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Interviews

Interview with openSUSE chairman Richard Brown

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Interviews
SUSE

I’ve been using Linux since around 2003. I think my first distribution was Slackware, followed by Debian, but it wasn’t very long before I discovered SUSE and since then I’ve been hooked. I started contributing with the great ‘opening up’ of the distribution that came with the launch of the openSUSE Project in 2005. In terms of ‘upstream contributions’, I’ve contributed to GNOME, ownCloud, Spacewalk, Cobbler, and a few other projects over the years, but normally through my involvement with openSUSE. I guess you could say I’m a little ‘Geeko-centric’ that way.

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Interview with Bitcoin Armory

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Interviews
OSS

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Alan Reiner, core developer of Bitcoin Armory, a bitcoin wallet focused on security. Bitcoin Armory is licensed under the terms of GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

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Linux Foundation Certified Engineer Will Sheldon on What It's Like to Pass the Exam

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Linux
Interviews

I was drawn to the stability of the platform and the vast array of GNU FOSS software available coupled with the fantastic community surrounding so many software projects.

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Dan Allen and Sarah White: Documentation Dearth Dooms Open Source Projects

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Interviews
OSS

Dan Allen: I can understand the programmer's dilemma in having to write documentation. It can be a long and painful process. Documentation in open source is often a missing link. There are four major pillars of developing open source software. Each one has it own elements of problem-solving associated with it. These are design, code writing, testing and documentation.

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Share your genetic story with openSNP

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Interviews
OSS

openSNP is a non-profit, open source web application project that allows users to take consumer genotype tests and upload the raw data so that it's accessible to everyone. The tool parses and annotates the data, and lets users share it with others. I spent some time chatting with one of the founders of the project, Bastian Greshake, about why he started openSNP, what technology the project uses, and how they actively try to scare their users away before getting them to sign up.

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Open source is not dead

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Red Hat
Interviews
OSS
Security

I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source.

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Seneca College realizes value of open source

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Red Hat
Interviews
OSS

Red Hat has done a lot of work with CDOT, lately specializing in Fedora for ARM processors. Pidora, the Fedora Linux Remix specifically targeted to the Rasberry Pi, was primarily developed at CDOT.

Another company that we have been working with lately is Blindside Networks. They do a lot of work with CDOT on the BigBlueButton project, which is a web conferencing tool for online education.

NexJ is a Toronto-based software development firm that has worked with CDOT on various aspects of open health tools on the server side and integration of medical devices with smart phones.

We have recently started working on the edX platform, where developers around the globe are working to create a next-generation online learning platform.

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Qubes: The Open Source OS Built for Security

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Linux
Interviews
Security

No matter how good the code review process is, or how high the standards for acceptance, applications will always have bugs, says Joanna Rutkowska, founder and CEO of Invisible Things Lab. So will drivers. And filesystems.

“Nobody, not even Google Security Team, can find and patch all those bugs in all the desktop apps we all use,” Rutkowska says in the Q&A interview, below.

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OpenDaylight executive director spells out where this open source SDN efforts stand

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Interviews
OSS

So if I compare it to Linux. Linux is in my computer, in my car, it’s in a million things outside of the server room. In the same way I think a large percentage of OpenDaylight will be used and leveraged that way. You will have a few people who grab the code, compile it themselves and deploy it in their environment, but mostly for a proof of concept (POC). If an end user hears about SDN and thinks it’s great, they might find themselves needing to POC 15 different solutions. Do I need an overlay? Well, you’ve got to look at three or four overlays out there because they all do things differently. And if you want to figure out how to use OpenFlow, well there are different flavors of OpenFlow, so you’re going to pull a couple of different ones.

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Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd

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Linux
Interviews

Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

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Firefox OS media-casting stick strikes Kickstarter gold

The first Firefox OS based media player has arrived on Kickstarter, in the form of a $25 open-spec HDMI stick that supports Chromecast-like content casting. The Matchstick, which has already zoomed past its Kickstarter campaign’s $100,000 funding goal, with 28 days still remaining, was teased back in June by Mozilla developer evangelist Christian Heilmann. The unnamed prototype was billed as an open source HDMI stick that runs Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS and offers casting capabilities. Few details were revealed at the time except that the device used the same DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) media-casting protocol created by Netflix and popularized by Google’s Chromecast. Read more

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

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