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Matthew Garrett
Works at Nebula
Attended University of Cambridge
Lived in Cambridge
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Education
  • University of Cambridge
    Genetics, 1998 - 2001
  • University of Cambridge
    Genetics, 2004 - 2008
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Male
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Married
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Occupation
Software
Employment
  • Nebula
    Security, 2012 - present
  • Red Hat
    Software, 2008 - 2012
  • Canonical
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Previously
Cambridge - London - Omagh - Boston

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Matthew Garrett

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Lenovo are dreadful, but let's not ignore our own failings
So blah blah Superfish blah blah trivial MITM everything's broken. Lenovo deserve criticism. The level of incompetence involved here is so staggering that it wouldn't be a gross injustice for the company to go under as a result[1]. But let's not pretend that this is some sort of isolated ...
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I'm kind of afraid of what will happen when my Nexus 5 dies outside of warranty. It did die inside of warranty (thanks, EU, for mandating longer warranties!) and I got a defective refurbished Nexus 5 replacement (sitting on my desk now) that needs to be replaced with another refurbished Nexus 5 (hopefully not defective this time).

But what should happen after the N5? A (too-huge) Nexus 6? or non-Nexus — which is probably asking for problems (depending on manufacturer).

There's always Firefox OS, I suppose, but I'd lose at least ½ the functionality of the device. (But it is really the best option for something closest to a working, functional, kinda-close to Free Software phone. Sadly, it does depend on blobs like everything else (sigh), but at least the OS itself is developed in the open. Runner up would be the Ubuntu phone, which suffers from some of the same issues.)

It would be super-nice if we could have a friendly, open source, open hardware pocket computer that has Internet access and not have to run proprietary software on it for video and networking.
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Matthew Garrett

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I did some rough numerical analysis of Hacker News story ranking and found that stories connected with social issues tended to be penalised.
I'm not a huge fan of Hacker News[1]. My impression continues to be that it ends up promoting stories that align with the Silicon Valley narrative of meritocracy, technology will fix everything, regulation is the cancer killing agile startups, and discouraging stories that suggest that the world ...
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Thank you for doing this. I'm curious as to how this is going to shake out. Something interesting on the LJ commentary so far is the idea that social issues are off-topic, which I find interesting in that we all need to work together for a healthy ecosystem and I would personally place social issues with the same weight as hard technical.
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Matthew Garrett

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Supporting ACPI isn't just a matter of adding the code, it's a matter of exposing a consistent interface to the firmware. On x86 we achieve that by copying whatever Windows does. How are we going to cope on ARM?
ACPI is a complicated specification - the latest version is 980 pages long. But that's because it's trying to define something complicated: an entire interface for abstracting away hardware details and making it easier for an unmodified OS to boot diverse platforms.
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+John Dulaney Yea, I hope this work will help x86 too.
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Matthew Garrett

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How to set up a Nexus device so it'll only run OS images signed by the owner. (Spoiler: it's awkward)
The security model on the Google Nexus devices is pretty straightforward. The OS is (nominally) secure and prevents anything from accessing the raw MTD devices. The bootloader will only allow the user to write to partitions if it's unlocked. The recovery image will only permit you to install ...
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+David Alan Gilbert Once you have to build your own tools, I think it's fair to say that it's not straightforward
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Apple firmware is a little special. I think I've got it to behave reasonably now.
I wrote about Thunderbolt on Apple hardware a while ago. Since then Andreas Noever has somehow managed to write a working Thunderbolt stack, which awesome! But there was still the problem I mentioned of the device not appearing unless you passed acpi_osi="Darwin" on the kernel command line, ...
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Until they go and change it on you.
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Matthew Garrett

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Discussion of how Red Hat's external response to removing (and reinstating) Piston as a Red Hat Summit sponsor is less important than their internal response
Piston, an Openstack-in-a-box vendor[1] are a sponsor of the Red Hat[2] Summit this year. Last week they briefly ceased to be for no publicly stated reason, although it's been sugggested that this was in response to Piston winning a contract that Red Hat was also bidding on.
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Matthew Garrett

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Some discussion of what Intel Boot Guard actually means for users
PC World wrote an article on how the use of Intel Boot Guard by PC manufacturers is making it impossible for end-users to install replacement firmware such as Coreboot on their hardware. It's easy to interpret this as Intel acting to restrict competition in the firmware market, but the reality ...
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http://www.apress.com/9781430265719 describes Boot Guard in detail, incl. who signs what and what is burnt into fuses (even though the location of the fuses is still somewhat unclear).

Also http://patrick.georgi-clan.de/2015/02/17/intel-boot-guard/ for an alternative way to work with current-era Boot Guard, that should handle the security vs. freedom issue.
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Matthew Garrett

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Why I think joining the FSF board was important, and why I hope it wasn't a mistake
I joined the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation a couple of weeks ago. I've been travelling a bunch since then, so haven't really had time to write about it. But since I'm currently waiting for a test job to finish, why not? It's impossible to overstate how important free ...
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was it extremely offensive? Sorry for that.
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"No video?!?"
Spoiled brat
(want to hear narration for pages 7-12)
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Other community organisations should use this as a learning experience - communities need to be able to trust their leaders, and leaders need to be aware of that.
A post I wrote back in 2012 got linked from a couple of the discussions relating to Brendan Eich being appointed Mozilla CEO. The tldr version is "If members of your community doesn't trust their leader socially, the leader's technical competence is irrelevant". That seems to have played out ...
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Thank you for your response!

One of our developers is working on support for EFI - https://github.com/tqh/haiku/tree/efi
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Matthew Garrett

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I would be testing some Thunderbolt code, but I seem to have lost the only Thunderbolt device that I own…
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If it helps I could send my Ethernet adapter :)
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Matthew Garrett

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Someone mentioned me in a comment in the Linux community and I had to join it to reply and now oh Jesus all the Linux posts
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Ha, I won't join a Community.
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