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Microsoft

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.

Proprietary and Microsoft Software

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Microsoft
Software

More Evil from Microsoft

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Microsoft
  • You will use Cortana, Microsoft says

    Surprise, surprise. If things remain as they are, Windows 10 users who upgrade to the Anniversary Update won't be able to turn off Cortana anymore using the Cortana settings.

    If you compare the start menu settings of Cortana of the current version of Windows (version 1511) with those of the Anniversary Update (version 1607) you will notice that Cortana's off switch is no longer available (thanks Ian Paul @ PC World for spotting that)

  • You can't turn off Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update [Ed: A listening device, cannot switch it off anymore; keylogger next?]

    Microsoft made an interesting decision with Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, which is now in its final stages of development before it rolls out on August 2.

    Cortana, the personal digital assistant that replaced Windows 10’s search function and taps into Bing’s servers to answer your queries with contextual awareness, no longer has an off switch.

Microsoft and Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Linux for Windows 10 users

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Linux
Microsoft

MAYBE it’s how intrusive Windows 10 can be. Or maybe you’re just fed up with working under the constant threat of viruses and other malicious software. Or perhaps, you’re tired of paying thousands of pesos for applications and equally weary of breaking the law by installing pirated versions of the software. Indeed, there are many reasons to dump Windows in favor of the free and open-source Linux operating system. Here’s what Windows users who are contemplating the move should keep in mind.

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A Grand Experiment

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
BSD

The latest debacle over the "forced" upgrade to Windows 10 and Apple's increasingly locked-in ecosystem has got me thinking. Do I really need to use a proprietary operating system to get work done? And while I'm at it, do I need to use commercial cloud services to store my data?

I've always used Linux since the first time I tried installing Slackware in the mid-90s. In 1998 we were the first national TV show to install Linux live (Red Hat). And I've often advocated Ubuntu to people with older computers. I usually have at least one computer running Linux around, in the past couple of years Dell XPS laptops have been great choices. And a couple of months ago I bought a 17" Oryx laptop from System76, an Ubuntu system integrator, for use in studio.

But as time went by, even Ubuntu began to seem too commercial to me, and I've migrated to community supported Debian testing and the Arch-based Antergos distros for everything. (i use Antergos on my Oryx on the shows.)

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Also: Microsoft lays off remaining handful of Microsoft Press staff

Wine 1.9.15

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Microsoft
Software

GNU/Linux Desktop

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Intel Developer Has Been Working On Systemd Support For Chrome OS

    Google's Chrome OS currently relies upon Upstart as its init system, but work done by an Intel developer is pushing towards systemd support.

  • The Linux Setup - Jerry Bezencon, Linux Lite

    My name is Jerry Bezencon and I’m a technology consultant, investor, programmer and promoter of/advocate for free and open source software.

  • Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

    A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security.

    The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data privacy watchdog with the power to levy fines against companies. The CNIL has been investigating Windows 10 since its launch and has now drawn up a damning list of criticisms.

    "The CNIL has decided to issue a formal notice to Microsoft Corporation to comply with the Act within three months," said the group on Wednesday.

    "The purpose of the notice is not to prohibit any advertising on the company's services but, rather, to enable users to make their choice freely, having been properly informed of their rights. It has been decided to make the formal notice public due to, among other reasons, the seriousness of the breaches and the number of individuals concerned."

Feral Linux users should learn when to shut up

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Linux
Microsoft

The very words alpha in the name of the release indicate that the Skype which was announced on 14 July is not ready for prime time. That should be apparent to anyone with the IQ of the common cockroach.

But it is apparently not evident to some Linux users.

Things do not seem to be clear to some so-called Linux writers, either. Here is one claiming that "The Skype for Linux alpha does not have all the features that will be released into the final version."

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7 Differences Between Linux and Windows: User Expectations

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Linux
Microsoft

When I was a boy, I imagined that other languages were codes, whose words had a one-to-one correspondence to English. In the same way, many Windows users expect Linux to be an exact equivalent.

The reality, of course, is quite different. Both Windows and Linux are operating systems -- the programs used to run other applications -- but they often fulfill basic functions in different ways. Like any application, they have their own unspoken logic, and part of learning either is to learn their logic.

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Mesa News

  • Mesa 13 Lands In Fedora 25
    While it was disappointing that Fedora 25 shipped with Mesa 12.0, the Mesa 13.0 version has now been sent down as a stable release update.
  • Stable Mesa PPA Offers Latest Drivers on Ubuntu
    Games company Feral Interactive’s call for a PPA be set up to offer the latest Stable Mesa drivers on Ubuntu has been semi-answered. Emphasis on semi, there. As noted by Gaming on Linux, a new stable Mesa PPA is now available — hurrah — but it is not “official” in the way that the stress-tested Nvidia drivers PPA is — boo.
  • Ubuntu now has a community-built PPA for stable versions of Mesa
    Feral Interactive's call for a stable Mesa PPA has already made progress, as there's now a stable PPA available for Mesa. Paulo Dias "Padoka" has setup another PPA here: https://launchpad.net/~paulo-miguel-dias/+archive/ubuntu/pkppa Note: This is a community-run PPA, so it's possible it may someday go out of date and/or have issues at times. This is likely a stop-gap measure until something more official is done. It currently hosts Mesa 13.0.2 and LLVM 3.9 along with RADV and ANV the AMD and Intel open source Vulkan drivers.

ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5: is it near-perfect?

ROSA is a Linux distribution forked some time ago from Mandriva Linux by a team of Russian developers, Rosa Lab, or officially LLC NTC-IT ROSA. I reviewed their distributions several times: ROSA KDE R7, ROSA Desktop 2012 and even interviewed the ROSA team. The most recent release of ROSA is now ROSA Desktop Fresh R8, which is available in several flavours: MATE, GNOME 3, KDE 4 and Plasma 5. I decided to try the Plasma 5 edition of this distribution, especially as my interest to Plasma increased after the good impression Kubuntu 16.10 left on me. There are links to the ISO images available on the ROSA download page, and I used it to get my own version of this Linux distribution. The size of ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5 64-bit image is 1.9 Gb. The dd command helped me to "burn" the image to the USB stick. So, the USB drive is attached to my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go! Read more

Korora 25 Unleashed, Best KDE Distro, Notorious B.U.G.

Fedora-based Korora 25 was released Wednesday in 64-bit versions. Users are urged to upgrade. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen was seriously impressed by Fedora 25 and blogger DarkDuck said ROSA R8 is "near-perfect." Bruce Byfield discussed obstacles to Linux security just as a new kernel vulnerability comes to light. Dedoimedo declared the best KDE distro of 2016 and FOSSBYTES has 10 reasons to use Ubuntu. Read more

OnePlus 3T review: One of the best Android phones gets a little better

OnePlus has never been one to play by the rules. Back when it made its entrance into the crowded smartphone market with the One, it set itself apart by selling a premium handset at a mid-tier price and offering invitation-only purchases instead of the standard preorders. The 3T very much fits with this rebellious nature. Essentially a refreshed version of the 6-month-old OnePlus 3, the new phone undermines another smartphone constant: the yearly update. iPhone users are familiar with the concept of the mid-cycle model—a handset that keeps the same enclosure but beefs up features and internal components. But there’s always been a special hook with Apple’s S phones, a reason for current owners to rush out and buy the new model. The 3T could be seen as OnePlus’ attempt to mimic the success Apple has had with the formula (and in fact, the company says it picked T for the new phone’s surname simply because it’s a letter higher than S). Read more