02.07.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  2. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  3. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  4. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  6. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  7. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  8. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  9. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  10. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  11. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  13. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  14. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  15. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  17. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  18. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  19. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  20. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  21. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  22. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  23. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  24. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  26. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  27. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  28. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  29. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  30. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts