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Interviews

Linux Foundation SysAdmin Aric Gardner Avoids a GUI at All Costs

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Linux
Interviews

Aric Gardner is a Linux Foundation SysAdmin who works on the OpenDaylight collaborative project. Here he tells the story of how became a sysadmin, shares his specialty in scripting and automation, and describes a typical day at work, among other things.

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Interview with Nathan Willis, GUADEC Keynote Speaker

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Interviews
GNOME

GUADEC 2014 is almost upon us, and we are talking to the three keynote speakers who are lined up for this year’s conference. Nathan Wills – LWN editor, typeface designer and author – is one of these keynote speakers. His talk, titled Should We Teach The Robot To Kill, addresses issues relating to Free Software and the automative industry. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about this fascinating subject, as well as his views on Free Software conferences.

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An Interview with Karen Sandler

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GNU
Interviews
OSS
GNOME

Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

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Exclusive interview with Agustin Benito Bethencourt on joining Linaro

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Interviews

Linaro is growing fast so I am currently focused on management and development processes. Together with the technical leads and the project managers, my goal is to keep high levels of efficiency within the Group while growing, keeping the Free Software culture that has made Linaro so successful.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Clint Savage Reminisces on Weeklong Hackfest

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Linux
Interviews

Clint Savage is a system administrator for the Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects. Here he discusses the new technologies he's been digging into lately, his favorite part of the job, and fond memories of a weeklong hackfest with his coworkers.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Konstantin Ryabitsev, an SELinux Expert

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Interviews

I was working at McGill University InfoSec at the time, and was also active with Fedora Project -- which is how my name showed up on the list of candidates. The Linux Foundation was looking for a systems administrator with a strong background in IT security -- who would also be a good fit for a decentralized team of passionate open-source advocates. I'm extremely glad I was a good fit for the position, as I can't imagine receiving as much satisfaction from any other job.

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Raspberry Pi 3D full-body scanner interview

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Development
Interviews
Gadgets

“In the last five to six years I began working with 3D printers and CNC machines. I started to build stuff, such as furniture and gadgets, and my first Raspberry Pi project was the Pi Snap Box. It’s the size of a mini-PC and is a box you put on the wall with one button on it. If you press the button, it takes three photos. It posts the first photo to a Facebook account for whoever the box belongs to. So for example, if you hang it up in a hairdresser’s salon and get your hair done all nicely, people could then see the good results on the hairdresser’s Facebook page.

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The state of accessibility in Linux and open source software

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

Spencer Hunley is an autistic professional, former Vice Chair of the Kansas City Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, and current board member of the Autism Society of the Heartland & ASAN's Kansas City chapter. In August, Spencer will be giving a talk, Universal Tux: Accessibility For Our Future Selves, at LinuxCon in Chicago. He also gave a talk, Maximizing Accessibility: Engaging People with Disabilities In The Linux Community, at LinuxCon North America 2013.

In this interview, Spencer provides an update on the state of accessibility in Linux and open source software.

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Why Women in Tech Can, and Should, Write a Better Resume

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Linux
Interviews

Experience with Linux is an important thing – a track record of tinkering and involvement in the open source world. Working in drivers, embedded Linux, etc. At this point companies are desperate for Linux talent. The most important thing to show is you've gotten hands-on with bits of the kernel, whichever ones are interesting to you personally. Time spent as a site reliability engineer or working in a DevOps environment is particularly attractive to employers these days, as are well rounded sys admin skills. Even if you just run Linux as your primary operating system and know how to tinker with your machine, you’re ahead of many candidates.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD
    Most of the open source questioners come from larger organisations. Banks very rarely pop up here, and governments have long been hip to using open source. Both have ancient, proprietary systems in place here and there that are finally crumbling to dust and need replacing fast. Their concerns are more oft around risk management and picking the right projects. It’s usually organisations whose business is dealing with actual three dimensional objects that ask about open source. Manufacturing, industrials, oil and gas, mining, and others who have typically looked at IT as, at best, a helper for their business rather than a core product enabler. These industries are witnessing the lighting fast injection of software into their products - that whole “Internet of Things” jag we keep hearing about. Companies here are being forced to look at both using open source in their products and shipping open source as part of their business. The technical and pricing requirements for IoT scale software is a perfect fit for open source, especially that pricing bit. On the other end - peddling open source themselves - companies that are looking to build and sell software-driven “platforms” are finding that partners and developers are not so keen to join closed source ecosystems. These two pulls create some weird clunking in the heads of management at these companies who aren’t used to working with a sandles and rainbow frame of mind. They have a scepticism born of their inexperience with open source. Let’s address some of their trepidation.
  • Real business innovation begins with open practices
    To business leaders, "open source" often sounds too altruistic—and altruism is in short supply on the average balance sheet. But using and contributing to open source makes hard-nosed business sense, particularly as a way of increasing innovation. Today's firms all face increased competition and dynamic markets. Yesterday's big bang can easily become today's cautionary tale. Strategically, the only viable response to this disruption is constantly striving to serve customers better through sustained and continuous innovation. But delivering innovation is hard; the key is to embrace open and collaborative innovation across organizational walls—open innovation. Open source communities' values and practices generate open innovation, and working in open source is a practical, pragmatic way of delivering innovation. To avoid the all-too-real risk of buzzword bingo we can consider two definitions of "innovation": creating value (that serves customer needs) to sell for a profit; or reducing what a firm pays for services.
  • This Week In Servo 79
    In the last week, we landed 96 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories. Promise support has arrived in Servo, thanks to hard work by jdm, dati91, and mmatyas! This does not fully implement microtasks, but unblocks the uses of Promises in many places (e.g., the WebBluetooth test suite). Emilio rewrote the bindings generation code for rust-bindgen, dramatically improving the flow of the code and output generated when producing Rust bindings for C and C++ code. The TPAC WebBluetooth standards meeting talked a bit about the great progress by the team at the University of Szeged in the context of Servo.
  • Servo Web Engine Now Supports Promises, Continues Churning Along
    It's been nearly two months since last writing about Mozilla's Servo web layout engine (in early August, back when WebRender2 landed) but development has kept up and they continue enabling more features for this next-generation alternative to Gecko. The latest is that Servo now supports JavaScript promises. If you are unfamiliar with the promise support, see this guide. The latest Servo code has improvements around its Rust binding generator for C and C++ code plus other changes.
  • Riak TS for time series analysis at scale
    Until recently, doing time series analysis at scale was expensive and almost exclusively the domain of large enterprises. What made time series a hard and expensive problem to tackle? Until the advent of the NoSQL database, scaling up to meet increasing velocity and volumes of data generally meant scaling hardware vertically by adding CPUs, memory, or additional hard drives. When combined with database licensing models that charged per processor core, the cost of scaling was simply out of reach for most. Fortunately, the open source community is democratising large scale data analysis rapidly, and I am lucky enough to work at a company making contributions in this space. In my talk at All Things Open this year, I'll introduce Riak TS, a key-value database optimized to store and retrieve time series data for massive data sets, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with three other open source tools—Python, Pandas, and Jupyter—to build a completely open source time series analysis platform. And it doesn't take all that long.
  • Free Software Directory meeting recap for September 23rd, 2016

Security News

  • security things in Linux v4.5
  • Time to Kill Security Questions—or Answer Them With Lies
    The notion of using robust, random passwords has become all but mainstream—by now anyone with an inkling of security sense knows that “password1” and “1234567” aren’t doing them any favors. But even as password security improves, there’s something even more problematic that underlies them: security questions. Last week Yahoo revealed that it had been massively hacked, with at least 500 million of its users’ data compromised by state sponsored intruders. And included in the company’s list of breached data weren’t just the usual hashed passwords and email addresses, but the security questions and answers that victims had chosen as a backup means of resetting their passwords—supposedly secret information like your favorite place to vacation or the street you grew up on. Yahoo’s data debacle highlights how those innocuous-seeming questions remain a weak link in our online authentication systems. Ask the security community about security questions, and they’ll tell you that they should be abolished—and that until they are, you should never answer them honestly. From their dangerous guessability to the difficulty of changing them after a major breach like Yahoo’s, security questions have proven to be deeply inadequate as contingency mechanisms for passwords. They’re meant to be a reliable last-ditch recovery feature: Even if you forget a complicated password, the thinking goes, you won’t forget your mother’s maiden name or the city you were born in. But by relying on factual data that was never meant to be kept secret in the first place—web and social media searches can often reveal where someone grew up or what the make of their first car was—the approach puts accounts at risk. And since your first pet’s name never changes, your answers to security questions can be instantly compromised across many digital services if they are revealed through digital snooping or a data breach.
  • LibreSSL and the latest OpenSSL security advisory
    Just a quick note that LibreSSL is not impacted by either of the issues mentioned in the latest OpenSSL security advisory - both of the issues exist in code that was added to OpenSSL in the last release, which is not present in LibreSSL.
  • Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by >145k hacked cameras
    Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there's word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger. The attacks were first reported on September 19 by Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH. The first one reached 1.1 Tbps while a follow-on was 901 Gbps. Then, last Friday, he reported more attacks that were in the same almost incomprehensible range. He said the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were delivered through a collection of hacked Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders. With each one having the ability to bombard targets with 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps, he estimated the botnet had a capacity of 1.5 Tbps. On Monday, Klaba reported that more than 6,800 new cameras had joined the botnet and said further that over the previous 48 hours the hosting service was subjected to dozens of attacks, some ranging from 100 Gbps to 800 Gbps. On Wednesday, he said more than 15,000 new devices had participated in attacks over the past 48 hours.

Android Leftovers

GNU/Linux/FOSS Events

  • PyCon 2016
    I come from a place where everyone worships competitive coding and thus cpp, so the experience of attending my first pycon was much awaited for me. This year’s PyCon India happened in Delhi and i along with a couple of my friends reached on 23rd September, the first day. We were a bit late but it was all right because, we didn’t miss anything.
  • What do you have to say? Share it at LibrePlanet 2017
  • LibrePlanet returns March 25-26, 2017, call for proposals for annual free software conference now open
    LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts. The conference brings together software developers, policy experts, activists and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments and face challenges to software freedom. Newcomers are always welcome, and LibrePlanet 2017 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels. This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is "The Roots of Freedom." This encompasses the historical "roots" of the free software movement -- the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and a focus on strong security and privacy protections -- and the concept of roots as a strong foundation from which the movement grows. "LibrePlanet is an impactful, exciting free software conference. Attendance has grown each year, yet the community-minded atmosphere has grown even stronger," said John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF.
  • The Linux Foundation Announces Session Lineup for MesosCon Asia
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the schedule for MesosCon Asia, taking place November 18-19 in Hangzhou, China.