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Microsoft

Microsoft kills off Windows 10 update that had been slowing down PCs

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Microsoft

Goodbye Windows 10 update KB4559309, we hardly knew ye. After less than two months, in which the Windows 10 update managed to annoy many users by seemingly slowing down their devices, Microsoft has now unceremoniously killed off the update.

As Windows Latest reports, the Windows 10 update KB4559309 update was supposed to replace the old Edge web browser with the new and improved Chromium-based Edge web browser. However, many users reported that after installing the update, their PCs began to perform poorly, while Windows 10 also booted slowly.

Windows 10 May 2020 Update problems: how to fix them
How to uninstall a Windows 10 update
These are the best web browsers

To make matters worse, KB4559309 is an automatic update, which meant users didn’t have a say in whether or not Windows 10 should download and install it.

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Ubuntu 20.10 Adding Active Directory Support To The Installer

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Microsoft
Ubuntu

The "Ubiquity" installer used by the Ubuntu desktop is set to feature Active Directory (AD) integration with the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 release.

Given it's late in the cycle and past the feature freeze, a feature freeze exception was sought and granted for adding this optional Active Directory support to the Ubuntu desktop installer.

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Also: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 647

Wine and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
  • The Steam Play Proton compatibility layer turns two years old

    Two years ago to the date, Valve Software made an announcement that would change Linux gaming on Steam: that announcement was the new version of Steam Play with the Proton compatibility layer.

    Proton is the Valve-funded fork of Wine, a compatibility layer designed to run Windows software on other systems. With Proton, Valve are focusing of course on games and Steam integration with the help of CodeWeavers. Two years on, there's a huge amount more AAA games (thousands) playable on Linux with a few clicks of a button (guide). Thanks to Proton, users moving over from Windows likely don't need to give up a lot of their games, since many should work well and the importance of that cannot be understated as a back catalogue is vital.

  • Adobe accidentally deleted people’s photos in latest Lightroom update

    Adobe representative Rikk Flohr acknowledged and apologized for the snafu in a forum post yesterday. Per Flohr, the company has released another update “to prevent this issue from impacting additional customers.” However, the photos can’t be recovered, according to Flohr. The update won’t help anyone who’s already been impacted.

  • Is Gmail Down? Google Drive Outages Reported in U.S., Europe and Australia

    Many users noted receiving an error message that read either "Oops something went wrong" or "Message could not be sent. Check your network and try again," when attempting to send an email.

    Newsweek has contacted Google for comment.

  • Helsinki man loses €100k in "Microsoft support" scam

    Police said these kinds of scams come to their attention on a nearly daily basis. In June, for example, police reported two similar incidents in which two victims had each been conned out of as much as 30,000 euros.

  • Epic vs. Apple is not about 'freedom'

    In my experience, when wealthy people talk about “freedom,” it doesn’t usually mean freedom for the rest of us, just freedom for them. This whole affair can easily be characterized as being little more than a company of millionaires fighting a company of billionaires over the right to take a cut from software sales.

  • Publishers Ask Apple CEO for Same App Store Deal Given to Amazon

    Apple takes 30% of the revenue from most subscriptions in its App Store, then 15% after the first year. But in late July, a congressional antitrust panel disclosed internal emails showing a more-favorable deal struck between Apple services chief Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They agreed to a 15% revenue share for Amazon Prime Video customers who signed up through the iPhone app and no revenue share for users who already subscribed via Amazon or elsewhere, the emails showed.

Microsoft makes it harder to disable Windows 10 antivirus software

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Microsoft

Microsoft Defender (which used to be known as Windows Defender), is the built-in antivirus tool in Windows 10, and Microsoft has just made it more difficult to disable.

While the current version of Microsoft Defender does a good job of protecting PCs against viruses, malware and other internet threats, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to disable it.

It’s always been a bit tricky to turn off Microsoft Defender in Windows 10, and while you could pause its real-time protection, it would automatically turn itself back on later.

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Proprietary Software and Microsoft Issues

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • GitHub Takes Down Pirate Streaming App 'King Club' Following MPA Complaint

    GitHub has removed the website and APK of the pirate streaming app King Club X. The action was taken in response to a takedown request sent by the MPA acting on behalf of Netflix and several major Hollywood studios. According to the notice, the app is predominantly used as a pirate tool which blatantly infringes countless copyrights.

  • Jack Daniel’s Hit with Ransomware, Decade of Data Stolen

    Brown-Forman is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Its most famous brand name is Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, though the company also distributes Woodford, Old Forester, Collingwood, Glenglassaugh, and Glendronach whiskey and scotch; Herradura, El Jimador, and Pepe Lopez tequila; Finlandia Vodka; and Sonoma-Cutrer wines.

    The ransomware attackers allegedly copied 1TB of the company’s data. Their plan is to sell the most important information to the highest bidder and leak the rest.

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  • Cruise operator Carnival hit by ransomware

                       

                         

    The cruise line giant did not identify who was responsible for the ransomware attack. In search of payouts to keep business humming, ransomware gangs have targeted companies in just about every sector.

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  • Microsoft Put Off Fixing Zero Day for 2 Years

                     

                       

    In fact, CVE-2020-1464 was first spotted in attacks used in the wild back in August 2018. And several researchers informed Microsoft about the weakness over the past 18 months.

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  • The Case of the Top Secret iPod

                     

                       

    At the time, the latest iPod was the fifth-generation iPod, better known as the “iPod with video.” It was relatively easy to pop open the case and close it again without leaving obvious marks, unlike the iPod nano models that became popular shortly after. Plus, the fifth-generation iPod had a 60 GB disk, so there was plenty of room to have lots of songs and still record extra data. And it was the last iPod for which Apple didn’t digitally sign the operating system.

                       

    iPod with videoThat was important because it made the fifth-generation iPod somewhat hackable. Hobbyists enjoyed getting Linux to run on iPods, which was hard to do without the special knowledge and tools Apple possessed. We on the iPod engineering team were impressed. But Apple corporate didn’t like it. Starting with the iPod nano, the operating system was signed with a digital signature to block the Linux hackers (and others). The boot ROM checked the digital signature before loading the operating system; if it didn’t match, it wouldn’t boot.

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  • Ongoing Campaign Uses [Javascript] Smuggling for Malware Delivery

                     

                       

    “In this specific attack, we observed the JavaScript blob technique being used to smuggle malicious files via the browser to the user’s endpoint. Constructing content on the client browser like this evades network security solutions such as sandboxes and proxies,” Menlo Security explains.

                       

    [...]

                       

    For the attack to be successful, however, the victim needs to open the ZIP file and execute the .msi file inside it. Once opened, the file fetches from a remote location another ZIP file that has a .jpg extension, and which contains the malicious payload, Menlo Security reveals.

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  • Example of Word Document Delivering Qakbot

                     

                       

    Then the macro execution is triggered when the document is opened: [...]

Internet Explorer Officially Dead and PCLinuxOS Updates Chromium-Based Browsers

Filed under
PCLOS
Google
Microsoft
Web
  • Internet Explorer is dead as Microsoft kills off 25-year-old browser

    Microsoft has finally killed Internet Explorer The browser will be finished on 17 August, 2021, the company said.

  • [PC Linux OS] Vivaldi browser updated to 3.2.1967.45

    Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

  • [PC Linux OS] Opera browser updated to 70.0.3728.119

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Flashpeak Slimjet browser updated to 27.0.7.0

    Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire.

My Journey to Finally Ditching Windows for Good

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

I was a young teenager in the late 90s, browsing the aisles of the local Babbage’s (before it became GameStop), having somehow convinced my dad, not a lover of games, that we needed something to test the new CD-ROM drive. I knew nothing except that the Starcraft box (remember those?) looked the coolest and that’s what we got. On a birthday around that year I eagerly ripped into the wrapping of a present to reveal…Baldur’s Gate. I had never seen an RPG before or known anything about Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), but clearly the kid at the local game store knew exactly what to recommend to my mom for a kid like me.

Sometimes you get lucky: the right games at the right time and a lifelong hobby is born. Other times you work hard: software RAID and fiery, wobbly windows, Gentoo, full disk encryption… but you love the work of tinkering and a love of Linux is born. The blending of those worlds is often like oil and water, but with the magic of open-source and indie game developers I’ve been living in the best of both worlds. This is my journey to a Linux only life, while still gaming. Thinking back, some of my memories are more hazy than I would like, but I’ll blame all the different computers, hardware, distros, and constant trying of new things, rather than age.

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Linux vs. Windows: It's a matter of perspective

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

I was hired by another company to do a video series on a particular piece of software. I thought, "No problem! I've used the software on other platforms, this will be a cake walk." And no, the software in question wasn't Cakewalk.

All I had to do was install a screen-recording application on Windows 10, and I'd be set for liftoff (no, the software in question wasn't Liftoff).

However, Windows 10 had something to say about that proposition.

At first, I thought, "I'll use the built-in screen recording app." Nope. That's only for games.

Then I thought, "I'll install the same tool I use on Linux (to great effect)." Nope. Not available for Windows.

Then I thought, "I'll check the Windows App Store (or whatever that abomination is called)."

Bingo. I found five or so different titles to try.

First one failed to launch.
Second one failed to record.
Third one crashed two minutes into the session.
Fourth one was a joke.
Fifth one wouldn't install.

I was at a loss. I had a deadline, and things weren't looking so good. It wasn't until I remembered that I'd used OBS Studio once upon a time and knew I could get a screen recording with that. So, I installed the tool, took the time to set it up, and recorded the session.

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Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software

Here’s the glaring potential flaw in Windows 10X devices as Chromebook competitors

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Imagine an operating system that’s focused on using the web browser and you can’t install traditional desktop apps on. No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS. I’m talking about upcoming devices running Microsoft Windows 10X, a “lite” software platform that is reportedly debuting in roughly 9 months.

You may not recall that Microsoft tried a similar approach in 2012 with Windows RT and the first Surface device.

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Also: Linux Marketshare Dipped in July – But Not By Much! [Ed: No, it is wrong to base one's assessment on a Microsoft partner that pretends Android, ChromeOS etc. don't even exist]

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