Jacob Appelbaum stands on stage at Linux.conf.au 2012 to deliver the final keynote on Friday morning, patiently waiting for his introduction from the conference organizer. In his hand he holds a smartphone, capturing a photograph of his audience which he later says he uploaded in case his phone is confiscated at the airport on his way back to the United States of America, of which he is ironically a citizen. However this isn't hyperbole - Appelbaum has been detained for questioning at borders many times, in fact so many times that he's "lost count." In July 2010, Appelbaum was detained at Newark airport where his bag was searched, receipts photocopied, laptop inspected, and his three cellphones taken never to be seen again. Jacob Appelbaum was detained not because he's a genuine terrorist suspect, nor because he was trying to smuggle drugs or Kinder Surprises into the USA. Appelbaum was detained because he's fighting for freedom and anonymity on the internet, a cause that's as important as ever in our current society, often overlooked by the media, and under appreciated by most internet users.
With the move to "the cloud", increasing numbers of internet and mobile phone users, renewable resources on the decline, and a focus on green solutions to current problems, server rooms are getting more and more expensive to maintain and run.
Measuring at less than 100mm wide and 17mm thick with a dinky 3" screen, the Ben NanoNote might just be the world's smallest Linux laptop for the traditional definition of the word. While pulling this out in public might get you a few odd looks, the Ben NanoNote actually runs a relatively feature rich piece of software called OpenWRT. It also happens to boast entirely open hardware and software, which not only makes it crazy small, but also Stallman-approved.
Wearing a suit when the rest of the 500-strong lecture theatre were dressed in shorts, jandals, and old conference T Shirts, Bruce Perens introduced himself by announcing his clothes as a lesson: Linux needs to be more outward facing. Perens is described as an open source luminary, the founder of a number of non-profits, groups and Open Source initiatives and projects including the well-renowned and globally used Busybox. A former Debian Project Leader, he represented Open Source at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society in 2005. Perens is often quoted in the press, advocating for open source and the reform of national and international technology policy.
Monetizing open source software can be a tricky challenge for many companies. After all, when you're giving away your primary product for free, how could you possibly make money off it? Nicolas Erdody, Paul Gampe, Mark Bathie, and Bob Waldie formed a panel in the Business of Open Source MiniConf at Linux.conf.au 2012 and talked about the various ways companies can hope to monetize Open Source software.
Last night I arrived in Ballarat after catching a train from the bustling city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Ballarat is the small town venue for Linux.conf.au 2012, the largest annual Linux conference in the southern hemisphere.
The organizers behind Linux.conf.au 2012 - which is hosted in Ballarat, Australia in January next year - have announced the second keynote speaker as Bruce Perens. Perens released his first Free Software program, Electric Fence, in 1987. He is also creator of Busybox, which has spawned its own development community and is part of many consumer devices.
It's that time of year again. It didn't feel like long since I was reporting on Linux Conference Australia 2011 way back in January this year, where we interviewed the founder of Linux Linus Torvalds, an early Canonical employee and GNOME release manager Jeff Waugh, and covered everything from Linux-powered robots to liveblogging Google's Vice President Vint Cerf's opening keynote. Linux.conf.au is back again next year, hosted in Ballarat (just outside Melbourne, Australia) and once again at least one representative from OMG! Ubuntu! will make the trip to report on a weeks' worth of exciting Linux news, showcasing and project launches. Make the jump for more information, and detail on the first keynote speaker - GNOME's Executive Director Karen Sandler.