We've already published the whole presentation, but if you want to see the live-as-it-happened-with-bonus-questions speech I gave at Linux.conf.au in Ballarat last week, it's now online.
Tagged With lca2012
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?
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
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.
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.
The iPhone is Australia's most popular smartphone, and it's very much in evidence at Linux.conf.au 2012 in Ballarat. But in the opening keynote for the conference, leading open source advocate Bruce Perens argued that the continued success of the iPhone threatens not just the potential success of open source, but the future of democracy