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Microsoft

LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office: It's a format war

Filed under
LibO
Microsoft

Sun Microsystems was home to many critical open source projects including OpenOffice, MySQL, Java, and VirtualBox. When Oracle acquired Sun, members of these projects grew concerned about their projects. MySQL was forked, and the OpenOffice community created a body called The Document Foundation (TDF) to ensure the survival of the project.

However, Oracle was displeased about the formation of TDF and the ensuing conflict led to LibreOffice becoming a fork of OpenOffice. The first release of LibreOffice came in 2011. By 2012, TDF was registered as an organization in Germany.

On February 1, 2017, LibreOffice reached another major milestone with the release of version 5.3 and a brand new experimental interface, which may play a big role in the adoption of LibreOffice. At the same time, a new era of LibreOffice began with the arrival of LibreOffice Online.

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Windows Ransom

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Police dept loses evidence in Windows ransomware strike

    In an incident that again underlines the danger posed by Windows ransomware, the police department of a city in Texas has lost video evidence dating back to 2009 and a host of documents following an attack by what appears to be a new strain of the Locky ransomware.

    The affected station is Cockrell Hill, a city in Dallas County. The story was first published by the TV station WFAA.

    In a media release, the police department said: "This virus affected all Microsoft Office Suite documents, such as Word documents and Excel files.

    "In addition, all body camera video, some in-car video, some in-house surveillance video, and some photographs that were stored on the server were corrupted and were lost."

  • Backup?

    Of course, complexity grew too and intruders and malware attacked over the network. About 2003/4 the situation got so bad that the Wintel empire was threatened. Resources were poured into the problem. Code got better. Users became more aware of danger. The problem remains that the number of users and the number of attackers has grown to the point that no one anywhere at any time can be 100% secure. Of course, there is the backup, a copy of everything that can be rolled out to put things back the way they were. That’s what this police-department needed but it didn’t have a good backup, just a copy of the corrupted data where the backup should have been. Someone had the right idea but lacked the imagination to put in more depth.

  • Hotel ransomed by hackers as guests locked in rooms

    Hotel management said that they have now been hit three times by cybercriminals who this time managed to take down the entire key system. The guests could no longer get in or out of the hotel rooms and new key cards could not be programmed.

    The attack, which coincided with the opening weekend of the winter season, was allegedly so massive that it even shut down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system.

    The hackers promised to restore the system quickly if just 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in Bitcoin was paid to them.

GoboLinux: Questioning the Linux File Hierarchy

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Sometimes, distinguishing one of the several hundred available Linux distributions from another seems impossible. That, however, is not the problem with GoboLinux. Admittedly, its main claim to uniqueness is its radical reorganization of the Linux file hierarchy may seldom be seen by casual users, but as a challenge to the accepted standards, it is definitely worth a closer look.

This reorganization is not the only innovation in GoboLinux. Its call for a reconsideration of a single, all-powerful user, like Solaris’ use of roles, would improve basic security. Similarly, its renaming of /home as /Users and /usrs as /Programs seems a sensible clarification — although one or two name changes, such as using “gobo” for “root” seems pointless, an in-joke that should have been resisted. Such improvements prove that GoboLinux is more than an arbitrary system of changes, or the implementation of personal idiosyncrancies. In fact, many of its changes amount to a modernization of the traditional Linux file hierarchy that takes into account the much larger system resources of today compared to those of the era in which the file hierarchy began.

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Wine 2 Instead of Vista 10

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Software
Mac

GNU/Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Google for Education intros two Chromebooks with stylus capability

    Schools love Chromebooks, so Google for Education has launched two new models they can choose from: the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and the Asus Chromebook C213. Both devices have touchscreen displays and come with a low-cost stylus that resembles #2 pencils kids can use to take notes. The stylus has an eraser just like a real pencil does, though its version obviously deals with digital mistakes. Plus, kids can easily share and replace it, since it doesn't need to be charged or paired. The feature sounds especially useful for science and math subjects that require students to write out formulas and equations. As Roger Nixon, Director of ICT at Wheatley Park School, Oxford said: "Stylus on Chromebooks will be a massive help for mathematics."

  • A Pin Factory and Happy Hacking Linux

    Imagine you have a pin factory. A very simple business, you have humans and machines working together to produce pins. Your goal is to produce as much as you can within a day. Your factory needs the best workspace setup because the whole business depends on how productive your factory is. If your machines are slow, you may produce half of what your competitor can produce in a day, which means, price competition will beat you up soon.

    [...]

    This is why I created Happy Hacking Linux for all of us. It’s a new Linux distro that combines the best developer setup, so you can turn even an old desktop computer into blazing fast desktop that is designed for building software.

  • Linux: Is Xfce better than Windows 10?

    One of the best things about Linux is the range of choices it offers when it comes to desktop environments. There really is a Linux desktop for everybody out there, no matter what hardware they are using.

    One user recently switched to the Xfce desktop and found that it was much better than Windows 10. He shared his thoughts in a thread on the Linux subreddit.

Don’t let Microsoft exploit Bangladesh’s IT talent

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Open-source software is effectively a public good and owned by everyone who uses it.

So there is no conflict of interest in the Bangladesh government paying programmers to fix bugs and security holes in open-source software, because the Bangladesh government would be as much an owner of the software as anyone else, and benefit from the increased use-value of the improved software as much as any other user.

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Openwashing and EEE

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft Demise (More Layoffs), UNIX Demise, Rise of GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft expected to cut more jobs

    Microsoft will announce the final 700 job cuts for FY 2016-17 next week at its quarterly earnings report. Analysts are saying that is not too bad for a company employing more than 114,000 people.

    Indeed, these layoffs had already been announced last June as part of a 2850 right-sizing that was to be completed by end of January 2017, presumably after the US holiday season and before the end of Microsoft’s financial year.

  • Oracle lays off more than 1,000 employees

    According to the Mercury News, Oracle is laying off approximately 450 employees in its Santa Clara hardware systems division. Reports at The Layoff, a discussion board for technology business firings, claim about 1,800 employees company-wide are being pink-slipped.

  • A Night On The Town

    We talked for an hour about teaching in the North and how I came to GNU/Linux. He could relate because he had also done work in the North and served customers there. There was absolutely no discussion of the flaws of GNU/Linux or why it’s inferior to That Other OS. We both found GNU/Linux far superior for reliable IT. Amen.

From Windows to GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Turn an old laptop into a Chromebook-Linux hybrid

    Common scenario: You buy a new laptop, thinking you'll sell, donate or hand down the old one... but it never happens. Maybe you don't want to deal with the hassles of Craigslist or Ebay, not to mention wiping all your data, reinstalling Windows and so on.

    Whatever the case, now it's just taking up space. But it doesn't have to: You can give that old laptop new life.

    With Linux, right? Wrong! I mean, yes, you could install Linux, which has always been the go-to option, but not everybody needs or wants the complexity of that operating system. For some, Chromium might be the better choice.

    Chromium is the OS that's at the heart of Chromebooks -- those fast-booting, cloud-powered devices that are so popular these days. Think about it: For whatever reason, no one buys Linux laptops. They buy Chromebooks.

    If you like the idea of giving your old system a Chromebook-like lease on life, good news: It's fast, free and easy. And it's not even permanent unless you want it to be.

  • When Peer Pressure Nukes Linux for Windows

    Several months ago, my 16-year-old grandson decided he wanted a powerful computer for gaming. I showed him Steam and some other stuff in Linux and he thought that looked good, so I started accumulating parts. If it was substantially more powerful than anything I have for myself, it was on the list. Sorry I don’t have the details list nearby, but it had a motherboard with a name I had heard, a fairly fast AMD processor with six cores, maxed out RAM, 1TB hard drive, video that took up two slots and had two fans, power supply you could use for welding, and a pair of 22″ monitors.

    I installed Mint 17.3 KDE in less than half an hour (the usual), including separate swap and home partitions (it’s a neurotic thing), setting wallpaper and the like, and doing whatever came to mind at the time. It ran flawlessly and I was happy, so I played with it a while. I really liked it. If I could think of a use, I’d build one for myself.

  • That Other Operating System Continues Its Decline

    The big winner is the Linux kernel. The vociferous opponents of GNU/Linux who haunt this blog can’t have it both ways. If GNU/Linux is not “GNU” and is Linux, then Android/Linux can’t be just Android. It’s Linux underneath.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: WebKit, Fleet Commander, Introducing deviced

  • On Compiling WebKit (now twice as fast!)
    Are you tired of waiting for ages to build large C++ projects like WebKit? Slow headers are generally the problem. Your C++ source code file #includes a few headers, all those headers #include more, and those headers #include more, and more, and more, and since it’s C++ a bunch of these headers contain lots of complex templates to slow down things even more. Not fun.
  • Fleet Commander is looking for a GSoC student to help us take over the world
    Fleet Commander has seen quite a lot of progress recently, of which I should blog about soon. For those unaware, Fleet Commander is an effort to make GNOME great for IT administrators in large deployments, allowing them to deploy desktop and application configuration profiles across hundreds of machines with ease through a web administration UI based on Cockpit. It is mostly implemented in Python.
  • Introducing deviced
    Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been heads down working on a new tool along with Patrick Griffis. The purpose of this tool is to make it easier to integrate IDEs and other tooling with GNU-based gadgets like phones, tablets, infotainment, and IoT devices. Years ago I was working on a GNOME-based home router with davidz which sadly we never finished. One thing that was obvious to me in that moment of time was that I’m not doing another large scale project until I had better tooling. That is Builder’s genesis, and device integration is what will make it truly useful to myself and others who love playing with GNU-friendly gadgets.

KDE: Usability & Productivity, AtCore , Krita

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 6
  • AtCore takes to the pi
    The Raspberry Pi3 is a small single board computer that costs around $35 (USD). It comes with a network port, wifi , bt , 4 usb ports , gpio pins , camera port , a display out, hdmi, a TRRS for analog A/V out. 1GB of ran and 4 ~1GHz armv8 cores Inside small SOC. Its storage is a microSd card they are a low cost and low power device. The Touchscreen kit is an 800×480 display that hooks to the Gpio for touch and dsi port for video. To hold our hardware is the standard touch screen enclosure that often comes with the screen if you buy it in a kit.
  • Look, new presets! Another Krita 4 development build!
    We’ve been focusing like crazy on the Krita 4 release. We managed to close some 150 bugs in the past month, and Krita 4 is getting stable enough for many people to use day in, day out. There’s still more to be done, of course! So we’ll continue fixing issues and applying polish for at least another four weeks. One of the things we’re doing as well is redesigning the set of default brush presets and brush tips that come with Krita. Brush tips are the little images one can paint with, and brush presets are the brushes you can select in the brush palette or brush popup. The combination of a tip, some settings and a smart bit of coding! Our old set was fine, but it was based on David Revoy‘s earliest Krita brush bundles, and for Krita 4 we are revamping the entire set. We’ve added many new options to the brushes since then! So, many artists are working together to create a good-looking, useful and interesting brushes for Krita 4.

Software: GIMP, Spyder, SMPlayer

  • Five free photo and video editing tools that could save burning a hole in your pocket and take your creativity to the next level
    GIMP stands for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program and is the first word that people usually think about when it comes to free image editors. It’s a raster graphics editor, available on multiple platforms on PC. It has a similar interface to Photoshop: you have your tools on one side, there’s an option for your tool window and then you have your layers window on another side. Perhaps one of the most useful features of GIMP is the option of plugins. There is a wide database for them and there’s a plugin for almost any task you might need to carry out. GIMP is extremely extensive, and it’s the choice of the FOSS community, thanks to the fact that it’s also open source. However, there are also some disadvantages. For example, GIMP has no direct RAW support yet (you have to install a plugin to enable it, which means a split workflow). It also has quite a bit of a learning curve as compared to Photoshop or Lightroom.
  • Introducing Spyder, the Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment
    If you want to use Anaconda for science projects, one of the first things to consider is the spyder package, which is included in the basic Anaconda installation. Spyder is short for Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment. Think of it as an IDE for scientific programming within Python.
  • SMPlayer 18.2.2 Released, Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint Via PPA
    SMPlayer is a free media player created for Linux and Windows, it was released under GNU General Public License. Unlike other players it doesn't require you to install codecs to play something because it carries its own all required codecs with itself. This is the first release which now support MPV and some other features such as MPRIS v2 Support, new theme, 3D stereo filter and more. It uses the award-winning MPlayer as playback engine which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats (avi, mkv, wmv, mp4, mpeg... see list).

Funding: Ethereum and Outreachy

  • How Will a $100 Mln Grant Help Ethereum Scale?
    On Feb. 16, six large-scale Blockchain projects OmiseGo, Cosmos, Golem, Maker and Raiden, that have completed successful multi-million dollar initial coin offerings (ICOs) last year, along with Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain have created the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF), to fund projects and businesses within the Ethereum ecosystem.
  • Outreachy Is Now Accepting Applications For Their Summer 2018 Internships
    This week Google announced the participating organizations for GSoC 2018 for students wishing to get involved with open-source/Linux development. Also happening this week is the application period opened for those wishing to participate in the summer 2018 paid internship program.