Wraithe's blog

Arisia/Sci-Fi Convention panels

So, over at Wet Asphalt, Eric Rosenfield has written an article about some...concerns he had after attending Arisia 2010 and found it to be a bit more of a "Lifestyle Con" (It isn't, but that's the term he used).

After posting some thoughts on his concerns and telling a commenter there who turned out to be Eric's "partner/co-poster" on the site that he was full of shit" (oopsie :)), I found a track of thought that I'd been wondering about while I was at Arisia.

What do we want to get out of these panels?

Eric was talking about how at a West Coast con, a Dr. Who panel, for example, would have people from the show, whereas at Arisia (in this case) you basically had fans who ended up talking about their favorite episodes. Which is all cool, and I've been at panels like that, but...how does this differ from just getting a bull session going in a hallway? Is it better? Worse?

What about the one with the people from the show? A chance to ask questions about the show? Can't I just watch the DVD extras and get the same things? Read about the show on their website? How is that different?

How much of the "Is there a -name- in a panel?" interest comes from wanting to rub elbows with the celebs? Or do you get something more useful?

At the "Future of School" panel, one of the best comments an attendee made was "if you vote, this is something you can go out, right now and do that will actually have an effect." (He was talking about campaigning against standardized testing). That alone was worth having suggested that panel, so that there were other commenters, is just a bonus.

So, going forward, as I suggest MORE panels for Arisia next year, I'm going to be thinking "what do I want people to get out of this panel?"

Whither MacWorld Expo?

So, it's almost time for MacWorld Expo 2010.

Over at Bynkii.com, John Welch has written why MW Expo should continue, and all of the benefits that Conferences like MacWorld offers.

This was initially in response to an article by Jim Dalrymple about how MW Expo 2010 is basically going down or gonna be a success.

How To Block Google SideWiki

It was pointed out to me that I didn't link to any options for blocking Google SideWiki.

From what I could find, there are two ways - If you know of a better one, let me know, I'd love to hear it.

Google - "We'll see you in hell"

So...what the fuck is up with Google lately? I mean, seriously, have they lost their minds?

Last night I was reading the website of one of my Favorite Sci-Fi writers, John Varley, and I noticed that he had updated a section of hi site regarding the use of Google Sidewiki. Now, you may or may not have heard of Google Sidewiki. Basically, it's a piece of Google Toolbar that lets you access a wiki "over" a website - a way to create a sort of "universal conversation" inline with an existing website. Here's what it can look like on your site (abusive example):

There's a a lot more out there about this - I'll sum it up and say "Remember Smart Tags? The system Microsoft tried to foist off a bunch of years ago? This is Google's version. Kill it."

Ok, so problem solved for ME anyways - If you are using Google Toolbar, you're blocked. Kind of unfortunate, but since Google offers no way to "opt-out" of SideWiki, go talk to Google. Google Toolbar users are being redirected to another page, whether I'll havethat be one here or somewhere else, dunno. I was thinking about routing them to Varley's post on SideWiki, but well, why send the people there?

Anyhow, that was last night. Now today I read this:

Google CEO On Privacy: 'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It'

Supposedly that's a verbatim quote - I kid you not.

First Off: WTF Google!?!?!? WTF!?!?

Secondly: Good money says Eric Schmidt has some scandal under the hood. I've virtually NEVER heard any public figure utter those words without them being exposed in some scandal sometime within the near future. So get cracking all you Investigative Reporters - he's already told you that A) There's a story there and B) It's OK if you expose it.

I'm not sure what else I have to say about this, well, other than that I strongly recommend that other sites block SideWiki too, but that's just my opinion.

Seussical: The Musical (Little Theatre of Stoughton)

The daughter complains that I mentioned that we were waiting to see her show but then didn't say how it went. (Rightly so.)

The show was really great! You could tell that they've come together as a cast, and were pretty solid! I stepped in on her later shows that weekend, and they were even more enthusiastic, which is a good sign.

If you are on the South Shore and wanna check it out: http://www.littletheatreofstoughton.org/

Daughter is in the picture on the front page, but good luck picking her out. :)

Apple's "Tablet" strategy?

Was just reading this review (http://technologizer.com/2009/12/06/nook-review/) and was struck by a thought - I almost wonder if Apple wants to wait until any potential competitors have gotten their products "on the floor" before moving on a "Tablet" iPhone/Mac type device?

Opening Night for the daughter!

Well, we're sitting in the theater waiting for "Seussical:The Musical" to open.

Pretty exciting in some ways, as this is her first play that isn't associated with a school (ie: a recital).

They've been putting the work in, so we'll see how it goes!

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