Galtsun käyttäjillä oli mahdollisuus esittää Linus Torvaldsille kysymyksiä. Ihan kaikkiin Galtsussa esille tulleisiin kysymyksiin ei Linuksilla ollut mahdollisuutta vastata.

1.What was your dream profession as a child?

I wanted to be a scientist, a physicist in particular. Possibly a mathematician. I was interested in math, and people like Newton, Leibnitz, Gauss, Einstein etc were my idols. More close to home, my maternal grandfather - who also the person who introduced me to computers - was a professor of statistics at Helsinki University, and he was a big influence in my life.

2. What will the future Internet be like? / What things we have to overcome in developing the Internet?

I don't think there is any huge technical issues for the future of the internet - obviously with IPv4 running out of addresses, people really *will* have to move over to IPv6, but the technology is largely there, and as far as most users are concerned it's not even an issue they need to think about. And a lot of other technical details are just about making it faster, cheaper, and just generally more available and used for just about any data transmission. I don't think anybody would be surprised by that part.

No, the interesting things - and this is where I really don't know what will happen, and what the future will be like - is what people will *do* with the internet. IOW, the "what's the next facebook?"
question. And I don't know what the answer to that is. People are inherently very social animals, and so I absolutely don't think that "social networking" as a concept is a fad, but how it will change - who knows?

On a more serious side, the thing that is a bigger threat tends to be political issues - censorship and trying to "control" the internet.
The internet is a great way to communicate, but exactly because it's such a powerful medium, and not inherently controlled from the top (like broadcast media tends to be), the real threat isn't about technology, but by political - and business - concerns about it.
Political censorship, and censorious "intellectual property" laws are something to worry about. What to *do* about them - I don't know.

3.How has the Millenium Technology Prize changed your life?

Heh. Right now, the main change has been added travel. I'm a homebody - not only do I work from home, but I really *like* working from home and don't usually travel that much. I go to a couple of conferences a year, and we do a yearly family vacation, but normally I don't travel that much. The Millennium prize so far has about tripled my normal travel for the year ;)

4. What is the secret behind becoming a great scientist like you?

I think a lot of it is "persistence". Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers" has a "10,000-Hour Rule", where he makes the argument that anybody who spends ten thousand hours doing something will basically be in the top of his or her chosen profession. And that may not sound like much, but it is - you need to work on something for many hours each day, for several years.

And that rings true to me. It may not be the _whole_ truth, but it's a big part of it, I think.

Of course, people who *do* spend hours every day on what they do, for years and years, often do have some other reason to do so in the first place. There's something that gets you started, and maybe there's an initial aptitude that gets you to that point. But a lot of it is "keep doing it".

5. Elätkö unelmaasi, ts oletko aina haaveillut pääseväsi "julkisuuteen" tieteen kehittämisen ansiosta?

I'm not going to lie, I dreamed I'd be a world-famous scientist. As a teenager I basically dreamt of being a world-renowned physicist that came up with the grand unification theory and got the Nobel prize in physics.

I ended up in computer science instead of physics, but on the whole, I think I'm living the dream. t didn't happen the way I expected it, and while I don't particularly like being a public figure per se, I _definitely_ like the fact that I've done something big and gotten recognition for it.

6. Mikä on tärkein jatkokehityksen kohde innovaatiossasi?

I often quote Thomas Edison: "Genius is 1% innovation, 99% perspiration". The important part isn't some particular target of innovation: the important part is all the hard work to get the thing to work, and get all the details right. So I'm just trying to say that there is no "tärkein kohde". There's a lot of different things we want to work on, there's no single big thing I can point to and say "that's the target".

7. Mikä oli lempi oppiaine koulussa?

Matikka. Ihan oikeasti.

8. Mikä on tiedon rinnalla tärkein asia tutkimuksen tekemisessä?


The thing about research is that almost none of it is getting done by a single person (or necessarily even a single university or company).
So when doing research, of course the research itself is important, but if you cannot communicate with others, it almost certainly doesn't end up being very important.

And by communication, I'm not implying the kind of "PR wire"
communication that so often ends up getting noticed in the press, because some university PR person ends up being good at writing it up so that it gets lots of attention. No, working together within your research group, helping others make the research more meaningful.
There are people who may not be all that great at the technical side themselves, but if they can get others to work together and understand each other, they may well be the most important person in the group.

9. Onko Sinulla uusia ideoita seuraaviin innovaatioihin? / Missä parhaat ideat syntyvät?

So I don't think in those terms. The things I've done, I've done not because I've had a great new idea - I've done them because I had a particular problem, and I thought to myself "how hard can it be".

And I seriously think that that is how real problems get solved. Not by great ideas, but by just sitting down and doing it. Nike uses the slogan "Just Do It" in athletics, I think it's often true in "innovation" too. Don't over-think things. Don't think that "an idea"
is how you solve a real-life problem. Most real-life problems are solved not by one big idea, but by a million small ones.

10. Onko NVIDIA:lta kuulunut minkäänlaista rationaalista perustelua tai vastinetta kuuluisalle keskisormitempaukselle?

I don't really think there was (or should be) any "rational response" to the middle finger salute per se.

That said, nVidia does seem to want to make at least their mobile graphics work better under Linux, and there have been rumors about them trying to help out with the Optimus graphics switching too. So hopefully things are improving. I'd love to come out publicly some day and just say "I was wrong, nVidia is great".

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