Interviews

Interviews with various people, mostly in the FOSS world

Video Interview: Werner Knoblich, VP & GM EMEA – Red Hat

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Red Hat
Interviews

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.

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Why I Built OwnCloud and Made It Open Source

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Server
Interviews
OSS

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.

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Q&A: Red Hat's Chief People Officer on hiring Millennials

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Red Hat
Interviews

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.

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Randa Meetings Interview: Sanjiban Bairagya

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KDE
Interviews

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!

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More from Randa:

  • Sponsors required for KDE code sprint in 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.

  • Starving Developers

    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.

Misc. KDE:

  • Geogebra file support in Kig ( GSoC Report )

    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 :

  • First Report

    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.

  • Last week in Krita — week 23 & 24

    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

  • after convergence

    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.)

  • QML module versions and automatic imports
  • Five Musings on Frameworks Quality

    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.

The Linux Setup - Tom Callaway, Red Hat

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Red Hat
Interviews

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.

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The People Who Support Linux: Embedded Linux Hobbyist Maintains eLinux Wiki

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Linux
Interviews

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.”

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Tails interview

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Interviews
Security
Debian

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.”

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'Open Source Has Enabled Us To Add The Desired Value To Our Products'

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Interviews
OSS

Diksha P Gupta from Open Source For You spoke to Jim Thompson, CTO, TCIS, Unisys and L.N.V Samy, VP, Engineering, GTC, Unisys, about the firm’s operations in India.

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Red Hat: Governments should invest in open source cloud to keep up with technology

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Red Hat
Server
Interviews

Governments should invest in open source cloud to avoid getting trapped with a vendor and their offerings when they need to meet policy requirements or the time comes to update to new technology, Red Hat says.

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DoodleBorg Interview

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Linux
Interviews

DoodleBorg is] running off six motorcycle starter motors. It’s using mini all-terrain vehicle wheels and has a custom chassis made out of six-millimetre thick steel that has been laser cut. It has two motorcycle batteries, and six of our wonderful PicoBorg reverse control boards which are capable of five amps per channel, ten amps in total. We’ve got them connected up, one per motor so we can individually control each of the wheels. This means we can make alternate wheels go in all sorts of directions if we want them to. There are some big crazy switches on the front that serve emergency power-offs too.

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The People Who Support Linux: Engineer Thanks Father for His Linux Career

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Software engineer Thomas Gibbons remembers from an early age working with his father to set up mail servers in their home in Kidderminster, England. His dad, Christopher Gibbons, a BT (British Telecom) engineer, was always eager to teach him about things he expressed interested in, he said via phone this week.

“He got me into programming as well. I'm where I am today because of my father's faith in me,” Gibbons said. “Whenever I wanted to learn something, he said 'Great, we'll learn it together.”

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Randa Meetings Interview One: Cristian Oneț

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KDE
Interviews

This is one of our first interviews with the excited attendees of the Randa meetings and today you shall get a glimpse into the mind, workings and makings of Cristian Oneț who has been with KDE since quite some time now and has been a prominent contributor.

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A responsibility to use the open source products we work on

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Red Hat
Interviews

It basically boils down to the fact that in the open source world, the majority of work is done on open source UNIX-like operating systems such as GNU/Linux, *BSD, and somewhat recently in the IllumOS space. Each of these options are solid choices for server-side use, with varying preferences on which is the best. I think the server market share in recent years is evidence of this. However, the desktop has kind of been the peak of the mountaintop that we've yet reached. In the past few years there's been an influx of people who I think have given up on the desktop, have put down their distro of choice, and picked up a Mac because it offers a UNIX-like work environment with a nice polished "out of box" experience. I don't think this is inherently wrong or evil, but I do think that we all owe it to ourselves, and to our community, to sit back and ask: "What is this $thing lacking that makes me not want to use it?" (Though most often that $thing is GNOME3, Unity, Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, or some distro that ships with the desktop by default.)

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Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

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Interviews
OSS

Microsoft eventually used SCO as a proxy to achieve what it disclosed to HP that day. I'd been warned long before that happened, and could do nothing until SCO announced their damaging but ultimately unsuccessful jihad against Linux.

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The Linux Setup - Sean Cross, Novena Developer

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Linux
Hardware
Interviews

I’m not a big hardware guy. At all. Specs mean very little to me. However, Sean’s hardware is interesting, as it’s a Novena, something he developed himself. And of course, because he’s working with Linux, he’s able to get things to run pretty well. I have no idea what the future of the Novena is, but I love that people can make new devices that will be able to access familiar software and interfaces. Microsoft is making Windows cost-free for certain devices. It’s a smarter strategy than charging manufacturers, but until they let people get under the hood of the code, they’re going to have a hard time reaching new, experimental devices. Which is actually OK with me, since I’m happy to have Linux in as many places as possible.

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The Companies That Support Linux: Rackspace

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GNU
Linux
Server
Interviews

Rackspace has lately been in the news for its stock market gains and a potential acquisition. But over the past 16 years the company has become well known, first as a web hosting provider built on Linux and open source, and later as a pioneer of the open source cloud and founder of the OpenStack cloud platform.

In May, Rackspace became a Xen Project member and was one of three companies to join the Linux Foundation as a corporate member, along with CoreOS and Cumulus Networks.

“Many of the applications and infrastructure that we need to run for internal use or for customers run best on Linux,” said Paul Voccio, Senior Director of Software Development at Rackspace, via email. “This includes all the popular language frameworks and open virtualization platforms such as Xen, LXC, KVM, Docker, etc.”

In this Q&A, Voccio discusses the role of Rackspace in the cloud, how the company uses Linux, why they joined the Linux Foundation, as well as current trends and future technologies in the data center.

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OPENDAYLIGHT DEVELOPER SPOTLIGHT: LUIS GOMEZ

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Linux
Interviews

Luis Gomez is Principal Software Test Engineer at Brocade and currently coordinates the Integration Group at OpenDaylight. Prior to this, Luis worked many years at Ericsson in end-to-end solution integration and verification for radio, fixed, core and transport functions...

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A Conversation With Linus Torvalds, Who Built The World's Most Robust Operating System And Gave It Away For Free

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Linux
Interviews

In 1991, 22-year old Finnish computer programmer Linus Torvalds released his own operating system. Opening with the message “Hello everybody out there,” (a now-iconic phrase among Linux fans), he posted the source code online. People alternately contributed their abilities to improve it where they could or went off to build their own things with it.

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RASPBERRY PI IN SCHOOLS

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Interviews

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.

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The Companies That Support Linux: Cumulus Networks

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Linux
Interviews

Linux has already transformed data center economics on the server side, and Cumulus Networks is set to do it again – this time through the network. The company behind Cumulus Linux, the first distribution for data center switches and other networking hardware, is part of a broader enterprise movement toward open networking.

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