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PC World reports that Coverity (a company that sells software to find code bugs and anomalies  in commercially released software) has found 359 software "defects," 88 of which are critical in the Linux kernel version that runs on the HTC Incredible.  I say they probably didn't find them all.  The Linux kernel -- like all software -- has bugs, some more harmless that others.  What we all need to think about is what Coverity isn't saying -- these bugs can be found and fixed because the Linux kernel is open-source, and comparable bugs can be found in any software, including the software running on whatever smartphone is in our hands at the moment.  Like everything else, tacking the word "Android" onto something makes it news.

Kernel bugs are bad, but they certainly don't equal any type of real world exploit, and unless you hand your phone over to someone with a development computer and a USB cable, you're probably safe.  [PCWorld via Android Central Forums]

 

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88 high-risk bugs found in Linux kernel (And why we're not really worried)

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I just read this, and realized using the comments around the word defects makes it appear I'm trivializing them. That wasn't my intention at all. The word is in quotes because I'm using it as a catch-all to describe the issues in the kernel.

Since Linux is open source, it is far, far easier for people to find potential bugs and correct them. Plus they are corrected far faster than with proprietary (closed) operating systems. Yay!

I'm unclear about something regarding "these bugs can be found and fixed because the Linux kernel is open-source". Don't most phone companies using Android take the open source code, modify it for their devices, and then lock users from being able to take advantage of the benefits that the open source model offers? Isn't that why a bunch of people are stuck using old versions of Android while waiting/hoping that the vendor releases a new version? Note I'm talking about the general user here, not the tech folks that are happy to hack/root/jailbreak/etc their devices to go their own way...

If that is the case, then it seems to me that the situation for many android users is just the same is it would be for those who are using more proprietary operating systems. In other words, it's open source, coated with proprietary lock down...

I'm happy to be corrected though if my understanding is inaccurate.