Carbon footprint talks
You clearly missed the Flukso community metering talk in the embedded room (Lameere)
And next time, El Reg should announce its presence *before* it starts ;)
This was my first FOSDEM, in Brussels, and it was a goodie. The Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) was also free as in beer (OK, it was €3 for a beer token), easy to get to and neither outrageously expensive nor twee. Somewhere north of 6,000 attendees, 200+ hours of talks, and other " …
The beer event is, alas, a no-go area if you can't cope with excessive smoke. That includes outdoor areas.
But yes, in other ways it's what a geek meet should be. Lots of good contents, connectivity, a keysigning, and a very bare-bones setup with no flab (not even coffee or lunch - you're on your own).
It can't really be 5km from town ... it was only a half-hour brisk walk when I timed myself on the Saturday ... If it really was that far I'd be looking into Brussels's boris-style bikes.
We don't bother to go to the Delirium cafe anymore because (1) it is crowded, (2) full of smoke and (3) expensive.
There are affordable smoke-free pubs nearby ;)
But yes, a pitty the Belgian politicians are a spineless bunch of idiots, I'd love to have smoking banned from every public place, not just restaurants.