Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft

Microsoft Can't Keep Online, Busy Digesting GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft Layoffs and EEE (Raspberry Pi)

Filed under
Microsoft
  • Microsoft could lay off ‘thousands’ as it focuses more on cloud services [iophk: "fifth-columnists now so reliable that paid sales teams can be reduced"]

     

    Microsoft says it will now focus on two distinct areas: big enterprise customers, and then small to medium-sized businesses. It’s not exactly clear what changes are in the pipeline, but an email from Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president of worldwide commercial business, says sales reorganization is designed to “align the right resources for the right customer at the right time.” The magnitude of the potential layoffs is unclear, but the WSJ says they will likely occur in offices all around the globe.  

  • This Open Source Online Raspberry Pi Simulator By Microsoft Works Right Inside Your Browser [Ed: Azure trap. This devise is dominated by GNU/Linux and Microsoft can’t help but attempt EEE]

    You can also connect it to the Azure IoT Hub and collect sensor data. Currently, this simulator is in the preview version.

Why Linux Marketshare Stats Are Wrong

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Every few months, new statistics about Linux users on desktop platform come out. The methodologies used for each one varies according to its provider. However, they all share one thing: Being wrong.

Measuring number of users who use a certain operating system on desktop is totally different thing from servers or other devices. E.g for web servers, you may have a list of static IP addresses which you can analyze and try to reach. You may check hosting companies or huge enterprises for additional data. Lot of methodologies can be used.

However, for desktop. It seems like most statistics providers don’t have any scientific methodology to rely on so far. What they depend on is that they try to make partnerships with some famous advertising networks (which include thousands of websites) and try to analyze the visitors of those websites to provide them with data.

Such methodology is so far from being accurate. This article tells you why.

Read more

Stats [From Microsoft-Connected Firm] Say Linux Marketshare Hit All-Time High Last Month

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Desktop Linux marketshare hit an all-time high last month, according to the latest data from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.

The company report that Linux users made up 2.36% of tracked visits to websites it tracks last month, the highest the Linux figure has ever been.

Read more

Microsoft is laying off ‘thousands’ of staff in a major global sales reorganization

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft is poised to layoff thousands of employees worldwide in a move to reorganize its salesforce.

A source with knowledge of the planned downsizing told TechCrunch that the U.S. firm would lay off “thousands” of staff across the world. The restructuring is set to include an organizational merger that involves its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its SME-focused divisions. The changes are set to be announced this coming week, we understand.

Microsoft declined to comment.

Read more

Also: Browser market share reports emphasize that Microsoft Edge just isn't good enough for users

Openwashing of Arduino, Microsoft, and LinkedIn (Still Proprietary to the Core)

Filed under
Microsoft

Wikileaks CIA Leak on "geo-location malware for WiFi-enabled ... Microsoft Windows"

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Elsa

    Today, June 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the ELSA project of the CIA. ELSA is a geo-location malware for WiFi-enabled devices like laptops running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Once persistently installed on a target machine using separate CIA exploits, the malware scans visible WiFi access points and records the ESS identifier, MAC address and signal strength at regular intervals. To perform the data collection the target machine does not have to be online or connected to an access point; it only needs to be running with an enabled WiFi device. If it is connected to the internet, the malware automatically tries to use public geo-location databases from Google or Microsoft to resolve the position of the device and stores the longitude and latitude data along with the timestamp. The collected access point/geo-location information is stored in encrypted form on the device for later exfiltration. The malware itself does not beacon this data to a CIA back-end; instead the operator must actively retrieve the log file from the device - again using separate CIA exploits and backdoors.

    The ELSA project allows the customization of the implant to match the target environment and operational objectives like sampling interval, maximum size of the logfile and invocation/persistence method. Additional back-end software (again using public geo-location databases from Google and Microsoft) converts unprocessed access point information from exfiltrated logfiles to geo-location data to create a tracking profile of the target device.

Companies That Exploit FOSS in an Effort to Look "Open" (While Remaining Wholly Proprietary)

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • Windows 10: Now SUSE Linux comes to Windows Store for Insiders
  • openSUSE Leap 42 And SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Finally Come To Windows Store
  • VMware’s profile in wireless rises as operators move toward virtualization [Ed: openwashing of proprietary giant and GPL violator]

    But one of the misconceptions VMware is often faced with is the idea that there’s an open architecture out there that competes with VMware. Case in point: OpenStack is often pointed out as competition for VMware, when in fact, “that is not true,” Ayyar told FierceWirelessTech.

    [...]

    The short answer is “no,” it does not compete with open source. It does have proprietary components to its architecture that it monetizes as part of a full solution set, but, Ayyar contends, it actually ends up being the way service providers want it because there are areas where they don’t necessarily want to go in and create code from scratch or rely on the open source system at large.

  • SalesAgility launches SuiteASSURED, the world's first warrantied open source CRM [Ed: Another FOSS FUD firm like Black Duck seems to have emerged.]

    SuiteASSURED is the world's first assured and warrantied open source CRM. It offers protections and guarantees more usually associated with proprietary software while maintaining the quality, freedoms and innovations of open source software. SuiteASSURED provides assurances that include indemnifications in case of IP issues, and warranties for the performance, security and reliability of the software.

    For compliance driven organisations such as financial services and healthcare, open source can be a challenge to adopt because of the explicit lack of warranties and indemnities in most open source licences. SuiteASSURED is a game changer for such organisations. It enables faster innovation at greatly reduced costs as well as contractual guarantees more usually associated with proprietary vendors.

Microsoft Breaches and Their Impact

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Security: OpenSSL, IoT, and LWN Coverage of 'Intelpocalypse'

  • Another Face to Face: Email Changes and Crypto Policy
    The OpenSSL OMC met last month for a two-day face-to-face meeting in London, and like previous F2F meetings, most of the team was present and we addressed a great many issues. This blog posts talks about some of them, and most of the others will get their own blog posts, or notices, later. Red Hat graciously hosted us for the two days, and both Red Hat and Cryptsoft covered the costs of their employees who attended. One of the overall threads of the meeting was about increasing the transparency of the project. By default, everything should be done in public. We decided to try some major changes to email and such.
  • Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

    Throughout 2016 and 2017, attacks from massive botnets made up entirely of hacked [sic] IoT devices had many experts warning of a dire outlook for Internet security. But the future of IoT doesn’t have to be so bleak. Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

  • A look at the handling of Meltdown and Spectre
    The Meltdown/Spectre debacle has, deservedly, reached the mainstream press and, likely, most of the public that has even a remote interest in computers and security. It only took a day or so from the accelerated disclosure date of January 3—it was originally scheduled for January 9—before the bugs were making big headlines. But Spectre has been known for at least six months and Meltdown for nearly as long—at least to some in the industry. Others that were affected were completely blindsided by the announcements and have joined the scramble to mitigate these hardware bugs before they bite users. Whatever else can be said about Meltdown and Spectre, the handling (or, in truth, mishandling) of this whole incident has been a horrific failure. For those just tuning in, Meltdown and Spectre are two types of hardware bugs that affect most modern CPUs. They allow attackers to cause the CPU to do speculative execution of code, while timing memory accesses to deduce what has or has not been cached, to disclose the contents of memory. These disclosures can span various security boundaries such as between user space and the kernel or between guest operating systems running in virtual machines. For more information, see the LWN article on the flaws and the blog post by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton that well describes modern CPU architectures and speculative execution to explain why the Raspberry Pi is not affected.
  • Addressing Meltdown and Spectre in the kernel
    When the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were disclosed on January 3, attention quickly turned to mitigations. There was already a clear defense against Meltdown in the form of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI), but the defenses against the two Spectre variants had not been developed in public and still do not exist in the mainline kernel. Initial versions of proposed defenses have now been disclosed. The resulting picture shows what has been done to fend off Spectre-based attacks in the near future, but the situation remains chaotic, to put it lightly. First, a couple of notes with regard to Meltdown. KPTI has been merged for the 4.15 release, followed by a steady trickle of fixes that is undoubtedly not yet finished. The X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE processor bit is being renamed to X86_BUG_CPU_MELTDOWN now that the details are public; there will be bug flags for the other two variants added in the near future. 4.9.75 and 4.4.110 have been released with their own KPTI variants. The older kernels do not have mainline KPTI, though; instead, they have a backport of the older KAISER patches that more closely matches what distributors shipped. Those backports have not fully stabilized yet either. KPTI patches for ARM are circulating, but have not yet been merged.
  • Is it time for open processors?
    The disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities has brought a new level of attention to the security bugs that can lurk at the hardware level. Massive amounts of work have gone into improving the (still poor) security of our software, but all of that is in vain if the hardware gives away the game. The CPUs that we run in our systems are highly proprietary and have been shown to contain unpleasant surprises (the Intel management engine, for example). It is thus natural to wonder whether it is time to make a move to open-source hardware, much like we have done with our software. Such a move may well be possible, and it would certainly offer some benefits, but it would be no panacea. Given the complexity of modern CPUs and the fierceness of the market in which they are sold, it might be surprising to think that they could be developed in an open manner. But there are serious initiatives working in this area; the idea of an open CPU design is not pure fantasy. A quick look around turns up several efforts; the following list is necessarily incomplete.
  • Notes from the Intelpocalypse
    Rumors of an undisclosed CPU security issue have been circulating since before LWN first covered the kernel page-table isolation patch set in November 2017. Now, finally, the information is out — and the problem is even worse than had been expected. Read on for a summary of these issues and what has to be done to respond to them in the kernel. All three disclosed vulnerabilities take advantage of the CPU's speculative execution mechanism. In a simple view, a CPU is a deterministic machine executing a set of instructions in sequence in a predictable manner. Real-world CPUs are more complex, and that complexity has opened the door to some unpleasant attacks. A CPU is typically working on the execution of multiple instructions at once, for performance reasons. Executing instructions in parallel allows the processor to keep more of its subunits busy at once, which speeds things up. But parallel execution is also driven by the slowness of access to main memory. A cache miss requiring a fetch from RAM can stall the execution of an instruction for hundreds of processor cycles, with a clear impact on performance. To minimize the amount of time it spends waiting for data, the CPU will, to the extent it can, execute instructions after the stalled one, essentially reordering the code in the program. That reordering is often invisible, but it occasionally leads to the sort of fun that caused Documentation/memory-barriers.txt to be written.

US Sanctions Against Chinese Android Phones, LWN Report on Eelo

  • A new bill would ban the US government from using Huawei and ZTE phones
    US lawmakers have long worried about the security risks posed the alleged ties between Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and the country’s government. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban US government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies. Conaway’s bill would prohibit the US government from purchasing and using “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE. In a statement on his site, he says that technology coming from the country poses a threat to national security, and that use of this equipment “would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives,” and cites US Intelligence and counterintelligence officials who say that Huawei has shared information with state leaders, and that the its business in the US is growing, representing a further security risk.
  • U.S. lawmakers urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei - sources
    U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said. The warning comes after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a harder line on policies initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei [HWT.UL] handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
  • Eelo seeks to make a privacy-focused phone
    A focus on privacy is a key feature being touted by a number of different projects these days—from KDE to Tails to Nextcloud. One of the biggest privacy leaks for most people is their phone, so it is no surprise that there are projects looking to address that as well. A new entrant in that category is eelo, which is a non-profit project aimed at producing not only a phone, but also a suite of web services. All of that could potentially replace the Google or Apple mothership, which tend to collect as much personal data as possible.

today's howtos

Mozilla: Resource Hogs, Privacy Month, Firefox Census, These Weeks in Firefox

  • Firefox Quantum Eats RAM Like Chrome
    For a long time, Mozilla’s Firefox has been my web browser of choice. I have always preferred it to using Google’s Chrome, because of its simplicity and reasonable system resource (especially RAM) usage. On many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many others, Firefox even comes installed by default. Recently, Mozilla released a new, powerful and faster version of Firefox called Quantum. And according to the developers, it’s new with a “powerful engine that’s built for rapid-fire performance, better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.”
  • Mozilla Communities Speaker Series #PrivacyMonth
    As a part of the Privacy Month initiative, Mozilla volunteers are hosting a couple of speaker series webinars on Privacy, Security and related topics. The webinars will see renowned speakers talking to us about their work around privacy, how to take control of your digital self, some privacy-security tips and much more.
  • “Ewoks or Porgs?” and Other Important Questions
    You ever go to a party where you decide to ask people REAL questions about themselves, rather than just boring chit chat? Us, too! That’s why we’ve included questions that really hone in on the important stuff in our 2nd Annual Firefox Census.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 30