Activist, RSS creator Aaron Swartz dead at 26

On Friday, the 26-year-old polymath Aaron Swartz was found dead in his apartment, the result of an apparent suicide. Swartz contributed his intellect and effort to an astonishing number of technologies and political causes, including collaborating on Reddit'searly development.

At the age of 14, Swartz co-authored the 1.0 version of theRSS specification, enabling millions of news sites and blogs to share their posts easily and consistently.

Swartz was deeply involved in the development of the Creative Commonscopyright alternative licenses, and founded to help defeat the legislative overreach of the proposed SOPA law.

Prior to his death, Swartz was facing fines and a possible lengthy prison term if convicted on charges that he illicitly downloaded huge quantities of journal entries from the non-profit JSTOR archive via a laptop stashed in an MIT closet. JSTOR had declined to press charges, but MIT and the Massachusetts prosecutor on the case did not follow its example. Swartz also acknowledged suffering from depression at times.

[Source: TUAW - Click here to read the full story]