On my Toshiba laptop, Ubuntu does seem to be able to hard blocking/unblocking the wifi card.
I dual-boot with Windows 7 and usually I leave wifi on. However, yesterday I disabled wifi while using Windows and when I rebooted into Ubuntu, I couldn't unblock the wifi. I had to reboot into Windows to re-enable the wifi.
rfkill unblock all and
rfkill block all do not work for the hardware switch. Fn + F8 toggles the soft block of the wifi, whereas on Windows it toggles the hardware switch.
This is the result of
lspci | Network
04:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
Is there a way to enable Ubuntu to hard block/unblock the wifi card?