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Old 04-07-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
John Jay Galt
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screen dimming on Galaxy II android phone 4.0.4 sign of virus?


really loving linux, ubuntu 12.10,on my ancient dell laptop, but for some reason sound is not working. I do not care about that at this minute because most of what I do is text based. But I wonder if screen dimming in general might indicate that a linux os might have been hijacked by virus? Or is it some know glitch? I had an older vers. of ubuntu that did arbitrary dimming after some questionable downloads. Not being familar with much in the way of the command line, I am limited in how much I can do, but I applaud the efforts of the more tech savvy savants to iron out these difficulties. I do not like the android os in general because it usurps the users abiltiy to monitor and to restrict random programs from running on their own whenever they want. If any greybeards happen to see this topic, I would greatly appreciate your seasoned thoughts. Thanks
 
Old 04-08-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
Soadyheid
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Welcome to Linux Questions!

I would assume a dimming screen, whether on a smartphone or a tablet, is more likely to be due to battery charge conservation than any sort of virus. Note also that Linux is a lot less liable to be affected by a virus (mainly Windows based but still possible with Java apps perhaps?)
Dimming still happens on desktop systems even though most have now got LCD screens rather than old CRT ones which dimming/putting-to-sleep was to give the screen a longer life and prevent phosphor burns.

Play Bonny!

 
Old 04-09-2013, 03:04 AM   #3
John Jay Galt
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dimming screen indication of virus

thank you, sir,
after reading several of your posts, I can see you have extensive experience and knowledge, and I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my question. Your answer is probably correct in general, but neglects to say whether you are aware of any specific bugs that are known to cause screen dimming, either on linux distros or android phones. I am probably way out in left field and also have extremely limited understanding of Linux in general, but my sixth sense tells me something strange is happening when the battery is fully charged, and/or connected to power(ac) and in order to see anything, you are forced to go into settings, and try to bring up the brightness. So, in short, have you ever experienced arbitrary screen dimming on any linux distro unrelated to battery/ power saving issues?
 
Old 04-10-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
Soadyheid
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Quote:
have you ever experienced arbitrary screen dimming on any linux distro unrelated to battery/ power saving issues?
The answer is No. BUT...

In relation to your phone especially. Phones tend to have a light sensor built in to the front so they can check the ambient light and adjust the screen brightness automatically. This is all done in hardware/firmware. You can usually set it to Manual rather than Auto and adjust the basic levels. Tablets have a similar mechanism, my Nexus 7's screen can visibly change brightness without my doing anything.

I'd reckon the probability of it being a virus is extremely low as to be non existant.

Play Bonny!

 
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
John Jay Galt
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yes, but

thank you, sir. that sounds right and reasonable, especially for phones, but what about laptops? My hypothesis is that malware could use the screen dimming, or rather your response of making it brighter, to verify that the system is active, and then to monitor it. I know it is totally off the wall, but what made me suspect this is that I had a linux laptop that acquired this trait after some dubious updates. Logically, if there is not a bug, then could it be malware?
 
Old 04-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
Soadyheid
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I still can't see a logical reason for developing a virus or other malware just to play with the display's brightness. You'd more likely use some sort of networking agent to see if a system/laptop was active. Ping's the most basic command I can think of which tells you something with an IP address is "live"
Have you tried your laptop with any other OS or distro? One possibility is that you've a hardware error, something like a bad connection from the motherboard to the screen. Older laptops used small flourescent tubes to side-light the screen. They, or their power supplies, have been known to play up.

Play Bonny!

 
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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Dimming the screen sounds like something power saving tools will do but not a virus. I know on this machine the screen will darken after a couple of minutes of not being used -- while it only does that on battery power I don't see any reason to suppose some do it on mains also. I'm not entirely sure whether it's the OS or the laptop itself that does the dimming either.
The signs of a virus or trojan infection would usually be processor and/or network being used when the machine is supposed to be idle and things like your browser going to an unknown page or not being able to get to certain web sites.
It's also unlikely you'll have any kind of malware on a Linux system unless you have knowingly installed some software from an untrusted source. That's not to say that Linux malware doesn't exist just that it's not all that common.
 
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
John Jay Galt
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thank you kindly gentlemen, perhaps the only dim thing is the working of my mind. My paranoid delusions have no basis or proof,,,I just thought it was strange behaviour for my laptop which has no light sensor, and is always connected to ac power. The mobile phone (samsung Galaxy II, does probably have several reasons (both hardware and software) to dim. But it is extremely irritating that the phone does it randomly and in no particular sequence. My old Dell laptop is working fine now with a fresh install of 12.10 ubuntu and I must say solid as a rock. So I don't know,,I just thought it was a strange coincidence that the old linux install after some dubious downloads exhibited this behavior and my linux based Android phone also had this strange screen dimming trait as well. what does "play bonny" mean?
 
  


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