System Overlord

A blog about security engineering, research, and general hacking.

January LoCo F2F: Success!

Well, I was finally able to make it to the LoCo (Local Community) F2F (Face to Face) meeting yesterday.  To me, it seemed to be a quite successful event.  About 16-18 people made it, which meant that we pretty much took over that entire wing of Mellow Mushroom.  The food was definitely top notch as well -- I had a great calzone.  It was really great to get a chance to know some of the people from the IRC, even if I didn't get a match between name and IRC nick in all cases.

In the future I (and some of the others) would also like to see meetings with activities or presentations.  One idea that was tossed around was an open-source LAN party.  We could break out games like openarena, tremulous, and others.  Hopefully some of these ideas will come together.

Linux wins at CES

In case anyone missed it, Engadget is reporting that the EeePC is Asus's most successful product ever. This comes along with Everex's announcement of their EeePC competitor, the CloudBook, which will run a Ubuntu-based distribution. That's the same Everex that has been producing sub-$200 computers running gOS (Ubuntu-based) that sell out at Wal-Mart.

CES also brings us Linux's foray into the handheld gaming market in the form of the GP2X. As LinuxJournal predicted, this year's CES is turning out to be a big one for Linux.

Addendum: Shuttle has announced a $200PC to also run Linux.  Nothing fancy here: no optical drive, no PCI-Express, etc.  But should make a nice machine if you just need internet access, especially for those with space limitations.  Looks like it'll be a relatively low power consumer as well.

Curing Boredom

Lately I've been rather bored and looking for a project of some sort to work on.  Anyone have any suggestions/ideas/input?  I'd love to find some small utility I could put together and GPL, if there's need for it.

Why Windows Vista Content Protection, well, sucks.

Peter Gutmann has done an amazing analysis of the costs and issues involved with the "Content Protection" scheme in Microsoft's Windows Vista (slides).  Essentially, if you want to use multimedia, you can only use it how the movie industry says you can.  NetFlix has given in to that, producing (along with Microsoft) a tool that effectively strips your fair use rights.  It's amazing how we've all become criminals of the information age.  I guess it's only the information age for those who are willing to spend the money.

A Linux Conference in Atlanta?

From 1996 to 2001, Atlanta played home to the Atlanta Linux Showcase.  Linux has certainly gained a substantial following since 2001, and I think it's about time that we bring a conference back to the Southeast.  LinuxWorld Expo has made several appearances in Boston, San Francisco, and elsewhere, but the Southeastern US has been overlooked.  Sure, we have PhreakNIC (Tennessee), CarolinaCon (NC), and others, but none of them focus on Linux or Open Source, and they all miss Atlanta, a hotbed of business and IT in the Southeast.

I'm interested in forming a new conference here in Atlanta to focus on Linux and Open Source software.  I'd like to make it user-oriented with a focus on home and small/medium business (corporate users probably look for bigger events like LWE).  I'd like to see involvement from local LUGs and other organizations.  Mostly I'd like to see the exposure for all aspects of this.

Students for Open Source at Georgia State can help in arranging the use of GSU facilities to organize the event.  Additionally, cross-promotion within our departments can help to get speakers and equipment needed for the event.

If anyone else is interested in seeing something like this, let me know.  Either leave a comment here or email me at david -at- webgroup (dot) org.