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Interviews

In Free Software, the Community is the Most Important Ingredient: Jerry Bezencon of Linux Lite [Interview]

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Linux Lite was started in 2012 for 3 important reasons. One, I wanted to dispel myths that a Linux based operating system was hard to use. Two, at that time, there was a shortage of simple, intuitive desktop experiences on Linux that offered long-term support. Three, I had used Linux for over 10 years before starting Linux Lite.

I felt I needed to give back to a community that had given so much to me. A community that taught me that by sharing code and knowledge, one could have a dramatically positive impact over peoples computing experiences.

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Debian Edu interview: Yvan Masson

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Interviews
Debian

It is free software! Built on Debian, I am sure that users are not spied upon, and that it can run on low end hardware. This last point is very important, because we really need to improve "green IT". I do not know enough about Skolelinux / Debian Edu to tell how it is better than another free software solution, but what I like is the "all in one" solution: everything has been thought of and prepared to ease installation and usage.

I like Free Software because I hate using something that I can not understand. I do not say that I can understand everything nor that I want to understand everything, but knowing that someone / some company intentionally prevents me from understanding how things work is really unacceptable to me.

Secondly, and more importantly, free software is a requirement to prevent abuses regarding human rights and environmental care. Humanity can not rely on tools that are in the hands of small group of people.

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Interview with Jefferson Nascimento

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KDE
Interviews

I use Linux as a main OS from time to time, in 2016 I was searching open source alternatives for drawing, back in the days I was using MyPaint, I never liked Gimp for drawing, so I used an “alternative” copy of other software, but not Photoshop, I never liked to draw with Photoshop. Then I found this piece of software that looked like a good alternative and tried. It fit all my expectations.

Tough one. Can I say David Revoy? or Wolthera? I learned so much from those two. Ok, enough kidding, I love the layer management. I don’t have to use the mouse to quickly rename and organize everything, I worked in an office where I had to use Photoshop, and man, oh man, I suddenly realized why every artist ever who uses Photoshop doesn’t rename layers, it’s just terrible.

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Paul Cormier brings an engineer’s eye to top role at Red Hat

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Red Hat
Interviews

Red Hat Inc. opens the virtual doors of its annual Red Hat Summit this week amid a major leadership shift at both the open-source giant and its parent, IBM Corp.

Less than three weeks ago Arvind Krishna took over as chief executive of IBM, becoming the first engineer to hold the position in the company’s 106-year history. At the same time, Jim Whitehurst ascended to the role of IBM president and Paul Cormier (pictured at the 2018 summit) assumed the CEO spot at Red Hat.

Like Krishna, Cormier is the first engineer to lead his company. That’s appropriate, he said in an interview with SiliconANGLE. The technology landscape is becoming more complex and there’s more at stake when customers make decisions.

“There’s so much more fear, uncertainty and doubt out there that it takes more technically savvy people to wade through it,” he said. “It’s a much more complex sale now than it used to be.”

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Interview with Joshua Grier

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KDE
Interviews

I heard about it through some artists I follow. Sinix and Sycra have Youtube videos showcasing the software from a while back.

I found the brush engine stood out to me over competing programs. It felt and still feels far more intuitive and more well designed for art and design than other packages I’ve tried to use.

I love that Krita is accessible to all of the creative community, I love how versatile/customizable it is and how high quality it is and continues to be as it’s improved over the years!

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Responding to crisis: IBM’s Jim Whitehurst draws from open-source lessons to address a rapidly changing world

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Red Hat
Interviews

IBM reported its earnings on Monday, one of the first companies to do so in the current reporting period. Included in the company’s report were a number of stories associated with helping its customers, including support for one major U.S. insurance firm as it transitioned to a remote work model when none existed before.

IBM indicated that 95% of its own workforce of 350,000 employees was working remotely as well. This was a major driver for sourcing input and issuing expectations around working in the current environment.

“A lot of it is to recognize that it’s hard to know the stress that people are under or what they need to do to be effective,” Whitehurst said. “So, it’s the perfect time to back up and say: ‘Hey, you have to figure some of this out and tell us what you need to be successful.’”

In addition to making adjustments for its own employees as a result of COVID-19, IBM has also been working within its family of companies to develop new tools and resources for the global community to use during the pandemic.

One such tool was developed by the Weather Co. to map and analyze the spread of confirmed cases. It’s part of what Whitehurst views as part of the community coming together in a time of significant crisis without needing orders from him or IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna.

“Within a matter of days, the Weather Channel app, which is an IBM app, had a COVID button on it so you could see down to your county level the number of people infected,” Whitehurst explained. “That bubbled up — that wasn’t a top down with Arvind and me saying ‘let’s go do that.’ Having people broadly inside of corporations decide what role to play in society is a really helpful thing.”

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Also: Responding to crisis: IBM's Jim Whitehurst plans to open-source lessons learned from pandemic [Ed: Same text, not the same headline]

The Linux Setup – Jared Domínguez, Red Hat

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Linux
Interviews

Jared’s perspective as someone whose job is to get Linux running on different hardware is interesting. I never thought about the planning it takes to coordinate future hardware and software releases. Reading through this, I kept thinking about how much Jared had to live in the future. I also appreciated how Jared found his way to Linux through his father. It’s sweet to think about a little kid seeing all of these terminals and tapes and wanting to know how it all works. It’s part of the reason I try to announce ‘Linux’ every time my daughter wanders up to my computer.

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Red Hat’s new CEO talks about navigating the gradual recovery from the coronavirus

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Red Hat
Interviews

There was no celebration in Raleigh when Paul Cormier was appointed this week to replace Jim Whitehurst as Red Hat’s CEO.

With the coronavirus pandemic at its peak in the U.S. and every Red Hat employee working from home, the 62-year-old former head of products and technologies began his reign as CEO from his home in Boston, relying on email and BlueJeans video conferencing technology to address the more than 12,000 Red Hat employees around the world.

His immediate task will be to guide the company, which employs more than 2,000 people in downtown Raleigh, out of the doldrums of a coronavirus-caused economic downturn. “This is going to be a marathon,” he told his employees, “and it’s more important than ever to continue to support one another right now.”

A day after assuming the title of Red Hat CEO, Cormier sat down with the N&O via a BlueJeans videoconference to discuss how the company is responding to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is navigating its new relationship with IBM.

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Also: How Red Hat's New CEO Handles Life Under IBM -- and a Global Pandemic

Software Freedom Podcast #5 about regulation with Professor Lawrence Lessig

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Interviews

This fifth episode of the Software Freedom Podcast covers the complicated topic of regulation. Our guest is Professor Lawrence Lessig from the Harvard Law School. Lessig is a former board member of the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as founder and present Board member of Creative Commons. Lessig has published several books, including the influential and often-quoted "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace". In this episode we discuss with Professor Lessig the different types of regulation that affect society both, online and offline, such as laws, norms, the market, or architecture. In this respect we also touch upon code as a means of regulation. Enjoy learning about the positive and negative effects that some of these regulations can have on society, as well as the further development of ideas.

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Interview with Philipp Urlich

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KDE
Interviews

Since I was not keen on using Photoshop for painting (even though I worked for many years with Photoshop), I was looking for alternatives. Then I finally found Krita in 2018.

I love that it’s open source. It has many great tools for various tasks. The ability to create your own powerful brushes. I also love that you can do animations.

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More in Tux Machines

Linspire 9.0 Released

Today our development team is excited to announce the release of Linspire 9.0; packed with a TON of improvements and security updates, this is a major update that we’ve been working hard to get out to our faithful users. The global pandemic has delayed its release, but the development team has worked diligently and meticulously behind-the-scenes over the past few months, fine-tuning every detail of what is widely considered to be the premier Linux desktop on the market today. The Linspire 9.0 series will be the last one featuring the 18.04 LTS codebase; upcoming Linspire X will be based on the 20.04 LTS code and kernel. Read more Also: Linspire 9.0 Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Linux 5.4 LTS

today's leftovers

  • Fast Bare Metal provisioning and infrastructure automation with MAAS
  • [Updated] Michael Stapelberg: Optional dependencies don’t work

    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article.

  • Benchmarking NetBSD, second evaluation report

    This report was written by Apurva Nandan as part of Google Summer of Code 2020. This blog post is in continuation of GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, first evaluation report blog and describes my progress in the second phase of GSoC 2020 under The NetBSD Foundation. In this phase, I worked on the automation of the regression suite made using Phoronix Test Suite (PTS) and its integration with Anita. The automation framework consists of two components Phoromatic server, provided by Phoronix Test Suite in pkgsrc, and Anita, a Python tool for automating NetBSD installation.

  • Interest in Kodi Declines After a Turmultuous Few Years of Piracy Headlines

    After many years of being mentioned in the same breath as movie and TV show piracy, interest in the Kodi media player appears to have peaked and is now on the decline. That's according to Google Trends data which suggests that after reaching a high in early 2017, interest via search is now on a continuous downward trend.

Programming Leftovers

  • RcppSimdJson 0.1.1: More Features

    A first update following for the exciting RcppSimdJson 0.1.0 release last month is now on CRAN. Version 0.1.1 brings further enhancements such direct parsing of raw chars, working with compressed files as well as much expanded querying ability all thanks to Brendan, some improvements to our demos thanks to Daniel as well as a small fix via a one-liner borrowed from upstream for a reported UBSAN issue. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

  • Jonathan Dowland: Generic Haskell

    When I did the work described earlier in template haskell, I also explored generic programming in Haskell to solve a particular problem. StrIoT is a program generator: it outputs source code, which may depend upon other modules, which need to be imported via declarations at the top of the source code files. The data structure that StrIoT manipulates contains information about what modules are loaded to resolve the names that have been used in the input code, so we can walk that structure to automatically derive an import list. The generic programming tools I used for this are from Structure Your Boilerplate (SYB), a module written to complement a paper of the same name.

  • 9 reasons I upgraded from AngularJS to Angular

    In 2010, Google released AngularJS, an open source, JavaScript-based frontend structure for developing single-page applications (SPAs) for the internet. With its move to version 2.0 in 2016, the framework's name was shortened to Angular. AngularJS is still being developed and used, but Angular's advantages mean it's a smart idea to migrate to the newer version.

  • [Old/Odd] 5 news feautures of PHP-7.2

    Before PHP 7.2 the object keyword was used to convert one data type to another (boxing and unboxing), for example, an array to an object of the sdtClass class and/or vice versa, as of PHP 7.2 the object data type can be used as parameter type or as function return type.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 351

Proprietary Software and Linux Foundation

  • [PCLinuxOS] Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.106

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Vivaldi Explains Why They Make "Proprietary Garbage"

    It is unfair to say that Vivaldi is not open source at all as someone like Distrotube has done, the way the company behind Vivaldi has decided to handle this application is by using a dual licensing system where the open source portion of the application is licensed under an open source BSD license but that's not the point of today, the point is to explain why they have decided to license their software in such a way.

  • Scientists Forced To Change Names Of Human Genes Because Of Microsoft's Failure To Patch Excel

    Six years ago, Techdirt wrote about a curious issue with Microsoft's Excel. A default date conversion feature was altering the names of genes, because they looked like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor gene DEC1 (Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1) was being converted to "1-DEC". Hardly a widespread problem, you might think. Not so: research in 2016 found that nearly 20% of 3500 papers taken from leading genomic journals contained gene lists that had been corrupted by Excel's re-interpretation of names as dates. Although there don't seem to be any instances where this led to serious errors, there is a natural concern that it could distort research results. The good news is this problem has now been fixed. The rather surprising news is that it wasn't Microsoft that fixed it, even though Excel was at fault. As an article in The Verge reports:

  • The Linux Foundation Wants Open-Source Tech to Address Future Pandemics

    The Linux Foundation, which supports open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Foundation Public Health Initiative (LFPHI) at the end of July. The LFPHI’s goal is to promote the use of open source by public health authorities, which can be scrutinized by anyone, to fight not just COVID-19 but future pandemics as well.

  • LF Edge’s Akraino Project Release 3 Now Available, Unifying Open Source Blueprints Across MEC, AI, Cloud and Telecom Edge

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Release 3 (“Akraino R3”). Akraino’s third and most mature release to date delivers fully functional edge solutions– implemented across global organizations– to enable a diversity of edge deployments across the globe. New blueprints include a focus on MEC, AI/ML, and Cloud edge. In addition, the community authored the first iteration of a new white paper to bring common open edge API standards to align the industry.

  • Linux Foundation Launches Jenkins X Training Course

    Linux Foundation has launched a new training course, LFS268 – CI/CD with Jenkins X. Developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, the course will introduce the fundamentals of Jenkins X.