This past Saturday I spent the day at the Ontario Linux Fest which was held at the Toronto Congress Centre. Despite this being the inaugural year for the event it was very well organized and I think, well attended. The number I heard was approximately 350 attendees. The most enjoyable aspect of the event was that it had a really nice community feel. Everywhere you looked there were groups of people chatting and having a good time. The only negative thing I can say is that many of the presentations were very high level. Given the broad audience this is not necessarily a bad thing but personally I was hoping for more technical detail. I really hope the organizers are able to this again next year because I’ll definitely be there.
I didn’t have a real camera along so the best I can offer is this picture of Jon ‘maddog’ Hall‘s closing presentation taken with my N800.
Anyone who pays attention to the current copyright debate has heard the claims that Canada is a hot bed for movie piracy. For a different perspective take a look at this video from Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary.
Putting Canadian “Piracy” in Perspective
During the latest episode of CBC’s excellent national science program Quirks and Quarks (podcast) there was mention of www.sciencefunding.ca. There are some interesting documents available on that site which discuss how science is funded in Canada. The letter in this document (2005) gives some background.
Also, this week’s Quirks and Quarks is the 30th anniversary show. This would be a great show to listen to if you are new to Quirks and Quarks.
Just before the last federal election the world found out how cozy some federal politicians involved in copyright reform were with special interest groups. Despite the change of government, it appears little has changed.
Oda and the Copyright Pledge
CRIA’s Lobby Effort: The Untold Story
Michael Geist deserves a lot of credit for not letting this drop.
Transcripts and audio versions of Geist’s Hart House 2006 lecture entitled Our own creative land: Cultural Monopoly and the Trouble with Copyright are available if you are interested in Canadian copyright reform.
CBC has recently made some of its excellent radio programming available as podcasts. You can see the list of podcasts here.
Of particular note is Dispatches. This program offers short radio documentaries from reporters all over the world. The perspectives offered in these documentaries form a sharp contrast with the simplistic reporting that usually constitutes news.
Feds Face Digital Crossroads by Charlie Angus, NDP Heritage Critic.
Wow, a federal politician that understands the problems in copyright reform.
Bonus link: Rocking in free world
Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian MP and Liberal leadership hopeful, gave a speech at Ottawa University on March 30, 2006 called Canada in the World. I found the text version of the speech surprisingly engaging.
For more background on Ignatieff see the Wikipedia article about him. Both he and his family have quite an interesting history.