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Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything 319

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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  • Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:28PM (#42094623)
    Dude. Really. WTF?
  • Unity? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:46PM (#42094833)
    who do we blame for the Unity UI?
  • South Africa (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ( 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?

  • 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?

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:02PM (#42095027) Homepage
    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?
  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:03PM (#42095033)

    Nonsense. Mac OSX UI is ok, one can tell where the windows went.

    Windows 8 UI is dumbed down garbage just like Unity though.

    How about we don't let YOU near any UI design group, you've no discernment nor wisdom

  • 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.

  • Re:Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:07PM (#42095069)

    or into Ubuntu derivatives such as Linux Mint where they actually have standard good UIs installed like Mate and Cinnamon

  • 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!
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @05:57PM (#42098787) Journal

    but here 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.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?