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Obits

Mourning Hans-Jürgen Koch

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Obits

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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Remembering Thomas Wood

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Obits

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend, Thomas Wood. Commonly known as ‘thos’ on irc, Thomas was a long time contributor to the GNOME Art project, where he curated GTK+ Themes, backgrounds, login screens, and icons. In later years, he also worked on the control center and maintained the GNOME Backgrounds module. Outside of GNOME, he worked on the Moblin platform, which enabled various technologies key to GNOME 3, like GNOME Shell and Clutter.

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RIP Ian Murdock

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Debian
Obits
  • Ian Murdock has died
  • In Memoriam: Ian Murdock

    It is with great sadness that we inform you that Ian Murdock passed away on Monday night. This is a tragic loss for his family, for the Docker community, and the broader open source world; we all mourn his passing. To Ian’s children, family and loved ones, we offer our full support and deepest sympathies.

  • Debian founder and Docker employee Ian Murdock has died at 42

    Docker today announced that Ian Murdock, a member of the startup’s technical staff and a former Sun and Salesforce employee known for founding the Debian Linux operating system, has passed away. He was 42.

    A cause of death was not provided in the blog post announcing the news. Docker declined to comment. The San Francisco Police Department did not immediately have information on Murdock’s cause of death.

    Murdock’s Twitter account posted several tweets (PDF) on Monday that suggested he had been involved in an incident involving police, and one tweet said that he would commit suicide that night. Some people speculated that his account had been hacked. It has since been deleted.

  • APT 1.1.8 to 1.1.10 – going “faster”

    APT 1.1.10 also switches the cache’s hash function to the DJB hash function and increases the default hash table sizes to the smallest prime larger than 15000, namely 15013. This reduces the average bucket size from 6.5 to 4.5. We might increase this further in the future.

In Memory of Telsa Gwynne

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Obits

I can’t say that she was a close friend, but we knew each other since way back in time. She was a constant companion in search of good food and during several free software conferences, she and I took the lead of a group of hackers, finding them nourishment for the night and day ahead. So I was saddened today to learn that Telsa Gwynne has passed away.

My first exchange with Telsa was around Christmas of 1998. We were talking about Christmas gifts, and whether Alan Cox, her husband, wouldn’t like to get a nice printout of RFC-1149, the “Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers”. Little did we know at the time that Alan would later support a group of Norwegian hackers in actually implementing that very specification!

Telsa never had an easy time in the free software community. From the very early days when we started talking, she was frequently and repeatedly abused by people trying to use her to get to her husband. Over the years, she withstood harassment and abuse of almost any sort from people in the free software community. She got to witness first hand the darkest corners of our community and the worst kind of people anyone can ever imagine.

Some of Telsa’s contribution to the free software community before that included a lot of work on explaining GNOME to people. She served on the GNOME Foundation’s Board of Directors, contributed translations and wrote comprehensive FAQs about both GNOME and the GNOME Foundation.

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Remembering Nóirín Plunkett

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Obits

Our thoughts are with everyone who loved Nóirín, everyone who worked with them, everyone who went to their talks or learned from their writing, everyone who met them at a conference, everyone for whom they made the open source and technical communities a better place.

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Goodbye Marco

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GNOME
Obits

The GNOME project is sad to have learnt that Marco Pesenti Gritti recently passed away after a long fight with cancer. Marco made major contributions to GNOME, having been the original author of both the Epiphany (also known as “Web”) browser and Evince, the GNOME PDF reader. Besides his significant contributions and technical ability, Marco was known as a good friend who served as an inspiration to many within the community.

Members of the GNOME community have expressed their sadness at Marco’s death. Xan López, the current Epiphany maintainer, wrote: “I remember fondly working with Marco on Epiphany many years ago. His patience and good character were instrumental in getting me involved with GNOME and Free Software”. Another contributor, Tomeu Vizoso, said: “He reviewed my first patches ever to a free software project and his contagious enthusiasm was what put into motion my career in open source.”

GNOME wasn’t the only community that Marco was a part of: he also played an important role in the development of Sugar, a platform which focused on education and the developing world.

Our thoughts are with Marco’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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Mourning Marco Pesenti Gritti

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Obits

I unfortunately have some terrible news, Marco Pesenti Gritti passed away
last Saturday in London, after a long fight against cancer. He was with his
family and in good medical hands. He leaves behind his girlfriend Daniela
and 4 year old daughter Daniela. I had the chance to say goodbye last week,
and convey thoughts and support for his coworkers, current and passed.

I was lucky to have worked with Marco for many years at litl, on a very
broad range of projects, and had the chance to count him as a good friend.
He was the most passionate and dedicated hacker I knew, and I know he was
extremely respected in the GNOME community, for his work on Epiphany,
Evince and Sugar among many others, just like he was at litl. Those who
knew him personally know he was also an awesome human being.

We will try to help his family as much as we can. He will be sorely missed.

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Two hackers who committed suicide and no one still knows the real reason why

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Development
Legal
Obits

Two of world’s most wanted hackers had committed suicide and no one still knows why. Aaron Swartz and Jonathan James, both hackers by profession and most wanted by the FBI have committed suicide in face of the federal investigation against their hacking crimes.

Interested thing is both hackers were not connected to each other in any way but were being tried for hacking by the same department and the case was being overseen by the same Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann. Could this have any hand in their suicides.

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Mourning Chris Yeoh

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Obits

It is my sad duty to inform the community that Chris Yeoh passed away this
morning. Chris leaves behind a daughter Alyssa, aged 6, who I hope will
remember Chris as the clever and caring person that I will remember him as.
I haven’t had a chance to confirm with the family if they want flowers or a
donation to a charity. As soon as I know those details I will reply to this
email.

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Debian Project mourns the loss of Peter Miller

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Debian
Obits

The Debian Project recently learned that it has lost a member of its
community. Peter Miller died on July 27th after a long battle with
leukemia.

Peter was a relative newcomer to the Debian project, but his
contributions to Free and Open Source Software goes back the the late
1980s. Peter was significant contributor to GNU gettext as well as being
the main upstream author and maintainer of other projects that ship as
part of Debian, including, but not limited to srecord, aegis and cook.
Peter was also the author of the paper "Recursive Make Considered
Harmful".

The Debian Project honours his good work and strong dedication to Debian
and Free Software. The contributions of Peter will not be forgotten, and
the high standards of his work will continue to serve as an inspiration
to others.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Making your OpenStack monitoring stack highly available using Open Source tools
    Operators tasked with maintaining production environments are relying on monitoring stacks to provide insight to resource usage and a heads-up to threats of downtime. Perhaps the most critical function of a monitoring stack is providing alerts which trigger mitigation steps to ensure an environment stays up and running. Downtime of services can be business-critical, and often has extremely high cost ramifications. Operators working in cloud environments are especially reliant on monitoring stacks due to the increase in potential inefficiency and downtime that comes with greater resource usage. The constant visibility of resources and alerts that a monitoring stack provides, makes it a fundamental component of any cloud.
  • InfraRed: Deploying and Testing Openstack just made easier!
  • The journey of a new OpenStack service in RDO
    When new contributors join RDO, they ask for recommendations about how to add new services and help RDO users to adopt it. This post is not a official policy document nor a detailed description about how to carry out some activities, but provides some high level recommendations to newcomers based on what I have learned and observed in the last year working in RDO.
  • Getting to know the essential OpenStack components better
  • Getting to know core components, speed mentoring, and more OpenStack news
  • Testing LibreOffice 5.3 Notebookbar
    I teach an online CSCI class about usability. The course is "The Usability of Open Source Software" and provides a background on free software and open source software, and uses that as a basis to teach usability. The rest of the class is a pretty standard CSCI usability class. We explore a few interesting cases in open source software as part of our discussion. And using open source software makes it really easy for the students to pick a program to study for their usability test final project.
  • [Older] Drupal member sent out after BDSM lifestyle revealed

    Drupal, like many other open source projects, has a stated goal of welcoming and accepting all people, no matter their heritage, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors.

  • Controversy Erupts in Open-Source Community After Developer's Sex Life Made Public
    Drupal is a popular open-source content-management system, used to build websites. Like many other open-source projects, Drupal is guided by several committees that are supposed to be accountable to the community and its code of conduct, which enshrines values like "be considerate" and "be respectful." Also like many other open-source projects, Drupal attracts all sorts of people, some of whom are eclectic. Last week, under murky circumstances, Drupal creator Dries Buytaert banned one of the project's technical and community leaders, Larry Garfield. Buytaert attributed the decision to aspects of Garfield's private sex life. Many Drupal users and developers are up in arms about the perceived injustice of the move, exacerbated by what they see as a lack of transparency.
  • HospitalRun: Open Source Software for the Developing World
    When open source software is used for global health and global relief work, its benefits shine bright. The benefits of open source become very clear when human health and human lives are on the line. In this YouTube video, hear Harrisburg, Pennsylvania software developer Joel Worrall explain about HospitalRun software – open source cloud-based software used at developing world healthcare facilities.
  • Scotland emphasises sharing and reuse of ICT
    Scotland’s public administrations should focus on common, shared technology platforms, according to the new digital strategy, published on 22 March. The government says it wants to develop “shared infrastructure, services and standards in collaboration with our public sector partners, to reduce costs and enable resources to be focused on front-line services.”
  • [Older] OpenSSL Re-licensing to Apache License v. 2.0 To Encourage Broader Use with Other FOSS Projects and Products

    OpenSSL Launches New Website to Organize Process, Seeks to Contact All Contributors

  • Austria state secretary promotes open data
    The State Secretary at Austria’s Federal Chancellery, Muna Duzdar, is encouraging the making available of government data as open data. “The administration must set an example and support the open data culture by giving society its data back”, the State Secretary for Digitalisation said in a statement.
  • Study: Hungary should redouble open data initiatives
    The government of Hungary should redouble its efforts to make public sector information available as open data, and actively help to create market opportunities, a government white paper recommends. The ‘White Paper on National Data Policy’ was approved by the government in December.
  • Williamson School Board OKs developing open source science curriculum
    Science textbooks may be a thing of the past in Williamson County Schools. The Williamson County school board approved a proposal Monday night to use open source science resources instead of science textbooks. The switch will require a team of nine teachers to spend a year developing an open source curriculum.
  • How Elsevier plans to sabotage Open Access
    It was a long and difficult road to get the major publishing houses to open up to open access, but in the end the Dutch universities got their much awaited ‘gold deal’ for open access. A recently revealed contract between Elsevier and the Dutch research institutes lays bare the retardant tactics the publishing giant employs to stifle the growth of open access.
  • #0: Introducing R^4
  • RcppTOML 0.1.2

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • FedEx Will Pay You $5 to Install Flash on Your Machine
    FedEx is making you an offer you can’t afford to accept. It’s offering to give you $5 (actually, it’s a discount on orders over $30) if you’ll just install Adobe Flash on your machine. Nobody who knows anything about online security uses Flash anymore, except when it’s absolutely necessary. Why? Because Flash is the poster child for the “security-vulnerability-of-the-hour” club — a group that includes another Adobe product, Acrobat. How unsafe is Flash? Let’s put it this way: seven years ago, Steve Jobs announced that Flash was to be forever banned from Apple’s mobile products. One of the reasons he cited was a report from Symantec that “highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009.” Flash security hasn’t gotten any better since.
  • Every once in a while someone suggests to me that curl and libcurl would do better if rewritten in a “safe language”
  • An insecure dishwasher has entered the IoT war against humanity

    Regel says that he has contacted Miele on a number of occasions about the issue, but had failed to get a response to his missives, and this has no updated information on the vulnerability.

    He added, bleakly that "we are not aware of an actual fix."

  • Monday Witness: It's Time to Reconize a Civil Right Not to be Connected
    Along with death and taxes, two things appear inevitable. The first is that Internet of Things devices will not only be built into everything we can imagine, but into everything we can't as well. The second is that IoT devices will have wholly inadequate security, if they have any security at all. Even with strong defenses, there is the likelihood that governmental agencies will gain covert access to IoT devices anyway. What this says to me is that we need a law that guarantees consumers the right to buy versions of products that are not wirelessly enabled at all.
  • Remember kids, if you're going to disclose, disclose responsibly!
    If you pay any attention to the security universe, you're aware that Tavis Ormandy is basically on fire right now with his security research. He found the Cloudflare data leak issue a few weeks back, and is currently going to town on LastPass. The LastPass crew seems to be dealing with this pretty well, I'm not seeing a lot of complaining, mostly just info and fixes which is the right way to do these things.

Lightroom and Darktable: the verdict two years after switching

In summer 2015, I posted a detailed account of my tentative switch from Windows7 and Lightroom to Linux and Darktable. This was sparked by sudden crashes that were afflicting my system, but in a deeper sense grew from frustration with Windows and, to a lesser degree, with Lightroom. Once I headed for Linux, I decided to plunge in fully and commit to using Ubuntu and free, open-source photo software for several months – at least until the end of that year. That would give me a chance to see whether I could actually run my photography business on the new system. Read more

7 Linux Mainstream Distros Alternatives

Linux Mainstream Distros are quite popular as they have a large number of developers working on them as well as a large number of users using them. In addition, these distros also have strong support system. People often search alternatives for Linux Mainstream Distros but often get confused about which is the best one for them. So listed below are 7 best Linux mainstream distros alternative choices for you. Read more