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Microsoft

Microsoft and IBM Spin/PR

Filed under
Microsoft
SUSE
  • Windows 10 Will Finally Offer Easy Access to Linux Files [Ed: No, this is more WSL entrapment. They try to prevent people from using proper GNU/Linux with the actual kernel, either standalone or dual-boot. This is also about surveillance on one's files, keys, keystrokes, everything.]
  • Zowe Makes Mainframe Evergreen [Ed: Swapnil Bhartiya greenwashing and openwashing 2-in-1]

    Zowe also offers a vendor-agnostic experience allowing users to mix and match tooling and technologies. It provides interoperability, through the latest web technologies, products, and solutions from multiple vendors, and it allows developers to use the familiar, industry-standard, open source tools to access mainframe resources and services.

  • The ibmvnic driver with SR-IOV is now supported by SLES 12 and SLES 15 on IBM POWER9 processor-based systems

    The ibmvnic driver enables PowerVM Single Root I/O Virtualizations (SR-IOV) for improved network capabilities including reduced systems processor utilization, decreased network latency, and enforcement of network Quality of Service.

Microsoft's Deterioration

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Microsoft

Microsoft Entering Linux to Promote Its Proprietary Traps

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Linux
Microsoft

Going Retro With Electron and FreeDOS

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Microsoft
  • Running Windows 95 on Linux, Mac, and Windows 10 Just Got a Lot Better

    Developer Felix Rieseberg released a new version of his Windows95 Electron app that lets users relive the old Microsoft Windows 95 experience on Linux, Mac, and Windows 10 computers.
    Windows95 v2.0 saw the light of day earlier this week and it appears to be the biggest update to the application since its initial launch in August 2018. The new release introduces support for sound, better support for HiDPI/4K displays, as well as the ability to "reset" a machine, according to the developer.

  • FreeDOS 1.3 Release Candidate Available For Retaining MS-DOS Compatibility In 2019

    The first release candidate of FreeDOS 1.3 is now available, which is the open-source effort continuing to maintain compatibility with classic MS-DOS.

    FreeDOS developers considered moving towards being 32-bit with this release, but instead they have opted to remain 16-bit in order to retain full compatibility with classic DOS. FreeDOS is still committed towards preserving classic support, but at least they have promoted zip/unzip support to being part of their "base" package group.

Real Cost of Windows (TCO)

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Microsoft
  • How much will staying patched on Windows 7 cost you? Here's the price list [Ed: Real TCO (what you think is cheap will empty your pocket, even without virus infection)]

    Microsoft said last Fall that it would offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates on a per-device basis for big customers willing to pay for them after the company ends Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. Microsoft officials wouldn't talk about how much those updates would cost, beyond saying they'd get more expensive over time. 

  • Windows Server 2019 Users Expect the Fix for Mysterious Shutdown Issues in the Next Update

    Most of the users have experienced the same problem and it is continuously being reported since December 2018. Even selecting “Shut down the guest operating system” option in hyper-v settings didn’t seem to resolve the issue at user’s end.  Apparently, the problem has arisen just because the guest VMs failed to shutdown gracefully.

Microsoft Deleting Databases, Deprecating MSI and LibreOffice Developers Speak Out

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LibO
Microsoft
  • Forget snowmageddon, it's dropageddon in Azure SQL world: Microsoft accidentally deletes customer DBs

    The Azure outage of January 29 claimed some unexpected victims in the form of surprise database deletions for unlucky customers.

    The issue afflicted a number of Azure SQL databases that utilize custom KeyVault keys for Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), according to a message sent to users seen by The Register. Some internal code accidentally dropped these databases during Azure's portal wobble yesterday, forcing Microsoft to restore customer data from a five-minute-ago snapshot.

    That means transactions, product orders, and other updates to the data stores during that five-minute window were lost. That may warm you up with red-hot anger if you're in the middle of a particularly nasty cold snap.

    The note explained that the cockup happened automatically during what Redmond delicately called an network infrastructure event: a CenturyLink DNS snafu that locked essentially half of Microsoft 365 customers out of their cloud accounts, a breakdown that began at 1045 UTC.

  • Microsoft deprecates MSI

    Well – obviously. At least, their current actions tell that: they deprecated CRT MSMs (which is reiterated in VS 2019 RC2 release notes), a technology designed to allow MSI-based installers to install the CRT libraries in a centrally-managed manner; and the only recommended way now is using vcredist executable, which is not MSI-compatible.

    What else, if not deprecation, might it mean, when an installer technology made unable to deploy applications created using vendor’s own flagship development tool?

    Well – I thought: maybe that was an oversight? Why not inform them about the problem that MSI-only installers would be left without any viable option?

  • Improving SmartArt import in Impress FOSDEM talk

    The next step in the recent SmartArt story is my Improving SmartArt import in Impress talk at FOSDEM 2019, in the Open Document Editors devroom. The room was a bit far away from the popular places, but the livestream worked out nicely.

Microsoft Entryism/EEE: Latest Examples

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Microsoft

Mozilla Policy, Firefox for Android and Death of Internet Explorer (10)

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Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • [Mozilla] Online content regulation in Europe: a paradigm for the future #1

    Lawmakers in the European Union are today focused on regulating online content, and compelling online services to make greater efforts to reduce the illegal and harmful activity on their services. As we’ve blogged previously, many of the present EU initiatives – while well-intentioned – are falling far short of what is required in this space, and pose real threats to users rights online and the decentralised open internet. Ahead of the May 2019 elections, we’ll be taking a close look at the current state of content regulation in the EU, and advancing a vision for a more sustainable paradigm that adequately addresses lawmakers’ concerns within a rights- and ecosystem-protective framework.

    Concerns about illegal and harmful content online, and the role of online services in tackling it, is a policy issue that is driving the day in jurisdictions around the world. Whether it’s in India, the United States, or the European Union itself, lawmakers are grappling with what is ultimately a really hard problem – removing ‘bad’ content at scale without impacting ‘good’ content, and in ways that work for different types of internet services and that don’t radically change the open character of the internet. Regrettably, despite the fact that many great minds in government, academia, and civil society are working on this hard problem, online content regulation remains stuck in a paradigm that undermines users’ rights and the health of the internet ecosystem, without really improving users’ internet experience.

  • Firefox 65 for Android Improves Security and Performance, Adds Faster Scrolling

    With the release of the Firefox 65 web browser today, Mozilla begin the rollout of its latest and most advanced web browser to all supported platforms, including Android, Linux, macOS, and Windows.

    We already talked about the new features available on the desktop (Linux, Mac, and Windows) here and here, so now it's time to take a look at the enhancements implemented by Mozilla in Firefox for Android as the Firefox 65 release promises improved performance and web compatibility, as well as better security.

  • Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020

    Microsoft has warned that it isn't only Windows 7 for the chop in 2020. Unloved Internet Explorer 10 will be joining it. Finally.

    Internet Explorer 10 first appeared back in 2012 and in 2016 Microsoft made a concerted effort to kill the thing by focusing its support efforts on Internet Explorer 11. Anything not Edge-related or without "11" after it would no longer be supported.

    However, not every operating system was capable of actually running Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft infamously restricted its Edge browser to Windows 10 (and later iOS and Android). Notable exceptions to the IE10 crackdown were Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Embedded.

Web Browser Debacles

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Microsoft and Mozilla engineers battle over Chromium adoption via Twitter

    Microsoft may have waved the proverbial flag of surrender when it announced its new direction for its web browsing development, but one of the last remaining Chromium-adoption holdouts, Mozilla, just got some help from staunch advocates of competition, when faced by offbeat pressure from Microsoft engineers to convert.

  • Microsoft engineer spanked for proposing Mozilla gives up on Gecko Firefox rendering engine

    Microsoft’s recent decision to abandon their EdgeHTML rendering engine in favour of Google’s Chromium rendering engine has been somewhat controversial, not due to the (likely positive) impact on their users, but due to the effects it would have on the level of competition there is exists in the web rendering engine area. With Microsoft capitulating to Google, and Opera already using Chromium, it leaves Mozilla’ Gecko as the lone stand-out flying the banner of open web standards.

    It was therefore rather brave of Kenneth Auchenberg, a Microsoft program manager working for the Code team, to suggest it was time for Mozilla to already throw in the towel.

  • Google Chrome to add drive-by-download protection

    Firefox and Internet Explorer already have this feature, since at least 2015.

Microsoft cripples Windows Media Player on Windows 7 -- a seemingly dirty tactic to increase Windows 10 upgrades

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Windows 7 is still a great operating system -- one that millions of people use every day. Understandably, Microsoft cannot support the OS forever, so it will stop doing so in less than a year. While I would urge many Windows 7 users to switch to a Linux-based operating system, Microsoft would rather these folks upgrade to Windows 10 instead. The problem? Many Windows 7 purposely avoided the newest version of Windows due to overall bugginess and a perception of spying due to aggressive telemetry. Embarrassingly, Windows 10 -- initially released in 2015 as a free upgrade -- only recently overtook Windows 7 in marketshare. Yikes!

The right thing to do at this point, is to allow Windows 7 to function as it has until support runs out, right? I mean, why add stress to the lives of existing Windows 7 users? Sadly, Microsoft has a different idea. You see, the company has decided to purposely cripple both Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center on Windows 7, and Windows Media Center on 8.x. Microsoft will stop supplying metadata for media through these much-used programs. As you can guess, Windows Media Player on Windows 10 will continue to offer this capability. Hmm, I wonder why that is...

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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.