Monday you had a chance to ask Linus Torvalds any question you wanted. We sent him a dozen of the highest rated and below you'll see what he has to say about computers, programming, books, and copyrights. He also talks about what he would have done differently with Linux if he had to do it all over again. Hint: it rhymes with nothing.
Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.
jbrodkin writes "Linux and ARM developers have clashed over what's been described as a 'United Nations-level complexity of the forks in the ARM section of the Linux kernel.' Linus Torvalds addressed the issue at LinuxCon this week on the 20th anniversary of Linux, saying the ARM platform has a lot to learn from the PC. While Torvalds noted that 'a lot of people love to hate the PC,' the fact that Intel, AMD, and hardware makers worked on building a common infrastructure 'made it very efficient and easy to support.' ARM, on the other hand, 'is missing it completely,' Torvalds said. 'ARM is this hodgepodge of five or six major companies and tens of minor companies making random pieces of hardware, and it looks like they're taking hardware and throwing it at a wall and seeing where it sticks, and making a chip out of what's stuck on the wall.'"
The NY Times has a Bits Blog piece speculating on some of the fallout if the FTC prevails in its anti-competition lawsuit against Intel. The Times picks out two among the 26 remedies proposed by the regulator, and concludes that they add up to Nvidia being able to license x86 technology. This could open up 3-way competition in the market for combined CPU-graphics chips. There is a good deal of circumstantial evidence pointing to the possibility that Nvidia has been working on x86 technology since 2007, including the presence on its employment rolls of more than 70 former Transmeta workers.
desmondhaynes sends along a posting from the TechWatch blog detailing the sale of Transmeta (most recently discussed here). Linus moved ten time-zones west, from Finland to Santa Clara, CA, to join Transmeta in March 1997, before this community existed. Here is our discussion of the announcement of the Crusoe processor from 2000. Our earliest discussion of Transmeta was the 13th Slashdot story. "Transmeta, once a sparkling startup that set out to beat Intel and AMD in mobile computing, announced that it will be acquired by Novafora. The company's most famous employee, Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, kept the buzz and rumor mill about the company throughout its stealth phase alive and guaranteed a flashy technology announcement in early 2000. Almost nine years later Transmeta's journey is over." Update: 11/21 16:25 GMT by KD : It's not the 13th Slashdot story, only the 13th currently in the database. We lost the first 4 months at one point.
arcticstoat writes "After giving up on the CPU manufacturing business in 2005, low-power CPU designer Transmeta has announced that it's up for sale. In a statement, the processor company that brought us the mobile Crusoe and Efficeon series of CPUs said that it has 'initiated a process to seek a potential sale of the Company.' The announcement came straight after Transmeta reached a legal agreement with Intel over Transmeta's intellectual property and patents, which includes Intel making a one-off payment of $91.5 million US to Transmeta before the end of this month, as well as annual payments of $20 million US every year from 2009 through 2013."
parvenu74 writes "A story from Infoworld is suggesting that the days of Windows are numbered and that Microsoft is preparing a web-based operating system code-named Midori as a successor. Midori is reported to be an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, an all-managed code microkernel OS which leverages a technology called software isolated processes (SIPs) to overcome the traditional inter-thread communications issues of microkernel OSes."
trouserless writes with the news that AMD has invested heavily in Transmeta. The power-conscious chip company has been financially ailing of late. AMD is taking payment in stock, binding the two companies (both with suits pending against Intel) together. PC World reports: "Transmeta did secure a few licensing deals, notably in Japan, but it also wracked up heavy losses. In January 2005 the vendor announced job cuts and said it would switch its focus to licensing its power management technology to other companies. Later that year Transmeta agreed to sell its Crusoe chips to Hong Kong company Culturecom Technology Ltd. for $15 million in cash. Last year's deal with AMD, to resell Transmeta chips in Microsoft Corp.'s pay-by-installment PC initiative, raised the vendor's prospects again. But in March Transmeta said it faced delisting from the Nasdaq because its stock price fell below $1 for more than 30 consecutive days."
An anonymous reader writes "After being sued by Transmeta for patent infringement last year, the fangs are out at Intel. In a suit filed in Delaware, Intel claims Transmeta has infringed on 7 of its patents. The whole saga revolves around chips designed to be energy efficient."
Cr0w T. Trollbot writes "Today Transmeta filed suit against Intel for patent infringement. From the article: 'The suit [...] alleges that Intel infringed upon ten of Transmeta's patents. The patents cover computer architecture and power efficiency technologies.' Transmeta offered a low-power x86 processor until last year which used Transmeta's vaunted 'code morphing' software."
InfoWorldMike writes "InfoWorld.com reports that AMD will resell Transmeta's chip for Microsoft's pay-as-you-go PCs. Transmeta said that they had struck an exclusive arrangement for AMD to brand the specialized Efficeon chip under their own name and resell it worldwide. AMD plans to use Microsoft FlexGo and its Efficeon deal with Transmeta as part of its 50X15 initiative, which aims to build a global network of partners and business models to help connect 50 percent of the world's population to the Internet by 2015." From the article "For the first time, Transmeta and the Efficeon technology will have the brand and power and reach of AMD," said Art Swift, president and chief executive officer of Transmeta. "[Our goal is] to reach as many consumers in the world as possible in emerging markets."
Ashutosh Lotlikar wrote to mention an article on the Business 2.0 site stating that chip producer Transmeta is going out of business. From the article: "The company's Crusoe family of microprocessors promised lower power consumption and heat generation, enabling the creation of laptops with longer battery life. Critics bashed the chips for being underpowered compared with Intel's latest and greatest. Transmeta struggled to find a market, and recently it sold off most of its chipmaking business for $15 million to Culturecom Holdings, a Hong Kong company better known for publishing comic books."
Autoversicherung writes "Transmeta, once the darling of Silicon Valley, employer of Linus Torvalds and heralded as the new Intel is facing bleak times. Having $53.7 million in cash and short-term investments in its coffers, enough for just under two quarter's worth of operations and a reported net loss of $28.1 million and revenues of $11.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2004 the company's future is everything but certain. Will the planned restructuring to a pure IP company help?"
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article at LinuxDevices there's a new fanless digital entertainment center reference design based on Linux and the MythTV open source DVR (digital video recorder) software. The 'Royal Linux Media Center' runs ESG's Royal Linux OS on a Transmeta development board based on its Efficeon chip. Linux has been increasingly popular in DVRs and PVRs, with examples including TiVo (of course), HP's recently unveiled Linux media hub, i3's Mood box, Interact-TV's Telly, Siemens' Speedstream, VWB's MediaReady 4000, Amino's AmiNet500, Sharp's Galileo, Dream-Multimedia-Tv's Dreambox, NEC's AX10, and Sony's CoCoon, to name a few."
chill writes "C-Net is reporting that CPU upstart Transmeta, once the employer of Linus Torvalds and maker of 'Code Morphing' processors, is contemplating leaving the chip manufacturing business. Already their IP licensing revenue exceeds that of their microprocessor sales, though both are dwarfed by their recurring quarterly losses."
NobodyButMe writes "Transmetazone.com has posted a link to a 'world-exclusive' IBASE MB860 review on EpiaCenter.com. This appears to be the first review of a Mini-ITX board built around Transmeta's efficeon technology. Transmeta has also approved this board to be the official reference platform for the TM8600 processor and if you take a look at the benchmark results in the review (page 4) then you'll understand why as VIA's EPIA-M10K board looks quite pale in comparison. The review also adresses issues such as power consumption, temperatures and thermal throttling - three very interesting points when looking at the Efficeon processors. If the MB860 weren't so expensive (~500$ or something as it's aimed at the 'industrial market') then this could easily beat the EPIA boards (IMHO)."
yerdaddie writes "The just-released Transmeta TM8800 has been integrated into a new ultraportable from Sharp. The smaller 90nm variety clocks and performs better than the older 130nm TM86XX Efficeons. It also seems the Orion Multisystems personal clusters discussed earlier on slashdot will be built around this processor variant. Hopefully Transmeta will be releasing a developer kit soon for eager hardware hackers."
Roland Piquepaille writes "A small Santa Clara-based company, Orion Multisystems, today unveils a new concept in computing, 'cluster workstations.' In October, you'll be able to choose between a 12-processor unit for less than $10,000 or a 96-processor system for less than $100,000. These new systems are powered by Efficeon processor from Transmeta and are running Fedora Linux version 2.6.6. Apparently, this new company has friends in the industry. You already can read articles in CNET News.com ("A renaissance for the workstation?"), the New York Times ("A PC That Packs Real Power, and All Just for Me," free registration, permanent link) and the Wall Street Journal ("Orion Sees Gold in Moribund Workstations," paid registration). The company is targeting engineers, life scientists and movie animators. It's too early to know if the company can be successful, but I would certainly have to get one of these systems under my desk. In this overview, I've picked the essential details from the three stories mentioned above."