Unfortunately Debian – and i guess the rest of the Linux world as well – users have a pretty hard time finding WIFI and LAN cards but also grafix cards that can run with 100% free software. (FSF! STALLMAN! HELP! )

There are several projects that try to tackle this problem in a more or less cooperative community way:

also the raspberry pi is booting a large binary blob – with no community-oversight.

i still try to find out if the evil file in question – libsec-ril.so – is still in use in http://dwaves.de/software/handy/samsung_galaxy_s3_i9300/cm-12.1-20150406-UNOFFICIAL-i9300.zip

Linus Torvalds has made strong statements on the issue of binary-only modules, asserting: „I refuse to even consider tying my hands over some binary-only module“, and continuing: „I want people to know that when they use binary-only modules, it’s THEIR problem“.[4]

…during the second quarter of 2013, 79.3% of smartphones sold worldwide were running some version of Android,[11] it is clear that the Linux kernel is dominant on smartphones.

Thus hardware developers have a huge incentive to deliver excellent Linux drivers for their hardware, but due to the competition, no incentive what-so-ever to make these driver free and open-source.

There are also some concerns that proprietary drivers may even contain backdoors, like one that was found in Samsung Galaxy series Qualcomm modem modem drivers.[10]

„It’s depending on, if CyanogenMod still uses the original extracted binary file (libsec-ril.so), instead of the open source replacement“ (src)

src: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open-source_graphics_device_driver

The following sample was obtained on a Galaxy Note 2 (N7100) running CyanogenMod 10.1.3.

Sample file

The sample file used for this demonstration (/data/radio/test) is filled with „Hello World!“:
root@android:/ # hexdump -C /data/radio/test
00000000 48 65 6c 6c 6f 20 57 6f 72 6c 64 21 0a |Hello World!.|
0000000d

http://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/SamsungGalaxyBackdoor

http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/replicant-developers-find-and-close-samsung-galaxy-backdoor

update your phone today -> http://www.replicant.us/

Stealth Calls (app could start a call in background without user knowing)

„On several Samsung phone models, unprivileged applications can perform „stealth calls“ (i.e., with no visible clue)“ (src)

Mali GPU Drivers – now open source?

Usually CPU and the GPU are integrated on one die and also share the main memory, which is considerably slower than the distinct graphics memory in graphics cards for Desktop PCs. Yet, this is cheaper, smaller and does benefit power consumption because there are fewer components needed.

The Mali GPU is used in this Open Hardware project eoma68 micro-desktop.

But the crowdfunding site says – it is not well documented – but a laptop without a GUI is a pretty server – but not a laptop 😀

http://linuxgizmos.com/open-source-com-and-carriers-become-3d-printable-computers/

„The Kernel Space Device Drivers are delivered through the Mali Developer in source code form under various different open source licences to allow system builders to integrate the Mali GPU and drivers with the Linux and Android operating systems.“

src: https://developer.arm.com/products/software/mali-drivers/mali-gpu-device-driver-model

https://developer.arm.com/products/software/mali-drivers/display-drivers

THE MIT LICENSE FOR MALI GPUS LINUX EXA/DRI2 AND X11 DISPLAY DRIVERS SOURCE CODE

The use of the Mali-specific EXA/DRI for X11 in user space (“Software”) is derived from or designed for use with code which is subject to the terms of the MIT public license, and is Copyright ARM 2010, together with the other copyright holders identified in the header file.

Copyright (c) 2010 ARM

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of the Software and associated documentation files to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice, and all other copyright notices in the header file and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Links:

https://www.heise.de/ix/meldung/Entwickler-finden-Backdoor-in-Samsung-Geraeten-2141254.html

reverse engineered free drivers – faster than NVIDIA’s

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_nvidia_15way&num=1

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