Massive Intel Chip Security Flaw Threatens Computers

An Intel flaw that has been sitting hidden for a decade has finally surfaced.

Being on the chip rather than the OS, it doesn’t affect a single OS — with Linux, Windows and MacOS being mentioned in this article.

https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/85039.html

Goodbye Apple, goodbye Microsoft… hello Linux

Not often I quote from a publication from Ireland, but this was quite an intriguing read. Someone who went from Windows to Mac to Linux (Mint)

Linux is everywhere – and will free your computer from corporate clutches

It was 2002, I was up against a deadline and a bullying software bubble popped up in Windows every few minutes. Unless I paid to upgrade my virus scanner – now! – terrible things would happen.

We’ve all had that right?

In a moment of clarity I realised that the virus scanner – and its developer’s aggressive business model – was more of a pest than any virus I’d encountered. Microsoft’s operating system was full of this kind of nonsense, so, ignoring snorts of derision from tech friends, I switched to the Apple universe.

It was a great choice: a system that just worked, designed by a team that clearly put a lot of thought into stability and usability. Eventually the iPhone came along, and I was sucked in farther, marvelling at the simple elegance of life on Planet Apple and giving little thought to the consequences.

Then the dream developed cracks. My MacBook is 10 years old and technically fine, particularly since I replaced my knackered old hard drive with a fast new solid-state drive. So why the hourly demands to update my Apple operating system, an insistence that reminded of the Windows virus scanner of old?

Apple is no different to Microsoft it seems.

I don’t want to upgrade. My machine isn’t up to it, and I’m just fine as I am. But, like Microsoft, Apple has ways of making you upgrade. Why? Because, as a listed company, it has quarterly sales targets to meet. And users of older MacBooks like me are fair game.

I looked at the price of a replacement MacBook but laughed at the idea of a midrange laptop giving me small change from €1,200. Two years after I de-Googled my life(iti.ms/2ASlrdY) I began my Apple prison break.

He eventually went for Linux Mint, which for a casual user is fine. I use Fedora and Ubuntu (and a really old version of Ubuntu since my workplace VPN doesn’t seem to work properly with anything above Ubuntu 14 – their way of forcing me onto either a Windows or Mac machine)

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/goodbye-apple-goodbye-microsoft-hello-linux-1.3295781

CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it first appeared | Ars Technica

The malware backdoor in this story is quite intriguing. They are targeting specific companies (Samsung, Akamai, Cisco, Microsoft amongst them) and only attempting the second level attack if they are detecting they are being installed there.

The advice mentioned in the article is that anyone who installed the software on their system should REFORMAT THEIR DRIVE. Quite an extreme recommendation. My suggestion – stop using Windows.

Source: CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it first appeared | Ars Technica

Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push • The Register

I am actually not that surprised with Microsoft’s behaviour on this. Forcing an upgrade onto people without consent. In fact, it was using malware-like tactics to make you (or persuade you) to upgrade.

Some other references:

 

Meet the new BSoD – the Blue Screen of Despair

Source: Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push • The Register

Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

With the roll out of a new version of Chrome, Google is saying goodbye to a few old favorites. Maybe “favorites” isn’t the right word. The browser will no longer be updated to support Windows XP, Vista, and OS X 10.8. Goodnight, sweet Vista, and your glossy menus.

RIP XP. Finally. Although I say finally, but I’m pretty sure some places are still using XP because they can’t/won’t recode applications to support Windows 2000

Source: Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

So… my office made me use a Macbook Pro…

AND I HATED IT.

It won’t boot ISOs unless you hdiutil it, which is an Apple propriety tool, or the ISO has been EFI enabled already, and since it’s not open source, I can’t even do that beforehand.

The Macbook won’t work with a known good HDMI cable (which I use with a Desktop PC), unless it’s Apple branded – which Apple being Apple, isn’t the least bit surprising…

I’ve tripped over their power supply more than once, and putting it at the plug end make it bulky and ugly.

My first course of action with regards to the setup? Trash MacOS and install Ubuntu. Of course, Apple make things endlessly difficult — I had to hdiutil the Ubuntu ISO to make it bootable, then install Ubuntu. After which, the Macbook wouldn’t boot.

Thanks to the install guide at Linux Mint:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1643

I found out I had to fiddle with the efibootmgr tool to change the boot order, and it works fine now. But then I had to figure out how to right-click on a no-button mouse touchpad. The hack is found on the Debian site (look at the mouseeemu post at the bottom). So now I have a clickable touchpad, with right-click being “ctrl+click”

https://wiki.debian.org/MacBook#Touchpad_for_the_new_2008_unibody_Macbook_and_Macbook_Pro

 

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