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Why Mark Shuttleworth Is Important to Desktop Linux

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If you want to see desktop Linux finally get some traction with the unwashed public, Mark Shuttleworth is more likely to be the guy who’ll make that happen than anyone who’s come along so far. He’s a capitalist and for better or worse this is a capitalist world. He knows that nothing big is going to get done on this market oriented planet without the art of the deal and some hustle. He also understands something about fit and finish, which was always lacking in desktop Linux until he came along.

For too long, we’ve been sitting around wringing our hands, sometimes proclaiming this to finally be the year of the Linux desktop without doing anything to make it happen and sometimes bemoaning the fact that the world still hasn’t discovered Linux as the secret to computing happiness. The thing is, the world never knows anything about secrets until they’re not secret anymore. We’ve been wanting Linux to just “catch on,” while we’ve been blaming the OEMs for not automatically pushing our home grown geek-centric distros with the same elan they put behind their bread and butter Windows.

Windows is a success not merely because of Ballmer’s bullying. Whether we want to admit it or not, Microsoft has been putting in a lot of work pounding the pavement selling Windows, while none of our desktop distros have been making legitimate marketing efforts where it matters.

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Rackspace and FOSS Report

  • The Rackspace State of Open Source
    As the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona kicks off, Rackspace has released a report entitled ‘The State of Open Source’. With every conference seemingly extolling the virtues of open source software, this report is timely. It manages to differentiate between enterprise open source and the wider open source software market.
  • Why digital transformation needs open source
    As if there wasn't already ample reason for businesses to switch to open source, Forrester analysts Paul Miller and Lauren E Nelson released a report in April 2016, entitled Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation — CIOs Need To Embrace Open Source Software To Drive Change, which further drives the point.
  • Despite Security Fears, Open Source Is Fuelling Innovation and Cost Savings in UK Businesses
  • Security concerns fail to hold back UK open source success
    However, despite its increasingly common use, many (54%) still perceive external security threats to be a big barrier to adoption, that’s according to a report published by Rackspace. The State of Open Source study, which was conducted among IT decision makers in UK businesses with over 1,000 employees and revenues over £500m, and looks at the ways open source is being used, its benefits, but also what is holding back adoption and business concerns. According to the report open source has come of age with 85% using open source technology to migrate a closed source project to open source. Open source also isn’t just a tool for small businesses; the vast majority (90%) of large businesses are now deploying open source-based enterprise applications, with 25% being completely open source. The reason for the growing adoption is because of the money and time savings. Rackspace found that for each project that had been migrated to open source technology, six out of ten organisations saved on average £30,146 and reduced project lifecycle by six months. Greater innovation was reported by many (49%), and 46% were driven to open source because of the competitive opportunities. Additionally, just under half (45%) said that it enabled them to get products and services to market faster. John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace, said: “While open source technologies have been around for many years, it is great to see that enterprise businesses are finally dipping their toes in and seeing the tangible benefits.

FOSS and Blockchain

Security Leftovers

  • The internet apocalypse map hides the major vulnerability that created it
    During Friday’s massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS service provider Dyn, one might be forgiven for mistaking the maps of network outages for images of some post-apocalyptic nuclear fallout. Screenshots from sites like showed menacingly red, fuzzy heat maps of, well, effectively just population centers of the United States experiencing serious difficulty accessing Twitter, Github, Etsy, or any of Dyn's other high-profile clients. Aside from offering little detail and making a DDoS literally into a glowing red menace, they also obscured the reality of just how centralized a lot of internet infrastructure really is. DNS is ground zero for the uneasy tension of the internet’s presumed decentralized resilience and the reality that as of now, translating IP addresses into domain names requires some kind of centralized, hierarchical platform, and that’s probably not going to radically change anytime soon. Other maps provided by various business to business network infrastructure companies weren’t much more helpful. These maps seem to exist mostly to signal that the companies in question have lots of cool data and that it can be made into a flashy map — which might impress potential customers, but that doesn’t offer a ton of insights for the layperson. For example, threat intelligence company Norse's map appears to be mostly a homage to the Matthew Broderick movie War Games: a constant barrage of DDoS attacks beaming like space invader rockets across a world map. Akamai has an impressive 3D visualization that renders traffic as points beaming into the atmosphere. And website monitoring service Pingdom offers a dot map at such a far-out zoom level that it's essentially useless for seeking out more meaningful patterns than "outages happen in population centers, also there are a lot of outages."
  • CoreOS Patched Against the "Dirty COW" Linux Kernel Vulnerability, Update Now
  • World’s first hack-proof router launched
    Turris Omnia router, tagged the world’s first hack-proof router, was launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic. As an essential part of any home internet network, routers are rather poorly secured and protected against cyber attack. More often than not, the only security feature is the default password. With easily required internet knowledge and some skills, these routers can be hacked, providing unauthorized access to a complete internet network. From there on, anything is possible.