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So this weekend I’ll be at Orycon. The
schedule is up on the web
but here is my chunk:

Slusher, Dave

Fri 2:00 PM, Wilson Are Comic Book Plots "Real" Literature? Fri 3:00 PM, Nehalem Luddite SF Sat 10:00 AM, Santiam Code & Crossbones: the E-Piracy Issue Sat 3:00 PM, Riverview (Table 3) Wind Up Toys

Here’s a little insight into the way I go about things. I know a few
people who are on some of these panels, so I’ll probably e-mail them
and see if they have any thoughts on them. This “Luddite SF” one is
something I’m being punished for suggesting by being the only panelist
listed. I may see if I can draft another participant so I don’t have
to sit up by myself for 50 minutes. For each of the 3 real panels,
I’ll make notes similar to what I’d do to prepare for an
interview. I’ll make bullet points of broad discussion topics, draw
lines that link together possibly related points, fill in around with
examples where they are available, etc. For all of these panels, I’ll
walk in to them with possible points to make, things I’ve thought
about, etc.

I hate not being prepared for things, be it meetings at
work, presentations, etc. I prefer getting the meeting agenda ahead of
time, so I can think through the issues before getting into a room
with umpteen other people. Most people seeem to not care and see no
problem with filling a meeting with underinformed opinions of
something they just heard about for the first time 12 seconds ago. I
guess I’m just a different breed of cat. My company was in the venture
capitalist process recently, and I was called into one due diligence
meeting, not even about the product line per se but about some build
infrastructure I and one other guy built. For this, I prepared Visio
diagrams of the architecture, of the work flow, etc. None of this was
done for the product but I did this for the toolset. Why? It wasn’t
expected of me but I just didn’t like the thought of going into a
meeting unprepared.

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Here is something that John Bartley
posted to the Orycon mailing list:

Yahoo groups has instituted another policy without informing its
users. They are using web beacons (‘pixels’) to track users OUTSIDE of
Yahoo’s sites (“to conduct research on behalf of certain partners on their web
sites and also for auditing purposes.” This week.) You can opt out of
this program by going here:

After you click on the “opt out” link, pay attention to the next page.
The gray button that comes up CANCELS the opt out, so don’t click it;
just close the browser tab or the browser window instead.

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Nothing takes it out of you quite like making a 1200 round trip drive
over a weekend. Damn. I didn’t read any more of A Fire Upon
The Deep
but I did read the Ted Chiang story “Hell is the
Absence of God”, which I had downloaded from Fictionwise. As an award
nominee, it is up there for free at the moment. Get it while it is
hot, it’s a good one. I wanted to read some of the Vinge, but my Prism
was running low on batteries. This morning I’ll pay for my two Prism
travel chargers, plus a screen protector/cleaning kit that I bid on
from the same place. I figure while I’m paying shipping anyway, I
might as well load up. I was a little confused when I got automated
e-mail from Auctionworks,
rather than the seller directly. For a moment, I thought it was a scam
until I dug deeper. This seems kind of cool, a whole infrastructure
that straps onto the whole eBay transaction. It aggregates the various
auctions – when I went to the status page it knew I had won multiple
auctions from the same seller and would also allow me to make further
purchases and add those to the shopping cart before I checked out. It
was so convenient that I did basically that, although I went via the
eBay auction rather than purchasing outright as it was a few bucks
cheaper that way. All in all, this seems like a pretty clever
deal. I’m surprised eBay hasn’t already bought them and rolled this
functionality into their main site.