This certainly hasn't been a record year for Linux and Open Source April Fools' jokes. In days of yore distributions would come up with crazy spins or psychedelic themes. Sites would deploy eye-straining colors and heads of projects would announce defections. Every now and again a prank would be so convincing that folks would believe it. However, we did find a few community members getting into the spirit.
Roses are red, violets are blue; I use free software to encrypt my online communication and so should you.
Valentine's day is this Saturday and, if you're like us, you're either trying to pick the right gift or wishing you had someone to exchange gifts with. We wish you luck with that. But there's something important that you can do regardless of your relationship status:
Ask someone you like -- romantically or otherwise -- to be your cryptovalentine. If they say yes (yikes, nervous!) use the free program GnuPG to set up private and encrypted communication with them. If one or both of you is new to GnuPG, we recommend our beginner-friendly Email Self-Defense guide. Setting up encrypted communication is a quick activity you can do together whether you are across the room or across the world. And what better way to show love than help them defend their security, privacy and freedom?
On Friday, following comments made by Linux legend Linus Torvalds about diversity in the open source development community, a new Linux fork went online at Github, apparently to mock diversity advocates. Dubbed ToleranUX, the fork, created by a one-day-old Github account called The Feminist Software Foundation, was announced with a lengthy diatribe full of over-the-top mockery of feminist and diversity movements within the tech sector.
We all know that Hollywood movies are the worst place to see some accurate depiction of anything from real life and that includes computer terminals. Well, there is a solution for that now and we can only hope that some misguided producer will see the new "hollywood" package made for this exact purpose.
Hollywood movie producers invest a lot of time and money in custom interfaces and GUIs that don't really do anything, but they think they’re nice and interesting on film. Most of the time, someone is hacking away by typing frenetically while windows with crazy stuff open and close. This is why this kind of image is now seared into the public's consciousness and hacking looks more exciting than in real life. It isn't.
Open source, OMG ❤❤❤ Seriously, I like open source software much because there’s no need to bother my credit card every time the new software (as well as new OS) version is released. Moreover, the open source software developers are actually more interested in how to make it work rather than how to make it sell, so the result is often more human-oriented.
Writing poems about the Linux kernel has been enlightening in more ways than one for software developer Morgan Phillips.
Over the past few months she's begun to teach herself how the Linux kernel works by studying text books, including Understanding the Linux Kernel, Unix Network Programming, and The Unix Programming Environment. But instead of taking notes, she weaves the new terminology and ideas she learns into poetry about system architecture and programming concepts. (See some examples, below, and on her Linux Poetry blog.)