Scott Merrill

Latest from Scott Merrill

  • Readers: What’s Your Cloud Strategy?

    Readers: What’s Your Cloud Strategy?

    I get press releases every week about some new (or old!) company and their so-called cloud solution. Some folks are clearly abusing the popularity of the "cloud" buzzword, and others are actually doing interesting things with distributed computing, infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service, orchestration, and related technologies. Amazon is the prime mover on IaaS, but OpenStack, CloudStack and… Read More

  • U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Gets Open Source, Publishes on GitHub

    U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Gets Open Source, Publishes on GitHub

    I've been harping for a while here on TechCrunch about the benefits of open source software. I often quote Canonical's Technical Architect Allison Randal, who said "Free software is a fundamentally superior model for developing software." Free and open source software enabled much of the innovation we write about here at TechCrunch, but it's been slow to move into established enterprises, let… Read More

  • Canonical Metal-as-a-Service: Not Quite As Cool As It Sounds

    Canonical Metal-as-a-Service: Not Quite As Cool As It Sounds

    Canonical, the corporate sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has been doing a lot of interesting development work across a number of different computing segments: their on-going work with the Unity interface for Ubuntu, Ubuntu TV, Ubuntu for Android, and a whole lot more. Ubuntu, according to Canonical, is the world's most popular OS for public, private, and hybrid clouds. Not content with… Read More

  • State Of The Linux Kernel 2011

    State Of The Linux Kernel 2011

    The Linux Foundation provides a vendor neutral home for long-term collaboration on the Linux kernel. They provide Linux creator Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linus' right-hand man, the opportunity to work full-time on Linux. And they prepare a semi-annual report on the state of the Linux kernel, which is a fascinating examination of the most successful collaborative software development… Read More

  • Self-Hosted File Sync Solution ownCloud Goes Commercial

    Self-Hosted File Sync Solution ownCloud Goes Commercial

    People love Dropbox and similar services, but companies -- especially large enterprises in regulated industries -- have an understandable aversion to file sync services: they allow company data on servers "out there" in the cloud, no longer under company control. ownCloud, essentially an open source, self-hosted Dropbox, has a unique advantage here as it's strictly a software solution, not a… Read More

  • Linux For The Real World

    Linux For The Real World

    The recent Linux Foundation report about the Linux jobs market highlighted a need for experienced professionals, but the traditional Linux training and certification programs don't always impart the kind of skills actually required by employers. In an attempt to bridge this gap, veteran Linux trainer and Linux Journal associate editor Shawn Powers has teamed up with CBT Nuggets to develop a series… Read More

  • WTF
    Introducing Dotsies: The Space-Saving Font

    Introducing Dotsies: The Space-Saving Font

    When last I met with Craig Muth it was in lovely Columbus, Ohio and he was a down-to-earth hacker working on, a site dedicated to making the world a better place. Clearly a useful and noble pursuit. Craig moved to San Francisco a while back, and just sent me an email with details of his latest project: a space-saving font he's calling dotsies. Dotsies characters are built from five… Read More

  • With Many Eyeballs, All Bugs Are Shallow

    With Many Eyeballs, All Bugs Are Shallow

    In his seminal work The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric Raymond put forward the claim that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." He dubbed this Linus' Law, in honor of Linux creator Linus Torvalds. It sounds like a fairly self-evident statement, but as the Wikipedia page points out the notion has its detractors. Michael Howard and David LeBlanc claim in their 2003 book Writing Secure Code… Read More

  • Canonical Announces Ubuntu for Android

    Canonical Announces Ubuntu for Android

    Canonical's Ubuntu TV, unveiled earlier this year, was the first in a series of announcements about "Ubuntu on devices". The next device in Canonical's multi-screen strategy for world domination is being unveiled next week at Mobile World Congress 2012, and it's an Android-powered smartphone. It's not entirely what you might think, though. This is not an Ubuntu app running atop Android. Nor is… Read More

  • Nature Publishing Group Officially Launches New Interactive Textbook

    Nature Publishing Group Officially Launches New Interactive Textbook

    Last spring I wrote about Nature Publishing Group's plan for a $49 electronic textbook packed with interactivity and unlimited content updates for life. The original publication date was scheduled for September 1, 2011, but for a variety of reasons the release was pushed back. Today marks the official launch of "Principles of Biology". This book is "born digital", according to Vikram Savkar… Read More

  • Need a Job? Learn Linux

    Need a Job? Learn Linux

    The Linux Foundation today posted their first ever Linux Jobs Report, created in conjunction with tech job site The report examines the current demand for Linux talent, and identifies a few interesting trends. Of the 2,300 survey respondents, eight in ten said that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012, and more than half of firms surveyed said that they're increasing Linux hires… Read More

  • Can Startups Learn Anything From Linux?

    Can Startups Learn Anything From Linux?

    Linux is the world's largest collaborative software development project. People from all over the world have influenced the Linux kernel code, and it runs on everything from mainframe computers to wristwatches. Linux, and free software development in general, provides some tremendous insights into what makes a successful project. Can today's startups learn anything from the history of… Read More

  • Mark Shuttleworth Unveils New Head-Up Display for Ubuntu 12.04

    Mark Shuttleworth Unveils New Head-Up Display for Ubuntu 12.04

    Every time I write about Ubuntu and its (not-so) new Unity interface, I see lots and lots of comments decrying it as useless, an abomination, the worst thing to ever happen to computers, etc. Personally, I'm not so flummoxed by it, but there's no denying that Unity has been a divisive addition to Canonical's flagship Linux distribution. The choice to move application menus up to the global bar at… Read More

  • Linux Foundation Expects More Enterprise Gains in 2012

    Linux Foundation Expects More Enterprise Gains in 2012

    The Linux Foundation is sharing the results of their latest invitation-only survey of enterprise Linux users. Their last such survey, in August 2010, revealed Linux was gaining popularity in enterprise computing. It should come as no real surprise that the latest survey shows more of the same. A lot has happened since late 2010, and the Linux Foundation survey reflects that. In "Linux Adoption… Read More

  • Science Data Sharing Site figshare Relaunches, Adds Features

    Science Data Sharing Site figshare Relaunches, Adds Features

    figshare, originally launched in January 2011, is re-launching today with some new features. figshare aims to be a repository for scientific figures, raw datasets, videos and more. The retooled service offers AWS storage, version control, and unlimited public storage capacity. All uploaded data is made available with easy-to-use citation links (and a QR code) and is licensed under CreativeCommons… Read More

  • I Want My Ubuntu TV!

    I Want My Ubuntu TV!

    CES is upon us, and is no doubt chock full of the usual suspects of consumer electronics OEMs, ODMs, and more. One interesting new attendee this year is Canonical, the folks behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. Canonical is making a big push to get Ubuntu onto more than just desktops and laptops, and have been busy building relationships with CE companies to get it onto tablets, phones, and… Read More

  • VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS adds support for .NET

    VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS adds support for .NET

    VMware, whose core products specialize in virtualizing Windows and Linux workloads, is making some interesting maneuvers in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) space with their Cloud Foundry offering. is a hosted PaaS solution, in which people can deploy and run their web apps without ever mucking around with the underlying OS or application stack. There's also the Micro Cloud… Read More

  • Red Hat releases Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2

    Red Hat releases Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2

    Today Red Hat announces the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, the latest iteration of their flagship Linux distribution. I don't usually cover every point release of every Linux distribution, but since I've covered recent releases from Canonical and SUSE I thought I'd give Red Hat some coverage, too. RHEL 6.2 is in some ways a remarkable release, and in other ways completely… Read More

  • Diveboard Aims To Make Logging Scuba Dives Fun And Educational

    Diveboard Aims To Make Logging Scuba Dives Fun And Educational

    When I earned my PADI open water diver certification, I had every intention of making scuba diving a regular hobby. Then I got a baby and everything changed. I haven't been able to dive since, but I still have my logbook and keep looking for opportunities to get back into a wetsuit. The next time I do, I'll be sure to log my dive at Diveboard, a new online dive logbook. Read More

  • openSUSE 12.1 Released

    openSUSE 12.1 Released

    openSUSE, the community developed Linux distribution sponsored by SUSE, has released version 12.1 today. At first glance, openSUSE 12.1 is pretty much in line with recent releases from Fedora and Ubuntu: GNOME 3.2, systemd, etc. But a closer look starts to reveal some real divergence between the various Linux offerings today. For example, while Fedora 16 allows you to choose btrfs for your… Read More