"The ARM architecture is growing in popularity and is expected to expand its reach beyond the mobile and 'small embedded' device space that it currently occupies. Over the next few years, we are likely to see ARM servers and, potentially, desktops. Fedora has had at least some ARM support for the last few years, but always as a secondary architecture, which meant that the support lagged that of the two primary architectures (32 and 64-bit x86) of the distribution. Recently, though, there has been discussion of 'elevating' ARM to a primary architecture, but, so far, there is lots of resistance to a move like that."
In the world of alternative OS development, portability across multiple architectures is a challenging goal. Sometimes, it may be intrinsically hard to come up with hardware abstractions that work well everywhere, but many times the core problem is one of missing information. Here, I aim at learning more about the way non-x86 architectures deal with CPU IO ports, and in particular how they prevent user-mode software from accessing them.
"Like for the previous survey, there aren't much answers anymore after about one week, so I think it's time to thank everyone and close the survey, in order to publish the results along with some interpretation." As before, everything is released under Creative Commons CC0 license.
"As mentioned before, the original multi-monitor survey had some serious flaws, which means that its results should be used with caution. I don't know if I can gather people around this again, but I wanted to try an updated, much cleaned up version of the survey, with results distributed in public domain just as before. Here it is." (from The OS-periment)
"Okay, it's been about one week and there are not much answers anymore, so it's time to thank everyone who participated, close this survey, and publish the results, along with some interpretation." Everything is released under Creative Commons CC0 license, so anyone interested, please help yourself.
"Recently, Brendan and I have been arguing about what can reasonably be expected from a multi-monitor OS (among other graphical stack things). We've reached the conclusion that nothing replaces real-world user data. So anyone interested, please answer this survey about multi-monitor setups and expectations ! (Results will be published here once the amount of answers has reached a steady state, I'd say in a month at worst)" (Source)
"Using a Mac may certainly be a safer choice for a lot of people as despite being vulnerable they are not targeted. However this is not the same as Macs being secure, something Eric Schmidt erroneously advised recently. I may be able to browse impervious to malware on a Mac at the moment, however I personally would not be comfortable using a platform so easily compromised if someone had the motivation to do so. In this article I address just why OS X is so insecure including the technical shortcomings of OS X as well as Apples policies as a company that contribute to the situation."
"The recently finished C++ ISO standard, with the working name of C++0x, is due to be published this summer, following the finishing touches to the ISO spec language and standards wonks agreed upon in March."
Lots of feedback from Alfman in the previous article's comments meant that it was time for another version of my article on my RPC-based daemon model, and as such another iteration towards a final design of my OS' core IPC mechanism. Not a full rewrite this time, but rather incremental improvements on specific points, which include a choice of naming (nonblocking RPC it is), an improved coverage of pointers, shared memory, and the currently envisioned design limits of those, and explicit support for dynamic setup of RPC calls and graceful server death handling.
Okay, so building up on the feedback given on the previous item on that topic (thanks everyone, and xiaokj, Alfman and Brendan in particular!), I have tried to improve the design of my daemon and service model a bit further. Here is the new version, feel free to study and discuss it!
The "In the box" project aims at porting the Dalvik VM and the Gingerbread API on top of iOS, so that Android applications may be easily turned into iOS ones. Unlike the Alien Dalvik project, it is community-driven, and the source released under version 2.0 of the Apache Software License. Recently, this project has published its first result: a "Hello World" Android application running on top of iOS.
Looks like Apple might have changed their mind and rushed a security update against Mac Defender a bit too quickly. "Hours after Apple released update and the initial set of definitions, a new variation of Mac Defender is in the wild. This one has a new name, Mdinstall.pkg, and it has been specifically formulated to skate past Apple's malware-blocking code." Update: And one day later, Apple has updated its malware definitions to detect the new version. MD's turn.
Over the weekend, Yong Zhang (yongzh), developer of emulators for old gaming systems on Android, has seen his developer revoked and all applications removed from the Android Market. While locally installed applications remain on user's device this time, they obviously cannot be updated or reinstalled by users who have legally purchased them. No warning or explanation has been sent, but the app and account removal is most likely the result of a complaint from one of the companies who own the right to those systems, as a complaint from Sega last month resulted in a couple of emulators getting removed already.
It's funny how trying to have a consistent system design makes you constantly jump from one area of the designed OS to another. I initially just tried to implement interrupt handling, and now I'm cleaning up the design of an RPC-based daemon model, which will be used to implement interrupt handlers, along with most other system services. Anyway, now that I get to something I'm personally satisfied with, I wanted to ask everyone who's interested to check that design and tell me if anything in it sounds like a bad idea to them in the short or long run. That's because this is a core part of this OS' design, and I'm really not interested in core design mistakes emerging in a few years if I can fix them now. Many thanks in advance.
After having an interesting discussion with Brendan on the topic of deadlocks in threaded and asynchronous event handling systems (see the comments on this blog post), I just had something to ask to the developers on OSnews: could you live without blocking API calls? Could you work with APIs where lengthy tasks like writing to a file, sending a signal, doing network I/O, etc is done in a nonblocking fashion, with only callbacks as a mechanism to return results and notify your software when an operation is done?
40 minutes and physical access. That's all russian company ElcomSoft is claiming to need in order to crack the 256-bit hardware encryption Apple uses to protect the data on iOS 4 devices. Full access to everything that's stored inside, including "historical information such as geolocation data, browsing history, call history, text messages and emails, usernames, data deleted by the user", is obtained.
I'm going to become short of suitable title suffixes pretty shortly... Anyhow, I have also reviewed interrupts on the MOS 6502 for the sake of extreme completeness, bust most importantly have tried to address some very incomplete and misleading statements of the interrupt handling model about pop-up threads and service-providing processes in a rather extensive way, see this post.
"So far. we have seen 39 development cycles of Linux 2.6 and the 40th is about to start. However, Linux 2.6.39 might be the end of the Linux 2.6 series. In an email, Linus Torvalds wrote that the numbers are becoming too big and he might thinking of giving the next release a version number of 2.8.0. In the ensuing discussion, Torvalds wrote that a version number of 3.0 is also a strong possibility", as a natural way to introduce a new numbering scheme where odd numbers are also used for stable releases and feature releases increment the second digit.
"After months of development, Fedora 15, codenamed "Lovelock" has finally been released today." Highlights of this release include restart-free firewall configuration, a switch to Gnome 3, LibreOffice, PowerTOP 2.x and systemd, "Consistent Network Device Naming", and... Rupee symbol support for Indian users.
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has officially confirmed today, during a developer conference in Tokyo, that the next version of Windows will be called Windows 8 and will debut in 2012. More details on Windows 8 could emerge at the upcoming D: All Things Digital conference, where Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division of Microsoft, is scheduled to "talk about the future of Windows in the era of all kinds of new devices and the cloud".