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Announcing the First Keynote for oSC: Georg Greve on Freeing our Data

June 19th, 2013 by

Georg Greve 2013 The openSUSE conference will feature Georg Greve as first keynote speaker, opening the event on Friday morning. He will talk about “Freedom in the world we live in and the value and importance of communities and Software Freedom”. That’s a mouthful and we’ve asked him to tell us a bit about himself and what he’ll talk about.

Personal life

We managed to catch him just before he was going to Hamburg for the holidays with the family, actively cleaning up the house and preparing for an early leave the next morning. Georg, born in ’73 on the tiny island of Helgoland outside the coast of northern Germany, spent the first 8 years of his life in this reclusive community before moving to the big city. There he studied biophysics and came across Free Software in 1993. Five years later he was the European speaker for the GNU Project, writing the well known ‘Brave GNU World’ column and in 2001 he initiated the Free Software Foundation Europe. Since 2009 he is the CEO of Kolab Systems AG and lives with his wife and “two utterly gorgeous” twin boys in the neighborhood of Zurich, Switzerland.

Free Software

We asked him about what he will share with us at the openSUSE Conference.

Georg: “I’m sure everybody is aware of current events around the leak of Prism. Watching it all unfold has been interesting from a variety of angles, both for our communities as well as the larger version of community: society at large. It is awesome that people look at what is going on, care and get upset. But at the same time, it is weird that they get upset now as much of this has been known for quite a while. If you cared for this topic at all you could have learned all of this from public sources in the past. Not with such detail and in such depth or with the drama, but the gist of it was actually not very much hidden. The fact that the USA treats its own interest above everything else and isn’t shy to use its power, knowledge and military for its self interest and most importantly the interest of its corporations isn’t exactly news. It has been like this for quite a while and they have been quite upfront about it.”

Jos: But at least people are angry about it, now…

social media logos

Frenemies?

Georg: “People are shocked. But a few years too late. It is good that they are but we should ask the question: why is it worse to give your data to the government (which may use it in name of the corporations) rather than giving it to the corporations directly?

And people give their data willingly. Even the public sector is affected, just last week the Swedish government banned Google Apps usage in Sweden. They noted that it could not be guaranteed that the data would remain private. News, really? Perhaps there will be some rethinking of our over-eagerness to try new things (which is good) but will that message reach far enough? Will people realize that the problem is not the behaviour of the USA?”

Jos: Shouldn’t we, in the rest of the world, be angry at the USA?

Georg: “The United States are a sovereign nation and they can do what they want to do, nobody can stop them. The real question is about the control over our data. And this control (or lack there-of) results from the software handling it.”

Jos: So to control the data…

Georg: “… we need to control the software, yes. Of course, this is what we are about, as Free Software community: we create the tools to control our data ourselves, or make it possible that we can let someone we trust exercise that control. What we have to learn is that it’s not just about building the best tools in the world and throwing them out. From that follows too little. Good technologies have lost in the past. We need to evolve a professional ecosystem around these technologies to make sure that what we build reaches people, becomes available, accessible, is FUN to use for people. We need to target and reach that part of society which can’t do it themselves, who are not geeks. Geeks can always protect themselves – sure. But if we are satisfied with that we withhold the ability to protect themselves from the 98% who do not have the skills and knowledge to do so.”

Jos: Your message is then that we need to communicate more about our software?

Georg: “We need to go out more, become more professional. More grown-up in a way, at spreading that technology into the world at large. Some companies have successfully been doing that, but it is still not sufficient. We need to do this more pro-actively, and also build more of an understanding in some Free Software Communities about the important role that companies play in bringing the freedom to users. At the end it is about getting better as an ecosystem in providing that freedom to people in all ways that matter, including economically, so they can afford to take control over their own data.”

In the end, it’s about creating the world I would like to live in, and working with others to help us get there.

Register now for oSC 2013!

Learn more at oSC!

At this point the twins decided to derail our conversation, having discovered a new and innovative way of getting themselves soaked in some puddle. Making the world a better place while taking care of kids isn’t easy for sure. But Georg is working on it. He decided to join Kolab because “Groupware is the final pillar of Free Software that needs to become ubiquitous before Free and Open can become a choice for corporations on the corporate desktop”.

We’ll hear how that is going in about 4 weeks: on July 18, registration and opening party starts in Thessalonki! If you have not registered yet, you should do so as soon as possible. Of course, we plan on live streaming as many of the sessions as we can and make them available after the event as well. But nothing beats being there in the flesh so if you can, gear up and get ready to join oSC!

See you there and have a lot of fun!

Server outages the coming days

May 18th, 2013 by

Failed geekoBelieve it or not: a car crashed into the Nuremberg SUSE office building. Our geekos are fine but the power will have to be shut down so repairs can take place. You can expect some availability issues for our servers the coming days. Hopefully things will be back up next week!

openSUSE Conference Getting Greener

May 13th, 2013 by

The Conference is getting closer while the team makes progress. Let’s talk numbers: two promotional video’s have been made, a choice of 7 hotels is available on the conference website and we are just five weeks from June 17, the deadline for your paper submissions!
Thessaloniki White Tower and promanade

The openSUSE Conference – Greece!

The moment is drawing close for you to attend the openSUSE Conference 2013. This time we will meet at the fantastic city of Thessaloniki, Greece. Our Greek ambassadors have worked long and hard to provide all the necessary commodities for the attendees. We will be housed as a conference in the Olympic Museum, and there could not have been a better place to be. It evokes much of the spirit of what our community is, a team of people striving for a common goal.

Remember that accommodations are set by yourself, although the project does provide places where you can stay for a possible reduced price. Please read further to find the recommended lodging locations in Thessaloniki. The travel support program made news last week announcing the availability of financial support, up to 80%, for those attending the conference from far away. As always, there is a criteria to be met in order to receive the funding, but it is available and our Travel Team is ready for you!

Promotion

Please help us spread the word about the conference. The more others know what is happening around them, the more likely they are to attend. This event is also a great promotion for the team as a whole. Given our recent release, openSUSE 12.3, the media have covered our progress on the distribution widely. Adding to that media presence, our conference is also another focus of promotion for the project. If you own a blog, Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus account, or any social media, you can download these promotional conference banners, flyers, posters at https://conference.opensuse.org/#promote

A new video is up on YouTube available here!

Put the badges and news on your favorite social media and spread the word about the openSUSE Conference!

Conference information

Some important links:

Two sites where you can book cheap flight to Greece are Petas.gr and airtickets.com

openSUSE Release Party Athens

Our Amazing Greeks

Get moving!

While it might seem only May, it is already May! You’ll have to make sure your paper submission is sent and your hotel and flight are booked! Even if you are unable to attend the conference, please spread the news about the conference. To raise awareness about our openSUSE team is an effort in which we all take part.

Those attending the conference should be ready to actively participate in the proceedings. Please beware that a team effort involves everyone and when you are at the conference, likely, you will be asked to participate in organizing different things that you may not have planned for. We expect your enthusiasm and willingness to participate!

Now is also the time to plan for those who may have been undecided about attending the conference. Invite friends, colleagues and anyone that shows an interest in the world of openSUSE. A conference like this is a great opportunity to make friends, and long lasting contacts for projects of your own in which openSUSE and its infrastructure can help you succeed.

openSUSE, Hedgewars, syslog-ng, oyranus, ownCloud are moving GSOC along!! Participate and Submit your proposals Fast!!!

April 25th, 2013 by

400px-GSOC_2013_logoA message from the openSUSE GSOC team

Many of you must already have seen the news: openSUSE has made it to the list of 177 organizations participating in this years edition of the Google Summer of Code! Like in previous years, we have a few other projects join us, including ownCloud, Oyranos and Hedgewars. The four of us have loads of great ideas lined up and we’re looking forward to the proposals! Read on to find out about GSOC, the plans and how to be a part of it! (more…)

OBS Gaining More Power

April 23rd, 2013 by

Linux Power logoIn the last weeks, the Open Build Service has received support from several sponsors. SUSE brought in a new, powerful x86 compute rack, ARM support was beefed up with Samsung Arndale boards and today we are happy to announce that IBM has provided us with two IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers to increase build capacity for its Power platform! (more…)

About ARMv7 progress and ARMing for AArch64

April 15th, 2013 by

openSUSE 12.3 introduced the 32bit ARMv7 architecture as new, fully supported architecture and brought experimental 64bit ARM (AArch64) images. Since the release, support for new hardware was added and more build power brought to the Open Build Service. And as far as we can tell, we now have the first large scale KVM deployment on ARM! We also introduce support for the Calxeda Highbank ARM server SoC, a major step forward for both ARM and openSUSE. Read on for details on where the openSUSE ARMy is going. (more…)

Hackweek 9 is coming!

March 26th, 2013 by

hackweek 9 logo
The week starting on April 8 will be Hack Week 9 at SUSE! The SUSE engineers will be free to work on projects of their passion for a week. They work in teams or alone on projects, personal, upstream or new. Hackweek takes place both on-line and at SUSE offices all over the world. Each location has a program for the week itself but right now we’re in preparation mode. As always, we try to make the event as open as possible (that’s why we use github) so you can see what we’re planning and can join in the fun! (more…)

openSUSE for new geekos

March 22nd, 2013 by

get it logo
It is almost weekend and you want to try another Linux distribution? We’ve got you covered!

The Linux ecosystem is a varied one with hundreds of distributions, each having their unique set of abilities and limitations. Some compile the source on your system, others let you choose between init systems, try to be as small as possible, experiment with security solutions and more. There is also variation in governance: some are strongly top-down organized, others decide in a meritocratic way or vote. Some have strong corporate sponsor pushing decisions – others don’t. Some care to collaborate, others don’t value the wider ecosystem much and go their own way.

The variety in solutions shows people want different things and the different distributions provide that. But people change, so do their needs. And so, for those looking for Greener pastures, we wrote this articles with an overview of ‘the openSUSE way’ and the major differences between our tools and those from other major distributions. (more…)

openSUSE 12.3 Launch Feedback: we’re still awesome!

March 18th, 2013 by

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Last week we let openSUSE 12.3 out of the gate. Like always, it was exciting and fun to see the result of so much preparation get to our users! So, how did it go and what did we learn? (more…)

openSUSE 12.3 – Awesome as 1-2-3

March 13th, 2013 by

Dear contributors, friends and fans: The latest release of the openSUSE distribution, version 12.3, is ready for you! After six months of hard work, we are happy to bring you the best mix that Free and Open Source Software has to offer with our unique green sauce – stable, friendly and fun.

Download openSUSE 12.3

(In other languages: cs de es fr it ja nl pt ru zh zh-tw)

As this was a shorter-than-normal release cycle, much attention went into the details so we can now give you a quality packed product. This release of world’s most powerful and flexible Linux Distribution puts the finishing touches on our boot infrastructure and package management, a bright polish to your desktop and a touch of cloud for your server.

 

good news - we've got green smoke!

good news – we’ve got green smoke!

The Highlights

Finishing touches
openSUSE 12.3 finishes the integration of systemd and delivers a better system log experience with journald. Reliable graphical package management tools and a new theme bring a consistent experience from boot to desktop. The 1GB live images are now optimized for USB sticks and the ARM team has stable openSUSE 12.3 ARM v7 and experimental ARM 64bit images ready for this exciting architecture.

 

Polishing up
The latest desktops bring additional polish with much faster metadata handling, a new print manager and improved bluetooth integration in KDE’s Plasma Desktop and improved notifications, better file management and account integration for Exchange and Windows Live in GNOME Shell.

 

New Features
12.3 brings new technologies to users with the inclusion of PostgreSQL 9.2 which comes with native JSON support (noSQL style). We’ve moved over from MySQL to MariaDB as default. This is the first openSUSE release with a complete OpenStack “Folsom” for cloud fans and this release debuts the E17 desktop and the Sawfish and awesome window managers.

 

Moving forward
openSUSE moves forward with the inclusion of updated applications. DigiKam 3.0 comes with much expanded abilities for batch processing of images and new and improved filters & plugins; the major PIM applications received updates with Evolution now having an automatically updated search folder and spell checking all over while Kontact’s quick filter searches the full mail bodies and has an improved composer. Development tools like KDevelop, monodevelop and valgrind got preliminairy Android support; Development libraries like GTK3 and KDE Development Platform are included with new releases. This release also brings proper UEFI support for x86_64 hardware and experimental support for Secure Boot enabled hardware.

„We’re very proud of openSUSE 12.3 as  a stable and current operating system, also we are looking forward to the openSUSE Conference in Greece this summer, where we can celebrate its release and continue working towards the future of Free Software.”

– said openSUSE Board member Richard Brown.

(more…)