The bad news? Linux.conf.au 2014 conference in Perth has ended up running at a $40,000 loss. The good news? Because the Linux Australia committee planned carefully, that doesn't mean the end of LCA events. The lesson for everyone? Keep an emergency fund and track your spending carefully.
Tagged With linux.conf.au
The deadline for submitting paper proposals for Linux.conf.au 2013 in Canberra was originally supposed to be last Friday, but has now been extended by a fortnight. Am I bitter that I set aside time to make sure I submitted my proposal before the deadline? No. (Grinds teeth.)
Time flies! Linux.conf.au is now calling for submissions for talks at the 2013 conference, which takes place from January 28 to February 2 in Canberra. Once again, I'll be submitting a talk, and even if it doesn't get accepted I'll be there taking note at other people's speeches. It's a fantastic event (and speaking does give you a whole different perspective on it). Proposals are being accepted until July 6.
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.
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.
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
I'm no stranger to the annual open source shenanigans of Linux.conf.au. Indeed, the 2012 event in Ballarat marks the seventh time I've attended this conference, but it feels strange this year for two particular reasons. It's the first time I've ever chosen to use the on-campus accommodation and I'm actually doing a presentation this year, which means that I'm both reverting to a student lifestyle and panicking like crazy.
The original closing date for paper submissions for Linux.conf.au 2012 was last Friday, and no doubt many people (including the editor of this very site) rushed to meet the deadline. However, there's now been an extension until August 7, so if you've got a brilliant vision for an open source-themed presentation and fancy a trip to Ballarat in January next year, you've got another week to get your submission in for judging. (Lifehacker will be attending whether I'm presenting or not.)
"Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf reckonsreckons that cloud computing is great, but that it needs standards for systems to communicate. Sendmail pioneer Eric Allman argues that too many people fail to realise that cloud computing involves a return to computing approaches from decades ago.