Today I got the good news that I’ll be giving three talks at FSLVallarta 2012 in november. I love that event and the fact that it’s in Puerto Vallarta can’t make it any better
Unfortunately my attempt to give a talk about Emacs got rejected (again) so instead I’ll be talking about Free Network Services, PHP development & code quality tools and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Slides and pictures will be uploaded here after the event, and follow me on Identi.ca or Twitter for updates.
About FSL Vallarta event:
“El Festival de Software Libre Vallarta 2012, is an open space where students, teachers, investigators, computing experts, companies and professionals of open source and free software and the general public will get together to learn, participate, exchange ideas, points of view and solutions”
The above roughly translated from the original in spanish:
“El Festival de Software Libre Vallarta 2012es un espacio abierto donde se darán cita estudiantes, docentes, investigadores, profesionales, expertos en computo, empresas y profesionales del software libre y público en general para aprender, participar e intercambiar ideas, puntos de vista y soluciones.”
As a new resident of Guadalajara, I know very little of the history of the RMX 212 music festival. This is the first time I know about it and assisted. I have to say that it is awesome! They completely shut down Ave. Chapultepec, an avenue known for it’s restaurants, bars and a great place to walk around during the day and have a nice time. Four stages along the avenue with several bands playing simultaneously from 14:00 hrs until 03:00 in the morning! The nice thing was that also most of the bands were not the typical mainstream pop music garbage (although some still sounded like garbage), this was a place for new bands and upcoming bands to have a large audience to promote themselves.
I got my age “reality check” when I saw the lineup for each of the stages. Shocking to see how many new bands are coming up and you know absolutely nothing about them. That’s when you realize you’re becoming “uncool” and are out of touch with current trends.
Fortunately not everyone was new to me. I knew a couple, like Pato Machete, former member of Control Machete, Hello Seahorse and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussie_4][Sussie 4]]. I knew more bands, but I didn’t necessarily like them. They were my brother’s preferred music, which I don’t consider “cool”, but ohh well…
I could get close enough to take interesting shots at Pato Machete’s presentation.
The crowd was going crazy with this guy on stage
I don’t know what was going on, but apparently all my friends were surprised at something when I took this shot.
Then I went with Alesi and Lokotronic to see the happy punk band Division Minuscula. I really hate that crap, all songs sound the same to me and don’t get me started with the lyrics… but I didn’t wanted to go home yet.
Here is the best image I could take when Sussie 4 was on stage. The place was too crowded to get any closer.
A girl in the crowd who smiled at my camera.
Taking stage photographs is hard. You have to prepare and adjust all your settings before the concert starts or else you’ll miss good moments, and since ligthing is constantly changing, you might miss some. I was constantly switching from manual to shutter speed priority. It is important to set your metering to spot metering and if you have several focus points, use the ones in the center. There are ways to set dynamic focus following a subject on some cameras, but for a beginner like me, center focus points work fine. Unless you are in a special press booth or reserved area, being in the middle of the crowd during a concert leaves you little time and comfort to adjust settings and experiment.
And I leave you with a music video of Pato Machete for those who don’t know his music and got curious after these pictures:
The LGBT parade/protest took place in Guadalajara and I didn’t miss the opportunity to get my camera and snap some pictures.
For the first time I went to a gay parade in Mexico. Popular culture says that Guadalajara is the city with the biggest gay community, although I would question this, as Mexico city has more population and it is probable that because of this reason only, it always has the biggest community of anything.
The parade was not huge, but it ended up in the Liberation Plaza, a location I found very interesting, as it is right behind the main catholic cathedral. Guadalajara is a city where most of the society is very religious, so having this parade is an interesting contrast.
There was a big stage set up. The movement’s leaders gave a speech about sexual diversity, the fight for LGBT rights and equality and a protest to polititians asking them to legislate without any religious belief, to keep non-religious education in public schools and to defend the separation of church and state. Afterwards there were several shows to entertain the public.
Everyone gathered in the square to enjoy the shows, take lots of pictures and have a good time.
I took this opportunity to conquer my shyness when taking pictures of people in the streets. This time I talked to them, asked politely if I could take their pictures and got closer than usual sometimes. I’m happy with the results, I got some more interesting pictures like the one below where I asked this guy to hold his flag in front of the statue. I still have more to work in that area but this was a good start.
Gay metal couple
An honest priest?
Some kids celebrating their highschool graduation were passing by and one of them asked a drag queen to share her beer with him.
The last photography I find it very peculiar. Not every day you can take a picture of a drag queen show behind a huge cathedral while a condom is floating in the air.
Yesterday (Dec. 16, 2011) I read in the news that Christopher Hitchens passed away after a long struggle with cancer. Although I didn’t know the man personally, nor I’m familiar with all his journalistic work, his books, talks and speeches on atheism and against religion illustrated and influenced me a lot on recent years. I admired his courage and aggressiveness when attacking religion and defending reason. Some may criticize him for precisely this, because people don’t like to be confronted in such direct way.
The world will miss Christopher Hitchens because we need someone as aggressive as him, now more than ever, at these times when world leaders are getting more religiously fanatic than before. We have Richard Dawkins who is very sophisticated, logical and well, proffessor-like to teach about the bad things of religion, we have Penn Gillette who’s very charismatic, tolerant and quite intelligent to be non-confrontational when arguing the subject, but with Christopher’s passing, we now lack the passionate aggressive and straight to the point guy, a role very well filled by Hitchens and for that, he will never be forgotten.
I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from him and a video of the best Hitchslap moments.
“One day a decent candidate for high office will say that he is not a person of faith, and the sky will not fall.”
“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
“An argument that can be used to prove anything is open to the objection that it proves nothing.”
“Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did”
“The bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not boud by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured, human mammals.”
“…great damage has been done, and continues to be done, by such (religious) people and by such (religious) ideas. You’re better off thinking for yourself and taking all the risks, and I might add all the pleasures that will come from that. The most overrated of the virtues is faith. The metaphysical claims of religion are untrue.”
“I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hatred in the world is religion and organized religion”
On Saturday I went with my roommate to the Monster Trucks event at Monterrey, Mexico. We had a great time and it was the first event of this kind for both of us, so we didn’t know what to expect.
I recently bought a new lens for my Canon T1i DSLR camera. Since I’ve been frequently taking pictures of ballet dancers on stage, the “standard” 18-55mm EF-S lens didn’t allow me to take close up pictures and I had to sit at the front row on every show or else I would have very wide shots with small subjects in my pictures. So I finally decided to buy a 55-250mm IS lens. Even though its not a great telephoto lens, it was decent enough in features and specially in price. Telephoto lenses are very expensive!
Since I haven’t had any ballets to photograph yet, the monster truck event was the perfect occasion to give my new lens a try. I have to say it was great to finally have a lot of zoom. I got crappy tickets and I was pretty far high from the main arena, but that made my lens test more interesting, and here are the pictures I took that day.
This pink monster truck was operated by a woman driver. She was the best driver of all! She interacted a lot with the public, and even though most of the audience didn’t speak any English, she made them all cheer for her and love her.
Also, she did the best, most impressive and longest jump in the whole show. The truck didn’t survive the jump, after landing the rear axle broke, but it was very impressive to see how far she jumped. At the end she won the first price given by the audience applause.
I also took some videos, but I had trouble with the auto focus button unfocusing completely and back into focus while shooting as you will notice on some videos. So I ended up switching to manual focus for all videos and tweak the focus slowly myself so I won’t loose the image completely every time my subject moved farther or closer.
This year I got to finally attend the Google I/O event. I was lucky to easily get my entrance ticket the day they opened for registration. That day the tickets sold out in 59 minutes! (or so they say)
The place was packed! There were about 5,000 attendees!
I even got to see Leo Laporte and Gina Trapani recording some material for their This week in Google show.
The talks were very interesting with lots of surprises and new release announcements. I attended several android development talks, as I’m starting to get into Android development (can’t wait to finish my first app). The new development tools improvements and the changes for big screen (tablet) layouts looked very nice. And also went to different Google APIs talks like the Google Charts API talk.
The big topics were Android and Chrome, with complementary HTML5 and WebGL talks. There was very little about GoogleTV though. I couldn’t go to all talks, that’s an impossible task. But fortunately for everyone who attended or not, all sessions are available for viewing online.
I participated at CONSOL 2009 and had the opportunity to give 4 talks this time and meet with "the software libre community".
The talks were great, with very interesting subjects, and there seems to be a lot of interest in virtualization this time. Rolman gave his talk about virtualization with KVM and the basics of virtualization technology and how it all works. Then Gunnar Wolf gave his talk about virtualization techniques and recommendations.
I gave an introductory talk about Git and for the first time talked about Emacs. Also had an Emacs vs. Vi debate with Rolman, and it really went well. It turned out to be a very civilized talk with no flames going on at any time. I think people got somewhat disappointed that it went so well.
The new KDE Mexico team, or part of it, got together to catch up, unfortunately Guillermo Amaral had a plane to catch just before the party begun.
For the first time I tried the famous Duff beer, from the Simpsons. This is a mexican brand that makes it a reality.
And Gladys showed up with an ethernet cable as an improvised belt.
I had a great time and it was a very nice experience. Hope to see everyone again soon.