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Microsoft

The NSA's Leading Ally Taking Control of the Supply Chain

Filed under
Server
Microsoft
  • Microsoft's GitHub agrees to buy code-distribution start-up Npm

    Microsoft's GitHub subsidiary on Monday said it has agreed to buy Npm, a company that operates an online service for distributing packages of open-source software written in the popular JavaScript programming language and offers software that companies can use for their proprietary code as well.

  • With npm Acquisition, Microsoft is Set to Own the Largest Software Registry in the World [Ed: Microsoft is trying to buy the competition and having bribed all the groups that represent it (OSI, LF etc.) they won’t say a thing to stop this]

    Microsoft has been betting big on open source for past few years. Apart from open sourcing a few things here and there, Microsoft is contributing a lot to Linux kernel (for its Azure cloud platform).

    To further strengthen its position in the open source world, Microsoft acquired the popular open source code hosting platform GitHub for $7.5 billion.

    Now Microsoft owned GitHub has acquired npm ( short for Node Package Manager). npm is the world’s largest software registry with more than 1.3 million packages that have 75 billion downloads a month.

  • Microsoft Teams goes down — just as everyone starts working from home

  • Telstra Ventures leads $65m investment in 'new Linux'

    The physical world might be near lockdown, but Telstra Ventures remains bullish on the virtual, leading a $US40 million ($65 million) investment in a company which helps enterprises manage software applications.

    The $900 million venture capital manager, which is part-owned by Telstra, but run independently, invested in Rancher Labs after the telco became a customer of the Californian scale-up's service, which manages exposure to a platform called Kubernetes.

    [...]

    Rancher Labs was launched in the same year as Kubernetes after its co-founder, Sheng Liang, recognised the potential of its container-orchestration capabilities, as well as the help most enterprises would need in managing them.

    "Just as Linux became the standard computing platform for the data centre, cloud and devices in the 2000s, we fundamentally believe Kubernetes is fast becoming the ubiquitous enterprise computing platform for multi-cloud, heterogenous IT environments in the 2020s,” Mr Liang said.

Windows 10 sucks – can Linux save us all?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

So, what happened? Why is Windows 10 now such a mess? Recently, Microsoft has released update after update that appear to break more things than they fix. Then, when Microsoft scrambles to release a fix for those new problems, it seems like it introduces even more.

Many of those new problems even result in the notorious Blue Screen of Death. This error screen was once so widespread in earlier versions of Windows, it became iconic. Thought you’d finally seen the last of it with Windows 10? Well, it’s back. With a vengeance.

Now, Windows 10 has such a big install base, that even with plenty of reports of problems, for the majority of users, Windows 10 still works fine. And that’s a lot of people.

However, even if you’ve not been affected by a dodgy Windows 10 update, the steady stream of news about people who have been affected, and are now staring despondently at a blue screen, can’t help but lessen your confidence in Windows 10. Sure, it works for you now. But is it just a matter of time before Microsoft breaks your PC?

[...]

One of the easiest ways to ditch Windows 10 is to get a new MacBook or Mac, which runs macOS, or a Chromebook, which runs Chrome OS.

That, of course, is a pricey option. However, if you want to keep your exciting PC or laptop and move away from Windows, then it’s time to seriously consider Linux.

Linux is an open-source operating system, and it’s incredibly popular. It’s free to download and install (apart from some versions that are for enterprise users) and it runs on any PC that can run Windows 10. In fact, due to it being more lightweight than Windows 10, you should find it runs better than Windows 10.

Perhaps best of all, Linux comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Called distributions, or distros, these different spins of Linux are aimed at different people. There are hardcore distros for Linux experts, as well as beginner distros, and ones that are built for running on old and underpowered hardware.

If you’re new to Linux, then Ubuntu and Mint are the distros to check out, as they are extremely easy to use. Mint in particular is good for Windows migrants as it has a user interface that’s very similar to Windows 10, so you’ll feel right at home.

Thanks to the popularity of Linux, many programs (and an increasing number of games) you use in Windows 10 will have Linux versions. And if not, there are plenty of excellent alternatives. While Microsoft Office doesn’t run on Linux, LibreOffice is a great (free) alternative, for example.

There’s also projects like WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) which let you run Windows 10 apps within Linux.https://www.techradar.com/news/windows-10-sucks-can-linux-save-us-all

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Op-Ed: Windows 7 users ignoring Win 10 upgrade, Linux strikes back

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The end of support for Windows 7 has had almost no effect at all on users. Win 10’s many issues and the constant, baffling, problems with updates have effectively killed all interest. Meanwhile, Linux has come up with a cure-all, maybe, possibly.
More surprising is that Win 7, like XP, is still core tech for many people. Almost nobody moved from Win 7, less than 1% of users. Some people did upgrade prior to the January 14, 2020 cut-off date, but not much movement has been seen since.
Seems the new operating systems don’t appeal to people for various reasons. It’s understandable that businesses, in particular, wouldn’t be too keen on upgrading whole networks of office computers. It’s expensive, it’s time-consuming, and there can be IT issues with related business software.

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Microsoft and Apple Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

OpenSUSE News Outsourced to Microsoft, Dominique Leuenberger's Report on Tumbleweed

Filed under
Microsoft
SUSE
  • Moving to the new News [Ed: News outsourced to Microsoft then]

    In an effort to make contributing to openSUSE easier, openSUSE News has moved from being a Wordpress application to a Jekyll static site developed directly on Github. Now you too can write an article, or a series of articles, by sending pull requests to the openSUSE/news-o-o repository.

  • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/09

    During this week we released 4 snapshots (0220, 0222, 0224 and 0226) – an average week from that perspective, yet there have been some interesting and well-awaited updates in these snapshots:

    zsh 5.8
    Mesa 19.3.4 & Mesa 20.0
    libcap 2.32
    GNOME 3.34.4
    KDE Plasma 5.18.1
    LLVM 6 has been removed from the repository
    ncurses 6.2
    Linux kernel 5.5.5
    Mozilla Firefox 73.0.1: it will now launch in Wayland mode inside a Wayland session
    MariaDB 10.4.12

Openwashing and the Latest Microsoft Fakes

Filed under
Microsoft

Malicious Proprietary Software From Microsoft and Google

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
  • Microsoft rolls out a new update for Surface Duo SDK Preview

    The new update is available for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu....

  • Microsoft Brings Its Windows 10 Antivirus Arsenal to Linux [Ed: Wow. Softpedia's "LINUX" section (Popa) is now an arm of Microsoft proprietary software marketing. Sure missing Marius Nester there. Whose arsenal is this? NSA's?]
  • Microsoft: Linux Defender antivirus now in public preview, iOS and Android are next [Ed: Of course Microsoft's sponsored propaganda network also promotes Microsoft proprietary software in the “LINUX” section. It does this all the time. The site has also just put "GitHub: We won't take down any of your content unless we really have to" under the "LINUX" section because proprietary software (GitHub) is somehow "LINUX"?!]
  • Chrome deploys deep-linking tech in latest browser build despite privacy concerns

    Google has implemented a browser capability in Chrome called ScrollToTextFragment that enables deep links to web documents, but it has done so despite unresolved privacy concerns and lack of support from other browser makers.

    Via Twitter on Tuesday, Peter Snyder, privacy researcher at privacy-focused browser maker Brave Software, observed that ScrollToTextFragment shipped earlier this month in Chrome 80 unflagged, meaning it's active, despite privacy issues that have been raised.

    "Imposing privacy and security leaks to existing sites (many of which will never be updated) REALLY should be a 'don't break the web,' never-cross redline," he wrote. "This spec does that."

    The debate over the feature percolated last year on mailing lists and in GitHub issues posts and picked up in October when the team working on Chrome's Blink engine declared their intent to implement the specification. The feature rollout serves to illustrate that the consensus-based web standards process doesn't do much to constrain the technology Google deploys.

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  • New Mexico Sues Google Over Collection of Children's Data

           

             

    New Mexico’s attorney general sued Google Thursday over allegations the tech company is illegally collecting personal data generated by children in violation of federal and state laws.

Malicious Proprietary Software

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
  • Discord Is Not An Acceptable Choice For Free Software Projects

    Discord’s communication is not end to end (e2e) encrypted. It is encrypted only between the individual user and the servers operated by Discord Inc. Their spying extends to every single message sent and received by anyone, including direct messages betweeen users. The service can and does log every message sent, both in-channel and DMs. It is impossible to have a private conversation on Discord, as there will always be an unencrypted log of it stored by Discord. Discord can, at their option, provide those stored messages to any third party they wish, including cops or government snoops, for any reason, even without a legal order, without any obligation to tell you that they have done so.

  • [Attackers] Were Inside Citrix for Five Months

    Networking software giant Citrix Systems says malicious [attackers] were inside its networks for five months between 2018 and 2019, making off with personal and financial data on company employees, contractors, interns, job candidates and their dependents. The disclosure comes almost a year after Citrix acknowledged that digital intruders had broken in by probing its employee accounts for weak passwords.

  • [Vulnerable] firmware lurks inside Dell, HP and Lenovo computers amid supply chain security efforts

    “Firmware is meant to be invisible to the user, and so it’s not surprising that most people don’t pay attention to it,” said Eclypsium CEO Yuriy Bulgin. “However, these components make up the foundation upon which every device, operating system, and application depends.”

    Researchers used unsigned firmware to show how an attacker could compromise an operating system remotely in order to steal network data. The highlighted flaws could also enable “direct-memory access” attacks which exploit a computer’s core operating system.

  • Aera Launches Cognitive ‘Business Brain’ Operating System [Ed: This is NOT an 'operating system". Terms misused these days.]

    Infor labels one of its core brands Infor OS and quite unashamedly uses the term operating system to explain the function of its industry-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) cloud software. Mountain View headquartered Aera Technology has used a similar naming convention within its branding and called its automation-centric cloud platform the Aera Cognitive Operating System.

  • Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux Now In Public Preview

    Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux is now available in a public preview that allows administrators and security professionals to test the product in six different Linux distributions.

  • Keen to check for 'abnormal' user behaviours? Microsoft talks insider risk, AWS imports and compliance at infosec shindig RSA [Ed: “Microsoft talks insider risk”; but Microsoft is the risk]

    As well as widening the preview of Microsoft Threat Protection, a system aimed at a more automated response to threats, the gang has also extended the cross-platform support for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to include a whole bunch of Linux distributions.

  • Microsoft plans to add Linux support for Chromium-based Edge

    Microsoft fought long and hard to maintain and push its own proprietary browser, even launching Edge, hoping to get away from the stigma against Internet Explorer. However, the dominating market share of Chromium-based browsers finally got to Microsoft, and the company announced it would rebuild Edge with the Chromium source code. Last month, we reported that Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge was out of development and ready for public deployment.

Hardware: AMD "Rome", AMD Defects and Microsoft Defects

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Microsoft
  • Google Cloud Rolls Out "N2D" VMs Built Atop AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" CPUs

    We are seeing more cloud providers now offering AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" series processors with the latest being Google now offering the new N2D VM family in beta for their public cloud.

  • AMD Announces EPYC 7532 + EPYC 7662 As Newest Rome Processors
  • Linux Will Finally Stop Flickering With AMD Stoney Ridge On 4K Displays

    For those still running the AMD "Stoney Ridge" mobile APUs from 2016 that were launched aside Bristol Ridge with Excavator-based CPU cores and GCN 1.2 graphics, the Linux kernel has a fix finally for flickering issues when driving a 4K display off the APU.

  • Microsoft crack habit reports: User claims Surface Laptop 3 screen fractured again after repair

    Screens on Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 have appeared to develop a crack habit, with one of the latest complaints claiming this happened even after repair.

    Reports on Twitter noted whinges sprouting on Reddit and Microsoft's own support forums last week about the new hardware appearing to suffer from spontaneously cracked screens.

    Users have described hairline cracks on the touchscreens of the Surface Laptop 3, and have insisted that the things weren't dropped, bashed or otherwise interfered with, other than the usual stroking of the glass.

    A Microsoft agent in the company's forums told a customer, who had spanked the best part of a years' savings on a 13.5-inch matte black model only to find the fracture shortly after setting the thing up, that: "Physical damage do[es] not happen if there is no external force."

Windows 10 vs. Eight Linux Distributions On The Threadripper 3970X

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

When taking the geometric mean of all these benchmark results, the Windows 10 Professional performance was the same as Windows 10 Enterprise for this Threadripper 3970X testing, unlike the Enterprise advantage we've seen on the larger Threadripper 3990X. The slowest of the eight Linux distributions tested was the Ubuntu 20.04 development snapshot, but that still came out to be 9.5% faster than Windows 10. The fastest Linux distribution was Clear Linux on the Threadripper 3970X with a 19% over Windows in these cross-platform benchmarks. Following Clear Linux with a strong showing was the new rolling-release CentOS Stream.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference! The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming. A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle. FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems. The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.5, Intel and AMD

  • mesa 20.1.5
    Hi all,
    
    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.5, the fifth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
    
    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-08-19.
    
    Cheers,
    Eric
    
    
  • Mesa 20.1.5 Released For The Latest Stable Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.5 provides the latest stable open-source Vulkan/OpenGL graphics drivers for the Linux desktop as the newest bi-weekly milestone. Mesa 20.2 remains under development as this quarter's feature release due out in about one month's time. Mesa 20.2 is running behind schedule as it should have been branched around the end of July but has yet to happen. In any case, more Mesa 20.2 feature work continues to land and more than likely will ship sometime in September. But until that occurs, Mesa 20.1 is the latest stable series.

  • Intel Workaround For Graphics Driver Regression: "The Platform Problem Going Crazy"

    Sent out over the weekend was a patch series for the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver entitled "Time, where did it go?" This set of 42 patches aims to provide incremental improvements to the driver to offset a performance regression in Linux 5.7 that Intel hasn't been able to track down. This increased complication of the driver to offset the regression is now under the microscope. The set of 42 patches by longtime Intel open-source developer Chris Wilson provides incremental improvements to reduce the execution latency. He was upfront that the intent of these improvements are to "basically offsets the small regressions incurred when compared to [Linux kernel] 5.7."

  • RadeonSI Resorts To Disabling SDMA For GFX9/Vega Due To APU Issues

    AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has resorted to disabling SDMA (System DMA) async DMA engine support for all GFX9/Vega hardware due to issues plaguing some APUs. While SDMA has the potential of helping performance, GFX9 (Vega) is now seeing the support disabled due to bugs seeming to only affect APUs. Though it's not entirely surprising as the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver also is not enabling SDMA at this point for GFX8 (Polaris) or GFX10 (Navi) hardware either. Opened three months ago was the merge request for disabling SDMA on GFX9 and to back-port it to the stable series as well. Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olsak noted, "This is somewhat a radical step. All opinions welcome."

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

           
  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

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  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

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  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

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  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Gaming on Linux in 2020: Way Better Than You Think

Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04. The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements. Read more Also: Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory has new teaser trailer