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Microsoft

VMware Openwashing and Microsoft Entryism/EEE

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • Darren Hart | Sr Director / Open Source Technology Center At VMware

    In this interview, Darren Hart, Sr Director / Open Source Technology Center at VMware talks about how Open Source has democratized the development of new platforms.

  • Microsoft Seeks To Join the Official Linux-Distros Mailing List [Ed: See the comments here. People are not as foolish as Microsoft hoped, in spite of the expensive lying campaign of Microsoft.]
  • Microsoft is seeking to join Linux private security board [Ed: EEE. Classic EEE. Who welcomes it? The Novell facilitator of Microsoft, Greg K-H. Now in the "Linux" Foundation.]

    The application was made by Sasha Levin, and if approved would allow the Redmond giant to be part of private discussions on vulnerabilities and ongoing security issues. One of the criteria for membership is to have a Unix-like distro that makes use of open source components, and Levin mentioned Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and Azure Sphere, which are still in public preview and slated for general availability in 2020.

Microsoft Entryism and Openwashing

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • 2001: Linux is cancer, says Microsoft. 2019: Hey friends, ah, can we join the official linux-distros mailing list, plz? [Ed: Just more infiltration, entryism. They try to sell Windows and Azure. See comments on this article, e.g.: "You're assuming #Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they've decided it's easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites."]

    Sasha Levin, who describes himself as a "Linux kernel hacker" at the beast of Redmond, made the application for his employer to join the list, which if approved would allow Microsoft to tap into private behind-the-scenes chatter about vulnerabilities, patches, and ongoing security issues with the open-source kernel and related code. These discussions are crucial for getting an early heads up, and coordinating the handling and deployment of fixes before they are made public.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP1 is now available on the Microsoft Store [Ed: To Microsoft it seems like GNU/Linux is just something you run under Windows, with Microsoft's permission]
  • Microsoft launches Windows Terminal app in Preview and it's ruddy open source

    The change is certainly overdue. The most recent attempt to update from the original version was in 2006 with the launch of Powershell. Since then, Microsoft has attempted to patch up both, with CMD getting copy/paste support a couple of years ago (about 20 years late, in our humble opinion) and an aborted attempt to make Powershell the default for Windows 10, which nobody asked for and few wanted.

  • MongoDB’s CEO on Open Source, Taking on Oracle, and Scaling Up

    “MongoDB was built by MongoDB. There was no prior art. We didn’t open source it for help; we open sourced it as a freemium strategy”

Microsoft's Work With ICE and Linux Foundation's Work With GSMA

Filed under
Microsoft
  • Hitler Refresh

    As shown with Gab and hate speech, violating Microsoft service agreements can have damning operational consequences for offending parties. But when it comes to providing the same services and more to government agencies that are actively separating refugee and immigrant families from their children at US borders while further holding them indefinitely concentration camps fit for no human (re: an act of genocide), Microsoft appears to have forgotten about their own service agreement. Despite such actions blatantly violating the same service agreement as Gab and virtually every acceptable code of ethics to boot, Microsoft is mum on the matter and continues to offer services to ICE, CBP, and their contractors to this day.

    Although Microsoft has already taken some flack on an ethical basis for empowering these agencies with services such as server hosting and email while they simultaneously treat families and their children inhumanely, it seemingly went overlooked that these agencies are violating Microsoft’s own service terms. Sure, partaking in genocide isn’t directly outlawed in Microsoft’s service agreement, but exploiting, harming, or threatening harm to children is expressly prohibited and is something that Microsoft can help fix in short order by simply holding some our own government agencies to the same standard as a disgraced social nutwork.

  • Linux Foundation and the GSMA Announce Partnership to Further Align NFVi Efforts

    LF Networking (LFN) and the GSMA today announced a partnership to create a common industry framework for Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi). Hosted by the GSMA and created with input from the Linux Foundation, the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT) will operate as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting a Common NFVi Framework. An industry-aligned NFVi framework helps accelerate deployment across the entire telecommunications stack, from infrastructure to Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). 

    “Operators are undergoing a period of significant digital transformation by migrating their networks from a physical to a virtualized or cloud environment. However, this is a challenging and time-consuming process involving integrating multiple different vendors into a common infrastructure,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “By following a common approach and framework, operators will vastly reduce the time and costs associated with integration and accelerate adoption and deployment.” 

GAFAM and 'Cloud': Google, Microsoft, Amazon and GitHub

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
  • Daniel Stenberg: Google to reimplement curl in libcrurl

    By throwing a lot of man power on it. As the primary author and developer of the libcurl API and the libcurl code, I assume that Cronet works quite differently than libcurl so there’s going to be quite a lot of wrestling of data and code flow to make this API work on that code.

    The libcurl API is also very versatile and is an API that has developed over a period of almost 20 years so there’s a lot of functionality, a lot of options and a lot of subtle behavior that may or may not be easy or straight forward to mimic.

    The initial commit imported the headers and examples from the curl 7.65.1 release.

  • Microsoft, you should look away now: Google's cloud second only to AWS in dev survey [Ed: Longtime Microsoft booster Tim Anderson  on Azure being a failure after so many entryism attempts and underhanded tactics]

    Coders use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) more than Microsoft Azure, though Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a comfortable lead, according to a Developer Ecosystem survey conducted by tools vendor JetBrains.

    Developer usage is 67 per cent AWS versus 28 per cent GCP and 21 per cent Azure, according to the new survey. Unfortunately, the question was posed in a different way in the 2018 survey, adding on-premises into the mix, but last year Azure and GCP had equal share after AWS.

    The survey had 19,000 participants invited via "Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Google Adwords and JetBrains' own communication channels," the tools vendor said, though "only the responses of 6,993 respondents were included in the report." Responses were removed to reduce bias, yet it warned "some bias may be present as JetBrains users may have been more willing on average to compete the survey".

  • Get your coat, you've pulled a Pull Panda: GitHub goes home with code collab specialists [Ed: Notice how Microsoft only takes GitHub in more of a proprietary software direction. That says a lot – they have plans and they’re really detrimental to FOSS]

NSA Back Doors in Windows Causing Chaos While Media is Obsessing Over DoS Linux Bug

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • U.S. Government Announces Critical Warning For Microsoft Windows Users

    The United States Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has gone public with a warning to Microsoft Windows users regarding a critical security vulnerability. By issuing the "update now" warning, CISA has joined the likes of Microsoft itself and the National Security Agency (NSA) in warning Windows users of the danger from the BlueKeep vulnerability.

    This latest warning, and many would argue the one with most gravitas, comes hot on the heels of Yaniv Balmas, the global head of cyber research at security vendor Check Point, telling me in an interview for SC Magazine UK that "it's now a race against the clock by cyber criminals which makes this vulnerability a ticking cyber bomb." Balmas also predicted that it will only be "a matter of weeks" before attackers started exploiting BlueKeep.

    The CISA alert appears to confirm this, stating that it has, "coordinated with external stakeholders and determined that Windows 2000 is vulnerable to BlueKeep." That it can confirm a remote code execution on Windows 2000 might not sound too frightening, this is an old operating system after all, it would be unwise to classify this as an exercise in fear, uncertainty and doubt. Until now, the exploits that have been developed, at least those seen in operation, did nothing more than crash the computer. Achieving remote code execution brings the specter of the BlueKeep worm into view as it brings control of infected machines to the attacker.

  • Netflix uncovers SACK Panic vuln that can bork Linux-based systems

CERN Is Working To Move Further Away From Microsoft Due To License Costs Going Up By 10x

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server
Microsoft

CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research that is home to the Large Hadron Collider and a lot of other experiments, is experimenting with moving further away from Microsoft products. Due to Microsoft license fee increases affecting their work in the research laboratory and its budget, they established the Microsoft Alternatives "MAlt" project.

CERN had already long been involved with developing Scientific Linux (now shifting to CentOS) but they have still been reliant upon Microsoft products in other areas, on some Windows systems as well as using the likes of Skype for Business.

Read more

Also today: Ubuntu preinstalled by Lenovo.

Microsoft/Linux 'Crossover'

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
  • Chuwi AeroBook review: A successful move upmarket

    If given the choice I'd actually prefer a cheaper 128GB eMMC option and to add my own SSD. Why? Because the AeroBook works beautifully with Linux. I tried both Ubuntu 19.04 and the Intel-backed Clear Linux distro on the AeroBook and they ran faultlessly.

  • Bodhi is getting ready for rawhide gating [Ed: Bodhi is spyware and it is hosted on Microsoft GitHub i.e. NSA PRISM. If Fedora and Red Hat spread it further, it will damage their credibility]
  • Linux Foundation to Host the Accord Project to Develop Open Source Framework for Smart Legal Contracts [Ed: Dan Selman, whom LF has just made co-director of the Accord Project, apparently works or worked for Microsoft (or maybe it's another person with the same name). Zemlin PAC may be dead anyway. Stick a fork in it. This new group has nothing to do with “Linux"; Everything to do with 'IP' boosters Intel, IBM and Microsoft (see who’s cited in this press release).]

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of the Accord Project as a Linux Foundation project. The Accord Project is a nonprofit organization that builds open source code and documentation to maintain a common and consistent legal and technical foundation for contract management. The project comprises all the software necessary to author, edit and execute smart legal contracts in a standardized way. Many of the world's largest global law firms have signed on, as well as leading industry bodies and technology companies such as DocuSign, IBM, IEEE and R3.

    Smart contracts are showing promise for simplifying complexities in supply chain management and other contract-heavy areas of technology development, but they also introduce requirements for interoperability and consistency. The Accord Project provides a globally interoperable approach for creating contracts that bind legally enforceable natural language text to executable business logic. With an increased focus on enterprise digitalization, adoption of blockchain technologies and the growth of the API economy, the usage of computable agreements is rapidly increasing. Having a common format for “computable” legal agreements is an important cornerstone for the future of commercial relationships. One of the main purposes of Accord Project is to provide a vendor-neutral “.doc” format for smart legal agreements

Microsoft Layoffs/Closures, UEFI Trap Upgraded, Microsoft Puff Pieces (Lies) Emerge

Filed under
Microsoft
  • What's in store for Microsoft's US pop-up shops? Not much, they're being closed

    Microsoft has quietly swung the axe on a chunk of its retail operation, with "speciality stores" in America bearing the brunt of the blade.

    All 17 of Microsoft's kiosk-sized stores were disappeared from the company's website over the weekend, leaving some of the US states that had at least enjoyed a stub of retail presence from the Windows giant bereft of the limited line-up of stock available at the outlets.

    And, more importantly, somewhere to take their Surfaces to when the things break down.

    Disgruntled employees have taken to the usual social media outlets, with one posting on Reddit: "We had no notice beforehand by the way. They told us that on Sunday morning, we had a mandatory meeting Sunday night then told us we were all terminated. It's horrible to be treated that poorly after years of work."

  • UEFI 2.8 Specification Released With REST & Memory Cryptography [Ed: Intel continues its attacks, with Microsoft, on general-purpose computing, and it is disguised as a 'forum']

    The UEFI Forum today announced the release of the UEFI 2.8 specification.

    New to UEFI 2.8 for platform firmware is support for the REST software architecture as well as memory cryptography.

    The UEFI Forum is hoping the REST support will lead to better interoperability.

  • Open-Source ‘Great Satan’ No More, Microsoft Wins Over Skeptics [Ed: Watch out in the face of Microsoft PR. It looks like Bloomberg does a whole bunch of lies for them right now. Advertising as articles? That certainly matches their latest wave of PR campaigns. There's more from Bloomberg this past week. A Microsoft public relations machine this month? Cui bono and who's paying who? Now, for instance, it's also Shira Ovide pretending Bing matters. Marketing as 'news'. "Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal." They're well known for Microsoft boosting and Google bashing because of their owner.]

Facebook, Not Microsoft, Is the Main Threat to Open Source

Filed under
Microsoft

Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny and pressure at the moment. It's accused of helping foreign actors to subvert elections by using ads and fake accounts to spread lies—in the US, for example—and of acting as a conduit for terrorism in New Zealand and elsewhere. There are calls to break up the company or at least to rein it in.

In an evident attempt to head off those moves, and to limit the damage that recent events have caused to Facebook's reputation, Mark Zuckerberg has been publishing some long, philosophical posts that attempt to address some of the main criticisms. In his most recent one, he calls for new regulation of the online world in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability. The call for data portability mentions Facebook's support for the Data Transfer Project. That's clearly an attempt to counter accusations that Facebook is monopolistic and closed, and to burnish Facebook's reputation for supporting openness. Facebook does indeed use and support a large number of open-source programs, so to that extent, it's a fair claim.

Read more

From same author today: Facebook Fails To Block EU Court Case That Could Rule Against Most Transatlantic Data Flows

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.

Read more

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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