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We did a quick expo-hall dash at the Linux World Expo – today was the last day, so the expo hall was for the most part dead, the last day after 1pm at any conference that has an expo hall usually is. We were greeted with this puzzling sign, no one under 18 allowed – this of course became the topic of conversation as we hit the floor (others noticed too) – so…here are some photos (just a couple dandy Linux phones), quick notes and a suggestion/idea for the Linux Expo organizers…

Update: IDG responed to our question(s):


Hi Phillip–
Sorry for the delay in responding…I was at an event last week! :-)

Dolomite has it exactly right: LinuxWorld is a free business-to-business trade show, completely subsidized by exhibitors, who invest in those booths to talk with business buyers. The new policy is a direct response to their complaints that we had too many students at the event. We were lenient on the policy in Boston, as we had not made it clear enough on marketing materials, however in San Francisco we did card most registrants. Our exhibitors tell us they have other venues to talk with and reach out to students, but that at LinuxWorld they want to focus on qualified leads. Sorry!

Melinda M. Kendall
Brand Vice President
IDG World Expo
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Star of the show for us was the Linux based Qtopia Greenphone – it ships to developers in September, we’ll try and get one to bang on. So, if there’s a MAKE best of show for Linux world, congrats Qtopia, you got it!

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Motorola had these two Linux based phones, the China only the PDA version (according to the Motorola rep has sold over 1 million units and now represents 1% of the smartphone market in China) – no plans / unknown if it will hit the USA.

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Motorola also had a Dance Dance Revolution hooked up to their Linux phone(s) – lots of fun.

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So here’s the sign, actually there were a few of these, all over the place. I tried to call the conference organizers and also sent them an email asking about the no-one-under-18 policy (no response yet, if there is I’ll post) … I don’t have a problem with keeping things professional, not sure if age=professionalism always, but – perhaps next year on the last day of Linux World expo the organizers could allow under 18 Linux enthusiasts in the expo hall. A lot of the Linux community is under 18, heck the more I talked to people and the more this came up, the more people cited prolific individuals contributing to Linux who are under 18. Maybe it could be under 18 with parent or guardian, maybe it could be something else – but surely there’s a compromise to get our under 18 Linux users pals in. At Maker Faire, the biggest delight was watching families tinker with computers, build things together and meet Makers from around the world – It’s too late to change the policy for this year, but Linux World Expo could easily address this now and figure out something… What do you think?

(see update above from IDG).