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posted by mrpg on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the #! dept.

Lifehacker has an Interview with Brian Fox, the author of the Bash shell.

Brian Fox is a titan of open source software. As the first employee of Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation, he wrote several core GNU components, including the GNU Bash shell. Now he’s a board member of the National Association of Voting Officials and co-founder of Orchid Labs, which delivers uncensored and private internet access to users like those behind China’s firewall. We talked to him about his career and how he works.

[...] I first recall being interested in technology at the age of 6. My father, a physicist at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, had a teletype machine in the basement of the house we were living in. It connected to BBN via a modem. The baud rate was probably around 110bps—quite low. I used to hold down the CTRL key while pressing “G”, which would cause the bell to ring.

[...] I joined with my other 4 co-founders in 2017 to create the Orchid Protocol for a truly decentralized, surveillance-free internet.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:04PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:04PM (#610774)

    You don't become successful by working your way out of poverty...

    And yet literally millions of people have done just that. Immigrants whose homeland is so shitty that they packed up and left have come over, started with nothing, and built considerable wealth here. Not just immigrants either. People can and do bootstrap themselves out of poverty. Sure it is harder than being born with a silver spoon in their mouth but they manage.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by fyngyrz on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:19PM (1 child)

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:19PM (#610801) Journal

    yet literally millions of people have done just that

    Luck plays a very large factor in this; luck, the relationship between the mood / inclinations of the masses and your undertakings, any interactions with the legal system, who you know and who might step in to give you a technical or monetary boost... all these things are real leverage that stand entirely outside the idea that "working your way out" is a means in and of itself.

    It's attractive to pretend that just working hard on a good idea or several will serve. But it's actually not that simple.

    Sure it is harder than being born with a silver spoon in their mouth but they manage.

    Some of them manage. Some of them fail despite their efforts, despite the value of their ideas, despite even some advantages. This is the hard truth. Life is not a bowl of cherries, there for anyone to pick up who is willing to bend over.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:50PM (#611107)

      Who have been riding the success failure rollercoaster for years. Many of them still haven't come out ahead and in many cases not entirely of their own fault.

      One lives in the midwest and her only family/friends that can provide support are in podunk towns.

      Another worked for years as a waitress then cook, then started her own business. It was going fine in a reasonably high end mall in a vintage building, until said building changed ownership. This resulted in the new owner jacking up rent on everybody whose leases were ending, leading to move of the businesses abandoning the mall. She still had 12-18 months on her lease, but lost about half of her business from the mall crowd. The rest of her business was from a few large nearby businesses, but while steady business they didn't provide breakeven on their own without the mall-based customers. Long story short, business dried up, what business remained began to peter out as the mall seemed abandoned and more than a little creepy, and she finally called it quits with time remaining on her lease because it wasn't covering her operating costs. She was still trying to recover the last time I had seen her 3 years later doing weekend catering plus a day job.

      I've got a dozen other stories just like that. The two that have most recently been successes got a string of lucky breaks job-wise that set them up for the next job they hopped to. Of the ones owning their own business, the only successful one, who was also a 1st gen immigrant was shady as fuck and flaunting at least half of the labor and employment laws in the city/county/state, which allowed him to make money hand over fist. Even then it took them 5-10 years to get enough together to buy the business they wanted and wind down their original, and last time we were in touch they were still avoiding every law they could to make a profit. Some of those laws being very important, like health and safety, or epa regs around dumping. I kept hoping to see them get written up over it, but sadly the regulators never seemed to catch on, and not being a narc I didn't report them myself.