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Don’t be “that guy”

Dear FOSS4G goers,

I would like to share a brief public service announcement.

I know the conference is very stimulating and exciting. I know Portland is a very cool city. I know the evening parties often involve alcohol consumption. People are often exhausted from the conference, travel, and jet lag. It can be hard to keep a grip on appropriate inhibitions. But please don’t over do it and lose your grip.

Please try and remember your manners and basic human decency so that everyone can have a good time and feel welcome & comfortable.

Thank you & enjoy the conference.

p.s. Kudos to the Portland organizing team and thank you for huge amount of work you’ve done so that we can enjoy a great conference!

Program Committee selected for FOSS4G North America 2015

On July 17th, we announced that Rob Emanuele would be program chair for FOSS4G North America 2015.

I am very pleased to announce that he has picked the program team that will select the program for the conference. And it is a wonderful team. The team brings a diverse set of expertise and perspectives.

Thank you Rob, and thanks in advance to Kate, Andy, Regina, Beth, and Jody for putting together a great program for next March 9th to 12th!

Logo selected for FOSS4G North America 2015

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Our logo contest has concluded and our conference committee have selected a winning logo.

The logo continues the compass point theme from the past two FOSS4G North America conferences in Washington D.C. & Minneapolis. It also pulls in the ribbon theme from the global FOSS4G. The bridge is a nice reminder that the event will be held in Burlingame, a short distance from San Francisco. The conference runs March 9th to 12th, 2015.

Congratulations to PixelNodes, the winning designer. And thank you to 99designs for hosting the contest.

The myth of the volunteer open source developer

An interesting cluster of articles from last fall drew my attention. One from November entitled “FOSS and the Sublimation of Commodity Fetishism” is an interesting look some factors that others have cited contribute to diversity issues. In short, not everyone can afford to work for free on open source software.

The author writes:
“The participants in F/OSS communities are, in fact, compensated for their labour. Not with money, but with social capital.”

The not compensated with money part is misleading. I’d like to revisit the social capital part in another post later.

A more recent article by Matt Asay, rebutting Quentin Hardy’s “Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money“, notes that a great deal of open source is developed by employees of companies such as Google, Amazon, Linkedin, Netflix, and others. They do so because their products and services they sell are based on open source rather than selling the open source software directly.

Simply put, the core team in large open source projects tend to be professionals rather than volunteers.

Logo contest for FOSS4G NA 2015

Next March (9th to 12th) in San Francisco, FOSS4G North America will bring together the open source geospatial community for an epic few days of learning, networking, and camaraderie.

We need a suitable logo for an event of this magnitude and importance so we have started a logo contest with an attractive cash prize. All are welcome to contribute designs, and we encourage people to provide ideas & feedback.

The contest is hosted by 99designs here.

Also, in case you missed the news from last week, Rob Emanuele was named program chair for the 2015 conference.

Announcing FOSS4G North America 2015 Program Chair

Next March, we’ll be hosting FOSS4G North America 2015 co-hosted with EclipseCon from March 9th to 12th. This conference is a wonderful collaboration between multiple communities. With participants from Eclipse, OSGeo, LocationTech, IoT, Science, and other communities of open source communities, we anticipate some weird and wonderful cross pollination of ideas. Attendees can attend any talk they wish for no added cost.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the value and success of the conference is the quality of the program. The program committee, led by the program chair, is responsible for selecting which presentations are part of the program at FOSS4G North America.

It is my pleasure to announce that Rob Emanuele has agreed to be program chair for FOSS4G North America 2015. Rob is best known for his work on the GeoTrellis high performance geoprocessing framework. His combination of breadth and depth of technology skills, along with his ability to connect with people will serve the program committee well. Thank you Rob! And I look forward to working with you to make this an outstanding conference in 2015.

Dealing with Human Garbage

A friend of mine is a single mother who is unfortunate enough to live in a rough neighbourhood. She has been getting abused rather badly by her neighbours. As one example, they vandalized her car in various ways including denting the car repeatedly down the length of it. The following is a picture to illustrate:

Dents on car door.

Dents on car door.

She has gone to the police. They stated that she had no proof and that was the end of that.

She’s a student and moving isn’t a feasible option.

This blog post is a call for ideas. Has anyone reading this been in a similar situation? Do you have any advice or suggestions for her? Suffice it to say any ideas are gratefully appreciated.

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