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Obits

Death of FreeBSD contributor John Birrell

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BSD
Obits

freebsdnews.net: Craig Rodrigues writes that his friend and colleague John Birrell passed away.

Patrick Swayze dies at 57

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latimes.com: Patrick Swayze, the actor and classically trained dancer whose role in the enduringly popular "Dirty Dancing" made him a movie star, one who struggled with the alienation of fame and against being typecast as a leading man, died Monday. He was 57.

Walter Cronkite dies at 92

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variety.com: Walter Cronkite, the TV newsman who became known as "the most trusted man in America" during his 19 years as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," died today of cancer. He was 92.

Michael Jackson is dead at 50

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reuters.com: Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times said. He was 50.

oh no, Farrah Fawcett dies at 62

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Obits

latimes.com: Farrah Fawcett, who soared to fame as a national sex symbol in the late 1970s on television's campy "Charlie's Angels" and in a swimsuit poster that showcased her feathery mane and made her a generation's favorite pinup, died today. She was 62.

David Carradine, star of 'Kung Fu,' dies at 72

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latimes.com: Carradine was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok, where he was working on a movie. A Thai newspaper indicates he committed suicide; the U.S. Embassy confirms his death but offers no details.

'Lost in Space' robot actor Bob May dies

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Obits

nydailynews.com (AP): Actor Bob May, best known for playing the robot on TV's "Lost in Space," has died. He was 69.

Ricardo "Khan" Montalban dies at 88

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Obits

latimes.com: Ricardo Montalban, the suave leading man who was one of the first Mexican-born actors to make it big in Hollywood and who was best known for his role as Mr. Roarke on ABC's "Fantasy Island," has died. He was 88.

Debian mourns the loss of Thiemo Seufer

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Obits

debian.org: The Debian Project has lost an active member of its community. Thiemo Seufer died on December 26th in a tragic car accident.

Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

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SciFi
Obits

latimes.com: Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

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  • Apache Graduates Another Big Data Project to Top Level
    For the past year, we've taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Only days ago, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And now, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic.
  • Spark 2.0 takes an all-in-one approach to big data
    Apache Spark, the in-memory processing system that's fast become a centerpiece of modern big data frameworks, has officially released its long-awaited version 2.0. Aside from some major usability and performance improvements, Spark 2.0's mission is to become a total solution for streaming and real-time data. This comes as a number of other projects -- including others from the Apache Foundation -- provide their own ways to boost real-time and in-memory processing.
  • Why Uber Engineering Switched from Postgres to MySQL
    The early architecture of Uber consisted of a monolithic backend application written in Python that used Postgres for data persistence. Since that time, the architecture of Uber has changed significantly, to a model of microservices and new data platforms. Specifically, in many of the cases where we previously used Postgres, we now use Schemaless, a novel database sharding layer built on top of MySQL. In this article, we’ll explore some of the drawbacks we found with Postgres and explain the decision to build Schemaless and other backend services on top of MySQL.
  • GNU Hyperbole 6.0.1 for Emacs 24.4 to 25 is released
    GNU Hyperbole (pronounced Ga-new Hi-per-bo-lee), or just Hyperbole, is an amazing programmable hypertextual information management system implemented as a GNU Emacs package. This is the first public release in 2016. Hyperbole has been greatly expanded and modernized for use with the latest Emacs 25 releases; it supports GNU Emacs 24.4 or above. It contains an extensive set of improvements that can greatly boost your day-to-day productivity with Emacs and your ability to manage information stored across many different machines on the internet. People who get used to Hyperbole find it helps them so much that they prefer never to use Emacs without it.
  • Belgium mulls reuse of banking mobile eID app
    The Belgium government wants to reuse ‘Belgian Mobile ID’ a smartphone app for electronic identification, developed by banks and telecom providers in the country. The eID app could be used for eGovernment services, and the federal IT service agency, Fedict, is working on the app’s integration.
  • Water resilience that flows: Open source technologies keep an eye on the water flow
    Communities around the world are familiar with the devastation brought on by floods and droughts. Scientists are concerned that, in light of global climate change, these events will only become more frequent and intense. Water variability, at its worst, can threaten the lives and well-beings of countless people. Sadly, humans cannot control the weather to protect themselves. But according to Silja Hund, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, communities can build resilience to water resource stress. Hund studies the occurrence and behavior of water. In particular, she studies rivers and streams. These have features (like water volume) that can change quickly. According to Hund, it is essential for communities to understand local water systems. Knowledge of water resources is helpful in developing effective water strategies. And one of the best ways to understand dynamic water bodies like rivers is to collect lots of data.

Development News

  • JavaScript keeps its spot atop programming language rankings
    U.K.-based technology analyst firm RedMonk just released the latest version of its biannual rankings of programming languages, and once again JavaScript tops the list, followed by Java and PHP. Those are same three languages that topped RedMonk’s list in January. In fact, the entire top 10 remains the same as it was it was six months ago. Perhaps the biggest surprise in Redmonk’s list—compiling the “performance of programming languages relative to one another on GitHub and Stack Overflow”—is that there are so few surprises, at least in the top 10.
  • Plenty of fish in the C, IEEE finds in language popularity contest
    It's no surprise that C and Java share the top two spots in the IEEE Spectrum's latest Interactive Top Programming Languages survey, but R at number five? That's a surprise. This month's raking from TIOBE put Java at number one and C at number two, while the IEEE reverses those two, and the IEEE doesn't rank assembly as a top-ten language like TIOBE does. It's worth noting however that the IEEE's sources are extremely diverse: the index comprises search results from Google, Twitter, GitHub, StackOverflow, Reddit, Hacker News, CareerBuilder, Dice, and the institute's own eXplore Digital Library. Even then, there are some oddities in the 48 programming environments assessed: several commenters to the index have already remarked that “Arduino” shouldn't be considered a language, because code for the teeny breadboard is written in C or C++.