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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!

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  • 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.

Phoronix on KFence and Phoronix Taking 'Free' Stuff From Microsoft to Promote Proprietary Software and Surveillance

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
  • KFence Memory Safety Error Checking Is Looking Good For Minimal Overhead On Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

    Of the many new features coming with Linux 5.12 is KFence, short for the Kernel Electric Fence. KFence is a low-overhead memory safety error detector/validator for the kernel with lower expected overhead costs than say the Kernel Address Sanitizer. I just wrapped up some benchmarks looking out for any overhead impact of KFence on Linux 5.12 in its near-final state.

    KFence is a memory safety error detector/validator designed for use within production environments and thus is optimized for low overhead. KFence aims to be more efficient than the robust Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) and that it's low overhead enough to be used on production systems where KASAN is generally avoided.

  • Microsoft Adding Azure "MANA" Driver To Linux [Ed: Contributing to Linux bloat for things you absolutely do not need]

    Microsoft is preparing the Linux kernel for some yet-to-debut Azure network functionality.

  • AMD EPYC 7003 Series Performance In The Cloud With Microsoft Azure HBv3 HPC VMs [Ed: Is Microsoft paying (or giving 'free' stuff) to Phoronix now?]

    Thanks to Microsoft for allowing us to run these benchmarks as we wish in the Azure cloud.

Make Linux look like Windows - 2021 edition

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
HowTos

Here we go again. Roughly three years ago, I showed you how to skin your Linux installation to look more like Windows, should your particular taste lean in that direction. It was an interesting little experiment. Also nerdy to the core. But apart from possible nostalgia and tech glamor, there might also be practical reasons for why someone would want to make their distro look more like a Microsoft product. And the answer is: entice non-techie people who expect the familiar.

Say you install a distro for folks with zero Linux knowledge and some rudimentary Windows familiarity. Normally, this is a recipe for disaster. I call this The Grandma Gentoo Test (TGGT), AKA how likely is the ordinary person to master the subtleties of computer usage without your nerdy help? But this is true for all operating systems, except Windows had been around for a long time, and it's the primary desktop interface that most people somewhat know how to somewhat use. So then, can you make your chosen distro behave like Windows, and nonce the wiser?

Read more

Microsoft is Attacking Java Again

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
Legal
  • Microsoft unveils its own Java distribution [Ed: Well, it's just an attack on Java, again]

    Microsoft Build of OpenJDK binaries may contain backported fixes and enhancements deemed important to customers and internal users. Some may not have been formally backported upstream and signposted in OpenJDK release notes. Microsoft said it relies on Java technologies for some of its own internal systems, applications, and workloads; Java also powers some Azure infrastructure. The company deploys more than 500,000 JVMs internally, excluding Azure services and customer workloads.

    Microsoft’s history with Java includes being sued by Java founder Sun Microsystems in the 1990s, with Sun alleging that Microsoft was distributing a version of Java that was not compatible with Sun’s, thus violating the “write once, run anywhere” principle of Java. The lawsuit was settled in 2001, with Microsoft agreeing to pay Sun $20 million. The license agreement between the two companies was terminated.

  • [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java lawsuit

    The settlement comes one day before the companies were due to meet in U.S. District Court for a case management hearing, where the judge overseeing the dispute had been expected to set a date for the case to come to trial.

  • [Old] Judge restricts Microsoft's use of Java

    Sun says not only that the Microsoft Virtual Machine is incompatible with Sun's reference implementation of Java, but also that it causes developers to build Java programs that only operate on Microsoft's Windows, defeating Sun's "write once, run anywhere" goal and violating the letter of Sun's Java licensing agreement.

    Java, touted for its portability, lets software developers create programs that will run on virtually any operating system, such as Windows or Unix. Conformity is a big issue, Sun argues, if Java is to be ubiquitous.

    Sun sued Microsoft in October 1997, alleging the maker of Windows violated its contract with Sun for developing and deploying products using the Java programming language and also Sun's Java copyright.

  • [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java suit

    The germ of the suit began when Microsoft took out a Java license in 1996. Sun contended that Microsoft quickly began to run afoul of the licensing terms and filed the initial lawsuit in October 1997.

    "Microsoft has proven time and again that it is unwilling to abide by the common rules of the Internet," Patricia Sueltz, Sun's executive vice president for the software systems group, said in a statement. "Its behavior with regard to the Java technology was just one instance. And when presented with the choice of compatibility or termination, Microsoft chose termination."

Is Linux A More Secure Option Than Windows For Businesses?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Security

There are many factors to consider when choosing an OS, security being among one of the most critical. The general consensus among experts is that Linux is the most secure OS by design - an impressive feat that can be attributed to a variety of characteristics including its transparent open-source code, strict user privilege model, diversity, built-in kernel security defenses and the security of the applications that run on it.

The high level of security, customization, compatibility and cost-efficiency that Linux offers make it a popular choice among businesses and organizations looking to secure high-value data. Linux has already been adopted by governments and tech giants around the world including IBM, Google and Amazon, and currently powers 97% of the top one million domains in the world. All of today’s most popular programming languages were first developed on Linux and can now run on any OS. In this sense, we’re all using Linux - whether we know it or not!

This article will examine why Linux is arguably the best choice for businesses looking for a flexible, cost-efficient, exceptionally secure OS. To help you weigh your options, we’ll explore how Linux compares to Windows in the level of privacy and protection against vulnerabilities and attacks it is able to offer all businesses and organizations.

Read more

10 Reasons To Change Windows 10 To Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Windows 10 has been around for a long time, but not everyone likes it. On the other hand, support for Windows 7 ended in early 2020, and users must either upgrade to a new version or look for an alternative. For such cases, there are a huge number of free Linux distributions that you can try and start using.

In today’s article I will give 10 reasons why you should leave Windows in favor of Linux. Linux-based operating systems are open source and freely distributed, but this is not their only advantage.

[...]

In this article, we’ve covered 10 reasons why you should replace Windows 10 with Linux. Every year there are more and more such reasons. Previously, Linux was positioned only as a system for servers. Now everything is not so bad on home computers. In addition, thanks to Valve for Linux, games have appeared. I hope this article will help those who still have doubts. Have you already switched to Linux? What are the most compelling reasons for you? Write in the comments!

Read more

Microsoft and Windows Collapse in Web Servers

Filed under
Server
Microsoft
  • Why Is Linux Hosting So Much More Popular Than Windows?

    The 21st century has seen the rapid digitization of life. All things within daily life – be it shopping or eating out or commuting, technology and computers have a role in enabling almost all of these activities. Different countries, organizations and people collaborate on the internet and contribute to a better working world. And the internet works with the use of computers called servers or hosts. Humans interact with computers with the help of operating systems. The importance of Linux reseller hosting stems from the fact a big chunk of the internet (websites) is up and running, thanks to cheap Linux reseller hosting.

  • March 2021 Web Server Survey

    nginx gained 3.7 million sites this month and holds 35.3% of the market with a total of 419.6 million sites. By contrast, Apache lost 8.5 million sites and accounts for just over a quarter of all sites with 308.5 million. Microsoft lost 9.6% (-7.5M) of its sites this month and ceded third place to OpenResty which in turn gained 1.2 million (+1.6%).

Proprietary Software and Microsoft

Filed under
Microsoft

  • Mysterious bug is deleting Microsoft Teams, SharePoint files [Ed: "Mysterious" means secret code; Microsoft booster Lawrence Abrams seems to be growingly concerned about that]
  • Verkada [Cracker] Charged With Wire Fraud, Identity Theft in U.S.

    A Swiss computer [cracker] who was involved in the intrusion of Verkada Inc., exposing surveillance footage from Tesla Inc., was charged by prosecutors in Seattle with conspiracy, wire fraud and identity theft.

    Till Kottmann, 21, and their co-conspirators were accused of [cracking] dozens of companies and government entities since 2019 and posting private victim data of more than 100 entities on the web in a grand jury indictment released Thursday.

  • Ohio senator lashes govt over accountability for SolarWinds attack

    Portman did not take kindly to this and fired back: “So if everyone is in charge, no one is in charge, right? Who exactly, who is accountable?”

    A similar scene was played out in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with 14 politicians, both parties, on the House Energy and Commerce Committee trying to find out which departments had been affected by the attack.

    In a related development, questions are continuing to be raised over the extent of Microsoft's involvement in the SolarWinds attacks. As iTWire outlined, the company has been gradually revealing more about its connection to the attack.

  • 'Who exactly, who is accountable?': Rob Portman presses cybersecurity officials on SolarWinds [attack]

    In the House, lawmakers are similarly frustrated with the federal government’s answers on the fallout from the SolarWinds [attack]. A bipartisan coalition of 14 House Energy and Commerce Committee lawmakers wrote to Biden administration officials and Cabinet officers on Wednesday seeking answers to basic questions such as, “Has your department been impacted by the compromise?”

  • Serious Security: Mac “supply chain” backdoor takes aim at Xcode devs [Ed: The latest example of Microsoft-hosted projects (GitHub) causing security problems, which are then being blamed on "Linux" or "Macs" (but never Microsoft). Use Microsoft GitHub/NPM and get destroyed, just like Microsoft's own systems.]
  • Jussi Pakkanen: Microsoft is shipping a product built with Meson [Ed: Microsoft says it loves Open Source; it's merely exploiting it to cement monopolies of proprietary software, i.e. the antithesis of software freedom]

    Some time ago Microsoft announced a compatibility pack to get OpenGL and OpenCL running even on computers whose hardware does not provide native OpenGL drivers. It is basically OpenGL-over-Direct3D. Or that is at least my understanding of it, hopefully this description is sufficiently accurate to not cause audible groans on the devs who actually know what it is doing under the covers. More actual details can be found in this blog post.

    An OpenGL implementation is a whole lot of work and writing one from scratch is a multi-year project. Instead of doing that, Microsoft chose the sensible approach of taking the Mesa implementation and porting it to work on Windows. Typically large corporations do this by the vendoring approach, that is, copying the source code inside their own repos, rewriting the build system and treating it as if it was their own code.

Monopolies, Proprietary Software, and Microsoft Security/Downtime

Filed under
Microsoft
  • Rising Market Power—A Threat to the Recovery? [Ed: IMF warns against Pentagon-connected and taxpayers-subsidised technology monopolists]

    The crisis has hit small and medium enterprises especially hard, causing massive job losses and other economic scars. Among these—less noticeable, but also serious—is rising market power among dominant firms as they emerge even stronger while smaller rivals fall away.

    We know from experience and IMF research that excessive market power in the hands of a few firms can be a drag on medium-term growth, stifling innovation and holding back investment. Such an outcome could undermine the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and it would block the rise of many emerging firms at a time when their dynamism is desperately needed.

  • Even Murkier: Microsoft Says Some Bethesda Games Will Indeed Be Xbox, PC Exclusives

    Late last year, we discussed Microsoft's acquisition of Zenimax, the parent company of Bethesda, and what it would mean for the studio's beloved franchises. At particular issue, given that this is Microsoft we're talking about, was whether new or existing franchises would be exclusive to Xbox consoles and/or PC. The communication out of Microsoft has been anything but helpful in this respect. First, Xbox chief Phil Spencer and Bethesda's Todd Howard made vague statements that mostly amounted to: man, we don't have to make Bethesda games exclusives and it's hard to imagine us doing so. Only a few weeks later, another Microsoft representative clarified that while the company may have plans to make Bethesda games "first or best" on Microsoft platforms, "that's not a point about being exclusive." This naturally led most to believe that Microsoft might have timed release windows on other platforms, but wouldn't be locking any specific titles down.

  • WeLeakInfo Leaked Customer Payment Info

    A little over a year ago, the FBI and law enforcement partners overseas seized WeLeakInfo[.]com, a wildly popular service that sold access to more than 12 billion usernames and passwords stolen from thousands of hacked websites. In an ironic turn of events, a lapsed domain registration tied to WeLeakInfo let someone plunder and publish account data on 24,000 customers who paid to access the service with a credit card.

  • Microsoft Teams, Exchange and more went down for four hours on Monday

    Microsoft Teams went down for around four hours on Monday, alongside Azure and other Microsoft 365 services. Microsoft blamed the issues on “a recent change to an authentication system” took some Microsoft 365 services down. A roll back to the change took longer than Microsoft expected, with the company confirming at 12:35AM ET that “impact has been largely mitigated.”

  • Microsoft could be set for a US government windfall [Ed: Microsoft is being rewarded again for its crimes; taxpayers subsiding criminals against their will]

    Nearly a quarter of the Covid relief funds set aside for cybersecurity defenders will be going to Microsoft though some US lawmakers have voiced concerns that they don't want to increase funding for the company after it suffered two high-profile hacks.

    As first reported by Reuters, Congress allocated the funds in its new Covid relief bill after two major cyberattacks took advantage of weaknesses in the software giant's products to penetrate the computer networks of government agencies as well as those at tens of thousands of companies. Not only do these two hacks pose a major national security threat for the US but lawmakers also say that Microsoft's faulty software is making the company more profitable.

Proprietary Software and Microsoft Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
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