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2012 May 28 09:01

Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

[Bug] [Education] [Government] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Security Hole] [MSN Hotmail] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS IIS Webserver] [MSN Instant Messenger] [License] [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [MS Outlook] [Piracy] [Privacy] [Virus/Worm] [MS XBox] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!]
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These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

  • Flame: 'Most complex' cyber-attack ever discovered (ZDNet, 2012.05.28)
    [Virus/Worm] [Government] A new 'data-vacuuming' piece of malware, which has targeted a number of Middle Eastern countries including Israel and Iran, has been discovered, which could mark the trilogy in advanced cyber-weapons after Stuxnet and Duqu. Kaspersky researchers said they believe 'Flame' is greater in scale than its apparent infamous counterparts Stuxnet and Duqu, and has been described as the 'most complex threat' ever discovered. ... Flame has the components a Trojan, a backdoor, and a worm, and is designed to attack Windows machines. It is also self-replication over local area networks though the entry point is currently unknown. Researchers are unaware as to how Flame enters networks, but have identified a Windows zero-day vulnerability which allows the remote code execuition of a core system file. ... Flame sniffs network traffic and has the ability to take screenshots, record conversations by microphone-enabled PCs, and intercepts all input data and so forth.

  • Office of the State [of California] CIO IT Policy Letter: Open Source Software Policy (California Office of the State Chief Information Officer, 2010.01.07)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The purpose of this Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) is to: Formally establish the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in California state government as an acceptable practice ... This policy provides guidance on the use of Open Source Software (OSS) ... The OCIO permits the use of OSS.

  • French army sides with Mozilla in Microsoft email war (Reuters, 2009.12.10)
    [MS Outlook] [Government] [Linux/Open Source] A new email client unveiled by Mozilla this week contains code from an unusual source -- the French military, which decided the open source product was more secure than Microsoft's rival Outlook. ... France's military chose open source software after an internal government debate [...] culminated in a [...] directive requiring state agencies 'Seek maximum technological and commercial independence.' ... The French government is beginning to move to other open source software, including Linux instead of Windows and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office.

  • New [US Department of Defense] Memo on Open Source Software (Slashdot.org, 2009.10.28)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] 'Misconceptions and misinterpretations... have hampered effective DoD use and development of OSS.' The new memo tries to counter those misconceptions and misinterpretations, and is very positive about OSS. In particular, it lists a number of potential advantages of OSS, and recommends that in certain cases the DoD release software as OSS.

  • U.S. Postal Service Gives Stamp of Approval To FOSS [Free and Open Source Software] (OStatic, 2009.07.10)
    [Government] [Linux/Open Source] The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has switched 1,300 of the servers that manage its package tracking system to a Linux environment. The move has taken the better part of a year since all the original system code was written in Cobol and had to be converted for Linux -- a less expensive option than rewriting it altogether.

  • Federal Web sites knocked out by cyber attack (Associated Press, 2009.07.08)
    [Government] [Security Hole] A widespread and unusually resilient computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime [...] Denial of service attacks against Web sites are not uncommon, and are usually caused when sites are deluged with Internet traffic so as to effectively take them off-line. Mounting such an attack can be relatively easy using widely available hacking programs, and they can be made far more serious if hackers infect and use thousands of computers tied together into "botnets."

  • PC Invader Costs Kentucky County $415,000 (The Washington Post, 2009.07.07)
    [Government] [Security Hole] Cyber criminals based in Ukraine stole $415,000 from the coffers of Bullitt County, Kentucky this week. The crooks were aided by more than two dozen co-conspirators in the United States, as well as a strain of malicious software capable of defeating online security measures put in place by many banks. [...] the unauthorized transfers appear to have been driven by "some kind computer virus." ... the criminals stole the money using a custom variant of a keystroke logging Trojan [...] [An] interesting feature of this malware... is that it creates a direct connection between the infected Microsoft Windows system and the attackers, allowing the bad guys to log in to the victim's bank account using the victim's own Internet connection.

  • City of Vancouver embraces open data, standards and source (CBC.ca, 2009.05.22)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Vancouver city council has endorsed the principles of making its data open and accessible to everyone where possible, adopting open standards for that data and considering open source software when replacing existing applications. ... About 15 members of the public signed up to speak about the motion. All who spoke were in favour, Reimer said. "The only sort of negative [comment] was 'Can't you go further? Can't you do more?'"

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  • Ignoring open source is costing us dear (The Guardian, Opinion Column, 2007.09.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [Education] Schools are not much better, a double tragedy because they not only don't benefit from savings but also lose the opportunity to train children in the skills of the future. Equally serious is the indifference of small companies. This, we were told, was down to a suspicion that anything that is free can't be any good. This is not a view shared by Google or Amazon - both huge users of open source. It was strongly disputed by a representative from Malmaison, the very cool hotel group which has put most of its operations on to open source for one simple reason: 'high performance and low cost'.

  • UK city to move 5,500 desktops to StarOffice (DesktopLinux.com, 2006.03.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Bristol (UK) City Council Thursday made the decision to convert its 5,500 desktops from Microsoft Office to Sun Microsystems's OpenDocument Format-compliant StarOffice office suite. The city, after extensive study, concluded that it would save 60 percent of total costs of ownership over a five-year period by making the switch.

  • Homeland Security report tracks down rogue open source code (The Register, 2006.03.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The authors of a US government-sponsored report claim to have delivered the first reliable guide into judging the safety and reliability of open source software. The report, backed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has evaluated 31 popular open source packages searching for defects that will cause 'hard crashes' - problems that leave users open to hackers or cause downtime. [...] the report ... has effectively given the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python (LAMP) stack a healthy rating. [It] 'showed significantly better software quality' above the report's baseline[,] with an average of .32 defects per 1,000 lines of code...

  • California Holds Hearing on Open Source Software in Election Systems (Government Technology Magazine, 2006.02.08)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach, Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee, and a candidate for California Secretary of State, conducted a hearing today to look at how private companies, as well as state and federal agencies, have begun using "open source software" and where it can or should be used in California's electoral system.

  • Norwegian Minister says that all public sectors need to make a plan for the use of Open Source by 2005 (IDABC (European eGovernment Services), 2005.07.06)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Norwegian government is taking large steps in their software policy: everybody in the public sector has to develop a plan for use of open source solutions within 2006. The Norwegian Minister of Modernization, Morton A. Meyer, presented new plan for information technology in Norway called "eNorge — the digital leap", where one of the points concerned open standards and open source.

  • Open source given the thumbs up as viable alternative by Whitehall (Computer Weekly, 2005.06.28)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Open source software should be considered alongside proprietary software in IT procurements and a combination of both open source and proprietary approaches should stimulate creativity and innovation, the report said. [...] It highlighted examples of successful open source implementations in government, including the Ministry of Defence's Defence Academy, where open source was chosen for its functionality, and Powys Council, which had "dramatically reduced" the number of its servers.

  • Norwegian Minister: Proprietary Formats No Longer Acceptable in Communication with Government (Tatle, 2005.06.27)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [WOW!] The Minister, as part of the plan, has charged all government institutions, both at the national and local level, to by the end of 2005 have worked out a recommendation for the use of open source code in the public sector. Further by the end of 2006 every body of the public sector in Norway must have in place a plan for the use of open source code and open standards.

  • Open source software, boon for e-governance (The Hindu, 2005.05.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Open source protects governments and big organisations from depending on a single company. Proprietary software and hardware generally go hand-in-hand, so when the company upgrades hardware, users are forced to upgrade their software and vice versa. ... The report suggests that by using open source software, instead of Microsoft Office, the Government can generate enormous savings even while continuing to use other proprietary software applications. The software can be made available to all departments through a centralised web-enabled database.

  • Government Studies Open-Source Migration (ECT News Network, 2005.05.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Paraguayan government is studying whether to implement open source Latest News about open source software in all its entities to reduce costs...

  • Cuba dumps Windows for Linux (Australian IT, 2005.05.18)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Cuba will gradually switch to the open-source Linux operating system for its state computers, eliminating its exclusive use of Microsoft Windows. Roberto del Puerto, director of the state office of information technology [said] that Cuba already has about 1,500 computers using the Linux operating system.

  • Intel, Novell say Linux gains on Microsoft Brazil (Reuters, 2005.05.17)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] In Brazil, the free software movement has gained considerable backing from the government, which is pushing ministries to adopt open-source software to cut the cost of proprietary software like Windows.

  • Birmingham Council plans 1,500 seat trial of open source desktops (ComputerWeekly, 2005.05.16)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Birmingham City Council is to carry out large-scale trials to evaluate the viability of open source software on its desktop PCs. ... . The open source trial will include public-facing PCs in libraries as well as those used to access core systems in council offices.

  • Brazil: Free software's biggest and best friend (CNet News, 2005.03.29)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, [Brazil's president] has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. ... Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open source...

  • South Korea Steps Up Linux Use in Public Sector (TechNewsWorld, 2005.03.28)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Last year, the ministry encouraged eight government agencies to adopt the Linux operating system and it is now gaining traction...

  • Microsoft bent my Danish prime minister (The Inquirer, 2005.02.15)
    [Monopoly] [Government] [A Danish newspaper alleges that] Bill Gates told the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen that 800 jobs would go if the country opposed the European Union's proposed directive on software patents.

  • L.A. investigates open source to cut costs (Federal Computer Week, 2005.02.12)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] City officials could save $5.2 million by switching to OpenOffice, an open-source desktop computer suite that includes word processor and spreadsheet programs, rather than purchasing a Microsoft Office product at $200 per license for 26,000 desktops. The savings would go to a special fund to hire more employees for the police department, a major focus for city officials right now.

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Collection originally created by, donated to LUGOD by, and maintained by Bill Kendrick.

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