As we were driving the 9 hour trip to visit our parents, the childrens grandparents, for New Years, my wife at some point decided we had enough of childrens songs and inserted daddy's favorite CD: the live recording of Leningrad Cowboys Total Balaika Show in Helsinki, 1993. This historical and amazingly weird outdoor concert is perhaps best explained by you simply watching a few Youtube videos from the concert, but it brought together a Finnish punk band turned Soviet Union parody and the actual, very much official Red Army choir aka Alexandrov Ensemble. Wikipedia has more details, but just to underscore the historical backdrop: in 1994 they also performed in Berlin, while the last Russian troups were leaving Eastern Germany.
I've never been to Burning Man myself, but I'm aware of the event due to Drizzle development stalling to a halt during that festival. In other words, I have many friends that go there.
It was interesting to read a statement from the organizers of Burning Man about the fact that this year there is way more demand for Burning Man tickets than they can sell. Apparently even the desert has its limits (and more so the road leading to it).
Organically growing volunteer projects are exciting because they just grow and grow and there seems to be nothing there to stop them. But once in a while they hit bottlenecks that need to be solved.
I just uploaded my slides from my Open DB Camp / Froscon talk to Slideshare:
Last week Monty Taylor wrote an interesting blog post Oracle do not, in fact, comprise the total set of MySQL Experts where he protested against the title of Oracle's new podcast series Meet The MySQL Experts. Now, when I say "interesting" I'm not really referring to the factual argument he is making...
What was interesting about this was to see Monty burst out like that and express some true human feelings. Through all the controversies we've seen around MySQL, the Drizzle team has made a point of staying out of such discussions and just working on cleaning up their code and adding cool new stuff (added as plugins, of course). And if anything, I would have expected it to be someone like Stewart to finally break and start ranting about something, if it were to happen...
Just to be clear: I do not actually agree with Monty on the factual topic he is raising. We are of course all very geeky and arguing about English grammar is a good way to relax, but as far as I'm concerned it is quite common for titles of podcasts and such to be shortened versions of the full, grammatically correct sentence whose meaning the are conveying. After all, it would be silly to have a podcast called "Meet the MySQL experts who work in Oracle's R&D department, but excluding those experts that do work at Oracle's support or consulting organizations, even if they are great minds too, and also excluding anyone not working for Oracle at all."
Below is my talk from the International Federation of Computer Law Associations conference banquet that took place in Helsinki last week. (It is post-edited to match what was actually said.)
I have to say I was quite honored to be asked to speak. I was preceded by Finlands Minister of Justice Tuija Brax and later in the evening followed by imho Finlands funniest magician Martti Vannas. The dinner was set in the old stock market building of Helsinki, an exquisite restaurant now. I'm happy to say the talk was well received and many of the lawyers came to thank me afterwards.
I visited the London installment of our MySQL European Customer conference on Thursday. In a lecture hall of 250+ attendees I found an empty seat next to a man who turned out to be Patrik Pada who is the webmaster of HSS Media. Tick, tick, tick... [sound in my head thinking there is something familiar here...]
First day of the Peer production seminar in Nottingham university is over (though I'm posting this the next morning). I have to say it exceeded my expectations, so I'm really glad I was able to attend. There are several characters with a strong Free Software background here mingling with academics who are sociologists or whatnot. It creates a good mix of people on the one hand being able to give very concrete examples of how Free Software projects do stuff and on the other hand the academic minded people being very intelligent about analysing and generalising the concepts in action.
Andreas Wittel and Michael Bauwens introduced the day. Michael clearly has been thinking about this stuff for a long time, most things that we end up talking about he is already aware of and can immediately give very detailed insigths to them.