udas writes "The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future. This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, are both laureates for the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize. This prize, which is determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world's largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology. The two innovators will share over a million Euros. The final winner will be announced by the President of the Republic of Finland in a special ceremony on June 13, 2012."
An anonymous reader writes with this dose of nice news (untranslated from the PR-ese) on the Linux-in-business front: "Mark Shuttleworth has announced at the OpenStack conference that Canonical has received a ringing endorsement from HP in the form of certification for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on the ProLiant server systems. Responding to customer demand, HP has decided to officially support the popular flavor of Linux giving sysadmins another flexible software option to leverage their current and future hardware."
An anonymous reader writes "For those of you who still feel GNOME 2 is the best desktop environment, but don't want stick to old distros, MATE is a fork of GNOME 2, with all the names changed to avoid clashes with GNOME 3. Version 1.2 brings fixes, but also new features such as undo/redo in the file manager." This release features better freedesktop standards integration, adds a few missing utilities, and merges new features into the file manager. The project has a new wiki; the roadmap has a few details on future goals, including porting things to Gtk 3 and using bits and pieces of modern GNOME 3 infrastructure where appropriate.
An anonymous reader writes "Not being content with the state of open source graphics drivers for Linux, a developer working for Texas Instruments has reverse-engineered his competitor's (Qualcomm) driver and written an open-source Snapdragon driver. With being tainted by legal documents at Texas Instruments, the developer, who is also involved with Linaro, had no other choice but to work on an open source graphics driver for his competitor in his free time. The open source Qualcomm Snapdragon/Adreno driver is called Freedreno."
An anonymous reader writes "The open source Nouveau driver, a reverse-engineered incarnation of NVIDIA's official proprietary driver for Linux, has reached its biggest milestone. The Nouveau driver is now being considered stable within the Linux kernel and leaving the staging area, with the pledge of a stable ABI. Phoronix has summarized the state of the Nouveau driver, which works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old."
chicksdaddy writes "Threatpost is reporting on a critical security flaw in the latest version of Backtrack Linux, a popular distribution that is used by security professionals for penetration testing. The previously undiscovered privilege escalation hole was discovered by a student taking part in an InfoSec Institute Ethical Hacking class, according to the post on the group's Web site. 'The student in our ethical hacking class that found the 0day was using backtrack and decided to fuzz the program, as well as look through the source code,' wrote Jack Koziol, the Security Program Manager at the InfoSec Institute. 'He found that he could overwrite config settings and gain a root shell.' An unofficial patch is available from InfoSec Institute. Koziol said that an official patch is being tested now and is expected shortly."
JRiddell writes "Kubuntu, the KDE flavour from Ubuntu, has found a new sponsor in Blue Systems. They will be providing more resources than were available by previous sponsor Canonical. The project will remain much the same: community led, KDE focused, Ubuntu flavour. With the new independence it can branch out into new markets such as a Kubuntu Active flavour for tablets."
unts writes "The highly configurable Linux PVR, MythTV, has reached the 0.25 release, over 500 days after the previous full release. New features include VAAPI support, E-AC3, TrueHD, and DTS-HD audio, the ability to control other home entertainment devices via HDMI CEC and additions to the API to allow HTTP live streaming. The release notes for 0.25 don't reflect the release status at the time of writing, but should contain most of the relevant changes. MythTV can be used as a backend (recorder) and frontend (viewer), but can also feed other frontends such as appropriate versions of XBMC. Hopefully the new HTTP streaming API will lead to even more ways to get your video fix."
An anonymous reader writes "I was looking at multimedia players from brands such as SumVision, Noontec and Western Digital. They all seem to be some device which accepts a USB hard-drive and commands from an IR remote control, and throws the result over HDMI. I have my own idea of what a hardware multimedia player should do (e.g. a personalized library screen for episodes, movies and documentaries; resume play; loudness control; etc.). I also think it will a good programming adventure because I will have to make the player compatible with more than a few popular codecs. Is this an FPGA arena? Or a mini-linux tv-box? Any advice, books or starting point to suggest?" There certainly have been a lot of products and projects in this domain over the years, but what's the best place to start in the year 2012?
First time accepted submitter rodrix79 writes "Hi all. I am trying to move from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu, but maybe to Mint). The problem is I telecommute full time and I am having a hard time trying to find the right tools to keep communication flowing with my clients (which are mostly on Windows / Mac). Any good recommendations from Linux telecommuters?"
Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, who has been covering technology as a journalist since... since longer than he cares to admit... and has been covering Linux and FOSS since the 1990s. This was basically a one-question interview: "How has reporting on Linux changed in the last 10 years?" After that, except for a couple of words requesting clarifications, we just let the webcam roll. (Note: if you know someone who would make a good Slashdot video interview victim, please put us in touch with them. Thanks.)
dartttt writes with an excerpt from Ubuntu Vibes: "Skeltrack is a Free Software (GPL3) library by Igalia for tracking the human skeleton joints from depth images. It is implemented with GLib and uses plain mathematics to detect the human skeleton and although it does not use any database, it was inspired by Andreas Baak's paper: "A Data-Driven Approach for Real-Time Full Body Pose Reconstruction from a Depth Camera" Skeltrack devs have recorded very cool videos showing Gnome Shell and Linux games being controlled through gestures."
CharlyFoxtrot writes "The geeks over on the fail0verflow blog took apart an AT&T Microcell device which is 'essentially a small cell-tower in a box, which shuttles your calls and data back to the AT&T mothership over your home broadband connection.' They soon uncovered some real security issues including a backdoor : 'We believe that this backdoor is NOT meant to be globally accessible. It is probably only intended to be used over the IPSEC tunnel which the picoChip SoC creates. [...] Unfortunately, they set up the wizard to bind on 0.0.0.0, so the backdoor is accessible over the WAN interface.'"
alphadogg writes "For the first time ever, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually."
dartttt writes, quoting Ubuntu Vibe: "Dmitry Grinberg has successfully booted Ubuntu 9.04 on an 8 bit micro machine with 6.5 KHz CPU and 16 MB RAM. Grinberg did this experiment on a ATmega1284p, 8-bit RISC microcontroller clocked at 24MHz and equipped with 16KB of SRAM and 128KB of flash storage. Since the RAM was too low, he added 30-pin 16MB SIMM to the machine and a 1 GB SD card to host Ubuntu image. ... To get the world's slowest Linux Computer running, he had to write an ARMv5 emulator which supports a 32bit processor and MMU. A similar machine can be made very easily and everything should come in about $20." There is source code available, but it's under a non-commercial use only license. Just how slow is it? "It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt ('init=/bin/bash' kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu ('exec init' and then login). Starting X takes a lot longer. The effective emulated CPU speed is about 6.5KHz, which is on par with what you'd expect emulating a 32-bit CPU & MMU on a measly 8-bit micro. Curiously enough, once booted, the system is somewhat usable. You can type a command and get a reply within a minute." If you like watching a whole lot of nothing, there's a video of the boot process below the fold.