jones_supa writes "The current long-term support version of Ubuntu (12.04) has been experiencing a remarkably tough-to-crack and widely affecting bug related to laptops using an Intel graphics solution. When the lid is closed, every now and then the desktop freezes and only the mouse cursor can be moved. Compiz is usually found hung in the process, switching to a VT afterwards works. The Freedesktop guys are also informed. Have Slashdotters been bitten by this bug and possibly could offer some detective work to help the OSS community find and apply the correct fix?"
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An anonymous reader writes "I've been working on reverse engineering the D-Link DPH-128MS VOIP phone. It's an end of life product for D-Link but a neat little desktop phone that runs Linux. I've figured out a way to exploit the tftp server running on it to get root access. I'm at the point now of trying to figure out how to update the phone with more files. Check out the writeups I have and the scripts on the link above."
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday, XDA Developers forum users kinfaus and pokey9000 were discussing how the latest devices from Amazon (the second-generation 7 Kindle Fire and the 7 Kindle Fire HD) come with more sophisticated protection than their predecessors, including locked bootloaders and 'high security' features offered by their OMAP processors. Today, the devices have been rooted." Using a known bug in busybox dating to April even.
An anonymous reader wrote in with news that the GNOME Shell fork, Cinnamon, released version 1.6 yesterday. The release features persistent (and nameable) workspaces, a window list applet, greatly improved notifications (they're collected in one place), improved task switchers and audio control, workspace flipping while dragging windows, and integration with their fork of Nautilus. See the release announcement for more and lots of screenshots (detailed source changelog). From the looks of it, this release is closer than ever to merging the modern Gtk3/GNOME stack with the missing functionality from previous windowing environments.
MojoKid writes "Intel's next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed Haswell, puts heavy emphasis on reducing power consumption. Pushing Haswell down to a 10W TDP is an achievement, but hitting these targets requires collaboration. Haswell will offer finer-grained control over areas of logic that were previously either on or off, up to and including specific execution units. These optimizations are impressive, particularly the fact that idle CPU power is approaching tablet levels, but they're only part of the story. Operating system changes matter as well, and Intel has teamed up with Microsoft to ensure that Windows 8 takes advantage of current and future hardware. Haswell's 10W target will allow the chip to squeeze into many of the convertible laptop/tablet form factors on display at IDF, while Bay Trail, the 22nm, out-of-order successor to Clover Trail, arrives in 2013 as well. Not to mention the company's demonstration of the first integrated digital WiFi radio. Folks have been trading blows over whether Intel could compete with ARM's core power consumption. Meanwhile, Santa Clara has been busy designing many other aspects of the full system solution for low power consumption and saving a lot of wattage in the process." It's mildly amusing that Windows 8 is the first version to gain dynamic ticks, something Linux has had working since around 2007.
littlekorea writes "A new study has urged CIOs to consider open source over proprietary software or public cloud services when replacing legacy gear. But the study's author, Professor Jim Norton, warns that open source won't be a cure-all for some companies. From the article: ' Open source software, Norton said, provides enterprise IT with easier access to innovation via a "great global self-re-enforcing community of shared resources, ideas and development." That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.'"
Bruce Perens writes "Clover Trail, Intel's newly announced 'Linux proof' processor, is already a dead end for technical and business reasons. Clover Trail is said to include power-management that will make the Atom run longer under Windows. It had better, since Atom currently provides about 1/4 of the power efficiency of the ARM processors that run iOS and Android devices. The details of Clover Trail's power management won't be disclosed to Linux developers. Power management isn't magic, though — there is no great secret about shutting down hardware that isn't being used. Other CPU manufacturers, and Intel itself, will provide similar power management to Linux on later chips. Why has Atom lagged so far behind ARM? Simply because ARM requires fewer transistors to do the same job. Atom and most of Intel's line are based on the ia32 architecture. ia32 dates back to the 1970s and is the last bastion of CISC, Complex Instruction Set Computing. ARM and all later architectures are based on RISC, Reduced Instruction Set Computing, which provides very simple instructions that run fast. RISC chips allow the language compilers to perform complex tasks by combining instructions, rather than by selecting a single complex instruction that's 'perfect' for the task. As it happens, compilers are more likely to get optimal performance with a number of RISC instructions than with a few big instructions that are over-generalized or don't do exactly what the compiler requires. RISC instructions are much more likely to run in a single processor cycle than complex ones. So, ARM ends up being several times more efficient than Intel."
colinneagle writes "Those of us who actively promote Linux as a viable desktop alternative to Windows are often greeted with the following refrain: 'Nobody will use Linux because there are no good games.' The prevailing wisdom is that the abundance of high-quality, commercial video gaming is a key factor in the market-share dominance that Microsoft Windows enjoys. And, in all reality, this is somewhat true. So, then, the obvious course of action is to convince the video game publishers and developers of the world that Linux is a viable (if, perhaps, a bit niche) market. And by 'viable' I mean one thing and one thing only – 'profitable.'Luckily, there have been three high-profile recent examples of Linux users going absolutely nuts over video games, forking over their hard-earned cash in the process: the Humble Indie Bundle (drawing in huge numbers of sales — for a DRM-free product, no less — with sales numbers by Linux users consistently beating out sales to MacOS X users); Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center (where video games make up the top 10 paid software packages); Valve's announcement that it is bringing the Steam store, and community portal, to Linux desktop (specifically Ubuntu). Will the indie game developers (along with Valve) reap the bulk of the rewards that releasing games on Linux is offering...or will some of the big publishers realize what they're missing out on and join in the fun?"
Blug_fred writes "It's that time of year again; the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and literally hundreds of teams of dedicated F/OSS enthusiasts from around the world are preparing to hit the streets in celebration of Software Freedom Day 2012. In an effort to increase awareness of free and open source software among the general public, SFD teams will be standing around town centers and shopping malls, holding talks at schools and universities, giving demonstrations and handing out GNU/Linux and FOSS collections for Windows on CD. With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to help consumers switch to the myriad of quality open source applications available. If you would like to check for an SFD team in your area and consider attending, be it to help out or simply learn more about free software for yourself, there's an interactive map to help you find your way."
An anonymous reader writes "The widely used X11 Window System has turned 25 years old today. Version 11 of the X Window System is likely to remain in use for many years to come for backwards compatibility with the many legacy applications, BSD/Solaris systems, and Enterprise Linux distributions. Meanwhile, Wayland is still working to unseat the X Server for the common Linux desktop."
symbolset writes "X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It was the first to include NASA data in their terrain modelling. It's now under threat by an NPE (Non-Practicing Entity) called Uniloc. Uniloc is suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever. Quoting: 'I have spoken to a lawyer about this, and I am told that it will cost me about $1,500,000 (one and a half million dollars) to defend this suit. He also told me that it should take about two to three years to defend. This is more money than I have made selling Android Apps in the first place.'"
jfruh writes "Red Hat is in the middle of a patent lawsuit with Twin Peaks Software, which claims that a Red Hat subsidiary is abusing a Twin Peaks filesystem lawsuit. Now, Red Hat is launching an intriguing countermeasure: the company claims that Twin Peaks' own closed source software violates the GPL because it makes use of an open source disk utility that Red Hat holds the copyright on. Is this a smart move on Red Hat's part?"
girlmad tips this news from the Inquirer: "Intel's Clover Trail Atom processor can be seen in various non-descript laptops around IDF and the firm provided a lot of architectural details on the chip, confirming details such as dual-core and a number of power states. However Intel said Clover Trail 'is a Windows 8 chip' and that 'the chip cannot run Linux.' While Intel's claim that Clover Trail won't run Linux is not quite true — after all, it is an x86 instruction set, so there is no major reason why the Linux kernel and userland will not run — given that the firm will not support it, device makers are unlikely to produce Linux Clover Trail devices for their own support reasons."
An anonymous reader writes "The NVIDIA Linux driver across multiple GeForce graphics cards can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 on Ubuntu, but only when using the KDE desktop and not the default Unity/Compiz. It turns out based upon recent desktop environment benchmarking, Ubuntu's Unity desktop is now noticeably slower than GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE with multiple GPUs/drivers. Sam Spilsbury of Canonical/Compiz acknowledges the problem but it may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct."
olau writes "Michael Meeks, who's worked on GNOME and LibreOffice integration for many years, now for SuSE, has some really interesting thoughts on the recent Linux desktop debate and suggestions for possible strategies. He points out that regarding independent software vendors (ISVs), the real issue isn't actually the quality of the tools but the size and attractiveness of the market, and perhaps that a solution could be lower barriers for paying or donating. Regarding OEMs selling hardware with software preinstalled, he points out that while a free OS + software sounds good for consumers, it's actually a problem for OEMs on razor-thin margins, since they lose the cut they get from the preinstallations. A possible countermove could be nailing robustness and hardware diagnostics for good, lowering OEM support costs."