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Interviews

Canonical on Path to IPO as Ubuntu Unity Linux Desktop Gets Ditched

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Interviews
Ubuntu

In October 2010, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu open-source operating system and CEO of Canonical, announced his grand plan to build a converged Linux desktop that would work on mobile devices, desktops and even TVs. He called the effort "Unity" and poured significant financial resources into it.

Seven years later, the Unity dream is dead.

On Oct. 19, Ubuntu 17.10 was released as the first Ubuntu Linux version since 2010 that didn't use Unity as the default Linux desktop. In a video interview with eWEEK, Shuttleworth details the rationale behind his decision to cancel Unity and why he has now put his company on the path toward an initial public offering (IPO).

Because Ubuntu has moved into the mainstream in a bunch of areas, including the cloud, he said some of the things his company had been doing were never going to be commercially sustainable.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 delivers new desktop and cloud enhancements

Running Android on Top of a Linux Graphics Stack

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Android
Linux
Interviews

Traditional Linux graphics systems (like X11) mostly did not use planes. But modern graphics systems like Android and Wayland can take full advantage of it.

Android has the most mature implementation of plane support in HWComposer, and its graphics stack is a bit different from the usual Linux desktop graphics stack. On desktops, the typical compositor just uses the GPU for all composition, because this is the only thing that exists on the desktop.

Most embedded and mobile chips have specialized 2D composition hardware that Android is designed around. The way this is done is by dividing the things that are displayed into layers, and then intelligently feeding the layers to hardware that is optimized to handle layers. This frees up the GPU to work on the things you actually care about, while at the same time, it lets hardware that is more efficient do what it does best.

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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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today's leftovers

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    Linux Users Discuss DRM. Today my Brandon and I discuss encrypted media extensions, digital rights management and our freedom on the Linux desktop. So join Brandon and I as we as Linux Users Discuss DRM.
  • i965 Shader Cache Revised As It Still Might Squeeze Into Mesa 17.3
    Intel's Jordan Justen has sent out his third revision to the recently renewed patches for allowing an OpenGL on-disk shader cache for the "i965" Mesa driver. Just a few days back Jordan sent out a revised Intel shader cache implementation for this code that's long been baking on the Intel side but yet to be merged for mainline Mesa while the RadeonSI shader cache and co has been present now for many months.
  • Sunday Linux Gaming Wrap-up
  • retro-gtk: The Future, Marty!
    Let's come back to retro-gtk. In the previous articles I explained how bad retro-gtk was, what I did to start improving it and more importantly what I did to prepare the terrain for further development. This article will detail the aforementioned planed improvements!
  • Ikea’s Open-Source Showrooms
    Ikea Group will also roll out a new digital platform called 'Co-Create Ikea' which mimics its IT division's open-source software development, where customers have the chance help develop and test new products.
  • Glibc Picks Up Some More FMA Performance Optimizations
    The GNU C Library, glibc, has picked up support for some additional functions as FMA-optimized versions. The newest functions now getting the fused multiply-add (FMA) support are powf(), logf(), exp2f(), and log2f(). The FMA instruction set is present since Intel Haswell and AMD Piledriver generations and like past FMA optimizations, the benefits can be quite noticeable.
  • Landmark release of Termination of Transfer tool from Creative Commons and Authors Alliance
    For more than a decade, Creative Commons has developed and stewarded legal tools that give creators the opportunity to share their work on open terms. We have focused on tools that empower sharing at the moment of publication, leaving out an important group of creators: what about those who previously signed away their rights to their works long ago, but who now want to share on open terms under a CC license or renegotiate unfavorable publishing terms?
  • The recent catastrophic Wi-Fi vulnerability was in plain sight for 13 years behind a corporate paywall
    The recent Wi-Fi “KRACK” vulnerability, which allowed anyone to get onto a secure network (and which was quickly patched by reputable vendors), had been in plain sight behind a corporate-level paywall for 13 years. This raises a number of relevant, interesting, and uncomfortable questions.

Events: openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017, GStreamer Conference 2017, FSFE Assembly During 34C3

  • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 in Tokyo
  • GStreamer Conference 2017 Videos
    Taking place this weekend in Prague has been the 8th annual GStreamer Conference, which is preceding next week's Linux Foundation Embedded Linux Conference Europe.
  • Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 34C3
    With the CCC moving from Hamburg to Leipzig, there are not only logistic changes to be done but also some organisational changes. We are still figuring out the details, but in the context of this call, one of the major changes will be the loss of free available rooms to book for self-organised sessions. Instead, assemblies that match with each other are asked to cluster around 1 of several stages and use that as a common stage for self-organized sessions together. To make the most of this situation, the FSFE will for the first time not join the Noisy Square this year but form a new neighbourhood with other freedom fighting NGOs – in particular with our friends from European Digital Rights. However, at this point of time, we do not yet have more information about the concrete or final arrangements.

Android Leftovers

GNOME 3.28 Linux Desktop Environment Development Kicks Off with First Snapshot

GNOME developer Javier Jardón is kicking off the development of the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment with the first snapshot, GNOME 3.27.1, which is now available for public testing. Read more