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Interviews

Dedoimedo interviews: Xfce team

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Hi, I'm Sean! I'm an Xfce core developer, Xubuntu Technical Lead, and long-time Linux user. I love solving problems ... and maintaining a desktop environment means there's no shortage of those.

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An Interview With Neil McGovern, GNOME Foundation Executive Director: “Software Freedom, Users, And Technical Excellence Are Our 3 Pillars”

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Interviews
GNOME

Earlier this year in February, the GNOME Foundation announced the appointment of Neil McGovern as its new Executive Director. He is a well-known figure in Free Software community; he served as Debian Project Leader from 2014-15. The GNOME Project, apart from developing GNOME desktop, also takes care of multiple other emerging projects.

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Also: Travel to Berlin

How OpenBSD and Linux Mitigate Security Bugs

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Linux
Interviews

The talk will focus on two similar solutions implemented in Linux and OpenBSD kernels, designed to prevent a program from calling syscalls they should not call to improve security of software.

In both kernels (Linux and OpenBSD), unwanted syscalls can be blocked and the offending program terminated, but there are some differences between Linux and OpenBSD’s solution of the problem.

During my talk, I will analyze the differences between two similar techniques that are present in Linux and OpenBSD kernels that are used to mitigate security bugs (that could be used to attack software and escalate privileges on a machine).

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In pursuit of Purism

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

For GNU/Linux users wanting a laptop, it’s almost always easier to find the hardware you want and then install the distro of your choice – perhaps with some muttering about the ‘Windows tax’, or even making a stand and getting the Microsoft licence portion of the price refunded.

However, as Purism puts it: “The model of ‘buy hardware, install free software’ is ageing, due primarily to the fact that there is a growing cryptographic bond between proprietary non-free signed binaries and the hardware that they run on.”

There are one or two laptops available from manufacturers with Ubuntu pre-installed, although Dell doesn’t always make it easy to find them, and a few resellers who’ll do the install for you, such as System76 – but the sad truth is that most laptop manufacturers do not care about software freedom, at least not enough to take a risk in standing out from the herd.

If they don’t care, that’s probably because the public don’t exercise themselves much over the issue – although awareness of free and open source software is slowly growing, and the Raspberry Pi has put GNU/Linux into the hands of a new generation.

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Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf and More Blockchain

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Interviews
OSS

Open source-based business lessons from a seasoned CEO

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Interviews
OSS

The default now is to build from open and in the open. So that's a positive. The downside is that by open source being the default, we may be getting a little lazy. If you remember back 5-10 years, open sourcing was a big deal, and it forced a level of rigor that may have led, in some cases, to founders and early investors taking better approaches to building their company—for example, shifting towards SaaS wherever possible, in part because of the ability to demonstrate clear value versus their own open source.

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Interview with Ubuntu boss: A rich ecosystem for robotics and automation systems

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Interviews
Ubuntu

In fact, ROS is not actually an operating system at all – it’s a set of software frameworks, or a software development kit, to be installed into an operating system like Ubuntu.

As Mike Bell, executive vice president of internet of things and devices at Canonical, explains in an exclusive interview: “It’s a bit confusing because it’s called Robot Operating System, but the reason is because if you’re developing robot applications, you don’t need to worry about the fact that it’s running on Ubuntu.

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Mark Shuttleworth Interviewed on BBC News

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Interviews
Ubuntu

It’s not everyday that you get to tune in to mainstream TV news and see Mark Shuttleworth on screen, chatting about life aboard the International Space Station.

It certainly added a bit of pep to my cornflakes this morning!

The Ubuntu founder was being interviewed by BBC Business Live‘s Susannah Streeter and Sally Bundock as part of their ‘Inside Track’ strand which focuses on well-known business figures and entrepreneurs.

Despite introducing him as “one of the world’s most influential tech thinkers” and an “outspoken advocate of open-source software” the presenters (understandably) couldn’t resist probing Shuttleworth about his time in space.
bbc interview mark shuttleworth

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QupZilla Renamed KDE Falkon, Developer David Rosca interviewed

Filed under
KDE
Interviews
Web
  • QupZilla Web Browser Becomes KDE Falkon

    The QupZilla open-source web-browser built using Qt WebEngine and in development for the past seven years is now part of the KDE project and has renamed itself to Falkon.

    Earlier this month the QupZilla developers announced they would be moving under the KDE umbrella and in the process rename itself. Today they made it known their new name for this KDE web-browser is Falkon.

  • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews David Rosca of QupZilla

    QupZilla, currently at version 2.1.2, is a free software Web browser using the new and very fast QtWebEngine browser. It aims to be a lightweight Web browser available through all major platforms. This project was originally started only for educational purposes by a lone developer, David Rosca, and since then, QupZilla has grown into a feature-rich browser. QupZilla has all of the standard functions you expect from a Web browser. It includes bookmarks, history (including a sidebar view), and tabs. Above that, it has ad-blocking enabled by default with a built-in plugin. Over time, this one-man project has grown to include numerous contributors.

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More in Tux Machines

Bloomberg's big move on machine learning and open source

With its orange text on black interface and colour coded keyboard, the Bloomberg professional services terminal – known simply as ‘The Terminal’ – doesn’t appear to have changed much since it was launched in the early ’80s. But behind the retro (Bloomberg prefers ‘modern icon’) stylings, its delivery of financial markets data news, and trading tools has advanced rapidly. The terminal’s 315,000 subscribers globally are now able to leverage on machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing techniques developed by the company, as they seek an edge in their investment decisions. Bloomberg is also applying those same techniques to its internal processes. Leading the company’s efforts in the area is Bloomberg’s head of data science Gideon Mann, who spoke with CIO Australia earlier this month. [...] Behind much of Bloomberg’s recent builds has been an open source ethic. Mann says there has been a sea change within the company about open source. "When the company started in 1981 and there really wasn't a whole lot of open source. And so there was a mentality of you know if it's not invented here we're not interested,” Mann says. [...] The organisation took some convincing, but, championed by the CTO, there has been a “huge culture change” towards open source. “There are two groups you got to convince: you’ve got to convince management that using open source is going to be safe and lead to better software, and then you also have to convince engineers that using open source is going to increase their skillset, will lead to software that’s easier to maintain and is less buggy and it's going to be a more beautiful system. Once you can kind of convince those two then you're set,” Mann says. The company is an active contributor to projects including Solr, Hadoop, Apache Spark and Open Stack. Read more Also: Uber Open Sources AthenaX, Its Streaming Analytics Platform

Firefox 57 - Trick or Treat?

The best way to describe Firefox 57 is too little, too late, but better later than never. In a way, it's a pointless release, because it brings us back roughly where Firefox was and should have been years ago. Only all this time in between was wasted losing user base. WebExtensions will be the thing that makes or breaks the browser, and with insufficient quality in the available replacements for those that don't make the culling list, there will be no real incentive for people to stay around. Firefox 57 is better than earlier versions in terms of looks and performance, but that's like saying you get 50% discount on a price that is twice what it should be. Ultimately unnecessary, just like graduating from university by the age of 68. There aren't any major advantages over Chrome. This is essentially a Firefox that sucks less. So yes, on the positive side, if you do want to continue using Firefox, version 57 makes much more sense than the previous 53 releases. It has an almost normal look, some of the sorely needed security & privacy addons are available, and it offers a passable user experience in terms of speed and responsiveness. Bottom line, I will stick with Firefox for now. As long as my extensions keep working. Take care. Read more

Android Leftovers

The origin and evolution of FreeDOS

Over the years, developers have shared with me how they use FreeDOS to run embedded systems. My all-time favorite example is a developer who used FreeDOS to power a pinball machine. FreeDOS ran an application that controlled the board, tallied the score, and updated the back display. I don't know exactly how it was built, but one way such a system could work is to have every bumper register a "key" on a keyboard bus and the application simply read from that input. I thought it was cool. People sometimes forget about legacy software, but it pops up in unexpected places. I used to be campus CIO of a small university, and once a faculty member brought in some floppy disks with old research data on them. The data wasn't stored in plaintext files, rather as DOS application data. None of our modern systems would read the old data files, so we booted a spare PC with FreeDOS, downloaded a shareware DOS program that could read the application data, and exported the data to plaintext. Read more