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Linux Foundation: Blockchains, Node.js Foundation, and Microsoft Entryism

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Linux
Microsoft
  • How the blockchain could secure our identities

    We’re bringing information and devices online at an unprecedented rate, raising one of the fundamental questions of our time: how do we represent ourselves in this digital world that we are creating? And, more importantly, how do we secure our identity in a digital world? We’ve heard about blockchain for currencies and smart contracts; a compelling and crucial application is in securing online identity.

  • The future of Node.js: Q&A with Mark Hinkle

    onceived in 2015, the Node.js Foundation is focused on supporting Node.js and its related modules through an open governance model. Node.js as a technology has gone through a lot of changes in the last few years, and is becoming a staple in the enterprise. It is used across industries to build applications at any scale.

    Executive Director of the Node.js Foundation, Mark Hinkle provides commentary on the growth of Node.js in general, how the Node.js Foundation works with the community and what he is most excited about this year with Node.js.

  • Extending Kubernetes API for Complex Stateful Applications using Operator [Ed: Writer "spent several years working at Microsoft in the Entertainment division and most recently in the Windows and Windows Live division." Now in Linux Foundation events, sites. A form of entryism.]
  • The Future of Kubernetes Is Serverless [Ed: Microsoft entryist in a Linux Foundation event (money buys keynote spots) promotes the illusion of "serverless". No, Kubernetes always requires a server. The Linux Foundation promotes this piece.]
  • High Availability Microsoft SQL Server in a Linux Environment [Ed: The Linux Foundation promotes Microsoft's proprietary software. Ain't that lovely? It doesn't even run on GNU/Linux but on DrawBridge.]

Jail for Helping to Spread Microsoft Software

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Microsoft
  • How Microsoft Convinced Clueless Judges To Send A Man To Jail For Copying Software It Gives Out For Free

    This story should make you very, very angry. Last month we had the basic story of how Microsoft had helped to get a computer recycler sentenced to 15 months in jail for "counterfeiting" software that it gives away for free, and which is useless unless you have an official paid-for license from Microsoft. Let me repeat that: Microsoft helped put someone in jail for criminal infringement over software that anyone can get for free (here, go get it), and which won't function unless you've paid Microsoft their due.

    At issue are Windows recovery discs. Way back when, these were the discs that usually shipped with new computers in case you needed to reinstall Windows. You still needed your license to make them work, of course. Then people realized it was wasteful to ship all that -- combined with enough broadband to make it easy enough to download and burn the files, and Microsoft then just made it easy to do that. But, that's still complex enough, and Eric Lundgren had a solution. Lundgren is not some fly-by-night pirate. He's spent years doing amazing things, recycling computers and helping them last longer. And he had an idea. It might be helpful to manufacture a bunch of these recovery discs and offer them to repair shops to help people who were unable to download the recovery discs themselves. He was being helpful.

    But Microsoft insisted that he was not just infringing on their copyrights civilly, but criminally. When we left things last month, we were waiting for the 11th Circuit Appeals Court to consider Lundgren's appeal -- and astoundingly this week the judges, demonstrating near total ignorance of technology and the actual legal issues -- rejected his appeal which means Lundgren is going to jail for over a year for trying to do some good in the world, helping people get the exact same thing that Microsoft is offering for free, and which no one could use unless they'd already paid Microsoft its tax.

    [...]

    Look, that statement is pure hogwash. The software is not counterfeit. It's legit. It's the same thing that anyone can download from Microsoft for free. It didn't expose anyone to malware or cybercrime, and Microsoft knows that.

    So much of this comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding, driven by copyright maximalists of all stripes, including Microsoft. And it's the idea that all of the following are equivalent: a copyright, a piece of software, a license, and "intellectual property." Many people like to use all of those things indistinguishably. But they are different. The issue here is the difference between the software and the license. And Microsoft, prosecutors and the judges either do not understand this or just don't care.

  • E-waste recycler Eric Lundgren loses appeal on computer restore disks, must serve 15-month prison term

    A California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the “restore disks” he made to extend the lives of computers had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed Microsoft’s products to the tune of $700,000.

    The appeals court upheld a federal district judge’s ruling that the disks made by Eric Lundgren to restore Microsoft operating systems had a value of $25 apiece, even though they could be downloaded free and could be used only on computers with a valid Microsoft license. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit initially granted Lundgren an emergency stay of his prison sentence, shortly before he was to surrender, but then affirmed his original 15-month sentence and $50,000 fine without hearing oral argument in a ruling issued April 11.

Security Stunts From Microsoft and Crash Reporting

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Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft Linuxwashing and Research Openwashing

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Malware in Microsoft, Bugs in Android Apps

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Android
Google
Microsoft
Web

'Microsoft Linux'

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Microsoft

Microsoft EEE/Openwashing

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Microsoft Openwashing

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Riot Games, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, Dead Cells

  • Riot Games' anti-cheat software for League also targets Linux users
    This week Riot Games implemented a new anti-cheat software for the game that is meant to limit the number of players who use third-party programs while playing. Most of these programs help users cheat in-game, such as by inputting movement commands for a player to allow them to dodge enemy skillshots. Unfortunately for players who run Linux as their operating system, the new anti-cheat also targets it as a third-party program, preventing them from playing League. Many players took to Reddit and other forums to protest the change, even creating a petition for Riot to add Linux compatibility.
  • Riot Games New Anti-Cheat Could Wipe Out League of Legends Linux Player Base
    ​Riot Games has been working on a new anti-cheat system for League of Legends. There are reports that this update would make the game unplayable for Linux users, because it would make the game incompatible with virtual environments, something Linux users have to employ to play the game.
  • A small but nice update on Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and Linux support
    We've been waiting quite a while for any real news on the Linux port of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation [Official Site]. While we still don't know when, we do know it's still happening.
  • Dead Cells, a 'RogueVania' now has a Beta available for Linux
    Dead Cells mixes in elements of a Rogue-lite with a MetroidVania to create an interesting mix and it's now available on Linux with a Beta. I did notice in the comments of the previous article, that people were debating the choice of article title. I said it was a "rogue-lite metroidvania action-platformer", which was obviously a bit wrong. They've actually coined their own term for it, calling it a "RogueVania".

"Microsoft may find the developers it just paid so much to reach slipping from its grasp."

  • Mixed Reaction
  • After Github purchase, Microsoft remains a relatively untrusted open source player to some
  • What is GitHub?
    GitHub is now the de facto home of open-source software. But Microsoft’s acquisition reignited a debate over the platform’s centrality. Microsoft assures users the service is safe under its stewardship, but many are wary. When Mr Ballmer spoke of developers, he had a specific sort in mind: those using Microsoft’s tools to build projects for Microsoft products. He once called open-source Linux a “cancer”, which would spread uncontrollably. In a sense, his words proved prophetic: today, open-source software is everywhere, from websites to financial markets to self-driving cars. Under Mr Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has embraced open-source development. In buying GitHub it hopes to gain the trust of developers it once spurned. But some wonder if the change is complete, or if Microsoft will use its newly bought dominance of open-source hosting to push its own products. Alternatives to GitHub—some themselves open-source—wait in the wings. If it is not careful, Microsoft may find the developers it just paid so much to reach slipping from its grasp.

Making Free Software Suffer Using New Laws

  • Free software is at risk in the EU -- take action now
    Members of the European Parliament want to turn upload platforms like GitLab into "censorship machines" that require user-uploaded materials to be monitored and automatically filtered, a process which would prevent modified and reused code from being uploaded. This provision is covered under Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. If Article 13, embedded within the proposal, becomes official policy, it will be impossible for developers to build off of one another's code -- which is not only a blow to the collaborative development of free software, but a push against the basic freedoms of free software. Software isn't free unless it can be modified and shared. Article 13 will affect all users of free software -- as development of free software suffers, the quality and availability of updates, new features, and new programs will also suffer.
  • Open Source Industry Australia Says Zombie TPP Could Destroy Free Software Licensing
    Without the ability to enforce compliance through the use of injunctions, open source licenses would once again be pointless. Although the OSIA is concerned about free software in Australia, the same logic would apply to any TPP-11 country. It would also impact other nations that joined the Pacific pact later, as the UK is considering (the UK government seems not to have heard of the gravity theory for trade). It would presumably apply to the US if it did indeed rejoin the pact, as has been mooted. In other words, the impact of this section on open source globally could be significant. It's worth remembering why this particular article is present in TPP. It grew out of concerns that nations like China and Russia were demanding access to source code as a pre-requisite of allowing Western software companies to operate in their countries. Article 14.17 was designed as a bulwark against such demands. It's unlikely that it was intended to destroy open source licensing too, although some spotted early on that this was a risk. And doubtless a few big software companies will be only too happy to see free software undermined in this way. Unfortunately, it's probably too much to hope that the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade will care about or even understand this subtle software licensing issue. The fate of free software in Australia will therefore depend on whether TPP-11 comes into force, and if so, what judges think Article 14.17 means.

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