Friday, June 29, 2007

GPL3 the pain child is born..-> implications for cellphones??

As of last, Linus was against pulling in GPL3 for kernel... what sayeth he now??? Gotta read it sometime later this weekend..


GPL V3: - there is GPL and LGPL - Good!!

One feature I am worried upon is the "non tviozation" concept:
Imagine.. one day Linus says ok to GPL v3 for linux, all apps are GPL V3. Now, using today's technology, the h/w vendor who releases a GPL V3 based software for a cellphone..needs to ensure that you dont have a malicious "cracked" version running on the board. How does they do it? by providing signature for images.. Does "non tvio" software mean the signatures are published? Errr.. beats the purpose right? Does this imply that the vendor should impart the tools to make the modified s/w run on thier boards -Errrr.... why should the vendor want to give the key to the safe? Solution: hardware firewalls..
TI for example provides on 2430,3430 some really advanced firewall features, which can be used in this scenario:
properiotory signed code accesses/provides features to the critical components (e.g. SIM/MegaSIM cards), exposes if needed heavily controlled LGPL APIs -> communicated with GPLV3 baseport and s/w.. the firewall configuration will be such that only the prop code(on prop processor as an e.g.), can access the critical components.. the "Application OS" does not have rights..
Why this wont work:
  • To an extent this is already present in the concept of "mobile processor" vs "application processor" concept.. but lots of companies (including TI, Infenion, Freescale) are looking for single processor systems to reduce cost.. imagine the resultant overheads.. just to ensure security..
  • Easier said than done.. how do u prevent a "cracked" keypad driver not grabbing all keystokes and passing it to ethernet driver for transmission over GPRS?

Cell phone security is a very very complex thing compared to desktop OS: I kind of predict.. it is only a matter of time before some "fruitcake"-brained cokers decide to do something abt it... and make life a wee bit more difficult..

TVIO, I think is a moot point.. end of the day, they put a hashkey in ROM, before the app processor runs, compare hash key to image hash.. if it matches, continue.. else.. poof.. solid hardware security.. add a fuse and blow out the processor to a unusable state... lol.. no wonder the FSF folks are pissed....

But it does not hide the real threat... How do u make cell phones with GPLV3 code?

Read this to listen to the kernel hacker's mind:

Stories (with apologies to spanish)

Intrest Story:

Amusia Musica La MainFrama :

Ze Linux Killer?? Reiser SNAFU!

For some one who had hacked around with File systems, name such as JFFS2,JFFS3 etc reminded strongly of reiserfs -> the filesystem that made ext2fs look crap.. Now.. this!!

Signed-off-by: Nishanth Menon

Essentially.. get ur ipods and shared drives ready.. internet stations are dying!!!


Lol.. intel understands it today??? but then the media was always slow compared to research community..

Open Kerala Project:

Will the Open Kerala become Open Karela (bittergord in Hindi)?? Knowing the place where i was born, it is going to be interesting...

It is still to be seen if this is a political gimmick or a political will!! For those who know the story of maveli, it is tux coming for Onam!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

TI sells DSL unit;262730519;fp;4;fpid;319049444


Business :
--Programmer shortage: A problem, but what kind? How bad? And how to
solve it?--
Convinced that the software programmer crisis is due to fewer college
students coming into technical fields, Jack Ganssle points to "stark
numbers" that have convinced him of the urgency of the problem.

--Five chipmakers control 32% of manufacturing, says analyst--
Samsung, TSMC, Intel, Toshiba, and UMC had the five largest shares of
the world's chip manufacturing capacity at the end of 2006, with a
combined capacity of just over 2.9 million 200-mm equivalent wafer per
month. They accounted for 32 percent of total wafer capacity as of
year-end 2006, according to market research company IC Insights.

--Big shakeup predicted in flash memory markets--
The market for trapped charge and phase change memories is set to
outpace many other flash memory sectors and capture a 30.7 share of
the $56.5 billion market in 2012, according to market research group
Web-Feet Research Inc.

--Intel to get more bang for 45-nm buck --
With its new fab and capital efficiency programs in place, Intel Corp.
is readying a massive shift towards 45-nm chip production.

--WirelessHD readies 60-GHz spec--
The WirelessHD group has released its specification for 60-GHz radios
for short range, high bandwidth home networking for final review.

--To save power, embedded tries multicore --
Like their microprocessor-making cousins in the X86-based PC world,
suppliers of high-end embedded processors appear to be raising the
white flag in the breakneck megahertz race.

--Behind the curtain at Intel research--
The chip vendor rolls out research prototypes in chips, mobile
computing, and tera-scale computing.

--Make sure your projects succeed--
How to prevent your bright ideas and hard work from going the way of
the wastebasket.

--Why I Became an Engineer--
Why did you become an engineer?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Star UML- Finally a worthwhile Opensource OOAD tool

People who know me, know my love for UML. Ever since I used it for my Master's project, I have been a fan of UML. After years of experimentation between Visio and Rational Rose(depending on the resources available to the project I worked on), I have always felt that Rational Rose took the prize! In my opinion, opensource was always lagging behind. I played with ArgoUML, KUML, Dia and bunch of other projects, never got convinced.. Today, the search began again, since my Rational Rose 98 License expired and I was lazy to contact IT for getting a new one.. Then hit this deadly project: Star UML. Love its capability - a cross between Visio and Rational Rose. It can read my Rose MDL files, generate C++ code and overall pretty usefull..

  • Formatting Options -> For someone who plays with usecases, aligning them properly was a pain in Rational Rose, easy on Visio..
  • Ability to generate code easily (unlike Grr.. Rational rose which needs a deployment and component view to do anything useful)
  • Simple plain interface - pretty intutive
  • Supports patterns -> though I did not find any which I could integrate..


  • Despite the "open" nature, a bunch of properiotory stuff is required.. Delphi based..
  • C is not supported -> this is my biggest gripe so far.. I am a device driver writer on a slightly complex diagnostics at the moment.. though there are claims of extensibility... it is not something I can pitch up in an hour or so.
  • If you want to say that a function x returns unsigned char, duh... after hours of searching.. I found that U need to add a parameter, set it to unsigned char, and set the direction as Return.. (RTFM Nishanth...But then.. Manual is sketchy...)
  • Lack of large number of plug in modules.. I guess Delphi puts a cramp on development.. but there seems to be half a dozen of modules around.. some hardcore folks I guess..


Nice thing to use if you are stuck without Rational Rose. Better than Visio.. still to mature.. but it is a project to really keep a watch on.. Maybe sometime later I'd get sometime to create a C module and write a document on how to use it do design a device driver for Linux.. hmm.. maybe add a couple of RT patterns also??

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Duh!! vats x-loader man??

From u boot mailing list - one lil nugget of a link:

At least the concepts remain same for all platforms... they might miss a little bit on certificates etc..

Oh by the way, Mentor Graphics is sponsoring how they "empowered" USB on TI's DaVinci processor, next month on embedded magazine!! grok brok pow mow...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thought experiments

For someone of physics background... this news is interesting:

Future vehicles:

Friday, June 15, 2007

some pretty interesting news

For those who have seen Tesla in the movie Prestige will enjoy this:

--Wibree becomes Ultra Low Power Bluetooth--The Bluetooth Special Interest Group and Wibree forum are merging in amove that makes the Nokia pioneered ultra low power wirelesstechnology part of the Bluetooth specification as an ultra low powerBluetooth technology.

--Intel details R&D on multi-core--In a handful of recent technical papers, Intel Corp. is disclosingmore details about its research into the future of multi-coreprocessors.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

russel's ettiquette!!!
Love his spelling...

If you reply to a message, avoid top-posting like this:
Thank you for
your reply. Wouldn't it be a better idea to
-----Original Message-----
From: Alice []
Sent: Tuesday,
January 11, 2005 8:47 PM
To: Bob
Cc: linux-arm-kernel
Subject: Re: What
is foo supposed to do?
It's to make sure bar does not eat the

OSS opensourced

For those folks interested in audio drivers... ALSA Vs OSS debate rolls
on... Thread: