OSCON 2007 wrap-up

I’m getting around to listening to the OSCON presentations. I don’t go to them at the conference because there are much more interesting things to do, like stay in the hotel room and watch the Tour de France, or even sleep.

Here’s my two sentence review of the presentation:

Commoditisation of IT and What the Future Holds by Simon Wardley: London Perl Monger and Fontango-an Simon Wardley builds on Nick Carr’s claim that IT Doesn’t Matter. Because, hey, look at the quality of customer service when everyone uses the same thing.

Copyright Regime vs. Civil Liberties by Rick Falkvinge: Rick talks about the Pirate Party in Sweden, their copyright-reform platform, and how the youth vote is going to change the world. We all know how well that works, don’t we Presidents Dean, Kerry, and Nader?

How to Ignore Marketing and Become Irrelevant in Two Easy Steps by Steve Yegge: You may know Steve as the drunken guy blogging about how much he hates Perl. He’s sober in his talk about the brand meaning of “open source”, mostly by repeating case studies of big brands such as Coke and GTE that every branding book copies from their predecesors.

Open or Closed? The Future of Search by Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales wants to harness the extra bandwidth out there for a free web crawler. Because if everyone on my block helps out, not only will I get slower internet service, but we’ll all get the Wikipedia equivalent of Google!

Open Source Hardware: A Start… with Phillip Torrone and someone else: Definite Star Trek level going on when they talk about 3-D printers and consumer-grade laser tools. Cool stuff, but not my cup of tea.

Open Source on the O’Reilly Radar by Tim O’Reilly: You may have heard it before, but there are a lot of first-timers at OSCON and they haven’t heard it. Have you noticed there’s free wireless?

Open Source Second Life by Philip Rosedale: Philip talks about some interesting uses of Second Life, and that there will be even more interesting uses once people invent new and crazy things with the tools they just open sourced. Didn’t that Yegge guy just say that everyone is tagging their stuff as “open source” without really getting it?

Overcoming Bias by Robin Hanson: Robin says he has shocking, new information about how we are all biased, we should work to overcome it, and it’s hopeless. Hey Robin, welcome to the freshman Philosophy of Science course!

Pimp My Garbage by James Larsson: James is a hardware hacker playing with electricity and fire, literally. Lose at pong and his machine whips you with a riding crop with it’s real time hardware feedback!

Open Source Therapy by Nat Torkington: Nat plays the therapist who teaches Perl, Linux. Ruby, and other open source lessons that they should have learned from their parents. It’s not quite classic Nat because he isn’t profane, but he’s much more interesting than the people he introduces.

Transactional Memory for Concurrent Programming by Simon Peyton-Jones: Simon is the GHC guy. His talk is just like my limited experience with Haskell. It looks and sounds really, really cool, but after I walked away I realized I’d have to listen to it all again because none of it sank in.

Year in Review: Open Source at Microsoft by Bill Hilf: Bill is the Open Source Manager at Microsoft, and he’s been to every OSCON and was a former Perl programmer. He didn’t get bummed-rushed by the GPL assholes like Craig Mundie was several years ago.