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Microsoft

Microsoft patches serious security flaws in Azure

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Microsoft

Security researchers at Check Point have identified two major security flaws in Microsoft Azure that could be exploited by hackers to gain access to sensitive information stored on machines running Azure or to take over Azure servers.

The first security flaw was discovered in Azure Stack and if exploited, it would enable a hacker to gain access to screenshots and other sensitive information from machines running Azure.

Azure stack is a cloud computing software solution that was developed by Microsoft to allow enterprises to deliver Azure services from their own data centers. The software giant created Azure Stack as a means of helping organizations embrace hybrid cloud computing on their own terms while still being able to address business and technical considerations.

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Opposition grows to Microsoft's make-Chrome-use-Bing plan for Office 365 customers

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Google
Microsoft
Web

Resistance has mounted over the last several days to Microsoft's decision to change the default search engine of Google's Chrome to Bing on personal computers running Office 365 ProPlus.

Microsoft quietly announced the move Jan. 21 on its Microsoft 365 Roadmap page, then on Jan. 22 published support documents with additional information and a blog post that stated the company's rationale.

Commentary on Microsoft's blog, the support document and elsewhere — including an Office 365 website dedicated to user requests — was almost universally negative.

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"You Don't Own What You Buy" and Openwashed Microsoft Entrapment

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Microsoft
  • You Don't Own What You Buy: The Tetris Edition

    In the convoluted realm that has become copyright, licensing agreements, and SaaS-style everything, we've had something of a running series of posts that focus on the bewildering concept that we no longer own what we buy. Between movies simply being disappeared, features on gaming consoles being obliterated via firmware update, and entire eBook platforms simply ceasing to work, the benefits of handing over very real dollars have never been more fleeting.

  • The Surface Duo SDK is now available for macOS and Linux
  • Microsoft releases open source source code analyzer

    Looking to aid developers who rely on external software components, Microsoft has introduced a source code analyzer, Microsoft Application Inspector, to help surface features and other characteristics of source code. 

    Downloadable from GitHub, the cross-platform command-line tool is designed for scanning components prior to use to assist in determining what the software is or what it does. The data it provides can be useful in reducing the time needed to determine what software components do by examining the source code directly rather than relying on documentation. 

Internet Wars: Microsoft EEE Against Mozilla's Rust, Moving From Chrome to Mozilla Firefox, Cake PR and Microsoft Still Playing Dirty

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Google
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Developers love Rust programming language: Here's why

    In fact, Rust has been voted the most-loved language for the past four years in Stack Overflow's annual developer surveys, even though 97% of respondents haven't used it. So how has it become the most-loved programming language?

    "The short answer is that Rust solves pain points present in many other languages, providing a solid step forward with a limited number of downsides," explains Jake Goulding on Stack Overflow's blog.

    [...]

    Mozilla Research describes Rust as a "systems programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism".

    It's often seen as an alternative to systems programming languages like C and C++ that developers use to create game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, and VR simulation engines. Mozilla, which continues to sponsor the project, says programmers can use Rust to make software that's less prone to bugs and attacks.

  • I finally switched from Chrome to Mozilla Firefox — and you should too

    I have been in an on-and-off relationship with Mozilla Firefox for the past five years. Every time I’d get ecstatic over a major new Firefox update — hoping to, at long last, break free from the hegemony of Google Chrome — my hopes would be crushed as soon as I began browsing the web like I normally do.

    Firefox’s performance would fall noticeably short and struggle to keep up with my workflow, sending me scurrying back to Google Chrome after a few minutes of poking around. No matter how compelling the rest of Mozilla’s offerings were, they could never convince me to hit that “Yes” button whenever Firefox asked whether I’d like to set it as my default browser. Catching up to Chrome almost started to seem like a far-fetched goal for Firefox — until recently.

    [...]

    Today, in addition to being fast, Firefox is resource-efficient, unlike most of its peers. I don’t have to think twice before firing up yet another tab. It’s rare that I’m forced to close an existing tab to make room for a new one. On Firefox, my 2015 MacBook Pro’s fans don’t blast past my noise-canceling headphones, which happened fairly regularly on Chrome as it pushed my laptop’s fans to their helicopter-like limits to keep things running.

    This rare balance of efficiency and performance is the result of the countless under-the-hood upgrades Firefox has rolled out in the last couple of years. One of the recent major performance updates arrived in May when Mozilla natively integrated a handful of clever optimizations for which users previously had to rely on third-party extensions.

  • Passive aggressive baking at its finest

    Cakes are a long standing weapon in the browser wars. Whenever a major browser hits a new milestone or makes an important release, cakes are rapidly exchanged.

  • Microsoft will never win the search engine wars by forcing people to use Bing

    Bing is known as the default search engine for Windows, and not much else. Microsoft’s solution? To forcibly install a Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users.

    The company says that this is designed for enterprise and business users to find relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar, but we all know Microsoft is desperate to get more people using its search engine. It sounds harmless, but here’s why forcing people to use Bing won’t help Microsoft in the long run.

    [...]

    Fast forward to today, Bing still has a few problems that need to be addressed, and where Microsoft should put some extra attention towards, instead of forcing Bing down people’s throats. These include both search relevance and design — the two core areas of any search engine.

    First of all, there is a search relevance. In our testing, searching for Digital Trends on Google and Bing provide two different results. On Bing, we get a look at some older Digital Trends articles, which at the time of this writing, were older stories from 4, 6, and 3 hours ago. Compared that to Google, and articles are more relevant pulled from a most recent time frame.

Death of Vista 7 as Opportunity for GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Free Software Foundation suggests Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7... as open source

    More than 10 years on from its campaign to persuade users to dump Windows 7 for a non-proprietary alternative, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has kicked off a petition to urge Microsoft to open-source the recently snuffed software.

    On the face of it, the logic seems pretty simple. On 14 January Windows 7 reached its end of life as Microsoft turned off the free security update taps with a final fix (which seemed to bork desktop wallpapers for some users).

    "Its life doesn't have to end," cried the foundation. "We call on Microsoft to upcycle it instead."

    Unfortunately, the FSF couldn't resist a final dig, saying the killing of the OS had brought to an end "its updates as well as its 10 years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security."

  • Windows 7 Alternatives

    Lets go over all the alternatives you can switch to if you are stuck on Windows 7 still. This will go over upgrading to Windows 10, Linux, or Other...

  • A new glimmer of hope for Linux

    Linux desktop operating system struggle after it won the title of the best server system “undisputedly”, so the GNU Linux developers began making plans to bring in more users, but it was not as effective as expected (in another article, we will take a look at these plans and the reasons for their lack of effectiveness).

    On January 14, 2020, and in light of repeated disappointments, a new glimmer of hope appeared, as Microsoft announced the end of support for Windows 7, which has a market share of more than 28%, which is a percentage that it cannot be taken lightly, as if the GNU Linux developers succeed in attracting Windows 7 refugees, it will be the linux century deal that will attract investors and major software companies (Adobe and others) and the painful blow to Microsoft that will make the company think many times before any step.

Microsoft Disasters, Dirty (Maybe Illegal) Tricks and Lies

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Microsoft
  • WindiLeaks: 250 million Microsoft customer support records dating back to 2005 exposed to open internet

    Five identical Elasticsearch databases containing 250 million records of Microsoft customer support incidents were exposed on the internet for all to see for at least two days right at the end of 2019.

    On 28 December 2019, these databases were found by BinaryEdge, which crawls the internet looking for exposed data. This was then picked up by security researcher Bob Diachenko, who reported the problem to Microsoft.

    Microsoft secured the databases over 30-31 December, winning praise from Diachenko for "quick turnaround on this despite [it being] New Year's Eve".

    That is cold comfort for customers whose data was exposed. What has been picked up by security researchers may well also have been found by criminals.

  • Microsoft to Force Bing Search in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus Users

    Microsoft has announced that they will install a new Google Chrome extension for some Office 365 ProPlus customers that will force the browser to use Bing as the default search engine "to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar."

    The Microsoft Search in Bing extension will be added to all new Office 365 ProPlus installations and when updating to newer releases. The only customers that won't have this Chrome extension installed automatically are those that already have set Bing as their default Chrome search engine.

  • Top 7 Predictions for Linux and Open Source In 2020 {Ed: This repeats the lie that GitHub is "Open Source" when in fact it was all along a proprietary software trap]

    When it comes to prediction for Linux and open source in 2020, there are already a lot to take in to consider that 2020 will be a very eventful year in the open source community. 2020 already looks like a year with so much to offer already, so, I will quickly run through what the predictions are for the year.

    [...]

    This is something that looks almost certain to hope that you could ask if I was really predicting or reporting. In 2020, expect there will be more smartphones running on Linux not androids and there will be Linux applications running on it, not android applications.

    It was earlier announced that, there will be bulk shipping of Purism's Librem 5 in 2020. We also expect that Pine64's Pine phone to start shipping in 2020 as well. With these two Linux-powered smart phones leading the way, you can expect there'll be more to come in 2020.

    Not just smartphones now, I expect to see laptops running Linux fast underway, especially from companies like Dell, Entroware, Slimbook, and Tuxedo. So, we might also get to see a Linux laptop not based on the combo of Intel/NVidia.

Entrapment by Microsoft GitHub or Censorship by Microsoft

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Microsoft
  • Docker, Perl and GitHub

    There are many reasons to use Docker Images, from setting up a development environment to pushing your code to production. The primary/first reason which pushes me to start using some Docker Images is "Continuous Integration".

    When maintaining a Perl package used by multiple users/companies (or not), you absolutely want to know how your code behaves on different versions of Perl. Even if you could have multiple versions of Perl installed on your development environment, most of the time, the development is only performed using a single version of Perl.

    Continuous Integration system like Travis CI or GitHub Workflows allows you to run your test suite on every push, pull request... without the need of testing manually on all Perl Versions.

    When testing your code on a container (or Virtual Machine) you do not want to install or compile a fresh version of Perl each time... This is a slow operation, that ideally, should be done once.

    This is where Docker Images come to the rescue. They are "snapshots" of a pre-set linux environment.

  • Week notes - 2020 w03 - worklog - Murphy

    Also GitHub decided to revive our anonymous bugs, around 39,000 bugs are back. We haven't yet reactivated our anonymous reporting.

  • Regula adds another element of control to cloud infrastructure as code

    Regula is protected under the GNU Affero General Public License, and, even though it is heavily referenced in the documentation, supposed to work independently from other, commercial Fugue projects.

Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft's Rust-Based Project Verona Reaches Open Source on GitHub [Ed: Microsoft is openwashing things in its proprietary software platform, GitHub]
  • webcompat.com: Project belt-on.

    So last week, on Friday (Japanese time), I woke up with a website being half disabled and then completely disabled. We had been banned by GitHub because of illegal content we failed to flag early enough. And GitHub did what they should do.

    Oh… and last but not least… mike asked me what Belt-on meant. I guess so let's make it more explicit.

  • The open source licence debate: what we need to know [Ed: ComputerWeekly should know that GitHub is proprietary software and does not speak for “Open Source”, it's entrapping it]

    Chief operating officer (COO) for GitHub Erica Brescia noted that, from her perspective, she is seeing an “increasing tension” between open source projects and those that are building services on top of open source, such as cloud vendors with their database services.

How to Upgrade From Windows 7 to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

If you’re still using Windows 7 because you just don’t like Windows 10, that’s understandable. But there’s an alternative upgrade path: You can install Linux on your PC for free, and you’ll have a supported operating system that’s still getting updates.

This is easier than you might think. You can try Linux on your PC before installing it, and you can even install it alongside Windows 7 when you make the leap. Here’s what you need to know.

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The Easiest Way to Switch from Windows 7 to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Welcome to the last day of Windows 7—the last day Microsoft is giving out security updates for the antiquated operating system, that is. While you have plenty of options for upgrading Windows 7, and even a hack that might be able to extend your updates for years, one of the best things you can do if you don’t want to make the jump to Windows 10 is to take a 90-degree turn toward Linux.

Yes, Linux. Don’t be scared. While your first thought is probably, “that’s too complicated for me,” hear me out. There are a number of Linux distributions that look and feel like the Windows you’re already familiar with. You won’t find yourself sitting in front of a command prompt, wondering what to do next, unless that’s the kind of experience you want. Otherwise, Linux isn’t terrifying in the slightest.

If you’re sticking with Windows 7 because of a specific reason—apps that only work on that version of the OS and nothing else—we even have a workaround for that, too: virtualizing Windows 7 so you can still access it in a safe, as-you-need-it fashion (assuming your system can handle it).

Stick with us, and we’ll show you just how easy it is to switch to Linux and all the great apps that couldn’t be any easier to download and install in the OS. (We do love package managers.)

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After Parler, Google Targets Blockchain-based ‘Free Speech’ Social Network Minds

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today's leftovers

  • How one hacker's push to secure the internet became a crucial part of Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems [Was: "How Jason A. Donenfeld created secure VPN WireGuard, included in Linux"
  • Fedora program update: 2021-02

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Self-Contained Change proposals for Fedora 34 are due by Tuesday 19 January. The mass rebuild begins on 20 January. Not next week, but normally I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • App Spotlight: Dictionary

    Among the easily installable and ad-free apps within the PureOS store is Dictionary. This is a simple tool that lets you search through numerous online or local dictionaries and translation sources.

  • Comet Lake-S appears on COM Express

    Portwell’s Linux-ready “PCOM-B655VGL” Basic Type 6 module features Intel’s up to 10-core, 10th Gen Comet Lake-S plus up to 32GB DDR4, 3x DDI, 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, and PCIe x16 and 8x PCIe x8 Gen3.

  • RetroPie booze barrel
  • 20 years of Drupal: Founder Dries Buytaert on API first, the end of breaking compatibility, and JavaScript bloat

    Content management system Drupal is 20 years old, prompting its founder to talk to about its evolving role, why it shifted from a policy of breaking compatibility with each release, and concerns about JavaScript bloat causing issues for those with poor connectivity. "When I started Drupal 20 years ago I built it for myself, for me with my friends," Buytaert told us. That was at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in 2000. He wrote a small message board. When he graduated he put it on the web, intending to call it dorp, which is Dutch for village. He mistyped it as drop, creating drop.org. Drupal is derived from the English pronunciation of druppel, Dutch for drop. Buytaert is now project lead for Drupal and CTO of Acquia, a cloud platform for marketing sites.

  • What Can We Learn From SQL’s 50 Year Reign? A Story of 2 Turing Awards

    Many of the programming languages we use today were not introduced until the 90s (Java was introduced in 1996). However, there is one programming language that is still as popular today as it was when it was introduced nearly 50 years ago: SQL.

    This article will discuss the events that led to the introduction of relational databases, why SQL grew in popularity, and what we can learn from its success.

  • ScyllaDB NoSQL database to improve with Project Circe

    The open source SycllaDB NoSQL database continues to gain new features and users as it ramps up its plans for 2021. At the Scylla Summit 2021 virtual event which ran from Jan. 12-14, ScyllaDB CEO Dor Laor shared new features and the roadmap for the NoSQL database's future. A key part of ScyllaDB's roadmap is Project Circe, a yearlong initiative that aims to bring new performance and consistency to the database. The Summit was also highlighted by multiple users that outlined their ScyllaDB deployments, including Ticketmaster, Expedia Group, Zillow and GE Healthcare.

  • "Studio" Tour Of An Australian Linux Zoomer

    Ever wondered what my "studio" actually looks like outside of the normal shot, well today you can find out and I use the term studio very loosly, this is my bedroom with some lights set up but none the less it's a make shift studio and it's what I use to make 15+ videos a week.

  • DistroToot Is Now Accepting New Members

    DistroToot is my own personal Mastodon instance. Mastodon is a decentralized, federated micro-blogging platform. Essentially, it is a free and open source Twitter. People have asked me if I would open up DistroToot to accept other members (not just myself).

Software: DUF, Systemd Applet, and PDF

  • duf - Disk Usage/Free Utility for Linux, BSD, macOS & Windows - nixCraft

    We use the df command to show how much disk space is free on mounted file systems in Linux, macOS, and Unix-like systems. We also have the du command to estimate file space usage. We now have another fancy and fantastic looking tool called duf to display statistics on free disk space in Unix, Linux, macOS, *BSD, Android, and Windows written in Golang.

  • Systemd Applet Release - Michael Jansen, Drive By Coding

    Given no one seems to be interested in working on the applet (boo) I decided to tackle the bug myself. Apparently the fact it worked previously was the result of happenstance. The systemd manager processes only send out signals after at least one process told them to do so. It seems that some process did that on my computer before but no more.

  • 5 Best free PDF editors for Ubuntu Linux in 2021 [Ed: Some of these are proprietary software, which GNU/Linux users do not need for any practical reason]

    PDF readers and editors are a popular part of our day-to-day work related to documents, ebooks, presentations, whitePaper, and more because of PDF’s portability and security. However, when it comes to reader application for PDF files, you will generally find a one on Linux desktop systems, easily. However, PDF editors may still need to be installed, which are available only a handful. Adobe developed the PDF (portable document format) in such a way that it can present the layout in the final document as it is, anywhere, regardless of the OS system or software in which you are going to use it later. Therefore, editing PDF files afterward is not an easy task- apart from the standard note and comment functions. However, Adobe offers a professional PDF editor for Mac and Windows but that also has limited capabilities. This means we can edit all PDF files not thoroughly like we do Word documents.

Programming Leftovers

  • Better Fujitsu A64FX Support Arrives For GCC, LLVM Clang Compilers - Phoronix

    The high performance Fujitsu A64FX ARM processor now has the possibility of performing even better if relying upon the upstream open-source compilers from GCC and LLVM. The Fujitsu A64FX, which powers the "Fugaku" supercomputer among other accomplishments, has seen open-source compiler work going back a year while now the latest upstream GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and LLVM Clang are seeing more complete support.

  • 4 DevOps books to read this year | Opensource.com

    We have just entered 2021, and DevOps will become much more relevant. It is smack dab in the spotlight given that the world is experiencing a pandemic and businesses are fighting to stay digitally relevant and competitive.

  • Vger security analysis

    I would like to share about Vger internals in regards to how the security was thought to protect vger users and host systems.

  • After years of dithering companies are embracing automation

    Bosses have boasted of automating their operations for years without an awful lot to show for it. Covid-19 has spurred them to put their money where their mouths are. Hernan Saenz of Bain, a consultancy, reckons that between now and 2030 American firms will invest $10trn in automation. Nigel Vaz, chief executive of Publicis Sapient, a big digital consultancy, says that the downturn offers bosses the perfect cover. “The unrelenting pressure for short-term financial results from investors has temporarily been suspended,” he says. “Firms are not just going back pre-pandemic, but completely reimagining how they work,” says Susan Lund, co-author of a forthcoming report from the McKinsey Global Institute, a think-tank. A recent survey by the institute’s sister consultancy found that two-thirds of global firms are doubling down on automation.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 1.0.6: Some Updates

    The Rcpp team is proud to announce release 1.0.6 of Rcpp which arrived at CRAN earlier today, and has been uploaded to Debian too. Windows and macOS builds should appear at CRAN in the next few days. This marks the first release on the new six-months cycle announced with release 1.0.5 in July. As reminder, interim ‘dev’ or ‘rc’ releases will often be available in the Rcpp drat repo; this cycle there were four. Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing R with C or C++ code. As of today, 2174 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further (which is an 8.5% increase just since the last release), along with 207 in BioConductor.

  • Use Bash Strict Mode (Unless You Love Debugging)

    Let's start with the punchline. Your bash scripts will be more robust, reliable and maintainable if you start them like this:

    	#!/bin/bash
    	set -euo pipefail
    	IFS=$'\n\t'
     

    I call this the unofficial bash strict mode. This causes bash to behave in a way that makes many classes of subtle bugs impossible. You'll spend much less time debugging, and also avoid having unexpected complications in production.

    There is a short-term downside: these settings make certain common bash idioms harder to work with. Most have simple workarounds, detailed below: jump to Issues & Solutions. But first, let's look at what these obscure lines actually do.

  • Java Built-In Functional Interfaces Cheatsheet and Examples

    In order to use lambda expressions in Java 8, you need a functional interface. For most of your needs, you can use the already built ones in Java which are as follows...