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Interviews

Mark Shuttleworth: ‘Ubuntu keeps GNU/Linux relevant

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
Ubuntu

In my ongoing quest to interview the leadership of every Linux distribution on the planet (see my interviews with the heads of elementary, Fedora and openSUSE) I reached out to the top dog in the Ubuntu world: Mark Shuttleworth.

This is not a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred sort of interview. It’s just a casual chat to hear about Ubuntu from the guy that started it and hopefully, in the process, get to know him a little better.

What follows are his unedited answers. I have some opinions (both good and bad) about Mark's answers—and I expect most of you will, too. But I'm going to keep them to myself here. I'll let his answers speak for themselves without much commentary from me.

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How Red Hat became the world's first billion dollar open source company - An interview with CEO Jim Whitehurst

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Red Hat
Interviews

In my first month at Red Hat, we made several significant decisions, some I was not involved in. I recognized then that an organization allowed to see things in the market and respond quickly, without an order coming down the chain of command, has the ability to be extremely competitive. What's more, because people feel empowered to act, they're more engaged.

We don't experience change management problems the way other organizations do. While being open means including more people and weighing their feedback, all of which can take time, once we've made a decision at Red Hat, things happen quickly. I would say we spend more time in the decision-making process so that once decisions are made, execution is fast.

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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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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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More in Tux Machines

MX Tools - A year later, the toolbox got better

Roughly fourteen full phases of the moon ago, I wrote an article on MX Tools, a unique and useful bunch of dedicated utilities packaged with the MX Linux distribution. This toolbox offered the ordinary (or new) MX Linux user a chance to perform some common configuration tasks with easy and elegance. In general, MX-16 was a great player, and the recent MX-17 is even better - and at a first glance, so is the new version of MX Tools bundled with the system. Good stuff. So I set about testing, to see what has changed, and in what way this set of utilities has improved, if at all. But I'm positive. Let us commence. [...] MX Tools turned out to be a predictable gem, just as I'd expected. Well, I'm cheating, because I wrote this article after some rather thorough testing. But then, if you look across the wider spectrum of Linux home distributions, there aren't that many unique players with distinctive features. Quite often, it's the rehash of old and familiar with some extra color, polish and rebranding. MX Linux goes the extra mile (or kilometer, if you will) in making the newbie experience meaningfully different. Future improvements could potentially include an interactive walkthrough - so users will be actively prompted and helped along in their tasks. Then of course, there's the matter of visual appearance, in the UI itself. But in general, MX Tools TNG is better than we had before. More elegant, more streamlined, better looking, and most importantly, more practical. This is a good and useful toolbox, and it makes a solid distro even more appealing. Well worth testing. So do it. And take care. Read more

The story of Gentoo management

I have recently made a tabular summary of (probably) all Council members and Trustees in the history of Gentoo. I think that this table provides a very succinct way of expressing the changes within management of Gentoo. While it can’t express the complete history of Gentoo, it can serve as a useful tool of reference. What questions can it answer? For example, it provides an easy way to see how many terms individuals have served, or how long Trustee terms were. You can clearly see who served both on the Council and on the Board and when those two bodies had common members. Most notably, it collects a fair amount of hard-to-find data in a single table. Read more

Success for net neutrality, success for free software

We've had great success with the United States Senate voting in support of net neutrality! Congratulations and thank you to everyone in the US for contacting your congresspeople, and all of you who helped spread the word. However, it's not over yet. Here are more actions you can take if you're in the United States. Now that the (CRA) has passed the Senate, it moves to the House of Representatives. Just as we asked you to call your senators, now it's time to call your House representatives. Find their contact info here and use the script below to ask them to support the reinstatement of net neutrality protections. The timing hasn't been set for future votes and hearings yet, but that's no reason to wait: make sure your representatives know how you feel. Read more Also: GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!

today's leftovers

  • 10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Isn’t Mainstream – For The Record
    10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Isn’t Mainstream. Yeah, the title is totally link-bait. However, it’s worth noting that I actually deliver what the title describes and then some. Linux is awesome, but sadly, most people haven’t heard of it. Here’s why.
  • Linux Works For You
    Linux allows YOUR computer to work for you, not against you. Wearing this shirt/hoodie demonstrates to all who see it that you are not a slave to your PC. You are in control and Linux is the reason for this.
  • Robin "Roblimo" Miller
    The Linux Journal mourns the passing of Robin Miller, a longtime presence in our community.
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  • Pidgin / Libpurple SkypeWeb Plugin Sees New Stable Release
    SkypeWeb is a plugin that allows using Skype in Pidgin / libpurple chat clients. The plugin can be used to send instant messages and participate in group chats, but it does not yet support voice / video calling.
  • Feral's GameMode May Soon Have Soft Real-Time Capabilities
    Feral Interactive's Linux system tuning daemon, GameMode since being introduced earlier this year has primarily offered the ability to easily change the CPU scaling governor when gaming but not much more. Though a new feature is now in the works for GameMode.
  • Mini DebConf Hamburg
    Last week I attended the MiniDebConfHamburg. I worked on new releases of dracut and rinse. Dracut is an initramfs-tools replacement which now supports early microcode loading. Rinse is a tool similar to debootstrap for rpm distributions, which now can create Fedora 28 environments aka chroots.
  • Android and Automotive Grade Linux battle, as car becomes a data center
    Volvo’s decision to pick Intel’s Atom automotive system-on-chip (SoC) to run in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) for its new XC40 SUV highlights the intensifying competition among chipmakers in this fast growing sphere. The decision to base the system on Android also illuminates the evolving operating system scene for cars, with Linux the primary alternative in its AGL (Automotive Grade Linux) variant. However, given the complementary strengths of Android and Linux, it looks more likely that both will be deployed by many automobile makers in hybrid packages, so that they can take advantage of Android’s huge app ecosystem, encouraging plenty of third party enhancements, as well as harnessing the independence and enterprise scale of Linux. As cars become mini-data centers or edge compute…
  • Vending machine boardset works with UP or UP Squared boards
    Aaeon’s “AIOT-MSSP01” is a vending machine boardset powered by a PIC32 MCU that’s optimized to work with the UP or UP Squared SBCs. It offers vending-friendly I/O like MDB, EXE, and DEX, as well as motor controllers and 6x USB ports. The AIOT-MSSP01 is an industrial-grade vending machine controller (VMC) solution designed to run 24/7 “without a glitch,” says Aaeon. The boardset is optimized for use with the UP or UP Squared SBCs, but works with standard PCs and “most computer boards on the market.” There’s no mention of OS support for the connected computer, but the UP SBCs support Linux, Android, and Windows.