ALS Goes Free, as in Beer

by Don Marti

The Annual Linux Showcase will be free of charge, says Linux International's Jon "maddog" Hall. The conference, scheduled for November 5-10 in Oakland, California, was formerly priced at $500.

"The USENIX board hopes that by making the conference free, we would encourage people to come and discuss what can be done about things like SSSCA and the W3C RAND patenting discussion", maddog said. The SSSCA is The Walt Disney Company's attempt to effectively ban free software operating systems by requiring mandatory copy restriction in all digital devices.

"The ALS-invited talks reflect this, and we felt that we could not put off these important discussions to a later time," he added.

ALS is known for excellent technical talks and Birds of a Feather, or BoF, sessions. Among the BoFs scheduled for this year's conference are a GPG keysigning talk led by Drew Streib, the BoF and maddog's own Linux BoF.

Beowulf guru Don Becker will speak on "Home Beowulf Systems".

Other speakers include kernel hacker Ted Ts'o and Gene Kim from Tripwire. The keynote speaker is Thomas Sterling, of the California Institute of Technology and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who will speak on "Towards Petaflops Computing with Linux".

"In times when security testing is condemned by Congress as terrorism, its important that we look each other in the eye and remember that we are not the enemy. In times when the economic bubble has burst, its important that we reaffirm that we've been doing open source because it's good for the world, and because it's fun, and not because it was a shortcut to personal wealth", said USENIX director John Gilmore, in a press release announcing the free registration.

"We chose the course that provides the most benefits to the community", Gilmore said.

See the ALS web site for more conference information.

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