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After more than a year of participating in game jams as Team Scripta, we wanted to host one that promotes open source games and game creation tools. That's why we're teaming up with Opensource.com to bring you Open Jam, a game jam dedicated to doing just that.
For some people, the darkness of the recent eclipse set off a light bulb. As millions of people saw the sun blotted out by the moon, many of them realized they're interested in astronomy more generally. Those people are in luck. A Python library called Astroplan can help them plan their observations.
If you're launching a company, you might believe you shouldn't have to deal with issues like personnel development and company culture. After all, as a startup you're only concerned with the development and rapid evolution of your own product and services, right?
This kind of thinking is short-term thinking. Successful startups develop organizations with long-term strategies in mind. Startups really should think about—and prepare the groundwork for—their own company culture from beginning, so they can scale it over time as they grow.
Gamer? Check. Linux user? Check.
For years, one of the top excuses I heard from friends who would otherwise have switched to Linux long ago is that they just couldn't give up their Windows-only games. I can empathize. I was a dual-booter for years for exactly this reason, and it made making the switch harder for me. After all, once I'm booted into one operating system, the temptation is to stay there rather than rebooting once gameplay is over.
Today, the landscape is far different. It's much easier than it used to be for a gamer to be a Linux user, and vice versa.
If you're like most people, you don't have a bottomless bank account. You probably need to watch your monthly spending carefully.
There are many ways to do that, but that quickest and easiest way is to use a spreadsheet. Many folks create a very basic spreadsheet to do the job, one that consists of two long columns with a total at the bottom. That works, but it's kind of blah.
I'm going to walk you through creating a more scannable and (I think) more visually appealing personal expense spreadsheet using LibreOffice Calc.
In a recent article about lightweight image viewers, author Scott Nesbitt mentioned display, one of the components in ImageMagick. ImageMagick is not merely an image viewer—it offers a large number of utilities and options for image editing. This tutorial will explain more about using the display command and other command-line utilities in ImageMagick.
Is your system management tool robust enough?
As your organization grows, so does your workload—and the IT resources required to manage it. There is no "one-size-fits-all" system management solution, but a centralized, open source tool such as Foreman can help you manage your company's IT assets by provisioning, maintaining, and updating hosts throughout the complete lifecycle.
In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we look at GNOME's 20th birthday, the latest Raspbian release, open source voting machines, and more.Open source news roundup for August 6-19, 2017
By Monika Bickert, Director of Global Policy Management
In the days after my husband died, I kept sending him text messages. His cell phone lay uncharged on my nightstand, just a few feet away from me, and I knew no one would ever read the words I wrote, but I kept writing anyway. I needed to feel like I was still connected to him. As I sat in bed texting, I knew that my phone also held recent photos of Phil smiling with our daughters and a video of him laughing with his brother just two days before I took him to the hospital, but I didn’t look at those. It would have hurt too much. Instead, I just kept writing to him, pretending he was on the other side of the messages I was sending and would soon write back.
When we lose someone we love, we often feel a desperate need to connect to them in whatever way we can. In moments like that, our phones, the internet and social media can sometimes be a refuge. We can talk to our loved ones, as I did, or when we’re ready to face the memories, we can lose ourselves in old emails, photos, videos and posts. With an ease that wasn’t possible 20 years ago, we can now hear and see our loved ones after they are gone, and we can share those memories with others who are grieving.
But other times, the online world can make loss even more painful. The reminders of our loved ones are everywhere, and with each reminder a renewed realization of their death. For months after Phil died, I’d cry when I’d receive an Amazon email prompting him to order his regular shipment of secondhand detective novels, or a message from his pharmacy cheerfully reminding him that his chemotherapy was ready for pickup. Even now, I pause whenever I log into Facebook and see a post of mine resurfaced from years ago. I worry it will be one of the many I shared with friends over the course of Phil’s battle with cancer, detailing his progress and hinting at our naïve faith that he would continue to beat the odds.
Depending on the circumstances of a person’s death, those online reminders can be overwhelming. A mother who loses her daughter to domestic violence may feel sick when she looks online and sees photos of her daughter’s wedding day. A university student who receives a birthday reminder for a roommate who died by suicide might feel grief more acutely thinking of all the expressions of love and support his roommate would be receiving if he were around.
Our Approach at Facebook
When people come to Facebook after suffering a loss, we want them to feel comfort, not pain, which is why we stop sending birthday reminders once we know someone has passed away, and why we try to make it easy for surviving family members to reach us.
All too often, however, it’s difficult for us to know what action to take with the account of someone who has died. What should we do with an account of a deceased young woman, for instance, when one of her parents wants to delete the account but the other wants to preserve it as a memorial for friends and family? How do we know what the daughter would have wanted? And what should we do if they want to see the private messages between the daughter and her friends – friends who are still alive and don’t want their messages to become public?
These questions — how to weigh survivors’ competing interests, determine the wishes of the deceased, and protect the privacy of third parties – have been some of the toughest we’ve confronted, and we still don’t have all the answers. Laws may provide clarity, but often they do not. In many countries, the legal framework for transferring assets to surviving family members does not account for digital assets like social media or email accounts. We are, however, doing our part to try and make these situations easier for everyone.
Respect the Wishes of the Deceased
Where the law permits, we try to respect the wishes of those who have passed away. Sometimes, however, we simply don’t know what the person would have wanted. If a bereaved spouse asks us to add her as a friend to her late husband’s profile so she can see his photos and posts, how do we know if that’s what her husband would have wanted? Is there a reason they were not previously Facebook friends? Does it mean something if she had sent him a friend request when he was alive and he had rejected it? What if the wife had simply never been on Facebook until after her husband’s death?
If we don’t know what the deceased person would have wanted, we try to leave the account exactly as that person left it. When we learn that someone has passed away, our standard process is to add “Remembering” above the name on the person’s profile, to make clear that the account is now a memorial site, and to stop any new attempts to log into the account. Once we’ve memorialized an account, anything on the profile remains on Facebook and is visible to the people who could already see it before the profile was memorialized. We don’t remove or change anything. This is our way of respecting the choices someone made while alive.
Memorialization is our default action, but we know that some people might not want their account preserved this way. They might prefer that we delete their profile. Recognizing this, we give people a way to let us know they want their account permanently deleted when they die. We may also delete profiles when the next of kin tells us that the deceased loved one would have preferred that we delete the account rather than memorialize it.
Other people might want a friend or family member to be able to manage their profile as a memorial site after their death. That’s why in 2015, we created the option for people to choose a legacy contact. A legacy contact is a family member or friend who can manage certain features on your account if you pass away, such as changing your profile picture, accepting friend requests or adding a pinned post to the top of your profile. They can also elect to delete your account. You can give your legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information you shared on Facebook, but they won’t be able to log in as you or see your private messages. Find out more about legacy contacts and how to add one to your account in our Help Center.
Protect the Privacy of Survivors
Even where the laws are clear and the intent of the deceased person is clear, we sometimes have other interests to consider. For instance, if a father loses a teenaged son to suicide, the father might want to read the private messages of his son to understand what was happening in his son’s life. Had he been struggling in his university classes? Was he having problems with his boyfriend? As natural as it might seem to provide those messages to the father, we also have to consider that the people who exchanged messages with the son likely expected those messages would remain private.
Although cases like this are heartbreaking, we generally can’t turn over private messages on Facebook without affecting other people’s privacy. In a private conversation between two people, we assume that both people intended the messages to remain private. And even where it feels right to turn over private messages to family members, laws may prevent us from doing so. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Stored Communications Act, for instance, prevent us from relying upon family consent to disclose the contents of a person’s communications.
We’re Still Learning
Despite our efforts to respect the wishes of those who pass away and those who survive them, we still encounter difficult situations where we end up disappointing people.
And even when we know perfectly and can act consistently with the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones, we know our actions will be of limited comfort. As I’m learning from my own experience, grief doesn’t recede quickly or quietly. Nearly a year after Phil died, I still catch my breath when I look through old photos on my phone. Some of those photos, like the ones I took of Phil in the hospital when I mistakenly thought we’d be going home the next day, move me to tears.
But others, like the one of him standing proudly in our backyard with our daughters on Father’s Day, are starting to make me smile again. Those flashes of happiness, however brief, prove to me that reminders of our loved ones don’t have to be reminders of loss. And that, in turn, gives me hope that social media and the rest of our online world, rather than provoking pain, can ultimately ease our grief.
Presumably the only thing that gives me authority on podcasting is that I have been running my own podcast for almost three years. The Sysadministrivia Podcast often includes not-safe-for-work language—in fact, it conjures images of raucous, uncouth men battling mid-life crises and sitting around a dimly lit poker table, smoking cigars and playing Texas Hold 'Em. We don't play cards, though—we talk about systems administration.
COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of programming languages—it doesn't get any respect. It is routinely denigrated for its verbosity and dismissed as archaic. Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. It processes an estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are written every year.
Today my colleague almost lost everything that he did over four days of work. Because of an incorrect git command, he dropped the changes he'd saved on stash. After this sad episode, we looked for a way to try to recover his work... and we did it!
First a warning: When you are implementing a big feature, split it in small pieces and commit it regularly. It's not a good idea to work for a long time without committing your changes.
By Baraa Hamodi, Engineer, Zahir Bokhari, Engineer, and Yun Zhang, Engineer
As part of our ongoing efforts to fight clickbait and improve the integrity of information on Facebook, we are announcing today two updates that will limit the spread of stories in News Feed that feature either fake video play buttons embedded in their imagery or videos of only a static image.
People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we. When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites.
Similarly, these deceptive spammers also use static images disguised as videos to trick people into clicking on a low quality experience. To limit this, during the coming weeks we will begin demoting stories that feature fake video play buttons and static images disguised as videos in News Feed.
Authentic communication is one of our core News Feed values, and we know our community values it.
How Will This Impact My Page?
Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease. Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. But, as always, publishers should refer to our publishing best practices.
Selecting technologies means committing to solutions that will support an active, growing business over the long term, so it requires careful consideration and foresight. When an enterprise bets on the wrong horse, the result is often significantly higher development costs and reduced flexibility, both of which can stick around for the long haul.
Today, software development is built around APIs. Instead of embedding a vendor's product into their application, developers can call an API to consume services from a vendor. The developers don't need to know what's responding to their calls on the backend; they simply need to know what the vendor's API expects from their code and what they can expect to receive back from the API. It is, in many senses, wonderfully non-intimate.
Elon Musk acts like space is the next frontier, but business pioneers know true innovation is happening on terra firma. Instead of exploring the cosmos, business leaders are experimenting with office dynamics. The 21st-century workplace is characterized by perpetual changes and increasingly unconventional setups.
In any collaborative environment, it's important to have good tools for communication.
By Mike Nowak, Product Director
People come to Facebook to send well-wishes and celebrate birthdays with friends. In fact, every day more than 45 million people give birthday wishes on Facebook, which is why it’s important to us to ensure you can celebrate the way you want to.
We’re excited to announce two new birthday experiences that we hope will make birthdays even more meaningful while you’re celebrating on Facebook.
Giving Back On Your Birthday
People often dedicate their birthday to support a cause, and we’ve seen people using Facebook to raise money for causes they care about. For those in the US, we’re now making it easier to do this by giving you the opportunity to create a fundraiser for your birthday directly on Facebook.
Two weeks before your birthday, you’ll see a message from Facebook in your News Feed giving you the option to create a fundraiser for your birthday. You can create a fundraiser for any of the 750,000 US nonprofits available for fundraising on Facebook. Your friends will receive a notification inviting them to support your cause in honor of your special day.
Wish Your Best Friends Happy Birthday With a Video
We wanted to make birthdays even more special by giving people the opportunity to share a birthday wish with a close friend on their special day, which is why we’ve introduced shareable birthday videos made especially for you and your close friends.
These videos will be shown to you on the day of a close friend’s birthday, and like our other personalized videos, we created these videos because we wanted to make the birthday experience on Facebook even more fun for the special relationships in your life.
Birthdays have always been a part of Facebook, and we hope to continue providing you with a variety of experiences that make celebrating on the platform fun and meaningful for you and your friends.