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Posts published in “Interview”

Journalist Tom Henderson on Cloud Vendor Lock-In

There is little worse than deciding “you’ve had it up to here” with a particular vendor, only to discover that due to vendor lock-in, migrating away from the vendor’s proprietary platform would cost enough to put your company in the bankruptcy courts.

The Video FOSS Force Interview

This video is not technically about free or open source software, but it’s 100 percent about the danger of falling victim to proprietary vendors and their habit of making it hard to leave their sweet embrace once they get their paws on you. The Network World column by Tom Henderson that generated this interview is titled, The Many Dimensions of Cloud Value, and is subtitled, “Put your snorkels on: The marketing for cloud services is getting deep.” So is the marketing for many other proprietary something-as-a-something offerings ranging from operating systems to (obviously) cloud platforms.

John Weathersby: Selling Open Source to the Federal Government

It’s a no-brainer to us that free and open source should be the default for governments, because governments should be…well, open. With the Open Technology Center, John Weathersby is working to help bring open source to national defense and security.

The Video FOSS Force Interview

John Weathersby founded and ran the Open Source Software Institute to “promote the development and implementation of open source software solutions within U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies.” A worthy goal!

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Carla Schroder: On Farming and Linux

One of the many things we like about Ms. Schroder is that she makes difficult technology easy to understand. She’s also fun to read. And as you’ll discover in this interview, she’s also a quick wit who won’t be backed into a corner.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

Carla Schroder sometimes describes herself as an “Ace Linux guru,” which is as good a way to tell you who she is as any — at least in the Linux context. She’s written so much, in so many places, that it’s easier to give you a single Google link to her work than to list a whole stack of articles, plus three O’Reilly books. The single article I’ll point you to on its own is one Schroder wrote for Opensource.com in July, 2016, titled I’ve Been Linuxing Since Before You Were Born.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Christine Hall: FOSS Force’s Grandmama Frump

All we can say is watch this interview with Christine Hall and you’ll know what we have to put up with on a daily basis — equipment that’s not quite up to par and a boss who’s a refugee from The Addams Family.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

Yes, that Christine Hall. The one whose byline you often see on this very site. Recorded under lousy lighting with a 10-year-old (or older) webcam that was probably lousy new, this video is about information, not cinematography. So meet Christine Hall. Listen to what she says about looking for contributing writers. Does she mean you? It’s possible. If you have a story idea, please send it to her. We could see [YOUR NAME] in lights right here on FOSS Force!

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Torvalds at LinuxCon Part III: Permissive Licenses and Org Charts

In the last of our three part series that began last week on Linus Torvalds’ keynote interview at this year’s LinuxCon, Linux’s lead developer talks about everything from up and coming operating systems in IoT to the development process.

“You mentioned the strength of the GPL,” Dirk Hohndel said, by now about twenty minutes into his interview of Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon 2016. “Many new kernels have shown up in the last couple of years, mostly geared towards really small devices, the IoT space: Zephyr by Intel, Fuchsia by Google and a bunch more.”

If you are who you work for now, Dirk Hohndel is VMware’s boy. But at the time of the interview, only a few weeks back, he’d been working as VMware’s chief open source officer for less than a month. For almost fifteen years before that — fourteen years nine months he’s careful to point-out on LinkedIn — he belonged to Intel, where he served as chief Linux and open source technologist. Before that he spent six years at SUSE, where he was CTO when he left in 2001, two years ahead of the Novell brouhaha.

“One of the interesting commonalities is they’re all under BSD or MIT,” he continued. “Do you think they’re interesting and do you think that one of them could grow up and become a competitor for Linux or replace Linux?”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Torvalds at LinuxCon Part II: Fragmentation and the GPL

This is the second of a three part series that began last Tuesday on Linux Torvalds’ keynote interview at this year’s LinuxCon. In today’s segment, Torvalds talks about how the GPL has helped prevent fragmentation.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Linus Torvalds said, “we still argue. We’re not all happy people, we don’t love each other.”

Linus Torvalds, Dirk Hohndel, LinuxCon 2016Linus Torvalds, Dirk Hohndel, LinuxCon 2016
Linus Torvalds being interviewed by VMware’s Dirk Hohndel on the last day of LinuxCon 2016.
He was talking about the Linux kernel community, completing his answer as to the “lowlights” of his years as Linux’s lead developer.

“I suspect a lot of developers really don’t like each other,” he continued, “but quite often, even if there’s not a lot of happy love feelings, I get the feeling there’s a lot of respect for the technical side and things are working very well — in ways that things have not always worked.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Torvalds at LinuxCon Part I: The Highlights and the Lowlights

Much of what Linus Torvalds talks about in this excerpt from his onstage interview at LinuxCon 2016 will be recent memories for many of our readers. For others, it’ll be ancient history.

On Wednesday, when Linus Torvalds was interviewed as the opening keynote of the day at LinuxCon 2016, Linux was a day short of its 25th birthday. Interviewer Dirk Hohndel of VMware pointed out that in the famous announcement of the operating system posted by Torvalds 25 years earlier, he had said that the OS “wasn’t portable,” yet today it supports more hardware architectures than any other operating system. Torvalds also wrote, “it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks.”

Linus Torvalds, Dirk Hohndel, LinuxCon 2016Linus Torvalds, Dirk Hohndel, LinuxCon 2016
Linus Torvalds being interviewed by VMware’s Dirk Hohndel on the last day of LinuxCon 2016.
“Because it is what I had,” Torvalds quickly quipped back, which was almost an exact quote of what he had written back in 1991. The line about AT hard disks had ended with the clause, “as that’s all I have.”

“You have to realize the background is that it was a completely personal project,” Torvalds explained. “I expected other people to be interested from a theoretical standpoint. Students of operating systems might want to look at ‘here’s another operating system we can look at.’ That was my expectation, which meant that the kind of hardware I had was the only hardware that it ran on.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Jay Beale: Linux Security and Remembering Bastille Linux

“Secure by design” doesn’t mean that Linux users should take a carefree approach to security. On the Internet, somebody’s always hiding behind the firewall trying to pick the lock.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

Security expert and co-creator of the Linux-hardening (and now Unix-hardening) project Bastille Linux. That’s Jay Beale. He’s been working with Linux, and specifically on security, since the late 1980s. The greatest threat to Linux these days? According to Beale, the thing you really need to watch out for is your Android phone, which your handset manufacturer and wireless carrier may or may not be good about updating with the latest security patches. Even worse? Applications you get outside of the controlled Google Play and Amazon environments, where who-knows-what malware may lurk.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Open Invention Network Helps Rid FOSS of Patent Lawsuits

Software patent issues aren’t in the news as much now as they were only a few years back, partly due to the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice v. CLS decision. Another reason is the patent pool the Open Invention Network has amassed to discourage patent trolls.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

The Open Invention Network — OIN, as its friends call it — “is a defensive patent pool and community of patent non-aggression which enables freedom of action in Linux.” That’s what it says (among other things) on the front page of the organization’s website. Basically, if you join OIN (which costs $0) you agree not to sue other members over Linux and Android-related patents, and in return they promise not to sue you. Google, IBM, and NEC are the top three members shown on OIN’s “community” page, which lists over 2,000 members/licensees ranging from Ford to one-person Android app developers.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

How FOSS Influences All Aspects of Our Culture

In this fascinating interview, UNC’s professor Paul Jones explains that the concept of “free and open source” was a part of our culture long before there were computers, or even electronic technology, and that it’s actually a rich part of our heritage. As for FOSS, he makes the case that it’s now an ingrained part of the digital infrastructure.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

“Paul Jones,” according to the University of North Carolina, “is the director of ibiblio, a contributor-run, digital library of public domain and creative commons media in the Office of Information Technology Service at UNC. He is also a clinical professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science.” He’s also been known to write erotic poetry, but we didn’t discuss that in this interview — which isn’t so much an “interview” in the traditional sense as it is a 24 minute soliloquy by professor “call me Paul” Jones on the nature of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS; his preferred term) and its relationship with other forms of human intellectual endeavor ranging from academic research to folk music.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

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