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Interviews

Torvalds says no need to name successor as that will take care of itself

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Linux creator Linus Torvalds says it won't be necessary for him to name a successor to take over from him as head of the Linux kernel project because "it will be fairly clear who it is".

"Not because this is some democracy and people would vote on it and there's a clear winner, but because these things really happen on their own: a 'successor' isn't somebody who gets anointed as such, they end up just doing the work and making themselves one that way," Torvalds told iTWire during an interview this week.

As usual, he offered views on a wide range of topics, among them the way he has coped with life during the pandemic and also about his life in a country which is split along partisan lines.

He was interviewed by email. His answers are, as usual, given in full.

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'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

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Interviews
GNOME
Legal

Patent assertion entities: do not pick a fight with open source. It won't end well for you. This is the message from GNOME Foundation executive director Neil McGovern, who will speak on the subject at the Open Source Summit Europe next week.

McGovern talked to The Register ahead of the event on patents, Microsoft, and more.

The open-source outfit develops the default desktop environment on major Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Red Hat. In late August 2019, Rothschild Patent Imaging filed a lawsuit against the GNOME foundation claiming that GNOME Shotwell, a photo manager, infringed one of its patents.

“We didn't receive a letter before the court documents were filed or any sort of warning, it was just filed and then within a week there was a settlement request for $75,000,” McGovern told us.

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Fosshost Interview: Open Source Hosting Provider for FOSS Projects

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Interviews

Introduced here at 9to5Linux about four months ago, Fosshost is a not-for-profit hosting provider for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) projects. They offer hosting services like virtualized infrastructure, mirrors, storage, collaboration, and domain name to open-source projects who meet their eligibility criteria.

Among the big names that Fosshost offers its services, there’s Debian GNU/Linux, GNOME, Xfce, The Tor Project, IPFire, Xubuntu, Armbian, Linux Lite, Manjaro Linux, Deepin Linux, FreeCAD, F-Droid, Qubes OS, Serpent OS, Ubuntu Unity, and many more.

I wanted to learn a bit more about this awesome initiative and their future endeavors, so I spoke with Thomas, the Founder of Fosshost.

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Emilia Torino shares what goes into keeping Ubuntu secure

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Interviews
Ubuntu

I’m from Argentina, and I did my undergrad in software engineering here. I worked for Intel in Argentina for six years – first as an intern and then as a fully-fledged software engineer. Then I received a Fulbright scholarship to do my master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. After finishing my Masters, I went back to Intel and then McAfee for a few more years, and then joined Canonical in 2019 as a Security Generalist.

I was looking for a new challenge. Even though I had more than ten years of industry experience and had been involved in security activities, the prospect of working for the team that makes Ubuntu secure was more than exciting! What’s more, I hadn’t previously been that deeply involved in open source projects. I knew that joining Canonical would offer different learning and career opportunities.

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20 Years of The FreeBSD Foundation: Interview With Deb Goodkin, Executive Director

Filed under
Interviews
BSD

Besides Linux distributions, FreeBSD is one such Unix-like operating system, which is free and open source. It is one of the oldest and most popular operating systems descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).

It is still actively maintained and used on desktops, servers, and embedded devices. As the FreeBSD Foundation recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, we spoke with Deb Goodkin, executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, about the FreeBSD project.

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Richard Stallman: You can get arrested without a reason

Filed under
GNU
Interviews

The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement.

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Android 11—The Ars Technica Review

Filed under
Android
Interviews

Android 11 has finally arrived after a lengthy beta process that started approximately three years ago in February 2020. This is the 30th release of Android, if we're counting by API levels, and in a year when it seems nearly everything has been delayed or canceled, Google has managed to turn in one of the smaller Android releases.

Last year, Android 10 was a massive release, adding gesture navigation, a dark mode, Project Mainline, a dual-boot system, scoped storage, foldable smartphone support, and a million other things. In comparison, Android 11 is more limited. This being the annual Ars Technica review, however, there are of course still plenty of things to talk about—like yet another notification panel revamp, a new media player, chat bubbles, smart home controls, and more.

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The Android 11 interview: Googlers answer our burning questions

Filed under
Android
Google
Interviews

We've established a bit of a tradition here at Ars. Every year at Google I/O, we have a sit-down talk to learn more about Android directly from the people that make it. Of course, this year, just about every major event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, nothing is really normal, and Google I/O never happened.

We can still do interviews over the Internet though! So while it happened later in the year than normal, we were still able to hold our annual chat with some of the most important Googlers at Android HQ: Dave Burke, Android's VP of Engineering, and Iliyan Malchev, Principal Engineer at Android and the lead of Project Treble.

We came prepped with questions about the more mysterious corners of Android 11, which actually led to a lot of interesting talk about the future. You'll learn about a coming re-write of the Bluetooth stack, and there's lots of talk about modularity and easy updating (like plans will hopefully, someday, allow you to update the Linux kernel and developer APIs as easily as you download an app update).

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Open Up: Open Source Hardware — A Chat with Carl

Filed under
Hardware
Interviews
OSS

From a broader lens, to produce “open source hardware” means that we have developed and shared the recipe to create a high-end commercial product that can be learned from, adapted, and used by anyone else. In the same way we’ve stood on the shoulders of the Linux and open source software giants who came before us, we now get to be pioneers in developing open source hardware for those who come next. If you want to learn more how a computer is designed or how something is made, our schematics are the instructions for how to do it. It describes every step of the process, from each piece of the machine and its dimensions, to the type of aluminum used and how to bend it.
It’s similar to open source software in that you can learn from the product, adapt it to your needs, and distribute it. The difference is that it requires outside equipment to produce your own version. Open hardware has become more accessible with 3-D printing, but as we found when we were making acrylic prototypes of Thelio, you reach a point where it’s time to work with metal, which presents its own challenges. You have to cut it, bend it, and paint it, all of which requires specific equipment.

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Ankur Sinha: How do you Fedora?

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

Ankur is a Computational Neuroscientist and has just started his first post-doctoral fellowship at University College London and a FLOSS enthusiast trying to spread the message of FOSS and evidence based science. Ankur started using Linux a decade ago, when he was introduced to Linux in a LUG doing an install fest during his undergraduate degree.

Ankur found about Fedora after a distro hopping phase in 2008, and since then he has been a fedora user. His first memory of the Fedora community is an IRC workshop on packaging fonts that the Fedora India community had organised back in 2008. Talking to and meeting other community members has been one of the most exciting parts of the Fedora community for him. “I found this great bunch of people to hang out and geek out with! It was so much fun, and extremely educational both in terms of technical knowledge and the social/philosophical side of FOSS and life in general.”

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 10 - Youtube-dl, Linux Jobs, LBRY, Text Editors, Ubuntu, Fedora, NixOS - YouTube

    Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode: 0:00 - Intro 2:12 - The music industry goes after youtube-dl; it is removed from GitHub. 10:11 - Linux and open source jobs are hot right now. 14:04 - LBRY has a marketing problem. 17:30 - Six of the best text editors on Linux.

  • FLOSS Weekly 602: Linux on IBM - Encouraging Open Source Computing

    Reflecting on the 20-year anniversary of Linux on IBM Z mainframes. Hosts Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb talk with Boaz Betzler, one of the original team members from the IBM Böblingen Lab in Germany responsible for porting Linux onto the IBM Z mainframes. They discuss the initial decision to port Linux onto the IBM mainframes and why that was a controversial decision at the time. They also talk about the impact of putting Linux on the mainframe and how it continues to impact the open-source community.

  • Announcing Istio 1.6.13

    This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.12 and Istio 1.6.13

  • Best Audio Mergers to Combine Audio Files Together

    As a free audio merger, Audacity can help you manage audio files in different formats, such as WAV, AIFF, MP2, MP3, FLAC and OGG. It lets you easily merge multiple audio files together to make a long recording or song. In addition, it can handle your multi-track audio and work with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems perfectly.

  • Talk to your Raspberry Pi | HackSpace 36
  • Customizable Apollo Lake mini-PC runs Linux

    ADL’s Linux-ready “ADLEPC-1700” industrial mini-PC offers an Apollo Lake SoC, 8GB soldered LPDDR4, SATA, 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, DP, mini-PCIe, and a customizable I/O that defaults to 2x COM. ADL Embedded Solutions has announced an Intel Apollo Lake based ADLEPC-1700 successor to its Intel Bay Trail ADLEPC-1500 from 2017. The system has the same 86 x 81 x 33mm dimensions but offers twice the RAM and a higher resolution 4K DP 1.2 port, among other changes. There is also a new customizable I/O compartment integrated into the top of the unit. Farther below we take a look at a few Apollo Lake SBCs from ADL that we missed, one of which may form the basis for the ADLEPC-1700’s mainboard.

Programming Leftovers

  • GNU Toolchain Begins Adding ARMv8.7-A Support

    The GNU compiler toolchain has begun landing Arm's contributions around ARMv8.7-A architecture support. While all of the ARMv8 cores to date remain with older versions of the architecture and even cases like ARMv8.2-A with the Cortex-A78 and X1, Arm continues working on new ARMv8 revisions and getting that software support in place well ahead of hardware availability.

  • Software correctness is a lot like flossing

    Which means that they’re not seeing the bigger picture. An explanation of why programmers “don’t care about correctness” shouldn’t just be post-hoc rationalizations. Here’s my main argument for why most programmers don’t seem to care about software correctness:

    Which is worse: buggy software or a root canal?

    How often do you floss?

    Whenever I pose this in a discussion, I get the same answer: everyone thinks root canals are worse, and at most half of the group flosses daily. That’s ridiculous! Flossing takes like three minutes a day. But people don’t do it because it’s fiddly, annoying, and inconvenient. If people are unwilling to do something simple to keep their teeth from rotting, why should we expect people to use annoying inconvenient tools to improve software?

  • Javascript Alert – Linux Hint

    Javascript is the most known language of the web. Javascript is widely used in front-end development as well as in the back-end. Javascript provides a lot of built-in functions to help in development. In this article, we are going to learn one of the javascript’s built-in alert() method, which is used to show pop-ups over the screen to either display a message or show a warning. The alert box is different from any other message or text on the screen. It is a pop-up that contains a message/text with an “OK” button. The user won’t be able to do any task while an alert box is over the screen, and he/she clicks the “OK” button. So, it is not recommended, if not needed. So, let’s have a look at what is an alert box and what are the different ways to use it.

  • Javascript Print Page – Linux Hint

    Javascript is a scripting or programming language, which is most commonly used nowadays in the web industry. It provides a lot of built-in objects, functions, and methods to perform several tasks. In this article, we are going to have a look at one of them which is used to print the web page. So, let us get started! You must have encountered some websites that provide a button to print the whole web page, or you must have felt the need to print a web page but there is no print button there. Javascript’s built-in object window provides us a method named print(). We can use window.print() function to fulfill this requirement.

  • Planned obsolescence | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

    Twelve years ago Larry planned the obsolescence of one of my modules. His cunning plan was executed by lizmat a fortnight ago. If you are building Rakudo from source you take another shortcut now.

  • Get Started With Django Part 3: Django View Authorization – Real Python

    In part 1 of this series, you learned the fundamentals of Django models and views. In part 2, you learned about user management. In this tutorial, you’ll see how to combine these concepts to do Django view authorization and restrict what users can see and do in your views based on their roles. Allowing users to log in to your website solves two problems: authentication and authorization. Authentication is the act of verifying a user’s identity, confirming they are who they say they are. Authorization is deciding whether a user is allowed to perform an action. The two concepts go hand in hand: if a page on your website is restricted to logged-in users, then users have to authenticate before they can be authorized to view the page. Django provides tools for both authentication and authorization. Django view authorization is typically done with decorators. This tutorial will show you how to use these view decorators to enforce authorized viewing of pages in your Django site.

  • PyCharm 2020.3 EAP #3

    The third build of PyCharm 2020.3 is now available in the Early Access Program with features and fixes for a smoother, more productive experience. We invite you to join our EAP to try out the latest features we have coming up, test that they work properly in your environments, and help us make a better PyCharm for everyone!

  • Change Tick Frequency in Matplotlib

    Matplotlib is one of the most widely used data visualization libraries in Python. Much of Matplotlib's popularity comes from its customization options - you can tweak just about any element from its hierarchy of objects. In this tutorial, we'll take a look at how to change the tick frequency in Matplotlib. We'll do this on the figure-level as well as the axis-level.

  • Python Software Foundation News: Key generation and signing ceremony for PyPI

    On Friday October 30th at 11:15 AM EDT the Python Software Foundation will be live streaming a remote key generation and signing ceremony to bootstrap The Update Framework for The Python Package Index. You can click here to see what time this is in your local timezone. This ceremony is one of the first practical steps in deploying The Update Framework to PyPI per PEP 458. The Python Software Foundation Director of Infrastructure, Ernest W. Durbin III, and Trail of Bits Senior Security Engineer, William Woodruff, will be executing the runbook developed at https://github.com/psf/psf-tuf-runbook. For transparency purposes a live stream will be hosted from the Python Software Foundation's YouTube channel. Please subscribe to the channel to be notified when the stream is live if you'd like to follow along.

  • Generating random avatar images in Django/Python - Peterbe.com

    But most people don't have their mugshot on Gravatar.com unfortunately. But you still want to display an avatar that is distinct per user. Your best option is to generate one and just use the user's name or email as a seed (so it's always random but always deterministic for the same user). And you can also supply a fallback image to Gravatar that they use if the email doesn't match any email they have. That's where this blog post comes in.

  • How to work with Files in Python | FOSS Linux

    In this tutorial, we see how to work with files in python, such as creating files, reading data from files, writing data to files, removing, and renaming files.

  • Lang team Backlog Bonanza and Project Proposals

    A month or two back, the lang team embarked on a new initiative that we call the "Backlog Bonanza". The idea is simple: we are holding a series of meetings in which we go through every pending RFC, one by one, and try to reach some sort of determination about what to do with it. Once we've finished that, we can start in on categorizing other forms of backlog, such as tracking issues.

  • Core team membership changes

    The core team has had a few membership updates in the last month, and we wanted to provide an update. To start, Florian Gilcher is joining the Core team as a full member. Florian has been attending meetings as an observer since March 2019. He is the lead of the Community Events team, and has done a lot of work in the open source world, with plenty of insight to offer especially as we look to form a Rust Foundation. There are also two folks stepping back from the team. Carol Nichols has been a member of the team for three years, and she is stepping back to make more time for other projects in the community, including crates.io and her continued work on the Rust book. Nick Cameron has recently welcomed a second child (congratulations!) and is leaving the core team to be able to focus more on his family and his work at PingCAP. He will continue to be around in the Rust community.

  • This Week in Rust 362

The FSF Is Looking To Update Its High Priority Free Software Projects List

As we roll into 2021 the Free Software Foundation is looking to update its high priority free software projects list. These are the software projects that should be incorporating "the most important threats, and most critical opportunities, that free software faces in the modern computing landscape." For now the FSF is looking for help deciding what to include. The FSF high priority projects list is what once included PowerVR reverse engineering as being very important albeit never happened prior to PowerVR graphics becoming less common. In fact, many FSF high priority projects never panned out as they weren't contributing much in the way of resources to the causes but just calling attention to them. PDF support was among their high priority projects as well as another example as well as the likes of an open-source Skype replacement and reverse-engineering other popular technologies. Read more

Proprietary Software and Microsoft Security Problems

  • Windows REvil ransomware group member says annual take is US$100m

    A man who claims to be a member of the group behind the Windows REvil ransomware says the group takes in more than US$100 million (A$1.4 million) annually through ransom payments.

  • Microsoft: No Driver Updates Allowed for Win7 and Win8
  • Nitro again insists data breach 'isolated' as incident gets more coverage

    ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that had its origins in Melbourne and offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, has issued an update on Wednesday to its earlier statement regarding a data breach, in what appears to be an attempt to negate the details published about the incident by the American website Bleeping Computer and a number of other websites.

  • Git shared hosting quirk | Daniel Lange's blog

    The hack was discussed on Github in Dec 2018 when it was discovered. I forgot about it again but Konstantin's mail brought the memory back and I think it deserves more attention. I'm sure putting some illegal content into a fork and sending a made up "blob" URL to law enforcement would go quite far. Good luck explaining the issue. "Yes this is my repo" but "no, no that's not my data" ... "yes, it is my repo but not my data" ... "no we don't want that data either, really" ... "but, but there is nothing we can do, we host on github...1".