January 1st, 2016

Closing the Book on Linux and FOSS for 2015

FOSS Week in Review

Linux Mint LogoNow that we’ve put 2015 to bed — and not a moment too soon — we’ll take one more look at the week that was and send everyone off rolling into 2016.

Linux Mint Readies for the New Year: Clem Lefebvre didn’t waste any time outlining what he, and Linux Mint, have planned for 2016 in his latest blog post. This, of course, starts off with stable releases for Linux Mint 17.3 KDE and Xfce editions, and upgrade paths for 17.x users of course. “But then after that, we’ll start working on Linux Mint 18.x,” Clem writes. “A brand new series, with a new package base, using a new init system, a new version of GTK….” Looks like the Linux Mint team is going to be busy in 2016, and I mean that in a good way. Keep up the great work, guys and gals.

Sarah Sharp Joins SCALE Keynote Roster: While the SCALE Team is still busy with preparations for SCALE 14X, the first-of-the-year FOSS event worldwide in Pasadena in three weeks, one specific development is that Sarah Sharp joins the list of keynoters. Sharp will speak on “Improving Diversity with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” on Sunday morning, Feb. 24. She joins Cory Doctorow, who is the Friday keynoter at SCALE 14X, with the Saturday keynote yet to be determined. Watch this space.

North Korea Has a Distro: You know those jokes that start off, “In Soviet Russia . . .”? Well, they may have to take a back seat to quips about Red Star OS, North Korea’s national Linux distribution. Among other things, Red Star spies on its citizens, according to the capitalist running dogs . . . I mean, the correspondents at the Guardian. It puts a watermark on each file, unknown to the users in the motherland, which can be tracked by the government fairly easily. Also, one of the huge ironies here is that Red Star based on Fedora, which thanks to Red Hat is banned from export to countries under sanction by the U.S. government — which, no surprise, includes North Korea. How they got it is probably a Hollywood-worthy story.

One More Thing, Part One: Regretfully, or happily for some (and you know who you are), I have to curtail some of my FOSS writing assignments, and writing the Friday Wrap-Up is one of the items that is on the chopping block. I’m turning the reins over to the FOSS Force boss, Christine Hall, who has stood in for me in the past. It has been a blast writing the wrap ending every week, and I will miss it.

One More Thing, Part Deux: It’s hard to argue against the fact that 2015 ended on a tragically sad note, with the passing of Ian Murdock. However, it is warming to see some of the remembrances of Ian in blogs and on social media. Earlier this month, I posted a tweet about the SCALE Installfest and Basic System Administration for new users saying, “You never forget your first distro,” which of course is a play on the old St. Pauli Girl beer ads. Mine, of course, was Debian on PowerPC (a flavored iMac, for those of you keeping score at home). Rest in peace, Mr. Murdock, and thank you for your wide-ranging and significant contributions.

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Larry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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