33 posts • joined 5 May 2013
Worst ... conference ... format ... ever?
Yesterday's Amazon Web Services summit in Sydney had a very weird format for its breakout sessions.
On every chair in the breakout rooms was a pair of radio-connected headphones.
Speakers were miked up but were not amplified: unless you sat in the front row the only way to hear them was by wearing the headphones.
Everything else was conference as usual: a chap on stage, slideware, lots of buzzwords and content of dubious value.
The reason for the odd format is that Sydney's convention centre was detonated earlier this year: we're building a bigger and better one. That means IT outfits looking for a somewhere capable of handling a few hundred people are scrambling to find venues. Yesterday's venue didn't have dedicated breakout rooms: they had to be curtained off. So the weird headphones arrangement made sense as a way to ensure the venue didn't turn into a horrid tunnel of competing noise.
It was still odd. In fact I'm willing to declare it the weirdest ... conference ... format ... ever.
If you were at the summit, what did you think? Or have you been to a weirder conference?
Enterprise social - show me the money
I'm at Salesforce's World Tour in Melbourne today and after listening to its keynote/infomercial for an hour if anyone says "Cloud/Social/Mobile" to me things might get unpleasant.
The ray of sunshine during the event was Ted Pretty, CEO of Hills Industries, who poured a decent-sized glass of the Salesforce Kool Aid but also tipped a bucket on it by saying HIlls has adopted in-house twitter clone Chatter but said he doesn't really care for it.
"The social stuff is nice but at the end of the day all I care about is making our number," he said.
The cynic in me loves that line: I get the cloud/social/mobile spiel SO OFTEN it's become tiring.
The grudging realist in me says the likes of Salesforce and Oracle would not be going so hard on social if it didn't make a difference and that it's a bit antediluvian to ignore it.
Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time
Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull stands accused of telling a householder to move to another home if she wants better broadband.
We think it's an unfair accusation to level against Turnbull. Here's my comment piece explaining why.
Is Turnbull right? Is Julia Keady, the aggrieved householder? Am I?
You're one click from your chance to reply.
Windows has been mandated
Hi everyone and thanks for your feedback.
I should have mentioned that PCs in Willowra ran Windows 7 but were downgraded to XP. I don't know why. But they're grunty enough to handle W7.
On Linux vs. W7 I appreciate Linux's many fine qualities, but feel Windows is more appropriate for a few reasons.
* The XP to W7 move will retain a very similar desktop metaphor and I feel that for visitors to the centre minimal disruption is important.
* Yes, Linux desktops are now very fine. But Linux would mean re-learning a lot for locals and I fear that many don't have the literacy to do so.
* Linux is not not supported by Batchelor College and Linux would be alien to staff on the ground in Willowra.
Commodity? Where is "here". And is it open for others to access as this one will be?
Who wants to work on a 264-Core, 6TB RAM supercomputer?
What could you do with 264 Intel Sandy Bridge Cores and 6TB of RAM?
As it happens, you can now try to find out: Perth's supercomputer facility iVEC has just asked for " would like to invite applications from the research community to use its new, large-memory computer system, called Zythos."
We've detailed just what is inside Zythos and the nature of the offer here. So get reading, then get commenting. There are still a few of Vulture South's very limited edition fridge magnets on offer for especially good ideas.
I've watched The Wire. Twice. Law abiding folks need not worry about the murders. Just don't be on the wrong corner when the shooting starts.
Is the government's NBN policy changing your vote? Greens Senator Scott Ludlam thinks so
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said something interesting in parliament on Monday.
During a long oration in which he invited Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit Western Australian and face community anger, he listed things that he feels have made local voters mad.
Here's what he said about the NBN:
"As for the premeditated destruction of the NBN and Attorney-General George Brandis's degrading capitulation to the surveillance state when confronted with the unlawful actions of the US NSA—even the internet is turning green, 'for the win'. Geeks and coders, network engineers and gamers would never have voted Green in a million years without the blundering and technically illiterate assistance of your leadership team. For this I can only thank you."
Is Ludlam right? Are you, as an IT pro, more likely to vote for someone other than The Greens? And have you switched because of the NBN?
Get commenting, folks ...
Re: Typical reg
Not sure how we are attacking Apple here: the ATSB report mentions it was an iPad.
Having said that, I would not want the stand on the Lenovo Yoga tablets to hit me from any height!
There's a short window in which you can influence how computing is taught in Australia
Over the last year or so, The Reg's Australian team has followed the development of Australia's first Digital Technologies Curriculum. That curriculum aims to teach computational thinking all the way from kindergarten to year 10.
The curriculum was finally published yesterday, as we report here.
That's the good news.
The bad news is the curriculum is no guarantee of ever being adopted. The federal government is reviewing the national curriculum, because it doesn't like some parts of it. So the document released this week is not signed off and may never be.
If you care about computing being taught in schools, can we ask that you read our article and then visit the submission form? Vulture South isn't pushing a particular line here in terms of the tone of any submission. But we do think this is an important topic that deserves scrutiny.
New mailing list for AU sysadmins
Get thee to AUSSAG.net
It's only been there a few days, but looks promising.
Collective noun for users of this API
Should we call developers who use this Uncanny XML-Men?
Tendulkar is indisputably India's greatest player and probably in the top five of all time. Yes, the players you mention are very significant. Especially the Nawab of Pataudi *senior*, as his son the junior Nawab also played for India.
National Broadband Network (NBN)
This was always going to happen so here it is.
Let's try not to go over the same old ground here with "but fibre is better and good things might not happen if we don't build the NBN with fibre" arguments.
Having said that, anyone out there on fibre? What's it like? Does it really make a difference once you cram it down consumer-grade WiFi around your house?
Re: Oh yeah, a famous blogger here has had a DOS attack on his website for 3 days now
Thanks for the tip OzBob. We'll see how this one develops.
Oh and let it be noted: Kiwis are currently KILLING Australians here. KILLING.
Let us Aussies wake up, willya?
Seriously, though, Kiwi friends - whassup in tech down there? Other than Kim Dotcom self-promoting?
Hello Kiwi readers. You haven't been (entirely) forgotten. This thread is for you!
SAGE-AU IPv6 roadshow
The System Administrators Guild of Australia - SAGE-AU - is throwing an IPv6 roadshow across this wide brown land. Registration details here.
The good news: this one is going to every state or territory capital city bar Darwin. The fun kicks off on March 13 in Brisbane and winds up on the 14th in Canberra.
Australian VMware user group events in february
VMware user groups are among the more vigorous such organisations in Australia and their annual conferences attract hundreds of IT pros.
The next round take place next week!
VMUG Melbourne kicks things off on February 4th at the Hilton on the Park. Details at this link.
Sydney is on February 6th, details here.
Vulture South will be at both days. Tap Simon on the shoulder and he may favour you with one of our special antipodean fridge magnets, the ultimate in sticky content!
Re: What the officer meant to say ...
thanks for reading. Your subtlety eluded me.
Have cleaned the lenses of my glasses and removed some cynical grime.
Re: Editorial Conventions
Seeing as NASA has just cut back its budget for planetary science, I'll forgive them some sub-editing foibles. Whaddyareckon?
10:00AM +/- 60 minutes. Must be espresso-derived. The rest of you are doing it wrong.
Re: Could be a promising start to a whole new genre
Well played, Sir. Well played.
Re: not quite on topic but
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Denarius.
I wasn't trying to suggest that integration causes problems, just to very quickly provide some context for readers around the world.
As I say later on, I've no particular insight into how these communities can thrive. But the presence of some connectivity there certainly looks to have promising potential.
Re: Does El Reg really think they will get a reply
FWIW, Microsoft does reply to inquiries on most topics. Apple hardly ever replies to inquiries regarding anything other than products that are already on the market.
Re: BYOD - A dead end street
No-one's paying us to do anything regarding BYOD. Sheesh!
BYOD is an idea. It's out there. Vendors are catering to it and telling us hacks it's impossible to hire anyone under 30 without it.
My intent here was to look at it from a different view: would the concept be so viable if people wanted a games console?
Move along, nothing to see here except typos.
I'm blaming the back-to-back VMUG and AOSUG meetings last night. And my fat fingers.
Re: What's your planned outcome ?
The outcome is simple: get the study into the debate. Distribute it widely. Make sure all media that report NBN-related matters get the study, understand its key points and use it to further their work.
Re: Australia's largest state?
Fair call. Changed to "most populous".
Re: "Approve proposals that more locals love"
There's only one Victoria Yeeros, and thank goodness for that. Bloody expensive there these days. IMHO The Sultan's Table in Enmore destroys it for value and taste.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with either.
Double disclaimer: We're arguing about kebab shops? I'd better move this to Bootnotes before this gets out of hand.
Gray Ham, I'm sure. Follow the link in the story and search on "sole trader". You'll find the bit we've referred to there.
Re: I know it's petty...
MR, my decision to mention the 4WD wasn't a "4WDs are inappropriate urban behemoths" thang. Instead, it was included to give readers a chance to understand the size of vehicle that did the damage. It seemed worthy of inclusion to me to give a little extra information to help readers evoke just what happened.
Beer cos I'll happily buy you one.
And the name for Android monitors is ....
"Pokemon". The idea came to me on the train this morning. A bit miffed I didn't think of it while writing the story, actually, but better late etc.
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