Away Mission for August

by Howard Dyckoff

LinuxCon North America

In August, LinuxCon celebrated 20 years of Linux. That’s right, its been 2 rapid decades since Linus Torvolds sent our his historic post to the MINIX news group that he was working on a small open source version of a Unix-workalike for personal computers.

LinuxCon North America in Vancouver will be ground zero for the festivities, and a major Linux conference as well. Besides the “Roaring 20′s” 20th Anniversary Gala, there will be hot topic panels and presentations on the Kernel, device drivers, embed Linux, IPv6, benchmarks and tracing. LinuxCon brings together the Linux community including core developers, administrators, end users, business executives and operations experts. In short, all of us.

As part of the festivities, the Linux Foundation is hosting a Facebook Quiz: “Could you do Linus Torvalds’ Job?” Linus has made it clear he’s not going anywhere, but, here is a cool way to find out if you’ve got what it takes to manage the kernel development community. But here is something even cooler: everyone who participates in the quiz gets a a custom code for 25% off the LinuxCon registration fee. You can also take the quiz as many times as you like. Take the quiz now:

You also have a chance to experience IBM’s Watson by testing your skills against the Jeopardy! champion. The Watson game and video interface will be on display at LinuxCon and is at the IBM booth in the Technology Showcase.

Besides the panels, parties, and the special 20th aniversary t-shirt, there is also an
historical gallery at LinuxCon North America to help remember Linux’s last 20 years. This gallery is a walk down memory lane and should be fun for everyone, but LinuxCon needs your help – send or bring more memorabilia. Aready collected: the original books Linus used to learn programming, CDs and boxes of early Linux distributions, computers used to do early hacking, memorabilia from IBM’s Peace/Love/Linux campaign and much more.

For more information on the Linux History Gallery and how to donate, please visit Amanda McPherson’s blog:


USENIX Security Symposium and co-located events

Preceeding LinuxCon in the second week of August will be the 20th USENIX Security Symposium which is co-located with specialty conferences such as WOOT (Workshop on Offensive Technologies) and HotSec (Hot Topics in Security).

Here is the full list of co-located events:

EVT/WOTE ’11: 2011 Electronic Voting Technology/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections
CSET ’11: 4th Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test
FOCI ’11: USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet
WOOT ’11: 5th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies
HealthSec ’11: 2nd USENIX Workshop on Health Security and Privacy
HotSec ’11: 6th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Security
MetriCon 6.0: Sixth Workshop on Security Metrics

I have previously been to HotSec and WOOT events and can say these are research-oriented and very cutting edge. Having all of these sessions under one roof will be very interesting and a great opportunity to interact with many people at the frontiers of computer and network security. Here are links to more recent USENIX security conferences, which have slides and white papers available:

The program begins with the two-day tutorial TCP/IP Weapons School 3.0 taught by Richard Bejtlich and continues with its 3-day technical program. All events will take place at the Westin St. Francis near Union Square.

Black Hat North American

In the first week of August is the somewhat infamous Black Hat Conference for hackers and security professionals. This is the event where alpha geeks demonstrate successful attacks on smartphones, ATMs, and DOD facilities.

The real heavy duty hacking happens at the even more infamous DefCon event which overlaps the main Black Hat event, but you need an exclusive invitation to attend to DevCon. And if you do go to DefCon, or even Black Hat, be prepared to reformat your internet access device. Everyone is a target.

But this year, you can see some of the event online. Via the Black Hat Uplink program, thousands of security professionals from around the world will be a part of Black Hat USA 2011, but not in Las Vegas at the live event. With Black Hat Uplink, you can experience the content that shapes the security industry from the comfort of your home or office machine. There will be 2 tracks of content available – perhaps vendor-sponsored sessions – and the keynotes and award ceremonies, all for free. The hitch here is that you can’t review any sessions online without paying the access fees – only the keynotes will be available for replay. Of course, onsite registraton will set you
back $2495.

Black Hat Uplink registration is here:


NoSQL Now is a new conference but its being shepherded by Wilshire which also organizes MDM and BI events (and the Semantic Technology conference until this year) Its also a very hot trend right now and should attract a large and varied group of attendees. Like other Wilshire events, lunch is NOT provided except for a one day lunch and learn session. Pack your own or carry cash for for eateries in San Jose.

Topics so far include items such as “NewSQL vs NoSQL for New OLTP” and “Putting Business Intelligence to Work on Hadoop Data Stores” . Although this is the first one, there is reason to expect this to be a good one.

VMworld 2011

Leading up the rear, but not the least by any criteria, is the annual VMworld conference. This is where all things VMware will be discussed and it keeps getting bigger. So its in Vegas this year instead of San Francisco. Hot days and nights. Carry lots of water.

Here are some stats from last year in San Francisco: VMworld 2010 attracted more than 17,000 customers, partners, and analysts, and 233 sponsors and exhibitors signifying a major shift in the IT industry towards cloud computing. VMworld 2010 featured more than 170 unique breakout sessions across 10 tracks. Expect an even bigger event this year, which is probably the reason its being held in Vegas.

This event could be ground-zero for for the newest innovations in virtualization and cloud computing. VMware and EMC continue to be the virtualization juggernaut, although the Linux KVM technology is gaining marketshare.

While VMworld isn’t streamed over the net (not yet), many sessions are available at the VMware Community site, where content is basically free., You can pre-purchase access to 2011 content for $699, which may include addtitional materials not on the community site. Many sessions from 2010 are currently available here:

For 2011, the first keynotes will be streamed and available for replay later. However, the Thursday keynote will NOT be available for replay. I assume it will be streamed, however.

Here is the August event list:

Black Hat North America 2011
Aug 3-4, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV

20th USENIX Security Symposium
Aug 10-12, 2011, San Francisco, CA

LinuxCon North America 2011
Aug 17-19, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, Canada

Aug 23-25, 2011, San Jose, California

VMworld 2011
Aug 29-Sept 1, Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

About Howard Dyckoff

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks. Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.
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