LCA2006 Day Three

Friday – the second last day of LCA2006.

The keynote today was Damien Conway – of Perl fame talking about Perl 6. I can certainly see why he is such a popular speaker. His comparisons of why Perl is better than Java were excellent and certainly added alot of life to the presentation. I’ll definately have to look into Perl 6 when it’s released – it’s looking like a really cool language.

The augmented reality system developed at UniSA looks really cool. They were demonstrating a Quake like game which is superimposed on the real world. It was pretty cool! The technology is still very cutting edge though – it crashed a few times… But you get that when things are this shiny and new. The outline of the seminar is here.
Aside from the conference, there are a lot of other things to do in and around Dunedin – unfortunately due to time constraints (and not being able to drive here) I’m kind of limited to the stuff I can visit. Fortunately, Dunedin is a small city so walking is feasible. The railway station is a great example of the days when Dunedin was a goldrush town – the amount of detail in the building is crazy. It certainly makes good ‘ole Central station in Sydney look bland.

Also today, I visited the institution in Dunedin that is Cadbury. Being guided around a working chocolate factory is a great way to be put off chocolate – in particular watching 1 tonne of liquid chocolate fall from the ceiling into a vat has a really disturbing effect. I was suprised though to see the number of different products in NZ that we don’t have in Australia. In particular the Pinky and Perkynana bars – although my new favourite are the marshmellow fish (which I first encountered whilst freezing inside the Waitomo caves… but thats a different story).

Back to the conference: Rasmus this afternoon presented another seminar on PHP – this time focussing on security. Some of this was really interesting – the amount of effort needed to drastically improve security is actually very little. Remembering to do this on every variable supplied by the client isn’t.

During his presentation Rasmus used a self-developed tool to audit some of the most common problems and it was amazing to see fairly prominent sites failing these tests. I won’t go into the detail since it is posted on his own site.

I’ve now been in NZ for 20 days and I’m approaching the end of my trip. It’s a little sad actually… It will be nice to go home though. I’m starting to wonder if my computer will fire up after this much inactivity… It’s never been off for this long!
That’s about all I have to mention right now. I’ll post about day 4 a litle bit later!


  1. Snaykeemcgee
    Posted 29 January 2006 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Nice! You went to Waitomo? Finally we have something in common about having both been in NZ (well, we both went to Auckland, but enough said). Caving was awesome! And yeah, they give you those chocolate-coated marshmellow fish that go all hard if you stick it in the cordial they provide.

  2. Colonel
    Posted 10 February 2006 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    You stick the fish in cordial?