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Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the ask-away dept.
In addition to founding Canonical Ltd., the Ubuntu Foundation, and funding the Freedom Toaster, Mark Shuttleworth is a space enthusiast. In April 2002 Mark became the second self-funded space tourist and the first African in space. He spent eight days participating in experiments on the International Space Station as part of his $20 million trip. Now he's ready to answer your questions. Ask him anything you like, but please limit yourself to one question per post.
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Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything

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  • The Next Frontier? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:15PM (#42094505) Journal
    We've seen Linux go from servers to supercomputers to smartphones in a very explosive manner but not as pervasively on the personal computer. What, in your opinion, is the next frontier for Linux and is that frontier part of Canonical's future?
    • by gmuslera (3436)

      If space is the final frontier, i would say that installing Ubuntu in the ISS is a previous step.

      Anyway, i would say that getting major hardware vendors on board targetting consumers with desktop linux (included and/or providing proper drivers, like they do with Windows) should be the next one. Microsoft is giving a golden hand convincing everyone that they should go elsewhere, and Linux and Ubuntu are right there.

  • Debian (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) *
    In the 1990s you aided in Debian development and now you've brought the world Ubuntu. Since you diverged from Debian and became the Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life, do you have anything positive to say about Debian's progress?
    • Does the Serval Project factor into your plans for Ubuntu in the mobile space, and if so, how?

      BTW, thanks for funding it. I've been following the project for quite some time, and the strides that have been made in a short time are nothing short of amazing. I've got some crazy ideas about how I might leverage it to build decentralized voting systems, and may be offering you a new way to put that money of yours to good use if things go well.

  • by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:20PM (#42094547) Journal
    Are you interested in colonizing Mars?
  • Ubuntu Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:22PM (#42094567) Journal

    Once Steam for Linux comes out on Ubuntu, what is the first game you will download and play?

  • People's Reactions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jkflying (2190798) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:27PM (#42094615)

    I heard a story of you sitting in on a LUG dressed in a Darth Vader mask so people wouldn't recognise you until the end of the talk. Do you find that people treat you very differently now that you are famous, and seeing that a lot of people take exception to the direction you have taken Ubuntu? How do you deal with this, and what steps do you take to make sure you stay grounded in reality?

  • Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:28PM (#42094623)
    Dude. Really. WTF?
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:34PM (#42094679) Journal

      Dude. Really. WTF?

      Although it doesn't fully address "WTF?", he has spoken about this in prior interviews [techcentral.co.za]:

      DM: Ubuntu has adopted a new user interface called Unity. That seems well suited to tablet devices. Is this part of a plan to extend Ubuntu on tablets and other mobile computing and touch-based platforms?

      MS: We haven’t said that, and it’s not the right time for me to say any such thing. [Laughs.] But if you look at it, Unity is born of an era where touch is important, and we’ve done quite a bit of work around touch generally and it brings a level of clarity and device-like simplicity to Linux desktops that just hadn’t been there before.

      DM: Unity has attracted a fair share of criticism.

      MS: Sure, it created something of a storm. The idea for us was we wanted to bring design-led engineering to the Linux desktop so we followed a fairly rigorous process of design. That meant testing assumptions and evaluating each little change on the basis of some realistic test of how people reacted to change. It is a fairly radical shift from where we were previously but we can see a fairly clear roadmap of where we want to get to over the next few months and years and not all of that is evident in the release so far.

      [Unity] has raised the bar for usability on the Linux desktop. That’s not to say it’s without its issues. There are some quite definite issues in that first release, but when we did a detailed review of that versus the alternatives, it came out well ahead. It was the right one for us to ship at the time.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        [Unity] has raised the bar for usability on the Linux desktop.

        My girlfriend would disagree. We run Unity on the netbook and she's continually asking where some random window has disappeared to and why she can't find the menu bar.

        Unity made some useful changes for small screen devices like the netbook, but overall it's a disaster for Linux usability. Now I'm running XFCE on my laptop I'll probably switch the netbook over to it as well.

        • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:28PM (#42095349)

          [Unity] has raised the bar for usability on the Linux desktop.

          My girlfriend would disagree. We run Unity on the netbook and she's continually asking where some random window has disappeared to and why she can't find the menu bar.

          Unity made some useful changes for small screen devices like the netbook, but overall it's a disaster for Linux usability. Now I'm running XFCE on my laptop I'll probably switch the netbook over to it as well.

          Most people that have been using computers dislike Unity. Your girlfriend is with most of the rest of the computing world.

          Err, wait that came out wrong. Unity was supposed to be targeted at a more general computing audience but is missing the mark. What I mean is that Mark Shuttleworth wants to get with your girlfriend.

          Dammit, that wasn't what I meant either.

      • > [Unity] has raised the bar for usability on the Linux desktop.

        "Raising the bar" makes something harder. That might not be what you want for a desktop interface!
        • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:06PM (#42095057)

          They've lowered the amount of usable screen space though. also the number of tasks that can be dealt with in an efficient manner as opposed to a mature windowing environment. Raising the level of uselessness, as it were.

          • Sorry, say what you like about Unity, this is total BS. Removing the bottom bar, and integrating window menus with the top one has definately freed screen space. The Dash thingy on the side uses space, but on widescreens there's plenty of it horizontally. Also, autohide.

            I seem to be one of the only users positive about unity. It doesnt get into my way, its simplicity reminds me of good old windowmaker, which I've used several years, and it combines fine with lots of virtual desktops, which has been my prefe

        • > "Raising the bar" makes something harder. That might not be what you want for a desktop interface!

          Using the newer interfaces, unity, win8, gnome3 is like dancing the limbo: raising the bar would be a welcome change.

  • Windows 8 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 has been launched and did not receive a very warm welcome from the market so there's another chance for Ubuntu and although Apple's OS X is a nice alternative, Ubuntu would even be better, however when looking 'in the field' (European Enterprise, SME, ) there is so much Windows (custom applications, custom hardware, widely used applications etc etc etc) that the cost and process of replacing those is too complex and too expensive. And as always, end user like evolution, not revolution.

    Wouldn't it

  • by rossdee (243626) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:31PM (#42094655)

    "Can entropy be reversed?"

    • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:12PM (#42095139)

      yes

      sudo apt-get remove account-plugin-aim account-plugin-facebook account-plugin-flickr account-plugin-google account-plugin-icons account-plugin-identica account-plugin-jabber account-plugin-salut account-plugin-twitter account-plugin-windows-live account-plugin-yahoo activity-log-manager-common activity-log-manager-control-center adium-theme-ubuntu aisleriot apg appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt apturl apturl-common bamfdaemon baobab bluez-gstreamer branding-ubuntu brasero brasero-cdrkit brasero-common checkbox checkbox-qt compiz compiz-core compiz-gnome compiz-plugins-default cracklib-runtime cryptsetup-bin dconf-tools deja-dup duplicity dvd+rw-tools empathy empathy-common eog evolution-data-server evolution-data-server-common example-content folks-common freerdp-x11 gedit gedit-common geoclue geoclue-ubuntu-geoip gir1.2-accounts-1.0 gir1.2-dbusmenu-glib-0.4 gir1.2-dee-1.0 gir1.2-gdata-0.0 gir1.2-gnomebluetooth-1.0 gir1.2-gnomekeyring-1.0 gir1.2-goa-1.0 gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-0.10 gir1.2-gstreamer-0.10 gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 gir1.2-indicate-0.7 gir1.2-messagingmenu-1.0 gir1.2-notify-0.7 gir1.2-peas-1.0 gir1.2-rb-3.0 gir1.2-signon-1.0 gir1.2-syncmenu-0.1 gir1.2-totem-1.0 gir1.2-totem-plparser-1.0 gir1.2-ubuntuoneui-3.0 gir1.2-unity-5.0 gnome-bluetooth gnome-contacts gnome-control-center gnome-control-center-data gnome-control-center-signon gnome-desktop3-data gnome-disk-utility gnome-font-viewer gnome-icon-theme-symbolic gnome-mahjongg gnome-media gnome-menus gnome-online-accounts gnome-orca gnome-power-manager gnome-screensaver gnome-screenshot gnome-session gnome-session-bin gnome-session-canberra gnome-session-common gnome-settings-daemon gnome-system-log gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal gnome-terminal-data gnome-user-share growisofs gstreamer0.10-gconf guile-1.8-libs gwibber gwibber-service gwibber-service-facebook gwibber-service-identica gwibber-service-twitter hwdata indicator-appmenu indicator-datetime indicator-messages indicator-power indicator-printers indicator-session intel-gpu-tools landscape-client-ui-install libaccount-plugin-1.0-0 libaccounts-glib0 libaccounts-qt1 libatk-adaptor libatk-adaptor-data libaudio2 libavahi-gobject0 libbamf3-0 libboost-date-time1.49.0 libbrasero-media3-1 libcamel-1.2-40 libcanberra-gtk-module libcanberra-gtk0 libcanberra-pulse libclutter-1.0-0 libclutter-1.0-common libclutter-gst-1.0-0 libclutter-gtk-1.0-0 libcmis-0.2-2 libcogl-common libcogl-pango0 libcogl9 libcompizconfig0 libcrack2 libcrypt-passwdmd5-perl libcryptsetup4 libcurl3-nss libdbusmenu-qt2 libdecoration0 libdee-1.0-4 libdiscid0 libdmapsharing-3.0-2 libebackend-1.2-5 libebook-1.2-14 libecal-1.2-15 libedata-book-1.2-15 libedata-cal-1.2-18 libedataserver-1.2-17 libexempi3 libexttextcat-1.0-0 libexttextcat-data libfolks-eds25 libfolks-telepathy25 libfolks25 libfreerdp-plugins-standard libfreerdp1 libgail-common libgail18 libgdata-common libgdata13 libgexiv2-1 libglew1.8 libglewmx1.8 libgmime-2.6-0 libgnome-control-center1 libgnome-desktop-3-4 libgnome-media-profiles-3.0-0 libgnome-menu2 libgnomekbd-common libgnomekbd8 libgoa-1.0-0 libgoa-1.0-common libgpgme11 libgpod-common libgpod4 libgtksourceview-3.0-0 libgtksourceview-3.0-common libgtkspell-3-0 libgweather-3-1 libgweather-common libgwibber-gtk3 libgwibber3 libhyphen0 libjs-jquery liblircclient0 liblouis-data liblouis2 liblvm2app2.2 libmessaging-menu0 libmetacity-private0a libmission-control-plugins0 libmng1 libmtp-common libmtp-runtime libmtp9 libmusicbrainz5-0 libmx-1.0-2 libmx-bin libmx-common libmysqlclient18 libmythes-1.2-0 libneon27-gnutls libnux-3.0-0 libnux-3.0-common liboauth0 libpackagekit-glib2-14 libpam-freerdp libpeas-1.0-0 libpeas-common libprotobuf7 libprotoc7 libproxy1-plugin-gsettings libproxy1-plugin-networkmanager libpth20 libpwquality1 libpython3.2 libqjson0 libqt4-dbus libqt4-declarative libqt4-designer libqt4-help libqt4-network libqt4-script libqt4-scripttools libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-sql-sqlite libqt4-svg libqt4-test libqt4-xml libqt4-xmlpatterns libqtassistantclient4 libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libqtwebkit4 libquvi-scripts

  • So, if he moved to the US, and became a citizen, he would be "African American"? Not sure that would go over very well with the Politically Correct Class.

    • by vlm (69642)

      I know some white south africans who became US citizens and to answer your question, no, the politically correct class does not like them very much at all when they self-identify as afro-american. Especially WRT college admissions quotas and such. I lost track of those guys after high school but I assume they're still confusing HR personnel to this day.

      • Re:African? (Score:5, Funny)

        by heypete (60671) <pete@heypete.com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:26PM (#42095317) Homepage

        Indeed. I know a white South African who is now a US citizen. He annoys HR guys.

        HR: "So, it says here you're African-American."
        Him: "Yup."
        HR: "...but you're white."
        Him: "You never asked my skin color. My parents are South African. I was born in South Africa. I grew up in South Africa. I spent much of my adult life in South Africa. I've since immigrated to the US and am a US citizen. How could I be anything other than African-American?"
        HR: "..."

        • by jkflying (2190798)

          I'm the other way around: I grew up in the US then moved to (and am now a citizen of) South Africa. Unfortunately, there isn't a status of 'African-American' in the affirmative action sections of applications here...

        • FWIW, I was born in Britain and emigrated to the US. When I became a citizen I became an American, not a friggin British-American.

          (I guess I should add an "America? Hell Yeah!" and "Love it or leave it" here, although I still have some of my British reserve so I don't really feel that comfortable saying either of those things.)

    • That's fantastic - I didn't think of that. A whole comedy sitcom just for that one thing.
    • by game kid (805301)

      Teresa Heinz [baltimoresun.com] comes to mind.

    • I love the fact that this got modded down, thus proving my point. To the person who modded me down, well done sir. Political Correctness in a nutshell!

  • by thePsychologist (1062886) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:36PM (#42094711) Journal

    Hi Mark! It seems based on your blog and other sources that an Ubuntu tablet is definitely planned and should be in the works at least sometime in the next year. When do you think consumers will be able to walk into any decently-sized electronic store and pick up an Ubuntu-based tablet?

  • What's with the advertising in launchpad and the software center in 12.10 and can it be disabled (I'd be willing to pay to get rid of it)?

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:37PM (#42094727)

    Did NASA bitch and whine about your trip on your ISS too, the way they did Dennis Tito (for daring to be a space tourist on a Russian rocket instead of a proper American-Non-Commie-John-Wayne one)?

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:38PM (#42094751) Journal
    Since you like to comment on both government interaction with businesses and seem to be interested in space travel, what is the appropriate level of the government's role in space? Can you define what is too little and what is too far? What, if anything, should each nation regulate? Are nationalistic programs and races good for space travel or should it just all be privatized and given a sort of 'international waters' anything goes freedom?
  • When you made your trip to the ISS in 2002 there were reports that your body had some challenges transitioning into a micro-gravity environment. Many astronauts have similar challenges, can you tell us what physical challenges you encountered, the duration and what if anything did you do to overcome those challenges.
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:40PM (#42094773) Homepage

    I just wanted to say that I was very excited when I first heard the phrase "Freedom Toaster", but felt sad and let down when I found out that it was actually a CD writer.

    Is there any way that toasted bread can be used bring about individual liberty?

    • I was very excited when I first heard the phrase "Freedom Toaster"

      You mean there is already a French Toaster?

  • Oracle certification (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hawkinspeter (831501) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:45PM (#42094829)
    Will Ubuntu ever be a certified platform for running Oracle databases?
  • Unity? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:46PM (#42094833)
    who do we blame for the Unity UI?
  • Cool hack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:49PM (#42094871)

    (Insert my standard question for all ask /. tech people)

    Describe a hack that you personally participated in that you find cool. Not you paid someone to ... or I once saw someone else ... or you bought something cool that ... I mean traditional hack like "identify problem" "flash of insight in ur brain" "minutes to days of sweat using techie tools" "something cool now exists, lookit". I don't care about the subject as long as its vaguely slashdot style technical and you think its cool and the slashdot audience would think its cool. The coolest hack is not necessarily the biggest or most famous, either. Maybe you have a hobby where you personally programmed the worlds coolest christmas light display on your house, or you handmade a truly elaborate model railroad fully articulated draw bridge, I donno, whatever floats your boat. TLDR just tell your hack story, and make it cool.

  • Everybody who writes software knows there are two distinct parts to the job

    There's the fun part: writing code, showing off your mental agility, creating stuff, adding the features you would want (and that are easy to do)

    Then there's the work part: everything else: the testing, integration, support and documentation.

    People love doing the creative bit - they'd probably even pay their employers to let them make software. However they hate every other aspect of producing a professional product. So whenever p

  • South Africa (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smi.james.th (1706780) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:51PM (#42094903)
    There's a lot of rhetoric bandied about by political figures here at the moment. What do you think would contribute best to the development of South Africa?
  • Losing its Lustre (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SkunkPussy (85271) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:53PM (#42094925) Journal

    Do you feel that Ubuntu might be losing its way amongst the more technical users with some of the decisions that are being made? For example, forcing a beta-level UI onto users for 3 versions of Ubuntu from 11.04-12.04, integrating paid search results from Amazon etc. Linux Mint, which is rapidly growing in popularity, would seem to be a backlash against Unity and is a splintering of Ubuntu (in fact the vast majority of packages are identical to Ubuntu). Do you therefore feel that Ubuntu's popularity has reached its peak and is at risk of stagnating or declining?

  • Do you think Canonical and Ubuntu will be able to deliver a good user experience without making (or assembling) their own hardware or laptops like Apple?
  • by paulpach (798828) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:57PM (#42094965)

    Linux is a huge success in mobile. Linux is a huge success in servers (and Ubuntu in particular seems to be doing very well in servers, congratulations).

    But Linux on the desktop seems to be going nowhere fast [netmarketshare.com] as far as market share is concerned.

    In your opinion, what would have to happen in order for Linux to start gaining ground in the desktop?

  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kurkosdr (2378710) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:59PM (#42094999)
    Can you tell me which computer to buy so that Ubuntu upgrades won't break? (arguably the question most people who have been raped by ubuntu upgrade breakages want to ask).
  • Why not systemd? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:01PM (#42095021)

    Lots of distributions are moving to systemd. Why not try to merge some of the upstart functionality into systemd, as it looks like a superior design, and use it rather than developing a parallel but incompatible alternative?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      One word:
      udev

      Linus is very annoyed with the stuff they've been doing to udev. You don't upset Linus.

    • Basically upstart was first and they went through a cylce of bug fixes that they didn't want to repeat for systemd just because other people chose it.
      They actually are using and shipping systemd for the udev stuff, but not as the init daemon.

      its a very pragmatic strategy that they may revisit after waiting for redhat, suse and others to find/fix all of the bugs in systemd so they don't have to suffer through that again.

  • by aglider (2435074)
    I understand than relying on someone else hard work saves your company a lot of resources. But it also brings bugs, disputable choices and uncomfortable legacy into Ubuntu. Why not cutting that umbilical cord once and forever and start walking on your own legs?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by marcello_dl (667940)

      Mr. Shuttleworth, do you know someone that can hunt down parent poster and shred his geek card into tiny pieces?

      • by aglider (2435074)

        Mr. Shuttleworth, do you know someone that can hunt down parent poster and shred his geek card into tiny pieces?

        Perché mai? Hai mai riportato un bug per Ubuntu?
        Prooova!

        • Nice to know the entire audience of slashdot learned Italian. About time.
          I filed a bug report for debian, obviously it was a debian installer problem, else I'd have gone upstream.

          • by aglider (2435074)
            I have tried Ubuntu. I found a (show stopper) bug in Ubuntu. I filed it to Ubuntu. It got re-filed upstream. Then nothing happened fro two years.
            In the meanwhile I had switched back to my previous distro. Full stop.
            You found a bug in Ubuntu and you correctly filed it to Debian. In order to do the same I should have been able to reproduce it on Debian first. But I'm too lazy for that.
            And, I'm sorry, here it's just noi due. None else. Slashdot audience is 99.999 American, not even Anglophone.
            • In veritas the bug was in debian, anyway if things go upstream it doesn't really matter if they get there from debian or ubuntu, giusto?

              And it's not true slashdot is almost all angloamerican: microsoft and apple shills are outsourced.

  • by Bollie (152363) <`slashdot' `at' `jangutter.com'> on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:03PM (#42095035) Homepage

    Your viewpoint on how Ubuntu and Canonical contributes back to the community notwithstanding, there seems to be a stark difference between the management style of Red Hat and that of Canonical.

    The perception raised with Unity is that Canonical has decided to diverge from upstream more and more: this is evident from the problems that the Debian project (which contributes the majority of code to Ubuntu) is facing, as well as GNOME and the dissent with the upcoming signed boot EFI implementations.

    Red Hat (and the Fedora project) is trying to prevent the balkanization of Linux userspace with projects like systemd, which only Ubuntu rejects.

    Red Hat's business model seems to be very successful, and Canonical, despite it's massive desktop market share, doesn't seem to be able to match it in reputation or revenue. Would you attribute this to Red Hat's deeper involvement in the kernel community and higher technical skills?

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:04PM (#42095041) Homepage
    How much money you devolved to Debian organisation in the past three years?
  • Orange is very pervasive throughout Ubuntu, but isn't often used elsewhere, at least not in the US. I'm wondering if this is your favorite color, or if it is more popular in South Africa, or if there is some other reason that orange was chosen as Ubuntu's signature color/

  • by coldsalmon (946941) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:13PM (#42095145)

    Over the last several years, Microsoft has done much to close the gap in terms of performance, stability and security. What do you see as Ubuntu/Linux's primary selling points on the desktop now, as opposed to the early years of the Ubuntu project when Windows had significant problems in these areas?

  • by Bradmont (513167) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:14PM (#42095173)
    Ubuntu has made decisions that have been less than popular with the Free-software only crowd. Personally, I benefit from these decisions, for example, via easy access to Nvidia and Broadcom drivers on my laptop, but I also see the importance of the other side of the argument. What is your short- and long-term perspective on including restricted drivers and non-free software in Ubuntu? Is your approach simply pragmatic, do you hope to bring long-term change in industry practises by making free software a viable and important desktop platform, or something else entirely? Thanks!
  • Quality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:29PM (#42095367)

    I used Linux for over a decade as my main OS, eventually ending up on Ubuntu. When I started using Linux, it had a reputation for being rock-solid and about as stable as you can possibly get, and I was happy with that. Newer hardware wasn't supported very well, but older hardware support was unparalleled. This was also reflected in the beginning of Ubuntu - I seem to recall you had a push to make sure the hardware on every laptop model was supported as best it could be.

    However as the years progressed, I found Linux becoming more and more buggy and unstable. The final straw was when I tried to upgrade Ubuntu, and not only had I lost hardware support for several things, but there were even crashes upon loading the LiveCD installer (this was solid hardware that lasted for a couple more years). I bounced around trying to find the stability from years ago, but never found it. Today, I'm using OS X, which is far more stable than Linux in the last few years I was using it.

    What happened?

  • by x77696C6C79 (2782049) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:33PM (#42095419)
    Have you talked with Adobe about bringing the Creative Suite (or parts of it) to Ubuntu? Please don't point to open source alternatives in your answer.
    • Expanding on this question
      Have you considered actually trying to make money of reselling closed source apps ?
      Personally, I would pay the same price I pay for Windows+Office Bundle for a linux distribution which can run a full version of excel with macros (too many apps I use have Excel Plugins). For the above user, it seems Adobe Creative suite is what is the barrier.
      I always wondered why you would go with Unity and Search advertising when the easier path would have been to just resell MS Office / Ado
  • by pointyhat (2649443) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:34PM (#42095427)

    Why did you insist on integrating Amazon searches into the product despite users' concerns and complaints to the contrary? A large body of users including myself consider this to be abhorrent and a step back to the dark ages of sponsored software (remember Bonzi Buddy)?

  • by Browzer (17971) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:38PM (#42095457)

    two parter:

    1. Do you think the touch screen interface already the standard on phones and tablets will replace the traditional standard of keyboard & mouse interface on desktops/laptops in the next 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?

    2. On a desktop/laptop, do you think a touch screen interface would be as functional/productive/efficient as keyboard & mouse?

    thanks

  • by snadrus (930168) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:47PM (#42095557) Homepage Journal
    I love Unity, but notice all the work items this cycle are around things KDE already has (Widgets from multiple vendors, compositor performance, File manager isn't onboard, preparing for Wayland). Is the KDE compositor & utilities a better direction for Unity?
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:49PM (#42095587)
    While I love desktop Linux as much as the next guy, it's the little bugs crawling here and there that often ruin the experience. What could be done to improve the general quality assurance of Ubuntu and other distributions?
  • Ubuntu's pull into the future has been muddled lately when better alternatives arriving later aren't embraced (even if just for the sake of work sharing). SystemD, no-scripts-in-boot, In-Kernel sound, file layout simplification/unification, Wayland, btrfs rollbacks, X32. Is being the most high-tech distro no-longer part of the Ubuntu plan?
  • Android (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snadrus (930168) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:05PM (#42095777) Homepage Journal
    Now that Ubuntu's kernel & GNU tools run Dalvik, PulseAudio has an AudioFlinger API, and Ubuntu creates its own notification system... if a few other libraries gain some APIs then an Ubuntu tablet would natively run Android applications. This could easily push a native Linux userspace into the mainstream. Do you think it should be done?
  • What is the policy of Canonical regarding work with upstream projects, like GNOME? While some other parties are working quite closely with upstream (for example, RedHat is working very closely with GNOME, and GNOME is working closely with gstreamer), Canonical is inclined to make stuff in-house (SSO, online accounts, Unity etc.).

  • by Cyko_01 (1092499) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:12PM (#42095843) Homepage
    Punch a baby in the face, or kick a baby in the face?
  • by Radak (126696) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:20PM (#42095921) Journal

    ...answer the question that's been burning in our minds. Just what is a Shuttle worth?

  • Sir, please examine this image [www.mna.it] and tell us what you see. Which "penguin" do you identify yourself with?
  • Dude, what's up with the scrollbars?!?
  • There has been a huge discussion on what init system Debian would switch from sysv-rc. Roughly, we have the choice between systemd, upstart, openrc and stay with this old sysv-rc. The problem with upstart, is that Canonical is forcing every contributor to sign an agreement. This is a blocker for Debian. Is there any way that this may change, that this mandatory contributor agreement goes away, so that Debian can finally adopt upstart as well?
  • In my view, Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular is greatly harmed by the concept of monolitic "distributions". Besides hardware drivers, this has been in my experience the biggest obstacle to Linux/Ubuntu adoption.

    From the point of view of a Windows user, having to upgrade the whole system and _all other apps_ just to get the new version of one single app, is asinine. As a Linux advocate, I had many people I tried to make use Linux return back to windows just for this single reason alone. An Ubuntu ap

  • Have you considered making the one change to Ubuntu which would give it explosive desktop growth overnight - making it Android compatible, and making Android apps run in desktop mode?
  • Canonical has received some flack in the past for not contributing enough upstream. Greg Kroah-Hartman was especially vocal. Are you co-operating more with upstream sources and the kernel.org guys?
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @05:57PM (#42098787) Journal

    but here goes...is Canonical financially solvent? If it is why did you burn so much good will that you had with the users by allowing the Amazon search which doesn't even have an adult filter that works so that kids can be exposed to inappropriate, in violation of Amazon's own rules which state you have to be 18+ to use their market?

    And if Canonical currently isn't in the black, how much will it take to make it a cash positive company? did the Amazon deal bring in enough, or is there gonna have to be MORE ads and MORE revenue making apps baked into Ubuntu to make the company solid financially?

    Watch me get modded down for daring not to ask the cutesy ass kissing questions like what are being modded up here, but when one has the head of a company on the horn, and I don't give a damned WHICH company it is, one ought to ask the hard questions and use the opportunity to get some real answers.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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