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Microsoft

Microsoft-Connected FUD and EEE

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Microsoft

Microsoft 'Imprisons' GNU/Linux, Spreads FUD Against FOSS (via Former Staff)

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Microsoft

IWD 0.2 Released for Linux, Microsoft Desperate to Stop GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • IWD 0.2 Released For Advancing Intel's Linux WiFi Daemon

    Last week marked the release of IWD 0.2, the second public release of this WiFi daemon for Linux systems destined as a replacement for WPA Supplicant.

    It was back at the end of 2016 that the code was made public while now there is finally the second version release. IWD 0.2 brings support for several new features as well as several bug fixes.

  • Microsoft's Linux Adoption: How Things Change [Ed: Surely Matt Hartley understands how Embrace, Extend, Extinguish works, no? Seems so...]

    When Microsoft began promoting themselves as the company that "Loves Linux," some Linux community members were skeptical. Some even believed that Microsoft's move to embrace Linux was based on the once tried and true “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach to technology we've seen in the past. And this concern is based on a hisory of the past use of this strategy.

    While it's a valid to worry about Microsoft's motivation behind their self-claimed embrace of Linux, I think Microsoft's motivation is more selfish than a desire to extinguish Linux would suggest. Based on their activity with cloud computing and more recently, the Internet of Things (IoT), I believe Microsoft is looking to utilize technology that has proven itself in those fields - Linux is that technology.

    Linux is a means to an end for Microsoft. It allows the software giant to participate with greater efficiency by utilizing existing toolsets. The official reasoning that Microsoft offers is Linux and open source in general provides a great ecosystem. An ecosystem Microsoft is now (apparently) motivated to give back code to. My own concern, however, is how much of this code being given back upstream is good for the community.

     

    The concern that I have is I believe the code being sent upstream must always benefit Microsoft directly or indirectly in some way. I haven't seen any examples of Microsoft providing code that benefits projects that are unrelated to their own efforts. Perhaps I missed something along the way, but due to their anti-FoSS history, it's unreasonable to expect Microsoft to give back to projects that might not benefit them directly or indirectly. And yes, Microsoft's sponsorship of various Linux conventions is an example of indirect benefit to Microsoft.

Even Microsoft Admits Its Products Are Inherently Faulty

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft to replace Surface Pro 4 tablets affected by screen flickering

    Microsoft is formally launching a replacement program for Surface Pro 4 devices affected by screen flickering. Any Surface Pro 4 units experiencing the problem will be covered for up to three years from the time of original purchase. “We have heard your feedback and after careful examination, have determined that a small percentage of Surface Pro 4 devices are exhibiting a screen flicker that cannot be addressed with a firmware or driver update,” the company said on its support page with details on the program.

    The annoying flickering has been well-documented on Microsoft’s support forums, with some users taking drastic steps like putting their Surface Pro 4 in a freezer to temporarily fix the issue. Back in February, Microsoft said it was closely monitoring the situation, and the company came to the conclusion that there’s no convenient fix.

  • Microsoft can’t fix “flickergate” Surface Pro 4s with software, so it’s replacing them
  • Don't Skype Me: How Microsoft Turned Consumers Against a Beloved Brand

    In March tech investor and commentator Om Malik summarized the negativity by tweeting that Skype was “a turd of the highest quality” and directing his ire at its owner. “Way to ruin Skype and its experience. I was forced to use it today, but never again.”

Microsoft Lies and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Google and Microsoft

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Google
Microsoft
  • Security update for Chromium

    I have uploaded new packages for Chromium. The version 66.0.3359.139 is a security update addressing a critical bug (and some more bugs too) and you are advised to upgrade.

  • Fuchsia Friday: Where is Fuchsia at Google I/O 2018?

     

    Flutter, if you’re not familiar, is Google’s new cross-platform app development kit, designed to work natively on both Android and iOS. Earlier this year at MWC, Flutter moved out of alpha phase and into beta testing.

  • Google embraces, extends, and extinguishes

     

    What of Google’s role as a participant in open source? Sure, they make a lot of software open source, but they don’t collaborate with anyone. They forked from WebKit to get Apple out of the picture, and contributing to Chromium as a non-Googler is notoriously difficult. Android is the same story - open source in principle, but non-Googler AOSP contributors bemoan their awful approach to external patches. It took Google over a decade to start making headway on upstreaming their Linux patches for Android, too. Google writes papers about AI, presumably to incentivize their academics with recognition for their work. This is great until you notice that the crucial piece, the trained models, is always absent.

  •  

  • Linux Containers [Crostini] For Samsung Chromebook Plus In The Works

    Linux container development continues to plow forward with each day that goes by. More feverish than the entire Android app initiative for Chrome OS ever was, the Crostini project seems to introduce new features into the fold on what seems like a daily basis.

    If you haven’t kept up to date with all that is going on with Linux containers on Chromebooks, you can click here to read all we’ve written on the matter and get caught up with the latest info to date.

    Now that we’re on the same page, there’s a wrinkle in this whole development cycle we’ve known was coming. Dating back years, Linux support has always been better and more-supported on Intel-based devices. As we are seeing more ARM devices in the works (especially one being made with the powerful Snapdragon 845), we can’t forget about the existing devices that are currently out in the market.

  • Windows 10 April 2018 Update Hitting BSODs with CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED Error

    We’re seeing an increasing number of reports pointing to BSODs experienced after upgrading Windows 10 devices to April 2018 Update (version 1803), and one of the most common stop codes appears to be CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED.
    Judging from user reports online, the said BSOD happens on a wide variety of hardware configurations and the error appears to be triggered by different tasks, like launching apps, such as Skype, browsing the web, playing games, or watching videos.

    At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern that would help reproduce the bug, but some users on reddit speculate that the BSOD might be caused by the GPU. Some believe it’s a driver compatibility issue, though by the looks of things, reinstalling the drivers doesn’t make any difference.

Apple and Microsoft on the Line

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Microsoft
Mac
  • 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards failing twice as frequently as older models

    Apple launched its new butterfly key-switch keyboard with the MacBook, with some usability complaints starting nearly immediately, but it wasn't until its adoption in the MacBook Pro in 2016 that reliability concerns started popping up —and AppleInsider has the hard data on failure rates.

  • Apple demanding 'unnecessary' repairs before replacing iPhone batteries

    If you've forgotten, Apple was last year forced to admit that it's deliberately throttling the performance of older iPhones running newer versions of iOS. At the time, the firm justified the move by claiming it prevents processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, which degrade over time struggle to deliver the peak currents and battery life they could when new.

  • Viral Video Shows How Hard It Is to Remove Windows 10 Bloatware

    Microsoft came under fire several times for not making Windows 10 a bloat-free operating system, and despite several updates, this hasn’t changed in a substantial way since the debut of the original RTM build nearly three years ago.
    Removing the Windows 10 pre-installed apps shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do since Microsoft itself included uninstalling options, but it’s not a secret that these items come and go with each update.

    In other words, even if you delete the pre-installed apps, they could be restored by a future update, not to say that in some cases, it’s much harder than you think to get rid of them in the first place.

    The video that you see here was posted on reddit by user drakulaboy and shows just how difficult it is to remove the apps that you don’t want in Windows 10. Uninstalling one game brings back another, and it happens in an infinite loop which for the casual user has no end.

Desktop: Microsoft Puts in Prison People Who Make Microsoft 'Addicts', GNU/Linux Mistakes Newbies Make, Tagged Window Manager Views

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Defends Putting A Computer Recycler In Jail With Misleading Statement

    Last week, we wrote a post on the appeals court ruling upholding the 15 month prison sentence for Eric Lundgren. Lundgren gave an interesting interview with the Verge explaining his position on all of this, while Microsoft -- feeling the heat from multiple stories criticizing its role in the prosecution -- put out a somewhat scathing blog post from VP Frank Shaw insisting everyone has this wrong, and presenting an argument that Lundgren was a low down dirty pirate who is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

    [...]

    Microsoft (and some of its... rather vocal supporters...) argue that this is all proof that Lundgren is full of shit and just a common criminal pirate. But, again, this is confusing things. In our original post, we talked about the difference between the copyright, the software, the license, and the disc. And the distinctions matter a lot. A few years ago, we noted that copyright system supporters have spent decades blurring the lines between "the copyright" and "the content." This plays out in all sorts of funny ways, including whether or not selling a piece of content is considered a sale or a license. As we've pointed out in the past, copyright proponents use a sort of Schrodinger's Download setup, whereby they call it a sale or a license (and deny it's the other) depending on which benefits them more.

    In this case, the situation is fairly similar. The fact that Lundgren was hoping to profit from selling convenience to refurbishing/repair shops does not, automatically, mean he broke the law. But many people seem to think that the profit motive alone proves the copyright infringement. But... used book stores are for-profit entities selling copyright-protected materials all the time (without a license from copyright holder), and no one is locking them up as criminals. That's not to say that Lundgren did the same thing as a used bookstore dealer, but merely to point out that the profit-motive alone does not prove infringement.

  • Former Judge Accuses IP Court of Using ‘Pirate’ Microsoft Software

    A law firm has filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's Office of the Intellectual Property Rights Court in Russia with an extraordinary claim. According to its client, who is a former assistant judge, the IP-focused court has been running Microsoft software for years without an appropriate license.

  • Linux Mistakes Newbies Make

    If you are new to the world of Linux, it is important to learn from the mistakes that others have made before you so that you can avoid making them yourself. After all, while some mistakes can simply be annoying, others can be costly. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the common Linux newbie mistakes to avoid.

  • Tagged window manager views

    I find myself talking about these pretty frequently, and it seems many people have never actually heard about them, so a blog post seems appropriate.

    Window managers traditionally present (for “advanced” users) “virtual” desktops and/or “multiple” desktops. Different window managers will have slightly different implementations and terminology, but typically I think of virtual desktops as being an MxN matrix of screen-sized desktops, and multiple desktops as being some number of disjoint MxN matrices. (In some cases there are only multiple 1×1 desktops) If you’re a MacOS user, I believe you’re limited to a linear array (say, 5 desktops), but even tvtwm back in the early 90s did matrices. In the late 90s Enlightenment offered a cool way of combining virtual and multiple desktops: As usual, you could go left/right/up/down to switch between virtual desktops, but in addition you had a bar across one edge of the screen which you could use to drag the current desktop so as to reveal the underlying desktop. Then you could do it again to see the next underlying one, etc. So you could peek and move windows between the multiple desktops.

Security: Attacks on Hospital, NHS Pays Microsoft After Getting Cracked Due to Microsoft, Other Windows Problems

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Microsoft
Security
  • This Russian Company Sells Zero-Day Exploits for Hospital Software

    Moscow-based Gleg provides zero-day exploits for medical software, and those in the medical industry are concerned about disclosure. But the exploits themselves may not be all that important in real world attacks.

  • NHS will upgrade all systems to Windows 10 following WannaCry outbreak [Ed: NHS rewards Microsoft after its back doors killed many British people. iophk: "Vista 10 was still vulnerable, just low market-share at the time; vendor lock-in through centralisation is harder to break out of"]

    "The introduction of a centralised Windows 10 agreement will ensure a consistent approach to security that also enables the NHS to rapidly modernise its IT infrastructure."

  • This Code On USB Can Trigger BSOD Even On Locked Windows PCs

    In the past, we’ve told you about the perils of picking any random USB drive and using it. It might contain malware and dangerous scripts to target your online accounts. A Bitdefender security researcher, Marius Tivadar, has underlined the importance of this issue with his proof-of-concept code (Via: CSO Online).

  • PoC code triggers BSOD on vulnerable Windows boxes even if PC is locked

    A malware researcher published proof-of-concept code that, when put on a USB stick, can trigger the dreaded Blue Screen of Death on various versions of Windows even if the system is locked.

    Bitdefender’s Marius Tivadar discovered a vulnerability in the way that Windows handles NTFS file system images. When publishing the proof-of-concept code on GitHub, he explained, “One can generate Blue Screen of Death using a handcrafted NTFS image. This denial-of-service type of attack can be driven from user mode, limited user account or Administrator. It can even crash the system if it is in locked state.”

  • Federal 'turf war' complicates cybersecurity efforts

    While Homeland Security is broadly recognized as the main agency defending federal networks and critical national assets from cyberattacks, individual agencies also play a major role in guarding their own networks and personnel from malicious cyber actors.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Wayland/Weston, Mesa and AMD

  • Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 RC2 Released To Fix Vulnerabilities
    Two release candidates of Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 were not originally scheduled, but it's been necessitated due to some pressing issues both with Wayland and its reference compositor. Samsung's Derek Foreman issued these "RC2" releases on Friday rather than going straight to the official Wayland 1.16 and Weston 5.0 releases. On the Wayland front, Michael Srb found and fixed issues that could cause pointer overflows within Wayland's connection code. These overflow fixes are the only changes in this Wayland 1.15.94 (RC2) version.
  • RAGE & Doom Get Radeon Workarounds In Mesa 18.3-dev
    If you are looking to enjoy id Software's RAGE or Doom VFR games this weekend on Linux via Wine, they should be playing nicer with the latest open-source Mesa graphics driver code. Timothy Arceri at Valve has added a workaround to get RAGE working under Wine with RadeonSI. The workaround is a DRIRC configuration addition for allowing GLSL built-in variable redeclarations. This is enough to get RAGE working with RadeonSI on Mesa Git. Though only RadeonSI is working out currently since the game relies upon the OpenGL compatibility profile mode that is only supported currently by RadeonSI when it comes to the Mesa drivers. Thanks to Valve's developers and others, the OpenGL compatibility profile mode for RadeonSI has matured into great shape these past few months.
  • Adreno 600 Series Support Lands In Mesa 18.3 Gallium3D
    With the Adreno 600 series support going into Linux 4.19 for the kernel bits, the user-space OpenGL driver support for the latest-generation Qualcomm graphics has now been merged into Mesa. Kristian Høgsberg Kristensen of Google's Chrome OS graphics team (yes, Kristian of Wayland and DRI2 fame) has been working on the Gallium3D support for the Adreno 600 series hardware along with Freedreno founder Rob Clark. This A6xx support is being tacked onto the existing Freedreno Gallium3D driver and amounts to just over six thousand lines of new code. Keep in mind this A6xx Freedreno back-end must also be used with the supported MSM DRM driver in the Linux 4.19+ kernel.
  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Radeon Linux Driver Released with Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    Featuring official support for the AMD Radeon PRO WX 8200 graphics cards and initial Wattman-like functionality, the Radeon Software for Linux 18.30 finally adds support for some of the most recent Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS Linux distributions. These include Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10, CentOS 7.5, and CentOS 6.10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server (SLED/SLES) 12 Service Pack (SP) 3 is supported as well, but not the latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Update Fixes Witcher 3 Issue, Bug Fixes
    In addition to AMD releasing AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 on Friday, they also did their usual weekly source push of their newest "AMDVLK" open-source Radeon Vulkan driver code.

Kernel: Linux 4.19 Staging and Greg Kroah-Hartman's Very Many Stable Releases

  • Linux 4.19 Staging Brings EROFS File-System & Gasket Driver Framework
    Following the USB subsystem updates, Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the kernel's staging area work for the Linux 4.19 merge window. This experimental/testing area of the Linux kernel is adding a new file-system with 4.19: EROFS. EROFS is developed by Huawei for possible Android device use-cases. EROFS stands for the Extendable Read-Only File-System and is developed to address shortcomings in other Linux read-only file-systems. EROFS features compression support and other features, but the on-disk layout format isn't 100% firm yet -- hence going into the staging area.
  • USB Patches Posted For Linux 4.19 Kernel, Including The New USB-C DisplayPort Driver
    Having wrapped up his latest stable kernel wrangling and the fallout from L1TF/Foreshadow, Greg Kroah-Hartman got around today to sending out the feature pull requests for the kernel subsystems he oversees. His first new batch of changes for Linux 4.19 today is the USB subsystem work.
  • One Week Past Linux 4.18.0, The Linux 4.18.3 Kernel Is Already Out
    Greg Kroah-Hartman had a fun Friday night issuing new point releases to the Linux 3.18 / 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 4.17 / 4.18 kernels only to have to issue new point releases minutes later. It was just on Thursday that Linux 4.18.1 was released along with updates to older stable branches for bringing L1TF / Foreshadow mitigation. Friday night then brought Linux 4.18.2, Linux 4.17.16, Linux 4.14.64, Linux 4.9.121, Linux 4.4.149, and Linux 3.18.119 with more patches. Those kernels brought various fixes, including in the x86 PTI code for clearing the global bit more aggressively, crypto fixes, and other maintenance work.

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5

  • 2018.08.18: Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5 Released!
    The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.5 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software. R14.0.5 is the fifth maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.4 version. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring.
  • Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 Lets You Keep Enjoying The KDE 3 Experience In 2018
    For those that have fond memories of the K Desktop Environment 3, you can still enjoy a KDE3-derived experience in 2018 with the just-released Trinity Desktop R14.0.5. Trinity Desktop continues to see occasional updates as the fork of the KDE 3.5 packages. Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 is the new release this weekend and their first since R14.0.4 was released last November.

Mozilla: Bitslicing, Mixed Reality, and Sharing

  • Bitslicing with Karnaugh maps
    Bitslicing, in cryptography, is the technique of converting arbitrary functions into logic circuits, thereby enabling fast, constant-time implementations of cryptographic algorithms immune to cache and timing-related side channel attacks. My last post Bitslicing, An Introduction showed how to convert an S-box function into truth tables, then into a tree of multiplexers, and finally how to find the lowest possible gate count through manual optimization.
  • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 16
    On Monday Andrzej Mazur launched the 2018 edition of the JS13KGames competition. As the name suggests, you have to create a game using only thirteen kilobytes of Javascript (zipped) or less. Check out some of last year's winners to see what is possible in 13k. This year Mozilla is sponsoring the new WebXR category, which lets you use A-Frame or Babylon.js without counting towards the 13k. See the full rules for details. Prizes this year includes the Oculus Go for the top three champions.
  • Share files easily with extensions
    When we want to share digital files, most people think of popular file hosting services like Box or Dropbox, or other common methods such as email and messaging apps. But did you know there are easier—and more privacy-focused—ways to do it with extensions? WeTransfer and Fire File Sender are two intriguing extension options. WeTransfer allows you to send files up to 2GB in size with a link that expires seven days from upload. It’s really simple to use—just click the toolbar icon and a small pop-up appears inviting you to upload files and copy links for sharing. WeTransfer uses the highest security standards and is compliant with EU privacy laws. Better still, recipients downloading files sent through WeTransfer won’t get bombarded with advertisements; rather, they’ll see beautiful wallpapers picked by the WeTransfer editorial team. If you’re interested in additional eye-pleasing backgrounds, check out WeTransfer Moment.