World’s First Pavlova Western

Family, Films, JamieSelkirk, John Psathas, Kiwi, LoTR, Movie, NewZealand, Western, Weta 3 Comments

Many months ago, I was lucky to be involved in the shooting of a western film – more appropriately, the world’s first Pavlova Western. Most people will be familiar with the concept of a Spaghetti Western, but now Mike Wallis (my brother in law) and his fiancée Inge Rademeyer from Mi Films have extended that concept to New Zealand.

They are currently in post-production mode bringing all the pieces together, including an incredible music score from John Psathas (recently awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his Athens Olympics work). Jamie Selkirk (who received an Academy Award for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy) has also come on board to give them financial support to put the film through the final stages at Weta’s Park Road Post Production studios.

And to top it all off, last week they appeared on TV One’s Close Up. Check out the following video -

[http://www.youtube.com/v/Bhx9NiG9uhs]

You can check their progress on the Facebook Pavlova Western group and the Pavlova Western blog.

http://www.internetblackout.com.au/

General Comments Off

While I catch a breadth and write up some of my experiences of LCA2010 last week, the Australian’s are in full gear for their Great Australian Internet Blackout Campaign.

From their website -

What’s the problem?

The Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste millions of dollars and won’t make anyone safer.

  1. It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).
  2. We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!
  3. A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?

Help turn the lights out on the proposed Internet filter by joining the Great Australian Internet Blackout.

New Zealand was supported worldwide during their appeal of Section 92A – it’s time to support our cousins in the west.

Come to LCA2010 Open Day

General Comments Off

We’ve got a great line up for LCA Open Day! Check out our great posters and pass them around your work, university, community group or government department!

Final Days before LCA2010

FOSS, LCA2010, NewZealand, OpenSolaris 2 Comments

Over the last 9 months, Jayne and I have been involved in helping to organize linux.conf.au here in Wellington, New Zealand. For those who aren’t familiar with the conference, it is by far one of the best free and open source conferences in the southern hemisphere and attracts an absolutely awesome line up of speakers and since registrations began in October we’ve now reached close to 600 delegates. If you happen to be in New Zealand I’d strongly urge you to register and join us for what we be a great week!

After organizing GUADEC in Dublin back in 2003, I swore to myself I’d never be involved in another conference. GUADEC was a pretty stressful experience, though incredibly rewarding. As it turns out, LCA2010 is pretty similar. Fortunately this time, we have a brilliant team behind us led by the excellent Andrew and Susanne and things are coming together really well. We’re all looking forward to the conference next week, and we hope all the delegates will enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed planning it.

So, which sessions am I looking forward not to see?

From a work point of view, like most other conferences, it’s a great chance to see what the Linux community is up to, including challenges they face and features they’re developing. There’s even some OpenSolaris related content scattered across the conference – ZFS in Data Storage and Retrieval miniconf, pkgbuild and Source Juicer in the Distro miniconf, and an OpenSolaris booth at Open Day. It will be great to see how far we’ve come with the project, and get a feeling of general awareness that OpenSolaris really has changed significantly in the last couple of years.

Not to late to GO REGISTER!

Oracle’s committment to Sun Solaris and SPARC

OpenSolaris, Sun 12 Comments

Nice to see Oracle starting to come out of the woodwork on a few issues in the interim. Good strong statement for Sun’s existing customer and userbase, and headsup to IBM -

Go digg it!

Software Freedom Day :: Wellington, Sept 20th

FOSS, NewZealand 4 Comments

One of the fun events I’m involved in is Software Freedom Day Wellington, as part of the wider SFD effort. We’re planning a really fun day, with a whole bunch of things going on, as Brett’s excellent poster suggests -

Barcamp
At a barcamp attendees govern the agenda. We provide rooms and a flipchart and a schedule of times – the attendees decide on the discussions to be held around a variety of topics (from Education to Government, Communities to Business) that interest them at the start of the day. You can check the list of attendees on the registration page to see who else is attending with similar interests to you.
Tech Talks
This year there will be a separate room for tech talks. Rather than a discussion-based format like the barcamp sessions, the talks give attendees the opportunity to present a technical presentation about free and open source software. The tech talk schedule will be decided on the day, with each session broken into shorter timeslots, if needed.
Hackfest
A hackfest will be organised by SuperHappyDevHouse, One Laptop Per Child, and DigitalNZ – a chance to put the DigitalNZ APIs into action! Come hang out all day on our sofas, drink large amounts of coffee and work on your favourite piece of free and open source software. You can also learn about the work of the amazing team from One Laptop Per Child who will be showcasing their machines, and participate by helping to test them.
Installfest
The installfest is being organised by WellyLUG, the Wellington Linux User Group, for those wishing to install free and open source software on their laptops, or home computers. Bring your own machines/laptops along and get advice and support from a team of experts, while you install software. Copies of some popular free and open source software will be available to take away as well.
Makerspace
Wellington has a growing community of makers who share a lot of the same principles as FOSS, using open source technology to create craft, sharing tools and skills when working on solutions to technical projects. We will have a room set aside for makers, so come along and showcase your creations, whether they are gadgets or open source crafts, or work on something you’ve been dreaming up for months.
Kids Programme
A kids programme for primary school aged children will embrace all that’s going on at Software Freedom Day, giving them the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities – taking the first steps into programming at the installfest, testing OLPC laptops at the hackfest, a barcamp brainstorming session about where they think the future of computing is going, and more! Games, prizes and a treasure hunt included.

As part of the kids programme Nat Torkington will be running an hour long ‘Introduction to programming’ session for parents and kids as part of the installfest. Parents – it would be great if you can prepare for the session by downloading scratch from scratch.mit.edu onto your laptops/machines before you come along.
Students Programme
Students (secondary and tertiary) are encouraged to attend Software Freedom Day. Showcase technology you are interested in by registering to do a techtalk and bring your projects along to the makerspace. Hear from tech heros who will be there to address students about working in the industry and learn about how understanding open source solutions can enhance your job prospects. Bring along your laptop and get experts to help you to install open source software and operating systems on your laptop at the installfest, and learn about the work of One Laptop per Child and DigitalNZ how you could contribute to their projects at the hackfest.

So if you’re coming along, make sure you register for the event – we’ll have free wifi, free coffee and a bunch of great prizes to give away! Thanks heaps to our ever growing list of sponsors.

OpenSolaris on FLOSS Weekly

FOSS, OpenSolaris 3 Comments

I had the privilege to be a guest on FLOSS Weekly with Leo Laporte and Jono Bacon this week, thanks guys! Of course Aaron and David had done awesome groundwork with an interview on ZFS a few weeks earlier. It was a fun hour, and I enjoyed it though can think of many thing I’d answer differently now! Looking forward to catching up with Jono and others at the Community Leadership Summit next month in San Jose, the weekend before OSCON.

And yes, OpenSolaris is officially ‘not bollocks’. Check it out!

LCA 2010 – Call for Miniconfs now open!

Conference, NewZealand 2 Comments

We just announced the Call for Miniconfs for LCA 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand next year! Miniconfs are an excellent way of having a full day of great sessions for a specific topic – examples of previous miniconfs are Debian, MythTV and of course near and dear to my own heart, GNOME.

For LCA 2010, we will have twelve Miniconfs over the course of 2 days, 6 per day. While you wait for the call for papers to open later this month, start your braincells and Submit a Miniconf Proposal! Read the announcement for more details.

New Zealand OpenSolaris User Group

NewZealand, OpenSolaris 2 Comments

After many months of procrastination on my part, it’s time to launch the New Zealand OpenSolaris User Group. Organizing an active user group that meets on a regular basis is hard, regardless of technology interest, so I’ve decided firstly that NZOSUG will be just a virtual group for now with a mailing list to join – we’ll see how interest grows over time, and might have an occasional meet up with a presentation or several pints of beer.

Of course folks outside the country are most welcome to join. First up, we need to get cracking on a fun logo for the group – If you’re an artist and keen to draw something up, please do! I’ll make sure you get something from the OpenSolaris swag bag in MPK for your troubles.

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Released Today

OpenSolaris 2 Comments

OpenSolaris 2009.06 is now available for download!

I’m thrilled that we’ve gotten through another 6 months and produced another milestone, with some absolutely stunning new features like Crossbow’s network virtualization and IPS one click installs coupled with the automatic build and packaging service, Source Juicer . Check out what’s new with this release, along with Dan and Stephen talk through some of the new features.

We’re going to be celebrating the launch at CommunityOne with a whole bunch of OpenSolaris sessions. If you happen to be in the area, join us and help celebrate! Those outside the US should of course organize their own release parties!

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