At LinuxCon last week, the Linux Foundation announced a new certification scheme for Linux professionals to complement their existing training activities. The Linux Foundation Certification Program offers a peer-verified certification for both early-career and engineer-level systems administrators for a fee of $300.
The process involves a real-time skill test administered via a remote-access virtual machine running one of several Linux distributions. To ensure the rules are followed, a human proctor watches the test via screen-sharing and video camera using your own computer at a location of your choice. The certification tests real-world skills for both sys admins and more senior engineers at the command line and in configuration files.
Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, Samsung Gear S that runs Tizen and comes with a 3G wireless radio. I have seen some call this the Gear Note because it does have a long two inch curved Super AMOLED display.
The Gear S has WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G radios and antennas inside so you can use the watch when your phone isn't handy. Turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation is powered by HERE. It has an integrated GPS chip and can be used for exercise, again without a phone connection.
The Christmas season for GNU/Linux is coming as most communities will be releasing the next version of their Linux-distributions. Betas have started to arrive and there is obvious excitement around those distributions which offer a great Plasma experience and Kubuntu is one such distribution.
Kubuntu has really improved a lot lately. I remember those days, some 2 years back, when Kubuntu was known for ruining the ‘KDE’ experience. It used to be buggy and ugly. Every time I came across someone who dearly hated ‘KDE’ and if I asked which OS did he try, the answer used to be Kubuntu 99% of the time.
You see, I was out in the world for more than a decade teaching in many different communities all over Canada. At first it was rare to meet anyone who had ever heard of GNU/Linux. After a few years, about 2004, if I recall correctly, I began to visit random communities where one or more people actually had used GNU/Linux. These were communities from about 1K to 4K people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, so one person in 1K is tiny but definitely far beyond, “many average computer users have no idea that they exist”. I can promise you that all of the high school and many of the younger students in those communities did learn about it so the proportion abruptly changed to about 1 in 10.
Microsoft would make you think it’s the only alternative, however that ignores the shining beacon of Linux just beyond the horizon. Once thought to be the malformed operating system of only the most hardcore tech nerds, speaking in riddles and snake languages such as ‘Python’, the Linux landscape has changed to be more welcoming to everyone.
At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? "The desktop." For years, the call to Linux action was "World Domination." In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go.
Wait... that came out wrong. I don't mean "Linux has a long, long way to go before it's ready for the desktop." What I meant to say is something more akin to "Linux is, in fact, desktop ready... it just hasn't found an inroad to the average consumer desktop."
The main goal of the OPW internship program is to create a long-term relationship between the mentee, the mentor, and their open source community, in order encourage minorities to continue to contribute to open source. How are we progressing towards the goal of creating more women kernel developers? Are the women who complete OPW kernel internships continuing to work on open source projects after their internship ends? Do they find jobs where they can be paid to work on open source?
In order to measure this, I created a longitudinal study to measure open source contributions of OPW alumni. I’ll send out the survey every 6 to 12 months, and compare the results of the program over time. The most recent survey results from our eleven Linux Kernel OPW alumni shows the program is successful at encouraging women to continue to participate in open source.
Pantelis Antoniou originated device tree overlay support for the purpose of enabling dynamic hardware configuration under Linux on devices like BeagleBone that use device tree for hardware configuration. Device tree was introduced to Linux for the purpose of putting the description of hardware into data structures, rather than building it up programmatically, greatly reducing the amount of code required to be maintained within the Linux kernel sources. Until now, the device tree data structure was only processed at boot time and that simply can't work for devices that might change hardware configurations after boot. While many BeagleBone capes can be probed by the bootloader, a common use-case is hardware that is reconfigurable. The most obvious example is a cape with an FPGA on it.
The user friendly distros have done a great job of accommodating this new set of Linux users. It’s now entirely possible for a new Linux user running something like Ubuntu or one of its derivatives to never once open a terminal and still have a pretty decent experience. Some of these new users, who might have initially come to Linux only to breath new life into an old computer until they can afford a new Windows box, might be curious enough to delve under the hood enough to discover that what they’re using isn’t merely a free OS that works on obsolete hardware, but a powerful and highly configurable operating system that puts Windows to shame on almost every level.