Top Stories for the Week of October 28, 2014

  • Episode 371
  • October 28, 2014
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday October 28, 2014


A customer was denied warranty for a desktop computer, in a major computer store in the UK, because he had deleted the pre-installed Windows OS and had Linux on it.

A huge computer retail chain in the UK is denying warranty to users who install Linux.

Most Linux users these days won't give second thought to installing Linux on their new computers. They know that times have changed, and the operating system is ignored for warranty procedures, especially for hardware failures, and it would seem ridiculous to think otherwise. Why would a store care what OS you have installed on your computer or laptop, especially if it's broken? Who would make such a rule and why? It seems that there is at least one major retail computer store that still practices this and it's in the UK.

The store in question is none other than Currys/PC World, a business that has more than 350 stores in the UK and Ireland and that's been around for more than 100 years. It's difficult to find alternatives or to avoid it when you really need something. The problem is that, besides size, the store also comes with some made-up rules that can be set despite their being in contradiction with EU law.

Roy Schestowitz is a tech journalist who focuses on open source and Linux. Following a recent experience at Currys, he wrote on his blog that "once you install GNU/Linux (even if it's dual boot with Windows) no damage to hardware would be covered by the warranty".

If you are ever denied warranty just because you have Linux on your device, you should really know that it's usually not legal. Make sure you ask beforehand when you buy a PC or a laptop if Linux will affect your warranty. It might influence your decision to do business in that store.


A US federal district court has locked down the assets of one of the phone scammers claiming to be Microsoft.

Fake Microsoft support callers have had their accounts frozen by a US court.

A US federal district court has ordered the shut down of a tech support operation said to have deceptively earned $2.5m from consumers.

A New York federal court on Friday ordered the shutdown of telemarketing firm incorporated in the state, accused by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of selling bogus software and support under false claims that consumers' PCs were loaded with viruses, spyware, and system errors.

The injunction was granted in the absence of the accused company and its chief operators ahead of a trial to be decided by a court at a later date. The court on Friday also ordered a freeze on the defendants' assets to ensure restitution funds are available in the event the FTC wins its case.

According to the FTC's complaint, the company had made $2.5m since early 2012 by cold calling targets and selling bogus warranty and software programs at a cost of $149 to $249, though some targets were charged up to $600.

Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement that the company "targeted seniors and other vulnerable populations, preying on their lack of computer knowledge to sell 'security' software and programs that had no value at all".


Linux knowledge is fast becoming a top recruitment priority for hiring managers. Know Linux? You might have a competitive edge against other applicants.

Your love for Linux might help get you a job.

IT is changing organizations across the globe, impacting enterprises, governments and the wider public sector. Open source in particular is a driver in innovation, giving organizations a competitive edge and an ability to scale and adapt to changing market demands.

According to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report, demand for Linux expertise continues to grow, with hiring managers across a number of industries citing Linux talents as one of the top recruitment priorities this year.

Unsurprisingly, with more government IT transformation projects under way in Asia Pacific, the need to reinvest in government employees' skills is also on the rise. This may be due to legacy systems, often built on proprietary platforms and supported by IT teams with skill sets limited by the technologies they had to maintain.

The demand for Linux expertise is so high that salaries are being driven above industry norms, in turn causing these Linux professionals to identify Linux knowledge as a career-advancing tool.

President of technology for professional website Dice, Shravan Goli, explained that enterprises are increasingly describing Linux as core to the business.

He said, "hiring managers are turning up the dial on the incentives offered to technology talent with Linux skills. These professionals are working on projects tightly aligned with a future vision of what enterprises look like".


Google has blacklisted delicious, and it could hurt your search engine standings if you link to it.

del.icio.us has been blacklisted by Google.

In a move that caught many publishers off guard, Google blacklisted bit.ly several days ago. We started seeing spotty reports of del.icio.us being blacklisted over the weekend and it has now gone full-blown with all del.icio.us links apparently being blacklisted by Chrome as hosting malware.

Delicious has changed hands several times over the years and recently was re-sold earlier this year to Science Inc. The site gets more traffic than bit.ly according to Alexa, so the impact of this may be wider then Bit.ly’s blacklisting over the weekend.

Bit.ly has now been removed from Google’s Safe Browing list which is the list that Google maintains of known malicious websites that engage in malware distribution and phishing.

According to Google’s Safe Browsing page on del.icio.us, of the 370 pages Google tested, 69 pages resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent.

It goes on to say that over the 90 day testing period, the top-level-domain, icio.us appeared to function as an intermediary for the infection of bit.ly, which suggests that the blacklisting of del.icio.us is related to that of bit.ly.


If you have a web site that links to these services, it's important to understand that even if you disagree with Google’s assessment of delicious, if the site remains blacklisted, linking to it may in fact harm your search ranking.


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