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Microsoft

China Prepares To Drop Microsoft Windows -- Blames U.S. Hacking Threat

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

First there have been the drafting of cybersecurity regulations that could see U.S. technology imports blocked on national security grounds. Now comes the news, first broken online by the Epoch Times this week, that China is preparing to replace the Windows operating system with an alternative that is being developed within China in order to "prevent the United States from hacking into China's military network."

Quoting a report from a Canadian military print publication called Kanwa Asian Defence, the Epoch Times revealed how the Internet Security Information Leadership Group (ISILG) in China has been created in order to replace Windows, and the UNIX system, used by the Chinese military.

The ISILG is part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and falls directly under the control of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This would make a lot of sense given that the United States Cyber Command was similarly formed to provide a separation between network security and national security groups.

I can certainly see how the technology environment has turned toxic at a national security level for countries on both sides of the East-West divide. While the West has become increasingly hostile towards Huawei, Chinese attention has been focused on networking technology made in the West. The Kanwa report talks of the ISILG believing that German-developed programmable logic controllers used in much of the Chinese industrial sector posing risks to national security.

Starting with the Edward Snowden NSA document leaks back in 2013 and bolstered by the Shadow Brokers group releasing NSA-developed malware more recently, China fears that U.S. intelligence agencies have the necessary tools to easily hack into operating systems such as Windows, and UNIX or Linux for that matter, and spy on Chinese military secrets.

The irony of a nation state oft-associated with cyber-attacks on Western targets, both in the business and government spheres, blaming the U.S. hacking capability for the need to develop a custom OS is not lost on me.

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Chinese Military Will Replace Windows Operating System

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The Chinese regime is getting ready to replace the Windows operating system in its military. The new operating system is independently developed by China, and it would prevent the United States from hacking into China’s military network.

An “Internet Security Information Leadership Group” was established to perform the task of replacing the Windows operating system, according to a report published on May 11 by Canada-based military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence.

The group does not trust the “UNIX” multi-user, multi-stroke operating system either, which is used in some of the servers within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kanwa reported. Therefore, Chinese authorities ordered to develop an operating system dedicated to the Chinese military.

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Linux Still Yields Better Multi-Threaded Performance On AMD Threadripper Against Windows 10 May 2019 Update

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

Curious whether the recent Microsoft Windows 10 Version 1903 (May 2019 Update) improved the multi-threaded performance at all for the likes of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, I recently carried out some benchmarks looking at Windows 10 1903 against the former Windows 10 Version 1809 release benchmarked against both Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and the latest Ubuntu 19.04.

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Many Openwashing Examples (Past Week)

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Top 15 Best Windows Emulators for Linux Enthusiasts

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Although it’s hard for us Linux fanatics to delve in the world of Windows, as it seems, we all need to embrace Windows in time to time for some specific tasks. Linux, despite all its rewards, is still not the household name among regular computer users and chances are that most of your non-technical friends use Windows as their primary system. So, if you want to share some standard software or play those latest games, Windows is still the way to go. However, it’s impossible for us Linux folks to shift on Windows permanently and overlook the flexibility Linux has been affording us over the years. Luckily, a comprehensive set of powerful Windows emulators for Linux exists to make our life more comfortable and allow us the benefits of both systems concurrently.

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Microsoft Swallowing Everything and DRM (or 'Cloud') Makes Users 'Slaves'

Filed under
Microsoft
  • One billion Linux desktops? [Ed: Pushing the nonsense that Linux counts only when it's spied on]
  • Neil Williams: New directions

    Third, my job hunting has shown that the centralisation of decentralised version control is still a thing. As far as recruitment is concerned, if the code isn't visible on GitHub, it doesn't exist. (It's not the recruitment agencies asking for GitHub links, it is the company HR departments themselves.) So I had to add a bunch of projects to GitHub and there's a link now in the blog.

  • We Are Tenants on Our Own Devices

    Today, we may think we own things because we paid for them and brought them home, but as long as they run software or have digital connectivity, the sellers continue to have control over the product. We are renters of our own objects, there by the grace of the true owner.

  • DRM and terms-of-service have ended true ownership, turning us into "tenants of our own devices"

    Tufekci's analysis points out a serious problem in the "Surveillance Capitalism" critique that says that paying for devices and services (rather than getting them through an advertising subsidy) would restore dignity and balance to the tech world. When Apple charges you $1,000 for a phone and then spends millions killing Right to Repair legislation so that you'll be forced to buy repair services from Apple, who will therefore be able to decide when it's time to stop fixing your phone and for you to buy a new one, then it's clear that "if you're not paying for the product" is a serious misstatement, because in a world of Big Tech monopolies, even when you're paying for the product, you're still the product.

The Huawei Ban: Will Linux Replace Windows On Future Huawei Laptops?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As I write this, Bloomberg has learned that other U.S-based tech giants like Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom will cut off their supply of components to Huawei. Losing access to Intel processors will obviously affect future Huawei laptops, but what about the operating system Huawei will ship on these devices? What about the installation of Windows 10 you currently have on your Huawei laptop?

[...]

Linux Out Of The Box?

We know that Huawei has prepared for this situation by developing its own in-house alternative operating systems to both Android and Windows, though the state of said development is unknown.

Its Windows alternative is almost certainly a custom Linux distribution. And it's not far-fetched to speculate that Huawei has it playing nicely on its own processors.

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Latest Red Hat and Microsoft Openwashing

Filed under
Microsoft

So Long Dual-Booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
  • So Long Dual-Booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated
  • So long dual-booting Windows on a Chromebook: Project Campfire is deprecated

    Project Campfire turned up in the Chromium world this past August. The intent was to let a Chromebook boot not just into Chrome OS but directly into another operating system such as Linux or Windows. I thought the latter was a positive outcome since it would allow Chromebooks to natively run Windows desktop apps on a Chromebook, and add value to devices.

  • 'Project Campfire' effort for dual-booting Windows on Chromebooks is shutting down

    Google's "Project Campfire" -- a project to allow Chromebooks to natively run Windows desktop and Linux apps -- is being deprecated before it ever debuted. As noted on AboutChromebooks.com on May 15, code removals from "AltOS" (the more official name of Campfire) are indicative that the project is closed.

    Since December 2018, activity on the Project Campfire front had gone quiet, according to AboutChromebooks.

    If Pixelbooks and other Chromebooks were able to run Windows, users who still want and need Windows to run certain apps would have had a new laptop option available to them.

    Google still would have had to pass Microsoft's hardware certification process for Windows 10 before such a feature could come to market. But throughout much of last year, many thought this development was at least somewhat likely to happen.

  • Windows dual booting no longer looking likely on Pixelbooks

    Just under a year ago, there were signs that Google was modifying the firmware of its Pixelbook laptop to enable dual booting into Windows 10. The firmware was updated to give the Pixelbook the ability to boot into an "Alternative OS" ("AltOS" mode). The work included references to the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (WHCK) and the Windows Hardware Lab Kit (HLK), Microsoft's testing frameworks for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 respectively.

How much open source is too much when it's in Microsoft's clutches? Eclipse Foundation boss sounds note of alarm

Filed under
Microsoft

The Eclipse Foundation oversees numerous open-source projects including Jakarta EE, the open-source Java Enterprise Edition. It is also the home of the free Eclipse IDE, among the most popular IDEs for Java development.

One of the original Eclipse designers was Erich Gamma, who in 2011 joined Microsoft where he has worked on Visual Studio Code, Microsoft's open-source and cross-platform development tool.

Visual Studio Code has been a remarkable success. A recent Stack Overflow survey ranked it as the most popular development environment overall. Eclipse still leads for Jakarta EE development, according to its own survey (PDF), though VS Code puts in a decent showing (considering it is a relative newcomer) at 28 per cent usage (below).

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Meet the newest Collaborans!

    What better way to start the new year than by highlighting the newest members of our engineering and administrative teams who joined in Q4 2019! Based in Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece, 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.

  • MariaDB X4 brings smart transactions to open source database

    MariaDB has come a long way from its MySQL database roots. The open source database vendor released its new MariaDB X4 platform, providing users with "smart transactions" technology to enable both analytical and transactional databases. MariaDB, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in 2009 by the original creator of MySQL, Monty Widenius, as a drop-in replacement for MySQL, after Widenius grew disillusioned with the direction that Oracle was taking the open source database. Oracle acquired MySQL via its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2008. Now, in 2020, MariaDB still uses the core MySQL database protocol, but the MariaDB database has diverged significantly in other ways that are manifest in the X4 platform update. The MariaDB X4 release, unveiled Jan. 14, puts the technology squarely in the cloud-native discussion, notably because MariaDB is allowing for specific workloads to be paired with specific storage types at the cloud level, said James Curtis, senior analyst of data, AI and analytics at 451 Research.

  • SecureMyEmail makes really private email surprisingly simple

    The service also allows seamless, key-free transmission to other SecureMyEmail subscribers and to others who use PGP software such as the PGP-compatible free-software GNU Privacy Guard.

  • Copy-left behind: Permissive MIT, Apache open-source licenses on the up as developers snub GNU's GPL

    Permissive open-source software licenses continue to gain popularity at the expense of copyleft licenses, according to a forthcoming report from WhiteSource, a biz that makes software licensing management tools. Permissive licenses include the MIT and Apache 2.0 licenses and are known as such because the permit licensors to do more or less what they want with the covered software, with minimal caveats, and without imposing obligations like sharing code revisions. Copyleft licenses like GPLv2, GPLv3, and LGPLv2.1 convey similar freedom, while, to put it simply, requiring that licensors not release versions or derivatives of the licensed code that restrict said freedom.

Programming: Rust, C and Python

  • Announcing Better Support for Fuzzing with Structured Inputs in Rust

    Today, on behalf of the Rust Fuzzing Authority, I’d like to announce new releases of the arbitrary, libfuzzer-sys, and cargo fuzz crates. Collectively, these releases better support writing fuzz targets that take well-formed instances of custom input types. This enables us to combine powerful, coverage-guided fuzzers with smart test case generation. Install or upgrade cargo fuzz with: cargo install --force cargo-fuzz To upgrade your fuzz targets, bump your libfuzzer-sys dependency to 0.2.0 on crates.io. That should be all that’s needed for most cases. However, if you were already using Arbitrary inputs for your fuzz target, some changes will be required. See the upgrading fuzz targets section below for more details.

  • C vs. Rust: Which to choose for programming hardware abstractions

    Rust is an increasingly popular programming language positioned to be the best choice for hardware interfaces. It's often compared to C for its level of abstraction. This article explains how Rust can handle bitwise operations in a number of ways and offers a solution that provides both safety and ease of use.

  • Leysin Winter sprint 2020: Feb 28 - March 7th

    The next PyPy sprint will be in Leysin, Switzerland, for the fourteenth time. This is a fully public sprint: newcomers and topics other than those proposed below are welcome.

  • Use this Python script to find bugs in your Overcloud

    OpenStack stores and manages a bunch of log files on its Overcloud nodes and Undercloud host. Therefore, it's not easy to use OSP log files to investigate a problem you're having, especially when you don't even know what could have caused the problem. If that's your situation, LogTool makes your life much easier! It saves you the time and work it would otherwise take to investigate the root cause manually. Based on a fuzzy string matching algorithm, LogTool provides all the unique error and warning messages that have occurred in the past. You can export these messages for a particular time period, such as 10 minutes ago, an hour ago, a day ago, and so on, based on timestamp in the log.

Proprietary Stuff and Openwashing

  • Apple may have to abandon Lightning connector cable

    The cable is used to charge and sync many Apple devices, such as the iPhone.

    But members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission on Monday to force tech giants to adopt a single universal charging method.

  • Confidential computing promises secure cloud apps

    Enterprises, governments and other organizations all sit on vast troves of data that cannot be processed due to security and privacy concerns. To address this limitation, researchers and vendors have developed various confidential computing techniques to safely process sensitive data. Confidential computing is particularly important for organizations in heavily regulated industries or sectors where opportunities for running workloads on the public cloud are severely limited, such as government, telecommunications, healthcare and banking. Confidential computing protects data at rest, which enables organizations to deploy sensitive workloads off premises and provides further protection to sensitive workloads on premises. [..]. "If projects and products can show regulators and legislators that the levels of security are sufficient to meet their requirements, then deployment to public clouds becomes plausible for a great many more applications and use cases," said Mike Bursell, chief security architect at Red Hat.

  • Akraino Edge Stack Enables Connected Car, AR/VR, AI Edge, and Telco Access Edge Application Use Cases

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Edge Stack Release 2 (“Akraino R2”). Akraino’s second release furthers the power of intelligent edge with new and enhanced deployable, self-certified blueprints for a diverse set of edge use cases. Launched in 2018, and now a Stage 3 (or “Impact” stage) project under the LF Edge umbrella, Akraino Edge Stack is creating an open source software stack that supports a high-availability cloud stack optimized for edge computing systems and applications. Designed to improve the state of edge cloud infrastructure for enterprise edge, over-the-top (OTT) edge, and carrier edge networks, it offers users new levels of flexibility to scale edge cloud services quickly, to maximize the applications and functions supported at the edge, and to help ensure the reliability of systems that must be up at all times. “The Akraino community has grown rapidly in the past year, and now includes contributions from 70 percent of LF Edge Premium member companies and countless other ecosystem partners beginning to deploy the blueprints across the globe,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Automation, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “With R2, strong community collaboration brings even more blueprints to the ecosystem that support current and future technology at the open source edge.”

  • Microsoft: Application Inspector is now open source, so use it to test code security

Security Leftovers

  • Study Shows The Internet Is Hugely Vulnerable To SIM Hijacking Attacks

    U.S. Wireless carriers are coming under heavy fire for failing to protect their users from the practice of SIM hijacking. The practice usually involves conning or bribing a wireless employee to port a victim's cell phone number right out from underneath them, letting the attacker then pose as the customer to potentially devastating effect. Carriers are facing numerous lawsuits from victims who say attackers used the trick to first steal their identity, then millions in cryptocurrency, or even popular social media accounts.

  • Restoring DNS Privacy

    Stefan and I have been taking last week to add DNS over TLS into IPFire - another step to make DNS more private. Here is what we have done. Cleaning up some mess IPFire has multiple places where DNS servers could be configured. If you were using PPP for your Internet connection, you would have set this up with your dialup settings. If you were using a static IP address, then you would have set up the DNS servers with it in the setup. If you were using DHCP, you had a page on the web user interface to go to. This is not only confusing for the user, but also there were the places in the code where those settings were applied. Now, we have created an entire new page which combines all of it together! You will have a list where you can set all DNS servers and set new settings. [...] This will be release with Core Update 140. Amongst the many new features, we have removed a lot of code that has caused us a lot of trouble in the past and rewritten many things entirely from scratch.

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium), Fedora (gnulib, ImageMagick, jetty, ocsinventory-agent, phpMyAdmin, python-django, rubygem-rmagick, thunderbird, and xar), Mageia (e2fsprogs, kernel, and libjpeg), openSUSE (icingaweb2), Oracle (git, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), Red Hat (.NET Core), Scientific Linux (git, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), SUSE (fontforge and LibreOffice), and Ubuntu (kamailio and thunderbird).