Fosscon, an open source conference in Philadelphia PA, Saturday August 10th

FOSSCON 2013 will be held on August 10th, 2013.  Several of our very own staff here at freenode will be attending this year and we are really looking forward to it.

FOSSCON was spawned from the depths of freenode and this will be the 4th event so far.

We are very excited about this year’s keynote speaker, Philadelphia’s own Jordan Miller, who leads a research team at The University of Pennsylvania. Jordan makes heavy use of open source software and is doing amazing work with 3D printing as it pertains to transplant organs.  http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-researchers-improve-living-tissues-3d- printed-vascular-networks-made-sugar.

Listed below is a just a quick peek at some of our confirmed speakers and their topics:

  • Bhavani Shankar will be speaking on how to bring in new developers to open source projects.
  • Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph will be speaking on Open Source Systems Administration.
  • Corey Quinn will be speaking on configuration management with Salt.
  • Brent Saner will be speaking on Project.Phree, a wireless mesh project.
  • Dru Lavigne will be speaking on FreeNAS 9.1.
  • Jérôme Jacovella-St-Louis will be hosting a workshop on cross-platform development with the Ecere SDK.
  • John Ashmead will be speaking on the math and science of invisibility.
  • John Stumpo will be offering a workshop on the Challenges facing FOSS game projects.
  • Walt Mankowski will be speaking on Scientific Programming with NumPy and SciPy.
  • Chris Nehren will be speaking on bridging the gap between development and operations.
  • Christina Simmons will be speaking on starting and managing open source events/projects.
  • Hector Castro will be offering a hands-on workshop on the Riak database engine.
  • Dan Langille will be hosting a workshop on Bacula: The Networked Backup Open Source Solution

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so here: https://www.wepay.com/events/fosscon-2013!  We’ve had such an awesome response so far and are so excited to see how far we can go this year! Invite your friends, your partners, your business associates, and everyone else you know!  We’ll see you soon!

Fosscon 2012, Saturday August 11th in Philadelphia PA

August 11th, 2012 (All day)

Hi everyone,
In just a couple of months we will be hosting FOSSCON (Free and Open Source Software Conference), focusing on the community that has grown around Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and in parallel to both the Free Culture and Open Source cultural movements.
This is a community-focused live event designed to build and strengthen relationships between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers and users. FOSSCON seeks to raise awareness of and promote FOSS alternatives to proprietary software. Facilitating face-to-face interaction, creative workshops, talks and think tanks, FOSSCON brings developers and users together in a nurturing and dynamic environment stimulating the free exchange of ideas and information while fostering cross-project collaboration and dialogue for innovation.

FOSSCON is a Peer-Directed Projects Center (PDPC) project, organized by the foss community.  FOSSCON (along with Geeknics) is part of PDPC’s desire to bring an already massive online community, freenode that has grown around free and open source ideas, out into the world, to meet, connect, support and challenge each other, imagine, plot and co-develop beautiful, possibly useful and unexpected things.

The people behind FOSSCON are free software enthusiasts, user group members, coders and users – just like you! Free software is all about community and this is a very grassroots event, organized by the community and for the community. Our common goal is to provide a space for us to all come together in the northeast. We hope you’ll join us as an attendee, a volunteer or an exhibitor.

Register

Admission is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required. If you’re able and want to be a “FOSSCON supporter” you can get a gift and thanks for $25. Whether free or a supporter, please register here: http://fosscon.org/attend

Schedule

FOSSCON will last all day. See the regularly updated schedule of presentations (and proposal guidelines) here: http://fosscon.org/speakers

Anyone in the FOSS community with interesting and exciting topics is invited to submit a talk to speak at this event.  As a general event built for the community at large, the range of acceptable topics is broad, however FOSSCON traditionally favors topics with an immediate real world use in home, work, or education environments and broadly categorizes talks under one of these headings.

The program committee invites proposals for paper presentations, demonstrations and poster contributions on any topic relevant to FOSS awareness, accessibility and application. We want to offer something for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learning levels with particular emphasis on the following topics:

  • The Open Culture Movements influence on open source
  • Beginning the FOSS conversion
  • FOSS on a Windows Desktop
  • Fun FOSS projects for your home
  • Plugging into Social Media with FOSS
  • FOSS in the workplace
  • FOSS in education
  • FOSS at non-profits
  • FOSS Government
  • Open Hardware
  • Open Mobile Environments
  • Your new awesome FOSS project
  • Free Network Services

 

Exhibitors

If your group has an interesting project, or event useful to the community, show it to the world at FOSSCON!  We invite you to join us at FOSSCON to show the community what you’ve done, what you’re doing, or what you offer.

  • LUGs
  • Hackerspaces
  • Local FOSS events the community needs to know about

We still have a limited number of spaces available for groups so please get in touch with us to reserve your spot.

Sponsors

We have a limited number of tables available for sponsors so please get in touch with us early to reserve your spot.  We’re very interested as well in any suitable organizations involvement in other ways, such as talks or other interesting ideas you may have. Please see this link for more info (oh, and obligatory but genuine shout out to FOSSCON sponsors here as well): http://fosscon.org/sponsors

Location

FOSSCON will take place at Venturef0rth on the second floor of 417 North 8th Street Philadelphia PA.  The location is just a few blocks from Market east station on the SEPTA transit network, which further provides access to the Philadelphia Airport and 30th street station, where Amtrak can be connected.  The location has central air, and elevator access to the floor we will be occupying.  There are several paid parking lots within a few blocks of the location, and limited street parking is available nearby as well.

Volunteer

If you would like to help out with FOSSCON, let us know!  We need help with things before, during, and after the event, including setup and tear down, announcements, technology, and much more.  We also appreciate assistance in spreading the word via mailing lists and other resources you may be a part of.  Stop by our IRC channel (#fosscon, on freenode) to learn more or read on for other ways to contact us.

Questions?

You can join us on the IRC network “chat.freenode.net” and join the channel “#fosscon” to talk with the planning team and others interested in FOSSCON, ask questions, or volunteer to help us out.  You can easily join the channel using webchat by clicking here: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=fosscon.

You can also check out our facebook page, or our twitter feed.

See you all then!

Network wide policy privacy change

ITucplOwnTShozIfVT1cM2u0VTWyVPZwp3EupaD=

ITucplOwnTShozIfVT1cM2u0VTWyVPZwp3EupaD=

 

UPDATE : Yes, this was an April Fools Joke.  Some of you fell for it, some didn’t.  There’s still time to complete the quiz and get an April Fool cloak, if you can figure out where to go…

Wednesday Server Updates

This Wednesday (September 14th, 2011) we will be continuing our server updates as mentioned here.

The following servers will be affected: leguin, gibson, wolfe, hitchcock, and pratchett.

During the update process these servers will be restarted and anyone connected to them will need to reconnect. You may wish to connect to an alternate server if you are currently connected to one of these.  You can check what server you are currently connected to using the command “/whois nickname” with your own nick as “nickname”.

We apologize for any inconvenience as we continue to improve the technology behind freenode.

Update: This is now done.

Fosscon 2011: Philadelphia Pennsylvania, 23rd July, 2011.

July 23, 2011 – (All day)

Hi everyone,
Next Saturday Basekamp will be hosting FOSSCON (Free and Open Source Software Conference), focusing on the community that has grown around Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and in parallel to both the Free Culture and Open Source cultural movements.
This is a community-focused live event designed to build and strengthen relationships between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers and users. FOSSCON seeks to raise awareness of and promote FOSS alternatives to proprietary software. Facilitating face-to-face interaction, creative workshops, talks and think tanks, FOSSCON brings developers and users together in a nurturing and dynamic environment stimulating the free exchange of ideas and information while fostering cross-project collaboration and dialogue for innovation.

FOSSCON is organized by Peer-Directed Projects Center (PDPC) – the group responsible for projects like Freenode and fossevents – FOSSCON (along with Geeknics) is part of PDPC’s desire to bring an already massive online community that has grown around free and open source ideas, out into the world, to meet, connect, support and challenge each other, imagine, plot and co-develop beautiful, possibly useful and unexpected things.

The people behind FOSSCON are free software enthusiasts, user group members, coders and users – just like you! Free software is all about community and this is a very grassroots event, organized by the community and for the community. Our common goal is to provide a space for us to all come together in the northeast. We hope you’ll join us as an attendee, a volunteer or an exhibitor.

Register

Admission is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required (we expect to fill to capacity soon, but also encourage connecting with others in nearby overflow spaces). If you’re able and want to be a “FOSSCON supporter” you can get a tote and thanks for $25. Whether free or a supporter, please register here: http://fosscon.org/attend

Schedule

FOSSCON will last all day. See the regularly updated schedule of presentations (and proposal guidelines) here: http://fosscon.org/speakers

Anyone in the FOSS community with interesting and exciting topics are invited to submit a talk to speak at this event.  As a general event built for the community at large, the range of acceptable topics is broad, however FOSSCON traditionally favors topics with an immediate real world use in home, work, or education environments and broadly categorizes talks under one of these headings.

The program committee invites proposals for paper presentations, demonstrations and poster contributions on any topic relevant to FOSS awareness, accessibility and application. We want to offer something for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learning levels with particular emphasis on the following topics:

  • The Open Culture Movements influence on open source
  • Beginning the FOSS conversion
  • FOSS on a Windows Desktop
  • Fun FOSS projects for your home
  • Plugging into Social Media with FOSS
  • FOSS in the workplace
  • FOSS in education
  • FOSS at non-profits
  • FOSS Government
  • Open Hardware
  • Open Mobile Environments
  • Your new awesome FOSS project
  • Free Network Services

 

Exhibitors

If your group has an interesting project, or event useful to the community, show it to the world at FOSSCON!  We invite you to join us at FOSSCON to show the community what you’ve done, what you’re doing, or what you offer.

  • LUGs
  • Hackerspaces
  • Local FOSS events the community needs to know about

We still have a limited number of spaces available for groups so please get in touch with us to reserve your spot.

Sponsors

We have a limited number of tables available for sponsors so please get in touch with us early to reserve your spot.  We’re very interested as well in any suitable organizations involvement in other ways, such as talks or other interesting ideas you may have. Please see this link for more info (oh, and obligatory but genuine shout out to FOSSCON sponsors here as well): http://fosscon.org/sponsors

Location

FOSSCON will take place at Basekamp’s Philadelphia space (the second floor), and also the JOG gallery (on the 4th floor) of 723 Chestnut Street, located in the middle of Center City Philadelphia. The building has bus, subway and NJ transit stops on our block, and only a few minutes walk from Market East Station and Greyhound bus terminal. See a map with directions here:
http://maps.google.com/maps/place?q=basekamp&cid=15576003637506834736

Questions?

You can join us on the IRC network “chat.freenode.net” and join the channel “#fosscon” to talk with the planning team and others interested in Fosscon, ask questions, or volunteer to help us out.  You can easily join the channel using webchat by clicking here: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=fosscon

See you all then!

Fosscon 2010 Free and Open Source Software Conference.

While talking online is great, meeting in person presents brand new opportunities… and we would like to meet you!

In 4 days (on June 19th, 2010), a number of us as well as members of the community in general will be meeting up for a conference in Rochester, NY, at Rochester Institute of Technology.  We are greatly looking forward to this awesome new opportunity.

Fosscon features 14 talks and 4 workshops. Below are just a few examples.

Free and Open in Education; More than just Software – Charles Profitt

Making the Most of Communities – Bryan Ostergaard

OpenStreetMap – Richard Weait

Linux in Business – Karlie Robinson

Resume Building Workshop with RIT’s Office of Co-Op and Placement

And many others, as well as Bird of a Feather sessions and an exhibition hall full of local users groups and interesting organizations.

We hope to see you there. Visit http://fosscon.org/ for more info or http://fosscon.org/register to sign up.

freenode webchat changes

Webchat has always presented an interesting problem, mostly for the staff of various channels as well as the network itself, but indirectly for all our users as well.  All webchat connections come from the IP address of the webchat service.  This results in them having to be handled a little bit differently from other connections.

To begin with, there needs to be a way for network or channel staff to identify individual connections, as well as where they originated from.  The way this has previously been handled is by encoding the IP of the source (the IP someone uses to connect to the webchat) in hexadecimal form in the ident field of the user.  The webchat users are “cloaked” (that is, their real hostname, which would be that of the webchat server, is replaced) with a unique string identifying the connection.  This method allows channel staff to ban or quiet a webchat user via the unique connection string, or via the ident information.

While this works, it’s confusing to many. The unique connection string changes every time a user makes a new connection through webchat. Therefore, we’ve changed how we do the cloaking so IPs are shown in cloaks. This makes it much simpler for channel staff to see what is going on, and who is who. For now, this change only applies to those using the freenode webchat at http://webchat.freenode.net. The effect is to change a cloak of the form “gateway/web/freenode/x-iiqzrxiqfnnglqji” to the form “gateway/web/freenode/ip.171.205.239.16“.

We would like to point out that this does not in any way reduce the privacy of users of webchat: it has always been possible for anyone to directly convert the encoded ident string back to an IP address. In addition, the real hostnames of clients have always been visible unencoded in the “whois” output for the user.

In addition, we have made a small but potentially significant change to how the “ident” is shown. This has become necessary so that, with future versions of our ircd, we can properly limit connections per IP address via webchat. For a typical freenode webchat user, the full hostmask previously had the form “~abcdef1@gateway/web/freenode/...“. Many historical webchat bans and quiets are set as “*!~abcdef1@gateway/web/freenode/*“. The change that we are making will break these bans. We have removed the ~ from the ident for all webchat connections (not just freenode’s webchat), giving a full mask of the form “abcdef1@gateway/web/freenode/ip.171.205.239.16“.

As such, channel ops are advised to adjust their bans into the form of either “*!abcdef1@gateway/web/freenode/*” or “*!*@gateway/web/freenode/ip.171.205.239.16” as soon as possible.

A further result of this change is that those hosts from which a large number of legitimate users connect to freenode through the webchat service may suffer refused connections due to breaching the limits. If you find youself faced by an error of the form “Too many connections”, please email iline at freenode dot net with details of the IP address affected (which can be obtained from www.whatismyip.org), the name of the organisation, and the number of connections expected, so that we can place a limit exemption. Please note that if you have a message of the form “Gateway connections are currently blocked” or “Gateway connections are currently being throttled”, this is a different matter for which an I:line cannot help.

We hope that these changes make connections through the freenode webchat easier to manage for channel ops and more transparent for all users.

fosscon 2010 and Northeast US geeknic++ camping trip

There are two pdpc-related events coming up in the Northeast US we’d like to make you aware of. The first is the second “geeknic++” camping trip, to be held May 21st-23rd in Worthington State Forest, NJ.  Last year, there was much fun to be had as geeks (and their families) from all over the Northest gathered for 2 nights of camping in a New Jersey State forest.  This year there is a new location, but more of the same fun.  See http://geeknic.org/?p=91 for details. The trip is only $20 for adults, and kids under 18 are free.

Second, is our very first fosscon, a free and open source conference organized by and for the foss community.  This event will be held June 19th in Rochester NY.  Lots of interesting speakers are lining up but there is still room for more if you have an interesting topic of your own, and sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Visit http://fosscon.org for more details on this exciting event.

We hope to see you at one or both of these great events!

Migration to ircd-seven.

On the 30th of January, 2010 at around 7:30 UTC, we will be moving to the new ircd-seven.  If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to look at how this may change things for you and what you may need to do as a result.

We covered a few of the changes in this article earlier, but this post adds a few things.

If you are a tor user, the way you connect will be slightly different.  Connecting via tor will require you use “username:password” in your server password field instead of just “password” as is the case now.

If you currently have an arrangement with freenode to increase your connection count for a business, school, or other organization (also known as an iline), you may need to verify it is still in place after the migration.  While we have moved the majority of these over to the new ircd, some older ilines where we do not have contact information may need to be updated.  If you find yours is missing, join #freenode and look for any freenode staff to further assist you. All staff are voiced on #freenode.

If you are currently using dircbot, be aware that dircbot will be replaced along with the ircd as it has technical issues that make it unusable on the new ircd.  Dircbots functionality will instead be included in the freenode utility bot “eir.” Documentation for the replacement is available here.

To mention one last time a few things:

  • Usermode +u is no longer present. You are able to join more channels without it.
  • Channel mode +R is no longer present. “/mode #channel +q $~a” will have the same effect. If you find, post-migration, that your channel which was previously +R no longer has that mode, please check your quiets list: “/mode #channel +q”
  • SSL will be on ports 7000 and 7070. You can grab the root ca certificate here.
  • Post-migration, ChanServ may be in some channels she normally does not inhabit. This will be a hang-over from the mode transfer, and will be temporary until services is restarted.

Finally, if you are interested in supporting the pdpc and freenode, have a look here for a special fundraiser we’re running along with the ircd-seven launch.

Thanks everyone, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Javascript spam

You may have noticed some unusual amounts of spam over the past few days, which has had an impact on a number of channels.  This spam is the result of some malicious javascript being distributed on a number of webpages which causes visitors to these pages to make a connection to freenode and send spam.  While we are doing what we can to mitigate the spam, we would ask that you take a careful look at any unusual sites or URLs you might visit in the near future to be sure you are not being tricked into visiting such a site.

If you have been banned from the network after clicking on one of these links, please email [email protected] with your internet-routeable IP address. Visit http://myip.dk/ and include both the IP address and hostname provided on this site.  It’s also helpful if you let us know what nick you were using at the time.  We will address these requests as quickly as possible, but please be patient.

It is of course never a good idea to visit a link that’s not from a trusted source.  If you must do so, look into using a browser with limited or no scripting support (wget from the command line is a great solution here on linux, as is links) or using something like no-script for firefox.

If you run a channel on freenode, you might want to consider setting +R to prevent unregistered users from sending to the channel as the spambots described here will not be registered.  If you do so please consider being proactive about contacting unregistered users joining your channel to ensure they get the help they need, and feel free to send them to #freenode so network staff can help them register.

For users, now is an excellent time to register your nickname and setup your client to auto-identify.  You can find information about registering here.  Configuring your client to auto-identify varies depending on the client, but one easy way is setting up your client to send the nickserv password as your server password. Most clients have an option for this.

It is also worth noting we will be moving to a new ircd in just 13 more days, as described here.  This new ircd provides a number of exciting new capabilities including improved capability to deal with spam of all kinds, including this most recent type which is entirely mitigated by improvements in seven.