Twelve years ago, Slashdot interviewed Brad Kuhn in his then-role as VP of the Free Software Foundation. Kuhn is still involved with the FSF, but has gone on, after a stint as CTO for the Software Freedom Law Center, to concentrate his efforts as President, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. The Conservancy offers organization and support to copylefted and permissively licensed software, and Brad explains in the video below what that entails, as well as where the Conservancy fits in the expanding landscape of organizations that help protect the rights of software developers. Brad makes no bones about wishing for a world where all software is Free software, but that's a big-picture goal. In the meantime, there's a lot of work to go around, just making sure that developers' chosen licenses are intelligently selected, and properly respected.
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An anonymous reader writes "The openSUSE Linux distribution looks like it may be the first major Linux distribution to ship the Btrfs file-system by default. The openSUSE 13.1 release is due out in November and is still using EXT4 by default, but after that the developers are looking at having openSUSE using Btrfs by default on new installations. The Btrfs features to be enabled would be the ones the developers feel are data-safe."
darthcamaro writes "At the Linuxcon conference in New Orleans today, Linus Torvalds joined fellow kernel developers in answering a barrage of questions about Linux development. One question he was asked was whether a government agency had ever asked about inserting a back-door into Linux. Torvalds responded 'no' while shaking his head 'yes,' as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter. Torvalds also admitted that while he as a full life outside of Linux he couldn't imagine his life without it. 'I don't see any project coming along being more interesting to me than Linux,' Torvalds said. 'I couldn't imagine filling the void in my life if I didn't have Linux.'"
Curupira writes "Ars Technica discusses how the Linux Defenders group are exercising the rights granted by the America Invents Act to identify and fight the patents that potentially threaten Linux and open source software. From the article: 'In a session at LinuxCon today, Linux Defenders director Andrea Casillas explained how the group is using rights granted by the new law to fight patent applications. A project of the Open Invention Network, Software Freedom Law Center, and Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders examines the 6,000 new patent applications published each week, attempting to identify those that are potentially threatening to Linux and open source. Then, the group looks for prior art that would invalidate at least some of the claims in the patents.'"
Brad McCredie is an IBM VP, and head of IBM's Power Systems development. (He's also one of the mere few hundred IBM Fellows that have been named in the past 50 years.) He pointed out in his keynote at this year's LinuxCon gathering that IBM has been adopting and supporting Linux (and associated software, like Apache) in various ways for the past decade and a half. Famously, the company promised to support Linux to the tune of a billion dollars in 2001, and McCredie renewed the promise on Tuesday. I sat down to talk with him about just how they'll go about spending the next billion dollars on Linux development; when a company has more than $200 billion in market capitalization, there are lots of ways to spread it around. Spending on hardware is one way, and McCredie also talked about the recently announced OpenPower consortium, which ties directly into the ongoing Linux push.
DeviceGuru writes "Jolla announced (PDF) that its Sailfish OS is now fully compatible with Android, letting the Linux-based mobile OS run Android apps, as well as operate on hardware configured for Android. This makes the MeeGo-based Sailfish OS the first alternative mobile Linux OS to achieve the feat. Jolla also announced that a second batch of pre-orders for its Sailfish-based Jolla phones will open later this week, after having sold out its first batch in August."
New submitter urdak writes "At CloudOpen in New Orleans, KVM veterans Avi Kivity and Dor Laor revealed their latest venture, a new open-source (BSD license) operating system named OSv. OSv can run existing Linux programs and runtime environments such as a JVM, but unlike Linux, OSv was designed from the ground up to run efficiently on virtual machines. For example, OSv avoids the traditional (but slow) userspace-kernel isolation, as on the cloud VMs normally run a single application. OSv is also much smaller than Linux, and breaks away from tradition by being written in C++11 (the language choice is explained in in this post)."
itwbennett writes with a link to a story you'll need to mentally upgrade from "expected to" to "just happened" about IBM's $1 billion dollar investment in Linux officially announced Tuesday morning at LinuxCon (the WSJ broke the story yesterday), by IBM VP Brad McCredie. IBM, says the linked article, will use all that money "to promote Linux development as it tries to adapt Power mainframes and servers to handle cloud and big data applications in distributed computing environments. The investment will fund Linux application development programs for IBM's Power servers and also be used to expand a cloud service where developers can write and test applications for Power servers before deployment. It will also facilitate software development around IBM's new Power8 chips, which will go into servers next year." It's not the only time that IBM has recently tossed around the B-word, and as Nick Kolakowski notes at Slash BI, it's also not the first time IBM has put that much money into Linux.
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds has released Linux 3.12-rc1, marking the first major development in over two weeks for the forthcoming successor of the Linux 3.11 kernel. Announcing the closure of the 3.12 merge window, Torvalds said in the release announcement that the window was fairly normal. Dissecting the updates, he noted that 73 percent of them are related to drivers, 12 percent related to architecture updates, and 6 percent related to file systems. ... Torvalds liked the 'scalability improvements that got merged this time around.' Torvalds also mentioned the tty layer locking getting resolved, and work on dentry refcount scalability."
SmartAboutThings writes "Windows XP is going to officially die and stop receiving support from Microsoft in April, 2014. After that very moment, it is said to become a gold mine for hackers all over the world who will exploit 'zero-day' vulnerabilities. The municipality of the German city of Munich wants to stop that from happening [and] has decided to distribute free CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to users of the almost extinct XP. Munich, through its Gasteig Library, will prepare around 2000 CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to offer to city residents affected by Windows XP's end of support. Previously, it was believed that Munich city's authorities were going to offer Lubuntu 12.04, which would have required lower system requirements with the same support period."
Slashdot's Timothy Lord is attending LinuxCon in New Orleans this week and writes in with the following. "Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell says in no uncertain terms what the brain trust at Valve thinks: When it comes to actual users, 'Linux is currently insignificant by any metric' (by any metric that matters to game companies, at least, like number of players, minutes played, and — all important — revenue). On these fronts, Linux players are 'typically under 1 percent' of what game companies see. But that's not the upshot. The takeaway is just about the opposite, says Newell: 'The future of gaming is on Linux.' Newell expounded on the present and future of games on Linux in a keynote address at LinuxCon North America, which kicked off today in New Orleans. He described ways Valve is working to improve the landscape for games on Linux, and hinted at new hardware developments from the company in the near future." Keep reading for the rest of Tim's report.
darthcamaro writes "The Linux Foundation's Who Writes Linux report (sign up required) is now out and after 22 yrs leading Linux, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has fallen out of the list of top 100 developers in terms of code contributions. He currently ranks 101st for number of patches generated from the Linux 3.3 to the Linux 3.10 kernel releases." Read below for a few highlights from the report.
phlawed writes "I've been a Linux user since the previous millennium. I came from OS/2, which I really liked. I quickly felt at home with icewm, using a suitably tweaked config to give me something resembling Presentation Manager. I may have commented on that before. Today, I find myself in a position where my preferred 'environment' is eroding. The only force keeping icewm rolling these days is the distribution package maintainers. I can't code in any meaningful way, nor do I aspire to. I could easily pay for a supported version of icewm, but I can't personally pay someone enough to keep it alive. I'd love it if someone took a personal interest in the code, to ensure that it remains up to date, or to make it run on Wayland or whatever. I want someone to own the code, be proud of it. Is there a general solution for this situation? How do I go about drumming up interest for an old project?"
New submitter Ian Grant writes "This article takes a brief look at open source software in Brazil and how it's transforming tech use in South America: Bringing free software to Brazil, however, is not just a matter of copying North American practices. The idea of free software has also been substantially transformed through contact with Brazilian politics. In the United States, the open source software community has long had libertarian leanings, which have only strengthened over time. The core tenet of free software, after all, is giving the users freedom to do what they want. ... And when free software was finally embraced by business, many members of the movement welcomed it as a validation of their ideas. The business-friendly side of free software is easily visible in Brazil, too. Many Brazilian companies, for example, use Linux. At the forum in Porto Alegre, commercial free software was well represented by large foreign companies, many of which appeared to be there primarily for recruiting. Yet the forum also showcased another side of Brazil’s place in the world of free software — a key meeting place of free software and leftist politics. "
First time accepted submitter noahfecks writes "After the Linux 3.11 kernel was codenamed 'Linux for Workgroups' in memory of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Linus Torvalds is using 'Suicidal Squirrel' as the Linux 3.12 kernel codename." Seems only fitting. (The list of kernel names should reflect this soon.)
jones_supa writes "The sudden death of a solid-state drive in Linus Torvalds' main workstation has led to the work on the 3.12 Linux kernel being temporarily suspended. Torvalds has not been able to recover anything from the drive. Subsystem maintainers who have outstanding pull requests may need to re-submit their requests in the coming days. If the SSD isn't recoverable he will finish out the Linux 3.12 merge window from a laptop."
sfcrazy writes "After shooting down Canonical's Mir, Intel and Red Hat teams have increased collaboration on the development of Wayland. Developers at Intel and Red Hat are working together to 'merge and stabilize the patches to enable Wayland support in GNOME,' as Christian Schaller writes on his blog. The teams are also looking into improving the stack further. Weston won't be used anymore, so GNOME Shell will become the Wayland compositor. It must be noted that Canonical earlier committed to supporting and embracing Wayland. Despite that promise, the company silently stopped contribution, and it was later learned that they were secretly working on their own display server, Mir. Intel's management recently rejected patches for Mir, leaving its maintainance to Canonical. Before Intel's rejection, GNOME and KDE also refused to adopt Mir. Intel's message is clear to Canonical: if you promise to contribute, then do so."
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds, in response to a petition on Change.org to remove RdRand from /dev/random, has lambasted the petitioner by called him ignorant for not understanding the code in the Linux Kernel. Kyle Condon from the UK raised a petition on Change.org to get Linus to remove RdRand from /dev/random in a bid 'to improve the overall security of the linux kernel.' In his response, Torvalds asked Condon and the supporters of the petition to gain an understanding of Linux drivers and cryptography, and then 'come back here and admit to the world that you were wrong.' Torvalds stressed that kernel maintainers knew what they were doing and the petitioner didn't. Torvalds, in a similar outburst just yesterday, hoped that 'ARM SoC hardware designers all die in some incredibly painful accident.' This came in response to a message from Kevin Hilman when he noted that there were quite a few conflicts in the ARM SoC pull request for Linux 3.12 which were a result of the platform changes conflicting with driver changes going in to the V4L tree."
Dave Girard has written a lengthy description of how to design the best possible operating system for creative pursuits (video editing, photo manipulation, and sound editing, in particular) — at least the the best possible one he can imagine by selecting from the best tools and behaviors that he finds in Mac OS X, Windows, and (mostly Ubuntu) Linux. He makes a compelling case for the OS (or at least a GUI on top of it) having baked-in support for a wide range of image formats and codecs, and makes some pointed jabs along the way at what each of these three big players do wrong.
New submitter deepdive writes "I have a basic question: What is the privacy/security health of the Linux kernel (and indeed other FOSS OSes) given all the recent stories about the NSA going in and deliberately subverting various parts of the privacy/security sub-systems? Basically, can one still sleep soundly thinking that the most recent latest/greatest Ubuntu/OpenSUSE/what-have-you distro she/he downloaded is still pretty safe?"
An anonymous reader writes "Just days after Intel added XMir support to their Linux graphics driver so it would work with the in-development the X11 compatibility layer to the Mir display server premiering with Ubuntu 13.10, Intel management has rejected the action and had the XMir patch reverted. There's been controversy surrounding Mir with it competing with Wayland and the state of the display server being rather immature and its performance coming up short while it will still debut in Ubuntu 13.10. Intel management had to say, "We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream." As a result, Canonical will need to ship their own packaged version of the Intel (and AMD and Nouveau drivers) with out-of-tree patches."
New submitter anwyn writes "In a recent article posted on the cryptography mailing list, long time civil libertarian and free software entrepreneur John Gilmore has analyzed possible NSA obstruction of cryptography in IPSEC. He suggests that packet processing in the Linux kernel had been obstructed by one kernel developer. Gilmore suggests that the NSA has been plotting against strong cryptography on mobile phones."
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Meeks has announced that the core of SUSE's LibreOffice team is moving over to Collabora, which will now be providing commercial LibreOffice support. 'It seems to me that the ability to say "no" to profitable but peripheral business in order to strategically focus the company is a really important management task. In the final analysis I'm convinced that this is the right business decision for SUSE. It will allow Collabora's Productivity division to focus exclusively on driving LibreOffice into Windows, Mac and Consulting markets that are peripheral to SUSE. It will also retain the core of the existing skill base for the benefit of SUSE's customers, and the wider LibreOffice community, of which openSUSE is an important part.'"
DeviceGuru writes "SolidRun refreshed its line of tiny 2 x 2 x 2-inch mini-PCs with four new community-backed models based on 1.2GHz multi-core Freescale i.MX6 SoCs. The CuBox-i devices support Android 4.2.2 and Linux, offer HDMI, S/PDIF, IR, eSATA, GbE, USB, WiFi, and Bluetooth interfaces (depending on model). All the models offer 1.2GHz clock speeds, OpenGL/ES 2.0 3D support, and video acceleration for 1080p video, while the two higher-end ones supply more robust GPUs that add OpenCL 1.1 support."
sfcrazy writes "Kubuntu is one of those few GNULinux based distributions which brings the two leading technologies together — Ubuntu and KDE. There are quite a lot of businesses which are using this combination in their set-up. Until now there was no professional support available for Kubuntu users. To fill this gap the Kubuntu community has launched commercial support for businesses, organizations and individuals. The Kubuntu team is partnering with Emerge Open to offer this service which is called 'Kubuntu Commercial Support provided by Emerge Open'."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Linux vendors Red Hat and SUSE are pushing to make sure Linux-based virtual machines are an important part of datacenter-based hybrid clouds. The two are taking significantly different tacks toward the same destination, however. SUSE is using the visibility and cloud hype of VMware by extending its partnership with the virtualization provider to promote its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware as an alternative operating system for virtual machines running on VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service. Red Hat is happy to include VMware in its plans, but isn't limiting itself either to VMware-based clouds or, in fact, the idea that a Linux vendor has to tag along with a cloud- or virtualization developer to find its place in mixed infrastructures. 'We do not buy into the premise that a private or a hybrid platform based on one vendor's technologies and products is the answer,' wrote Bryan Che, general manager of Red Hat's Cloud Business Unit. More than 25 percent of customers want clouds or datacenter infrastructures using virtualization products from more than one vendor, according to a buyers' guide published in August by market researcher IDC."
oneiros27 writes "Although the initial search for Evi Nemeth (and some other people who didn't write Unix books) ended, family and friends of the missing crew are funding a private search effort for the crew. They've managed to get more images from DigitalGlobe of the drift area, but now need help looking through the pictures. If you've got some free time, you might be able to help save some lives."
hypnosec writes "According to a new revelation by Sarah Sharp, misinterpretation of the USB 2.0 standard may have been the culprit behind USB disconnects on resume in Linux all along rather than cheap and buggy devices. According to Sharp the USB core is to blame for the disconnections rather than the devices themselves as the core doesn't wait long enough for the devices to transition from a 'resume state to U0.' The USB 2.0 standard states that system software that handles USB must provide for 10ms resume recovery time (TRSMRCY) during which it shouldn't attempt a connection to the device connected to that particular bus segment."
darthcamaro writes "Yesterday the stable Linux 3.10 kernel was updated twice — an error was made, forcing a quick re-issue. 'What happened was that a patch that was reported to be broken during the RC [release candidate] review process, went into the release, because I mistakenly didn't pull it out in time,' Greg Kroah-Hartman said. The whole incident however is now sparking debate on the Linux Kernel Mailing List about the speed of stable Linux kernel releases. Are they moving too fast?"
An anonymous reader writes "With Netflix continuing to rely upon Microsoft Silverlight, the video streaming service hasn't been supported for Linux users as the Mono-based 'Moonlight' implementation goes without Silverlight 5 DRM support. However, there is now Netflix support for Linux-based web-browsers via the open source Pipelight project. Pipelight supports Netflix and other Silverlight-based web applications by having a Netscape plug-in that in turn communicates with a Windows program running under Wine. The Windows program then simulates a browser to load the Silverlight libraries. Netflix then works as the Pipelight developers implemented support for the Netflix DRM scheme within Wine."
DeviceGuru writes "In light of the FAA's recent approval of two unmanned drones for commercial operation in U.S. airspace, it's interesting to see the bits and pieces for building commercial UAVs falling into place. For example, Airware demonstrated its line of autopilot computers for UAVs this week at AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013 in Washington DC. The devices include multi-rotor capabilities, and support various radios, GPS and inertial systems, servo interfaces, and onboard interfaces such as USB and CAN. The autopilot controllers run a configurable, royalty-free AirwareOS embedded Linux OS, making them amenable to considerable customization. Adding to that, Airware recently received $10.7 million in funding from Google Ventures and several other investors. This raises the question of what's next for the fledgling commercial drone industry."
Volanin writes "The Ubuntu Edge has now passed the $10.2 million mark, thus making it the most pledged-to crowd-funder in history. While the Ubuntu Edge campaign is to be commended for reaching such a mammoth milestone as this, it can't quite claim ultimate victory yet, since it's just short of making one-third of its $32 million goal with a little less than a week left."
jrepin writes "Music player Amarok 2.8 has been released and it brings a fancy audio analyzer visualization applet, smooth fade-out when pausing music, many UI improvements and visual tweaks including better support for alternate color themes, significantly enhanced MusicBrainz tagger, power management awareness with a pair of new configuration options, and performance optimizations and responsiveness tuning all over Amarok."
New submitter stderr_dk writes "According to Wikipedia, the initial release of Debian happened 16 August 1993. In other words, it's Debian's birthday and you're all invited. 'During the Debian Birthday, the Debian conference will open its doors to anyone interested in finding out more about Debian and Free Software, inviting enthusiasts, users, and developers to a half day of talks relating to Free Software, the Debian Project, and the Debian operating system.' Over the years, Debian has been forked a number of times. Some of the more well-known forks are Ubuntu and Knoppix. The latest release of Debian pure blend was Debian 7.1 'Wheezy' on June 15th 2013."
An anonymous reader writes "Best Buy and Barnes and Noble have a problem with showrooming — shoppers checking out the merchandise in their stores and then proceeding to order the goods at a discounted prices online. And Red Hat might have a similar problem with people (not just college kids and software professionals boning up on their skills at home, either) using the free-as-in-beer CentOS rather than licensing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and paying support fees. But according to CEO Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's competitive position may actually be helped by CentOS in the same way that counterfeit Windows products sold on the streets in the Far East may have helped Microsoft — by cementing their position as the technology standard, in a marketplace that also includes entrants from SuSE, Debian, Oracle, and Ubuntu, just among Linux-based entrants. Who does Whitehurst consider to be Red Hat's most direct threat? VMWare."
darthcamaro writes "At the first ever Fedora Flock conference this past weekend, a proposal was put forward by developer Mat Miller to re-architect Fedora with a core distribution, surrounded by layers of additional functionality for desktop, server and cloud. It's a proposal that Fedora Project Leader Robyn Bergeron is interested in too. 'How can we make Fedora be something that is modular enough to fit into all those different environments (device, desktop, server & cloud) , while still acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all approach isn't something that draws people into the project?' Bergeron said. 'People want something that is specifically for them.'"
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.11-rc5 yesterday wishing that it would have been a lovely coincidence if he were able to release final Linux 3.11 as on the exact same day 20 years ago Microsoft released Windows 3.11. 'Sadly, the numerology doesn't quite work out, and while releasing the final 3.11 today would be a lovely coincidence (Windows 3.11 was released twenty years ago today), it is not to be,' notes Torvalds in the release announcement."
First time accepted submitter jovius writes "The Matriculation Examination Board of Finland has just opened an international hacking contest to find flaws and exploits in Digabi Live — the Live Debian based operating system to be used in the all-digital final exams by the year 2016. The contest ends on 1st of September, and the winners are about to scoop hefty hardware prizes, also available as cash."
DW100 writes "Ubuntu has secured a surprise enterprise backer of its $32m Edge smartphone crowd-funding push with corporate powerhouse Bloomberg signing up for the top tier Enterprise 100 package, worth $80,000. Chief technology officer at Bloomberg Shawn Edwards said the firm wanted to give its support to the innovative open source project as it could have real benefits for its IT workforce." Adds reader nk497: "So far the campaign has raised $8.5 million and has two weeks left to run. Individuals can buy the smartphone-cum-PC for $780 at the moment, but Canonical is also offering business bundles of 100 handsets, including a month of support, for $80,000. Bloomberg is the first business to opt for the bundle — but it will get its money back if the project isn't fully funded." Update: 08/08 12:58 GMT by T : One more note: Canonical has dropped the price to $695 for the remainder of the fundraising campaign.
chicksdaddy writes "Two researchers at the Black Hat Briefings security conference Thursday said Smart TVs from electronics giant Samsung are rife with vulnerabilities in the underlying operating system and Java-based applications. Those vulnerabilities could be used to steal sensitive information on the device owner, or even spy on the television's surroundings using an integrated webcam. Speaking in Las Vegas, Aaron Grattafiori and Josh Yavor, both security engineers at the firm ISEC Partners, described Smart TVs as Linux boxes outfitted with a Webkit-based browser. They demonstrated how vulnerabilities in SmartHub, the Java-based application that is responsible for many of the Smart TV's interactive features, could be exploited by a local or remote attacker to surreptitiously activate and control an embedded webcam on the SmartTV, launch drive-by download attacks and steal local user credentials and those of connected devices, browser history, cache and cookies as well as credentials for the local wireless network. Samsung has issued patches for many of the affected devices and promises more changes in its next version of the Smart TV. This isn't the first time Smart TVs have been shown to be vulnerable. In December, researchers at the firm ReVuln also disclosed a vulnerability in the Smart TV's firmware that could be used to launch remote attacks."
jrepin writes "The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce the release of version 2.7 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra active and the Calligra Office Engine. Words, the word processing application, has a new look for the toolbox. In the same toolbox there are also new controls to manipulate shapes with much enhanced usability. Author, the writer's application, has new support for EPUB3: mathematical formulas and multimedia contents are now exported to ebooks using the EPUB format. There is also new support for book covers using images. Plan, the project management application, has improvement in the scheduling of tasks. The formula shape now has new ways to enter formula: a matlab/octave mode and a LaTEX mode."
sfcrazy writes "The father of Linux, Linus Torvalds, once said, 'If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won.' Microsoft yesterday released one of its cash cows, Microsoft Office, for Android. Since Microsoft has a very vague idea of what users want and is suffering from lock-in, the app is just an Android front end of Office 365 and is accessible only by the paid users. There are already quite a lot of office suites available on Android including Office Pro, QuickOffice and KingSoft, so Microsoft will have to struggle there. Still it's a Microsoft core application coming to Linux. So, it looks like Linus has won."
An anonymous reader writes "There's some good news if you use NVIDIA graphics on (Ubuntu) Linux or FreeBSD with their binary graphics driver: the OpenGL performance is comparable to Windows 8. Unfortunately, that's not the same for Intel graphics and AMD doesn't even offer a Catalyst driver for FreeBSD. FreeBSD offers a binary Linux compatibility layer to run games at the same (or better) performance as Linux, but unfortunately it's capped to running Linux x86 binaries and NVIDIA is the only GPU vendor with proper BSD graphics driver support."
jrepin writes "Around a year ago, a school in the southeast of England, Westcliff High School for Girls Academy (WHSG), began switching its student-facing computers to Linux, with KDE providing the desktop software. The school's Network Manager, Malcolm Moore, contacted us at the time. Now, a year on, he got in touch again to let us know how he and the students find life in a world without Windows." And they didn't even meet much resistance: "Younger students accept it as normal. Older students can be a little less flexible. There are still a few that are of the view that I can get rid of Microsoft Word when I can pry it from them. Staff are the same (although it is surprisingly not age-related). Some are OK and some hate it. Having said that, an equal number hate Windows 7 and nobody liked Windows 8. I think the basic problem is that Windows XP is a victim of its own success. It works fairly well from a user point of view, it's been around practically forever, and people don't like change, even some students, oddly."
alphadogg writes "The first heady rush of support for Canonical's crowd-funded Ubuntu Edge smartphone appears to have tapered off, as donations for the eye-catching device have slowed substantially over the past several days. The project sits just above the $7 million mark at the time of this writing – a large sum by the standards of crowd-funded projects, to be sure, but the $32 million goal is still a long way off. The Edge is slightly, but measurably, behind schedule – by about $600,000, according to a tracking graph made by Canonical's Gustavo Niemeyer. However, there's speculation that wealthy Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth might contribute some of his personal fortune to the project." The campaign has already broken records with its spectacular first few days. I hope that Shuttleworth does kick in to make production feasible, because the idea and the design are impressive — but I'm leery of spending quite so much on any phone.
c0d3g33k writes "Prompted by the addition of new security features in Android 4.3 that limit the effectiveness of elevated privileges, Steve Kondik wonders which uses really require full root. Most common activities that prompt owners to root their devices (backup/restore tools, firewall/DNS resolver management, kernel tuning), could be accomplished without exposing root, argues Kondik, by providing additional APIs and extensions to the user. This would improve security by limiting the exposure of the system to exploits. Reasonable enough, on the face of it. The title of the post, however, suggests that Kondik believes that eventually all useful activities can be designed into the system so the 'dangerous and insecure' abilities provided by root/administrator privileges aren't needed. This kind of top-down thinking seems a bit troubling because it leads to greater control of the system by the developer at the expense of the owner of the device. It's been said that the best tools are those that lend themselves to uses not anticipated by the creator. Reducing or eliminating the ability of the owner to use a device in ways that are unanticipated ultimately reduces its potential power and usefulness. Perhaps that's what is wanted to prevent an owner from using the device in ways that are inconvenient or contrary to an established business model."
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an Engineer with a need for 3 large monitors on the one PC. I want to run them as 'one big desktop' so I can drag windows around between all three monitors (Windows XP style). I run Debian and an nVidia NVS450. Currently I have been able to do what I want by using Xinerama which is painfully slow (think 1990s), or using TwinView which is hardware accelerated but only supports 2 monitors. I can live without 3D performance, but I need a hardware accelerated 2D desktop at the minimum. What are my options? I will happily give up running X and run something else if I need to (although I would like to keep using Xfce — but am open to anything). I am getting so desperate that I am starting to think of running Windows on my box, but that would be painful in so many other ways given my work environment revolves around the Linux toolset."
DeviceGuru writes "The 2014 Toyota Lexus IS reportedly will be the second major automobile to offer in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems based on Linux, following last year's introduction of the Debian-based Cadillac User Experience (CUE) IVI system, which now appears in Cadillac's XTS and SRX models. Cadillac's CUE IVI implementation was developed by GENIVI Alliance members MontaVista and Bosch and uses similar code, but is not listed as GENIVI compliant. Meanwhile, ABI Research projects that Linux will grow to 20 percent IVI market share by 2018, behind Microsoft and market leader QNX."