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Microsoft

From vs. to + for Microsoft and Linux

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Legal

In November 2016, Microsoft became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation, the primary sponsor of top-drawer Linux talent (including Linus), as well as a leading organizer of Linux conferences and source of Linux news.

Does it matter that Microsoft has a long history of fighting Linux with patent claims? Seems it should. Run a Google search for "microsoft linux patents", and you'll get almost a half-million results, most of which raise questions. Is Microsoft now ready to settle or drop claims? Is this about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? Is it just a seat at a table it can't hurt Microsoft to sit at?

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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.

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More in Tux Machines

QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop

  • QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop
    While QNX remains targeted as an operating system for mobile/embedded solutions, a BlackBerry developer in his spare time has fitted QNX 7 with a Qt5 desktop. QNX 6 and prior had a desktop option, but was removed in QNX 7, which was released this past March. QNX 7.0 also brought support for 64-bit (and maintaining 32-bit) Intel x86 and ARM platforms along with C++14 support. For those wanting to experiment with QNX 7, a BlackBerry kernel developer has been working on making this operating system more desktop friendly.
  • Building a BlackBerry QNX 7 Desktop
    Having Qt allowed me to port one of my favourite applications, SpeedCrunch. It was a simple matter of running ‘qmake’ followed by ‘make’. Next, I ported the QTermWidget library so that I could have terminal windows.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Kernel explained
  • [Older] [Video] Audio on Linux: The End of a Golden Age?
  • State of Sway April 2017
    Development on Sway continues. I thought we would have slowed down a lot more by now, but every release still comes with new features - Sway 0.12 added redshift support and binary space partitioning layouts. Sway 0.13.0 is coming soon and includes, among other things, nvidia proprietary driver support. We already have some interesting features slated for Sway 0.14.0, too! Today Sway has 21,446 lines of C (and 4,261 lines of header files) written by 81 authors across 2,263 commits. These were written through 653 pull requests and 529 issues. Sway packages are available today in the official repos of pretty much every distribution except for Debian derivatives, and a PPA is available for those guys.

Supporting Burning Platforms

  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"
    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10. As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license. This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

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