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Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken." The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack. Read more Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation

Android Leftovers

Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE

Long-time readers of the Linux distribution reviews on this blog know that I am a fan of Linux Mint, but I have had somewhat mixed experiences with KDE. When I've reviewed a new release of Linux Mint, I have occasionally reviewed its KDE edition in addition to its GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce editions, generally finding that the KDE edition has too many minor bugs and not enough compelling features compared to the more mainstream editions. Apparently the Linux Mint developers feel similarly, as this is the last release of a KDE edition for Linux Mint; henceforth, they are only releasing MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce editions for a tighter focus on GTK-based DEs and applications. With that in mind, I figured it was worth reviewing a KDE edition of Linux Mint one final time. I tested it on a live USB system made with the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like. Read more

darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release

darktable 2.4 arrived last Christmas with numerous new features and improvements, and now users can update to darktable 2.4.1, a minor maintenance release adding support for new digital cameras, including the Panasonic DC-G9 (4:3), Paralenz Dive Camera, Pentax KP, and Sjcam SJ6 LEGEND. It also adds a new filter rule to the Collect module to allow users to more easily find locally copied images, enables blending and masking in the Hot Pixels module, adds a speed boost to the Grain module, implements a debug print when compiling OpenCL kernels, and supports stdout handling on Windows systems. Read more