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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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  • 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?
  • Debian (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:17PM (#42094521) Journal
    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?
  • 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?

  • Re:Ubuntu Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @12:30PM (#42094641)

    on a related note will steam for ubuntu be put in the software center or will it be treated as a competitor to your commercial offerings in the software center now that they sell more than just games?

  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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.

  • 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 [] 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).
  • 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?
  • 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?

  • 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.
  • 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?


  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:41PM (#42095489)
    Why doesn't Ubuntu include Android emulation so people can run their vast catalog of Android apps on their laptop, tablet or the like?
  • 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?
  • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:40PM (#42096145)

    except that Unity presents the user with the same ilk of garbage UI that windows 8 has. Follow the leader as they auger into the ground.....

    Actually, that is not true. Real world studies show that Windows users don't have too difficult of a time with Unity. The "lens" button needs to be more prevalent and it would be better if the menus didn't disappear but overall, the interface is fairly useable for the average desktop user (which may not mean the average linux user). Windows 8, on the other hand does not test so well.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.