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In Memory of Telsa Gwynne

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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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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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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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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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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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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

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Debian Project mourns the loss of Peter Miller

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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

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

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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Thank you, Seth Vidal

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Obits Collaboration and community are truly at the heart of everything Red Hat does. Seth Vidal, a longtime member of the Fedora Project and Red Hat’s Fedora team, espoused these values and represented the best of open source. He was a lead developer of the yum project, the software package manager used by Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and other RPM-based distributions.

Seth Vidal, creator of “yum,” killed in bike accident

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Obits Seth Vidal, a long time Durham resident most well known for creating the “yum” software used by several Linux distributions, was killed in a hit and run accident last night near Hillandale golf course. He was 36 years old.

RIP Dennis

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  • maddog: RIP Dennis
  • Dennis Ritchie: The C man who booted Unix
  • Dennis Ritchie: the giant whose shoulders we stand on
  • Remembering Dennis Ritchie
  • A Few Brief Thoughts
  • Dennis Ritchie - A Roundup Of Tributes To An Unsung Hero
  • Computing pioneer Dennis Ritchie dead at 70
  • The Genius Who Made it Simple
  • The email I received from Dennis Ritchie
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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora

Rackspace and FOSS Report

  • The Rackspace State of Open Source
    As the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona kicks off, Rackspace has released a report entitled ‘The State of Open Source’. With every conference seemingly extolling the virtues of open source software, this report is timely. It manages to differentiate between enterprise open source and the wider open source software market.
  • Why digital transformation needs open source
    As if there wasn't already ample reason for businesses to switch to open source, Forrester analysts Paul Miller and Lauren E Nelson released a report in April 2016, entitled Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation — CIOs Need To Embrace Open Source Software To Drive Change, which further drives the point.
  • Despite Security Fears, Open Source Is Fuelling Innovation and Cost Savings in UK Businesses
  • Security concerns fail to hold back UK open source success
    However, despite its increasingly common use, many (54%) still perceive external security threats to be a big barrier to adoption, that’s according to a report published by Rackspace. The State of Open Source study, which was conducted among IT decision makers in UK businesses with over 1,000 employees and revenues over £500m, and looks at the ways open source is being used, its benefits, but also what is holding back adoption and business concerns. According to the report open source has come of age with 85% using open source technology to migrate a closed source project to open source. Open source also isn’t just a tool for small businesses; the vast majority (90%) of large businesses are now deploying open source-based enterprise applications, with 25% being completely open source. The reason for the growing adoption is because of the money and time savings. Rackspace found that for each project that had been migrated to open source technology, six out of ten organisations saved on average £30,146 and reduced project lifecycle by six months. Greater innovation was reported by many (49%), and 46% were driven to open source because of the competitive opportunities. Additionally, just under half (45%) said that it enabled them to get products and services to market faster. John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace, said: “While open source technologies have been around for many years, it is great to see that enterprise businesses are finally dipping their toes in and seeing the tangible benefits.

FOSS and Blockchain

Security Leftovers

  • The internet apocalypse map hides the major vulnerability that created it
    During Friday’s massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS service provider Dyn, one might be forgiven for mistaking the maps of network outages for images of some post-apocalyptic nuclear fallout. Screenshots from sites like showed menacingly red, fuzzy heat maps of, well, effectively just population centers of the United States experiencing serious difficulty accessing Twitter, Github, Etsy, or any of Dyn's other high-profile clients. Aside from offering little detail and making a DDoS literally into a glowing red menace, they also obscured the reality of just how centralized a lot of internet infrastructure really is. DNS is ground zero for the uneasy tension of the internet’s presumed decentralized resilience and the reality that as of now, translating IP addresses into domain names requires some kind of centralized, hierarchical platform, and that’s probably not going to radically change anytime soon. Other maps provided by various business to business network infrastructure companies weren’t much more helpful. These maps seem to exist mostly to signal that the companies in question have lots of cool data and that it can be made into a flashy map — which might impress potential customers, but that doesn’t offer a ton of insights for the layperson. For example, threat intelligence company Norse's map appears to be mostly a homage to the Matthew Broderick movie War Games: a constant barrage of DDoS attacks beaming like space invader rockets across a world map. Akamai has an impressive 3D visualization that renders traffic as points beaming into the atmosphere. And website monitoring service Pingdom offers a dot map at such a far-out zoom level that it's essentially useless for seeking out more meaningful patterns than "outages happen in population centers, also there are a lot of outages."
  • CoreOS Patched Against the "Dirty COW" Linux Kernel Vulnerability, Update Now
  • World’s first hack-proof router launched
    Turris Omnia router, tagged the world’s first hack-proof router, was launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic. As an essential part of any home internet network, routers are rather poorly secured and protected against cyber attack. More often than not, the only security feature is the default password. With easily required internet knowledge and some skills, these routers can be hacked, providing unauthorized access to a complete internet network. From there on, anything is possible.