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Microsoft

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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Microsoft Warning Issued For Millions Of Windows 10 Users

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Microsoft

Proactive users can also download the Windows Update troubleshooter, which will allow you to hide problematic updates and prevent them from reinstalling. As things stand, it is fast becoming essential software for all Windows 10 users.

This week Microsoft demonstrated the future of Windows updates. The advances target a new generation of dual-screen devices and are not meant for the millions of existing Windows 10 PCs and laptops. Meanwhile, long-overdue Windows 10 update improvements were suddenly shelved.

Microsoft, it is time to prioritize the present.

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If you're running Windows, I feel bad for you, son. Microsoft's got 99 problems, better fix each one

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Microsoft

Microsoft had one of its largest patch bundles in recent memory, as the Windows giant released fixes for 99 CVE-listed vulnerabilities.

These included CVE-2020-0674, a remote code execution flaw in Internet Explorer's Trident rendering engine that is already being exploited in the wild. This hole would typically be exploited by a malicious webpage or the like to infect a visiting vulnerable computer.

"Even if you don’t use IE, you could still be affected by this bug though embedded objects in Office documents," noted Dustin Childs of the Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative.

"Considering the listed workaround – disabling jscript.dll – breaks a fair amount of functionality, you should prioritize the testing and deployment of this patch."

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Proprietary Windows Stories and Proprietary Microsoft SDK

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

Lessons learned maintaining EdgeDeflector for Windows 10

Filed under
Microsoft
Web

Three years ago, I released EdgeDeflector; a tiny open-source utility program for Windows 10. It reinforces the default web browser setting in situations when Microsoft ignores its own setting and pushes you to use its Edge browser instead. It’s a tiny software project that I’ve not had to write any new code for in years. However, supporting it has proven a frustrating experience.

The origin story of EdgeDeflector is a tiny act of rebellion against tech behemoths abusing their market positions. Microsoft uses Windows 10 features like Search, Cortana, and others to force users to open links in its Microsoft Edge web browser. The operating system has a default web browser setting, but Microsoft circumvents this setting in certain parts of its operating system. It doesn’t respect the choices of its consumers to not use its software. EdgeDeflector gave back this control.

EdgeDeflector was positively received by users and has been downloaded over 300 000 times. 265 000 through the project page on GitHub and 35 000 times from mirrors. It popped up in all the Windows news/fan blogs within a few months of its launch. It still occasionally receives coverage from tech blogs with nothing more original to cover.

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Also: I opened up Edge to test something and it added BING as a search provider in Firefox. The only thing in there before was DuckDuckGo.

Microsoft flirts with new anti-trust challenge with new Start Menu-based Edge ads

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Legal

Microsoft originally implemented the “Suggested” section on the Windows 10 Start Menu as a way to advertise its official apps; but in the latest listing, Microsoft has gone beyond self-promotion.

Microsoft’s recent extensive advertising is becoming hard to ignore, which has prompted many users to disable the ads. Those who haven’t done so may have noticed the most recent one takes a dig at a competitor browser.

The listing displays “Still using Firefox? Microsoft Edge is here”, to all users of the former- even with the latter already installed. The ad provides a link to download the chromium-based browser.

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Also: Windows 7: a major bug prevents turning off or restarting the PC

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More in Tux Machines

Intel’s 5G-oriented Atom P5900 features up to 24 10nm Tremont cores

Like the C3000, the P5900 supports up to 128GB DDR4, now at up to 2933 MT/s. It similarly supports 16x PCIe 3.0, 16x SATA 3.0, 4x USB 3.0, and 4x USB 2.0 interfaces. However, the SATA links can now be reconfigured as up to 16x PCIe 2.0 or 16x USB 3.0, so you can now have up to 32x PCIe lanes. Other features include GPIO, 3x UARTs, and -40 to 85°C support. We saw no mention of OS support, but we imagine that like the Atom C3000, the Atom P5900 is primarily designed to run Linux. The C3000 has appeared on a variety of Linux-powered networking appliances such as Advantech’s FWA-1012VC, as well as numerous COM Express Type 7 modules like Avnet/MSC’s MSC C7B-DV. Earlier this month, it showed up on a Versalogic Grizzly SBC. Read more

Games: Ultimate Chicken Horse, Dota Underlords, Overclocking With GreenWithEnvy

  • Hilarious party-platformer 'Ultimate Chicken Horse' free update due next month

    Ultimate Chicken Horse, a party-platform where you build the platforms as you go is getting a sweet free update with some new toys to play with next month. A game you absolutely need to play too! After only just getting into it myself thanks to the Humble Sweet Farm Bundle last month, it was pretty hilarious to try. Clever Endeavour Games have now announced the "A·cobra·tic Update" which is due out on March 12, for all platforms and it's free. It's going to include a new Snake character (who rides a Skateboard), two new levels and four new blocks. Along with "a handful of improvements, minor additions to the game, and plenty of bug fixes". The new blocks flamethrower, one-way gate, cannon and beehive sound like they will be fun to screw with others.

  • Dota Underlords from Valve is out with the City Crawl campaign mode

    Valve's latest game, Dota Underlords, has today left Early Access and with it comes a huge patch full of new content and features. The biggest addition to the Underlords strategy game is the City Crawl campaign. A single-player mode, that explains a bit about what's going on. It seems "Mama Eeb" passed away, leaving a power vacuum in White Spire, with the four Underlords attempting to take control. City Crawl is where you do that, as you go through various different types of challenges and while doing so earn new outfits for the Underlords.

  • Linux Gaming: Overclock your Nvidia GPU on Linux with GreenWithEnvy

    Overclocking your Nvidia card on Linux used to be a nightmare. There was lots of different commands you had to type into the terminal, and there was no easy way to monitor your temperature and fan speeds. Thanks to Roberto Leinardi’s program GreenWithEnvy, you can now overclock with a simple, clean GUI.

Programming: AWK and Python

  • The easy-going syntax of AWK commands

    An endearing feature of AWK is the flexibility of its syntax. Some other languages have very strict rules about how to write commands, and if you disobey the rules, you get error messages.

  • Easily Clip/Split Large Videos With this Python Script

    Sometimes you have may have a large video file, and you want to split that video into many smaller videos with start and end times that you specify yourself. And of course, you don’t want to do it manually with a video editor because it’s gonna take forever. What we are talking about for example, is when you have a video of 10 minutes, and you want to create 3 smaller clips out of it such that the first one is between 1:20 and 2:20 for example, and the second one is between 3:00 and 4:00 and the last one is between 7:10 and 8:15. Such things is theoretically hard, but not with Python and its amazing tools!

  • Real Python: How to Work With a PDF in Python

    The Portable Document Format or PDF is a file format that can be used to present and exchange documents reliably across operating systems. While the PDF was originally invented by Adobe, it is now an open standard that is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). You can work with a preexisting PDF in Python by using the PyPDF2 package.

  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #409 (Feb. 25, 2020)

Linux (Kernel): Clear Linux, AMD Radeon Graphics and Raspberry Pi 4

  • One Of Clear Linux's Kernel Patches To Help With Boot Time Proposed For Upstreaming

    Besides Clear Linux delivering often leading x86_64 Linux performance at run-time, when it comes to boot performance it has also been at the forefront -- in some configurations, can boot in 300 ms. Intel has invested significantly in ensuring Clear Linux boots as fast as possible for when running in the cloud or on containers in order to respond to increased demand as quickly as possible as well as for use-cases like Clear Linux within automobiles where they need to get automobile cameras active within two seconds of power on. One of their many kernel patches could be on its way to the mainline kernel.

  • Running The Linux 5.6 Kernel With AMD Radeon Graphics

    Now hitting about mid-way through the Linux 5.6 kernel with early fallout having been addressed, we've been ramping up our testing/benchmarking of this next major kernel release. Here is our initial experience with the AMDGPU driver on Linux 5.6. Linux 5.6 brings many new features As it concerns the AMDGPU kernel driver, there is reset support for Renoir and Navi, initial bring-up for AMD Pollock, HDCP 2.x support, the kernel bits for Vulkan timeline semaphore support, DP MST DSC compression, and other fixes and code improvements.

  • VC4 DRM Driver Gets Patched For BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Support

    While the Linux 5.5 kernel landed Broadcom BCM2711 SoC and Raspberry Pi 4 enablement, one of the loose ends has been getting the open-source "VC4" DRM driver wired up for the display hardware on this latest Raspberry Pi. Patches are now pending for VC4 DRM to provide that display support and could potentially see it mainlined for Linux 5.7.