to Microsoft even when the operating system is configured to be as quiet and private as possible.

    While Microsoft has been criticized for this behavior for some time now, the general response out of Redmond has been to tap dance over, under and around most of the key complaints.

    Enter the Electronic Freedom Foundation, which last week effectively called on Microsoft to stop bullshitting everybody in terms of what gets collected and why. The EFF does a good job reiterating how Microsoft used malware-esque tactics to get users to upgrade, then once installed, Windows 10 collects user location data, text input, voice input, touch input, web browsing history, and general computing telemetry data, including which programs you run and for how long -- which would be arguably less of an issue if you had full control over how much of this data was collected and funneled back to the Redmond mothership.

Paid-for Microsoft Openwashing at LinuxCon

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Desktop News

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  • Why Google plans to stop supporting your Chromebook after five years

    It’s worth noting that end-of-life doesn’t have to mean the end of useful hardware. If you have the know-how, you can install Linux on your Chromebook to extend its lifespan. Otherwise, users whose Chromebooks are still in fine working order just have to hope that end-of-life notification never comes.

  • EFF slams Microsoft's 'blatant disregard' for user privacy with Windows 10 [Ed: It's textbook definition of malware]

    THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF) has lashed out at Microsoft over the company's "blatant disregard" for user privacy with the pushy, data-slurping Windows 10 operating system.

    Following the launch of a petition in June, EFF has heard from thousands of pissed off people who are asked it to take action against Microsoft, and the privacy campaigners are doing just that. EFF is calling on Microsoft to listen to its users, of which more than 6,000 have signed the online petition, and incorporate their complaints into its operating system.

    "Otherwise, Microsoft may find that it has inadvertently discovered just how far it can push its users before they abandon a once-trusted company for a better, more privacy-protective solution," EFF's Amul Kalia said in a blog post.

    First on EFF’s radar is Microsoft’s backhanded tactics to get people to upgrade to Windows 10, which we here at the INQUIRER know about all too well.

The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

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This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles

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Microsoft Embrace and Extend

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  • initialsession: remove curl and wget aliases [iophk: “MS hobbles curl and wget unapologetically, and probably other tools too”] do not create programs which intentionally have the same names as well known programs, especially when your programs do not provide exactly the same functionality as the originals. There is no way to view that sort of behavior in a positive light.

  • More Open Source is Good Open Source [Ed: openwashing is a problem (trying to make Windows look open), but some Novell/Red Hat staff disagrees]

Desktop News

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  • The aristocratic desktop (part 1)

    Still, there was some issues. And I discovered that some very basic concepts are harder to understand than I thought. Double-click, a window, a folder, the desktop, the taskbar, the trayicon. I also discovered that some users were using a computer for ten years without even understanding the minimize function for a window ! The only way to switch between a web page and a word processor was to close one and then opening the other. It was seen as normal !

  • Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called on Microsoft to offer a “single unified screen” on which Windows 10 users can control how Windows 10 deals with their personal information and monitors their use of the OS.

    The organisation has listed the long list of nasty nagware tactics Microsoft used to get people running Windows 10, labelling some “questionable tactics to cause users to download a piece of software that many didn’t want.”

    It's not keen on the nagware bundled alongside patches, suggesting that tactic reduced trust in patches and therefore potentially exposed users who don't act promptly when important fixes arrive.

    It also rails against the telemetry Windows 10 collects and is especially harsh on Microsoft's insistence that if business users send it less data, Windows Update will be less effective and PCs will be less secure.

    The Foundation says “this is a false choice that is entirely of Microsoft’s own creation.”

    “There’s no good reason why the types of data Microsoft collects at each telemetry level couldn’t be adjusted so that even at the lowest level of telemetry collection, users could still benefit from Windows Update and secure their machines from vulnerabilities, without having to send back things like app usage data or unique Ids like an IMEI number.”

  • Microsoft wants to pay you to use its Windows 10 browser Edge [Ed: CNET's editor in chief called it "Bribery" last time Microsoft did such things. How to starve a lesser wealthy competitor, drive it out of the market...]

    Microsoft has a new browser. It launched with Windows 10 and it’s called Edge. The company says it’s faster, more battery efficient and all-round better than Chrome or Firefox. You can even draw on websites with a stylus. Trouble is, not very many people are using it. So now Microsoft’s trying to bribe you to switch.

    The newly rebranded Microsoft Rewards – formerly Bing Rewards, which paid people for using Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use) – will now pay you for using Edge, shopping at the Microsoft store, or using Bing.

    Users of Edge who sign up to Microsoft Rewards, which is currently US-only, are then awarded points simply for using the browser. Microsoft actively monitors whether you’re using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you’re not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine.

Openwashing of Microsoft (Portions of Proprietary Lock-in/Traps)

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More in Tux Machines

New Cortex-M chips add ARMv8 and TrustZone

ARM launched its first Cortex-M MCUs with ARMv8-M and TrustZone security: the tiny, low-power Cortex-M23 and faster Cortex-M33. At the ARM TechCon show in Santa Clara, ARM unveiled two new Cortex-M microprocessors that will likely emerge as major Internet of Things workhorses over the coming decade, supplanting most existing Cortex-M designs. The Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 are also the first Cortex-M processors with ARMv8-M technology, enabling ARM TrustZone security, among other benefits. The TrustZone support is enabled via a new IoT-oriented CoreLink SIE-200 network-on-chip, which adds IP blocks on top of the AMBA 5 AHB5 interface. ARM also announced a TrustZone CryptoCell-312 technology for creating secure SoCs based on ARMv8-M. Read more

OpenStack in the Headlines

  • From OpenStack Summit, Red Hat Reports That the Deployment Era is Here
    As noted here yesterday, OpenStack is here to stay in enterprises. A new study by 451 Research analysts shows that about 72 percent of OpenStack-based clouds are between 1,000 and 10,000 cores and three fourths choose OpenStack to increase operational efficiency and app deployment speed. Meanwhile, in conjunction with OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Red Hat is out with very notable results from its polling of its OpenStack user base. Its study found that production deployments increased hugely in the last year, according to a survey of 150 information technology decision makers and professionals carried out by Red Hat.
  • You can run the same programs on 16 different OpenStack clouds
    Cloud companies like to talk about about how you can avoid vendor lock-in. And OpenStack just showed how to make it happen. Sixteen different vendors did a live demo at OpenStack Summit showing that you could run the same software stack on 16 separate OpenStack platforms.
  • ​Where OpenStack cloud is today and where it's going tomorrow
    The future looks bright for OpenStack -- according to 451 Research, OpenStack is growing rapidly to become a $5-billion-a-year cloud business. But obstacles still remain.
  • ​Mirantis OpenStack: The good news and the bad news
    Mirantis recently signed a major deal with NTT, but the company is also laying off some of its employees.
  • The World Runs on OpenStack
    The OpenStack Summit keynotes got underway the morning of October 25, with Mark Collier, Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation, declaring that the world runs on OpenStack.
  • Study: OpenStack is Marching Forward in Enterprises
    How fast is the OpenStack global cloud services market growing? Research and Markets analysts came out with a new report recently that forecasts the global OpenStack cloud market to grow at a CAGR of 30.49% during the period 2016-2020. Many enterprises now have large scale OpenStack deployments, and in conjunction with this week's OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, new study results are shedding light on exactly how entrenched this open cloud platform is in enteprises. The bottom line is: OpenStack is here to stay in enterprises. OpenStack deployments are getting bigger. Users are diversifying across industries. Enterprises report using the open source cloud software to support workloads that are critical to their businesses. These are among the findings in a recent study by 451 Research regarding OpenStack adoption among enterprise private cloud users. About 72 percent of OpenStack-based clouds are between 1,000 and 10,000 cores and three fourths choose OpenStack to increase operational efficiency and app deployment speed. The study was commissioned by the OpenStack Foundation. Here are some of the companies discussing their OpenStack deployments in Barcelona: Banco Santander, BBVA, CERN, China Mobile, Comcast, Constant Contact, Crowdstar, Deutsche Telekom, Folksam, Sky UK, Snapdeal, Swisscom, Telefonica, Verizon, Volkswagen, and Walmart. You can find some of the specific deployment stories from the companies at the OpenStack User Stories page.

Alpine Linux 3.4.5 released

The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.4.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system. This is a bugfix release of the v3.4 musl based branch, based on linux-4.4.27 kernels and it contains important security fixes for the kernel and for musl libc. Read more

Linux Graphics