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April 24th, 2015

OSCON Moves, Nokia’s on the Phone & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Larry’s hanging out up near the 49th parallel, in Bellingham, Washington, for the LinuxFest Northwest conference. He’ll be filing reports over the weekend and possibly on Monday, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I get to do the Week in Review — because the boss likes me best.

OSCON’s packing its bags

Speaking of conferences, OSCON’s making a big move. Although the annual conference presented by publisher O’Reilly Media started in my old stomping grounds of Monterey, California in 1999, the event has been held in Portland, Oregon every year since 2003, except for 2009 when it made a one-off stop in San Jose. This year OSCON will once again be held in Portland, on July 20-24, then that’s it, for at least a year.

OSCON logoLate last week, Rachel Roumeliotis reported in a blog on the OSCON website that after this year’s event, the conference will be packing up and making a move. In 2016, OSCON will unfold it’s tents in Austin, Texas, with the conference being held May 16=20.

Why Austin? Cited for reasons are the city’s many software communities, such as All Girl Hack Night and Google Development Group Austin, as well as Texas based tech firms such as Rackspace, Dell, SoftLayer, Continuum, and OpenStack. It doesn’t look like this move will be permanent, however. According to the post: “As with OSCON in Amsterdam…we want to explore these communities and offer those software engineers and architects the OSCON experience.”

An OSCON move to Austin, whether permanent or not, is good for us at FOSS Force. With Ken Starks right next door in Taylor, Texas, it means we’ve already got boots on the ground to cover the event. Ya listening Ken?

Nokia’s return to phones

Sorry Microsoft, but it appears as if Nokia just might end up having the last laugh. Kevin Tofel reported Monday on ZDDet that the Finnish company is set to return to the smartphone market next year, the earliest it can do so using its own brand according to its contract with Microsoft, which bought the company’s troubled phone business in 2013, paying only a fire sale price.

Back then, Nokia’s back was pretty much against the wall with no wiggle room, forcing it to make rash moves like hiring Microsoft’s Stephen Elop — a wolf in sheep’s clothing if ever there was one — who drove the company to the brink of bankruptcy for his once and future masters in Redmond.

No longer having to foot the bill for idle factories and workers, both belong to Microsoft now, Nokia is in the position to slowly develop products and marketing strategies to get its game back — while the folks at Microsoft scratch their collective heads, wondering why stealing purchasing Nokia’s old phone division didn’t bring Windows to dominance in mobile space.

FOSS Force mobile friendly.

Yup. We passed. Occasionally we do something right, evidently.

Psst: It was Windows.

At present, the smart money guys and gals are expecting the company to adopt Android and become best buddies with Google. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll take a look at Ubuntu Phone first. Nokia just might be the company to partner with Canonical to bring something like the Ubuntu Edge to market.

Google: “Get mobile friendly or die.”

It seems that Google, the company the media loves to call “the search giant,” has upgraded its algorithm, which means that sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices will lose their top rankings in searches made from smartphones and tablets. Surprisingly, a number of big money sites, especially in Europe, don’t pass the test and will see themselves buried on page twelve or fifteen in search results, which is territory rarely seen by human eyes.

Lucky for us, here at FOSS Force we’ve had a special theme in place for mobile visitors since we went online back in 2010. But you never know, this is Google, a company that sometimes doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, even when they try. So we used the gee whiz test tool the company provides and held our breaths, crossed our fingers and positioned our tongues just right. Sigh of relief: we’re good.

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That does it for today. Larry will return next week for another Week in Review. Until then, may the FOSS be with you…

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

1 comment to OSCON Moves, Nokia’s on the Phone & More…

  • Connie

    Having just myself got a BQ Ubuntu phone, I must say that as a phone experience it is by far the best that I have used. Of course there are bugs, and a paucity of apps…but really impressed so far. For Nokia, a Ubuntu phone may be a bit risky and while you or I may dearly like to to see it, it is possible that if they don’t go with Android, they may as well go with their ex-software developers and adopt Sailfish.