Windows 10 spies on emails, images, credit cards, more

7 08 2015

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“From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information – name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics,” explains a new report from the online Newsweek.

“But it also digs a bit deeper,” the report says.

“Other information Microsoft saves includes Bing search queries and conversations with the new digital personal assistant Cortana; contents of private communications such as email; websites and apps visited (including features accessed and length of time used); and contents of private folders,” the warning explains.

“Furthermore, ‘your typed and handwritten words’ are collected.’”

All of the warnings come from the company’s software privacy statement, which includes the statement that Microsoft collects information “to provide you a personalized user dictionary, help you type and write on your device with better character recognition, and provide you with text suggestions as you type or write.

The Daily Mail reported another complication with the software.

The update to Windows 10, the report said, “automatically made [a man’s] porn collection into a slideshow and used it as a screensaver. And to make matters worse, the malfunction was discovered by his wife, who was greeted by the explicit images first thing in the morning.”

The report said a user posted the story online so others would not repeat the mistake, which reportedly happened when the images were saved into the “My Pictures” folder. It is from that folder the software draws data to build slideshows, the report said.

“I have no idea how to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do,” the man wrote, according to the Mail. “Free Windows and a free trip to the doghouse. Thanks Microsoft!”

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Don’t sit down! Patch ALL Windows AGAIN! Microsoft fixes THIRD Hacking Team hole

21 07 2015

It’s 2015, and bad font files in webpages will still pwn you.

All supported versions of Windows now need to be patched – again – to fix an urgent remote code-execution vulnerability emerging from the ongoing Hacking Team hack fiasco.

Details of the vulnerability were found and reported to Microsoft by security researchers poring over internal memos leaked online from spyware-maker Hacking Team. This follows an elevation-of-privilege hole in Windows and a remote-code execution bug in Internet Explorer 11 that were also uncovered from the Hacking Team files, and patched last week by Microsoft.

This latest serious security flaw (MS15-078) lies within the Windows Adobe Type Manager Library, and can be exploited by attackers to hijack PCs, infect them with malware, and so on. A victim who opens a document or even a webpage that contains a malicious embedded OpenType font file can be attacked thanks to this vulnerability.

Normally, security patches for Microsoft software are released as a bundle on the second Tuesday of every month. Today, the Redmond giant felt compelled to issue an emergency update for its operating system.

The security flaw is potent because Microsoft runs its font drivers in kernel mode, meaning if one of the libraries is fed bad data, the whole operating system can be compromised. Microsoft explained in an advisory:

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There is No ‘New Microsoft’: Under Nadella, Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android Carries on

7 07 2015

Summary: Kyocera is again being targeted by Microsoft, using patent aggression, with a secret settlement being reached whose negative impact on Android remains to be seen

According to Tech Times, there has just been a secret settlement with all details unknown. Kyocera is not allowed to speak about what Microsoft did to it, for that might damage Microsoft’s reputation or harm Microsoft’s future efforts to blackmail other companies using patents.

“A few months ago,” Tech Times wrote, “Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Kyocera, claiming that three Android smartphones from the Japanese company violated seven Microsoft patents. The smartphones in question were the Duraforce (pictured), Brigadier and Hydro. The patents, meanwhile, cover a wide range of mobile technologies that Microsoft alleged the Android devices violated.

“Microsoft has dozens of licensing agreements in place with Android OEMs, including Samsung, but it will not back out of a litigation if it doesn’t reach an amicable agreement. Microsoft went after Kyocera in March, asking a Seattle court for a U.S. sales ban on the three phones that infringed its patents.”

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Microsoft Accused of Blackmailing UK Officials Supporting Open Document Format

23 05 2015

The IT reform that the United Kingdom is working on is faced with strong opposition from tech giants operating facilities and doing business in the country, with some going as far as to blackmail MPs in order to block some changes from being adopted.
David Cameron’s former strategy chief, Steve Hilton, revealed during a public speech that Microsoft officials called MPs and tried to blackmail them to block the adoption of certain laws, threatening with the closure of local research facilities if the proposed changes go through.

“You just have to fight them off. I can give you specific examples: the thing I mentioned about IT contracts. Maybe there is someone here to confirm this from Microsoft? When we proposed this, Microsoft phoned Conservative MPs with Microsoft R&D facilities in their constituencies and said, ‘we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through,’” Hilton was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Read Full Article @Softpedia

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CITIUS: Afinal de quem é que foi a responsabilidade do crash?

13 01 2015

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“A situação foi provocada por uma falha da arquitetura de sistemas do próprio processo de migração…”. Carlos Brito, declarações no Jornal das 8 da TVI, 18 de Setembro de 2014

“Os técnicos talvez não estivessem preparados para todo este processo, da mesma forma que o não estava a consultora Microsoft que foi contratada para definir a arquitectura da migração, justificou Carlos Brito…”. jornal SOL, 15-11-2014

Para além da responsabilidade pelo colapso, que é evidente, quanto é que custou o contrato com a Microsoft? Este contrato, até há bem pouco tempo, não existia na página de contratos da administração pública.

Ler artigo completo.

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Linux-based AUV maps Antarctic sea ice thickness

26 11 2014

Woods Hole Oceanographic used a Linux-based “SeaBED” AUV to build the first 3D map of Antarctic sea ice — and found it’s thicker than had been estimated.

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Like the Bluefin Robotics Linux-based Bluefin-21 AUV, which was used in an unsuccessful search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 earlier this year, the SeaBED surveys the surface (or in this case the ice) in lines, like a lawnmower. The SeaBED was specially fitted with an upward-looking sonar device to measure ice thickness.

SeaBED runs Ubuntu Linux on a 1.2GHz Intel Pentium. Complete source-code is provided to users, “making sensor additions or vehicle maintenance much simpler than that of competing commercial offerings,” according to Singh’s SeaBED page on the WHOI website.

The electronics are located in the top hull, and the batteries and sensors are in the bottom hull. The two hulls are connected by “wet” cabling routed through the vertical struts, says WHOI. The upper hull holds most of the positive buoyancy while the lower hull houses the bulk of the negative buoyancy, thereby increasing stability in pitch and roll conditions.

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LibreOffice 4.3 Arrives with 30 New Excel Formulas and Support for Microsoft Works Spreadsheets

1 08 2014

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The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.3 is now available for all platforms, making this the most advanced release for the office suite.

The Document Foundation maintains quite a few concurrent branches and 4.3.x is the most advanced version they have right now. This is where all the new features are introduced and it’s usually the version added the most in the Linux distributions out there.

There are other branches available for download, like 4.2.x or 4.1.x, but none of them is as exciting as this one. LibreOffice is one of the many open source applications that are being considered to replace Microsoft software in various city administrations, as we’ve recently seen in Toulouse, France. This puts some pressure on the developers to make the best software possible.

“The LibreOffice project shows that a large free software community can live and thrive without the patronage of a software vendor, to liberate PC desktops. Today, you can’t own a better office suite than LibreOffice, in term of features, interoperability, support for document standards and independence. After many years, LibreOffice brings the control of the PC desktop back into the hands of the users,” says Thorsten Behrens, chairman of The Document Foundation.

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