So yesterday Nokia announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft. It brought quite a disturbance on the industry and users, especially the free software community. As owner and main driver of the Qt Framework and driver of the free and Linux based smart phone operating systems Maemo and MeeGo, of course Symbian too, this will have quite an impact on the development and future of those products. With Microsoft breathing down Nokia's neck it is clear, that it will not be bright in this context. And moreover there is also a social impact. Let's take a look on the different aspects one by one:
Qt as a cross platform framework has most value for Nokia. Though I am not sure if it is compatible with Windows Mobile 7, it would make sense to develop the compatibility. If only to write applications only once, for Symbian, MeeGo and that Win stuff. Symbian will still be used in the low price segment and MeeGo phones, computers i mean, are not abandoned, yet. Well, you can have your doubts on this :
This has been the last day of a packed congress with amazing people and talks. Let me highlight the session I attented today, before i get to a short conclusion.
Which freedom do you choose?
The very first and excellent session dealt with Political Philosophy in FOSS. Adam Obeng roughly introduced Politics (on power) and Philosophy (on thinking really hard) as well as their combination, which takes the methods of philosophy and the subject matters of politics. The main part followed, in which he discussed freedom as used in the most popular FOSS licenses GPL and BSD on this base. He was very good in making clear how hard it is to find a definition of desirable freedom, because there is always a hook. The GPL on one side uses a "focuses freedom", because it is focused on the people as a group. As a restrictive license there are rules, that need to be followed, like redistributing software under a compatible license (copyleft). BSD, on the other hand, focuses on the freedom of a single person: take it and do whatever you want. For a better comparison the gave the example of "The General Slavery License" where people needed to provide work measured in LOC or time. This could leed to great software, brings forward the freedom of all users, but limits the freedoms of the programmers.
So this has been the third day of 27C3 and as such three fourth of the conference have passed. Absolutely a pity on the one side, on the other i am looking forward to catch up with my sleep demand. At least i have not too much blood in my caffeinstream. Today, i enqueued to the people who toppled down one or two times Mate bottles, which causes the famous and original hacker conference background sound. The talks I attended this day were unlike the day before more society related. But read for yourself:
A look on 2010
The first appearance today made Constanze Kurz, Frank Rieger, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Andreas Bogk from CCC in giving a retrospect of 2010. When they presented the development of member numbers as first thing by tradition, they welcomed the CCC's (basically a German club) first member from India. It followed a long, but entertaining report of the months, including (besides other)
So, today I reexperienced that picking out talks that are more or less above my skill level in combination with a lack of sleep is not an ideal situation here. Nevertheless i am sure i can draw a picture of what has happened, even if not too extensively.
Number crunching with FPGAs
I made it just in time to this talk (problem: with only one consumed cup of coffee). I was rather curious on how things go ("for the masses" in the title gave that impression), but if you have no real knowledge in electro-technics it is a bit like magic. So, what Felix Domke did was to show how a DES cipher could be brute forced in a certain time (~1 week) with a certain budget (~1k €). Usual ways of doing so (e.g. with CPUs, GPUs) are too expensive as loads of them are used to achieve the goal in the specified time. So, what he did was to buy some used boards with FPGAs on ebay and program them. Therefore he made use of the project Copacobana - short for cost-optimized parallel code breaker. Furthermore he is interested in sharing the calculation power. An opportunity is the Dreambox receiver which is fitted with FPGAs and can be used while on standby.
In Berlin's winter the 27th Chaos Communication Congress started again at the bcc, next to Alexanderplatz. Hence the available amount of tickets was a lot higher than demand i am happy that i got a full ticket in the presale. And luckily, i made it through the unusual strong winter from my family, where i spent christmas, back to Berlin in time, thanks to two guys from Duisburg, who offered me a ride.
Just like last year, I want to sum up what i have heard and seen at 27C3 each day.