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RuthEllison.com Posts

Skepticamp Sydney 2011 – it’s a wrap

Skepticamp Sydney 2011 sign, posted on a clear glass door

Yesterday, hubby and I (along with a car-load of family & friends) made the very early morning drive over to Sydney for the very first Skepticamp Sydney 2011. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with lots of interesting things learned.

“SkeptiCamps are informal, community-organized conferences borne from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. Everyone from casual skeptics to the experienced participate, give talks and get to know each other. Diverging from the traditional lecture events which have dominated skepticism for decades, these ‘open events’ tear down the barriers to organizing substantive (and fun) events by building on the wildly-successful Barcamp conference model from the tech community.”

Source: Skepticamp.org

An initial look at the Kobo eReader

Yesterday afternoon, I received a provocative tweet from my husband. “I have a surprise for you”, stated the first tweet.

“Is it a good surprise?”, I asked.

“Depends”, was the answer.

“Do I get more clues?”, I asked.

“It’s white, and textured and not a cat” was the reply.

Shortly after, I was picked up from work and I got to see my surprise – it was a brand new Kobo eReader from Borders book store! Here’s a brief initial review of the Kobo eReader, based upon my short use of it.
An image of my Kobo eReader

BarCampCanberra #3 – it’s a wrap

Photo of Pascal looking at the BarCampCanberra #3 schedule

The highly anticipated BarCampCanberra event happened yesterday, with a large gathering of smart and passionate folks from around Canberra, Yass, Wollongong and Sydney discussing interesting topics such as Government 2.0, social innovation, collaboration, typography, hackerspaces and more.

For those unfamiliar with the BarCamp concept:

BarCampCanberra is a free-to-attend community-run conference where anyone can come and watch, participate or present on anything they are passionate about – either something interesting they’ve been working on, an idea they’d like to present or to brainstorm the solution to a problem with a bunch of like-minded smart people

We had over 150 people registered for the event, 46 pizzas consumed, 72 bottles of water drunk (plus the additional cups and water containers) and 39 sessions including a series of 5 minute lighting talks (I love the 5 minute lighting talk format).

The event was tweeted, flickred, livestreamed and Googled waved. We were even covered in the Canberra Times (page 8 of the Sunday 7th February newspaper).

Some of my favourite quotes about BarCampCanberra comes from @dekrazee1:

Brain is still abuzz from #bcc2010. BarCamp is the techy equivalent of a day spa. Energising and invigorating. #I<3BarCamp

@ozdj:

@RazChorev Yep. Sound ROI. That $50 of fuel (and ~8hrs of travel time) got me about $500 worth of education today. #bcc2010