EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.07.13

Adventures in UEFI Mischief and Selective Criticism of Google

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardware circuits

Summary: Some of the latest stories about so-called ‘secure’ boot, which is all about restricting the use of hardware

Microsoft is trying to become a hardware company [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and catch up with Google in many areas. Using UEFI in Vista 8 Microsoft was hoping to altogether block Linux in ARM, but Google too uses this restriction. Microsoft has new hardware which already receives negative reviews, as summarised here:

And there we are – the Surface Pro reviews are in. Reading through them all, there’s clearly a common theme, and it’s not particularly positive. We’re a few months in now, so I think we can finally call it: Windows 8 and Surface are the wrong way to go.

Interesting is this observation that Linux is no longer blocked as before, just suppressed.

Microsoft likes to say it’s all for “security”, but the company is not even able to get certified for Windows AV. Here is some news:

The independent German lab behind AV-Test, which tests the effectiveness of endpoint security products, has pulled its seal of approval for Microsoft Security Essentials.

According to AV-Test, from September to October 2012, the effectiveness of Security Essentials at spotting zero-day malware attacks — including viruses, worms, and Trojan horses — dropped from 69% to 64%, compared with an industry average of 89%. For detecting malware that’s been discovered in the past few months, Security Essentials fared better, with a 90% detection rate, but that’s still below the 97% average for the industry.

Torvalds remarked on the excuse of "security" as exclusively use to sell restricted boot. Jack Wallen calls for “hardware neutrality” because, as he puts it: “The latest UEFI snafu involved the bricking of Samsung laptops. It’s time that hardware vendors knew consumers and IT pros demand the right to hardware neutrality.”

Our freedom from artificial barriers and restrictions depends in part on abolishing UEFI altogether, or putting users — not big vendors — in control over it. There may be workarounds, but they are too complicated for most users.

The other day we saw this thread which says:

I just bought a Acer Aspire M5 481t-6617 ultrabook and I cant stand this win8 bullshit, so my first option is my desktop distro (slack)..

The response from Slackware’s founder was:

The features are all likely to work fine. If you have Windows 8 and want to keep it, start by hitting (windows key) + X, select the disk management program, and resize the windows drive to make some free space for the Slackware installation. Boot the x86_64 Slackware install disc under the legacy boot mode and with Secure Boot turned off (probably you’ll want to leave it off anyway). The installer handles GPT fine, so make your partitions using cgdisk. If you made a swap partition, run mkswap on it before running setup, and then proceed to install as usual. Skip the LILO installation.

Then it gets too technical, with code even. To be fair to Dr. Garrett, he does pressure Google over this issue, but why not chastise Microsoft? All the work he has been doing recently is enormously useful to Microsoft.

As LWN summarises it:

Matthew Garrett calls out Google for not allowing users to install their own keys on Chromebook systems.

Here is the original. Where was he when Microsoft-imposed UEFI bricked Linux hardware? Why denounce just Google?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  2. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  3. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  4. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  5. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  7. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  8. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  9. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  10. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  11. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  12. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  13. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  14. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  15. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  16. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  17. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  18. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  19. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  20. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  21. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  22. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  23. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  24. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  26. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  28. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  29. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  30. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts