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Interviews

5 open source programs for the automated teen's toolbox

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Interviews
OSS

My first open source project was GIMP. In second grade, I made a cover for a small book I wrote. My dad taught me how to deal with layers so that I ended up looking like I was hugging a fictional character (Fancy Nancy!). As far as the first open source project for other kids, I would suggest OpenShot [video editor]. It was my brother's first open source program, too. It's so simple to use, but complex enough so that kids can get a head start into a more advanced field—video editing.

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Podcast: A chat with Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer

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Android
Interviews

Hiroshi Lockheimer loves seeing his work in the hands of strangers.

That simple fact is what he credits with his decision to take a job at Google a decade ago -- and maybe, just maybe, give himself the chance to have his software show up on phones around the world.

It was a dream that seemed both distant and wild at the time.

"We were a tiny, tiny part of Google," Lockheimer remembers, thinking back to his early days with the company -- when Android was still a closely guarded top-secret project. "We were kind of an outpost of an outpost of an outpost type of thing."

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Is your open source community optimized for contributors?

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Interviews
Moz/FF
OSS

Josh Matthews is a platform developer at Mozilla. He's a programmer who writes Rust code and is active in the development of Firefox. His development experience has led him to enjoy mentoring new contributors in open source projects.

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Teaching teachers to teach open source

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Interviews
OSS

This seems obvious, but the ability to learn independently is very important to successful student participation in HFOSS projects. Students have to be able to learn in a variety of manners from a range of different sources, and they need to take ownership of their learning in order to flourish in an open source community.

Communication, teamwork and the ability to problem solve are also critical skills. While understanding technologies such as version control is emphasized by most open source communities, students who don't understand how to navigate a professional environment by communicating clearly or who can't work on a team won't even get to the point of using those technologies. These process skills can sometimes be more difficult to teach than teaching a student Java.

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Linux founder Torvalds on the Internet of Things: Security plays second fiddle

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Linux
Interviews

This development caught Torvald, Linux's founder, by surprise -- 15 years ago. "I never see the entire chain running Linux. Twenty five years ago I started Linux wanting a workstation. From that to a server wasn't a surprise. There was no single point where I was surprised, but 15 years ago I started seeing these odd, embedded systems. The first one that really caught my eye was a gas pump running Linux."

Today, Torvalds continued, "Many changes have been invisible. Even I don't see all the uses of Linux."

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The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Matt Lee of GNU Social

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GNU
Interviews

GNU social was created as a companion to my earlier project, GNU FM, which we created to build the social music platform, Libre.fm. After only a few short months, Libre.fm had over 20,000 users and I realized I didn't want to be another social media silo like MySpace or Facebook, so I came up with this vague idea called GNU social. A few prototypes were built, and eventually we started making GNU social as a series of plugins for Evan Prodromou's StatusNet project, with some help from Ian Denhardt, Craig Andrews and Steven DuBois. Later, StatusNet, GNU social and Free&Social (a fork of StatusNet) would merge into a single project called GNU social. If that sounds confusing and convoluted, it is.

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Linux at 25: Q&A With Linus Torvalds

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Linux
Interviews

Linus Torvalds created the original core of the Linux operating system in 1991 as a computer science student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linux rapidly grew into a full-featured operating system that can now be found running smartphones, servers, and all kinds of gadgets. In this e-mail interview, Torvalds reflects on the last quarter century and what the next 25 years might bring.

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Also: Linux at 25: Why It Flourished While Others Fizzled

Ubuntu being pulled into “game changing” areas – Canonical CEO

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Interviews
Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said developers are now targeting the company’s Ubuntu platform for “game changing” areas such as Network Function Virtualisation and Internet of Things.

Last month, the company significantly boosted its convergence strategy, unveiling the first Ubuntu-powered tablet, from European vendor BQ, following earlier launches in the smartphone space.

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Q&A: Dinsmore sees open source Apache Spark moving to new stage

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Interviews

First of all, there is no question that open source is becoming more pervasive in the enterprise stacks. And open source is part of the DNA of Hadoop. It is an essential part of the business model of Hadoop.

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Ballmer on Linux

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
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BlueBorne Vulnerability Is Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

Canonical released today new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases, patching recently discovered security vulnerabilities, including the infamous BlueBorne that exposes billions of Bluetooth devices. The BlueBorne vulnerability (CVE-2017-1000251) appears to affect all supported Ubuntu versions, including Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) up to 16.04.3, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) up to 14.04.5, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) up to 12.04.5. Read more

Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS