OSCON report, part 2!

I had two sessions at OSCON. One was an introductory legal talk that I co-presented with Aaron Williamson (that we proposed back when I was working at SFLC), and the second was on the keynote track on Friday. For the keynote, I was given a lot of leeway in choosing my topic. I won the award for my legal work, especially for the work on medical devices, so I felt that there was an expectation that I talk about that topic. But I also wanted to talk about GNOME, since that’s where I’m now focusing my attention.

After much thought and agonizing, I realized that the point of my medical devices talk — that we depend on software and will only be safe over time if it’s free and open — in fact logically leads back to the desktop. As the software that we rely on becomes more widespread and more fully integrated in our lives, as *everyone* expects to be able to use their computers smoothly, easily and for *everything*, it’s essential that we choose free and open platforms. I think it fit nicely into a 15 minute talk to just introduce the concepts. Plus, it gave me the chance to tell everybody what it was like to become a cyborg!

O’Reilly has posted the video of the talk on YouTube. If you don’t like YouTube, we included the audio from the speech in the latest episode of Free as in Freedom, an oggcast/audcast/podcast I co-host with Bradley Kuhn. We also discussed the talk and OSCON generally.

I got great feedback on the keynote session. The medical devices issue is such an emotional one, and so basic that it allows everyone to understand the importance of free and open source software. I’m happy I was able to give a talk that motivates people towards freedom and shamelessly promotes GNOME 3. I’ve already been invited to give it at other conferences that aren’t about free and open source sofware! I’m going to work on a full length presentation that doesn’t spend as much time on my own experience with medical devices but explores the various ways in which we are coming to rely on ordinary and integrated software.

The conference organizers didn’t record the session with Aaron, but we did and we will make it available on a future ‘cast episode. It’s a laid back presentation of some basic legal concepts. We had a fun discussion, and though we didn’t get as far as we would have liked to into the material, the audience was very engaged and had a lot of questions. I’m always excited to have these kinds of basic conversations in public so that more people can benefit from them.

Work kept me from getting to all of the talks that I wanted to get to, but that’s always the issue with conferences.
At any rate I’m very much looking forward to the Desktop Summit next week! I leave for Berlin the day after tomorrow…