FOSS.in 2005 Sessions
The detailed schedule of sessions for FOSS.in 2005
is available now (check out the names of the halls!). The good thing is that there are so many
speakers and sessions to choose from. The bad thing is that many of the sessions one wants to attend either clash horribly with one another or overlap partially in incompatible ways. For example, on the very first day at 3:15PM, I have to choose between "Google and Open Source" by Zaheda Bhorat, "GCC Backend and Machine Description file" by Amber Ved, "equivalence configuring" by Andrew Cowie and "Introduction to cross-platform programming techniques" by Jaimon Jose!
Delegates from outside Bangalore might want to check out the annual book sale by the great Strand Book Stall while they are here in Bangalore. The venue for the sale is the Chinnaswamy cricket statium and is quite close to the venue for FOSS.in 2005. Veteran bibliophiles in Bangalore would readily tell you how friendly a store Strand is and how you can get some really good deals (up to 80% off) on books during their annual sale. Unfortunately for them, both Landmark and Crossword have now opened big stores in Bangalore. These stores do not usually give you as good a price on books as Strand, but are closer to the watering holes of many young people and have much more space where you can actually sit down and peruse a book at your leisure. I personally get most of my non-technical books from Landmark now simply because it happens to be much closer to my house and my place of work.
"Information Wants to be Free!"
I really hate it when I come across a reference to a paper or a standard and I am not able to read it because I must buy it or be a member of a subscription plan at prices that are atrocious by the standards of developing nations. In my line of interest (Computer Science), the biggest culprits are the ACM Digital Library and ISO. Fortunately, most of the times I can work around this limitation by using Google with a query like '"<title of the paper>" filetype:pdf' or by taking the help of a friend. I really wish researchers use arXiv or an equivalent service more often. The whole point of publishing papers is to help advance your field, not to retard it, right? (Apparently, the situation is still bearable in Computer Science but is unbearably ridiculous in basic sciences like Physics and Mathematics; hence the genesis of arXiv.)
If I ever publish a useful book, an article or a paper, I would try my best to make it publicly available for all.