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Microsoft

Microsoft Doesn't Use Microsoft

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Microsoft

Another Dead Microsoft Product

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Hardware
Microsoft

I No Longer Hate Microsoft

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Microsoft

Windows kept some of its worst malignancies intact, including its need to be rebooted half a dozen times on every install, but the past few versions have been fairly stable. I have Windows and Linux running side-by-side on my desk, and I can’t say that I notice the old Windows/Linux pattern, where Windows crashes at least once a day while Linux just goes (as the song says) “on and on…”

I personally attribute this improvement in Windows to Linux. All that good stuff about competition, you know. So yes, every Windows user should say “thank you” to every Linux developer. It won’t happen, but I’ve long thought it should.

Anyway, Linux and Windows are both far more usable by ordinary people than either one was 10 years ago. So why should I hate Windows or Microsoft? It doesn’t do any good.

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Microsoft never disclosed 2013 hack of secret vulnerability database

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Microsoft
Security

Hackers broke into Microsoft's secret, internal bug-tracking database and stole information related to vulnerabilities that were exploited in later attacks. But the software developer never disclosed the breach, Reuters reported, citing former company employees.

In an article published Tuesday, Reuters said Microsoft's decision not to disclose details came after an internal review concluded the exploits used in later attacks could have been discovered elsewhere. That investigation relied, in part, on automated reports Microsoft receives when its software crashes. The problem with that approach, Reuters pointed out, is that advanced computer attacks are written so carefully they rarely cause crashes.

Reuters said Microsoft discovered the database breach in early 2013, after a still-unknown hacking group broke into computers belonging to a raft of companies. Besides Microsoft, the affected companies included Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. As reported at the time, the hackers infected a website frequented by software developers with attack code that exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Oracle's Java software framework. When employees of the targeted companies visited the site, they became infected, too.

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Microsoft Breaks Privacy Law, Adds Back Doors, Then Blames North Korea

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Microsoft

Microsoft Breaking the Law and Computer Security Woes

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Microsoft
Security

Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS, pfSense and Windows

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OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Debian
Ubuntu
  • My Free Software Activities in Jul-Sep 2017

    If you read Planet Debian often, you’ve probably noticed a trend of Free Software activity reports at the beginning of the month. First, those reports seemed a bit unamusing and lengthy, but since I take the time to read them I’ve learnt a lot of things, and now I’m amazed at the amount of work that people are doing for Free Software. Indeed, I knew already that many people are doing lots of work. But reading those reports gives you an actual view of how much it is.

  • OpenStack Development Summary – October 13, 2017

    Welcome to the seventh Ubuntu OpenStack development summary!

    This summary is intended to be a regular communication of activities and plans happening in and around Ubuntu OpenStack, covering but not limited to the distribution and deployment of OpenStack on Ubuntu.

    If there is something that you would like to see covered in future summaries, or you have general feedback on content please feel free to reach out to me (jamespage on Freenode IRC) or any of the OpenStack Engineering team at Canonical!

  • elementary OS 0.5 "Juno" GNU/Linux Distro Could Use Ubuntu's Snappy Technologies

    The guys over elementary OS, the popular GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, were interviewed recently by Canonical's Sarah Dickinson about upcoming integration of Snap packages into their infrastructure.

    As you are aware, there are three main universal binary packages available for GNU/Linux distributions, Snappy, Flatpak, and AppImage, and OS maintainers are free to implement which one they think it's best for their users, or even more of them.

    In the interview, elementary's devs revealed the fact that they want to go with Ubuntu's Snappy technologies to provide their users with a modern and secure confined app format because of the extra layer of security Snaps provide by design.

  • pfSense 2.4 BSD Operating System Debuts with New Installer, Drops 32-Bit Images

    Rubicon Communications' Jim Pingle announced the release of the pfSense 2.4.0 operating system, a major release that introduces support for new devices, new features, and numerous improvements.

    Based on the latest FreeBSD 11.1 operating system, the pfSense 2.4 release comes with an all-new installer based on bsdinstall and featuring support for the ZFS file system, UEFI machines, as well as multiple types of partition layouts, including the widely used GPT and BIOS.

  • Dutch privacy regulator says Windows 10 breaks the law

    The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law.

    To comply with the law, the DPA says that Microsoft needs to get valid user consent: this means the company must be clearer about what data is collected and how that data is processed. The regulator also complains that the Windows 10 Creators Update doesn't always respect previously chosen settings about data collection. In the Creators Update, Microsoft introduced new, clearer wording about the data collection—though this language still wasn't explicit about what was collected and why—and it forced everyone to re-assert their privacy choices through a new settings page. In some situations, though, that page defaulted to the standard Windows options rather than defaulting to the settings previously chosen.

Devices: PureOS Rising, Microsoft is Dying, and Raspberry Pi 7" Touch Panel Gets Linux Support

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Linux
Microsoft
  • A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security

    Like the computer the new smartphone, called Librem 5, runs PureOS, a Linux-based operating system. Purism markets the phone as the truly pure GNU+Linux-based smartphone product.

    While Android is based on Linux too, PureOS is based on GNU free software and Debian Linux distribution and is entirely open source. This means that Librem 5 owners can, for example, change the Linux distribution to something else if they don't like PureOS.

  • Noted in Passing: Microsoft Smartphone OS Platform Passed Away

    Oh. One more bit. I was the first to also tell you that Google won the battle of the century for the OS of all high tech - when Android was passing Windows (all devices, not just smartphones, but PCs included). Nobody else told you that either. It is now becoming apparent to many experts that Google owns the tech world via Android. Who told you first? The dude who saw how Windows was truly collapsing and that iOS was never a threat to Google's world domination plans. Yeah, we'll return to those issues in coming years no doubt. Goodbye Windows smartphones and by darn it, good riddance too! Ballmer gone. Elop gone. Lumia gone. Windows smartphone OS gone. Now when can we see Microsoft the company gone too, please, next?

  • Raspberry Pi 7" Touch Panel, SiI9234 To Be Supported By Linux 4.15

    Daniel Vetter has sent in the latest feature pull request of new drm-misc-next material for staging in DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.15 kernel cycle.

    This latest batch of miscellaneous Direct Rendering Manager updates include continued core work around atomic mode-setting, HDMI CEC control support for the adv7511 driver, remote control support for the sii8620 driver, improved HDMI and A31 chip support in the Sun4i DRM driver, and some new driver activity too.

GNU/Linux Works, Microsoft Windows Stops Working

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Why Linux Works

    The Linux community works, it turns out, because the Linux community isn’t too concerned about work, per se. As much as Linux has come to dominate many areas of corporate computing – from HPC to mobile to cloud – the engineers who write the Linux kernel tend to focus on the code itself, rather than their corporate interests therein.

  • Windows 10 mandatory October KB4041676 update is causing machines to BSOD

    Today when people started waking up from their machines automatically updating during the night, however, they have been faced with a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) instead of the Windows 10 desktop, and unfortunately, no-one seems to know why the installations are failing, only that it relates to KB4041676, which is yesterday's update.

  • Global shipments of PCs slump for 12th successive quarter, research suggests [iophk: "PCs no longer have any Windows or Microsoft stickers, hiding the infection"]

    An assessment by research and analysis outfit Gartner found that shipments totalled 67 million units in the third quarter of 2017; a decline of 3.6% on an annualised basis compared to the same quarter last year.

    The latest decline marked the 12th consecutive quarter of PC shipments slump.

  • The PC still isn't dead and the market is 'stabilising', says IDC

    In its Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, IDC announced worldwide shipments of traditional PCs, which includes desktops, notebooks, workstations, totalled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2017.

    While this translates into a slight year-over-year decline of 0.5 percent, IDC said [...]

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is dead, here’s why Tizen won’t face the same fate

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Linux
Microsoft

On the contrary, Samsung are currently the only ones making Tizen smartphones despite Tizen being an Open source platform. And the Korean giant haven’t dedicated their full resources to Tizen smartphones as they still are going very strong with their Android based Galaxy smartphone business. But still, Samsung have been actively promoting the Tizen OS to bring developers onboard to make apps for Tizen phones. Samsung has also hosted partner programs and even incentive programs to help indie developers to make a living out of their Tizen apps.

That is not all Samsung has done to promote Tizen app development, the company has also partnered with Microsoft itself to let C# developers build Tizen apps using .NET and the development is not limited to just Tizen smartphones. Developers can make use of .NET and Visual Studio Tools to build applications for Tizen TVs, wearables, etc.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.