Ignite! Talks at OSCON

OSCON has always had a big kickoff event on Tuesday night, to get everyone ready before the keynotes and sessions get started on Wednesday.  Last night they used this time to present their first ever Ignite event, and it was excellent – one of the most engaging and fun kickoff events I’ve seen at an OSCON.

The lineup was varied, and the topics were refreshingly diverse.  Jet packs and Nigerian elections, Kindle hacking and film ratings – the combination kept the audience engaged, and entertained.  The presenters did an excellent job of staying within the ignite format (20 slides,15 seconds each slide, advanced automatically, 5 minutes total).  
Jesse gave the first talk, which was the most technical.  It’s amazing to think of the Kindle as a platform that can be hacked – for anyone interested in the topic, I have a feeling Jesse will be happy to talk to folks during the rest of the conference.  You can play the old adventure game on his kindle – although I couldn’t remember how to get into the house.  
Skud followed with an entertaining glance into the world of textiles, and Liz Henry gave a truly inspiring talk about wheelchairs as hackable vehicles (as opposed to boring medical devices). 
Julian Cash’s overview of his photography was, as always, incredible.  He is doing more OSCON pictures this year, in room G, so stop by and get a portrait done with him.  His perspective and artistry add so much to our community, and he is a wonderful person to talk to as well.
Sandy Jen’s discussion of the Open Source used at Meebo was very entertaining – Open Source is such a great idea in theory (and in practice, once you work out the kinks).  The space between the theory and the practice is frequently fraught with amusing stories, and she told hers well.
I was hugely inspired by Dan Meyer’s ideas about open sourcing his teaching methods.  I have long been interested in enabling shared knowledge among teachers, and I will definitely be following his work to see where I can contribute.
I was fascinated by Selena Deckleman’s story of the election work she did in Nigeria, and hugely entertained by Erica Olsen’s suggested movie rating system.  I also feel it’s necessary to know if I’m watching a movie with a Xenu-inspired script.  
Damian, of course, was hilarious (as he always is).  And he actually stayed within the 5 minutes, which I think is some sort of new record.
A great evening, and great job by the OSCON team!

Dialogue & Discussion