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Why Google Wave Doesn’t Quite Work For Conference Notes

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It’s no surprise that when Google decided to host a “miniconf” about Google Wave at, company staff encouraged the use of Wave itself to take notes on the sessions. But while there’s a lot to recommend Wave for this process, there’s one big reason why it’s not yet up to the task.

Many of the Lifehacker US team are seriously enamoured with Wave, but yesterday’s session was the first time that I’ve sat down and used Wave for an extended period in a serious work environment (as opposed to the tinkering everyone does when they first get an invitation). And my big lesson from the experience? When Google says Wave is a beta, it’s no exaggeration. Stability is definitely low on the list of priorities right now. It’s impressive to see multiple people typing notes and correcting each other’s work, but that’s seriously tempered by the lack of reliability.

Antifeatures Wiki Catalogues Tech Annoyances You Hate

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Printers that won’t use non-branded cartridges. DVD region coding. Software with arbitrary memory restrictions. PC companies that charge you not to include crapware on your system. Smart phones that restrict development. The world of technology is filled with examples of design aimed at making more money for companies rather than making life simpler for users.

MIT researcher Benjamin Mako Hill (who gave the keynote speech today at calls these “antifeatures”, and argues that one of the most important advantages of free software is that it isn’t burdened with them, or (at worst) can easily remove them.

More Useful Ways To Use Google Wave

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The most common question about Google Wave is “what on earth would I actually use it for?”. Gina offered up some ideas on this last week, but Google developers have some more suggestions.

Google developer relations worker Pamela Fox suggested a list of ideas on how to use Wave for everyday tasks during her presentation at the Google Wave miniconf at (This was the same event that convinced me that taking conference notes with Wave is going to have to wait a while.) Some of these are pretty familiar — writing collaborative drafts or working on event plans with other people — and some are fairly developer-centric, like triaging bugs in software.

The copyright outrage the geeks forgot to mention

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Chances are you’ve never heard of ACTA. It’s not something that’s likely to come up in polite conversation; it has never been mentioned on Crikey. Indeed, I’d suggest the only chance you’re ACTA-aware is if you have a close personal involvement with somebody who spends a lot of time playing with their PC late at night. (Yes, that’s a polite way of saying you’d probably need to be shagging a geek.)

I know this to be true because I’m at what’s undoubtedly the geekiest place in the Southern Hemisphere right now: 2010, the annual gathering of Australian Linux enthusiasts. With commendable broad-mindedness, this year’s event is actually taking place in Wellington. Yes, in New Zealand. You’ve probably heard of it.

iTWire: LCA 2010: How FOSS spreads to the home

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Shane Geddes is one of the first batch of students to enrol in New Zealand's first high school that uses only free and open source software - the Albany Senior High School in Auckland.

iTWire: LCA 2010: Smooth sailing at halfway point

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Midway through the week that comprises the 11th Australian national Linux conference, the two co-organisers, Andrew and Susanne Ruthven, say they are extremely pleased with the way things are working out.

75% of Linux code now written by paid developers

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Forget lofty ideals about the open-source community: most Linux kernel code is written by paid developers at major corporations.

The Linux world makes much of its community roots, but when it comes to developing the kernel of the operating system, it's less a case of "volunteers ahoy!" and more a case of "where's my pay?"

LCA: How to destroy your community

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Josh Berkus is well known as a PostgreSQL hacker, but, as it happens, he also picked up some valuable experience during his stint at "The Laboratory for the Destruction of Communities," otherwise known as Sun Microsystems. That experience has been distilled into a "patented ten-step method" on how to free a project of unwelcome community involvement. Josh's energetic presentation on this topic was the first talk in the "business of open source" miniconf; it was well received by an enthusiastic crowd. is Live

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Among the many conferences and conventions held in the Open Source world, a select few stand out from the pack. Among these is the annual, which brings hundreds of Linux and Open Source advocates together each year for a week of learning, networking, and more than a little fun.

iTWire: LCA 2010: From India with code

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With its massive pool of programming talent, it is no wonder that India has taken pride of place among the countries competing to attract IT outsourcing.

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