It doesn't look worse than any other year to me, really. I personally found the year that Oracle bought Sun (2009? 2010?) worse.
Influential people die all the time; in IT less so far because it's such a young field, but that will change and the number of important will rise rather than fall.
On the plus side, we've seen great releases of Perl 5 and Perl 6 implementations, of postgresql and countless other great software projects, successful IPOs of IT companies etc.
"Always look on the bright side of life!"
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