This month, we’re sponsoring…

1) LUGRadio Live – it’s back from the dead (though wasn’t down for long).  On 5pm on October 24th, the four gents from Wolverhampton will talk wittily about open source, hacker culture and further their own bizarre cult of personality.  In the run up to the main event, they have organised a huge number talks from some very interesting British hackers – including Gervaise Markham of the Mozilla Project, Matthew Somerville from MySociety and Craig Rothwell, an insane genius who has designed and built his own handheld gaming unit.  I’ll be attending all day

2) coderack – from one of our customers Lunar Logic Polska, a competition for Ruby developers to help further the Rack framework by writing some interesting and useful plugins.  I don’t think there’s an ungeeky way to sell that so I won’t even try.  Rack was a very sensible suggestion, two years ago, on how to plug web servers into Ruby programs in a very general way.  It meant that people who wrote web servers, and people who wrote fancy web frameworks like Rails, could get along in a common language.  In the world of Ruby programmers, where 20 minutes ago is ancient history, a technology that has been going after two years looks like it’s here to stay.  So the competition is to try to further Rack’s usefulness by building plugins of the kind that you might already find in Apache – logging, authentication, redirection tricks, that kind of thing.  Bytemark will definitely be benefitting from the results of this competition, so we’re donating a year of very fast, free dedicated hosting (a Phenom 9750 X4, 8GB RAM, 1TB storage) for the enterprising Ruby programmer who comes up with the best plugin.