Tuesday 21 July 2009

Google Android porting on x86 - UPDATE

Google Android version 1.5 (Cupcake) has been ported on the ASUS EeePc 701.
Two members of Google Groups, beyounn and cwhuang01 created a Google Code group named Android-x86, in which we are "branching" the original Google Android source code in order to obtain an updated, fully featured and working OS.
We were trying to make Cupcake boot on different NetBooks and/or VirtualBox VMs. So we decided to merge our works.
Current status:
  • Intel on-board VGA is working (with 2.6.30 Kernel it is possible to set the right resolution)
  • GPS USB Serial device is correctly binded to OS
  • LAN 100Mbit Network Adapter is working (both DHCP and static configuration)
  • WiFi Atheros 5k Network Adapter is working (both DHCP and static configuration)
  • USB Mouse (software mouse) and/or Keyboard works
  • USB Pen Drive or Memory reader can be mounted as SD Card
  • Audio is working (ALSA was not working due to a rebuild mistake in the Android Make System)
  • OpenGL-ES are going to be supported, there's a group of developers sharing their code here

Firefox 3.5.1 still exposing bugs

Firefox 3.5.1 represents a step towards a faster browser.
Several benchmarks show Safari 4, Opera 10 and Chrome as the fastest browsers on the market - I heard "Webkit rules" - and they only seem to lack in the plug-ins feature.
I'm not taking into account IE X.x because... I think it already exists only because is bundled into the most common OS in the world. And there's no reason to use it.

Anyway... After the first exploit (more here) soon patched by Mozilla team, we got a bug in JavaScript engine, not well managed in 3.5.1.
The issue is well described here and this time it is not useful for executing code (at the moment), but "only" for a DoS.
Possible workaround? Disable JavaScript, No-Script plug-in or switch to the older JavaScript engine from about:config, disabling javascript.options.jit.content. Choosing the 3rd option, there will be a drop in the overall performances of Firefox.