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Microsoft

Microsoft Distrust, Lock-in, and Openwashing

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Microsoft
  • [Old] Microsoft, there is a way to win our trust

    The purpose of this post is to explain why I think it's both justified and crucial to be very skeptical of these claims from Microsoft, and what Microsoft can do to allay our well-warranted doubts. And Microsoft, in keeping with the open source tradition from which it arises, I hope you take this unsolicited tunking in the way it's intended.

  • Why not GitHub?

    GitHub has investors who do not care a whit for free software principles, and eventually the company will get acquired—maybe tomorrow, maybe next year—and as we all know, money changes everything.

    Don’t leave your project’s nerve center—its primary address, its means of contribution, its issue tracker, its website, its primary documentation, its continuous integration, everything—in a way you can’t redirect!—at the mercy of people who merely want a return on their investment, and do not care about the principles of a minority of angry nerds.

    Using Git does not require GitHub!

  • Introducing Microsoft’s AirSim, an open-source simulator for autonomous vehicles built on Unreal Engine

German ministry hellbent on taking back control of 'digital sovereignty', cutting dependency on Microsoft

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Microsoft

The Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern or BMI) in Germany says it will reduce reliance on specific IT suppliers, especially Microsoft, in order to strengthen its "digital sovereignty".

In an official statement, the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer states that “in order to ensure our digital sovereignty, we want to reduce dependencies on individual IT providers. We are also considering alternative programs to replace certain software. This will be done in close coordination with other EU countries.”

BMI commissioned a strategic market analysis from consultants PwC, resulting in a paper that was published last month. The paper examines the risks inherent in IT dependency on commercial software vendors, with a particular focus on Microsoft because of the heavy use of its products and the way they are interconnected, especially Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server and Office 365.

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The Latest Microsoft Openwashing

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Microsoft

Linux Foundation and Openwashing of Microsoft

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
OSS
  • The Reactive Foundation Launches To Support Next Phase of Software Architecture

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

    The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure.

    [...]

    “With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”

  • Kubernetes literally everywhere, smoking hot Java, and more industry trends

    As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

  • ONF Open Sources Stratum, Basis for Its Next-Gen SDN Stack
  • Open Data: Standardizing Agreements to Enable Easier Data Sharing and Collaboration [Ed: Typical openwashing of Microsoft by Dick Weisinger]

    There are an abundant number of open source licenses to choose from to support the public sharing and collaboration of software code. These licenses include Apache, BSD, GNU, MIT, Mozilla and others. That’s not the case though when it comes to public sharing of data.

Greg Kroah-Hartman: Microsoft exFAT "code is horrible"

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Will Publish exFAT Spec, but Linux Devs Aren’t Happy

    Greg Kroah-Hartman, who maintains the Linux -stable branch, defended the decision to take the code into staging, despite its current condition, writing: “I know the code is horrible, but I will gladly take horrible code into staging. If it bothers you, just please ignore it.”

    Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols writes that the move could be read as a partial answer to a request made by Bradley Kuhn when Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network (OIN)’s patent non-aggression pact last year. After noting that Microsoft had specifically shaken down Linux product vendors for licensing fees related to exFAT in the past, he called on Microsoft to “submit to upstream the exfat code themselves under GPLv2-or-later.” Microsoft has not taken this step. Instead, it is publishing the specification and supports the work to create a Linux driver that will add exFAT support to the kernel at a future time. While Microsoft is supporting this effort, it expects the actual code submission to be performed by others.

  • The Initial exFAT Driver Queued For Introduction With The Linux 5.4 Kernel

Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
Security
  • BuyDRM launches Linux support for DRM

    BuyDRM has announced Linux support for its MultiKey Server, a multi-DRM software platform specifically designed for deployments in remote or limited connectivity environments.

  • Some airlines are banning Apple’s MacBook Pros even if they weren’t recalled

    In June, Apple recalled the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, sold between September 2015 and February 2017, because the battery “may pose a fire safety risk,” and the FAA soon reminded airlines not to carry those laptops with defective batteries on board. But some airlines are now banning Apple laptops whether they’ve got a bad battery or not, as reported by Bloomberg.

  • More Airlines Ban MacBook Pros in Checked Luggage

    All 15-inch versions of Apple Inc.’s MacBook Pro must be carried in the cabin and switched off, Qantas said in a statement Wednesday. The rule went into effect Tuesday morning. Rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. went further on Aug. 26, banning all Apple laptops from checked-in luggage.

  • Popular PDF app was quietly plonking malware onto Android phones

    The security smart folks note that the app itself doesn't appear to be a malicious one, but rather it contains a trojan that gathers spyware and other malware from a malicious server and then runs in on a victim's phone. This trojan, dubbed Necro.n appears to have been sneaked into the app through the use of a legit-looking advertising library package.

    As such, the developers of the app, which has received some 100 million downloads, might not even realise their software is causing their users a malware headache.

  • [Cracker] Claims He Can ‘Turn Off 25,000 Cars’ At The Push Of A Button

    Your car’s immobilizer is supposed to be used for good. If a crook steals your car, it's possible for you to connect to the immobilizer, which tracks the vehicle and allows you to stop anyone from turning on the engine. But with one particular immobilizer - the U.K.-made SmarTrack tool from Global Telemetrics - an easy-to-hack vulnerability meant it was simple for researchers at Pen Test Partners to turn on the immobilizer permanently, without the customer knowing a thing.

    To prove it was possible, the researchers from British cybersecurity company Pen Test Partners hacked the vehicle of one of their own employees, disabling his car whilst they were in the U.K. and he was in Greece, not long before he was due to head to a wedding.

  • French cyberpolice, Avast and FBI neutralise global 'botnet' [iophk: Windows TCO]

    French police have neutralised a [cracking] operation that had taken control of more than 850,000 computers, mainly in Latin America, while also managing to remove the malware from the infected devices.

    The agents went into action last spring after the Czech antivirus firm Avast alerted them to the software worm, called Retadup, that was being controlled by a server in the Paris region.

  • Putting an end to Retadup: A malicious worm that infected hundreds of thousands [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Retadup is a malicious worm affecting Windows machines throughout Latin America. Its objective is to achieve persistence on its victims’ computers, to spread itself far and wide and to install additional malware payloads on infected machines. In the vast majority of cases, the installed payload is a piece of malware mining cryptocurrency on the malware authors’ behalf. However, in some cases, we have also observed Retadup distributing the Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer.

  • Authorities free 850,000 machines from grasp of Retadup worm [iophk: Windows TCO]

    After gaining persistence, Retadup goes on to distribute secondary malware on infected machines. It most commonly delivers a Monero cryptomining program, but also has been observed spreading over malware programs including Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer, Avast reports.

    The vast majority of Retadup victims whose infections were neutralized in last month’s crackdown are based in Latin American countries. However, the law enforcement operation itself specifically targeted C2 infrastructure based in France and the U.S.

  • Report finds majority of 2019 ransomware attacks have targeted state and local governments [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The majority of ransomware attacks in the U.S. in 2019 have targeted state and local governments, a report published Wednesday by cybersecurity group Barracuda Networks found.

    The report counted a total of 55 ransomware attacks on U.S. state and local government entities between January and July of 2019. These attacks involve a malicious actor or group encrypting a network and asking for money, often in the form of bitcoin, to allow the user access.

  • Threat Spotlight: Government Ransomware Attacks [iophk: this is disinformation which fails to steer potential victims away from Windows and towards GNU/Linux or one of the BSDs]

    Barracuda researchers have identified more than 50 cities and towns attacked so far this year. The team’s recent analysis of hundreds of attacks across a broad set of targets revealed that government organizations are the intended victims of nearly two-thirds of all ransomware attacks. Local, county, and state governments have all been targets, including schools, libraries, courts, and other entities.

    Here’s a closer look at state and local government ransomware attacks and solutions to help detect, block, and recover from them.

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Apps 19.08, Huawei – Destination Linux 135

Filed under
Microsoft

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Applications, CutiePi Open Source Tablet, Huawei To Create Open Source Foundation, Rust Removes Linux Support, Stranded Deep Survival Game Fix

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The best free alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Many people don’t realise that there is high-quality, free software available that can compete with Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system.

While you might feel comfortable using traditional programs and be hesitant to change, you could save thousands of rand just by choosing high-quality freeware over paid software.

With the right products, it is possible to run a suite of useful programs on your computer without spending a cent.

Read more

'No Man's Sky Beyond' Just Got Patched For Linux, Even Though It's A Windows-Only PC Game

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Gaming

Yep, it's right there in the notes for Beyond Patch 2.08a: "Fixed Steam VR in Linux."

The game was recently treated to a massive update which makes it almost resemble an MMO. There are new social hubs, 16-32 player multiplayer, the addition of virtual reality, Vulkan API support and quite a bit more of everything.

As you probably know, Hello Games is a fairly small indie game studio, and it never developed a native Linux version of No Man's Sky. But that's OK, because the game proudly bears a "Gold" rating on ProtonDB, a website that tracks Steam Play compatibility with Windows games.

Because Proton translates Windows-exclusive game APIs like DirectX to Vulkan (an API that Linux understands), this allows thousands of games that never appeared on Linux to work anyway, simply by installing it on the Steam for Linux client. Proton also has support for SteamVR, meaning many VR titles also run well.

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Also: Zombie apocalypse action RPG Zombasite has a big update and a big sale to match

Microsoft’s latest Surface updates are causing CPU and Wi-Fi issues

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Microsoft

Microsoft is working to fix CPU throttling on the company’s latest Surface devices, while owners complain of Wi-Fi issues, too. “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to TechRepublic. “We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

The CPU throttling appears to be affecting both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 6, according to a variety of complaints on Reddit. Processors are getting throttled all the way down to a measly 400MHz, and it’s not immediately clear what is causing the problems. TechRepublic reports that the throttling appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag being locked on by mistake, causing the CPU to throttle as it thinks it’s at a thermal limit.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B - A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input. The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME: Wayland With MATE, NetworkManager and Sébastien Wilmet

  • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

    Canonical's Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

  • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

    NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner. 

  • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

    And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.