Linux users laugh at Microsoft's commitment to open source

Today in Open Source: Is Microsoft committed to open source? Linux users don't think so. Plus: Android flashlight app violates user privacy, and have you been pwned?

Microsoft and Open Source

Microsoft has always had relationship to open source projects. Foss Force ran a poll for Linux users about Microsoft's commitment to open source. The reaction of Linux users was overwhelmingly negative.

It turns out that you didn’t buy what Microsoft was selling any more than we did. When we asked our question — is Microsoft committed to open source? — 78% of you answered “Not committed at all” and 17% of you indicated that you thought the folks in Redmond are “A little committed.” Interestingly, twice as many of you didn’t know if Microsoft is committed to open source (4%) than thought they are “Totally committed (2%).

Microsoft and Open Source Poll
Image credit: Foss Force
More at Foss Force

The poll results did not surprise me at all. Microsoft has only themselves to blame for the negative poll results about their behavior toward open source. I doubt Microsoft will ever engender a positive attitude on the part of Linux users. There's just too much bad blood between the two and Microsoft has done little or nothing to try to change that.

Flash Light App Steals Android Users Information

The Verge has a disturbing report about an Android flashlight app that apparently deceived Android users about how it would use their information.

An Android developer has agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a free flashlight app that has been "deceiving" users. Brightest Flashlight Free, available in the Google Play store, has been downloaded over 50 million times, but a complaint from the FTC reveals that the seemingly innocent app transmits “precise location” data to third-party advertisers alongside a unique device identifier. The FTC says an option to prevent the location-sharing “deceived consumers,” as the data was automatically shared before users could disable it.

More at The Verge

While the app's developers should be ashamed of themselves for doing this, I'm also reminded of the old saying that you "get what you pay for." It's a good idea to be very wary of "free apps" as nothing in this life is really free. App developers have to have a business model somehow, and if it's not disclosed to you in an upfront way then you should probably avoid installing it on your Android device.

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