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Microsoft

Here’s the glaring potential flaw in Windows 10X devices as Chromebook competitors

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Imagine an operating system that’s focused on using the web browser and you can’t install traditional desktop apps on. No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS. I’m talking about upcoming devices running Microsoft Windows 10X, a “lite” software platform that is reportedly debuting in roughly 9 months.

You may not recall that Microsoft tried a similar approach in 2012 with Windows RT and the first Surface device.

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Also: Linux Marketshare Dipped in July – But Not By Much! [Ed: No, it is wrong to base one's assessment on a Microsoft partner that pretends Android, ChromeOS etc. don't even exist]

Has Ubuntu 20.04 Finally Come Far Enough to Take on Windows? It Sure Seems Like It

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Microsoft Windows has become the default operating system on Laptops and PC. So much so that Laptops now come with Windows pre-installed. Previously it used to be the case that many laptop manufacturers used to offer their products with no operating system or DOS. Since Windows 10 came into the world everything changed. You can run Windows 10 for free and get all the updates as well and without using any cracked versions. One could even argue that Microsoft went the Google route with Windows. So is windows better now or not?

Well, it certainly seems that offering your product for free does come with a few compromises. One of the biggest ones is the compromise on Privacy. Most people are just average users who buy a machine and just use it without reading the terms of service and don’t tinker around with the settings. So is it worth it to use Windows still? The answer depends from one person to another but most users will argue that Windows has a polished UI and as a ton of support and software that will run flawlessly on the OS. That aspect of the argument is true if you are a content creator or video editor but if you are a developer or just a tech nerd then it might not be the case.

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Microsoft’s Edge browser is crashing if you have Google set as default search

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Microsoft

Microsoft’s new Edge browser started randomly crashing when users typed into the address bar tonight. The issues appear to have affected Edge users who have selected Google as the default search engine. Microsoft investigated the problem and now says it’s believed to have been resolved.

Microsoft recommends turning off Search Suggestions in edge://settings/search. The Verge has tested this workaround and it solves the problem if you have Google set as your default search engine.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers For Windows Users Looking to Switch to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Many people know “Linux” as an operating system, but the term “Linux” is actually referring to the Linux kernel. The kernel is the core of an operating system that controls and facilitates interactions between hardware and software components.

When packaged with different desktop environment and software, it becomes an operating system, just like Windows or macOS. More accurately, it should be called a “Linux distribution” instead of “Linux”.

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Hack Brief: Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old ‘Wormable’ Bug

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially "wormable" vulnerability—meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction—has appeared in Microsoft's implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company's researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years.

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Microsoft slips Bing search into Android through Outlook

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine.

Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world.

The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing.

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Also: Microsoft caught sneaking Bing search onto phones with the Outlook app

Microsoft's clever trick to get Android users search on Bing instead of Google

Microsoft to pull support for PHP

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
  • Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

    Born-again open-source fan Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of PHP by, er, pulling its support for the scripting language that is beloved (or dreaded) by server operators the world over.

    Microsoft engineer Dale Hirt confirmed the change on the PHP mailing list, warning that the Windows behemoth was not "going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond."

    Current versions, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, will continue to receive support as per the community's cadence, which sees around two years of bug squashing followed by a year of security fixes. PHP 7.4 emerged last November, so Microsoft's benevolence should last until 2022 at which point the plug will be pulled.

    Register reader Alain Williams, who tipped us off to Hirt's posting, remarked: "I suspect that it means that Microsoft will not provide any resources to make PHP 8 work but expect others to do so instead."

    After thanking the Microsoft gang for its work over the years, PHP 8.0 Release Manager Sara Golemon said: "I won't say I'm not bummed," before expressing the hope that some sort of alternative might be worked out by the end of the year, when version 8 is due to drop.

  • [PHP-DEV] Microsoft Support of PHP on Windows

    Hello PHP Internals,

    My name is Dale Hirt and I am the project manager for PHP inside Microsoft.

    We currently support PHP with development and build efforts for PHP 7.3, and PHP 7.4. In addition,
    we help with building PHP 7.2 on Windows when security fixes are required..

    However, as PHP 8.0 is now ramping up, we wanted to let the community know what our current plans
    are going forward.

    We know that the current cadence is 2 years from release for bug fixes, and 1 year after that for
    security fixes. This means that PHP 7.2 will be going out of support in November. PHP 7.3 will be
    going into security fix mode only in November. PHP 7.4 will continue to have another year of bug
    fix and then one year of security fixes. We are committed to maintaining development and building
    of PHP on Windows for 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 as long as they are officially supported. We are not,
    however, going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond.

Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

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Graphics: Mesa 20.1.3 and Collabora Working for Microsoft

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Microsoft
  • mesa 20.1.3

    Hi all,

    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

    There's a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to
    our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

    Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

  • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

    Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

  • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

    That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it's principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

    Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

  • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

    With over 15 years' experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

    Based in Canada, India, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Cyprus, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low

Filed under
Microsoft

If I told you that my entire computer screen just got taken over by a new app that I’d never installed or asked for — it just magically appeared on my desktop, my taskbar, and preempted my next website launch — you’d probably tell me to run a virus scanner and stay away from shady websites, no?

But the insanely intrusive app I’m talking about isn’t a piece of ransomware. It’s Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser, which the company is now force-feeding users via an automatic update to Windows.

Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for...

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The 10 Best KDE Plasma Widgets for KDE Desktop Environment

If you were looking for the best KDE Plasma widgets for your Linux desktop, then you are in the right place. There is much debate about the fact of who implemented the widget feature first on a computer GUI. But nobody can deny that the widgets have brought a new era in the modern user interface. Most of the people rely on beautiful widgets for performing different tasks without opening the main instance of the program. Although Windows ditched their native desktop widgets feature with their Windows 8 for the sake of the live tiles. Linux still has a great library of widgets that are being maintained by the developer community. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.7.13, 5.4.56, 4.19.137, and 4.14.192

  • Linux 5.7.13
    I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.13 kernel. All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 5.4.56
  • Linux 4.19.137
  • Linux 4.14.192

Games: Cursed Gem, Last Epoch, Jagged Alliance 2 and More

  • Cursed Gem is a pretty charming and amusing challenging platformer out now

    I have to admit, Cursed Gem is quite a nice surprise. Throwing in a little comedy into a challenging pixel-art platformer.

  • Action RPG 'Last Epoch' laughs at your free time with the biggest update ever

    Free time be damned, it's time to jump back into Last Epoch for another dozen hours or so because Eleventh Hour Games clearly don't want me to sleep tonight. On August 4 they released update 0.7.9, which they said was the "BIGGEST update in Last Epoch history". What's the big fuss about with this update? It splits off The Monolith of Fate end game into its own zone, with several islands each containing "a Timeline representing a reality that never was". Confused? Well, Last Epoch is an action RPG that involves a wee bit of time travel. As you progress and conquer timelines, you get all sorts of fancy rewards and you they're repeatable with different layouts. Sounds awesome.

  • Minesweeper but it's a rogue-lite with tons of features - DemonCrawl is out for Linux PC

    Oh no, I think DemonCrawl might just end up being my next 100 hour game and it's now available for Linux PC. Released originally in November 2019, the developer decided to support Linux to ensure people can get the best experience rather than relying on the Proton compatibility layer. Two weeks after announcing it and the Linux version has been released.

  • Jagged Alliance 2 game engine 'Stracciatella' has a big new release

    The community working to keep the classic Jagged Alliance 2 alive with the Stracciatella game engine have put out their first release in a few years. With the Stracciatella project their aim is to provide good cross-platform support, improve stability, fix bugs and provide a stable platform for mod development. It's a noble aim, especially when it's an old game long left behind by the original teams and in this case the original developer and publisher no longer even exist.

  • Master of Orion inspired open source 4x strategy FreeOrion has a new release

    Inspired originally by Master of Orion, the free and open source FreeOrion project has a brand new release. For the FreeOrion, this was a reasonably quick release considering they had another release back in February and they don't usually update too often. For a good reason this time though, as they've managed to do a major tech move from Python 2 to 3 to enable FreeOrion to stay up to date with modern code. That wasn't the only big change though.

  • Take an emotional trip through the mind in Into A Dream out now

    Into A Dream is a brand new release from indie developer Filipe F. Thomaz, telling a tale about diving into the mind of someone diagnosed with severe depression. You're quite literally exploring their mind too, using the power of medical science. You will be travelling through the mind of Luke Williams, as their last hope before "fading away". You need to find the events that led to their darkened mind, meeting family and friends (well, memories of them anyway) while finding a way to "trick him into letting you access his darker dreams and unveil the emotional, powerful and heartbreaking journey of his life".

  • Need another building and farming RPG? Verdant Village enters Steam Early Access

    Littlewood and Stardew Valley not enough for you? Need more farming, crafting and exploration? Verdant Village is now live in Early Access on Steam. "You've washed ashore in a foreign land. With nothing to your name other than a few tools you’ll have to learn how to live off the land. Explore, grow crops, and meet the locals. How you live is up to you. Can you create a new life for yourself in the small town of Amberglen?"—well, luckily for you the King seems nice and gave you an abandoned piece of land to call your own and it's up to you to bring it back to life.

LibreOffice 7.0 is Finally Available Now! Here are the Key Changes in this Major Release

The much awaited LibreOffice 7.0 is finally released. Check out the key changes in this new release and learn how to get the latest release on your Linux distribution. Read more