For Karen Sandler, software freedom isn't simply a technical matter. Nor is it a purely ideological one.
It's a matter of life and death.
Sandler, Executive Director of the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy, says software freedom became personal when she realized her pacemaker/defibrillator was running code she couldn't analyze. For nearly a decade—first at the Software Feedom Law Center, then at the GNOME Foundation before Conservancy—she's been an advocate for the right to examine the software on which our lives depend.
Damian Conway is one of the Guardians of Perl (our term) and one of Perl 6′s chief architects. But he’s chiefly a computer scientist, a brilliant communicator and an educator. His presentations are often worth crossing continents for. He was the Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Melbourne’s Monash University between 2001 and 2010, and has run courses on everything from Regular Expressions for Bioinformatics to Presentation Aikido (and of course, lots of Perl). Which is why, when we discovered he was making a keynote at this year’s QCon conference in London in March, we braved train delays and the sardine travelling classes of the London Underground to meet him opposite Westminster Abbey.
Google's announcement last week of new work-friendly features in its forthcoming Android L release, along with its big tent foray into the enterprise, underscores just how much businesses are turning to mobile devices and the cloud for operations and communication. Nextiva is right in the thick of this trend as an industry-leading provider of cloud-based business phone services.
Pretty much all of the projects in software developer Yitao Li's GitHub repository were developed on his Linux machine. None of them are necessarily Linux-specific, he says, but he uses Linux for “everything.”
For example: “coding / scripting, web browsing, web hosting, anything cloud-related, sending / receiving PGP signed emails, tweaking IP table rules, flashing OpenWrt image into routers, running one version of Linux kernel while compiling another version, doing research, doing homework (e.g., typing math equations in Tex), and many others...” Li said via email.
An advocate for software freedom for more than a decade, O'Brien has written and recorded dozens of tutorial podcasts for people wanting to learn how they can make use of open source software. His long-running series on LibreOffice is quickly approaching a 40-episode milestone. Another series on privacy and security, which helps everyday computers users take advantage of encryption technologies, runs concurrently (one recent episode features O'Brien at a conference giving—what else?—a talk). Learning new software can make casual users feel lost in a sea of new procedures, techniques, icons, and settings. O'Brien's voice is the lighthouse that keeps them firmly and confidently on course.
After years of rumours, months of teasing and weeks of waiting, SteamOS is finally here. The beta release of the gaming distro signalled the start of Valve’s tentative entry into the hardware market. The same day as the release, the first wave of Valve’s own Steam Machines went out. These beta units, while never truly meant to grace store shelves, are the first examples of many more third-party offerings to come. This massive step from Valve is making waves around the tech and games world, so we decided to talk to a few of the people that could help us truly understand the position Valve is in, and what their next move might be.
Between the upcoming Fedora 21 release, involvement in Red Hat's Project Atomic, its planned re-structuring under Fedora.next, and its new leader, Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project has a lot going on lately. All of the upheaval is a sign that the distribution is doing what it must to stay relevant in the new world of distributed, scale-out computing, says Miller who took over as project leader earlier this month after his predecessor Robyn Bergeron announced her departure in May.
Two years ago, when the Raspberry Pi launched, it was with the intention of improving IT education in the UK. Since then more powerful, better connected or cheaper boards have come onto the market, but the Pi retains its position as the white knight of ICT teaching.
Why? Because of the community of users that has grown up around it. To find out more we travelled west to Manchester, venue for the second annual Jamboree—a festival of educators, makers and messer-abouters focussed on highlighting how engaging the Pi can be. There, we met 75% of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s education team—Ben Nuttall, Clive Beale, and Carrie Anne Philbin—to discuss IT teaching in the UK.
"It's not that Linux was new from a technical standpoint. It was new because it was done differently," says Linus Torvalds in his interview with the IEEE Computer Society. "Linux made it clear how well open source works, not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a business, commercial, and community standpoint."
IT News Africa had the pleasure of interviewing Werner Knoblich, Vice President & General Manager EMEA Red Hat, at the 2014 Red Hat Forum in Johannesburg South Africa.
In the interview, Knoblich discusses how open source technology plays a key role in the development of emerging trends, as well as helps businesses get the best out of their technology. Additionally, he covers how Linux containers facilitate a flexible way to build and deploy applications while reducing the time and expenses associated with underlying Cloud technology.
There I was, 4 years ago (this past January) at CampKDE in San Diego, giving a talk on data privacy, warning the audience about the risks to their privacy from cloud vendors – in particular, Dropbox. So, build it yourself they said. Sure, I’ve built things in the past, so sure, I’ll do it. And there is where I started my odyssey, first, to protect myself, my friends and my colleagues from the snooping of governments, and other bad guys, and later – as I saw the worldwide interest grow – to build a real and successful project.
I had to decide a few things before I got started of course, including what it is I wanted ownCloud to do, what development platform to use, how I wanted to structure ownCloud, and of course, to name it ownCloud.
According to DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer at Red Hat, they will also need to listen to their employees in a different way. And perhaps trying not to see them as Millennials could help avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping, she says.
While Red Hat got the jump on the Millennial mentality due to dealing with online open source software communities, Alexander has plenty of advice for companies in other sectors dealing with the young work force and she shared them with me.
Here we are in conversation with Sanjiban Bairagya, a current Google Summer of Code 2014 intern who is working on Marble for KDE and is one of the younger, fresher, newer lots at KDE and has quite a bit to offer in terms of enthusiasm and brilliant ideas as well as zeal!
More from Randa:
KDE is organizing a "coding sprint" in Randa, Switzerland. KDE Developer Sprints are focused gatherings of KDE developers to work on a specific part of KDE. Sprints are an opportunity to plan, design, and hack (think 20% socialization and 80% perspiration). Though sprints are supported by KDE e.V. financially and organizationally, we are having more enthusiastic people than funds allotted to us by KDE e.V. We need your support in helping us to fill this gap.
Phonon, a pillar of our multimedia solutions, was revived in Randa. Kdenlive, our video editor, became 302% more awesome in Randa. The KDE Frameworks 5 movement seeking to make our awesome libraries more useful to all the world started in Randa. Amarok 2 was planned in Randa. Approximately a godzillion bugs were fixed in Randa.
KIG currently has filters for various formats ( Cabri, Dr-Geo, KGeo, KSeg ). I have been working on implementing the Geogebra-filter for KIG. Here’s some introduction about the Geogebra-filter that we are trying to implement :
As the title (Lyrics Support improvements) of my Google Summer of code project suggests, I am improving the way lyrics are fetched and displayed in Amarok. Personally, I like to follow the lyrics of the song that is playing; so I added this is idea to the Idea Page for GSoC 2014. And now here I am, working on it. I goal of my project is to highlight the particular line from the entire lyrics text that is being played.
In the last two weeks, besides the coding work on the git repositories, Boudewijn has made available a hefty number of testing builds for the windows community. This builds brings up the latest novelties and features developed in the master branch. Note, however, not all feature sets are finished and it is not recommended for production use. Get the bleeding edge build
Two years later I gave a presentation summarizing these thoughts at Akademy in Dublin. A desktop layer that was stackable like a normal window ("dashboard" in today's jargon), scripted components instead of compiled applets, dataengines, network services, dynamically loading different layouts for different user activities, using threads to keep the UI fluid, easy animation systems, configure/manipulate-in-place, a window manager that did more than just put title bars around things, etc. It was finally time to get to turning scribbles in notebooks into code. (I was still maintaining various parts of KDE's 3.x desktop at the time, in particular kicker, as well as working on a variety of other bits of KDE software. This, along with a semi-crazy travel schedule kept me busy with productive things while these ideas were crystallizing.)
KDE Frameworks 5 will be released in 2 weeks from now. This fifth revision of what is currently known as the “KDE Development Platform” (or, technically “kdelibs”) is the result of 3 years of effort to modularize the individual libraries (and “bits and pieces”) we shipped as kdelibs and kde-runtime modules as part of KDE SC 4.x. KDE Frameworks contains about 60 individual modules, libraries, plugins, toolchain, and scripting (QtQuick, for example) extensions.
I’ve been interested in Linux and FOSS in general since 1997, and employed by Red Hat since 2001. My current job is in the Open Source & Standards team in the Red Hat CTO Office. I am leading up the effort within Red Hat to promote Free and Open Source Software in education. I also do work to promote open hardware and support 3D printers on Fedora. Last, but not least, I handle Fedora’s legal issues (but am not a lawyer). I maintain around 300 packages in Fedora.
Bill Traynor first got hooked on embedded Linux development when a friend who maintained Hitachi's SH architecture helped him install Linux on his Sega Dreamcast. From there he developed a hobby of installing Linux on various gaming consoles, toys, and handheld devices. And when embedded development boards became more abundant, accessible and cheaper, Traynor moved on to more serious tinkering.
“For me, the availability of Linux on the many low-cost, ARM-based dev boards has been fun,” he said via email. “Small, powerful boards, like the BeagleBone Black have really made things fun again.”
Tails was built with two specific things in mind: sustainability and usability.
Sustainability refers to how this is a project that can be relied on by its users. The team goes on to explain the importance of usability: “We believe that the best security tool is of no use if people who really need it on the field cannot use it. Moreover, security tools must be hard to misuse, they should prevent you from doing critical mistakes, or ask you to make security decisions that you are not able to make.”
Tails has been around for a while as previously stated, however its notoriety was elevated after the Snowden revelations: “What really changed is the public awareness regarding those issues,” the team told us. “It is now hard to deny that internet security has to do with politics and not only with technology. The Snowden revelations also made it clear that online privacy is an issue for everyone, and not only for paranoid people. That point was still hard to make, even in the Linux world.”