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Microsoft

Replacing Windows

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Windows Alternatives: 7 Powerful Operating Systems in 2019

    With 1.5 billion active users, Microsoft Windows stands straight as the most popular operating system in the entire world. No other OS in human history has served these many desktop machines. However, we submit that Windows has no grip over the mobile phone industry, where Android is competing with its over 1 billion active mobile machines. Therefore, we will keep ourselves to personal computers, although it’s a matter of time when the line between mobile phones and computer fade away. Anyhow, despite the popularity of Windows, the OS is not for everyone. The price is high and we found that users often complain about its buggy updates and functionality problems. In fact, the problem of a slow PC has been prevalent through the years, and it doesn’t seem to go anywhere even with its latest Windows 10. All this suggest that we should explore some Microsoft Windows Alternatives.

  • Chrome OS 75 will let you uninstall Linux apps from the launcher on your Chromebook

    Currently, it’s easy to uninstall either a Chrome web app, a PWA (Progressive Web App) or an Android app from a Chromebook: You can typically right click on the app in your Chrome OS launcher to see an “Uninstall” menu option. There’s no such method to do this for installed Linux apps though. There will be.

How Microsoft Boosters Have Covered Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft’s New Skype for Web Doesn’t Support Linux and Mozilla Firefox

    Microsoft has released the new Skype for Web, letting users chat with their contacts without the need for installing a desktop client.

    And while this is possible using nothing more than the browser, the new version of the service comes with some unexpected limitations.

    First and foremost, Microsoft says that you must be running Windows 10 or macOS 10.12 or higher to be able to connect to Skype for Web, which means that Linux isn’t officially supported.
    Furthermore, the only browsers that are compatible with the new Skype for Web are Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, so you won’t be able to use Mozilla Firefox to chat in the browser.

  • Micosoft’s new Skype for Web no longer supports ChromeOS or Linux

    Microsoft announced a slick new Skype for Web yesterday,integrating most of the features it had brought to the desktop over the past year. In what seems to be a puzzling omission, the web app no longer supports Chrome OS or Linux. That is to say, users aren’t simply prevented from using the new web skype interface, they are disallowed from using Skype for the web, period.

  • Windows 10, macOS get new Skype for Web: HD video, call recording but Linux misses out

    Skype for Web has many of the features it showed off in preview last October, including high-definition video calling, Skype-to-Skype call recording, and a notifications panel.

    There's also a search box within chats for finding messages in the current conversation and a chat media gallery for finding files, links, and photos shared in a conversation. This feature should save time compared with scrolling through chat history.

    As with the preview, Microsoft notes in a blogpost that the new Skype for Web requires Windows and MacOS 10.12 or higher and the latest versions of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

    That means Skype for Web won't work on a Chromebook or on an Ubuntu or any other Linux machine, and nor will it work in the Firefox browser.

    This limitation annoyed some fans during the Skype for Web preview, who were obliged to install the desktop app. It's sure to annoy more Firefox and Linux users now that Skype for Web is more widely available.

Microsoft's and the NSA's Openwashing of Surveillance

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Microsoft
  • Windows Calculator Goes Open Source [Ed Microsoft is now openwashing its surveillance in Vista 10]
  • Microsoft Open Sources Code Of Windows Calculator On GitHub
  • Microsoft makes Windows Calculator open source on GitHub [Ed: Releasing the proof is Windows is malware and spyware]
  • How To Install Ubuntu On Windows 10 In Simple Steps [Ed: Just a subset of it for Microsoft to control and spy on]

    Looking for a simple guide to install Ubuntu on a Windows 10 PC.

  • Get started with PowerShell Core on Linux [Ed: Next strategic step is making GNU/Linux just a subset of Microsoft Windows]
  • Spy Games: the NSA and GCHQ Offer Their Software to the Open Source Community [Ed: Trying to come across as less objectionable by openwashing]

    Spies worth their salt are generally expected to be good at keeping secrets. With dead drops, encryption, cyanide pills and the like, openly sharing useful information isn’t supposed to be a part of the job description.

    So it caught more than a few of us off guard when a couple years ago, some of the top spy agencies began contributing code to GitHub, making it available to the masses by open-sourcing some of their software.

    The National Security Agency, the American signals intelligence organization that is tasked with the majority of the cyber-snooping, has released two separate pages on GitHub. The first is the NSA's primary account on GitHub that has 17 listed repos, followed up by its more substantive “NSA Cybersecurity” page with its 31 repositories.

    Even though the NSA appears to have been posting some of its software as open source since 2017, presumably a result in part of the effort from the US government to make more of the code produced by the USG available to the public, the agency made news in early January when it announced plans to release a new product to the Open Source community.

  • The NSA Makes Ghidra, a Powerful Cybersecurity Tool, Open Source

    You can't use Ghidra to hack devices; it's instead a reverse engineering platform used to take "compiled," deployed software and "decompile" it. In other words, it transforms the ones and zeros that computers understand back into a human-readable structure, logic, and set of commands that reveals what the software you churn through it does. Reverse engineering is a crucial process for malware analysts and threat intelligence researchers, because it allows them to work backward from software they discover in the wild—like malware being used to carry out attacks—to understand how it works, what its capabilities are, and who wrote it or where it came from. Reverse engineering is also an important way for defenders to check their own code for weaknesses, and confirm that it works as intended.

Forget Windows Use Linux – A Distro Designed to Work with Android

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OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Over a year ago, we published a list of the Top 10 Open Source Distros You Haven’t Heard About, and while we also had good suggestions in the comments but the subject of our article today was nowhere in our radar. It goes by the name of FWUL which, interestingly, stands for Forget Windows, Use Linux.

FWUL (Forget Windows Use Linux) is a lightweight open-source Operating System based on Arch Linux that started as an initiative to create a smooth Android-like User Experience for desktop users who had issues with Microsoft Windows.

The same FWUL has an interesting name for an Operating System is the same way it has an interesting back story. The developer always pointed users to Linux whenever the complained about their issues with Windows because he believed that most of them were fixable in Linux.

However, popular distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint didn’t include everything Android users need. For example, Ubuntu users still need to enter commands to install some apps, flashing Android phones requires the installation of certain drivers, etc.

Read more

'Chromisation' of GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
  • Google Chrome/Chromium Begins Landing POWER PPC64LE Patches

    Raptor Computing Systems spent a lot of time last year working on Chrome's PPC64LE support to enable Google's web browser to run on the latest IBM POWER processors. Google was sitting on these patches without any action for months but finally they are beginning to be accepted upstream. 

    It's been a bit odd with the PPC64LE support for Chrome/Chromium taking so long with Google being a founding member of the OpenPOWER Foundation and also reportedly using some POWER9 CPUs within their data centers. But after this long and drawn out process, progress is finally being made on getting Raptor's patches upstreamed. 

  • Chrome OS 74 adds support for backing up the Linux container

    Chrome OS version 74 has been reported on in the past, but if you're running this version then you can now back up and restore the Linux container it uses.

  • Chrome OS 74 brings much-needed audio support to Linux apps

    Spotted in the most recent Dev builds by About Chromebooks, the virtual machine responsible for Chrome OS’s Linux apps is now able to pass audio to Chrome OS proper. Under the hood, this is handled by PulseAudio, a well-known Linux sound system which is capable of transmitting audio data over a network.

    If you’ve never installed Linux apps support before on your Chromebook, it should work after initial install from the newest Chrome OS 74 Dev build. Otherwise, the Chromium team has provided some simple instructions of commands to be run to enable audio.

  • Windows 10 Updates Are Still A Confusing Mess, And This One Image Proves It

    A new way of looking at how Windows 10 Updates behave may just melt your brain.

    [...]

    I'll leave you with this webcomic by Brandon Bradshaw about how Linux updates your PC...

GAFAM: Microsoft's Misappropriation of "Linux", Google 'Invents' Linux Support for Sound, Apple Shuns GNU/Linux

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Google
Microsoft
Mac

Microsoft and Google 'EEE' GNU/Linux

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Google
Microsoft

Microsoft is Down and Pretending to be "Open"

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • Down productivity tools: Microsoft Teams takes a Monday tumble

    Microsoft's collaborative Slack-alike, Teams, is having a difficult start to the week, with users unable to log in to share their hopes, dreams and Word documents with their co-workers.

    Problems started at around 13:00 UTC, as users found themselves presented with connection errors as they attempted to hook up to the service. Naturally, they took to Twitter to share their experience.

  • Microsoft is going all-in on 'Inner Source' [Ed: Microsoft's de facto PR person at CBS on how Microsoft will keep giving malicious software with NSA back doors while calling it "open". Dr. Glyn Moody, to his credit, warned about it over a decade ago in Linux Journal when he said Microsoft would bamboozle nontechnical people/officials by claiming it itself is its competition and is "open source" (even when it's proprietary, with back doors).]
  • After Open Source, Microsoft Wants “Inner Source” For A Better Future [Ed: Having bribed OSI and others, Microsoft is now trying to redefine and totally control FOSS (all products proprietary but with openwashing for marketing purposes). Remember "Shared Source"? Microsoft keeps rebranding. Microsoft: we’re sort of kind of like “open”. We bought some things. BP: we’re sort of green. We changed our logo and mentioned words like “climate”.]

GNU Leveraged for Spying

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GNU
Microsoft

Microsoft Now Calls Windows "Linux" (Misleading People)

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.

Raspberry Pi 4 is here!

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi—Raspberry Pi 4—was released today, earlier than anticipated, featuring a new 1.5GHz Arm chip and VideoCore GPU with some brand new additions: dual-HDMI 4K display output; USB3 ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and multiple RAM options up to 4GB. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very powerful single-board computer and starts at the usual price of $35. That gets you the standard 1GB RAM, or you can pay $45 for the 2GB model or $55 for the 4GB model—premium-priced models are a first for Raspberry Pi. Read more

Open Data, Open Access and Open Hardware

  • DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set
    As climate change escalates, the impact of natural disasters is likely to become less predictable. To encourage the use of machine learning for building damage assessment this week, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI — the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit — open-sourced a labeled data set of some of the largest natural disasters in the past decade. Called xBD, it covers the impact of disasters around the globe, like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon,” reads a research paper detailing the creation of xBD. [...]

    xBD includes approximately 700,000 satellite images of buildings before and after eight different kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Covering about 5,000 square kilometers, it contains images of floods in India and Africa, dam collapses in Laos and Brazil, and historic deadly fires in California and Greece.

    The data set will be made available in the coming weeks alongside the xView 2.0 Challenge to unearth additional insights from xBD, coauthor and CrowdAI machine learning lead Jigar Doshi told VentureBeat. The data set collection effort was informed by the California Air National Guard’s approach to damage assessment from wildfires.

  • Open-source textbooks offer free alternative for UC Clermont students
    Some UC Clermont College students are avoiding paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks — and getting the content for free — thanks to online open-source textbooks, a growing trend among faculty at the college and throughout higher education. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer, who is also a professor of business, said the benefits of open textbooks are many. “All students have the book on the first day of class, it saves them a lot of money, and the information can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without carrying around a heavy textbook,” Bauer said. “They don’t need to visit the bookstore before or after each semester to buy or sell back books, either.”
  • Open Source Computer Controlled Loom Knits Pikachu For You
    The origin story of software takes us back past punch card computers and Babbage's Difference Engine to a French weaver called Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  • Successful open-source RISC-V microcontroller launched through crowdfunding
    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, launched the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V SoC reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from start of design to tape-out in less than three months employing the Efabless design flow produced on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations, the solution should operate at up to 150MHz.
  • Open Hardware: Open-Source MRI Scanners Could Bring Enormous Cost Savings
    Wulfsberg explore the possibilities of open source MRI scanning. As open-source technology takes its place around the world—everywhere from makerspaces to FabLabs, users on every level have access to design and innovation. In allowing such access to MRI scanning, the researchers realize the potential for ‘technological literacy’ globally—and with MRIs specifically, astronomical sums could be saved in healthcare costs. The authors point out that medical technology is vital to the population of the world for treating not only conditions and illnesses, but also disabilities. As so many others deeply involved in the world of technology and 3D printing realize, with greater availability, accessibility, and affordability, huge strides can be made to improve and save lives. Today, with so many MRI patents expiring, the technology is open for commercialization.