One of the more tedious arguments used by people who favour compulsory Internet filtering and other forms of censorship is “People who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from these systems”. In his LCA keynote today, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum highlighted a simple point that’s worth making when people say that: if you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes and why are there curtains on your house?
Lest my previous diary instalments give the impression that all anyone does at LCA2012 is stress about their speech and sweat a lot, I should point out that I’m definitely in the minority. Social activities at the event continue long into the night, as this “morning after” evidence in our communal living area demonstrates.
Linux and open source technology should be a good news story for everyone. However, the way these topics are presented in the media often leaves enthusiasts unhappy. There is a widespread belief that open source alternatives are neglected in favour of commercial products; that coverage often distorts the facts and exaggerates conflict rather than offering insight; and that the right-wing bias of much Australian media dooms the open source community to being dismissed as a kook minority led by some cult figure from Scandinavia whose name no-one can pronounce. The reality is more complex, as reality usually is.
What’s better than launching a high-altitude balloon into space from Adelaide 20 times? Doing it live from Linux.conf.au in Ballarat. Check out our exclusive video and learn more about the Project Horus team after the jump, including their plans to launch an Internode Node Pony into space.
Here’s a weird thing about Linux.conf.au: roughly one in five attendees is also a speaker. That means the speakers dinner (which also incorporates volunteers) is a bigger event than you might anticipate. This time around, we pretty much filled the function centre at Sovereign Hill, where we drank a lot of beer, ate a lot of food and soaked up a little colonial history.
Attending Linux.conf.au is a great way to enhance my knowledge and scare me into presenting, but it’s an exhausting five days. It’s mentally exhausting because of all the new information to be acquired, and it’s physically exhausting because it’s the height of summer in Ballarat and the temperature is 32 degrees or more.