Ian Murdock Founder of Debian Linux Passes Away Age 42

Many users would have come across Ian Murdock’s work, more so if you are a user of Linux-based operating systems. It is with great sadness that we must report that Ian Murdock has passed away at the age of 42.

Ian Murdock’s passing was announced on a blog post via the Docker website, where he was a member of the Docker community. Ian is best known for the Linux Debian distribution, an open source operating system that has formed the basis of many other open source projects, and the very definition of open source has been built upon it. He is also known as a creator of the commonly used command, apt-get, an easy way of finding and install the latest software on Linux-based operating systems.

Both Ian’s family and the community as a whole have requested that the press and the public respect their privacy at this time and that any enquiries be sent through Docker. If you wish to share your condolences with those who knew him you can send them to in-memoriam-ian@debian.org, where they will be kept and archived for viewing and recalling at a future date.

Please see the memorial left at Debian.org here and join us in remembering a man who gave so much to the world.

12-Year-Old Boy Breaks Fall by Smashing Into Painting Worth $1.5 Million

A 12-year-old boy in Taiwan has suffered a rather unfortunate accident and already become a viral sensation. While visiting a museum, he suddenly tripped into the path of a $1.5 million painting. The damage caused was quite substantial because he pierced a hole in the painting to break his fall. Unluckily, the Paolo Porpora oil painting is 350 years old and provided to the museum on a loan basis. Additionally, the piece was part of “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius” exhibition, with 50 beautifully compiled paintings by Italian Renaissance artists on display.

CCTV footage recorded the incident which is fairly difficult to watch. Organizers of the event had to close the public gallery and assess the situation. However, it was reopened a few hours later. Focus Taiwan reported that the exhibition’s curator, Andrea Rossi does not want the boy’s family to pay for restoration costs. Obviously, how could they afford it? Thankfully, the painting was insured by the organizers and will be repaired in Taiwan before going back to Italy.

Also, the museum probably should have imposed greater restrictions and improved security. As you can see from the video, the boy is carrying a drink. He could have easily dropped the beverage and stained the painting. Whatever the case, you have to feel some sympathy for him.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Government Changes Mind – Ripping CD’s Now Illegal Again

Left Right Left Right, the government doesn’t quite seem to have a solid stance on the process of ripping your albums and movies. After being made legal last year, it would seem that the high court has once again ruled it should be illegal to copy a CD for whatever purposes.

The ruling last year stated that you could make a copy of CD for purposes such as a backup, or copy the music to an MP3 player or another such device (yes that’s right, it’s been illegal all along). You could do this as long as the original media (cd, film, ext..) had been acquired legally and that you didn’t share the content with anyone else.

The change in policy has been seen as a great move by UKMusic, who represent musicians, songwriters and others involved in the musical industry. In a statement, they said that the “Government acted unlawfully when it introduced an exception to copyright for private copying without fair compensation”.

An alternative plan to replace the funds lost by you copying that album from a CD to an MP3 would have been for MP3’s, CD’s, Blu-Rays and DVD’s to have a special tax put on them, with the funds going to the music and movie industries.

So if I’m understanding this right, because you buy a CD (therefore supporting the music industry and the company which produced it) you shouldn’t be allowed to copy that music to a backup disk for when the original breaks or even to your iPod or MP3. Seems to me like companies just don’t want people buying the CD’s anymore, because if it’s deemed illegal to do so and they start acting on it, people will stop buying physical copies and then we will no doubt see complaints about their lack of CD sales being negatively impacted.

Thank you Ars Technica or the information.

Image courtesy of DuplicationCentre.

Audio Engineer Joseph Grado, Founder of Grado Labs, Dies at Age 90

The founder fo Grado Labs and inventor of stereo moving-coil cartridge, Joseph Grado, has passed away at the age of 90. Joseph Grado held over 48 patents in the audio system category and the company is mostly known for its high-end headphones now.

To turntable laymen, the cartridge is the needle assembly and it is responsible for converting the analog grooves in the vinyl into an electric signal, and it is they key to the sound quality.

Grado didn’t start out in the audio business but was a watchmaker working for Tiffany & Co. In 1953, he started making phono cartridges on the kitchen table before taking over his father’s grocery store two years later and turning it into a factory.

That building is still the company headquarter today, but Joseph Grado sold the company to his nephew who still runs it together with his son.

While Joseph Grado might not be the most familiar name, the evolution of recorded music might have looked different without him. May he rest in peace.

Thanks to GradoLabs for providing us with this information

Ralph Baer, Inventor of the Home Video Game Console, Dies at 92

Ralph Bear, the inventor of the home video game console died on Saturday at the age of 92. Born in Germany on March 8, 1922, he and his family immigrated with to the US on the eve of World War II and settled in New York in 1938. At first Baer found a job in a factory making leather goods, but after seeing an advertisement for a correspondence course in radio electronics he became a radio service technician in 1940.

Bear served for the military intelligence in London during WWII and used the GI Bill to get a Bachelor of Science in television engineering from the American Television Institute of Technology in 1949. Baer went to work at Sander in 1956, remaining with the defense contractor until his retirement in 1987. Baer held 50 US patents and about 100 worldwide and has designed a number of early video games, including Ping-Pong, Handball and Soccer, as well as the memory skill game, Simon.

Baer began exploring the possibility of playing video games on a TV screen while working as an engineer at a defense contractor in 1966. The result was the “Brown Box” prototype for what would become the Magnavox Odyssey: The first home gaming console. His invention helped transform computer gaming and created the foundation for what we have and all love today.


May he RIP.

Thanks to Cnet for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Nerdcore

Good Bye Plasma TVs, LG Stops Production

Good bye and rest in peace Plasma TV, it was a great ride. The last company to make plasma TV screens for the international market, LG, said this week that it would stop the production of plasma sets in November. This move was widely expected and their rivals Samsung and Panasonic have already stopped their plasma production.

There are still a couple chinese manufacturers that make Plasma screens, but they aren’t available outside of China and the tech consultancy IHS expects them to stop their production by 2016.

Instead of purchasing plasma TVs, customers have opted for the less expensive LCD TVs that have a higher resolution at a lower power consumption. Plasma TVs offer what most considered to be the best picture quality on the market, but it also came at a higher price. They still gain favor thanks to their black level performance, warmer tones and wider viewing angles.

The difference between the two types of screens is that Plasma TVs use pixels filled with gas that light up in different colors when hit with an electrical current, LCD screens use liquid crystals that are lit up from behind to create images.

IHS expects stock to be sold out after the 2014 holiday sales, so this might be one of the last chances to get a new Plasma TV. If lucky, one might even make a great deal due to the shops wanting to clear out the old stock and make room for the next generation of TVs instead.

Thanks to CNN for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of CNN