FOSDEM: more boring shit
Let's take a look at my annotated copy of the FOSDEM 2020 main talk schedule, shall we?
The speaker would like to ascribe credit to Linux for the invention of all of the groundbreaking features that Linux has poorly copied from better operating systems and then conclude that Andy Tanenbaum was right.
Speaker's name anagram: THEME: HE RUINS LOTS
We are not treated to a definition of "FOSSH," but we may presume that poorly-supported hardware has joined the ranks of poorly-supported software as a topic of this conference.
Speaker's name anagram: LOGJAM? OLD HAND
The FOSDEM organizers were unable to recruit a third keynote speaker willing to talk about anything interesting, so instead they tagged someone with twenty years' worth of nothing-better-to-do to rely on a nostalgia filter to make past conferences seem interesting in comparison.
Speaker's name anagram: VETOED OWN SIGN
Community and Ethics
Fifty entire minutes from a person who thinks that the copyright license matters at all when operating a city government. The people who write the software used by actual city governments will not be in attendance, because neither Excel nor Powerpoint are available under a free-software license.
Speaker's name anagram: PEON DOES CARE
The speaker attempts to resolve the cognitive dissonance inspired by the repeated claims of "protecting user freedoms" despite all open-source programmers being employed by massive software companies. No solutions are provided, but some advice is promised regarding the maintenance of license-cult affiliation while conning some webshit company into paying you to mismanage your hobby projects.
Speaker's name anagram: MOTLEY TAME JOBS
The speaker is convinced that some of the attendees might not have noticed the six hundred thousand articles from Buzzfeed, Gizmodo, Engadget, and Reader's Digest that personal surveillance furniture is not made with the owner's best interests in mind. This talk consists of @internetofshit's twitter feed on a five-year time delay.
Speaker's name anagram: CAN LOB MY DELL
Some ostensible programmers have decided they are the proper people to introduce ethics to the latest buzzword factory, based on close consultation with the largest privacy-violation apparatus ever constructed and a hodgepodge of B-team politicians-in-exile.
Speakers' name anagrams: I JUSTLY FROWN and HELL NO, MANIAC
Containers and Security
A Red Hat arrives to try to convince other middle managers that this container stuff is totally different and somehow relevant to that 5G thing you keep seeing in TV commercials. It is not different, and it is not relevant to any specific radio communications technology, but Red Hat's not paying for the talk to make sense. Red Hat is paying for the talk to convince ISP operators to buy Openshift licenses.
Speaker's name anagram: NERDLIKE AI
In this roller-coaster of a talk, the speaker will outline the crippling security failures of current IT-industry darling Kubernetes, then reassures us that these problems do have solutions, only to horrify us again by revealing the solutions start with "shitting arbitrary code into a Turing-complete interpreter in Ring 0."
Speaker's name anagram: N.K. SAVIOR
Some programmers think they can work around hardware information leaks in code.
Speakers' name anagrams: LAMEST BYTE MOJO and TAPROOM PIKER
The developer of a package manager nobody asked for, written in a programming language nobody likes, insists that the package manager is in fact a perfect replacement for whatever the hell you've been doing, regardless of what that is.
Speaker's name anagram: I COULD SCOUR TV
This talk, awkwardly shoved into the schedule at the last minute, sees the speaker claim that shitty fifty-cent on-device sensors are generating data faster than SQLite can store it. This is obviously horse shit, and the speaker hasn't actually got anything working yet, but the speaker needed some attention, which is the primary factor in whether one is allocated speaking time at FOSDEM.
Speaker's name anagram: SANE HARDER
A PostgreSQL consultant tries to drum up public support for a patchset nobody wanted.
Speaker's name anagram: ENJOY A COW
An Ubuntu gets on the "SQLite, but better" bandwagon. Unlike the previous project, which combined SQLite with some code derived from academia to solve perceived flaws in the wrong layer, this project takes the revolutionary approach of combining SQLite with some code derived from academia to solve perceived flaws in the wrong layer.
Speaker's name anagram: A FAKE ARENA KEY
An Oracle shows up to convince us their also-ran database product is still relevant. The only remaining users of the program in question are people running Movable Type, and those people are using the non-Oracle fork of the program anyway. Still, the speaker has to say something to justify Oracle's payment for the trip. As a result, this talk will consist of the speaker reading the MySQL changelog directly from the commit log.
Speaker's name anagram: LØGS VARY? I'D HIKE
While their government may have lost interest, some Russians are still interested in pretending to participate in Europe. The talk is about taking an academic paper from Cornell in 2002 and shoving it into the source code of a MongoDB clone.
Speaker's name anagram: VOILA! SLY VIPS HALVED.
A Google, a Facebook, and a Linux Foundation (a trade organization representing Google and Facebook) lecture us about how hard we must fight to keep their employers from destroying our access to computer software.
Speakers' name anagrams: SNAZZY? RICH? SICK. and SMALL SIX with HI, MEGA-CLENCH!
A bullshit peddler has a crystal ball, which would like us to know that all open-source programmers are wasting their time. Time is stressed in the talk description as being a precious resource, not to be squandered. It is greatly to be hoped that readers will heed this admonition and not waste any of their finite time listening to this jackass jabber for an hour.
Speaker's name anagram: LADY'S TOKEN FRIZZ
A bureaucrat would like greasy computer nerds to stop getting angry on the internet about Codes of Conduct, but is too much of a coward to just say that.
Speaker's name anagram: RETHINK RACISM HATS
OpenStack is a suite of computer management software which is most recently notable for having missed the boat and imploded at the same time. While the flaming wreckage slowly sinks into the ocean, one of the people responsible for the disaster would like us to know how important it is to support the class of software to which OpenStack belongs, even though anyone who is receptive to that message is already using Kubernetes.
Speaker's name anagram: RARER ICY HERTZ
As terrified programmers desperately try to squeeze every drop of value from the code they relentlessly shit into GitHub, some conclude that the obvious path to profit is copyright law. A bureaucrat arrives to declare that copyright law can be profitable, but not that way, and out of the thousands and thousands of companies on Earth, successfully names three adherents to the copyright cult which have achieved success. One is no longer an independent company, another has had five owners in the past ten years, and the other was founded as a direct result of the mismanagement of its predecessor, but I'm sure none of that will come up in the talk.
Speaker's name anagram: RANKER FLAK SHTICK
Another bureaucrat tries to convince us our tax money isn't being wasted. They're fucking around with blockchains (still!), so nobody will be convinced.
Speaker's name anagram: BACK ON DRAMA
Having failed to gain any traction in commercial telephony, Maemo is the natural place some programmers would turn when searching for a telephone interface to poorly copy. By combining bad clones of proprietary software, niche Linux distributions with no clear policies or mission, and vaporware hardware from a fly-by-night bad-computer vendor, you can have complete control of a telephone that doesn't exist, wouldn't boot if it did, and couldn't make phone calls if it booted. Rejoice, for your time is at hand.
Speakers' name anagrams: JEWEL, WARN MR. JIB! and ERR: BARB BITS
The fact that the talk description is beset with typesetting errors is so hilariously on-message for LibreOffice that I can make no further enhancements to the sense of derision this talk should inspire.
Speaker's name anagram: HECKLES A MIME
The speaker mysteriously refuses to specify what has been automated for twenty years, but cursory examination of the namedropped software product reveals the truth: yet another half-assed domain-specific language intended to abstract away those pesky computers. Only the speaker knows what systems administrators were doing prior to 1999 (hint: there has been an IEEE standard about it longer than that) and why it wasn't really automation -- much less why "reimplement everything from scratch in a fad language" became the right answer in 2015.
Speaker's name anagram: JAM IN BUSHES
A programmer made some software people use and would like you to sit through an origin story.
Speaker's name anagram: NEONATAL ODORS
This is the annual "FOSDEM organizers accidentally scheduled an interesting talk" talk, delivered by someone who has put actual effort into communicating information that is not self-aggrandizing or otherwise devoted to corporate marketing.
Speaker's name anagram: HER OWLS RAN
Another SUSE needed some business justification for the FOSDEM trip; this time it's a combination of "you're doing it wrong" and some mournful rehashing of failed also-rans from recent computing history.
Speaker's name anagram: PRIMEVAL NO
The author of curl, Daniel Stenberg, who wrote curl, is so excited to find a country he's allowed into that he takes a break from being the author of curl to tell us about a new version of HTTP, which addresses HTTP/2's "TCP over TCP" problem by migrating to a "TCP over TCP over UDP" model. By formalizing layer violations directly into the protocol, Google can remove any opportunity to interfere with advertising and surveillance, since the application (specified in the standards as Chrome) communicates directly to AdSense without leaking signs of important personal information exfiltration to hostile third parties, such as the user. Daniel Stenberg, author of curl, is the author of curl, which is written and maintained by Daniel Stenberg.
Speaker's name anagram: ABSENT IN LEDGER
Some people from the United States Navy's bestselling honeypot promise, as in previous years, new ways of attracting users who are not drug vendors, murder vendors, or furries. None of them will work.
Speaker's name anagram: I RAP UGLIER
Some academics arrive to tell us that (once again) they have Fixed the Internet, and (once again) it runs on top of the current actually-working internet, and (once again) if you sign up you can communicate with as many as twelve other computers.
Speakers' anagram names: OW! KAMIKAZE SLUTS and A ČASUÁL VIM KOOK
The busiest human being on Earth, responsible for mitigating the weekly-discovered security failures in Intel hardware, gets paid to fly to Europe and show us how to work around his employer's increasingly-broken products by writing more computer programs.
Speaker's anagram name: ADD A TWIST REV
Some academics have gone to a lot of effort to allow us to interfere with software whose source code we already have. Since there's no immediate use for this technology, and the speaker is somewhat bored, we're going to get a demo.
Speaker's anagram name: NEUTRAL PARANOIAS
Someone thinks anyone still cares about VR.
Speaker's name anagram: URBAN LOCK SIZES
Yet Another IRC Clone reports that they've successfully solved some of the problems they inflicted upon themselves.
Speaker's name anagram: DAMN GHETTO SHOW