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Microsoft

Microsoft Disasters, Dirty (Maybe Illegal) Tricks and Lies

Filed under
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)

Filed under
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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Openwashing and Microsoft Traps

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • Facebook Open-Sources PySlowFast Codebase for Video Understanding

    PySlowFast will enable researchers to easily reproduce video classification and action detection algorithms, whether they are basic or cutting-edge. FAIR has also open-sourced a number of pretrained models to save researchers the trouble of repeatedly training sessions.

  • Deep Dive: How Open Source ID Solutions Can Accelerate Digital ID Implementation

    Digital identity solutions are becoming increasingly necessary as the world’s population grows. An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide lack basic ID credentials, according to the World Bank, and that number rises even higher when it includes individuals with poor-quality IDs that cannot be easily verified. Those without access to verifiable credentials are often restricted from obtaining vital services like education and healthcare.

  • Clever LVL Panel Connection Method Wins Open Source Wood Challenge
  • A-COLD-WALL* Launches "Open-Source" Hardware Package

    The idea behind this release is similar to the concept of the exhibition, with open-source design a new focus for Samuel Ross and his label. A-COLD-WALL*’s statement continues, “Open-source as a philosophy brings forth conscious brand values that have the capacity to directly enhance interaction between individual and brand.”

    [...]

    The capsule features a range of buckles, branded badges, zip pullers, elastic drawcords and silicone cord stoppers, with silicone, nylon and metal used on different pieces. The full hardware package is available now from the A-COLD-WALL* web store, with prices ranging from £20 GBP ($26 USD) for some zip pullers to £30 GBP ($40 USD) for laser-engraved matt buckles.

  • Lyft Open Sources It's Cloud-Native Machine Learning Model 'Flyte'
  • Lyft open sources data orchestration platform Flyte

    Uber recently open-sourced its Manifold deep learning debugging tool and has a history of pushing its technology out into the public domain from platforms for training conversational AI and machine learning to autonomous vehicle visualization systems.

  • Meet Manifold: Uber's machine learning model debugging tool goes open source

    Manifold, Uber’s model-agnostic visual debugging tool for machine learning, is now open source and available as a demo version and a GitHub repository. Manifold is built with TensorFlow.js, React, and Redux and is part of the Michelangelo machine learning platform. The open source version includes a few new features that will make for an easier user experience.

  • What Can Happen When Your Company's Employees Embrace the Open Source Way?

    A recent Forbes article indicates that corporate engagement with open source communities has grown to become a strategic imperative over the past couple of decades. An increasing number of companies are paying their employees to contribute to such communities. This is one manifestation of a broader growing trend toward closer collaboration between companies and open source communities. Well-recognised companies such as Google, Uber, Facebook, and Twitter have open sourced their projects and encouraged their employees to contribute to open source communities. Among software developers who contribute to such communities, estimates suggest that up to 40% of them are paid by their company to do so. Some companies see this as an opportunity to enhance their employees’ skills while others aim to influence open source product development to support their own complementary products and services. Regardless of the motives, managers should consider the impact of such arrangements on the employees involved.

  • Tier IV and DeepMap Establish Technology Alliance

    Tier IV, a deep-tech startup based in Japan, is leading the development of the world's first open-source software for autonomous driving, known as Autoware.

    Autoware is an all-in-one self-driving car solution that integrates open source and BSD licenses. The solution supports tasks such as 3D localization and mapping, 3D road planning, subject and traffic signal detection, lane recognition, sensor calibration, and software simulation.

  • The Continuous Delivery Foundation advances CI/CD

    More organizations have matured from CI to CI/CD, but their paths differ as do their pipelines and results. Most enterprises are implementing a mix of open source, commercial and even home-grown tools, and they’re looking for answers.

    One place to look is the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) which is home to many of the fastest-growing CI/CD open-source projects. The CDF fosters vendor-neutral collaboration among developers, end users and vendors to further best practices and industry specifications. DeployHub CEO and co-founder Tracy Ragan, who serves as the CDF general membership board representative, provides additional insight in this Q&A.

  • Continuous Delivery Foundation looks to build in Microsoft, further projects

    The Continuous Delivery Foundation is looking to draw in more members and projects as it heads towards its first birthday, with Microsoft top of the organisation’s hit list.

    The CDF formed back in March 2019, aiming to evangelize CI/CD as methodologies, and define/document best practices in and out of the cloud. Founder members included CloudBees and Google – it is home to the original Jenkins project, and Jenkins X, the Kubernetes-focused CI/CD platform, as well as the Google spawned Tekton.

Leaving Windows 7

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu
  • Warning: Windows 7 is losing support, but so is this popular version of Ubuntu Linux!

    Windows 7 is a great operating system -- there is a reason so many computer users have clung to it. Well, we can also thank the terrible Windows 8 for scaring people from upgrading, I suppose. Windows 8.1 was better, and Windows 10 is actually pretty good, but neither are loved like Windows 7 is.

    Sadly, Microsoft is killing Windows 7 for most users -- it reaches end of life status in just two days, on January 14th. After that date, Windows 7 will be unsupported (except for businesses that choose to pay for extended support) -- you'd have to be a fool to continue using that operating system. You should upgrade to Windows 10 ASAP or switch to a Linux-based OS.

  • Windows 7, the "fresh" install

    I have a confession. For a few years I've had a Windows 7 box sitting on the shelf. Literally: sitting on a shelf, unconnected to anything, unused. I had bought it as a refurbished unit from an on-line retailer, to be my wife's PC, but I had to return it so many times for hardware problems that I finally bought her a refurb from a local store. Eventually the on-line retailer managed to send me a functioning -- but now superfluous -- unit, so I put it in storage. Who knows, maybe I'll need a Win 7 PC some day.

    When I learned that Windows 7 support is ending on January 14, 2020, I thought that I'd better activate and update that computer. So off the shelf, onto the desk, connect to the Internet, power up and go. Windows Update reported that my bare Win 7 Pro SP1 needed some 170 updates, which I accepted. About 17 failed, which I attributed to download errors; repeating Windows Update fixed all but 4.

    Ah, those four.

    Windows Update reported error codes 80092004 and 8050800c. The former, it seems, is due to a change in the SHA-2 signing of updates. Update 4490628 fixes this, but for some inscrutable reason Windows Update didn't install this essential update! So I had to go to the Microsoft Update Catalog and download and install it manually. (The Microsoft support page does not describe the procedure for manual installation, but I guessed that once I had downloaded the file, opening the Windows Explorer and double-clicking on the downloaded file would install it...and I was right.)

Trapping Code Inside Microsoft GitHub

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
  • Reinout van Rees: Github basic auth deprecation and jenkins

    Hm, that @nenskins user, that is our old jenkins instance talking to github somehow. Apparently through basic auth. Only... where? Most of the github traffic seemed to use just an access token. Jenkins calls that the secret text type. Basic auth is type username with password in jenkins.

    What it turned out to be was the github branch source plugin. This periodically looks at our github organisation to see if there are new projects or new branches that it missed. Normally github tells our jenkins when there's a new project or pull request or so.

    Ok, on to the jenkins settings for my organisation. The confusing thing here is that the "credentials" setting says this:

    Note that only "username with password" credentials are
    supported. Existing credentials of other kinds will be filtered out. This
    is because jenkins exercises GitHub API, and this last one does not
    support other ways of authentication.
    Huh? Github is refusing user/password basic auth, which is what this plugin only supports? I updated every plugin, but the problem still persisted.

  • VVVVVV from Terry Cavanagh has the source code opened up to celebrate the 10 year anniversary

    VVVVVV, the clever platformer from Terry Cavanagh where you reverse gravity instead of jumping has now be made open source.

    The open license doesn't cover the assets (icons, art, graphics or music) which are still under a proprietary license. So you will need some to play with it, which Cavanagh said you can get from the Make and Play Edition for personal use and that edition also has the tools to make levels.

Mozilla Censored Through Microsoft GitHub

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
  • webcompat.com Anonymous Reporting - Some context

    The first week of January, we had to disable anonymous reporting. GitHub in a two steps strike blocked webcompat-bot (which allows us to handle anonymous reporting) and finally the full web-bugs repo (which handles all the issues for webcompat.com). The reason for blocking was illegal content.

    Previous situation

    Anonymous reporting was open to everyone and we would moderate after the fact if the issue was really a liability for both GitHub or us. For the last 5 years, I guess the webcompat.com site was not known enough to not be a target of bots and the issues not regular enough. The situation has evolved.

    The fall: We missed one issue which needed to be moderated and deleted. It was in a public view for quite a long time. We need to review our process about that.

    [...]

    While anonymity or soft-anonymity is an important feature in our society, it also creates challenges in some contexts. Some of these issues are not only tied to anonymous reporting, but anonymous reporting makes it more difficult to have a direct discussion about them.

  • Open Letter to Indian IT Minister by Mozilla, GitHub, and Cloudflare: Release draft intermediary liability rules, assuage concerns voiced during public consultation

    Given the Indian government’s impending commitment to the Supreme Court to notify the intermediary liability amendments by January 15 2020, global internet organizations Mozilla, GitHub, and Cloudflare have penned an open letter to the Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad. The letter highlights significant concerns with the rules and calls for improved transparency by allowing the public an opportunity to see a final version of these amendments prior to their enactment.

Why and how to switch from Windows 7 to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Because many people are not really aware of good alternatives outside of the Microsoft world and a lot of them don’t want to upgrade their existing machines to Windows 10 themselves, most of the current Windows 7 users will therefore automatically be inclined to purchase an entirely new computer as a replacement for their current system, as on each new system Windows 10 is already pre-installed which is of course more convenient. As a result many still usable but older computers will therefore unnecessarily end up in the garbage dump. However, there are lots of people, including myself, who have a problem with throwing away still perfectly working equipment, or just don’t want to make the switch to Windows 10 at all. And for these people it is very important to be educated that there are a lot of very user friendly Linux distributions that could bring back life into their old but trusted computer and give back a user experience as it was bought yesterday.

Linux really breathes new life into old equipment. While the relatively extensive Linux Mint is already running fine on old computers, you can get even more performance out of your ancient hardware by using a very light Linux distribution, such as Lubuntu, Zorin Lite or Linux Lite. My goal is to make as many current Windows 7 users as possible aware of what Linux has to offer and to what extent the purchase of a new computer may be postponed.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: GOG, La Résistance, Stardew Valley, Frictional Games, Trains & Things, Xbox One controller on Linux

  • GOG have now launched their own big Lunar Sale with tons DRM-free of deals

    If Humble Store and Steam didn't sway you yet, perhaps some DRM-free games from GOG might as they've now launched their own big Lunar Sale. As this is a very Chinese themed event, GOG have prepared a little "gaming horoscope" page. Since I entered this world in the year of The Dragon, according to GOG I am "confident, intelligent, and enthusiastic" and well suited for RPGs. Can't really argue with that.

  • La Résistance expansion for Hearts of Iron IV releasing February 25

    Paradox Development Studio have now announced that the La Résistance expansion for their "best-selling strategy wargame" Hearts of Iron IV releasing February 25. This huge expansion has been in the works for a while now, focusing on the "highlights the challenge of governing unruly conquests and the power of well-placed spies". You can see their original announcement trailer from PDXCON last year below:

  • Stardew Valley has managed to sell over 10 million copies - plus it's cheap right now

    Releasing almost four years ago, they said a Linux version would depend on sales of the Windows version. Then later that same month, Linux (and macOS) became a top priority which is likely due to it going onto selling over a million copies before the end of April. The Linux build was then fully released in July and since then they've pushed out plenty of big content updates and continue to do so.

  • The Frictional Games teaser has grown again - oh no it's going to be a monster isn't it

    Okay, Frictional Games, what exactly are you teasing us with? I need to know, it doesn't look like what I originally thought. Not up to speed? Late last year, Frictional Games (SOMA, Amnesia) started teasing a new game on a dedicated website and every so often the video that's on repeat changes. Initially starting as a tiny little cell, it then started to look like a beating heart…only yesterday it grew again and now it looks like it has a tail.

  • Trains & Things, a multiplayer-focused economic strategy game enters Early Access

    Developer bitshift have announced their multiplayer focused economic strategy game, Trains & Things, is now available in Early Access. With cross-platform online multiplayer to play in co-op or against others, simple track building, mod and custom map support it could be a good one to keep an eye on.

  • xow, a Linux driver for the Xbox One Controller wireless dongle has a new release up

    If you're using an Xbox One controller on Linux, you should keep an eye on the xow driver which aims to support multiple versions of it and multiple controllers. xow 0.3 was released last night adding in full rumble functionality "including triggers", udev rules so you no longer require root/super user privileges, there's a Makefile uninstall target and they added support for the Xbox One Elite Controller too. Additionally, it fixes an incompatibility with the mt76 kernel driver and a crash when unplugging the dongle while pairing.

First look: What’s new in the upcoming LibreOffice 6.4

LibreOffice 6.4 is packed with new features. Here’s what’s in store. Read more

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Red Hat Leftovers

  • Red Hat Extends Runtimes Middleware Portfolio

    Red Hat has made available the latest instance of Red Hat Runtimes, a suite of lightweight open source components and frameworks that makes it easier to discover the middleware most appropriate for building a specific type of application.

  • OpenShift 4.3: User Management Improvements

    The Red Hat OpenShift Web Console has always strived to be the easiest way to interact with OpenShift resources, and in version 4.3 we’ve added more capabilities around viewing and editing user management resources. Dedicated pages to view Users and Groups for the cluster have been added, allowing cluster admins to easily see who has access to the cluster and how they are organized. These new pages are consolidated under one navigation section, so there is now just one place to look for any user management resource. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Culture of innovation: Open Data Hub

    Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven through the Office of the CTO and includes Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and innovative projects such as the Open Data Hub. We recently interviewed Juana Nakfour, Senior Software Engineer in the AI Center of Excellence for the office of the CTO at Red Hat, about this very topic.

  • OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) 4 Networking Overvi
  • How open data is helping create change in Chile
  • Starting Small: Open Data in Chile