Open Views playlist for 2006-12-12

Phillippe MangoldGrenouilles et

Mark Shuttleworth Interview [30 minutes]

On the first episode of this show, I mentioned that KRUU runs on software packaged and distributed for free by a South African entrepreneur. If you stop by KRUU, and use any of our computers - whether it be for surfing the net, ripping a music CD into our library, or editing audio for broadcast, you'll be using a system caled Ubuntu. When the average person thinks about a computer, he or she immediately thinks Windows, or Mac. There are over a hundred alternatives to Windows and Mac, and most of them used to suck - at least for the average desktop user. Now there's a version that does not suck. In fact, if anything it's as good as Windows, and getting to be close to the Mac. In addition, the system comes with tools that make your computing experience immediately productive.

Ubuntu is released by a company called Canonical, and the founder of the Ubuntu project is Canonical's owner, Mark Shuttleworth. Mark is a South African, with a unique history in the world of technology. In 1995, Mr. Shuttleworth founded Thawte Consulting, which is a certificate authority. Certificate Authorities are one of the most crucial parts of the Internet today, because without them e-commerce would not have been possible. Certificate authorities are trusted entities which issue digital certificates to other parties. When you go to a website that is secure, you may see a little lock in the bottom of your browser, and the URL will start off with HTTPS instead of HTTP. You may also sometimes see a window that pops up which asks you to accept a security certificate. The company that Mr. Shuttleworth founded, Thawte Consulting, was an issuer of digital certificates, and was bought by Verisign, the leading certificate authority, for 575 million dollars in stock in 1999.

This sale has helped Mr. Shuttleworth found a variety of interesting social and technical projects, all based on the open source Linux operating system. Ubuntu is the completely free system that KRUU uses. Ubuntu's first release was on October 20, 2004, as a truly FREE system. The free in this case refers not to price, but to a philosophy of removing all restrictions from the use of the system. The philosophy is often separated from the cost by stating that it's Free as in speech and not free as in beer. Ubuntu is released ONLY with free as in speech applications, but you can easily download and install free as in beer stuff on it as well. And the download and install process are arguably easier than either Windows or Mac.

The philosophy of freedom that is at the core of Ubuntu is clarified greatly in what Ubuntu means. Ubuntu is a Zulu word with a deep meaning. Nelson mandela probably explains the term best. Here is his description of what Ubuntu is: [Nelson Mandela explains Ubuntu]

Ubuntu is designed to bring the "humanity" computing, and the tagline of Ubuntu is "Linux for Human Beings". Perhaps the best known company for using Ubuntu is Google, and there have been rumors that Google may be releasing a derivative of Ubuntu called Goobuntu.

Ubuntu's Philosophy page lists this goal: "Every computer user should be able to use their software in the language of their choice." Couple that with other ideals like "Every computer user should be given every opportunity to use software, even if they work under a disability," and "Every computer user should have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve their software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees," and you see very quickly that the people behind Ubuntu are interested in something more than selling you a box with some discs in it. In fact, Canonical will send you an Ubuntu disc in the mail, completely free of charge, if you'd prefer not to download the distribution yourself.

Mark Shuttleworth agreed to a short interview to speak about some of what open source is about, and how is specifically applies to his new business ventures.

Yes, Ubuntu is great

Yes, Ubuntu is great, many free software let users can do everythings on internet, but I just search one software that can can record the internet radio, like some win software called avs iradio recorder, easy to start my recording sessions, I think if some software under linux like this should be very cool.