Ballarat hosted Linux.conf.au this year, and TechRepublic was there to cover the event. This year, we decided to experiment and use the podcast format — let us know what you think about this in the comments below.
Bruce Perens gave the first keynote address, and implored the attendees to get free software out to the common man.
Perens also said that the constraints inherent in proprietary software represent a risk to democracy.
For day two, Stilgherrian's focus turned to the FreedomBox project, a project to create and preserve personal privacy with each user storing their own data rather than handing it over to the likes of Facebook and Google.
Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett said that the BIOS replacement UEFI is big, bloated and bad for Linux — and is completely untested.
Executive director of the GNOME Foundation, Karen Sandler, has a heart condition that means she needs a pacemaker-defibrillator to avoid sudden death. Sandler wants to know what software it runs, but getting an answer isn't easy.
The final keynote of the conference was presented by Jacob Appelbaum, who spoke about living in a surveillance state, and that includes whatever nation you are reading this in — this view was backed up by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.
In amongst all of the above podcasts are geofencing unmanned aerial vehicles, the Ada Initiative to increase the participation of women in open technology and culture, and the Project Horus high-altitude balloon project.
We'll be there next year, when the conference moves to Canberra and is held between 28 January and 3 February.
Our coverage of the conference ends with the photo gallery below (Click the image or here to view it).
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets -- he claims he once read an entire one.