Friday, January 18, 2008

Fire in the Attic, Proof of the Prize

Lyric from the song: Anna Molly
By: Incubus
From the Album: Light Grenades

I like it when good things happen. Especially when those good things are related to Open Source and Open Standards, so I have to give a few shoutouts this morning. One blog post at a time. People are giving us reasons to be proud.

First up today: AOL

That's right! AOL might no longer be the laughing stock of everyone who has owned a computer since the 80's. Seriously though, AOL has the potential to be the world's largest identity providers. They have over 63 Million user accounts and have been working on implementing OpenID. I actually did my first OpenID login using AOL as a provider when I had to
log into Oreilly's site for OSCON 2008 to submit my abstract for the call for papers. It was really neat and it worked flawlessly. I give AOL a lot of respect for working on this and will gladly use them as my provider from now on. Unless Fedora ever becomes a provider that is. You can find more info about AOL and their OpenID efforts here.

Now in case that wasn't exciting enough for you, the bombshell came this morning. AIM is going Jabber! I was absolutely delighted when I read this. AOL is making positive steps to finally move on and up from their decade long commitment to being as proprietary as possible and pissing of numerous people to actually opening up, embracing the age of open standards and trying to regain some mind share and build community. AOL must have hired the right hackers along the way...

This along with the MySQL deal this week serves as a tremendous validation of the open source/open standards model to those who don't know any better. We're winning!

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - Mahatma Gandhi

But I didn't need to just say that, because we've known all along! It's just a matter of time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Seem to Recognize Your Face...

Lyric from the song: Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
By: Pearl Jam
From the Album: Vs

I should be doing work right now, but somehow I ended up managing to add my blog as being imported as part of my Facebook notes. This means that if you have chosen to validate our acquaintance via Facebook you will now be harassed on your home page every time I put up a new post. Consider this a test...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chicken Nuggets: 88 Happy Lessons I Learned in the Cafeteria

When I decide to write a book about my life, the subject line will be the title. Doesn't that sound weird? Chicken Nuggets? Chicken Nuggets taught me a lot about life. Let me give you the background story and then give you the top lessons (no not all 88) I took away from chicken nuggets.

When I was in 6th grade, at least I think 6th grade, one day me and one of my good friends decided that we were going to have a pig out during lunch at school--a good old fashioned keep going until your body is so full there is room for your soul eating contest. To our utter delight, that day they were serving chicken nuggets. We loved chicken nuggets.

I ate, in the span of 20 minutes, 88 chicken nuggets. I was the champ. It felt good. Even our principal who was all the while disgusted, was at the same time extremely impressed by the feat. If there was ever anything to take pride in at that time in our lives, it was knowing that the kid who can eat the most nuggets was in your school, your friend, your enemy, your pupil, the kid you threw stuff at it in class and the one you pushed at recess. Nothing mattered though, because for a glorious few precious moments, I felt the world stop turning, and someone was truly happy.

After that there are different accounts as to what happened, some of which include me throwing up, which I vehemently deny, although it is possible.

Anyway, what lesson could a person take away from a Chicken Nugget? Here are a few:

Lesson 1: Everything is covered in layers, often layers that no cares about, looks can be deceiving and the best stuff is always on the inside.

Lesson 2: Kids are stupid, and will always do stupid things, but if we could hold on to the happiness of our youth forever, maybe we would reconsider and realize that maybe kids aren't so stupid after all. They're just happy.

Lesson 3: Anything you can fit 10 of in your mouth at once probably shouldn't be in there in the first place.

Lesson 4: Don't throw up next to people. People are easily disgusted and will never forgive you for throwing up on their shoes.

Lesson 5: This is the most important one. In my life, I absolutely must build a time machine to go back to those times. Times were simpler then, we did whatever the hell we wanted and we were truly happy. Go back to those times, just to sit and take in the happiness. Go back to those times... Even if only for a minute, go back to those times...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Godspeed to All You're After

Lyric from the song: Godspeed
By: Anberlin
From the Album: Cities

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like a piece of them just died? I surely do.

Back in the day, when I was a mere speck of nothingness on the Open Source map, one name everyone knew was Havoc Pennington. Not only because it was only the coolest name every but because the guy was one of the greatest hackers of our time. In secret, I had always dreamed of meeting the man behind the mailing list posts and then one day I did and it turned out that not only was all the hype true, it wasn't enough.

Havoc is one of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting and working with. A great mind, a genius hacker and most importantly an all around good guy.

Havoc, you are a pioneer and visionary, your daily presence will be missed. Godspeed to
all you're after...

I Am The Manager!

The following is a statement which Max was supposed read on Saturday morning at FUDCon when he announces changes to Fedora leadership. It was triggered to auto post and thankfully it didn't because I don't think Max ended up reading it. Anyway, this is what I would have said had I been there for the announcements and asked to speak.

Good morning friends. When I call you friends, I truly mean that and it is to you that I owe this great honor. I started off doing little more than carrying boxes in and out of conferences, and saying Fedora and Red Hat until people were about to puke; the lowest of the low in the community. And, I am proud to NOT be here today as one of it's newly appointed leaders, your Fedora Community Manager. I cannot say that I made it here without the help of each and every one of you and while working with you throughout the past years, since before
Fedora even existed, I feel as though we have become true friends.

If anything, my words today are a message of commitment. If you understand the true value of Fedora as a technology platform, as a community and as a vehicle for social change, and are willing commit to making our community successful, then I guarantee you 1000% in return.
I will measure my success much like any parents do their child's, by gauging your health, well being, activity and strength, and by the same token you should measure your success by mine as a leader. Most importantly, like in any relationship, we must nurture each other's growth.

It would also be unfair to not acknowledge and thank Red Hat's new CEO, Jim Whitehurst, who could have flown home this weekend to see his wife and kids, and yet decided to come here and geek it up with us. This demonstrates true appreciation of the value of the community and Jim on behalf of our community I warmly welcome you as our newest member. Jim has a lot of vision and truly believes in Fedora and we owe it to him, and every other member of the community, who could easily invest their time elsewhere, and chooses to invest it here, nothing more than 100%.

We will not fail. We cannot fail.

Finally, I would like to say that over the years we have hit some bumpy spots and have always persevered and I will be working with each and everyone of you to ensure that we fill those potholes. Alongside that, there are an interesting number of new initiatives that you will hear
about in the coming weeks which will prove interesting to many of you. Some of those initiatives might or might not even be taking place this weekend. Wink, Wink. I eagerly await your feedback. My email is jaa {at} my phone is xxx-xxx-xxxx, (I wasn't about to post my phone number on the internet) don't call too early, but call often!

So a little bit of tweaking, a lot of growing and 100% commitment. We owe it to each and every one of us, in this room, and not. From here on out, we got each other's back...

Cheers! to a brighter future...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I won't let you give up on a miracle, 'cause it might save you...

Lyric from the song: Miracle
By: Paramore
From the album: Riot!

Its bittersweet and ironic how sometimes in life the people who we hope will save us end up being the ones who need the most saving. Its often painful to admit and some people, for fear of coming to some stark realizations, will fight with all their might to prevent themselves from accepting this profound truth.

One thing I can proudly say I've been blessed with, above all else, is the opportunity to go all around the world and meet some of this planet's greatest people. Some rich, some living in utter poverty, some Ph.D.s and some who never made it out of grade school. Some in the farthest reaches of Earth and some right in my own backyard.

Once in a while, you happen upon a truly great person and as much as you realize their potential, they are unwilling to even begin to attempt to reach it. And no matter how much you push them, they push back doubly as hard and in the end of the day all you are left with is a tremendous wasted potential. Some people let the past hold them back and so they struggle with themselves; some more passively than others. As much as they want something or realize something would be good for them, they subconsciously can't live with that and they keep themselves closed up tightly and stuck in some impenetrable psychological bubble. That fills me with great sadness.

People have no idea what it is I do. They know it has something to do with computers, some Linux thing perhaps, but more than that, they have no clue. Some people get downright confused by it. My parents, after showing them the Linux Format article, are even more confused than before about what I do. Its quite funny, because in reality it has nothing to do with computers. It has everything to do with people and helping each and every person reach their maximal potential. Technology is just the means I guess.

So from now on when someone asks me what I do I'm gonna start saying, that is my mission, to make sure that each and every person sees their potential and to help them realize it and reach it. It's not faith if you use your eyes.

I tried to save you. I might have failed, but I'm not gonna give up on a miracle because it might save you. When this memory fades, I'm gonna make sure its replaced with chances taken and hope embraced. I hope I told you...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008