Archive for 2008

The Penguin's Big Day Out: LCA writeup in Linux Magazine

My writeup of (LCA) 2008 has appeared in the international Linux Magazine. I googled and found it for your reading pleasure – you’ll need to open it in PDF format, but it’s a fun little read (if I do say so myself). The guys at Linux Mag did promise to send me a copy, but I haven’t received it as yet – the only reason I knew my story was out was through bumping into Paul Fenwick (of Perl Training Australia) at the launch of the Waugh Partner’s Australian Open Source Community and Industry Report the other week. So thanks, Paul!

Penguin’s Big Day Out [Linux Magazine]

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2008: The year of the content filter

 Kimberlee Weatherall is an IP expert who spoke at to give an update of the year in cyberlaw. Her tips include the opinion that the campaign to kill off software patents has stalled, that DRM won’t be dead until movies and pay TV join the music industry in dumping it, and that 2008 will be the year that copyright warriors sets their sights on ISPs.

She warned that the current Government’s plan to bring in mandatory ISP-level internet filters will probably go ahead despite the problems associated with putting it into practise, because “Governments want to be seen to be looking after the children.”

I wrote the story up for ITNews and you can read it here:

2008: The Year of the Content Filter 

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Census preview: Open source workers earn more

Pia and Jeff Waugh gave a sneak preview of the results from the first Australian Open Source Industry and Community Census at on Friday. They haven’t finished work on the results – the full report will be out in March – but the tidbits they shared were interesting.

Fifty-six percent of the respondents said they are hobbyists who aren’t paid to do open source on the job. 24% work with some FOSS on the job. But here’s where it gets really interesting – full time open source workers are earning more.

10% of respondents who were working full time on open source were paid more than those working with some or no FOSS at all on the job.

The census also noted a large disparity in the pay of men and women across the board, which is disappointing news, although in some positive news, 7% of the female respondents were involved with FOSS – higher than reported in previous global studies.

You can read the full story I wrote for IT news here:

Australian open source workers earn more

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One Laptop Per Child on its way to Australia

The One Laptop Per Child initiative, a charity which is attempting to create and distribute educational laptops to disadvantaged children, is on its way to Australia. OLPC Australia was unveiled at the open source conference this week.

The Australian group is still being put together, but organiser Pia Waugh said its goals will be to get the OLPC XO laptops out to disadvantaged children across Australia – particularly in remote and rural areas.

Although the OLPC’s XO laptop was designed to be used as a beginners computer, it has become a cool, low cost laptop favoured by geeks – as proved by the number of LCA attendees carrying them around this week.

The local OLPC chapter will be selling XOs to the public, although it’s expected they’ll be sold in small batches  of five units or so, rather than one at a time.

The website for the group isn’t live yet, but should be up in about 2 weeks at

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Python 3.0: Breaking the snake

Python release manager Anthony Baxter gave the only Australian keynote speech at this morning. He laid out the roadmap for Python leading up to the release of Python 3.0 which will be backwards *incompatible*. I wrote the story up for ITNews and you can read it here.

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Google's Summer of Code program heads down under

Some exciting news is on the way from Google – it looks like they’ll be announcing a southern hemisphere version of their Summer of Code program for uni students. This will mean that Australian uni students will have access to the program during their summer holidays. I wrote the story up for ITNews, and you can read it here.

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In open source, money doesn't always talk

 OpenLogic’s director of community and partner programs, Stormy Peters, gave a keynote address at today, posing the question of whether paying open source developers changes their motivations. I wrote up the story for ITNews, you can read it here:

In open source, money doesn’t always talk

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Hardware vendors will follow the money

 Intel’s open source evangelist Dirk Hohndel  presented to today on the subject of  how to make hardware vendors love open source. I wrote the story up for  ITnews, you can read it here:

Hardware vendors will follow the money

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Lifehacker AU interview with Linus Torvalds

I’ve just published an interview I did with Linus Torvalds yesterday for Lifehacker Australia. He is here in Melbourne attending I spoke to Linus about how he organises his workday and the tools he prefers to work with on the desktop. You can read it here:

Lifehacker Australia interviews Linus Torvalds

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Bruce Schneier keynote: Information is our only security weapon

My write up of security guru Bruce Schneier’s keynote speech at this morning has been published over at ITnews, so head over and check it out if you’re interested.

Information is our only security weapon 

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