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Microsoft

Microsoft Views Free Software as Free Labour/Free Workforce

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Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Duo shows Linux is the future — not Windows

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Linux
Microsoft

Windows is a massive failure -- in the mobile world, at least. Microsoft should have been a dominant force in smartphones and tablets, but no, it let Apple and Google eat its lunch with iPhone and Android. While Windows 10 is still a decent enough desktop operating system that keeps chugging along, Windows Phone died a bloody death -- consumers barely paid attention to it. Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile were utter embarrassments for Microsoft.

What can Microsoft do to save its mobile dreams? Turn to Linux, of course. Yes, with the upcoming Surface Duo smartphone (you can read about the dual-screen device here), Microsoft will be using the Linux-based Android operating system. This is a smart business move, but it must be absolute hell for the Microsoft faithful -- if Bill Gates was dead, he would be spinning in his grave.

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Proprietary Software and Microsoft

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Microsoft

Microsoft Loves Linux Needs More Work Argues Open Source Leader

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GNU
Microsoft

Microsoft has increasingly embraced Linux in recent years, enough for Redmond to run under the mantra, “Microsoft Loves Linux”. Of course, the reason for the sea change from hating open source to embracing it is simply good economic movement.

Despite its new-found love for Linux, one expert believes Microsoft has a long way to go to atone for past problems. Specifically, free-software leader Richard Stallman says Microsoft’s top execs previously targeted open source in the past.

Most famous of the Linux attacks was former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who described the platform as a “cancer”. Former Windows chief Jim Allchin said the open source idea was both un-American and a killer of intellectual property.

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ICE, Microsoft and Windows

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Microsoft
  • Software Company Chef Won’t Renew ICE Contact After All

                     

                       

    Come Monday, Crist reversed course.

                       

    In a new blog post, Crist said that Chef won’t renew contracts with ICE and the US Customs and Border Protection when they expire next year, and that the company will donate this year’s revenue from the contracts to charities that help families affected by the agencies’ family separation and detention policies. The ICE contract was valued at $95,500 for an 11-month period through August 2020. Chef declined to comment on the value of the CBP contract.

  • Coder deletes open source add-on for Chef in protest over ICE contract

    On September 17, Seth Vargo—a former employee of Chef, the software deployment automation company—found out via a tweet that Chef licenses had been sold to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) under a $95,500, one-year contract through the approved contractor C&C International Computers & Consultants. In protest, Vargo decided to "archive" the GitHub repository for two open source Chef add-ons he had developed in the Ruby programming language. On his GitHub repository page, Vargo wrote, "I have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent my source from being used for evil."

    That move, according to an all-hands email sent out by Chef CEO Barry Crist—later published on the company's website—"impact[ed] production systems for a number of our customers. Our entire team has worked to minimize customer downtime and will continue to do so until we restore services to 100% operation."

  • KDE Connect on Windows - Sneak a peak

    Linux, Windows, what. More like awesome Linux software on Windows, what. Behold a review of KDE Connect for Windows, including setup and configuration of the nightly build, functionality and associated glitches, usage testing with SMS, file sharing and music playback, some other observations, and more. Enjoy.

  • Mutation testing by example: Failure as experimentation [Ed: For the second day in a row Red Hat is pushing Microsoft .NET]
  • Microsoft Outs .NET Core 3.0 With Continued Linux Support & Better Performance [Ed: Phoronix helps Microsoft openwashing (Open Core) stunts again. Disappointing.]

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

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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"

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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
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More in Tux Machines

Raptor Computing Is Working On More AMD Radeon Driver Improvements For POWER

Similar to 64-bit ARM (AArch64) improvements we've seen with time for the Radeon Linux driver, Raptor's Timothy Pearson has been working to improve the Radeon support for PowerPC or more specifically POWER9. While NVIDIA offers a POWER9 graphics driver for IBM POWER servers, AMD Radeon graphics jive much better with Raptor's target customers thanks to the open-source driver stack -- allowing a fully open-source graphics/compute stack with the AMD hardware sans the closed-source microcode required by the GPUs, but much better than the completely closed-up NVIDIA driver stack. Read more

Using Menus For Command Line Programs and Scripts

THE holidays are coming (Christmas approaching), so I've taken advantage of some spare time to menu-ise commands that I use frequently. Those commands aren't the mere opening of an application and they often require dealing with input and output (in the command line). So I've created menu.sh and used dialog to craft the following menu, e.g. for operations associated with Techrights. I invoke this menu with the click of one button (of the mouse).

Rianne has a similar menu for commands she often runs (which are long and would otherwise need pasting or typing in length). Her menu looks something like this:

Rianne's menu

Here's the code (bash file) that renders the menu above (it's really that simple!):

#!/bin/bash

HEIGHT=15
WIDTH=40
CHOICE_HEIGHT=4
BACKTITLE="Aloha, Rianne"
TITLE="Rianne @ Ted"
MENU="Choose one of the following options:"

OPTIONS=(1 "Start VPN"
         2 "REDACTED"
         3 "REDACTED"
	4 "REDACTED"
	5 "REDACTED"
	6 "REDACTED"
	7 "REDACTED"
)

CHOICE=$(dialog --clear \
                --backtitle "$BACKTITLE" \
                --title "$TITLE" \
                --menu "$MENU" \
                $HEIGHT $WIDTH $CHOICE_HEIGHT \
                "${OPTIONS[@]}" \
                2>&1 >/dev/tty)

clear
case $CHOICE in
        1)
            echo "You chose Option 1"
sh ~/vpn.sh ;;

        2)
            echo "You chose Option 2"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;
        3)
            echo "You chose Option 3"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;
        4)
            echo "You chose Option 4"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;
        5)
            echo "You chose Option 5"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;
        6)
            echo "You chose Option 6"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;
        7)
            echo "You chose Option 7"
REDACTED COMMAND ;;

esac

Hopefully this inspires other people out there to do the same. It takes a while to set up, but it's a big time saver over the long run.

Android Leftovers

10 Years of Using Linux: How It Was Before, And How it Became

2020 Marks my 10 years of using Linux, a decade of my life that I also spent in supporting, promoting and developing free software both in my local community and globally. But the Linux ecosystem today was nothing like 10 years ago, and we are here today to take a look at the past and how both the Linux ecosystem and other open source software developed through the decade. If you asked anyone who used Linux in 2010, what was your biggest issue? They would tell you: Drivers. Back then, drivers for literally everything on Linux were not that good, and in a lot cases didn’t even exist. Read more