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Black Hole Image Has an Open Source Connection

Last week the whole world was stunned by seeing what was unseen – a black hole. Scientists were able to create a picture of a black hole named Messier 87 in the Virgo A galaxy. The black hole is more than 55 million light years away.

The first image of a black hole is the outcome of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) (https://eventhorizontelescope.org/) project, which created a virtual telescope as big as earth by networking 8 ground-based telescopes. The telescopes generated more than five petabyte of data. Collecting data was the first part of the puzzle. The team of scientists used various algorithms to fill gaps in this data to be able to generate an image of the black hole.

TFIR reports that the team of scientists used three imaging algorithms for image processing, and two of these were fully open source Python libraries – Sparselab and ehtim.

Sparselab is a Python Library for Interferometric Imaging using Sparse Modeling.

ehtim is a Python module for simulating and manipulating VLBI data and producing images with regularized maximum likelihood methods.

The source code of these libraries is published on GitHub under GNU GPLv3 licenses.

Ubuntu 19.04 Released

The Ubuntu project has announced the release of Ubuntu 19.04. The new Ubuntu will be available in Cloud, IoT, Server, and Desktop editions. In addition to the standard Gnome desktop edition, parallel 'buntu releases featuring the KDE (Kubuntu), Xfce (Xubuntu), LXDE (Lubuntu), MATE, and Budgie desktops, as well as other specialty versions, also made their way to the public.

The latest Ubuntu comes with Linux kernel 5.0 and Gnome 3.32. According to the announcement in the Ubuntu blog, "Ubuntu 19.04 integrates recent innovations from key open infrastructure projects – like OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Ceph – with advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-prem operations – from bare metal, Vmware, and OpenStack to every major public cloud."

Linux Mint Founder Calls for Better Developer Support

Linux Mint is among the most popular and seemingly most easy to use Linux distributions. The Ubuntu-based distribution has built its loyal user base and has been growing ever since. However, the founder of Linux Mint seems to be burning out.

In the latest blog post, Linux Mint founder Clement 'Clem' Lefebvre wrote that he didn't enjoy the latest development cycle as two of the most talented developers have been away. The project couldn't make the performance improvements it expected.

"Boosting performance in the Muffin window manager hasn't been, and still isn't, straight forward," he wrote.

Some frustration also seems to stem from the new logo and website design, "Feedback on the new website and logo brought a huge amount of incertitude," Lefebvre said.

It seems he is also sensing the developer community of Linux Mint is not as energized as it once used to be. "For a team to work, developers need to feel like heroes. They want the same things as users, they are users, they were "only" users to start with. At some stage they decide to get involved and they start investing time, efforts and emotions into improving our project. What they're looking for the most is support and happiness. They need feedback and information to understand bugs or feature requests and when they're done implementing something, they need to feel like heroes, they literally do, that's part of the reason they're here really," said Lefebvre.

It's not certain if Lefebvre is tired of the project or it's a momentary frustration with some core team members not showing up and negative feedback on some changes.

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