Speaker Biographies

Mitch Altman is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing TV-B-Gone remote controls, a keychain that turns off TVs in public places. He was also co-founder of 3ware (a Silicon Valley RAID controller company), did pioneering work in Virtual Reality at VPL Research, and created the Brain Machine, one of MAKE Magazine's most popular DIY projects. He contributes to MAKE Magazine, and for the last few years has been on the road from hackerspace to hacker-con leading workshops around the world, teaching people to make cool things with microcontrollers and teaching everyone to solder with his open source hardware kits. Mitch is one of the co-founders of Noisebridge, a San Francisco hacker space, and President and CEO of Cornfield Electronics.

Talk: Forming Communities

Chris McAvoy, VP technology of Threadless, is the founder of the Chicago Python Users Group, and a longtime advocate of open source software in Chicago. He helps build tools that allow artists submit designs that become great shirts at Threadless.

Talk: What Should You Build?

Italo Vignoli is a founder and a member of the Steering Committee of The Document Foundation, where he oversees marketing and PR. He was a long time member of the OOo community, and the leader of the Italian group. He has been active in high-tech PR and marketing since 1981, immediately after the launch of the IBM PC. Prior to switching to marketing & PR consulting in 1987, he has been a marketing executive in one of the largest technology companies worldwide. Since late 2003, he is active in marketing open source software. Although he has a degree in humanities, has a rather good understanding of technology.

Talk: LibreOffice and the Document Foundation


Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer has ten years of experience as a software engineer, with a focus on application security. Before EFF, he worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Google on securing the Android operating system for mobile devices. Before that, he was a Principal Security Consultant at iSEC Partners, a security engineering consultancy, where he hacked a wide variety of applications and platforms. Other previous work includes being an EFF Staff Technologist and a developer at web app shops in San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Chris has presented on security engineering topics at various conferences including Black Hat, DefCon, and Web 2.0 Expo.

Rajesh Lal, Technology Evangelist/MeeGo Engineer at Nokia Inc, is a Senior R&D Engineer at Nokia, Silicon Valley, with current focus on Qt Quick technologies on Mobile devices. He has a decade of experience in IT industry and have been involved in mobile development for past five years, with experience in a variety of mobile devices including Nokia S60, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Maemo devices. He has authored multiple books and most recently on Smartphone Web Development for iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 devices. Rajesh is an active MeeGo evangelist and his presentations on Mobile devices and UI/UX design and development can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/rajeshlal

Talk: Fun with QML and JavaScript on MeeGo

Ryan 'Icculus' Gordon Ryan "Icculus"  Gordon is a former Loki Software employee who is now responsible for icculus.org, which hosts many Loki Software projects as well as several new projects created by himself and others. Gordon's site hosts projects with the code from such commercial games as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Quake III Arena and many other free and open source projects for multiple platforms.


Augie Fackler is the author of many Mercurial extensions including hgsubversion, maintainer of hg-git, and contributor to Mercurial. He also started the Perian project and contributed to Adium. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in computational mathematics from Hillsdale College. Augie lives in the Chicago suburbs and works at Google's Chicago office where he maintains Mercurial-on-BigTable for the Project Hosting team. When not in front of a computer, he enjoys playing the french horn in community ensembles and working on his house.

Talk: Mercurial and Extensions: How It Compares to VCS Options

Martin Logan has been heavily involved with the Erlang community since 1999. Martin's great interest in distributed systems and service based design has led him to be a constant presence in the community having spoken many times all over the world on the topic in places such as Canada, USA, Sweden, and the UK as well as author the definitive book on the Erlang/OTP system with Manning publishing entitled "Erlang and OTP in Action". Martin has implemented many complex systems that used Erlang in the telecom space including one of the first call detail record collection systems for the SIP protocol. Most recently Martin has focused on large scale e-commerce systems. Currently Martin brings his expertise to Orbitz Worldwide, one of the largest online travel companies in the world. Martin has taken a leadership role with Erlware.org where he is a core developer and the primary developer of the Faxien package management system.

Talk: DevOps and Modern Software Delivery

Matthew O'Keefe is an Architect on the Infrastructure team at Morningstar, working on Cloud Computing, open source Platform as a Service. and DevOps initiatives. With a background in software and a position on a centralized Operations team, he helps to bridge the gap between development and operations. Prior to joining Morningstar, he led Foundational Technologies and Operations Architecture teams at Orbitz, where he learned to apply the principles of DevOps.

Matt is co-organizer of the Morningstar Tech Talks, Cassandra Chicago and DevOps Chicago meetup groups. He also contributes to DevOps.com.

Talk: Cloudy Open Source and DevOps

Mark Meeker, is currently Principal UI Engineer for Orbitz Worldwide. At Orbitz, he leads the development of the presentation layer for their family of travel websites around the globe. He focuses on building interactive and usable interfaces which follow web standards and are accessible. He is a client-side developer at heart, but spends a lot of his time finding better ways for the presentation layer to play well inside large web applications.

Previously, Mark was Technology Director for Critical Mass where he led site development and architecture for numerous clients. He got his start on the web at Encyclopaedia Britannica by helping to launch Britannica.com. He has an undergraduate degree from St. Norbert College and earned a Masters in Software Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Talk: Real World Web Development

Hal Snyder has more than thirty years' experience with computers, working with embedded systems, operating systems internals, and fault-tolerant networks and contributing code to PostgreSQL, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and the Zebra router project. Before joining Orbitz in 2010 as a Senior System Architect, Hal worked with Northwestern University's Department of Preventive Medicine developing applications for the web, smartphones, and wearable sensors. Hal holds a M.D. from Northwestern and M.S. from University of Chicago in Mathematics. He is the co-author of Internet RFC-3178 http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3178

Talk: How Open Source is Transforming the Internet. Again.

Steve Hoffman is a developer and architect with 27 years professional experience with a focus on large distributed systems. In 2004 he co-presented at JavaOne on Orbitz's use of Jini at Orbitz. Steve is currently a Principal Engineer on the Operations team at Orbitz Worldwide focusing on Hadoop and Automation.
Dean Wampler

Dean Wampler, is co-author of O'Reilly's "Programming Scala". Polyglot Geek.

Talk: The Seductions of Scala

Garrett Honeycutt has been hacking *nix based systems and spreading the merits of open source software for over ten years. He began using Puppet in 2007 while building out a national carrier grade VoIP system, where he wrote many Puppet modules and acted as release engineer for Puppet code. Previously he has worked on such things as building core internet infrastructure for an ISP and creating mobile media distribution platforms.

Talk: Configuration Management with Puppet

Daliah Saper is the principal attorney at Saper Law and has served as counsel to many technology and media companies. She is a member of the Illinois Bar and both the General Bar and Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. As a litigator she handles cases involving trademark and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, online defamation, and commercial disputes. As a transactional lawyer she helps clients choose the right business entity, drafts bylaws and operating agreements, negotiates contracts and licenses, and provides comprehensive trademark and copyright counseling. Daliah has been profiled in several publications including: National Jurist Magazine, Chicago Lawyer Magazine, and the Chicago Reader. Most recently, she was named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine. She received her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was a staff member on the Journal of Law Technology and Policy and served as President of the Intellectual Property Law Society. She has extensive overseas experience, having studied at Fudan University in Shanghai and the City University School of Business in London. She speaks Hebrew and Farsi. Her firm recently organized the Saper Law Open Source Symposium: www.saperlaw.com/oss. Her complete bio can be found at www.saperlaw.com

Cathy Malmrose, Cathy Malmrose, CEO of ZaReason, Inc. began building computers optimized for FOSS-only in 2007 and has since built it into a successful company poised for extensive, stable growth. Cathy believes that full awareness of problems can often lead to simple, easy solutions. With an insider's view of both how hardware is built and how people use it on a day-to-day level, Cathy brings a unique perspective to the growth of FOSS on an international, multi-level scale. Cathy is most interested in hearing participant's ideas and will probably end with her signature set of give-aways to the people who can answer bizarrely random computer history questions during the last 5 minutes of the session. 

Talk: In the FOSS Machine, Are You a Cog or a Spark?

Edward R. Swiderski III, began his career with Voyager.net as an intern while attending Michigan State University. Upon graduating, he immediately joined Analysts International in various software development capacities. He was involved in software projects from small commercially focused, to large-scale systems integration. In the midst of his entry level experience, Ed started up GreenCanyon, a professional web services consulting firm.  Mr. Swiderski has also driven business solutions for Magenic and NuSoft, national leaders of Microsoft consulting services. Mr. Swiderski's more recent role has been Enterprise Services Executive, with Microsoft Consulting Services, where he was responsible for managing 10 states in the Midwest region, specifically focused on large public sector entities. Core responsibilities included sales, account management and orchestrating enterprise application and infrastructure deployments.

Ed now serves as a Partner at GreenCanyon, where he drives customer solutions and delivery management.

Ed is also a founding director of the Global Education Open Technology Foundation, which partners up with other technology organizations around the globe to bring technology to less privileged students.

Talk: Is Software Licensing Still Relevant?

Rik Arends is co-founder and CTO of Ajax.org. As a C++ developer with over 15 years of experience in 3D, computer vision and video, Rik has developed software engines behind browser based video mixing, large stage projections and multi-touch tabletop computing used by Coca Cola and Nokia. Well versed in declarative techniques as well as having a strong focus on performance and pushing the boundaries, Rik focuses on the web environment from both JavaScript and C++ angles.

Lieke Arends has always had a particular interest in Internet development and follows the movements of the market closely. Lieke was undergraduate student Political Science at Boston College and Sorbonne IV in Paris. After working as an analyst in Colombia and Mexico she has been awarded a Masters degree at the University of Amsterdam. For Ajax.org she focuses on business development and communication.

Talk: Cloud9: An open source and web based Cloud IDE for kick ass code editing and end to end JavaScript debugging

Dru Lavigne, Community Manager for PC-BSD, is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD. As Director of Community Development for the PC-BSD Project, she leads the documentation team, assists new users, helps to find and fix bugs, and reaches out to the community to discover their needs. She is the former Managing Editor of the Open Source Business Resource, a free monthly publication covering open source and the commercialization of open source assets. She is founder and current Chair of the BSD Certification Group Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to create the standard for certifying BSD system administrators, and serves on the Board of the FreeBSD Foundation.

Talk: PC-BSD: an Easy to Use Open Source Desktop

Vinod Kutty has played a lead role in the design, implementation and support of the CME Group's open systems environment since 2003. He has worked for 12 years in the financial industry and currently leads new platform technology research as well as support for kernel and performance issues at CME Group. He is also active in the Linux community as chair of the Linux Foundation End User Council.

Talk: Migrating to Linux on x86: Benefits, Challenges and Implementation Details

Ryan Briones is a practicing software craftsman currently living and working in Chicago, IL. In nearly a decade Ryan has designed systems for ISPs, non-profit corporations and web startups. For the last 4 years Ryan has had the pleasure of using Ruby almost exclusively and gives back to the Ruby ecosystem whenever possible. Ryan works as a Consultant at Obtiva, a life-long learner and is on his way to becoming a full-blown coffee snob.

Talk: A Path to Mastering Web Development with Ruby

Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller is the Chief Development Officer for the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation(“OSDV”). He leads all aspects of the Foundation’s resource development, corporate partner alliances, public outreach, and government and legal affairs. OSDV is tackling the lack of trustworthy elections technology. The Foundation’s flagship effort – known as the TrustTheVote Project – is designing and building next generation open source elections technology to serve as a draft standard for how election technology should work to ensure trust. All results are publicly owned and freely available for adoption by any election jurisdiction.

Mr. Miller has 28+ years of technical and business experience in development and eventual commercialization of the Internet, dating back to the ARPANET and CSNET. Coming from the venture capital arena, Gregory joined the OSDV Foundation in November 2006. He is a trained computer scientist, with graduate business education, and a law degree focused on intellectual property, technology law, and public policy. Greg’s technical background includes TCP/IP networks, user interface design, and object-oriented software development. Gregory is also active in the American Bar Association addressing technology law and public policy issues, including Cyberlaw, Information Privacy & Security, and Internet Governance. Greg is also a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, and a sustaining member of the Internet Society.

Talk: Challenges/Opportunities of Working with Government

Talk: Technical Architecture of the Elections Technology

Don Vosburg, has been in the IT industry for over 20 years in a wide variety of roles. His experiences as a system administrator, architect, and consultant are augmented by industry certifications from Novell, Red Hat, Cisco, and others. For the last seven-plus years he has been a Technology Specialist for Novell, Inc. His area of special concentration has been Linux, where he has been involved in a number of real-world implementations of both desktop and server technologies. He has been tapped for presentations at Novell Brainshare, LinuxWorld San Francisco, OhioLinuxfest, and numerous other venues. Don has been married to his wife Diane for more than 25 years and enjoys telling stories about his four sons. He lives in Anderson, Indiana.

Talk: Linux Appliances - Future integration available now

Kendall Cabe, partner and developer at Times Two Technology, LLP.  Working with Open Source software such as Joomla and WordPress for over 3 years.  Teaching and training are main opportunities for Kendall as well as full website development.

Talk: Joomla in a Nutshell - Current and Future