North Bay Linux Users’ Group

The North Bay Linux Users’ Group is a computer users serving the San Francisco North Bay and surrounding areas. We strive to promote Linux, Free Software, Open Source, open standards, and to generally have a good time by hosting social events that educate, allow members to share ideas and knowledge and to build friendships.

We hold regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month with a selected topic presented by a guest speaker. Meetings and membership are free and open to the public. Please sign up for the announce mailing list to receive notifications of upcoming events, or join us on the talk mailing list or in IRC to get help with Linux.

general meeting

How TASBot Exploits Video Game Consoles (DEF CON talk encore)

When: Tue August 09, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Allan Cecil

Location: O'Reilly Media

This will be an encore presentation of a DEF CON talk given August 5th at 4:00 PM. TASBot is an augmented Nintendo R.O.B. robot that can play video games without any of the button mashing limitations us humans have. By pretending to be a controller connected to a game console, TASBot triggers glitches and exploits weaknesses to execute arbitrary opcodes and rewrite games. This talk will cover how these exploits were found and will explore the idea that breaking video games using Tool-Assisted emulators can be a fun way to learn the basics of discovering security vulnerabilities. An overview of some of the details that will be described in the talk can be found in an article I coauthored for the PoC||GTFO journal issue 0x10 (Pokemon Plays Twitch, page 6).

Published Wed 20 July 2016 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

Linux on Chrome devices: root to coreboot

When: Tue July 12, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Robert Thille

Location: O'Reilly Media

Have you looked at the prices of ChromeBooks and thought “Wow, that’s cheap! Too bad they don’t run my OS of choice.” Well, they can! In this talk, Robert will go over the options to give you “more” Linux with your ChromeOS device, from just accessing the crosh (chrome-os-shell) to flashing a new ROM with Coreboot and SeaBIOS and installing the Linux distro of your choice.

Published Sun 10 July 2016 by Tom Most

general meeting

Hackfest

When: Tue June 14, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: All of us

Location: O'Reilly Media

Come show us what you’ve been up to! Bring your projects, problems and persons for round-table discussion. We also welcome lightning talks if you’d like to present, but don’t have enough material for a full talk. A projector will be available (VGA).

Published Sat 21 May 2016 by Tom Most

general meeting

Jams, Cans and Qubes

When: Tue May 10, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Kyle Rankin

Location: O'Reilly Media

To understand how Qubes secures your desktop, look to your pantry. The same security by compartmentalization concept that makes Qubes resilient against attack was conceived of over two hundred years ago to protect food against infection. In this talk Kyle will discuss how to jam strawberries, can green beans, and isolate desktop workflows into a combination of netVMs, proxyVMs, and appVMs. He’ll cover some common threats against your food and data and describe how Mason jars and Qubes can mitigate them.

Published Wed 27 April 2016 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

Life After Second Life: Metaverse

When: Tue April 12, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Mike Higgins

Location: O'Reilly Media

A follow-on talk to a previous talk Mike Higgins gave here at NBLUG in the past about programming in the video game Second Life. This time he’ll talk about Life After Second Life. There is a larger world, a Metaverse, of open source MMORPGs based on the open source Second Life Viewer projects and the Open Simulator project. There are hundreds of small companies trying to make a living doing what Second Life did. There are thousands of crazy artists creating 3D environments and inviting you to walk through them, there are tens of thousands of people setting up virtual environments on their own PCs and all of these are starting to link up to each other. My plan is to not have many slides for this talk, but log onto several different virtual worlds and put them up on the Big Screen while I talk. Eventually taking us to my private world run off the server in my barn.

Published Tue 12 April 2016 by Robert P. Thille

general meeting

Dreaming in Git

When: Tue March 08, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Marcel M. Cary

Location: O'Reilly Media

In this presentation, we’ll get to know Git intimately enough to anticipate its every move. We’ll develop a visual mental model for a Git repository. Then we’ll explore how every-day Git commands manipulate that model. Along the way, we’ll find ways to peek into Git’s inner world to confirm our understanding. This is not an introduction to Git; it targets a developer who can commit, branch, and merge with Git. Although I’ll show example commands and output, consider bringing a laptop with Git installed so you can type along.

Update: Marcel’s slides are now available online

Published Tue 16 February 2016 by Robert P. Thille

general meeting

Effective testing and troubleshooting

When: Tue February 09, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Allan Cecil

Location: O'Reilly Media

Have you ever been asked to provide feedback on beta software? If so, you’ve been put in the role of a tester, and effectively communicating what you see when things aren’t working the way you expect them to can be challenging. In this talk Allan will cover the context-driven approach to testing with an emphasis on how to troubleshoot problems, how to report what you see in the most effective manner, and how to know when it’s time to stop testing an area and focus your time elsewhere.

Published Tue 09 February 2016 by Robert Thille

general meeting

Lightning talks and hackfest

When: Tue January 12, 2016 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Everyone

Location: O'Reilly Media

Lightning Talks:

Have something you would like to present, but don’t have enough material for a full talk? Here’s your chance. Talk about anything Linux related.

Hackfest:

Bring your hardware to get help with it or just to show it off.

Published Tue 12 January 2016 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

Simple but Effective Server Hardening

When: Tue December 08, 2015 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Kyle Rankin

Location: O'Reilly Media

Server security is more important now than ever, yet many of the hardening guides out there read like they were written a decade ago (probably because they were!) Modern server hardening can be an obscure and complicated subject but it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of simple and fast-to-implement steps you can take to dramatically increase the security of your infrastructure. In this talk Kyle will start with an overview of security best practices and provide a series of current yet simple hardening examples effective for securing everything from traditional bare-metal networks, cloud infrastructure, and even your home network.

Published Thu 19 November 2015 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

Open Source Licensing Case Study: Midonet

When: Tue November 10, 2015 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Mark Rogge

Location: O'Reilly Media

Midokura released Midonet under the Apache license in 2014. This talk will explain why Midokura released the software under an open source license and why it picked Apache. In order to understand the options, the business models used with GPL and Apache will be discussed, which will include comparing the rights granted under the two licenses. Midonet will also be explained, at a very high level, to provide context for the decision to make it open source. Please note that this talk should not be construed as legal advice.

The NBLUG elections will be held directly following the talk. A nominations E-Mail will be sent to the talk list with additional information.

Published Fri 23 October 2015 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

Configuration Management with Puppet: Present and Future

When: Tue October 13, 2015 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Greg Larkin

Location: O'Reilly Media

In this talk, Greg Larkin, an engineer with Puppet Labs, will discuss some of the historical issues with system management, how Puppet works, how it fits into current types of infrastructure deployments and what some of its enterprise features are. The talk will touch on high-level concepts as well as show some code and how it enforces node configurations. The talk will also cover new Puppet developments that were recently announced during PuppetConf 2015.

Published Mon 12 October 2015 by Allan Cecil

general meeting

(Backdoor) Free BIOSes with Libreboot

When: Tue September 08, 2015 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Kyle Rankin

Location: O'Reilly Media

While Linux users have spent a lot of time using free software on their computers, usually that stops at the operating system. Being able to view and modify your source code not only gives you more freedom, it gives you more security, in particular from back doors. What’s good for the OS is good for the BIOS, which malware hackers, Lenovo, and state-sponsored attackers have all used to persist their exploits.

In this talk Kyle will cover Libreboot, a completely free software distribution of the open source Coreboot BIOS and discuss the current state of hardware support for Libreboot and how to install it, including a brief description of how to turn a Raspberry Pi into a flashrom BIOS-flashing platform.

Published Fri 04 September 2015 by Allan Cecil

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