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Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 167: Hamilton Pool and Reimers Ranch Park

Wed, 2014-07-16 12:25

Zoe slept all night, but woke up with signs of coming down with a cold. She was also mighty grumpy. The plan had been to go swimming at Hamilton Pool today, and I was initially thinking we should skip it, but Eva pointed out it was like 100°F and it wouldn't really change much, so we stuck with the original plan.

Hamilton Pool allows a limited number of vehicles in at a time, and so Neal was aiming to be there at 9am when the park opened to guarantee we'd get in. We arrived right at the crack of 9am, and there were a few cars in front of us already, but we made it in successfully.

Zoe did really well walking down from the car park to the pool, and we swam around for a bit. It was out of my comfort zone for swimming (rocky floor, poor visibility, over my head water depth), but I swam across it anyway. It was a very beautiful pool carved out of the limestone by Hamilton Creek. There were a couple of points where the creek trickled over the edge overhead and made little showers.

After a couple of hours there, we returned to the car (Zoe again did really well hiking up) and drove to neighbouring Reimers Ranch, where we had our picnic lunch under cover while a rain shower passed over. We then walked down to the Pedernales River and had a swim around in there.

Zoe wore a life jacket at both swimming locations, and really enjoyed the independence of being able to float around in the deep water.

We had to be back home by 3pm, which we were, so it was a shorter day than yesterday, but a good one nevertheless. The inclement weather also seemed to drop the temperature by about 5 degrees Celsius, so it was a good day overall. Aside from the morning grumpies, Zoe was in a fabulous mood all day.

James Morris: Linux Security Summit 2014 Schedule Published

Wed, 2014-07-16 10:26

The schedule for the 2014 Linux Security Summit (LSS2014) is now published.

The event will be held over two days (18th & 19th August), starting with James Bottomley as the keynote speaker.  The keynote will be followed by referred talks, group discussions, kernel security subsystem updates, and break-out sessions.

The refereed talks are:

  • Verified Component Firmware – Kees Cook, Google
  • Protecting the Android TCB with SELinux – Stephen Smalley, NSA
  • Tizen, Security and the Internet of Things – Casey Schaufler, Intel
  • Capsicum on Linux – David Drysdale, Google
  • Quantifying and Reducing the Kernel Attack Surface -  Anil Kurmus, IBM
  • Extending the Linux Integrity Subsystem for TCB Protection – David Safford & Mimi Zohar, IBM
  • Application Confinement with User Namespaces – Serge Hallyn & Stéphane Graber, Canonical

Discussion session topics include Trusted Kernel Lock-down Patch Series, led by Kees Cook; and EXT4 Encryption, led by Michael Halcrow & Ted Ts’o.   There’ll be kernel security subsystem updates from the SELinux, AppArmor, Smack, and Integrity maintainers.  The break-out sessions are open format and a good opportunity to collaborate face-to-face on outstanding or emerging issues.

See the schedule for more details.

LSS2014 is open to all registered attendees of LinuxCon.  Note that discounted registration is available until the 18th of July (end of this week).

See you in Chicago!

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 166: The Neal Tanner tour of Austin

Wed, 2014-07-16 08:25

Alas, Zoe woke up at about 1am very sad. I'm not sure if she woke up and was so sad because of the lack of Cowie or disorientation due to the new house, but I managed to calm her down in my room downstairs and get her to go back to bed in Graydon's room, and she slept until about 7:30am. Miraculously, she didn't seem to wake up Graydon or Wiley.

Neal had some time off, and with the au pair looking after Wiley, he was able to give Zoe and I a tour of Austin with Graydon tagging along.

First stop was the Capitol building in Austin. It was a beautiful building, bigger than the Capitol building in Washington D.C. (everything's bigger in Texas). We tacked ourselves onto the end of a tour, and broke away a couple of times to check things out at our own pace.

Unfortunately the Senate wing was closed for remodeling, and the House of Representatives was being used for a mock government thing (I learned that Texas only has a part time legislature), so we weren't able to see these wings thoroughly, but we were able to go into the public gallery of the House of Representatives while the mock government thing was happening.

Zoe and Graydon had lots of fun chasing each other around the rotunda under the dome, and no one seemed to care.

After that, we drove over to Zilker Park for a picnic lunch.

After lunch, we went into Barton Springs Pool, an underground spring-fed natural pool, for a swim. The water was a very refreshing 20°C. The bottom was a bit slippery, but manageable. Once Zoe adjusted to the breathtaking cold temperature, she was fine. It was a good day to cool off, because it got up to 37°C.

After the swim, Graydon rode his bike, and Zoe borrowed his balance bike, and we made our way along the trail that ran along the edge of Town Lake, and took in a spectacular view of downtown Austin.

It was seriously hot by this stage, and Zoe was struggling a bit, so we slowly made our way back to the car. I'd spotted a frozen custard place in our travels, so we sampled some of that on the way back home.

For dinner, Neal and I popped out to Rudy's for some more tasty BBQ take out for dinner. It was quite the experience just ordering.

Ben Martin: Hookup wires can connect themselves...

Tue, 2014-07-15 15:22
A test of precision movement of the Lynxmotion AL5D robot arm, seeing if it could pluck a hookup wire from a whiteboard and insert it into an Arduino Uno. The result: yes it certainly can! To be able to go from Fritzing layout file to automatic real world jumper setup wires would have to be inserted in a specific ordering so that the gripper could overhang the unwired part of the header as it went along.





Lynxmotion AL5D moving a jumper to an Arduino. from Ben Martin on Vimeo.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 165: Switching homes, World Cup

Mon, 2014-07-14 15:26

We had a leisurely start to the day today. Zoe actually woke up and went downstairs without coming into my room. Apparently she tried waking up Vincent, but failed, and went downstairs and played on her own. I got to have a lie in until 8am, when I figured she must be sleeping in and got up to check on her to discover I was the last one up.

I packed up our suitcases and then we had one last swim in the pool. At the conclusion of the time in the pool, Henner discovered a baby snake in the pool filter, so we rescued it, and after Zoe and Vincent had a look at it and a hold, we walked it down the end of the street to return it to the wild. Hopefully it survived Vincent flinging it into the unknown.

After lunch, we packed up the cars and went around to Neal and Eva's place to watch the World Cup. Eva's half-German, and takes her German heritage seriously, so Zoe and I became honorary Germans for the afternoon. I was given a German team soccer jersey to wear, and we both put on German flag face paint. I'm no soccer fan, but it was fun anyway.

Zoe and Graydon don't seem to really remember each other from when they were next door to each other, but I think they must on a subconscious level, because they've gotten on spectacularly well. After a dinner of grilled chicken fajitas, the Schliebs' bid us farewell, and I threw all the kids in the bath. After Neal read Zoe and Graydon a story, they went to bed. I went upstairs to check on them about 20 minutes after lights out and they were still giggling away to each other. It was very cute. I think Zoe's going to have a lot of fun for the next couple of days.

I discovered when I was unpacking that Cowie was missing. After checking with Susanne, and her scouring the house, Cowie was discovered tucked into bed in Greta's princess tent, where I wouldn't have had a hope of finding her, so we'll have to do a retrieval run tomorrow at some point. I've managed to convince Zoe to go to bed with some substitute stuffed toys without much push back, but I don't know if it'll cut the mustard for the full night. We shall see.

linux.conf.au News: Call for Proposals and Mini-Confs extended for one week

Mon, 2014-07-14 13:28

The Call for Proposals (CFP) opened on the 9th July, and the quality of submissions so far has been fantastic. There has been some requests for extension from potential speakers, and we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to have their proposal considered! Originally scheduled to be closed on Sunday 13th July, the papers committee has agreed to extend the deadline until midnight Sunday 20th July as we know there are more stories out there that deserve attention.

For those of you still considering submitting a proposal, there is only one rule:

Your proposal must be related to open source

This year the papers committee is going to be focused on open source in education as well as our usual focus on deep technical content.

If you have been working on something interesting, now is the time to tell the world! Visit linux.conf.au/cfp to register and for more information, including some very useful tips and tricks for submitting a proposal.

Important Dates:
  • Call for proposals now closes: Midnight 20 July 2014 NZ Time
  • Email notifications from conference organisers: September 2014
  • Early Bird registrations open: 23 September 2014
  • Conference dates: Monday 12 - Friday 16 January 2014
About linux.conf.au:

LCA (linux.conf.au) is a meeting place for the free and open source software communities. It will be held in Auckland at the University of Auckland Business School from Monday 12 to Friday 16 January, 2015, and provides a unique opportunity for open source developers, students, users and hackers to come together, share new ideas and collaborate.

The LCA2015 team

Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2014-07-07 to 2014-07-13

Mon, 2014-07-14 01:27

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 164: San Antonio Zoo

Mon, 2014-07-14 00:25

A big day yesterday on top of a big day the day before (and a late night).

We drove down to San Antonio to go to the San Antonio Zoo. The drive took about an hour and a half, but Zoe was happy watching a movie in the back with Vincent.

We rendezvoused with Eva and Neal and Graydon and Wiley there, and worked our way around the Zoo.

One of the things I love about America is the zoos are so much more affordable. I'll have to do a separate post about the price differences between US zoos and Australian zoos some time.

My favourite exhibit was the hippopotamus one. The hippos were submerged in an exhibit with a glass wall, so you could see above and below the waterline, and you could watch them coming up for air, and the fish nibbling away at their skin while they sat on the bottom. It held Zoe's attention for a while too.

We had a good time, and had at least superficially covered everything by early afternoon. The boys went on the train, which was a massive 20 minute ride, while Zoe and I had an ice cream.

Zoe did pretty well, but the combination of the late night the night before, the heat, and being a bit hungry before lunch made her a bit irritable. I probably carried her on my shoulders for 75% or more of the excursion. It certainly was hot.

We all stopped off for Tex Mex at Chuy's on the way home for dinner.

Zoe went to bed nice and early and slept solidly for 12 hours.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 163: Montessori, shopping, BBQ and bats

Sun, 2014-07-13 00:25

We had quite the full day yesterday.

Susanne had arranged with Vincent's school, where he had been going to the holiday program, for Zoe to attend on Friday as well (if she wanted to). We'd been telling Zoe about it since Wednesday, and she'd been saying she didn't want to go, but I wanted her to actually see what she was declining before we made a final decision.

We tagged along on Friday morning when Susanne was dropping of Vincent. Once Zoe realised that it was just like her Kindergarten, and that the teachers seemed nice, she became more receptive to the idea, but in the end still couldn't quite bring herself to stay.

I borrowed Henner's monster pickup truck and Zoe and went to Barton Creek Square to do some clothes shopping. It was good timing, because there were heaps of sales on. I was glad that I had Zoe with me, because that way I could choose outfits for her that she actually liked.

It was the first time I've driven on the other side of the road for over a year, and in a monster pickup truck to boot. It was quite the experience.

We got back just before Susanne was going to head back to pick Vincent up, and Zoe really wanted to pick up Vincent, so Zoe went with Susanne and I popped out to a nearby mall to get something for myself and some lunch at VERTS Kebap, which is apparently a bit of a thing.

We played around in the pool in the afternoon, and then went out for dinner at The County Line, where we caught up with our old next-door neighbours, Neal and Eva and Graydon and their new addition, Wiley. Much meat was eaten.

After dinner, Henner, Vincent, Zoe and I went in to Austin to view the bats that roost under South Congress Bridge. We sat in the park under the bridge and waited for the right time for them to all fly out. There was a lady doing the rounds answering questions, and Zoe gave her a really good grilling.

We got back quite late from viewing the bats, and put the kids straight to bed.

OpenStack miniconf: OpenStack miniconf programme for PyCon AU

Sat, 2014-07-12 15:26

The miniconf organisers are pleased to announce their first draft of a schedule for the PyCon Australia OpenStack miniconf:

Time Talk 09:00 – 09:15 #Welcome

(Robert Collins, HP & Joshua Hesketh, Rackspace Australia) 09:15 – 09:45 #OpenStack Identity and Federation

(Jamie Lennox, Red Hat)

Keystone is the central authentication and authorization point for OpenStack.

It already handles managing users via LDAP and SQL, however, as OpenStack and the number of possible identity sources grows, Keystone is evolving to rely primarily on external sources of identity using protocols like SAML. Keystone’s role then becomes one of pure authorization and mapping those identities into an OpenStack context.

For the unfamiliar, we’ll start with a quick recap of the role of Keystone and

the permission models of OpenStack, then look at the challenges of handling

many distinct authentication sources and the in-development changes required

for federated identity providers.



Jamie is Australia’s Keystone core developer working for Red Hat in Brisbane and

currently the primary developer on Kite. He enjoys tinkering with anything

security related, and has recently been involved making the client side of OpenStack more usable for developers.

09:55 – 10:25 #Python Build Reasonableness and Semantic Versioning

(Robert Collins, HP)

Semver and Python with PBR

PBR – Python Build Reasonableness

PBR is a setuptools plugin which OpenStack developed to provide simple and consistent minimal-boilerplate build definitions for its projects. Now used by all the OpenStack projects, PBR provides integration glue for core features:

– testing

– binary package creation for Linux distributors

– inclusion of files in tarballs

– changelog and authors file creation

– pypi summary creation

– version number creation

– sphinx doc stub creation and manpage enablement

– unified requirements management – for both easy-install and pip with single-file control

The most interesting part is the version number creation, since coming up with the right version number can be a contentious discussion in some projects. Semver provides simple and robust rules for deciding on version numbers, and I’m in the middle of implementing automation for these in PBR itself, with integration glue to export them in PEP-440, dpkg and rpm format. The only dependencies PBR has are git + a recent pip, so this should be useful for many attendees – and while PBR is an OpenStack invention we’re very interested in making sure its useful and reliable for anyone that wants to use it.





10:25 – 10:45 Morning Tea 10:50 – 11:20 #Tempest: OpenStack Integrated Testing

(Matthew Treinish, HP)

Tempest is OpenStack’s integrated test suite which aims to provide validation that OpenStack is working. As such it is run as a gating on job on all proposed commits to OpenStack. It is designed to run against an operational OpenStack cloud, which includes everything from a devstack deployment to a public cloud. Tempest originally started as just a small number of integration tests to verify that the various OpenStack projects worked together. It has since grown into one of the top 5 most active OpenStack projects with several different classes of testing and validation.

This talk will provide an overview of what Tempest is and how it works. Providing an explanation of the philosophy behind the project, and insight into why things are setup a certain way. Additionally, it will cover some of the features in tempest and how to configure and run it locally with or without devstack.



Matthew Treinish is a part of the HP OpenStack team working to make OpenStack better. He’s been an active contributor to OpenStack since the Folsom cycle. He is the QA program PTL for the Juno development cycle, a core contributor on Tempest, elastic-recheck, and a couple of smaller projects and a member of the stable-maint team.

11:30 – 12:00 #Changing the world with ZeroVM and Swift

(Jakub Krajcovic, Rackspace Australia)

ZeroVM is a new generation of virtualization. It provides a secure sandbox for executing code and is able to spawn in under 5ms. It natively supports python execution out of the box.

This talk aims to outline how ZeroVM and Swift can start changing how we fundamentally think about computing and the consumption of IT resources. ZeroVM could be thought of as a “”micro-hypervisor”” that creates a sandboxed environment for code execution and through python middleware can run natively on top of a Swift storage cluster. This talk will present ZeroVM, describe about how it plugs into Swift and what capabilities the combination of these technologies opens.

The most immediate “”killer apps”” that the Swift+ZeroVM combination offers are in data processing:

– oil, geo, mining

– TV and movies

– photo and picture processing

Some less obvious but even more interesting are things like the possibility to completely redesign an SQL DB and create a structured query language that processes binary unstructured data instead of rows and columns.



Jakub Krajcovic is a solutions architect with very varied professional experience. He has a background in computer science, started out as a HPUX engineer and Linux enthusiast but over the course of time found himself working on 2 feature films including the first of the Hobbit trilogy and gradually finding home in the world of cloud computing. In his spare time he also worked with the Open Group on translating parts of the TOGAF 9 Framework. He is passionate about complex problems surrounding large quantities of data and making utility computing a reality. Jakub currently leads Rackspace’s cloud architecture team in Australia.

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch 13:30 – 14:00 #Deploy your python app into an OpenStack cloud using Solum

(Angus Salkeld, Rackspace Australia)

This talk will give an introduction to Solum and show how you can use Solum to Deploy an application into an OpenStack cloud.

A short video of Solum in action will be shown to give the audience an idea of the problem that Solum is trying to solve.

The presenter will then go through some of the capablities of Solum and some future features that are been worked on.



I am a developer at Rackspace Hosting, working on multiple OpenStack projects (Solum, Heat, Mistral). Prior to Rackspace I worked at Red Hat on OpenStack and before that Clustering.

14:10 – 14:40 #OpenStack security

(Grant Murphy, Red Hat)

This session will look at the historical trend of vulnerabilities that have been found in OpenStack, how they are managed and the initiatives that the OpenStack security group currently is undertaking to help reduce future occurrences.



Grant Murphy is a security engineer based in Brisbane currently working on product security for Red Hat. He is also a member of the upstream OpenStack vulnerability managment team and Python enthusiast.

14:50 – 15:20 #TripleO – What, Why, How

(James Polley, HP)

What is(n’t) TripleO?

Why do I want to use it

How do I get started



After spending too many years as a sysadmin, James has forsaken the glorious excitement that is being woken in the middle of the night by broken systems with the glorious excitement that is creating and documenting systems that break and wake other people in the middle of the night. He fully intended to come back and update this bio prior to the conference, but embarrassingly forgot to do so.

15:20 – 15:40 Afternoon Tea 15:45 – 16:15 #How to Read the Logs

(Anita Kuno, HP)

OpenStack generates a lot of log files in its testing process. Learn how to find and identify common patterns in log files from a member of the OpenStack Infrastructure team. Understand the different kinds of log files to expect, how to evaluate them to find why your patch is failing and what steps to take when you identify the failure. Learn how to search for bugs and how to file a bug report. Understanding the value that elastic-recheck provides will also be covered.



Anita Kuno is a Cloud Automation and Distribution Engineer at HP. She works on upstream OpenStack as part of the Infrastructure team. She has mentored many new contributors on how to develop with the OpenStack Infrastructure system which includes Gerrit and jenkins. She is a Gerrit upstream contributor.



Anita has served as an election official for the OpenStack Program Technical Lead Election and the Technical Committee Election for two consecutive release cycles. She is also an astrologer and acupuncturist.

16:25 – 16:55 #Large Scale Identification of Race Conditions (In OpenStack CI)

(Joseph Gordon, HP)

“Does your project have a CI system that suffers from an ever-growing set of race conditions? We have the tool for you: it has enabled increased velocity despite project growth.

When talking about the GNU HURD kernel, Richard Stallman once said, “it turned out that debugging these asynchronous multithreaded programs was really hard.” With 30+ asynchronous services developed by over 1000 people the OpenStack project is an object lesson of this problem. One of the consequences is race conditions often leak into code with no obvious defect. Just before OpenStack’s most recent stable release we were pushing the boundaries of what was possible with manual tracking of race conditions. To address this problem we have developed an ElasticSearch based toolchain called “elastic-recheck.” This helps us track race conditions so developers can fix them and identify when CI failures are related to the failed patch or are due to a known pre-existing race condition. Automated tracking of over 70 specific race conditions has allowed us to quickly determine which bugs are hurting us the most, allowing us to prioritize debugging efforts. Immediate and automated classification of test failures into genuine and false failures has saved countless hours that would have been wasted digging through the over 350MBs of logs produced by a single test run.”



Joe Gordon works full time on the open source project, OpenStack, on behalf of HP. He has spoken at, and co-chaired at OpenStack summits. And has given talks at such events as Europython 2013, CloudOpen (Japan 2014, Europe 2013), and OpenStack Israel.

16:55 – 17:10 #Close

(Robert Collins, HP & Joshua Hesketh, Rackspace Australia)