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Microsoft

Microsoft Distrust, Lock-in, and Openwashing

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Microsoft
  • [Old] Microsoft, there is a way to win our trust

    The purpose of this post is to explain why I think it's both justified and crucial to be very skeptical of these claims from Microsoft, and what Microsoft can do to allay our well-warranted doubts. And Microsoft, in keeping with the open source tradition from which it arises, I hope you take this unsolicited tunking in the way it's intended.

  • Why not GitHub?

    GitHub has investors who do not care a whit for free software principles, and eventually the company will get acquired—maybe tomorrow, maybe next year—and as we all know, money changes everything.

    Don’t leave your project’s nerve center—its primary address, its means of contribution, its issue tracker, its website, its primary documentation, its continuous integration, everything—in a way you can’t redirect!—at the mercy of people who merely want a return on their investment, and do not care about the principles of a minority of angry nerds.

    Using Git does not require GitHub!

  • Introducing Microsoft’s AirSim, an open-source simulator for autonomous vehicles built on Unreal Engine

German ministry hellbent on taking back control of 'digital sovereignty', cutting dependency on Microsoft

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Microsoft

The Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern or BMI) in Germany says it will reduce reliance on specific IT suppliers, especially Microsoft, in order to strengthen its "digital sovereignty".

In an official statement, the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer states that “in order to ensure our digital sovereignty, we want to reduce dependencies on individual IT providers. We are also considering alternative programs to replace certain software. This will be done in close coordination with other EU countries.”

BMI commissioned a strategic market analysis from consultants PwC, resulting in a paper that was published last month. The paper examines the risks inherent in IT dependency on commercial software vendors, with a particular focus on Microsoft because of the heavy use of its products and the way they are interconnected, especially Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server and Office 365.

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The Latest Microsoft Openwashing

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Microsoft

Linux Foundation and Openwashing of Microsoft

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
OSS
  • The Reactive Foundation Launches To Support Next Phase of Software Architecture

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

    The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure.

    [...]

    “With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”

  • Kubernetes literally everywhere, smoking hot Java, and more industry trends

    As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

  • ONF Open Sources Stratum, Basis for Its Next-Gen SDN Stack
  • Open Data: Standardizing Agreements to Enable Easier Data Sharing and Collaboration [Ed: Typical openwashing of Microsoft by Dick Weisinger]

    There are an abundant number of open source licenses to choose from to support the public sharing and collaboration of software code. These licenses include Apache, BSD, GNU, MIT, Mozilla and others. That’s not the case though when it comes to public sharing of data.

Greg Kroah-Hartman: Microsoft exFAT "code is horrible"

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Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Will Publish exFAT Spec, but Linux Devs Aren’t Happy

    Greg Kroah-Hartman, who maintains the Linux -stable branch, defended the decision to take the code into staging, despite its current condition, writing: “I know the code is horrible, but I will gladly take horrible code into staging. If it bothers you, just please ignore it.”

    Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols writes that the move could be read as a partial answer to a request made by Bradley Kuhn when Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network (OIN)’s patent non-aggression pact last year. After noting that Microsoft had specifically shaken down Linux product vendors for licensing fees related to exFAT in the past, he called on Microsoft to “submit to upstream the exfat code themselves under GPLv2-or-later.” Microsoft has not taken this step. Instead, it is publishing the specification and supports the work to create a Linux driver that will add exFAT support to the kernel at a future time. While Microsoft is supporting this effort, it expects the actual code submission to be performed by others.

  • The Initial exFAT Driver Queued For Introduction With The Linux 5.4 Kernel

Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
Security
  • BuyDRM launches Linux support for DRM

    BuyDRM has announced Linux support for its MultiKey Server, a multi-DRM software platform specifically designed for deployments in remote or limited connectivity environments.

  • Some airlines are banning Apple’s MacBook Pros even if they weren’t recalled

    In June, Apple recalled the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, sold between September 2015 and February 2017, because the battery “may pose a fire safety risk,” and the FAA soon reminded airlines not to carry those laptops with defective batteries on board. But some airlines are now banning Apple laptops whether they’ve got a bad battery or not, as reported by Bloomberg.

  • More Airlines Ban MacBook Pros in Checked Luggage

    All 15-inch versions of Apple Inc.’s MacBook Pro must be carried in the cabin and switched off, Qantas said in a statement Wednesday. The rule went into effect Tuesday morning. Rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. went further on Aug. 26, banning all Apple laptops from checked-in luggage.

  • Popular PDF app was quietly plonking malware onto Android phones

    The security smart folks note that the app itself doesn't appear to be a malicious one, but rather it contains a trojan that gathers spyware and other malware from a malicious server and then runs in on a victim's phone. This trojan, dubbed Necro.n appears to have been sneaked into the app through the use of a legit-looking advertising library package.

    As such, the developers of the app, which has received some 100 million downloads, might not even realise their software is causing their users a malware headache.

  • [Cracker] Claims He Can ‘Turn Off 25,000 Cars’ At The Push Of A Button

    Your car’s immobilizer is supposed to be used for good. If a crook steals your car, it's possible for you to connect to the immobilizer, which tracks the vehicle and allows you to stop anyone from turning on the engine. But with one particular immobilizer - the U.K.-made SmarTrack tool from Global Telemetrics - an easy-to-hack vulnerability meant it was simple for researchers at Pen Test Partners to turn on the immobilizer permanently, without the customer knowing a thing.

    To prove it was possible, the researchers from British cybersecurity company Pen Test Partners hacked the vehicle of one of their own employees, disabling his car whilst they were in the U.K. and he was in Greece, not long before he was due to head to a wedding.

  • French cyberpolice, Avast and FBI neutralise global 'botnet' [iophk: Windows TCO]

    French police have neutralised a [cracking] operation that had taken control of more than 850,000 computers, mainly in Latin America, while also managing to remove the malware from the infected devices.

    The agents went into action last spring after the Czech antivirus firm Avast alerted them to the software worm, called Retadup, that was being controlled by a server in the Paris region.

  • Putting an end to Retadup: A malicious worm that infected hundreds of thousands [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Retadup is a malicious worm affecting Windows machines throughout Latin America. Its objective is to achieve persistence on its victims’ computers, to spread itself far and wide and to install additional malware payloads on infected machines. In the vast majority of cases, the installed payload is a piece of malware mining cryptocurrency on the malware authors’ behalf. However, in some cases, we have also observed Retadup distributing the Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer.

  • Authorities free 850,000 machines from grasp of Retadup worm [iophk: Windows TCO]

    After gaining persistence, Retadup goes on to distribute secondary malware on infected machines. It most commonly delivers a Monero cryptomining program, but also has been observed spreading over malware programs including Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer, Avast reports.

    The vast majority of Retadup victims whose infections were neutralized in last month’s crackdown are based in Latin American countries. However, the law enforcement operation itself specifically targeted C2 infrastructure based in France and the U.S.

  • Report finds majority of 2019 ransomware attacks have targeted state and local governments [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The majority of ransomware attacks in the U.S. in 2019 have targeted state and local governments, a report published Wednesday by cybersecurity group Barracuda Networks found.

    The report counted a total of 55 ransomware attacks on U.S. state and local government entities between January and July of 2019. These attacks involve a malicious actor or group encrypting a network and asking for money, often in the form of bitcoin, to allow the user access.

  • Threat Spotlight: Government Ransomware Attacks [iophk: this is disinformation which fails to steer potential victims away from Windows and towards GNU/Linux or one of the BSDs]

    Barracuda researchers have identified more than 50 cities and towns attacked so far this year. The team’s recent analysis of hundreds of attacks across a broad set of targets revealed that government organizations are the intended victims of nearly two-thirds of all ransomware attacks. Local, county, and state governments have all been targets, including schools, libraries, courts, and other entities.

    Here’s a closer look at state and local government ransomware attacks and solutions to help detect, block, and recover from them.

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Apps 19.08, Huawei – Destination Linux 135

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Microsoft

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Applications, CutiePi Open Source Tablet, Huawei To Create Open Source Foundation, Rust Removes Linux Support, Stranded Deep Survival Game Fix

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The best free alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Many people don’t realise that there is high-quality, free software available that can compete with Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system.

While you might feel comfortable using traditional programs and be hesitant to change, you could save thousands of rand just by choosing high-quality freeware over paid software.

With the right products, it is possible to run a suite of useful programs on your computer without spending a cent.

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'No Man's Sky Beyond' Just Got Patched For Linux, Even Though It's A Windows-Only PC Game

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Gaming

Yep, it's right there in the notes for Beyond Patch 2.08a: "Fixed Steam VR in Linux."

The game was recently treated to a massive update which makes it almost resemble an MMO. There are new social hubs, 16-32 player multiplayer, the addition of virtual reality, Vulkan API support and quite a bit more of everything.

As you probably know, Hello Games is a fairly small indie game studio, and it never developed a native Linux version of No Man's Sky. But that's OK, because the game proudly bears a "Gold" rating on ProtonDB, a website that tracks Steam Play compatibility with Windows games.

Because Proton translates Windows-exclusive game APIs like DirectX to Vulkan (an API that Linux understands), this allows thousands of games that never appeared on Linux to work anyway, simply by installing it on the Steam for Linux client. Proton also has support for SteamVR, meaning many VR titles also run well.

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Also: Zombie apocalypse action RPG Zombasite has a big update and a big sale to match

Microsoft’s latest Surface updates are causing CPU and Wi-Fi issues

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Microsoft

Microsoft is working to fix CPU throttling on the company’s latest Surface devices, while owners complain of Wi-Fi issues, too. “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to TechRepublic. “We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

The CPU throttling appears to be affecting both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 6, according to a variety of complaints on Reddit. Processors are getting throttled all the way down to a measly 400MHz, and it’s not immediately clear what is causing the problems. TechRepublic reports that the throttling appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag being locked on by mistake, causing the CPU to throttle as it thinks it’s at a thermal limit.

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