Just a note — The presentation notes have been posted for all the presentations now (at least as far as I can tell). I’ll post another post with direct links to all the sessions I attended after this one.

KeyNotes

The first few keynotes really weren’t that interesting (I thought) and I’ll admit that I spent my time downloading the presentations (since they were announced as being posted) for the sessions that I wanted to take another look at later this weekend/week. However, that all changed with the last keynote came up.

openTalk 2.0: Maximizing Non-stakeholder Buy-in by Leveraging Depatented Generic Information Transfer Protocols
Damian Conway, Thoughtstream

This was the last openning keynote and it brought the house down.  Conway’s talk was a spoof and took shots at nearly everyone (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.).  And during the course of laughing so hard that I was literatly crying — there was a very serious topic as part of his talk as well — that of patents.  Which was great, because the very last talk of the day was given by Eban Moglen on the dangers of software patents.  I’m not sure if anyone recorded Conway’s talk, but I hope that they did an that I can get a copy.  It was one of the most hillarious things I’ve seen in a while — and I can always use a good laugh every now and again.

Making Things Move: finding inappropriate uses for scripting languages
Jonathan Oxer, Internet Vision Technologies

This was a great session — though I’m not sure how pratically useful for what I do at work — but it has inspired me to try to convince my wife that I need a soldering gun so that I can start trying some of this stuff out.  You knew that this wasn’t going to be your average session when he lead off with a warning that says that the things that you see in this session could kill you.  What a start — at that point, I knew it would be interesting :).  The session showed how with a little bit of coding and some ingenuity, you can control real world devices through your computer’s serial ports.  He showed showed some simple examples (turning on lights, electronic locks) — my favorite though was a demo where he actually sent a message to a server in Austrailia and SMS’d one of the attendees at the session.  I loved it. 

Highly technical management of software projects
Alex Martelli

I’m hoping that Martelli is able to generate a quicktime of this session — its difficult to explain — it needs to be watched.

Closing Keynote
Eben Moglen

This was an inspiring session and a great way to finish the session.  While I don’t always agree with the FSF, I respect the passion and dedication that they have to keeping software/ideas/computers free.  This was the only session of the day that ended with a standing ovation, and it was deserved.  I hope someone was recording this one as well.

–TR