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Proprietary Software, Security, and Monopoly

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
Security
  • Cyber-Attack on Air India Led to Data Leak of 4.5 Million Fliers

    [Attackers] infiltrated the servers of Air India Ltd. and gained access to personal data of 4.5 million fliers, the nation’s flag carrier said.

    Personal data of passengers registered between August 2011 and February 2021 were compromised in the attack, the carrier said in a note to fliers that was shared via Twitter. The details included credit card and contact information and frequent flier data.

  • Ransomware Moves from ‘Economic Nuisance’ to National Security Threat [iophk: Windows TCO]

    https://www.voanews.com/silicon-valley-technology/ransomware-moves-economic-nuisance-national-security-threat

    [...]

    While Blount, the Colonial Pipeline CEO, defended his decision to pay a ransom as “the right thing to do for the country,” law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts say such hefty payments embolden cyber criminals to carrying out more attacks.

  • FBI warns Conti ransomware gang struck health and emergency networks [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that the same group of online extortionists blamed for striking the Irish health system last week have also hit at least 16 U.S. medical and first response networks in the past year.

    In an alert made public Thursday by the American Hospital Association, the FBI said the cybercriminals using the malicious software dubbed ‘Conti’ have targeted law enforcement, emergency medical services, dispatch centers, and municipalities.

    The alert did not name the victims or go into detail about the nature or severity of the breaches, saying only that they were among more than 400 organizations worldwide targeted by “Conti actors.”

  • Application Compatibility Hell: Microsoft set to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10. (But 99% of it will linger.)

    Even NPR commented on Microsoft getting ready to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10, but I thought I’d chime in and mention that you can do that today if you want to.

    Microsoft Edge has a thing called Internet Explorer Mode that can reload a site using the Trident engine from Internet Explorer.

    Due to the architecture of Internet Explorer, Trident is an embeddable component and Internet Explorer is just a small shell around that component. Internet Explorer Mode does not require the “Internet Explorer 11” feature to be turned on, so you can “remove” Internet Explorer and this Mode will still work in Microsoft Edge, should you turn it on.

    I’ve been trying out opening sites in IE Mode in Edge, and it’s pretty clear that Trident has aged quite badly and the only reason why you’d ever do this is if you ended up with some crap web application that nobody is going to fix anytime soon. Like the beneficiary enrollment page on One Walmart.

  • QBittorrent Developer: “Apple app notarization is extortion pretending to be security. Issue closed.” Bonus: Ancient operating systems. (Windows)

    A developer of the popular Bittorrent protocol client “QBittorrent” closed the “Won’t run on macOS Catalina” bug (due to Apple’s fake security scam of software signing+notarization) by closing the issue.

    After a discussion, it wasn’t even about the $100 a year it would cost to get to get an Apple developer account so they could give a program away for free, or wondering if they could even get Apple to sign off on a Bittorrent app if they did, but that the infrastructure that you have to put in place to build, sign, and notarize Mac apps is daunting and not worth the pitiful amount of Mac users that it would bring in.

    So, the way to make it run is still turn off Gatekeeper, at least for however long Apple allows it.

    It’s not really your computer anyway. It ain’t done til GNU/Linux won’t run…. Oh wait, this too has happened.

  • Federal Judge unimpressed with Tim Cook’s testimony.

    Per NPR, the first day of testimony in Epic’s lawsuit against Apple did not go well for CEO Tim Cook.

    It seems that the judge was the most skeptical of Cook’s arguments that the program that reduces “commissions” to Apple for small developers were sufficient, or that consumers had sufficient choice in the In-App Payments market because Android phones exist.

    Of course, that argument is ridiculous. Google’s commissions are exactly the same. The issue here is that the commissions themselves are too high and raise prices for the user. When Epic put it’s own in-app payment system into Fortnite, it passed some of the savings to the user. It cost 20% less than paying through Apple or Google.

    Jamie Zawinski had previously complained that Apple deliberately did things to discourage developers from giving away apps for iOS that are really free. For example, Google charges $25 once to get a Google developer account, and Apple charges $100 a year. Apple pressures people to make money so that they can take 30% of it.

    NPR goes on to mention the fact that iPhone sales have been stagnant for years. This is true, and there has not been a “next product” because Apple isn’t an innovative company. If they lose the in-app purchase revenue, money they are effectively stealing from their user (since the developer isn’t just absorbing it), they hit the skids.

  • “Tim Apple” testifies in court on the App Store monopoly.

    Today, Tim Cook (“Tim Apple” as Trump called him), testifies on Apple’s App Store monopoly.

    Of course, people should know that they’re going to try to excuse their behavior on creating a “good experience” for users and to “keep things safe” from malware, and from a child that may not use the computer correctly.

    The problem with this model is that Apple has been using their monopoly to profit from doing essentially nothing except imposing ridiculous rules on app developers, censoring apps, and taking nearly a third of gross sales for providing a distribution service.

    Apple’s model makes the user lose on numerous fronts, and it makes software more expensive and costs jobs in the economy.

    They also can’t guarantee it’s secure. At issue is Fortnite adding its own payment method to bypass Apple’s store siphoning off their revenues.

    How did it get past app review? The code was set to do nothing for a while, so that it would get through the review and then activate later.

    If a payment mechanism can do that, so can malware, and once malware runs on a device it’s too late. It can gain more permissions by exploiting bugs in the firmware, and become a rootkit. At that point, it would be difficult for Apple to even get rid of it.

  • Tim Cook’s Fortnite trial testimony was unexpectedly revealing

    Epic mustered its own arguments: people can still choose to keep their phones locked down, and they might want to access stores with even more carefully curated apps or even better privacy controls. It’s previously accused Apple of hypocrisy, pointing out anecdotal failures to catch specific apps (like a game called Ganja Farmer: Weed Empire) that violate App Store guidelines. “It’s not 100 percent. It’s not perfect. You will find mistakes being made,” Cook said when Apple’s counsel asked about those incidents. “But if you back up and look at it in the scheme of things, with 1.8 million or so apps on the store, we do a really good job.”

  • Apple's Tim Cook grilled by judge overseeing Epic's Fortnite trial

    Apple says its control over the App Store promises security and reliability for users. Epic says it stifles competition.

  • Apple App Store profits look 'disproportionate,' U.S. judge tells CEO Cook
  • FOSS Patents: Friday for Fortnite

    No, I don't want to gloat, but it's mind-boggling what happened yesterday in that Oakland courtroom at the end of the main part (they're done apart from closing arguments on Monday) of the Epic Games v. Apple App Store antitrust trial. It's fair to say that at this point the question is most likely about remedies. Epic is on the winning track with respect to liability as Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California laid bare the bankruptcy of Apple's defenses. Being an App Store complainant myself (though I tried what I could to work things out), that's what I had hoped, but the hurdle was and remains high.

    After my final pretrial post and Twitter thread, I didn't comment on the trial itself or on the issues in it. I just noted some suspicious Twitter activity.

    I dialed in only for opening statements (followed by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney's testimony, which was almost inaudible) and for Apple CEO Tim Cook's testimony yesterday. In between, I just read other people's tweets (mostly not even in real time), particularly the ones by Protocol's Nick Statt (here's his report on how the judge "saved her best for last") and The Verge's Adi Robertson (here's his article, which contains a partial transcript of how Judge YGR grilled Tim Cook), but also others.

    After the first couple of days, I was profoundly worried. The judge had tough questions for Epic, and some of the answers might have been tactically suboptimal. The inflection point in the early phase of the trial was the testimony of Lori Wright, a Microsoft Xbox exec. As far as I could see on Twitter, it was just perfect and definitely eye-opening.

Proprietary Software, Microsoft, and Security Blunders

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Ireland refuses to pay ransom demand in attack on its national health service

    Micheál Martin, the country’s Taoiseach (prime minister), says Ireland will not be paying any ransom.

  • Cyber attack 'most significant on Irish state'

    The health service has temporarily shut down its IT system to protect it after the attack.

  • 'We will not be paying any ransom' over cyber attack - Taoiseach

    The NCSC said it is also working with the HSE to identify the technical details of the malware used in the incident and will issue an advisory later to share these details.

  • Lawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The Pipeline Security Act would codify the responsibility of both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) responsibility for securing pipelines against threats. The effort is being led by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

    It would also require TSA to update pipeline security guidelines and conduct risk assessments, create a personnel strategy for staffing its Pipeline Security Section and improve congressional oversight of TSA’s pipeline efforts.

  • Universities need a better menu of defences against cyber-vultures [iophk: Windows TCO]
  • CIA-backed firm claims DarkSide ransomware site has shut down

    A CIA-backed threat intelligence firm claims the operator of the DarkSide ransomware gang has lost control of its infrastructure after the malware was used to attack the Colonial Pipeline Company in the US which runs the country's biggest petrol pipeline.

  • Darkside ransomware gang says it lost control of its servers & money a day after Biden threat

    A day after US President Joe Biden said the US plans to disrupt the hackers behind the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, the operator of the Darkside ransomware said the group lost control of its web servers and some of the funds it made from ransom payments.

    “A few hours ago, we lost access to the public part of our infrastructure, namely: Blog. Payment server. CDN servers,” said Darksupp, the operator of the Darkside ransomware, in a post spotted by Recorded Future threat intelligence analyst Dmitry Smilyanets.

    “Now these servers are unavailable via SSH, and the hosting panels are blocked,” said the Darkside operator while also complaining that the web hosting provider refused to cooperate.

  • FBI Competent to take on Darkside?

    How many times have we seen the FBI and other US intelligence capabilities portrayed as deftly taking on our enemies. Now finally here is a really hard test for them to succeed in. Can they do it? We pay you for this, lets see it happen. Just publishing a warning is not enough. Soon.

  • Pipeline [Crack] Points to Growing Cybersecurity Risk for Energy System

    The audacious ransomware attack that shut down a major fuel pipeline and sent Americans scrambling for gasoline in the Southeast this week was not the first time [crackers] have disrupted America’s aging, vulnerable energy infrastructure. And it’s unlikely to be the last.

    Across the globe, cyberattackers are increasingly taking aim at the energy systems that underpin modern society. A February report from IBM found that the energy industry was the third most targeted sector for such attacks in 2020, behind only finance and manufacturing. That was up from ninth place in 2019.

  • Held to Ransom: Colonial Pipeline and the Vulnerabilities of Critical Infrastructure

    The consequences are telling.  The operator, taken offline to enable an investigation to be conducted by US cybersecurity firm Mandiant; fuel left stranded at refineries in Texas; a spike in fuel prices at the pump – up six cents per gallon on the week to $2.967 per gallon of unleaded gasoline.  “Unless they sort it out by Tuesday,” warned oil market analyst Gaurav Sharma, “they’re in big trouble.”  The impact would be felt first in Atlanta, then Tennessee, perpetuating a domino effect to New York. “This is the largest impact on the energy system in the United States we’ve seen from a cyberattack, full stop,” opined Rob Lee of the cybersecurity firm Dragos.

    The company, in unconvincing tones, issued a statement that it was “continuing to work with third-party cybersecurity experts, law enforcement, and other federal agencies to restore pipeline operations quickly and safely.”  President Joe Biden rushed to calm fears that this had compromised fuel security.  “The agencies across the government have acted quickly to mitigate any impact on our fuel supply.” The deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technologies Anne Neuberger waffled to the press that the Biden administration was “taking a multi-pronged and whole-of-government response to this incident and to ransomware overall.”

  • Chinese Government's Hacker Competition Is Being Used To Find Exploits To Wield Against Uighur Citizens

    Anything the Chinese government can weaponize against its Uighur Muslim population, it will. And has. Further details about an iPhone exploit discovered by Chinese hackers show the Chinese government got into the bug bounty program solely to find vulnerabilities to wield against the government's least-liked residents.

Security and Proprietary Software

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Colonial reportedly paid nearly $5 million ransom to bring pipeline computers back online [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]
  • FAQ: DarkSide Ransomware Group and Colonial Pipeline

           

             

    Ransomware is a combination word of “ransom”—holding stolen property to extort money for its return or release; and “malware”—malicious software installed on a machine. The principle is simple: the malware encrypts the victim’s files so that they can no longer use them and demands payment from the victim before decrypting them.

             

    Most often, ransomware uses a vulnerability to infect a system or network and encrypt files to deny the owner access to those files. The key to decrypt the files is possessed by a third party—the extortionist—who then (usually through a piece of text left on the desktop or other obvious means) communicates instructions to the victim on how to pay them in exchange for the decryption key or program.

             

    Most modern ransomware uses a combination of public-key encryption and symmetric encryption in order to lock out the victim from their files. Since the decryption and encryption key are separate in public-key encryption, the extortionist can guarantee that the decryption key is never (not even briefly, during the execution of the ransomware code) transmitted to the victim before payment.

  • RemotePC adds new features for Linux remote access

    Users can connect to their remote Linux machines directly from any web browser via RemotePC Viewer Lite, without the hassle of any additional software installation.

    RemotePC offers many features that make it the perfect solution for Linux remote access. It is platform independent, so remote computers and servers can be accessed from any PC, Mac, or Linux machine, as well as iOS and Android devices. The software also allows users to perform remote access functions such as lock screen, blank host screen, adjust the screen of the remote computer, and block remote input during a session.

  •                

  • Who's in charge here? Colonial Pipeline [crack] exposes huge holes in U.S. cyber defenses, say experts

                     

                       

    The weaknesses have been known for years: Eighty-five percent of American critical infrastructure is owned by private companies, and few regulations govern how those companies must protect their computer networks. Criminal [attackers] like the ones the FBI says attacked Colonial Pipeline are given overseas sanctuary by hostile foreign governments, out of reach of American law enforcement. The vast majority of ransomware attacks originate abroad, many of them from Russia, experts say.

  •                

  • Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid the [cracker]s nearly $5 million, despite suggestions to contrary

                     

                       

    The news is also a little worrying because of how a successful ransom might encourage [attackers] in future. Over the years, we’ve heard reports of smaller companies and local government entities paying ransoms to regain access to their computers, but this is perhaps one of the most high-profile examples of ransomware yet, and the news might inspire copycats.

  •                

  • EnergyColonial Pipeline has no plan to pay ransom to [crackers] -sources

                     

                       

    Officials so far have found no significant connection to the Russian government, instead concluding that the pipeline company delivering 45% of the U.S. East Coast's oil was crippled by ransomware attack.

                       

    DarkSide lets "affiliates" [crack] into targets elsewhere, then handles the ransom negotiation and data release.

  •                

  • Colonial Pipeline did pay ransom to [crackers], sources now say

                     

                       

    The group, previously identified as DarkSide, demanded nearly $5 million, two other sources familiar with the incident said. The sources CNN spoke to Thursday did not say how much the company paid. Bloomberg first reported the ransom payment.

                       

    CNN was previously told by multiple sources that Colonial Pipeline had not yet paid the ransom, but two sources said on Thursday that the company did pay as it sought to retrieve the stolen information. It is not clear when the payment was made.

  • The Microsoft Surface Duo Fire Sale Is Here, and It's Still Not Worth Buying
  • Microsoft Outlook update actually crashed the whole system

    A recent change to the component responsible for displaying text in Microsoft Outlook is preventing users from creating and viewing emails in the desktop version of the email client.

    The bug in Outlook Build 13929.20372 (version 2104) was spotted and reported by several users from all over the world, and has now been confirmed by Microsoft as well.

    The issue causes emails inside the affected Outlook version to appear blank. Users have also reported all kinds of graphical anomalies including blank screens shortly after using the client to send and receive emails.

Microsoft Censorship of Free Software, Again (Shoot First, Ask Questions Later, or Respond to PR Backlash/Public Outcry)

Filed under
Microsoft
Gaming
  • GitHub restores a fork of the cross-platform reverse-engineered GTA III and Vice City code

    Remember recently we had a release of the reverse-engineered GTA III and Vice City code that worked well on Linux? Which was then promptly taken down by a DMCA notice? Well, it's back.

    Not the original mind you, one of the forks on GitHub has returned as the forker issued a DMCA Counter Notice and intends to actually fight it. According to TorrentFreak, New Zealand-based developer named Theo is taking a stand against this DMCA behaviour and has managed to get GitHub to restore their fork.

  • One Developer Gets GTA3 And Vice City Source Code Un-DMCAd On GitHub

    The strange flip-flop by Rockstar Games on being open and cool with its fans continues. By way of context and a bit of throat clearing, recall that Rockstar is both the company that whipped out the ban-hammer on Grand Theft Auto 5 players over the use of mods, and the company that paid out money to a modder that fixed that same games long loading times. In addition, Rockstar is both the company that happily used intellectual property to try to silence a documentary while also being the company that enthusiastically embraced gamers making short films out of GTA footage.

Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

  • Nearly all Microsoft 365 customers have suffered email data breaches

    Using Microsoft 365, the software giant’s cloud-based communications and collaboration platform, could be a security liability for many organizations, a new report from Egress seems to suggest.

    The data security company’s new Outbound Email: Microsoft 365’s Security Blind Spot paper, based on a poll of 500 IT leaders and 3,000 remote-workers in the UK and US, claims businesses who use Microsoft 365 suffer more email data breaches and have to deal with more difficult consequences in the aftermath.

    Were it not for the pandemic, however, things would probably have been different.

  • Microsoft patches three zero-days in May 2021 Patch Tuesday update

    Security update includes patches for Windows, Internet Explorer, Exchange Server, Office, .NET Core, Visual Studio, SharePoint Server, Hyper-V, Skype for Business and Lync

  • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, May 2021 Edition - Krebs on Security
  • A Closer Look at the DarkSide Ransomware Gang - Krebs on Security
  • Microsoft’s LinkedIn Accused by Noted China Critic of Censorship

    A prominent critic of China based in the U.K. said Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn froze his account and removed content criticizing the country’s government, the latest in a series of allegations that the networking website had censored users -- even outside of the Asian nation -- to appease authorities in Beijing.

    Peter Humphrey, a British corporate investigator and former journalist who accesses LinkedIn from his home in Surrey, England, said he received notification from LinkedIn last month that comments he had published on the platform had been removed. The comments, seen by Bloomberg News, called the Chinese government a “repressive dictatorship” and criticized the country’s state media organizations as “propaganda mouthpieces.”

  • Feds eye more oversight of pipelines after Colonial attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Some officials have indicated that the ransomware attack on a pipeline that provides almost half of the East Coast's energy may have unfolded as it did due to the relative lack of federal oversight of pipelines compared to other utilities.

  • FCC approves $7 billion to get better equipment to remote learners

    The new fund will use processes already in use by the E-Rate program, which currently helps schools and libraries pay for broadband internet. Qualifying schools and libraries will be able to purchase hotspots, routers, tablets, and computers, among other devices necessary for remote learning (though smartphones don’t qualify). Students and patrons can take them home and use them, rather than huddle outside of a Taco Bell in order to finish their homework.

Microsoft GitHub Tightens Rules On Security Research And Copyright Circumvention

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft GitHub has published drafts for two new sets of rules that will affect all GitHub users come June 1st, 2021.

One deals with DMCA complaints about software that could be used to circumvent Digital Restrictions Management measures that restrict fair use of works protected by copyright. The draft for the new DMCA enforcement policy, titled "DMCA policy updates #395", refers to US Copyright law section 1201. That law lays out how American corporations can unjustly restrict how American citizens can use copies of copyrighted works they bought and paid for. GitHub is a subsidiary of the American Microsoft corporation, which is why GitHub is imposing this law on the entire world.

GitHub has been censoring a wide range of emulation tools and software for quite some time. The "new" DMCA will therefore not have any larger practical implications, it merely puts the existing unwritten policy in writing.

The other new rule-set GitHub is about to impose will have some slightly more tangible effects. GitHub has published a "draft" with new rules around security research titled "Exploits and malware policy updates #397". It comes as partly as a response to widespread criticism following Microsoft GitHub's removal of a exploit for the Microsoft Exchange server software. Critics pointed out that similar exploit code for competing products had not been taken down in the past.

[...]

This is a interestingly worded rule because there is a whole lot of different code that could be used to install other code from outside of GitHub. Common and on their own perfectly innocent pieces of software like curl and wget would be in violation of this policy if they are deemed to be used to fetch exploit code as part of some ongoing attack. Hashcat, everything with a http client and variety of general software could fall afoul of this policy.

[...]

There are several free software web front ends you can download and install on your own server if you object to any of GitHub's new or existing terms, and that is the only meaningful form of "feedback" you can give them. GitHub is not merely proposing new rules in order to have a discussion, it is simply announcing a new policy that will take effect as-is come June 1st, 2021.

Read more

Linux Gaming vs. Windows Gaming: Everything You Need to Know

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Gaming

Linux has made significant strides over the last couple of years when it comes to gaming. But has it reached the stage where it can be considered as a viable alternative to Windows? Well, the answer depends on you – what games you play and how you use your OS apart from gaming.

If you are looking for the OS with the most natively supported games, then Windows takes the cake – no argument!

However, it’s more than likely you don’t plan on playing “every” PC game out there! Maybe you have a few favorites! And Linux’s gaming catalog covers almost all the popular titles, so you are extremely likely to find your favorite game compatible on Linux. Also, believe it or not, but some games actually perform better on Linux than Windows – provided you are running on the same hardware.

As such, it’s clearly understandable why the PC gaming community is constantly engaged in a heated debate over Linux vs. Windows gaming – which is better. And so, for this read, we have decided to shed some light on the topic – giving you the pros and cons of both OSes in terms of gaming.

Read more

Security and Proprietary Software

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

  • Security Researcher Dan Kaminsky Passes Away

    He is best known for his groundbreaking DNS cache-poisoning research that prompted an industry-wide scramble to address a major weakness in the way the web worked.

  • Client Profile: Microsoft Corp

    $10,260,000
    Total Lobbying Expenditures, 2019

  • White House 'standing down' emergency response groups to SolarWinds, Microsoft [attacks]

    The Biden administration is “standing down” coordinated efforts by several key agencies to respond to recent major cybersecurity incidents including the SolarWinds hack, a senior administration official announced Monday.

    Anne Neuberger, President Biden’s deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, said the two unified coordination groups (UCGs) that were convened to respond to both the SolarWinds hack and recently discovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server would be scaled back.

  • Google, Amazon Spent Millions Lobbying While Facing Bipartisan Scrutiny

    Google spent $2.7 million on federal lobbying in the three months ending March 31, according to disclosures filed with Congress. That’s a 49% increase from the same period a year earlier, and comes as the company has been steadily increasing its Washington investments after a two-year decline. Global policy chief Karan Bhatia reorganized the Washington office when he took over in 2018.

    [...]

    Amazon boosted its lobbying spend by 11% in the quarter to $4.8 million, a company record and a reflection of the company’s sprawling business interests. The Seattle-based company said in its filing that it lobbied on a wide range of topics, from logistics to cloud-computing and a communications satellite program.

Linux Foundation Represented by Microsofters

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft, IBM, and Proprietary Software

Filed under
Red Hat
Microsoft
  • FBI Flexes Rule 41 Powers, Uses Remote Access Technique To Neutralize Compromised Software All Over The US

    Great news, everyone! The FBI has been fighting a cyberwar on your behalf… perhaps utilizing your own computer. Here's Zack Whittaker with some details:

  • Sanctioned Russian IT firm was partner with Microsoft, IBM

    The Treasury Department on Thursday slapped six Russian technology companies with sanctions for supporting Kremlin intelligence agencies...

  • After Hours: The Age Discrimination Case against IBM

    IBM faces a massive group of age discrimination claims. The company says it never made hiring or firing decisions based on age. We take a deep dive look at both sides, and how hard it is to prove age discrimination when it does occur.

    Subscribe to my two podcasts: “The Sharyl Attkisson Podcast” and “Full Measure After Hours.” Leave a review, subscribe and share with your friends!

  •      

  • Microsoft's Bing Removed 125 Million 'Pirate' URLs Last Year

           

             

    Bing has a relatively small market share but that doesn't mean that copyright holders ignore it. In response to DMCA takedown requests, more than 125 million links were removed from the search engine last year. While this is a significant number, the removal requests were actually slashed in half over the past two years.

  •    

  • IBM workers across Europe denounce management’s unjustified recourse to mass layoffs

    IBM workers and their unions from across Europe are taking part in a joint day of action to protest management’s move to cut 10,000 jobs. While workers brought in over €60 billion in revenue last year and increased profit margins during the pandemic, the corporation’s management have announced mass layoffs across Europe.

    As part of the day of action, 26 unions from 16 countries have jointly written to IBM’s European management. In the letter, unions are highlight the bewildering lack of transparency that has shrouded the move, which management have officially dubbed “operation sunrise”. Neither has the need for such drastic measures been evidenced to workers’ representatives, nor have objective criteria for determining which workers will be fired been clarified.

    Negotiations between management and workers’ representatives are ongoing but tensions are mounting. In response to the lack of clarity, unions have called coordinated workplace actions under the banner #NoSunsetForIBMers. The corporation employs roughly 90,000 workers, and the unprecedented scale of the layoffs would result in 1 in 9 workers losing their job.

  • IBM To Kernel Maintainer: "You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time"

    It's fairly common that many longtime Linux kernel developers use their personal email addresses for signing off on kernel patches or dealing with other patch work, especially when they are engaging with kernel development in their personal time too and occasionally jumping between employers over time while still sticking to interacting with the upstream kernel community, etc. There are also understandably some companies that mandate the use of their corporate email addresses for their official work/patches while now IBM seems to be taking things one step to the extreme.

    An IBM employee was listed as one of the maintainers to the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver for the upstream Linux kernel alongside several other IBM engineers. Except in this case the employee was listed as a maintainer with his Gmail address.

    [...]

    The "you are an IBM employee 100% of the time" is surely a bit awkward and seemingly denying what a developer can work on in his off-hours, especially when it comes to just improving the company's own open-source driver... It seems in this case it may be a manager over reacting or so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out... Pretty strange considering IBM now owns Red Hat and how IBM has with time spent billions of dollars on Linux.

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