Conferences

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In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

Waiting for the session to start

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

The speakers from "Naranjas de Hiroshima" and "666ismo crítico"

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

The hard-working hosts preparing the session

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

The hard-working hosts preparing the session

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

Waiting for the session to start

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

The hard-working hosts preparing the session

In "Casa de Ondas"

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:42
In "Casa de Ondas"

The hard-working hosts preparing the session

BugCon friends, are you trying to scare away 50%+ of the target audience?

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:11

You are scaring away much more than that.

I just came across an invitation for BugCon 2012.

BugCon is a Mexican conference devoted to computer security — I cannot comment on its level or value because, although it's a topic that has long interested me, I must recognize each day I feel less of an expert, nowadays finding myself at the level of a "sysadmin who tries not to be too dumb for his own job security". Oh, and also because it would be completely off-topic for this post.

If you look at Vendetta's (the main organizer) blog post, it will probably give you the impression that the conference is just an excuse for the afterparty: Lets go see some b00bs! Do you think your fellow female hackers will have any interest in joining a bunch of sex-starved, hormone-infested teenagers who only want to pwn a website and grab more pr0n? Do you think females will feel welcome (or even mildly safe) between you? I would not think so. And I also think you are alienating any professional who might have any interest in joining your community, be it as a member, as a mentor, or whatnot.

I cannot right now do a coherent post on this topic, but I can reference you to what I have seen (and read) over the last almost 10 years, when the issue was first brought up to our attention. I am very glad to see that, at least in the Free Software area, there has been a real change of mindset. I hope you are in time to think about it and rectify.

  • Timeline of incidents in Geekfeminism. Note that while it seems we see more as time passes, I am almost sure it's because we are more aware of the problem, not because it occurs more often. I hope I'm not mistaken.
  • Debconf ftp-masters talk. Myself a Debian person, my first contact with this problematic was being at the DebConf3 ftp-masters talk — And the discussion and action that followed. This led to the creation of the Debian Women group, one of the most (socially, not technically) influent parts of Debian. Great thanks and admiration to their members, as well as to the (male and female alike) people who have worked to form it and make it heard.
    I think Debian Women sparked other similar projects such as GnomeWomen (and there is a list with further projects in there), but I cannot authoritatively say who was there first.
  • Planet Fedora up-skirting photo (the original post is still available) showed the communit does no longer tolerate this behaviour. Good!
  • The Open Source Boob Project. One of the most childlike attempts at humor that surely alienated many would-be female geeks.
  • Another conference season, another dumb sexist, a post by Piers Cawley addressing this issue after attending the CouchDB + Ruby: Perform like a Pr0n star talk. Quoting him, Apparently, the difference between 80s truck salesmen and Matt’s audience is that at least 80s salesmen had the grace to look embarrassed.
  • Liz Keogh: "I am not a pr0n star: Avoiding unavoidable associations", a hacker woman that clearly felt offense by the CouchDB Pr0n Star joke, and did a thorough and interesting analysis, extending the effects to your work environment.
  • Just Say You're Sorry Already (regarding the same incident on CouchDB+Ruby)
  • Richard Stallman's EMACS virgins joke incident. It's sad how it's impossible to get Stallman to acknowledge he can also make mistakes and make feel people insulted.
  • [update] And of course, MadameZou mentions the very important 2002 HOWTO: HOWTO encourage women in Linux?

Oh, and not the description of an incident, but a very interesting and thoughtful take on this: [pdf] Interesting analysis by Hannah Wallach on the numbers and motivations of women in Free Software groups. I don't know if Hannah has published this in article form, but many interesting points can be understood by looking at the presentation.

My good friend Vendetta: I don't mean this post (longer than what I originally intended) as a way to say you and the conference you are organizing for the third year (IIRC) already is unprofessional or targetted to pimply teenagers. I know the work you have put in it. I hope you see the points I'm trying to drive — You are of course free to have whatever afterparty you have. But, if as the main organizer, you are giving the images of nice chicks at Hooters more weight and relevance than to the conference itself... you are doing yourself a disservice. I hope you can rectify it, and make BugCon attractive to hacker women as well.

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Morning in the hacklab

Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 11:01
Morning in the hacklab

It's still early and few people have shown up in the lower hacklab. DebConf 11; Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia i Herćegovina.

Photo by Robert "Blars" Larson

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At the "DebConf and Debian (vs. no more!)" BoF, DebConf11

Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 10:59
At the "DebConf and Debian (vs. no more!)" BoF, DebConf11

Left to right: Me, Stefano Zacchiroli (Debian Project Leader), Moray Allan and Holger Levsen.

Photo by Robert "Blars" Larson.

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DebConf13 at home? Why not?

Submitted by gwolf on Sat, 07/02/2011 - 21:30

We are few weeks away from the start of DebConf11. Excitement runs high in Debian-land. The two most worthy weeks of the year, every year, loom close. Our Bosnian friends have done a great job of finding and defending an amazing proposal, and are now facing the hard work and permanent adrenaline levels of being in charge of the closest I have seen to a herd of (well-behaved but wild and untamable) cats.

I have organized DebConf in my country. It was hellish, but at the same time, it's one of my most cherished experiences. And I'm sure the same will be said by the leaders of each successive bid — It is one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine.

Next year, DebConf will be held in tropical Managua, Nicaragua. But, where will we meet in 2013? Well, that depends on you, my dear reader! Do you want to work your ass off for Debian and have utter fun? Do you want to show and share your country with this huge family of developers? Start thinking about pushing for a DebConf13 bid!

Do you have to be at Banja Luka to propose your bid? No. You can proxy via somebody — I'd suggest to do it via somebody who knows the location you are suggesting, but basically, choose a friend that you trust that trusts you. Of course, you can participate in the presentation session via IRC.

Do you have to be a Debian Developer to propose a bid? No. For DebConf9, none of the Cáceres guys was a DD; for DebConf10, some of the people most involved from the local New Yorkers were not DDs. For DC11, none of our dear and overworked hosts in Bosnia are DDs. And for DC12, the Nicaraguan crew is also made from people interested in getting closer to the Debian project, but not DDs.

Do you have to decide now? No. This is just a call for a first presentation, but the decision regarding DC13 will be taken probably around March 2012. However, giving a nice presentation at DebConf helps a lot, gives you visibility, and will get the ball rolling.

Is there a geographical bias? Slight. So far, and since the second DebConf, we have kept the tradition not to repeat continents on two successive DebConfs. This is not a hard condition, however!

What do you need to start thinking about? Go visit our prospective location checklist at http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/LocationCheckList. You can also look at what other teams have historically presented. Finally, I just learnt about the existence of http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf13 — Register there, even if you are just in the early phases of finding data.

We will be holding a DebConf13 bids presentation session, most probably (the schedule is close to being presented officially!) on 30-07-2011, at 17:00.

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Wow... IP lawyers are from another planet

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 19:40

Second speaker at today'sseminar,Vladimir Mojica. He is talking about th legal backing for DRM and TPM as well as laws against circumvention. He quotes USA's DMCA as one of the most complete, advanced and forward-minded laws,inviting the audience to push for such a law here.

I hope he gets to my (written)question, as today is a very important day in this regard: The Senate has requested the presidency to reject signing the ACTA treaty!
[Update] The Senate is sending Resolution agreeing to prompt the Federal Executive Power titular to instruct the State Secretaries and other dependencies involved in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement not to sign said agreement, as it would hinder free interchange of legal material. It also mentions the ISPs should not become de-facto authorities to define when an intellectual/intangible properties right violation is in course, and that it would be unacceptable for ISPs to monitor the users' activities in the net, or to analize the content of the IP packets.

Very good news, in a document very well made, in a precise, legal and coherent(!) way.

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Hearing arguments from the other side

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 19:07

Excuse me in advance for any typos. itting in a dark room and posting with a Kindle has its down sides.

I have been participating for about 1.5 years on a seminar about the copyright in the ediyorial ambit. This year, the focus is on digital media.

Today the first speaker is Dr. Kyoshi Tsuru, General Director of BSA Mexico. He is talking about the beauties and advantages of DRM and TPM. It was interesting to hear how he began by saying how people are afraid of nice, good, protective measures and call it with derogatoey, morally charged ways:Specifically about "self-utelage"measures. It is interesting t hear him in the role I often speak eg. by repeating that piracy is a derogatory,morally charged term for "making illegal copies"

Fun to hear how he defends that mainly academicians are disconnected from the real world...

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Invitation — Free Software in Mexico: Reflections and Opportunities

Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:49

I was invited to be part of one of the panels to be present this Thursday (June 2) in a forum that promises to be interesting. The forum is organized by the Science and Technology comission of the Senate of the Republic (of Mexico ;-) ), Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and Mozilla México. The day will be opened by Sen. Francisco Javier Castellón Fonseca and Richard Stallman; starting at 10:00, we will have thematic panels on:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Industry
  • Civil society

The full program (as well as details of interest of those that can physically attend) is attached to this post.

I am looking forward to this forum. Not only it is a good opportunity to get our work known in one of those places where it matters, but it's also being organized by several interesting people I'm sure will have something interesting to contribute. And of course, we lacked time to build a better, more complete and more coherent proposal — but there is a good probability we will have further such contacts.

You might find interesting to read on the list we have been discussing; subscription seems to be open (although access to the archives is not — Maybe it will be later on? In any case, I'm saving a mbox ;-) )

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