Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Hans Reiser: Once a Linux Visionary, Now Accused of Murder

Filed under

Hans Reiser is waiting for me, standing on the other side of an imitation-wood table. The room is small, the concrete walls bare. A guard locks the steel door from the outside. There is no sound. Reiser is wearing the red jumpsuit of a prisoner in solitary confinement, though he has been allowed to meet with me in this chilly visiting room. There was a time when he was known as a cantankerous but visionary open source programmer. His work was funded by the government; he was widely credited (and sometimes reviled) for rethinking the structure of the Linux operating system. Now he is known as prisoner BFP563.

I stick out my hand. It's an awkward moment — his wrists are chained to his waist. It's mid-December now, and he's been in this jail 40 miles east of San Francisco for two months, ever since the Alameda County District Attorney's office accused him of murdering Nina Reiser, his estranged wife. The police found drops of her blood in Reiser's house and car, and, when they picked him up on an Oakland street to swab his mouth for DNA, he was carrying his passport and $8,960 in cash in a fanny pack. At the police station, they photographed his body for signs of scratches or bruises. None were found. By this time, though, he had been under surveillance for three weeks. The police had followed him on foot, tailed his car, and even tracked him by airplane. On October 10, he was arrested, locked up, and, days later, charged with murder. (His trial is set to begin in July.) His only visitors have been his lawyers and his parents. I'm the first new face he's seen from the outside world.

I'm here because his defense lawyer thinks I will understand Reiser.

More Here.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers

Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance. Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Read more

PlayStation 4 hacked again? Linux shown running on 4.01 firmware

Hackers attending the GeekPwn conference in Shanghai have revealed a new exploit for PlayStation 4 running on the 4.01 firmware. In a live demo you can see below, once again the Webkit browser is utilised in order to inject the exploit, which - after a conspicuous cut in the edit - jumps to a command line prompt, after which Linux is booted. NES emulation hilarity courtesy of Super Mario Bros duly follows. Assuming the hack is authentic - and showcasing it at GeekPwn makes the odds here likely - it's the first time we've seen the PlayStation 4's system software security compromised since previous holes in the older 1.76 firmware came to light, utilised by noted hacker group fail0verflow in the first PS4 Linux demo, shown in January this year. Read more Also: 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided' Coming To Linux In November, Mac Port On Hold