Liveblog: Open Source Bridge, day 1


16:45: Living in an open-cloud world. The speaker is one of Rackspace Cloud‘s founders. This talk is more Rackspace-centric than it ought to be. I didn’t come here to listen to a marketing spiel. “Some days, 75% of our HTTP referrers are from Facebook.”

15:45: Stacks of cache. This is a memcached talk. Useful fact: Memory assigned to a slab is never moved to another slab size, which is why you’re advised not to store huge objects in it. The presenter is smart and clearly knows about memcached’s innards, but this talk was at a different level than I had expected.

14:30: Apache Libcloud. Cloudy things = SaaS, PaaS, storage, server. Looks like a good abstraction of compute-type cloud APIs, but it’s useful only if your IT staff or application talks to multiple cloud providers. Otherwise, it’s just another level in your technology stack, with the associated downsides. I have to wonder, wouldn’t it be easier if cloud providers just agreed on & implemented a common API? But that’s crazy thinking.

13:30: Fixing SSL Security. A talk about the successor to SSL 3, TLS. Real good to use this on every connection, to thwart government snooping. But, SSL/TLS is somewhat fragile, it was created to reassure users, and is often not the weakest link in a realistic threat model. Passive vs. active adversaries. Strict Transport Security. Yeow this is a good talk – a dearth of slide deck eye candy and a high S:N. I’m getting a couple good ideas here for my employer’s products.

12:19: Back from lunch, surfing until the afternoon sessions start.

10:56: Hmmm, time for early lunch.

10:15: The wi-fi here SUCKS.

10:03: In-house web automation. Review of leading CI candidates are Hudson, BuildBot, Cruise Control, etc. Then overview of frameworks like Selenium, FunkLoad, Twill, etc. For-pay cloud alternatives: Sauce Labs, SOASTA, BrowserMob. “You’re doing really well if you’re doing 60% automated and 40% manual testing.”

9:27: Danny O’Brien giving keynote speech on intersection of FOSS and free speech. Big ideas: Some FOSS defaults are wrong; FOSS should by default turn on SSL, and turn off unnecessary logging. Build FOSS alternatives to proprietary systems like Facebook. Dis-intermediation.

8:00 Chatted with Jacob Helwig about Portland vs. Seattle, tech communities, and the internal rot of Seattle’s tech ecosystem. Of course Seattleites by and large don’t get PDX’s vibrancy, because they don’t know what they’re missing. Key: PDX geeks identify with PDX first and their company second; in Seattle it’s the other way around.

7:30: It’s fun to show up way early at the registration desk on the first day, and watch a brief flash of terror in a volunteer’s face. “It’s fine, I know I’m early, I’ll just hang out over here until 8.”

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