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Microsoft

FOSS FUD and Microsoft Entryism

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Microsoft
OSS

GNU/Linux Prevents Back Doors, Microsoft Patches Some

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Security

Microsoft is really scared of Chromebooks in businesses and schools

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Microsoft

Microsoft first revealed its concerns over Chromebooks in an attack on Google’s laptops more than three years ago. While Chromebooks haven’t become best-sellers for consumers just yet, they have started to become popular with students in the US and slowly with some businesses. Microsoft is now revealing it's worried about this threat with two new videos on its Windows YouTube channel today.

The first promises that Windows 10 “outshines” Chrome OS for businesses, with features like Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello, and Microsoft Edge. Bizarrely, Microsoft isn’t positioning its new Windows 10 S operating system as its alternative to Chrome OS, instead it’s using the Windows 10 Pro version for comparisons. In the second video Microsoft highlights Sway, Windows Ink, and security through Windows Hello. Some of these are reasonable comparisons between Windows 10 and Chrome OS, but overall these videos just prove Microsoft has a lot to fear from Chrome OS.

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Microsoft raises concerns on Government’s open source push in GeM

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Microsoft
OSS

The world’s largest software maker Microsoft has raised concerns over the government putting its weight behind open source software in its recent request for proposal to appoint a managed service provider for its e-marketplace, nicknamed GeM.

“The RFP has allocated 50 out of 150 marks to solutions that are built using open source software only; this means that if a bidder does not use open source product only then it would be impossible for such a bidder to achieve the 65 percent qualification marks in solution evaluation and would then automatically become technically disqualified,” Microsoft has said in a letter to the government, reviewed by Moneycontrol.

Moneycontrol has accessed a copy of the letter. In an official response, Microsoft confirmed sending a letter in this regard.

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Microsoft Culture

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Microsoft

Microsoft Antitrust and Security Failures

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Microsoft
Security
  • Kaspersky sues Microsoft over claims Windows 10 is 'incompatible' with third-party AV

    In a sensational claim, Kaspersky says that a customer in France was told by a Microsoft representative that "Windows 10 is incompatible with third-party antivirus. It's a shame that you've spent money on a Kaspersky Lab product, but you can't reinstall it without running the risk of the appearance of new bugs."

  • Microsoft Targeted by Kaspersky Antitrust Complaint to EU

    Kaspersky sent a formal complaint to European Union and German antitrust regulators, saying “hurdles” created by Microsoft limit consumer choice and drive up the cost of security software.

  • If hacking {sic} back becomes law, what could possibly go wrong? [iophk: "any Windows machines even sending stray packet will then receive the full force of vault7+"]

    Representative Tom Graves, R-Ga., thinks that when anyone gets hacked {sic} -- individuals or companies -- they should be able to "fight back" and go "hunt for hackers {sic} outside of their own networks." The Active Cyber Defense Certainty ("ACDC") Act is getting closer to being put before lawmakers, and the congressman trying to make "hacking {sic} back" easy-breezy-legal believes it would've stopped the WannaCry ransomware.

  • Ransomware attack will count as data breach: security pro

    Ransomware attacks will be regarded as data breaches under Australia's new data breach legislation that comes into force on 22 February next year, according to the chief cyber security adviser at RSA.

Microsoft Bribery Again

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

    The uptake for Microsoft's long-suffering search engine, Bing, continues to be so dismal that Redmond has resorted to paying people to use it.

    The "loyalty scheme" offers points that can be exchanged for charity donations or music, games, devices and other stuff on the Microsoft Store. Users are awarded three points per search, up to 30 a day at Level 1.

    To get an idea of what they're worth, 5,300 gets you a £5 Xbox digital gift card, which equates to 10 per cent off a current-gen game. That's quite a grind – 176 days of furious Binging for pennies. But hit Level 2, by bashing Bing for 500 points per month, and you can reap 150 points a day.

  • Microsoft is paying users to search with Bing over Google

    Under this scheme, the company will reward users for using Bing with points, which can later be exchanged for charity donations or freebies available on the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft's Latest Stunts

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Microsoft

Security News: “Pandemic” for Windows, WannaCry, and Linux 'Flaw'

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Microsoft
Security
  • WikiLeaks says CIA’s “Pandemic” turns servers into infectious Patient Zero

    "Pandemic," as the implant is codenamed, turns file servers into a secret carrier of whatever malware CIA operatives want to install, according to documents published Thursday by WikiLeaks. When targeted computers attempt to access a file on the compromised server, Pandemic uses a clever bait-and-switch tactic to surreptitiously deliver malicious version of the requested file. The Trojan is then executed by the targeted computers. A user manual said Pandemic takes only 15 seconds to be installed. The documents didn't describe precisely how Pandemic would get installed on a file server.

  • WannaCry: Can Linux save us?

    The idea is simple if you don’t have the money to upgrade to the latest Windows operating system, move to Linux, because, piracy and price issues are antithetical to the world of Linux. Linux based operating systems are mostly free to use. Even the enterprise solutions, like Ubuntu Server, OpenSuse Linux Enterprise, and Red Hat Enterprise, come at a fraction of what Microsoft charges. So, the inability to update/upgrade arising out of piracy/price issues is ruled out.

  • Opsec for a world where the laptop ban goes global

    If the Trump administration makes good on its promise to pack all potentially explosive laptops together in a blast-multiplying steel case in the plane's hold, it will be good news for would-be bombers -- and bad news for your data security.

  • How to protect Samba from the SambaCry exploit
  • The Linux Virus: how it can be

    Downloaded the virus for Linux.

    Unzipped it.

    Installed it under root.

    It didn't start. Spent 2 hours googling. Realised that the virus instead of /usr/local/bin installed itself into /usr/bin where user malware does not have the write permissions. That's why the virus could not create a process file.

White House Tech Policy Brought by Microsoft

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Microsoft
  • The White House will meet with tech execs for advice on giving the government a digital upgrade

    Announced in April, the American Technology Council is comprised of federal officials who oversee technology-focused agencies, and it's officially led by Chris Liddell, a White House aide who previously served as the chief financial officer at Microsoft. The initiative itself lives under the umbrella of Kushner's Office of American Innovation, which aspires to cure longtime, unresolved government ills, such as the poor, aging technology in use at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Sharing America's code

    Since Salehi joined the CIO team in 2015, the government has made great strides toward open sourcing its code. The Federal Source Code Policy, released in August 2016, was the first U.S. government policy to support open source across the government.

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Linux 4.14-rc2

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Manjaro Linux Phasing out i686 (32bit) Support

In a not very surprising move by the Manjaro Linux developers, a blog post was made by Philip, the Lead Developer of the popular distribution based off Arch Linux, On Sept. 23 that reveals that 32-bit support will be phased out. In his announcement, Philip says, “Due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community, we have decided to phase out the support of this architecture. The decision means that v17.0.3 ISO will be the last that allows to install 32 bit Manjaro Linux. September and October will be our deprecation period, during which i686 will be still receiving upgraded packages. Starting from November 2017, packaging will no longer require that from maintainers, effectively making i686 unsupported.” Read more

Korora 26 'Bloat' Fedora-based Linux distro available for download -- now 64-bit only

Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution, but I don't always use it. Sometimes I opt for an operating system that is based on it depending on my needs at the moment. Called "Korora," it adds tweaks, repositories, codecs, and packages that aren't found in the normal Fedora operating system. As a result, Korora deviates from Red Hat's strict FOSS focus -- one of the most endearing things about Fedora. While you can add all of these things to Fedora manually, Korora can save you time by doing the work for you. Read more

BackSlash Linux Olaf

While using BackSlash, I had two serious concerns. The first was with desktop performance. The Plasma-based desktop was not as responsive as I'm used to, in either test environment. Often times disabling effects or file indexing will improve the situation, but the desktop still lagged a bit for me. My other issue was the program crashes I experienced. The Discover software manager crashed on me several times, WPS crashed on start-up the first time on both machines, I lost the settings panel once along with my changes in progress. These problems make me think BackSlash's design may be appealing to newcomers, but I have concerns with the environment's stability. Down the road, once the developers have a chance to iron out some issues and polish the interface, I think BackSlash might do well targeting former macOS users, much the same way Zorin OS tries to appeal to former Windows users. But first, I think the distribution needs to stabilize a bit and squash lingering stability bugs. Read more