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Interviews

Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for the Unix shell

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Interviews
OSS

When I first got involved in Unix and open source, I was choosing a pseudonym for a little podcast that I do called GNU World Order. I naively thought that in a community that values technology and, frequently, speculative fiction, the name "Klaatu" would be a quaintly obscure reference to my favorite movies. Of course, I have since learned that "Klaatu" as your handle in the tech community is rather like "Bob Smith" in the real world, so online I am also sometimes known as "notKlaatu" to set me apart from the other Klaatus.

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Mozilla pays it forward

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Interviews
Moz/FF

Mozilla and seven other organizations will be participating in the Grace Hopper Open Source Day codethon taking place during the main conference event, on October 14. Emma Irwin is a Community Education Lead with Mozilla, and talks to me about why Mozilla is involved in the codethon, what she gets out of it, and what participants learn from it.

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How I use Android: Falcon Pro and Twitter developer Joaquim Vergès

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Android
Interviews

No one knows that better than Joaquim Vergès. Vergès built a polished and popular Android Twitter client called Falcon only to run into Twitter's "token limit," which puts a cap on the number of users third-party apps can support. Long story short, Falcon hit the 100,000-user mark -- and Twitter cut Vergès off from allowing any more users to sign in.

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Ubuntu Will Not Abandon DEB Packaging in Favor of Snappy, Says Mark Shuttleworth

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Interviews
Ubuntu

In a recent interview with the Sean Michael Kerner from ServerWatch, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu, reveal some of the highlights of the upcoming Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) operating system.

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Special Exclusive: Q&A with Joyent CEO Scott Hammond

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Interviews
OSS

So far, we have utilized open source as a model to innovate quickly and engage with customers and a broad developer community. SmartOS and Node.js are open source projects we have run for a number of years. In November of last year we went all in when we open sourced two of the systems at Joyent’s core: SmartDataCenter and Manta Object Storage Service. The unifying technology beneath both SmartDataCenter and Manta is OS-based virtualization and we believe open sourcing both systems is a way to broaden the community around the systems and advance the adoption of OS-based virtualization industry-wide.

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Rackspace developer advocate on getting started with open source

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Interviews
OSS

There are several reasons. If you have an idea for a utility or framework or whatever, and you would like the support of an entire community of developers, open source is a great way to go. If you want your code "out there" so it can be reviewed and critiqued (which will improve your skills), open source is a good solution. If you are just out of school and want to establish yourself and show off your coding skills, start an open source project. Finally, if you're altruistic and just want to help the software community at large, yes, please, start an open source project.

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Exclusive Interview: Michael Miller of SUSE Talks About Transition and Contributing to Open Source

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Interviews
SUSE

SUSE is one of the Linux trinity -- which comprises Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical. SUSE is also one of the leading contributors to many open source projects, including the kernel itself. However, the company went through challenging times as it was acquired by one company after another. It seems that things have stabilized with the Micro Focus acquisition, so I sat down with Michael Miller, SUSE’s Vice President of Global Alliances & Marketing at LinuxCon and talked about topics ranging from acquisition to future plans.

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Interviews with FLOSS developers: Elena Grandi

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Interviews
Debian

One of fresh additions to Debian family, and thus wider FLOSS family is Elena Grandi. She is from realms of Valhalla and is setting her footprint into the community. A hacker mindset, a Free software lover and a 3D printing maker. Elena has big dedication to make the world free and better place for all. She tries to push limits on personal level with much care and love, and FLOSS community will benefit from her work and way of life in future. So what has the Viking lady to say about FLOSS? Meet Elena "of Valhalla" Grandi.

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Developer lowers Drupal's barrier to entry

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Interviews
Drupal

From a consumer perspective, I'd like open source to be ubiquitous to the point of invisibility. Using recent Ubuntu distros, I'm always shocked at how professional the environment feels. Just five years ago, you'd need to hunt down drivers and do a bunch of fiddling to get basic things like a sound card working. Now there are so many pushbutton ways to deploy open source tech, from OSes to CMS distros on Pantheon to buying an Android-powered mobile phone.

We're not quite to the point where CMS users can feel like open source is transparent; there's still a huge investment in vendors to give you the expertise to manage your Drupal or WordPress site, for example. But we're closer than we were a decade ago, and that's pretty exciting.

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Ubuntu on the Mainframe: Interview with Canonical's Dustin Kirkland

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Interviews
Ubuntu

Dustin Kirkland, from Canonical's Ubuntu Product and Strategy team, told me in a long interview at LinuxCon, "We are really steamrolling towards a GA release of Ubuntu on z Systems. Users of z Series systems are the types that buy hardware for 5 and 10 years and that lines up very well with our LTS of Ubuntu.” He also said they need to do some work on tool chain to ensure they have components like gclib libraries on all of the compilers, including other bits such as Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc., which are needed to build the Ubuntu universe. Users will start seeing that work coming out later this year and alpha/beta builds of Ubuntu in early 2016.

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More in Tux Machines

Remembering Vernon Adams

Open-source font developer Vernon Adams has passed away in California at the age of 49. [Vernon Adams] In 2014, Adams was injured in an automobile collision, sustaining serious trauma from which he never fully recovered. Perhaps best known within the Linux community as the creator of KDE's user-interface font Oxygen, Adams created a total of 51 font families published through Google Fonts, all under open licenses. He was also active in a number of related free-software projects, including FontForge, Metapolator, and the Open Font Library. In 2012, he co-authored the user's guide for FontForge as part of Google's Summer of Code Documentation Camp, which we reported on at that time. Read more

Fedora 24 review: The year’s best Linux distro is puzzlingly hard to recommend

Fedora 24 is one of the best Linux distro releases you're likely to see this year. And there are two other releases that I did not have room to cover in depth here: the Server and Cloud variants of Fedora 24, which pack in a ton of new features specific to those environments. The cloud platform especially continues to churn out the container-related features, with some new tools for OpenShift Origin, Fedora's Platform-as-a-Service system built around Google's Kubernetes project. Check out Fedora Magazine's release announcement for more on everything that's new in Server and Cloud. As always, Fedora WorkStation also comes in a variety of "Spins" that are pre-packaged setups for specific use cases. There are prepacked spins of all the major desktops, including Xfce, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, and LXDE (you can also get alternative desktops in one go by downloading the DVD installer). Spins aren't just for desktops, though. For example, there's an astronomy spin, a design suite spin, robotics-focused spin, a security spin, and several more. None of these spins have anything you can't set up yourself, but if you don't want to put in the time and effort, Fedora can handle that for you. Read more

New NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Console Shows Up At The FCC

While the Xiaomi Mi Box does seem to be inching closer towards its release and while this is expected to be the next big major device release for the Android TV platform, the last week has seen speculation mounting as to what NVIDIA might have up their sleeves. This is because a new SHIELD Controller popped up on the FCC and this was then followed by new filings for a new SHIELD Remote control. Of course, just because the two controller accessories were passing through the FCC, it does not automatically mean there will also be a new SHIELD Android TV device coming as well. Although on this particular occasion, that looks to be exactly what is happening. Read more

today's leftovers

  • BSODs at scale: we laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail
    It's an easy drive-by troll, isn't it? Last week, we asked readers to top the five-storey Blue Screen of Death spotted in Thailand, and examples big and small flooded the inbox. Manchester Piccadilly Station is either vying for the crown with last week's entry, or perhaps it's a display from the same maker. Thanks to James for catching this shot from 2013.
  • Monitoring of Monitoring
    I was recently asked to get data from a computer that controlled security cameras after a crime had been committed. Due to the potential issues I refused to collect the computer and insisted on performing the work at the office of the company in question. Hard drives are vulnerable to damage from vibration and there is always a risk involved in moving hard drives or systems containing them. A hard drive with evidence of a crime provides additional potential complications. So I wanted to stay within view of the man who commissioned the work just so there could be no misunderstanding. The system had a single IDE disk. The fact that it had an IDE disk is an indication of the age of the system. One of the benefits of SATA over IDE is that swapping disks is much easier, SATA is designed for hot-swap and even systems that don’t support hot-swap will have less risk of mechanical damage when changing disks if SATA is used instead of IDE. For an appliance type system where a disk might be expected to be changed by someone who’s not a sysadmin SATA provides more benefits over IDE than for some other use cases. I connected the IDE disk to a USB-IDE device so I could read it from my laptop. But the disk just made repeated buzzing sounds while failing to spin up. This is an indication that the drive was probably experiencing “stiction” which is where the heads stick to the platters and the drive motor isn’t strong enough to pull them off. In some cases hitting a drive will get it working again, but I’m certainly not going to hit a drive that might be subject to legal action! I recommended referring the drive to a data recovery company. The probability of getting useful data from the disk in question seems very low. It could be that the drive had stiction for months or years. If the drive is recovered it might turn out to have data from years ago and not the recent data that is desired. It is possible that the drive only got stiction after being turned off, but I’ll probably never know.
  • Blender 2.78 Is Adding Pascal Support, Fixes Maxwell Performance Issues
  • motranslator 1.1
    Four months after 1.0 release, motranslator 1.1 is out. If you happen to use it for untrusted data, this might be as well called security release, though this is still not good idea until we remove usage of eval() used to evaluate plural formula.
  • Live dmesg following
  • WineTricks has seen a massive amount of improvements this year
    WineTricks has seen allot of development recently, some of the notable changes are better IE 8 support, MetaTrader 4 support, Kindle improvements, Russian translation, A new self update function and a massive amount of other fixes and updates. The full changelog sense February 2016 and August 2016 is provided below with a download link to get the latest release.
  • Sunless Sea expansion Zubmariner releases on October 11th with Linux support
    Sunless Sea is about to get bigger, as Zubmariner has been confirmed for release on October 11th with Linux support.
  • Agenda, control an organization trying to take over the world in this strategy game
  • Clarity (Vector Design) Icon Theme for Linux Desktop’s
    Clarity Icon Theme is completely different from other icon themes because its purly based on Vector design. This theme is based on AwOken and Token, lots of shapes and basic color pallete was taken from these icons. Few icons was taken from Raphael. used some shapes from OpenClipart, Wikipedia, Humanity and AnyColorYouLike Themes. The rest of icons designed by developer by simplifying existed icons or logos. Two types of fonts used Impact and Cheboygan.
  • GUADEC 2016
    I have just returned from our annual users and developers conference. This years’ GUADEC has taken place in the lovely Karlsruhe, Germany. It once again was a fantastic opportunity to gather everyone who works pretty hard to make our desktop and platform the best out there. :)
  • GUADEC 2016, Karlsruhe
    Nice thing this year was that almost everyone was staying in the same place, or close; this favoured social gatherings even more than in the previous years. This was also helped by the organized events, every evenings, from barbecue to picnic, from local student-run bar to beer garden (thanks Centricular), and more. And during the days? Interesting talks of course, like the one offered by Rosanna about how the foundation runs (and how crazy is the US bank system), or the Builder update by Christian, and team meetings.
  • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" Linux Distro Launches with Trinity Desktop 14.0.3
    Softpedia has been informed today, August 28, 2016, by the developer of the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution about the immediate availability for download of a new stable release to the "Orion" series, version 1.6. The biggest new feature of the Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" release is the latest Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) 14.0.3 desktop environment, an open source project that tries to keep the spirit of the old-school KDE 3.5 desktop interface alive. Q4OS was used the most recent TDE version, so Q4OS 1.6 is here to update it. "The significant Q4OS 1.6 'Orion' release receives the most recent Trinity R14.0.3 stable version. Trinity R14.0.3 is the third maintenance release of the R14 series, it is intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability," say the Q4OS developers in the release announcement.
  • Antergos installation guide with screenshots
  • Reproducible builds: week 70 in Stretch cycle
  • Ubuntu's Mir May Be Ready For FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync
    The Mir display server may already be ready for working with AMD's FreeSync or VESA's Adaptive-Sync, once all of the other pieces to the Linux graphics stack are ready. If the comments from this Mir commit are understood and correct, it looks like Mir may be ready for supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync. While NVIDIA's proprietary driver supports their alternative G-SYNC technology on Linux, AMD FreeSync (or the similar VESA Adaptive-Sync standard) has yet to be supported by the AMD Linux stack. We won't be seeing any AMD FreeSync support until their DAL display stack lands. DAL still might come for Linux 4.9 but there hasn't been any commitment yet by AMD developers otherwise not until Linux 4.10+, and then after that point FreeSync can ultimately come to the open-source AMD driver. At least with the AMDGPU-PRO driver relying upon its own DKMS module, DAL with FreeSync can land there earlier.
  • Python vs. C/C++ in embedded systems
    The C/C++ programming languages dominate embedded systems programming, though they have a number of disadvantages. Python, on the other hand, has many strengths that make it a great language for embedded systems. Let's look at the pros and cons of each, and why you should consider Python for embedded programming.