USENIX '08 archive

June 25 - 27 from Boston, MA


2008 USENIX Annual Technical Conference

Look here for archived talks from the "Invited Talks" track at USENIX '08. Each comprises a video and recorded presentations slides which are shown parallel to the talk. To view the talks in our archive all you need is a Java-compatible Web browser.
Videos are played directly in your browser by a Java applet. Parallel to this, the presentation slides are shown in sync with the video.
You can use the time slider at the bottom edge of the window to fast forward or reverse the video: the slides will stay in sync. If the video freezes when the Java applet loads, please press F5 to refresh your browser window.
July 28-August 1 from San Jose, CA

Can't make it to USENIX Security '08? Just register for the live streaming and follow the tutorials and technical sessions from your own PC. After the live transmission, you can view repeats of the talks, whenever and as often as you like.

Find out more...

Archived Talks
Wednesday, June 25
Free and Open Source as Viewed by a Processor Developer
Speaker: Peter Kronowitt, Intel
This talk highlights how Intel successfully utilized open source to support industry progress while fulfilling our own strategic corporate objectives.
The talk does not just look back: some of our open source projects initiated in the past twelve months will be examined, as we believe many in the audience will find them interesting and, we hope, will consider helping improve them.
play video
From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami
Speaker: Robert J. Lang, Artist and Consultant
In this talk I will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems—specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps—and enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you'll see, too. As often happens in mathematics, theory developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems.
play video
Millicomputing: The Future in Your Pocket and Your Datacenter
Speaker: Adrian Cockcroft, Netflix, Inc., and Homebrew Mobile Club
The fastest-moving part of the computer industry is now the compute power and storage capacity of the computers we carry in our pockets. The software we carry in our pockets is also migrating to a full-featured, flexible, and openly programmable operating system. This talk discusses the multicore graphical supercomputer for 2010, which won't burn your leg if you put it in your pocket, and the implications of these changes for both the personal computing space and the enterprise computing/green datacenter space. A millicomputer doesn't need heat-sinks or fans.
play video
Programming DNA: A 2-bit Language for Engineering Biology
Speaker: Drew Endy, Cabot Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT and a co-founder of the BioBricks Foundation (BBF)
This talk will introduce current best practice in biological engineering, including an overview of how to order synthetic DNA and how to use and contribute standard biological parts to an open source collection of genetic functions. The talk will also discuss issues of human practice, including biological safety; biological security; ownership, sharing, and innovation in biotechnology; community organization; and perception across many different publics. My hope is that the conference attendees will help me to understand how best to enable an overwhelmingly constructive hacker culture for programming DNA.
play video
Thursday, June 26
The Parallel Revolution Has Started: Are You Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?
Speaker: David Patterson, Director, U.C. Berkeley Parallel Computing Laboratory

This talk will explain:
  • Why the La-Z-Boy era of programming is over
  • Why the parallel revolution cannot be halted by a no-confidence vote from the USENIX community
  • The implications for the IT industry if the revolution should fail
  • The opportunities and pitfalls of this revolution
  • What Berkeley is doing to be at the forefront of this revolution
play video
Xen and the Art of Virtualization Revisited
Speakers: Ian Pratt, Senior Lecturer, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and Fellow, King's College Cambridge
This is a talk in three parts. I'll give a summary of the Xen story so far, looking at how Xen made the transition from research project to enterprise software and the many challenges along the way. Next, I'll look at why virtualization is such a hot topic in IT and the failings of common operating systems that have led to this. I'll then look at how Xen has evolved since the 2004 SOSP paper, seeing how paravirtualization and software/hardware co-design have helped reduce the overhead of virtualization.
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A Report on the Project Darkstar Anthropological Expedition Into the World of Massively Scaled Online Games
Speaker: Jim Waldo, Sun Microsystems Labs
During the past two years, I have led a project at Sun Microsystems Laboratories to build a highly scalable, highly concurrent infrastructure for massive-scale online games and virtual worlds. This work has brought us into contact with the culture of games and the inhabitants of that culture. In this talk I will describe some of the ways in which the game world differs from the computing world most of us are used to, and I'll discuss the challenges facing that world that might profitably be approached in a cross-cultural fashion.
play video
Internet Surveillance: Building Our Own Trojan Horse
Speaker: Susan Landau, Sun Microsystems
From its requirement that surveillance capabilities be built into VoIP communications systems to its expansion of warrantless wiretapping into any communications of which one end is "reasonably believed" to be located outside the United States, the U.S. federal government is slowly but steadily extending wiretapping capabilities onto the Internet. This effort is made in the name of national security, but building architected security breaches into a communications network carries real risks. In a world that includes al-Qaeda and Hurricane Katrina, does this increased wiretapping capability make us safer? We will examine what real security needs are in a post-9/11 world.
play video
Friday, June 27
Using Hadoop for Webscale Computing
Speaker: Ajay Anand, Yahoo!
Apache Hadoop is an open source implementation of a distributed filesystem and map-reduce programming model combined into one package. Hadoop scales smoothly from tens to thousands of computers. The framework allows engineers to harness the power of these clusters very simply, taking advantage of three major features:
  • A reliable, non-hardware-based distributed filesystem
  • A simple, functional programming model
  • Infrastructure to aid in the automation of job execution
play video
Google Hacking: Making Competitive Intelligence Work for You
Speaker: Tom Bowers, Kaspersky Lab
This presentation will examine Google hacking and how today's online search engines can double as competitive intelligence tools. Audience members will learn how, using basic Google tools, they can conduct competitive intelligence searches, analyze their information online, identify leaks, and minimize their business risk.
play video
Current and Next-Generation Digital Forensics
Speaker: Golden G. Richard, University of New Orleans
The talk covers basic concepts, best practices, common data-hiding techniques, investigative challenges, and what is (and isn't) recoverable. Most important, it examines the major limitations of current-generation tools and discusses next-generation approaches that may help investigators to deal with the ever-increasing size and complexity of forensics targets. These approaches cover a wide spectrum, from applying research in bioinformatics to the use of parallel and distributed architectures, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), advanced file-carving techniques, and tools for live investigation.
play video
The Columbia Accident Investigation and Returning NASA's Space Shuttle to Flight
Speaker: Matthew Melis, NASA Glenn Research Center
Matthew Melis served for nearly five years as technical lead of the NASA Glenn Ballistic Impact Team for both the Columbia Accident Investigation and NASA's Return to Flight program. In a presentation rich with imagery and high-speed motion pictures, Mr. Melis will provide a look into the inner workings of the space shuttle and a behind-the-scenes perspective on the impact analysis and testing conducted to identify the cause of the Columbia accident and enhance safety for NASA's future shuttle missions. In addition, highlights from recent shuttle missions will be presented.
play video
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