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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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More in Tux Machines

Security: Amazon, Microsoft, and John Draper

  • Amazon security camera could be remotely disabled by rogue couriers

    However, researchers from Rhino Security Labs found attacking the camera's Wi-Fi with a distributed denial of service attack, which sends thousands of information requests to the device, allowed them to freeze the camera. It would then continue to show the last frame broadcast, rather than going offline or alerting the user it had stopped working.

  • Pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on Amazon
    A Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible Amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the US and other parts of the world. The three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1.8 billion scraped online posts spanning eight years, researchers from security firm UpGuard's Cyber Risk Team said in a blog post published Friday. The cache included many posts that appeared to be benign, and in many cases those involved from people in the US, a finding that raises privacy and civil-liberties questions. Facebook was one of the sites that originally hosted the scraped content. Other venues included soccer discussion groups and video game forums. Topics in the scraped content were extremely wide ranging and included Arabic language posts mocking ISIS and Pashto language comments made on the official Facebook page of Pakistani politician Imran Khan.
  • Pirated Microsoft Software Enabled NSA Hack says Kaspersky
    Earlier reports accused Kaspersky's antivirus software which was running on the NSA worker's home computer to be the reason behind the Russian spies to access the machine and steal important documents which belonged to NSA hacking unit, Equation Group.
  • Iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface
    John Draper, a legendary figure in the world of pre-digital phone hacking known as "phreaking," has been publicly accused of inappropriate sexual behavior going back nearly two decades. According to a new Friday report by BuzzFeed News, Draper, who is also known as "Captain Crunch," acted inappropriately with six adult men and minors between 1999 and 2007 during so-called "energy" exercises, which sometimes resulted in private invitations to his hotel room. There, Draper allegedly made unwanted sexual advances. As a result of the new revelations, Draper, 74, is now no longer welcome at Defcon. Michael Farnum, the founder of HOU.SEC.CON, told Ars on Friday afternoon that Draper, who had been scheduled to speak in April 2018, was disinvited.

Debian Developers

  • Joey Hess: stupid long route
    Yesterday, I surpassed all that, and I did it in a way that hearkens right back to the original story. I had two computers, 20 feet apart, I wanted one to talk to the other, and the route between the two ended up traveling not around the Earth, but almost the distance to the Moon. I was rebuilding my home's access point, and ran into a annoying bug that prevented it from listening to wifi. I knew it was still connected over ethernet to the satellite receiver. I connected my laptop to the satellite receiver over wifi. But, I didn't know the IP address to reach the access point. Then I remembered I had set it up so incoming ssh to the satellite receiver was directed to the access point.
  • I am now a Debian Developer
    On the 6th of April 2017, I finally took the plunge and applied for Debian Developer status. On 1 August, during DebConf in Montréal, my application was approved. If you’re paying attention to the dates you might notice that that was nearly 4 months ago already. I was trying to write a story about how it came to be, but it ended up long. Really long (current draft is around 20 times longer than this entire post). So I decided I’d rather do a proper bio page one day and just do a super short version for now so that someone might end up actually reading it.
  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, October 2017
    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Programming: GNU Nano, Software Engineering Talent Shortage, HHVM (PHP)

  • GNU Nano Latest Version 2.9.0
    GNU nano 2.9.0 "Eta" introduces the ability to record and replay keystrokes (M-: to start and stop recording, M-; to play the macro back), makes ^Q and ^S do something useful by default (^Q starts a backward search, and ^S saves the current file), changes ^W to start always a forward search, shows the number of open buffers (when more than one) in the title bar, no longer asks to press Enter when there are errors in an rc file, retires the options '--quiet' and 'set quiet' and 'set backwards', makes indenting and unindenting undoable, will look in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME for a nanorc file and in $XDG_DATA_HOME for the history files, adds a history stack for executed commands (^R^X), does not overwrite the position-history file of another nano, and fixes a score of tiny bugs.
  • GNU Nano Text Editor Can Now Record & Replay Keystrokes
    GNU Nano 2.9 is now available as the latest feature release of this popular CLI text editor and it's bringing several new capabilities. First up, GNU Nano 2.9 has the ability to record and replay keystrokes within the text editor. M-: is used to start/stop the keystroke recording session while M-; is used to playback the macro / recorded keystrokes.
  • 2018's Software Engineering Talent Shortage— It’s quality, not just quantity

    The software engineering shortage is not a lack of individuals calling themselves “engineers”, the shortage is one of quality — a lack of well-studied, experienced engineers with a formal and deep understanding of software engineering.

  • HHVM 3.23
    HHVM 3.23 is released! This release contains new features, bug fixes, performance improvements, and supporting work for future improvements. Packages have been published in the usual places, however we have rotated the GPG key used to sign packages; see the installation instructions for more information.
  • Facebook Releases HHVM 3.23 With OpenSSL 1.1 Support, Experimental Bytecode Emitter
    HHVM 3.23 has been released as their high performance virtual machine for powering their Hack programming language and current PHP support. As mentioned back in September though, Facebook will stop focusing on PHP 7 compatibility in favor of driving their own Hack programming language forward. It's after their next release, HHVM 3.24, in early 2018 they will stop their commitment to supporting PHP5 features and at the same time not focus on PHP7 support. Due to the advancements made by upstream PHP on improving their performance, etc, Facebook is diverting their attention to instead just bolstering Hack and thus overtime the PHP support within HHVM will degrade.

Linux 4.14 File-System Benchmarks: Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS

Our latest Linux file-system benchmarking is looking at the performance of the mainline Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS file-systems on the Linux 4.14 kernel compared to 4.13 and 4.12. In looking to see how the file-system/disk performance has changed if at all under the newly released Linux 4.14 kernel, I carried out some 4.12/4.13/4.14 benchmarks using Btrfs/EXT4/F2FS/XFS while freshly formatting the drive each time and using the default mount options. Read more Also: Freedreno Gallium3D Supports A Fair Amount Of OpenGL 4.x