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Microsoft

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 No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS.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]

Has Ubuntu 20.04 Finally Come Far Enough to Take on Windows? It Sure Seems Like It

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Microsoft Windows has become the default operating system on Laptops and PC. So much so that Laptops now come with Windows pre-installed. Previously it used to be the case that many laptop manufacturers used to offer their products with no operating system or DOS. Since Windows 10 came into the world everything changed. You can run Windows 10 for free and get all the updates as well and without using any cracked versions. One could even argue that Microsoft went the Google route with Windows. So is windows better now or not?

Well, it certainly seems that offering your product for free does come with a few compromises. One of the biggest ones is the compromise on Privacy. Most people are just average users who buy a machine and just use it without reading the terms of service and don’t tinker around with the settings. So is it worth it to use Windows still? The answer depends from one person to another but most users will argue that Windows has a polished UI and as a ton of support and software that will run flawlessly on the OS. That aspect of the argument is true if you are a content creator or video editor but if you are a developer or just a tech nerd then it might not be the case.

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Microsoft’s Edge browser is crashing if you have Google set as default search

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft’s new Edge browser started randomly crashing when users typed into the address bar tonight. The issues appear to have affected Edge users who have selected Google as the default search engine. Microsoft investigated the problem and now says it’s believed to have been resolved.

Microsoft recommends turning off Search Suggestions in edge://settings/search. The Verge has tested this workaround and it solves the problem if you have Google set as your default search engine.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers For Windows Users Looking to Switch to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Many people know “Linux” as an operating system, but the term “Linux” is actually referring to the Linux kernel. The kernel is the core of an operating system that controls and facilitates interactions between hardware and software components.

When packaged with different desktop environment and software, it becomes an operating system, just like Windows or macOS. More accurately, it should be called a “Linux distribution” instead of “Linux”.

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Hack Brief: Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old ‘Wormable’ Bug

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially "wormable" vulnerability—meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction—has appeared in Microsoft's implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company's researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years.

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Microsoft slips Bing search into Android through Outlook

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine.

Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world.

The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing.

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Also: Microsoft caught sneaking Bing search onto phones with the Outlook app

Microsoft's clever trick to get Android users search on Bing instead of Google

Microsoft to pull support for PHP

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
  • Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

    Born-again open-source fan Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of PHP by, er, pulling its support for the scripting language that is beloved (or dreaded) by server operators the world over.

    Microsoft engineer Dale Hirt confirmed the change on the PHP mailing list, warning that the Windows behemoth was not "going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond."

    Current versions, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, will continue to receive support as per the community's cadence, which sees around two years of bug squashing followed by a year of security fixes. PHP 7.4 emerged last November, so Microsoft's benevolence should last until 2022 at which point the plug will be pulled.

    Register reader Alain Williams, who tipped us off to Hirt's posting, remarked: "I suspect that it means that Microsoft will not provide any resources to make PHP 8 work but expect others to do so instead."

    After thanking the Microsoft gang for its work over the years, PHP 8.0 Release Manager Sara Golemon said: "I won't say I'm not bummed," before expressing the hope that some sort of alternative might be worked out by the end of the year, when version 8 is due to drop.

  • [PHP-DEV] Microsoft Support of PHP on Windows

    Hello PHP Internals,

    My name is Dale Hirt and I am the project manager for PHP inside Microsoft.

    We currently support PHP with development and build efforts for PHP 7.3, and PHP 7.4. In addition,
    we help with building PHP 7.2 on Windows when security fixes are required..

    However, as PHP 8.0 is now ramping up, we wanted to let the community know what our current plans
    are going forward.

    We know that the current cadence is 2 years from release for bug fixes, and 1 year after that for
    security fixes. This means that PHP 7.2 will be going out of support in November. PHP 7.3 will be
    going into security fix mode only in November. PHP 7.4 will continue to have another year of bug
    fix and then one year of security fixes. We are committed to maintaining development and building
    of PHP on Windows for 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 as long as they are officially supported. We are not,
    however, going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond.

Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

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Graphics: Mesa 20.1.3 and Collabora Working for Microsoft

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Microsoft
  • mesa 20.1.3

    Hi all,

    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

    There's a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to
    our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

    Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

  • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

    Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

  • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

    That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it's principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

    Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

  • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

    With over 15 years' experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

    Based in Canada, India, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Cyprus, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

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More in Tux Machines

Devices: RaspAnd, Raspberry Pi and More

  • RaspAnd Project Now Lets You Run Android 10 on Your Raspberry Pi

    Arne Exton released today a new version of his RaspAnd project that lets you run the latest Android 10 mobile operating system on your tiny Raspberry Pi computer. For $9 USD, RaspAnd 10 promises to make it easier to install Google’s latest Android 10 mobile operating system on your Raspberry Pi computer, but let’s take a look at the new features and improvements it brings over previous versions. First and foremost, RaspAnd 10 is compatible with several recent Raspberry Pi models, including the recent Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM, but also older models, such as the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

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  • Create a stop motion film with Digital Making at Home
             
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  • The people problem

    Systems used to be designed by groups of engineers. Integration and test engineers waited on the developers and toes tended to get trodden on, with hidden code picked apart and untouchable historic designs questioned - all for product development. There was certainly no room for ego! Today, favourite tools may be replaced by those common to the technologies inside a device. Xilinx Zynq devices have two debug ports to allow individual debugging of the Processor Section or Programmable Logic. On Zynq you can chain these ports into one, so tools that are aware of both worlds deliver greater insight. Other devices may only offer specific insight. Vendors will offer a toolset to work with this, but it may be different to what people are used to. Suddenly, this new wonder-device to solve everyone’s design problems is upsetting the engineering apple cart across all engineering disciplines. [...] Silicon vendors offer a step-up in trying to build Linux for their device, and may offer a pre-built image to boot from. This will need modifying for your needs. It’s amazing how many common command-line tools don’t show up by default. Don’t be fooled into thinking moving from a Raspberry Pi to another platform will be straightforward.

Programming: Python, Rust, PHP, C++ and More

  • Python For Loop: Everything You Need to Know

    Loops are one of the essential elements in any programming language, and Python is not an exception to it. Loops are used to repeat a statement or a block of statements multiple times. If there were no concept of loops in programming languages, we have to write each statement again and again for the number of times we want to execute it. Python provides two types of loops to handle looping requirements, i.e., the while loop and the for loop. In this tutorial, we will learn everything about the for loop statement in Python. Before getting started with this tutorial, It is necessary to have Python installed and set up in your environment path. If you don’t have it installed already, refer to our step by step guide to install Python on Linux. The code presented in this tutorial can be run on the python shell, but it is recommended to run the code in a Python IDE. If you don’t have a python IDE installed in your system or want to know which IDE is a better choice to install, you can refer to our guide Top 10 best python IDE compared.

  • NihAV Is An Experimental Multimedia Framework Written In Rust

    NihAV is an experimental multimedia framework written in the Rust programming language. At the moment it's focused on diving into supporting decoders for different formats that lack open-source support right now / not yet reverse engineered, exploring new approaches for conventional multimedia concepts, and other experiments for advancing audio-video frameworks.

  • rra-c-util 8.3

    n this release of my utility library for my other packages, I finally decided to drop support for platforms without a working snprintf. This dates back to the early 2000s and a very early iteration of this package. At the time, there were still some older versions of UNIX without snprintf at all. More commonly, it was buggy. The most common problem was that it would return -1 if the buffer wasn't large enough rather than returning the necessary size of the buffer. Or, in some cases, it wouldn't support a buffer size of 0 and a NULL buffer to get the necessary size.

  • Embedded Programming and Beyond: An Interview with Warren Gay

    Interested in embedded programming? Warren Gay, an Ontario, Canada-based senior programmer, is an excellent resource for professional programmers, students, and makers alike. Here he talks about his new book, FreeRTOS for ESP32-Arduino (Elektor, 2020), and shares insights about FreeRTOS, ESP32, Arduino, embedded technologies, and more. You are sure to find his input informative and inspiring, especially if you plan to work with ESP32 or Arduino in the near future.

  • PHP 7.1 - 8 new features

    In the PHP 7.0 version function declaration accepts a return type, with the release of 7.1 version functions and parameters can return/accept null by prefixing the data type with a question mark(?). if the data type passed as parameter or returned by a function is different from the type specified a TypeError exception will be thrown.

  • Senior Developers don’t know Everything

    For about 20 years, I’ve been doing C++ and Qt and KDE development. I suppose that makes me a “senior software engineer”, also in the sense that I’ve hacked, programmed, futzed, designed, architected, tested, proved-correct, and cursed at a lot of software. But don’t let the label fool you: I look up just as much in the documentation as I ever did; senior developers don’t know everything.

Software and Games: Cloud Hypervisor, Joplin, Kodi, MuseScore, Bashtop, Grounded

  • Intel Cloud-Hypervisor 0.9 Brings io_uring Block Device Support For Faster Performance

    Intel's Cloud Hypervisor focused on being a Rustlang-based hypervisor focused for cloud workloads is closing in on the 1.0 milestone. With this week's release of Cloud-Hypervisor 0.9 there is one very exciting feature in particular but also a lot of other interesting changes. 

  • Joplin

    Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organised into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor. The notes are in Markdown format. Notes exported from Evernote via .enex files can be imported into Joplin, including the formatted content (which is converted to Markdown), resources (images, attachments, etc.) and complete metadata (geolocation, updated time, created time, etc.). Plain Markdown files can also be imported. The notes can be synchronized with various cloud services including Nextcloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV or the file system (for example with a network directory). When synchronizing the notes, notebooks, tags and other metadata are saved to plain text files which can be easily inspected, backed up and moved around.

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  • Kodi 19 Alpha 1 Released With AV1 Decoding, Many Other HTPC Improvements

    Kodi 19 "Matrix" Alpha 1 has been released for this very popular, cross-platform open-source HTPC software.  Kodi 19 is bringing many exciting improvements as a major update to this open-source home theater software. 

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  • Scorewriter MuseScore 3.5 Released with Chord Symbol Playback

    MuseScore, free music composition and notation software, released version 3.5 with long list of new features, bug fixes, and other improvements. MuseScore 3.5 contains one of the most requested features: Chord Symbol Playback. The feature is disabled by default so far. You can enable it by going to Edit > Preferences > Note Input.

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  • Bashtop: An Htop Like System Monitor But Much More Useful

    As cool as Htop there is one thing that it's seriously lacking in and that is system monitoring tools, this may not be a problem for you but if you want a system monitor than bashtop is a much better option to choose, it let's you do most of the process management stuff that you want from htop but it comes with things like hard drive usage, network usage and cpu usage statistics. 

  • An Early Look at Grounded

    You’re in control of a child, who looks like he/she hasn’t entered the teenager years just yet. Among four different children — two boys and two girls — they’ve got a big problem: they’ve been shrunk to the size of an insect. Join them in their adventure — either by yourself or with a group of online friends — as they fight to survive in someone’s backyard, trying to build shelters whilst defending against bugs, and figure out why they’ve shrunk in the first place. Enter Grounded, developed by Obsidian Entertainment — the studio that brought us such titles as Pillars of Eternity, The Outer Worlds, and Star Wars: KOTOR2.

Fedora: LTO, Nest and More

  • Fedora 33 Moving Closer To LTO-Optimizing Packages

    Going back to last year Fedora has been working to enable link-time optimizations by default for their packages. That goal wasn't achieved for Fedora 32 but for Fedora 33 this autumn they still have chances of marking that feature off their TODO list.  LTO'ing the Fedora package set can offer not only performance advantages but in some cases smaller binaries as well. This is all about applying the compiler optimizations at link-time on the binary as a whole for yielding often sizable performance benefits and other optimizations not otherwise possible. LTO is great as we often show in benchmarks, especially in the latest GCC and LLVM Clang compilers. 

  • Zamir SUN: Report for session 1 of FZUG @ Nest with Fedora

    Last month, Alick suggested the Fedora Zhongwen User Group (FZUG) can do a online meetup during Nest with Fedora. And based on the survey, people registered for two time slots, the first one is 9:00 PM Saturday evening UTC+8 which is not a good time for Alick, so I take up the coordinating role for this session. As for the tool, we decided to use Jitsi, as it should work fine for most of us and do not have any limitations. What’s more, it’s totally open source. During the meeting, I firstly introduced Nest with Fedora and it’s previous offline version, Flock to Fedora, to the attendees. It’s interesting to see that during the past years, we not only have new users in China, but also new contributors. One attendee shares that his motivation of being a packager is that deploying packages for their research in the lab is cumbersome before. So he decided to package all into Fedora and then he can just simply install them on every machine. It is good to know that people contribute back because they want to solve their own problems. Maybe this can be a talking point to attract more contributors in the future. After the self introduction, we continue by sharing our interesting stores with Linux. That is a lot of fun.

  • Jon Chiappetta: Last piece of relay software needed for my home bridged network

    If you are running a bridged/relayd network with macs on it you may need to also forward the multicast broadcasts (mDNS related) that allow the devices to automatically discover each other. On the WRT wifi client side, there is a pkg called avahi-daemon and you can configure to operate in “reflector” mode to forward these broadcasts across the specified interfaces. Running this service along with the dhcprb C program which takes care of layer 2 arp requests & dhcp gateway forwarding has been pretty smooth so far!