Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are you smarter than a German plumbing fixture?

Apparently I'm not. Anyone know how to drain an ultra modern bathtub?

Wow - Berlin is beautiful!

I don't know why I never knew how lovely Berlin is! I'm here to give a talk on Google Summer of Code at Linuxtag.

My hotel is so cool - it has a HUGE multistory circular aquarium in the center of the lobby. The people have been great so far, most people speak english, some better than I do ;), and the city itself is so lush and green, laced with canals and rivers, and mostly barely taller than the many trees, so that it's hard to remember just how big a city it is. My room is very modern but sports a tiny balcony overlooking a canal with the Berlin Cathedral beyond, less than a block away. If it ain't Baroque.... ;)

Off to bed now, for tomorrow I must talk (in complete sentences.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

A shameless plug - LUGRadioLIVE USA

I'm helping to organize it, and this is my blog, so I can market what I please :)

LUG Radio LIVE is coming to the US for the first time, and Google and
I are helping make the local arrangements. The text below from Jono
Bacon of LUG Radio LIVE and Ubuntu lays out all the info.

Spread the word!


Registration for LugRadio Live USA 2008 is now open at, and tickets for the two-day
spectacular cost only $10 for the full weekend, including full access to
all talks, the exhibition, evening events, and a free bag o'swag for
visitors. Pre-registrations also enjoy additional benefits at the show
and the first 50 registrations will receive a free copy of Postal 2:
Share The Pain (subject to age verification), thanks to Running With
Scissors. All pre-registrations will also be entered into a raffle to
win prizes by a variety of vendors.

LugRadio Live USA 2008, the 'rock-conference' from the team behind the
popular LugRadio podcast (, brings the
successful and unique formula of the UK LugRadio Live events to The
Metreon in San Francisco on the 12th and 13th April 2008. The event is
supported extensively by Google and also supported by Dice.

LugRadio Live USA 2008 brings together over 30 speakers across three
stages, 30+ exhibitors, a range of BOF sessions, debate panels,
lightbulb talk sessions, demos and much more, all wrapped up in the
unique event that the UK incarnation has become known for, combining an
incredibly loose, social, inclusive, and amusing atmosphere - if you are
new to LugRadio Live, it is nothing you will have seen before.

Confirmed speakers for the event include:

* Miguel de Icaza (Mono / Novell / Co-Founder Of GNOME)
* Ian Murdoch (OpenSolaris / Founder Of Debian)
* Robert Love (GNOME / Google)
* Aza Raskin (Mozilla / Humanized)
* Benjamin Mako Hill (Ubuntu / Debian / FSF)
* John Buckman (Magnatune)
* Val Henson (Kernel / VAH consulting)
* Christopher Blizzard (Mozilla / GNOME)
* Mike Linksvayer (Creative Commons)
* David Schleef (GStreamer)
* Matthew Garrett (Power Management / Kernel)
* Danese Cooper (Intel / OSI)
* Aaron Bockover (Banshee / Novell)
* Liana Holmberg (Second Life / Linden Lab)
* Emma Jane Hogbin (Hick Tech)
* Joe Zonker Brockmeier (OpenSuSE / Novell)
* Kristen Accardi (Kernel)
* David Lefty Schlesinger
* Joe Born (Neuros)
* Selena Deckelmann (PostgreSQL)
* Stewart Smith (MySQL)
* Dan Kegal (Wine)
* Ben Collins (Ubuntu / Kernel)
* Jason Kridner (Texas Instruments)
* Jeremy Allison (Samba / Google)
* Christian Hammond (VMWare)
* Ian McKeller (Songbird)
* Alison Randall (Parrot / Perl / OSCON)
* David Huffman (LVM)
* Brian Will (Pigeon)
* Belinda Lopez (Ubuntu)
* Ilan Rabanovich (SoCal Linux Expo)
* Eddy Mulyono (Packaging)
* Matthew Walster (Demo Scene)

The show will also see a large number of exhibitors, which will be
announced in the coming weeks, with plenty to see and do. In addition to
this, the LugRadio team will be recording a live performance of their
cult-hit podcast, which has over 20,000 listeners, in front of the
LugRadio Live USA 2008 audience - like the UK event, this is always
quite a spectacle, and excellent fun for all involved.

More information about LugRadio Live USA 2008 can be found at

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finding Mentors

While in Chicago, I was privileged to be a part of the selection process for Mentor organizations for Google's Summer of Code program. (Yes, I work for Google in the Open Source Programs Office.) When I say privileged, I mean it: having a chance to be a part of such a productive and far-reaching program is just that. I love my work :-)

Not that it was all sunshine and Care Bears. We received over 500 applications for what was to have been 150 spots. There were so many great applications that we increased the number to 170+ and still had to turn down some terrific projects that we really wanted to support. The review process is grueling - approximately 10 of us spent a entire afternoon in a room looking at each application*. A short list of roughly 250 was decided on, and then that list was cut down. Leslie Hawthorn did the majority of the heavy lifting of choosing which muscles and bones to lop off (and for the program as a whole), reviewed and seconded by the group - major kudos to Leslie, who stayed up most of the night finalizing the list and trying to keep as many orgs in as possible. It really hurts to have to pass on some projects, but we can only do what we can do.

To any groups who didn't make the cut - please try again next year! But I'm going to offer some advice - hell, issue a plea! Please, *please* - read the instructions first. And the FAQs. And if you think you might not understand something - email the program administrator before the filing deadline and double check. It was awful to have to turn down exciting projects, projects we really wanted in the program, because their application was incomplete.

If you're interested in Google Summer of Code 2008, keep your eye on the Google Open Source blog.

*people involved with a given project recuse themselves from reviewing that project.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I haven't been here in a l o n g time. What great buildings; the architectural details are everything I remember and more. The hints of vast prairie skies you see down streets and between buildings makes the details stand out that much more.

I'm here for a team meeting at our Chicago office. Maybe I'm focused on the buildings because we've had a fun team distraction of assembling and building things out of a couple hundred bloxes ( It's been well worth the prolonged death by paper cut from fiddling with that much cardboard in the dry midwestern winter air. Check them out.