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Obits

Remembering a friend: Matthew Williams

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Obits

One of the things about working in open source software communities is that you are always moving forward. It’s hard not to get a sense of momentum and progress when it seems you are constantly striving to improve and build on the work you and others have done before.

But sometimes you have to pause to reflect, because sometimes there is loss.

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Farewell to Rob Collins

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We would like to share with you the sad news, that Rob Collins has passed away earlier this month, on November 2nd, after a short but intense illness.

Many of you may know Rob from the sponsored massage sessions he regularly ran at EuroPython in recent years and which he continued to develop, taking them from a single man setup (single threaded process) to a group of people setup by giving workshops (multiprocessing) and later on by passing on his skills to more leaders (removing the GIL) to spread wellness and kindness throughout our conference series.

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Pieter Alexander Hintjens: 3 December 1962 – 4 October 2016

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After a long and painful illness, a battle with cancer over the last six years, my brother has died in Brussels, aged only 53.

My love for him has always been the adoring, muted kind that looked up to the light he shone, that basked in his enthusiasm and tried, and failed, to keep up with the thousand-and-one ideas he gave voice and form to. Many of his passions were beyond my comprehension but very real, nevertheless. As a computer programmer, writer of internet protocols and founder of on-line communities, his interests went way over my head. As an author, latterly, we connected and I was able to collaborate with him on one of his books – The Psychopath Code – an involvement for which I am profoundly grateful: Not only has this particular book helped me to navigate a few tricky moments in my own life, but the understanding we shared was like coming home.

I can’t begin to do justice to my brother’s legacy as a professional innovator, thinker, and networker. Pieter was one of these rare people totally unafraid to take chances, to think not just outside the box but into the next universe. How he maintained his enthusiasm and energy, where his inspiration came from, I shall not know in this lifetime.

His death last Tuesday has opened up a hole in my life, a tear in the fabric of my normal. Poignantly – and painfully – it is only as his legacy becomes clearer that I notice the loss of his quiet, determined contribution in my life. Always, in the background, he encouraged me, supporting my modest hopes for an ordinary life: my ambitions to study, to write, to marry and have a child. In all these attempts he was unwaveringly supportive, while seeking so little from me in return. Of course, elder brothers are looked up to, and often expected to take the lead. But lately, in these last few years, while he faced pain and uncertainty – about which he has written so candidly on his blog – while he battled fear and the shadows of disappointment with his trademark wry humour, he faced these challenges fearlessly and with a fiery determination that is frankly awe-inspiring.

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ZeroMQ founder Pieter Hintjens dies

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Pieter Hintjens, Belgian software developer and past president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), gave much of his time and effort to the open-source community.

He did so even up until the day he planned for his own death, which was today.

Hintjens, who chose euthanasia today after dealing with terminal cancer, was a writer and a programmer who spent much of his life building large software systems and online communities, which he described as “Living Systems.”

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Debian Project mourns the loss of Kristoffer H. Rose

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Debian
Obits

Kristoffer was a Debian contributor from the very early days of the project, and the upstream author of several packages that are still in the Debian archive nowadays, such as the LaTeX package Xy-pic and FlexML. On his return to the project after several years' absence, many of us had the pleasure of meeting Kristoffer during DebConf15 in Heidelberg.

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Remembering Vernon Adams

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Open-source font developer Vernon Adams has passed away in California at the age of 49. [Vernon Adams] In 2014, Adams was injured in an automobile collision, sustaining serious trauma from which he never fully recovered. Perhaps best known within the Linux community as the creator of KDE's user-interface font Oxygen, Adams created a total of 51 font families published through Google Fonts, all under open licenses. He was also active in a number of related free-software projects, including FontForge, Metapolator, and the Open Font Library. In 2012, he co-authored the user's guide for FontForge as part of Google's Summer of Code Documentation Camp, which we reported on at that time.

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In Memory of Jonathan “avenj” Portnoy

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The Gentoo project mourns the loss of Jonathan Portnoy, better known amongst us as Jon, or avenj.

Jon was an active member of the International Gentoo community, almost since its founding in 1999. He was still active until his last day.

His passing has struck us deeply and with disbelief. We all remember him as a vivid and enjoyable person, easy to reach out to and energetic in all his endeavors.

On behalf of the entire Gentoo Community, all over the world, we would like to convey our deepest sympathy for his family and friends. As per his wishes, the Gentoo Foundation has made a donation in his memory to the Perl Foundation.

Please join the community in remembering Jon on our forums.

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Gilles Chanteperdrix, 1975-2016

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It is with deep sorrow that I have to inform you that Gilles Chanteperdrix has passed away on Sunday 7th August. He now rests in the cemetery of Baillargues, in Southern France.

You can extend your sympathy to Gilles’s family by sending a message to im-gilles@xenomai.org.

Gilles will forever be remembered as a true-hearted man, a brilliant mind always scratching beneath the surface, looking for elegance in the driest topics, never jaded from such accomplishment.

According to Paul Valéry, “death is a trick played by the inconceivable on the conceivable”. Gilles’s absence is inconceivable to me, I can only assume that for once, he just got rest from tirelessly helping all of us.

Repose en paix mon ami, l’éclat de ta mémoire dissipera ces heures sombres.

Philippe.

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More on Death of Ian Murdock

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Debian
Obits

Mourning Hans-Jürgen Koch

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Thomas Gleixner wrote the following to us: The Linux Kernel community is mourning the passing of Hans-Jürgen Koch. Hans was a free-software enthusiast and an active contributor. He worked on Radio Data System support both in kernel and user space and was the main author and maintainer of the UIO subsystem and contributed in various ways to the Linux kernel as a professional and hobbyist. He authored a UIO book, gave countless talks at various open-source conferences, and served as a member of the Linuxtag program committee.

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Android Leftovers

The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Codename Has Been Revealed…

Following Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’, the next version of Ubuntu will, as expected, be based around the letter “F”. But it’s not going to be Feral Ferret, Famous Fox or Finicky Falcon. No, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is codenamed the “Focal Fossa“. And I think it’s a fabulously fitting title. Most of us have barely had time to explore the exuberant excesses of the Eoan Ermine release and yet, development never stops. As convention dictates, each Ubuntu codename combines an adjective and an animal (real or otherwise), alliteratively. And for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS that combination is “focal”, and “fossa” — but what do these words mean? Read more

today's leftovers

  • Required update to recent libarchive

    The compression algorithm zstd brings faster compression and decompression, while maintaining a compression ratio comparable with xz. This will speed up package installation with pacman, without further drawbacks. The imminent release of pacman 5.2 brings build tools with support for compressing packages with zstd. To install these packages you need libarchive with support for zstd, which entered the repositories in September 2018. In order for zstd compressed packages to be distributed, we require all users to have updated to at least libarchive 3.3.3-1. You have had a year, so we expect you already did update. Hurry up if you have not.

  • openSUSE to have Summit in Dublin

    The openSUSE Community is going to Ireland March 27 and 28, 2020, for openSUSE Summit Dublin. Registration for the summit has begun and the Call for Papers is open until Feb. 14. The summit will begin at the end of SUSE’s premier annual global technical conference SUSECON. Partners of openSUSE, open-source community projects and community members are encouraged to register for the summit and submit a talk. The schedule for the openSUSE Summit Dublin will be posted on Feb. 17.

  • Khronos Opens Door For Allowing More Open-Source Drivers To Reach Conformance Status

    Khronos president Neil Trevett was at this month's XDC2019 conference in Montreal and he clarified their position on accepting conformance submissions by the open-source drivers. He clarified that any of the open-source driver projects working on a conformant implementation for OpenGL / OpenCL / Vulkan can indeed submit to Khronos without paying any vendor fees, etc. That includes all drivers, just not those part of (or not) Khronos Group members.

  • TURNIP Vulkan Driver Gets MSAA Working

    Mesa's TURNIP Vulkan driver that provides open-source Vulkan API support for Qualcomm Adreno hardware in recent weeks has been back to seeing new activity and this week more useful contributions are being made. On Tuesday a number of TURNIP commits were made by Jonathan Marek as well as Eric Anholt. The latest work includes a number of fixes, adding the ASTC texture compression format layout, VK_KHR_sampler_mirror_clamp_to_edge, and ultimately getting basic MSAA working. The multi-sample anti-aliasing support for this open-source TURNIP driver for Adreno graphics has been described as "not perfect but gets through some tests."

Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Google launches the $649 Pixelbook Go Chromebook

    At its annual hardware event, Google today announced the launch of the Pixelbook Go, the latest iteration of its first-party Chromebook lineup. Starting at $649, the Pixelbook Go marks a return to the standard laptop format after last year’s Pixelbook with a 180-degree hinge and the Pixel Slate 2-in-1. The Go will come with a 16:9 13.3-inch touch screen and either an HD or 4K display, two USB-C ports, a built-in Titan-C security chip, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. It’s powered by Intel Core CPUs, starting with an m3 chip at the low end and an i7 at the top end. Available colors are black and “not pink” and pre-orders start now, but only for the black version. “Not pink” is coming soon.

  • BGH Capital backs major new cyber security player

    Former national cyber security adviser Alastair MacGibbon and former Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis joined forces to create the country's largest pure cyber security company, with 400 staff and backing from private equity firm BGH Capital.

    Led by Mr Paitaridis, CyberCX brings together 12 niche cyber security players to form one large company.

  • Malware That Spits Cash Out of ATMs Has Spread Across the World [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Part of the security issue for ATMs is that many of them are, in essence, aged Windows computers.

  • Migration Complete – Amazon’s Consumer Business Just Turned off its Final Oracle Database

    We migrated 75 petabytes of internal data stored in nearly 7,500 Oracle databases to multiple AWS database services including Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and Amazon Redshift. The migrations were accomplished with little or no downtime, and covered 100% of our proprietary systems. This includes complex purchasing, catalog management, order fulfillment, accounting, and video streaming workloads. We kept careful track of the costs and the performance, and realized the following results: [...]