Phones are running old Linux kernels

The Linux kernel evolves constantly and +Linus Torvalds​ is the person who makes the new versions by deciding which new code makes it or not.
The current Linux stable release is Linux 4.3, from November 1st 2015.
Linux 4.4 is in development of course, this is an constant process.

Android phones and other embedded devices are usually not running the latest and greatest however.
Take for example Android device:
Which kernel is yours running?

Linux 3.0: 21 July 2011
Linux 3.4: 20 May 2012
Linux 3.10: 30 June 2013

Right here I have Nexus phones and tablets running all of these.
– Nexus S doesn't receive any update anymore since Android 4.1.2: Linux 3.0
– Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013, each running latest Marshmallow: Linux 3.4
– Nexus 9, latest Marshmallow: Linux 3.10

Even the newest one is 2.5 years old: how comes?
The article and its comments develop on that.

Discussion on Hacker News:

#supercurioBlog #Linux

Running a mainline kernel on a cellphone []
One of the biggest freedoms associated with free software is the ability to replace a program with an updated or modified version. Even so, of the many millions of people using Linux-powered phones, few are able to run a mainline kernel on those phones, even if they have the technical skills to …

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At least one reason for the Galaxy View

This article on +Engadget​​ received quite a few comments and some of them are very useful to complete the opinion shared by the reviewer.

I particularly like this one, from Agrajaga

Ah, the continued confusion of people with a lack of perspective — in this case older eyes. For me, this is perfect. I already own the older 12.1" Note Pro and it's "too small". This is much more fun to have around for my uses (games and shows while in bed and on the road).

It's common that when you're young or middle age and have good enough vision, you can't imagine the difficulty to read and interact with most technologies for those who do not.
And maybe the Galaxy View is a simple and efficient response for that.

10" tablet? nope. 12" tablet? still too small.
18.4" tablet? Yeah I can see again! And I use a tablet like everyone else!

I remember when my beloved grandpa had his eyes slowly failing on him after 90 years old. As a writer and avid reader it made him sad to let go of another of his favorite activities.
Fortunately he could find as replacement great radio shows giving a voice to the philosophers, scientists and minds he liked to get inspiration from (on France Inter and France Culture for those from here)

Because his mind always stayed as sharp as ever and as he lived up to 95 years old he never lost his curiosity or desire to learn.

Nowadays a lot of content is available online only, and it's a trend that'll only continue.

Who knows, it might be the same when I'll get old. If I was today I would be happy to get a stupidly large tablet to read blogs, Hacker News, watch YouTube, interact with people on social media, write some stuff and be able to use touch apps almost like anyone else on a portable device.

Not such a bad solution for accessibility, this Galaxy View!


I just don’t understand why Samsung’s Galaxy View exists
Even after two weeks, finding a good use case for Samsung’s giant Galaxy View was difficult.

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Google Fit: fixed

In a new update today, Google fixed the missing actions in the previous one I mentioned 2 days ago.

It appears they simply forgot the FAB (Floating Action Button).

Now this is more usable, with the ability to enter an activity or your weight 😊

#supercurioBlog #fitness


In Album 19/11/2015

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Strange Google Fit evolution

Google fit had this convenient menu entry named "Log your weight", which is something I do about every day for a few years.
I'm using the Android app Libra as well. It is actually much better than Google Fit at weight tracking thanks to adequate data smoothing, giving a better idea on how your weight is evolving.

Google Fit uses your weight for calories calculations however so it's a good idea to keep it up to date.

But Google removed the "Log your weight" access in latest Fit app update.
Version 1.55.41-008


#supercurioBlog #fitness


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Black and white in color trick

It's amazing how many seconds the effect lasts (and how true they appear) as long as you keep looking precisely at the dot.

In case you were wondering if you can use your eyes as instrument to calibrate displays, well.. let's say they're not the best tool for that 😀
– You can't access the RAW data from the sensors
– There's too much processing in the brain and even before that at the biological level.

Fascinating 🙂

Via +PetaPixel

#supercurioBlog #color #video #vision

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You heard this sample too

Whoa, mind blown!
Even I used this sample when making music in Fast Tracker 2 as a teenager 😀

Following the links from this article:

And discussion on Hacker News, about this famous "Amen Break"

#supercurioBlog #music

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What sense make of tonight Paris attacks, if any?

Early stories told by victims who escaped some of the attacks we can hear on French news contain an indication of a motive: payback.

More specifically, payback via killing and terror as an act of war, perceived by them as legitimate following the armed involvement of France in Syria and against ISIS.
That's what they said.

With more than a hundred people killed and several simultaneous armed attacks against civilians, targeting symbolic places like the Stade de France (Football which is the most popular sport, symbol of victories and cultural unification) or the Bataclan (a small concert hall, symbol of culture, reputed for the magic intimacy artists find here with their audience) as much as people, this event still ongoing is the largest terrorist attack in France to date.

I can't tell if this justification by payback instead of mainly ideological really is significant.
After all, those who commit barbaric acts, leading to their own death have to justify them to themselves somehow.
It could be significant, differentiating then what happened tonight from Charlie Hebdo previous events.

In case it is significant, it is a reminder that France army is indeed at war in foreign countries and against multiple groups including Islamic ones.

Actually, France was close to go to war against Assad in Syria several years ago with the idea of saving civilians mass murdered by a dictator and help the democratic opposition to establish a legitimate replacement government.
It turned out that the situation wasn't quite so simple, and after failing to convince other countries to follow it didn't happen.

After that, France's army got involved in Mali, since January 2013.

Now, France has started bombing targets like ISIS training centers in Syria, since September 25 2015.

I can only observe that my country is not a neutral one.
Instead, it tends to enter armed conflicts when asked to by foreigners demanding help when crimes against humanity and mass killings happen.
I think it does with reasonably sincere goals to protect human rights more than plain political or economic self-interest. France has a tradition of action to protect human rights.
A majority or French people are against war however. They also learned their lessons from a colonial history on not trying to "civilize" other countries.

But France is still involved in wars.
And tonight's attacks might be one among many acts of the distant war happening in Syria French citizens do not really see or live until now.

What I hope is that the French government won't run into more paranoia. The ongoing direction for Internet surveillance is bad enough already.
I hope that the French government won't be trying at any cost to prevent new attacks by punishing the local population for the consequences of a war fought distantly.
Won't be trying to provide an impossible security at the cost of freedom and privacy.

I see that other European countries put more resources into welcoming refugees, less into armed conflicts.
Maybe it's a safer approach. Maybe it's a better one.

Still providing help to other human beings in need by making an effort to share a better environment, instead of leaving them trapped into the insanity of war or oppressive regimes.
But doing so in another way that getting involved in the same violence and insanity.
Because as we can see, through such interference we end up bringing the insanity back home at some point.

It's true welcoming refugees is not the easiest thing for everyone, but tonight events might be a reason to reconsider current France's approach to human rights protection and peace.


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Android high privileges exploit from Chrome

A Chinese security researcher presented an exploit leading to privilege escalation from simple website, through a V8 Javascript VM vulnerability.
This is the most critical type of vulnerability you can expect, since a payload can reach millions of users in very little time through a malicious ad, one thing the web appear to have the most difficulty avoiding even on reputable websites.

This presentation happened during the Japanse conference named PacSec, from a speaker named Guang Gong.
The page lists his intervention as:

"Exploiting Heap Corruption due to Integer Overflow in Android libcutils — Escalate privilege by vulnerabilities in Android system services" Guang Gong, Qihoo 360,@oldfresher
How to exploit CVE20151528 to get system_server permission in Android.

You can wait until the patch reaches +Google Chrome stable at some point – and it will be worth tracking when since the disclosure was made responsibly.
If security is of high importance for you +Mozilla Firefox might be a strong alternative today.

The Register: I know, not the best source, feel free to suggest others on this one 😉

Via +Engadget

#supercurioBlog #security

Latest Android phones hijacked with tidy one-stop-Chrome-pop
Chinese researcher burns exploit for ski trip.

Source post on Google+

Android Wear app update: feedback not encouraging

And why would they remove the battery stats?
It's the function I use the most in the app…
Maybe Google noticed that people were using it quite a bit (including to share their disappointment) and wants people to focus on other things instead.
I don't have any other theories.

So no update for now, I disabled automatic updates on the package.

#supercurioBlog #battery #AndroidWear


In Album 2015-11-11

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T-Mobile vision of net neutrality

Today, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced a list of video services that some customers will be able to stream off-quota.
For services missing from this list, the same customers are supposed to pledge the US carrier to add them.

Everyone seem to rejoice because they get more than before for the same price, which seems like a good deal.

To really rejoice however, you need to you factor out:

– US carriers are more expensive than most of European ones in price/GB of data with equivalent contracts.
T-Mobile could add more data for everyone, or lower the prices for everyone, right now. But no, the benefit concerns only a few manually-selected websites/companies it and keeps the prices and quotas as they are.

– Notice the absence of both +YouTube and +Vimeo in the list today. Don't you think those two matter in the video streaming landscape? What could possibly justify the fact they're missing in the initial list.
They both have a premium paid option, they both compete for dollars and attention with +Netflix or any other in this list.
But they're not T-Mobile approved, that's how things are.

– Concerning the remaining 99.9% of other websites, today, T-Mobile says: If they meet our requirements, we’ll investigate the feasibility of adding them. No one pays to join and no money is exchanged
* The requirements and investigation are completely opaque.
* No money is exchanged today according to them. Good luck finding out if there's not another kind of compensation. And what guarantees that next year T-Mobile will require a fee – or something else to all of these services: nothing at all.
* Do you really want your carrier to pre-approve one way or another the websites you're supposed to visit?
* How would you ask T-Mobile to add your favorite website to the list? You just need to beg them in public on Twitter. Free marketing, and.. fantastic privacy as well.

I mean, did everyone already forgot about the net-neutrality 101?
Free stuff ! Yay!!
I would suggest to think a little bit long term here before placing yet another US carrier in a position of unnecessary influence and power.

#supercurioBlog #critic

Binge On Streaming Video List
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