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Administrivia Miscellanea

February 10, 2011

Registration is now open for SCALE 9X — register now by clicking on the winking penguin. More on SCALE below.

[Note to “Anonymous” who posted a very valid comment to my last blog that has yet to appear: I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Anonymous is not on your birth certificate, and as a matter of policy I don’t post responses without names attached to them, let alone those that come with what I think are false e-mail addresses. So I’d be glad to post your comment if you want to repost it with a real name and a real e-mail address, but until then, sorry. We now return you to our regular blog, which is already in progress.]

A couple of things on the front burner to tie up loose ends on a beautiful morning in Felton that I hope will last:

Girls in tech: In Stormy Peters’ blog this morning, she speaks about an event just over the hill from us in Felton called Dare2BDigital. It’s being held Saturday at the Computer Science Museum in Mountain View, and for $35 for the kids (and $45 for the adults), it sounds like it’s well worth the price of a ticket. It’s a pity I didn’t know about this earlier, as I would have done more, but while there’s a good chance Mimi and I will attend, I should probably get more involved next year.

Tux Paint banned in Syria?: Horrors upon horrors! In a conversation with Tux Paint developer Bill Kendrick — an all-around good guy and the one who puts the “god” in LUGOD — he said someone in Syria asked him for an updated version of Tux Paint, but the person who requested it is in Syria and they couldn’t get it. Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: Sourceforge is following the letter of U.S. law and not allowing software to go to banned countries like Libya, Cuba, Iran . . . and Syria. If I remember correctly, software is considered a “weapon” when it comes to export regulations, and Tux Paint is, well, software, and could be wielded like — oh, I don’t know — a paintbrush against the United States. Sourceforge did its part, and I would not suggest that Sourceforge do otherwise, but it speaks to a bigger issue: How much of a threat to U.S. national security can programs like Tux Paint be? Is some Syrian or North Korean kid going to design a nuclear weapon using Tux Paint? Interestingly, this same conversation came up in Fedora Project circles a couple of years ago when Fedora couldn’t send the OS to Fedora Ambassadors in Iran for the same reason; in that case, despite being a remarkably far stretch in my opinion, I could see why the government would want Fedora not to send an OS to a country on that list. But Tux Paint? Nah-nuh-NAAAAA!

Be there or be square: The ninth annual Southern California Linux Expo — that’s SCALE 9X to you — is coming up in a couple of weeks — specifically Feb. 25-27 — and the $109 per night deal at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel, where the expo is being held, is being snatched up by attendees. If you’re going, don’t miss out. Register now at the SCALE site and take advantage of staying at the Hilton. Tell them Larry the Free Software Guy sent you, and if you go to SCALE, stop by the Fedora booth to say “hello.”

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)
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  1. Colonel Panik
    February 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

    About Tuxpaint: People can go to Cuba and people can send
    things to Syira, without breaking any laws or trade agreements.
    Just not people from the usOFa. So you just need someone in
    a “free” country to handle this job.

    Dare 2b Digital sounds like a great event, please take pics
    and write one of your great articles so those of us unable
    to attend can at least vicariously enjoy the show.

    • February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Actually, I believe you’re right about Cuba now, Colonel, since I think the Obama Administration has lifted some of the restrictions. But there is a very strict trade law forbidding computer programs — which are classified as “weapons,” I think — to be exported to the countries mentioned in my blog. And Tux Paint is the worst weapon of them all (yeah, right).

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