Highly recommended for anybody who might be even remotely interested in LinuxBIOS:
The talk is about LinuxBIOS, its history, how it works, what the main challenges are, where it's used today and what the future will likely hold. Watch it, you won't regret it.
Here are the questions he was asked:
Answers here ;-)
Linux Genuine Advantage™ is an exciting and mandatory new way for you to place your computer under the remote control of an untrusted third party!
According to an independent study conducted by some scientists, many users of Linux are running non-Genuine versions of their operating system. This puts them at the disadvantage of having their computers work normally, without periodically phoning home unannounced to see if it's OK for their computer to continue functioning. These users are also missing out on the Advantage of paying ongoing licensing fees to ensure their computer keeps operating properly.
Once you've installed Linux Genuine Advantage™, you'll want to register and send in your licensing fees to receive these important benefits:
- Your computer, which worked just fine before, will continue functioning normally!
- Our software which you just installed will not disable logins on your computer (as long as our license server keeps working properly)!
- It's totally awesome!
- We might not raise the yearly licensing fees in the future!
Did you wake up this morning and say "I wish someone would figure out a way to let me do less with my computer"? You've come to the right place!
Hilarious! They even got source code: http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/source/.
To quote O'Reilly:
Written by a leading developer and maintainer of the Linux kernel, Linux Kernel in a Nutshell is a comprehensive overview of kernel configuration and building, a critical task for Linux users and administrators.
No distribution can provide a Linux kernel that meets all users' needs. Computers big and small have special requirements that require reconfiguring and rebuilding the kernel. Whether you are trying to get sound, wireless support, and power management working on a laptop or incorporating enterprise features such as logical volume management on a large server, you can benefit from the insights in this book.
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell covers the entire range of kernel tasks, starting with downloading the source and making sure that the kernel is in sync with the versions of the tools you need. In addition to configuration and installation steps, the book offers reference material and discussions of related topics such as control of kernel options at runtime.
A key benefit of the book is a chapter on determining exactly what drivers are needed for your hardware. Also included are recipes that list what you need to do to accomplish a wide range of popular tasks.
It's yet another great book licensed under a Creative Commons license. It's good to see that more and more books are now being freely licensed...
The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux is vulnerable to a
buffer overflow that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code as
root. This bug can be exploited both locally or remotely (via
a remote X client or an X client which visits a malicious web page).
A working proof-of-concept root exploit is included with this
The only possible solution (as NVIDIA still hasn't fixed the issue, although they know about it since 2004):
Disable the binary blob driver and use the open-source "nv" driver that is included by default with X.
Yes, you won't have 3D acceleration any more if you do that. Yes, that sucks. Complain to NVIDIA that they don't provide documentation so that free drivers can be written.
Luckily I stopped using the NVIDIA binary-blob quite a while ago, and I don't intend to ever use it again. This exploit clearly shows me that that's a good decision. For now, I'll have to live with the fact that I must use software-rendering for 3D (which is slow). When I buy my next computer it won't have an NVIDIA card, that's for sure.
But maybe there's hope. Maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA releases proper documentation one day (but don't hold your breath).
Alternatively, I just learned about the nouveau project: a project which aims at producing Open Source 3D drivers for nVidia cards. I don't know what the current status is and whether it's usable already, but this is definately a project which is worth trying out and worth supporting!