Sunday, 25 March 2012

ORGCon 2012

Well, I went along to ORGCon2012, first one I have been to.

It was very interesting - lots of like minded people.

Technically I am not an ORG member, just been dragged on to the mailing lists. I may even "join" as a result.

There were some very impressive talks from the keynote speakers, and a load of breakout discussions, of which I could only see 1/5 of them sadly. Watch the last talk to see how powerpoint should be done.

It was a tad strange that most of the speakers I simply agreed with! That was until the "think of the children" talk which had a mobile provider on the panel. He was powned (I think that is the right phrase). Somehow I got to comment that we, as an ISP, have no black boxes, and do not filter anything, and even make it part of the sign-up that you are asking not to be filtered. To my surprise, at the end of the talk there was a queue of people wanting my business card - I ran out!

So sounds like we should look at some sponsorship for such events. Bytemark, who are quite a competent hosting company, were sponsoring this time. I had not real opinion of them before, but after several drinks I get the impression they are a "good" company. Their sponsorship of the event worked well on me, and whilst we are unlikely to by hosting from them (what with being an ISP and all that) I am quite happy to endorse them.

Afterwards, drinks went on past "last train" and cost me a taxi to Bracknell, but I think it was well worth it. Even though not locked, my bike was still at the station on Sunday afternoon - having the excellent security measure that even though a new bike it "looks like something your grandfather would ride and has a basket on the front" so will never get nicked (It is a Pashley, and very nice too).

Sorry for scaring the crap out of Malcolm (a long story I will not bother repeating). Thanks to Victoria for doing a good job scaring the crap out of me - she is, as I understanding it, a lawyer specialising in litigation and understands defamation and was horrified than anyone ever considers running a blog! I promised to be a tad more "careful", but I do kind of like freedom of speech so that maybe hard work :-)

Thanks to everyone that spoke with me or bought drinks, and the excellent speakers and organisers, and well, everyone else. It was fun. Thanks for Alex for joining me. It was strange that walking through the door two people immediately come up and say hello as they know who I am - that is a tad scary some times.

One of the main things ORG appear to fight for is copyright reform. I am glad to see it is not a fight to simply abolish copyright - it has its place, but a fight to "fix" it.

Personally I think copying should never be illegal - it is far too much an automatic thing now that the idea of regulating the making of copies of digital data is as mad as regulating people farting.

In my view there does still need to be some way to ensure renumeration for creators. I would like to see rights to ensure fair payment for any commercial exploitation of any creative work. I would also like to see rights to acknowledgment and against plagiarism. It would be nice if the open source rights to attribute the kudos of the author to a work even if given away for no money.

But simply copying data or making available for non profit, I think is something that should be allowed. And I say that as a creator (albeit of software not music or video).

I am also very in favour of no mandated censorship - yes people can have choice and buy censored and filtered services, and very much parents should be able to control what their children access, but no top level mandated censorship of the Internet should ever be allowed, IMHO. And technology means that any censorship can be bypassed anyway. Some interesting talks on some the crazy ideas some people in government seem to have on this though.


  1. re: Pashley - this?


    1. Have you broken the Brooks in yet? Supposed to be lovely once you have, but a bit of a pain until then.

      Knowing how you like things that work, if you do want to get a lock for it, take a look at this thread ( from the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed forums (run by another 'good guy' of the internet world)

  2. Agreed, a very very interesting day.

    And yes most of the speakers spoke sense. The Telefonica guy was brave to show his face and make the points he did, and although he got 'pwned' (he did) I hope that he and his kind are not put off coming to such events. Bluntly it's a good first step that he came along at all.

    One of the non-related points I took away was the fantastic way Lessig used powerpoint to keep his presentation charging forward and amusing. A talk ostensibly about law could easily have been dry. But the technique used was great. I do hope it goes online complete with a view of the slides.

    A well worthy conference. Thanks RevK for flagging it up.

    Also - I am a customer of ByteMark and I too happily endorse them, as a customer.