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Microsoft

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low

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Microsoft

If I told you that my entire computer screen just got taken over by a new app that I’d never installed or asked for — it just magically appeared on my desktop, my taskbar, and preempted my next website launch — you’d probably tell me to run a virus scanner and stay away from shady websites, no?

But the insanely intrusive app I’m talking about isn’t a piece of ransomware. It’s Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser, which the company is now force-feeding users via an automatic update to Windows.

Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for...

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Microsoft’s New Chromium-Based Edge Browser Is Reportedly Stealing Data from Firefox Without Permission

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Microsoft
Moz/FF

Microsoft and its data stealing tales never seem to end. After seeing numerous reports around this issue when the company first released Windows 10 to the public, Microsoft Edge release is also plagued by similar concerns.

According to several users, the company's new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is sneakily importing data from Firefox without user permission. Users report that this happens even if you shut the process down.

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Also: Mozilla takes first step in pulling Firefox plug on macOS Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan

Microsoft admits there’s a serious problem with Windows 10

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Microsoft

Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that some of Windows 10’s most recent updates are causing rather serious problems for some PCs.

According to the company, the KB4557957 and KB4560960 updates, which are supposed to be cumulative updates that bring numerous security fixes to Windows 10, are instead encountering a critical issue with the Local Security Authority Process.

This has led to some computers to randomly reboot – with just a “your PC will automatically restart in one minute” message as a warning.

This can be incredibly frustrating, as it means you have to quickly save any work you’ve got open. Not only is it disruptive, but it could lead to loss of data as well if you don’t save in time.

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First Windows 10 ...now it's Microsoft Outlook users who are hit by serious glitch

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Microsoft

WINDOWS 10 users have been pummelled by a catalogue of issues in recent weeks, but the latest annoying glitch is impacting those who use Microsoft's hugely-popular Outlook software.

It's not been the best few weeks for Microsoft. Ever since the Redmond-based firm pushed out its Windows 10 May 2020 Update, it has been dogged by issues with a number of PCs suffering from the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) whilst others have been left unable to print anything from their PCs. And now, it seems another popular Microsoft software is also suffering from a hugely irritating and serious glitch which is making the software inoperable.

It seems when users update to the latest version of Outlook, they're instantly faced with an error message that stops them accessing the email client. There are numerous reports from users suffering from the issue and Microsoft has also confirmed that there is a problem.

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China’s Computers Run on Microsoft Windows: Are They Vulnerable to US Pressure?

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As tension grows between China and the United States, there is worry in Beijing that the conflict could end up further restricting Chinese access to American technology.

Of foremost concern is that despite decades of effort, China has yet to build a homegrown operating system good enough to replace Microsoft Windows. “Our operating system market is dominated by U.S. companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple," a recent report by state-run Xinhua News Agency said. “To fundamentally solve the problem of ‘being choked in [the] neck', creating a domestic operating system and supporting software and hardware ecosystem is a must."

To be fair, China is not alone. Other countries including Russia, Germany and South Korea have been trying to develop their own operating systems. But none of them have gotten very far yet.

Washington has already targeted China’s technology vulnerabilities. The U.S. Commerce Department has banned Huawei from Google Android and cut off the Chinese tech giant from foreign chip manufacturers in May 2019 after adding it to the Export Administration Regulations Entity List. Just last week, 33 Chinese firms and institutions, including the Shanghai-listed software giant Qihoo 360 Technology, were added to an economic blacklist for activities that threaten American national security or foreign policy interests.

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Microsoft and Proprietary Software

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Microsoft
  • Red Cross urges halt to cyberattacks on healthcare sector amid COVID-19 [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The Red Cross called for an end to cyberattacks on healthcare and medical research facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, in a letter published Tuesday and signed by a group of political and business figures.

    Such attacks endanger human lives and governments must take “immediate and decisive action” to stop them, the letter stated.

  • FBI offers US companies more details from investigations of health care [cr]acking

    Criminal and state actors continue to target U.S. clinical trial data, trade secrets, and the “sensitive data and proprietary research of U.S. universities and research facilities,” the FBI told industry in an advisory this week. “Likely due to the current global public health crisis, the FBI has observed some nation-states shifting cyber resources to collect against the [health care and public health] sector, while criminals are targeting similar entities for financial gain.”

    The advisory, which CyberScoop obtained, includes multiple examples since February of state-linked [attackers] trying to compromise and retain access to the networks of organizations in the U.S. health care and public health sector. It is the latest in a series of warnings from U.S. officials about similar cybersecurity incidents as the race for a coronavirus vaccine intensifies.

  • Microsoft copied its new Windows Package Manager from rival AppGet, claims developer

    Beigi interviewed in December, and then never heard anything back from the company for nearly six months until he received a 24-hour heads up that Microsoft was launching winget last week. “When I finally saw the announcement and the GitHub repositories, I was shocked? Upset? I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at,” says Beigi.

    Beigi claims the “core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository’s folder structure” of Microsoft’s winget are all heavily inspired by AppGet. Microsoft only briefly mentions AppGet once in its announcement, in a throwaway line that lists other Windows package managers.

    “What was copied with no credit is the foundation of the project. How it actually works,” explains Beigi in a separate Reddit post. “And I don’t mean the general concept of package / app managers... WinGet works pretty much identical to the way AppGet works.”

  • The Day AppGet Died.

    TLDR; I’m no longer going to be developing AppGet. The client and backend services will go into maintenance mode immediately until August 1st, 2020, at which point they’ll be shut down permanently.

  • Apache Pulsar joins Kafka in Splunk Data Stream Processor

    Splunk built out its event streaming capabilities with a new update, released Wednesday, to its Data Stream Processor to bring in more data for analysis on the Splunk platform.

    The DSP technology is a foundational component of the information security and event management vendor's Data-to-Everything approach.

While waiting for the Linux train, Bork pays a visit to Geordieland with Windows 10

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Microsoft

Bork!Bork!Bork! As the UK tentatively returns to work and those who must venture back onto public transport, we were happy to learn that even in these changed times, Windows remains as wobbly as ever.

Today's entry comes from Register reader Dan.

Snapped last week, the Newcastle Station Info Point is terribly poorly, with three pop-ups showing Windows' escalating levels of distress.

The first sign of wobbling was the "Close programs" message, which tends to pop up when Microsoft's OS is getting short of resources. Things went downhill from there.

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Microsoft Entrapment and Openwashing

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Microsoft

Microsoft loves Linux — a little too much?

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft announces a lot of Linux related stuff, and Maui. Trouble is: Maui is already the name of a Linux distribution and the name of a framework for graphical user interfaces for Linux applications — and, as it turns out, has been a registered trademark for those things for 5 years.

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Microsoft Build: Same old recycled stuff, no upcycling

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GNU
Microsoft

Often, a proprietary software company's silence can speak as loudly as their latest campaign against a computer user's right to freedom. This is the case with Microsoft's developer-centric "Build" event. While Microsoft announced a few more welcome additions to its free software output, it missed the opportunity to demonstrate a real commitment to user freedom by upcycling its recently abandoned Windows 7 operating system under a free software license.

The predictable failure here here fits together well with the corporation's complex history of mixed messaging on freedom, which once compared copyleft to "a virus that gobbles up intellectual property like a Pac-Man," and yet now would have you believe that it "loves [free software]." Our Upcycle Windows 7 petition has given Microsoft the perfect opportunity to take the next step in its promotion of free software, to show that its "love" was real. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that they have ignored this call from us and thousands of potential users.

Although the petition signatures and "special gift" were signed, sealed, and delivered safely to their Redmond, WA headquarters, the FSF has not received any response from a Microsoft representative. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the operations of even the largest companies, but as of yet, we haven't heard anything from Microsoft suggesting this was the reason for the lack of response. They certainly seem to have had the resources to put on a 48-hour video marathon about proprietary software.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Noodlings, GNU World Order and This Week in Linux

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  • GNU World Order 361

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Android Leftovers

SolydXK 10.4 Distro Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster”

As its version number suggests, SolydXK 10.4 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4, which was released in early May 2020 with more than 50 security updates and over 100 bug fixes. The SolydXK team has worked hard over the past several months to bring you SolydXK 10.4, which includes the latest Linux 4.19 kernel and up-to-date packages from the Debian Buster repositories. On top of that, the new release comes with some important under-the-hood changes. For example, the /usr directories have been merged and the /bin, /sbin and /lib directories have now become symbolic links to /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /usr/lib. Read more