11 September 2010

Ohio LinuxFest 2010

I'm on my way home from Ohio LinuxFest. Why'd I leave so early? Partly because my carpool wanted to, and partly because the DC LoCo is going to be at Takoma Park Folk Festival tomorrow. I told everyone I'd post my slides here, so they'll be below.

Both of the talks I gave were ones I've done before. At the UbuCon, I gave the Ubuntu Development Processes talk that I gave for a local LUG a few months back with updated information. There are now 167 human members of ~ubuntu-dev, up from 147 when I gave the talk in May! Thanks goes to Alan Bell for his lplist.py that let me pull down the full list of members and automatically exclude teams and duplicates.

The talk I gave for the main OLF stuff was the security one from Southeast LinuxFest. It was slightly changed, but this time ran a lot shorter than last time. That's because I have neither the vocabulary nor the brainpower to go off on tangents while simcomming. Simcomm is short for "simultaneous communication." I gave the talk simultaneously in English and American Sign Language (ok, really, it was a bit of an ASL pidgin since I used English word-order—my grammar knowledge is little-to-none). I've never done that for a presentation before, just for conversations. While I did learn a bunch of new signs last week just for this (like "exploit", "vulnerability", "attack", "man in the middle attack", "internet", "infect", etc), I still needed to restrict my English vocabulary to things I could sign or for which I knew a sign that was a reasonable approximation. Because some words just plain don't have sign equivalents (at least not ones which my more-fluent-than-me friends know), I told those in the audience for which sign language is useful what signs I would be substituting, such as "horse" for "trojan" (get it?) and "fishing" for "phishing" (which really is the same concept anyway). By the way, "man in the middle attack" takes forever to sign. First assign a place in space for "you", then on the other side of your body assign a place in space for "computer" (as in the one you're trying to talk to), then sign "man" and motion that it exists somewhere in between those two places in space, then sign "attack."

Because I was signing yesterday with Mel Chua of Red Hat (who I think thanked me two or three times for actually *gasp* accommodating her—she's my friend, I promised I would simcomm if she attended a fest where I was speaking), a few people came up and started signing to me. There were a surprising number of people who at least knew the manual alphabet well enough to do that. One person told me today that seeing the two of us chatting in ASL yesterday had him thinking I was deaf (so I guess I wasn't resorting to fingerspelling too much). I met a woman named Carol who used to teach at Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts university in the US (or world?) that's specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students. She says I did a good job of simcomming, so yay! As you can imagine, using two languages at once is a bit of work. Because I left early, she agreed to interpret for the questions asked of a speaker later this afternoon who is deaf, for whom I was doing a bit of interpreting yesterday. I think he had booked an interpreter of his own who then didn't show up. Mel, Carol, and I tried to convince my dad to take an ASL class since he's getting to be that age (the pitch of my voice has been lost on him for years already). We also discussed the possibility of organising an accessibility/deaf-and-hard-of-hearing track next year.

Yes, my dad was there! He doesn't use Free Software at all, but I got him to sit down and play with my laptop at the KDE booth, and when I explained what Akregator is for and showed him Kontact and OpenOffice.org, he seemed to pick it up pretty easily. He even told a random person that they should give it a try! Yes, he's a salesman. He'll sell anything, even if he doesn't know how it works or exactly what it is :P He was at the party last night and so met a handful of Ubuntu and Fedora folks along with many of the people from the LUG in his city. He said he might take my brother over to a LUG meeting some time, and he got a "I ♥ LINUX" bumper sticker for my brother's car.

Anyway, here are the slides:

If you want to download them, you can either download from SlideShare (login required), or you can get them from the handy-dandy Presentations project on Launchpad, complete with LaTeX sources. Yes, I use LaTeX for slides. I ranted on here 2 years ago about how awful OpenOffice.org is for making slides and haven't gone back since.


The Casual Vegan said...

Loved the security slide show. You may have made this point verbally, but there is one very real reason why Linux is more secure than Windows.

For a worm to propagate, it needs to be able to act quickly. Worms spread by scanning IP ranges in a predesigned pattern, randomly, or both.

If 98% of the IP's a worm scans aren't vulnerable because they don't run your target O/S, then the worm can't reach critical mass.

That's not to say you CAN'T get Malware, just that the people who want to infect the world can't do it by exploiting Linux desktops alone... they would need to have a cross platform worm.

Tony Yarusso said...

If you do end up doing an accessibility track, my family has http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_tremor, so some stuff about mouse/button/tap control would be interesting especially to my mom.

Wayne said...

I was impressed by the dual "speaking" at OLF. I gotta say at first I wasn't sure why you were talking slowly, I guess the signing wasn't that obvious to me, but once I understood that it was ok.
Some I think left because since the speaking was slower they lost interest.
There was someone else at the conference speaking who couldn't see or hear well so had a signer for questions portion anyway.

I think it would have been beneficial to have someone else sign, but still I commend you for combining them.

Mackenzie said...

Actually, my hearing friends tend to request that I sign because if I don't sign, I talk too fast. Talking fast is even more of a problem with a microphone because of the delay in output. The first time I spoke at OLF it was way too fast. I saw those folks leave, and I suspect it was more to do with it being too much of a beginner talk for some folks' tastes.

And yes, that other speaker is the one I'm referring to having interpreted for Friday night.