T2000KW writes "You may have read or heard about the problem some Linux kernels had with with USB devices not working. Some ditros worked hard at fixing the problem as soon as they realized that a feature for laptops enabled in the kernel caused problems on the USB port for some devices.
The Ubuntu bug reporting forum (https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/85488) had lots of chatter on this since the release of "Feisty Fawn" back in April of this year. There was mention of the Ubuntu Manifesto, which claims to make software usable by everyone, despite any handicaps they have, etc. Not having even basic support for many USB scanners certainly disables a critical feature of the OS for many people.
In that forum I mentioned the possibility of someone else writing articles for Slashdot and other tech news web sites to let the public know about this and Mr. Shuttleworth suddenly showed up in that forum. It was very soon after that some people in Ubuntu development started paying attention to the problem, gathering specifics on which USB scanners and other devices were not working, and it appears that a fix is on the way for inclusion in the next release, "Gutsy Gibbons" (who makes these names up, anyway?) :-)
It would be a shame for such a popular distribution of Linux to become unpopular due to something like this, and I personally hope that this bug gets fixed soon, perhaps even in an update for the current version of Feisty. It is rumored in the Ubuntu community that if Mark Shuttleworth gets involved, it's a simple matter of him saying "make it so" and it gets done. It appears that the developers now have that directive to "make it so" and get the bug fixed. Read the but reporting forum for a long thread on this topic and links to related bugs. I was impressed that Mark personally got involved in this mostly overlooked problem."