February 2009 Archives

SCaLE + FAD

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So today was the last day of SCaLE, which started on Friday with our Fedora Activity Day, and concluded today. I'm sitting in my hotel room at the Westin LAX, since my flight out is on Monday.

On Friday, we had our first Fedora Activity Day (FAD). We got three fonts packaged, two new packagers, and got some great work done. Karsten has some blog posts either planned or already done about FAD, so I won't spend too much time on that here so as not to steal Karsten's thunder :)

The folks at SCaLE put together a great show (I'd especially like to thank Gareth Greenaway for his tireless help), however, I only got to go to two talks the entire time - one was the Fedora Remix talk, a wonderful talk put on by Clint Savage - I was the local heckler in that talk, answering questions that Clint couldn't, for example. The talk was absolutely wonderful, and I hope that Clint enjoyed my heckling :)

The other talk that I went to was Rob Tiller's most excellent talk on the state of software patents in light of the recent Bilski decision, and it was quite enlightening what that decision MAY mean for software patents in the US. Let's not throw all the patents out the window and celebrate just yet, though - the court very specifically declined to review software patents in the case (see footnote on page 25) - mainly because of the fact that the case before them was in no way about software, but rather a business process, which was not restricted to being carried out via computer. They leave the interpretation of the applicability of the Bilski test to software to later cases. Red Hat filed an amicus brief in this case, which is quite enlightening to read.

Other than that, I was manning the Fedora booth and walking around the exhibit floor spreading the good word about Fedora. I went to a few booths that may of be interest in relation to $DAYJOB, namely Splunk and Hyperic. Had a great talk and demo with the Hyperic guys.

Until I think of more.....

EasyPay MetroCard

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So I got my EasyPay Xpress Metrocard today. This supposedly refills my Metrocard balance when it gets low (low being defined as $30 - not so low, IMO).

So this thing costs $40 in trips to get (plus the 15% bonus, so $46 in trips, actually). When the thing reaches a $30 balance, they put an additional $40 on the card (so $46 in trips, until they eliminate the pay-per-ride bonus, and then who knows what they'll do?). Seems a little high of a minimum balance to me.

I would expect for such an investment, for this thing to be some sort of more durable Metrocard than the standard one. Not so much - I just got a standard Metrocard, with the automatic refill stuff printed on the back (warning me to under no circumstances use it in a vending machine or at a station booth) instead of some subway safety message in a language that I may or may not understand (sometimes they're printed in English, and sometimes in Spanish).

Since I plan to go to JFK in the next month, and this new-fangled automatic refill Metrocard doesn't work there for some (probably political) reason, I'm happy that I still have my standard (almost indistinguishable) Metrocard on hand.