jorhett: (conventions)
2017-08-12 07:09 am
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Membership versus a ticket at Worldcon

One of the prevailing arguments in favor of fan-run Science Fiction conventions is that you are a member, a participant in the convention. This is in contrast to the ticket to attend principle of media corp-run promotional conventions. I have generally found value in this difference over the years, and have campaigned to bring more and more people into fandom over the years.

In the last 10 years this has dried up, with more and more friends choosing Comicon and other media conventions over fan-run events. After the utter and complete failure of Helsinki’s Worldcon to prepare for, or care about its membership I am finally forced to understand why. The definition of success for Worldcon no longer matches with any definition of success I understand. Let me explain:Read the rest of this entry » )


This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2017/08/membership-versus-a-ticket-at-worldcon/. You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.

jorhett: (Default)
2017-08-09 01:50 pm
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failing your top 3 jobs in running a convention

It doesn't seem to matter how every year the exact same issues are brought up at every freakin' Worldcon one after another, each year another team fails to solve the top 3 things any convention should ensure are solid for their attendees. This isn't just bad information sharing, honestly after 30 years of watching every single one of them fail again and again, it just comes down to outright lack of care for the members.

When you attend a convention, what's the top 3 things important to you?

1. Registering
2. Getting to (thing) you want to see
3. Finding food

These are in order they likely occur to you, rather than order of importance as #2 is critical to someone with accessibility constraints for example whereas #3 may matter more to someone with blood sugar issues, etc.

And how often do these problems appear? Well, if you attend the feedback panels at any convention you'll find that more than 90% of the complaints on most non-epic-tragedy years center around these three issues. Furthermore, if you work a table promoting a convention you'll find that these three issues dominate the questions asked of you. In short, you hear it coming and going over and over again how important these issues are.

So how well is Worldcon 75 standing up to the task?

1. Registration
- started a day late
- is apparently missing significant information (per other posts)
- has merged multiple registrations that contain the same name with least privilege winning out
- has no access to the original dataset, and no way to validate original membership confirmations

2. Getting to things. The maps of each level are
- rotated in different directions
- missing intersection of common details (no common staircases exist on both levels of a map)
- have labels with arrows that point opposite direction from where that thing is (do the Fins always walk away from where the arrow is pointing?)

Accessibility is a super-clusterpuff. There's a nice hotel for the accessible attached/merged with the convention center. It's less than 30 steps from the hotel's breakfast area to the registration desk. However, staff has decided to make all of the accessibility-constrained people walk/roll more than 700 steps out to the street and back in the south entrance "to ensure flow"

3. Finding food

OMG. So there is a whole book on finding restaurants. Nice! Well, except that the map uses a 3-point font for names, so it is unreadable EVEN WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS. Furthermore, the only anchor points on the map are the restaurants, so there's zero ability to find how they relate to your positionn.

Wait, we have technology! We'll use Google Maps and find some common points of reference... So yeah, not a single restaurant with a number on the map is listed in Google Maps, so there's no way to overlay Google Maps so as to find the restaurants listed there.

Some of you are probably going to say "and nobody can fit into the panel rooms, they are overfilled" and yeah that's the same old same old as previous years too. Because god knows, sharing data gathered over the years couldn't possibly be in the member's interest.
jorhett: (Default)
2017-04-16 12:09 am
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Why Dreamwidth will be updated and Livejournal abandoned

I'm leaving Livejournal for all the obvious reasons. As a permanent account holder this in theory won't affect me, but I don't want to support Russia or Russian companies in any form until they pull their head out of their butt about LGBTQ rights. Given that they are rounding up gay men and putting them in concentration camps, I'm not holding my breath.
jorhett: (me)
2016-12-02 11:15 am
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I'm down to 210lbs, why am I not celebrating?

I should be celebrating, but it's not actually good news.

This is for me a near-record low weight of 210 lbs. The only time in the last 25 years that I've been at or below 210 lbs was when I was training 3 days a week with a professional trainer, trying desperately to compete with Elena Myers for a mini-bike championship. She won the championship and went on to become the first woman to win an AMA (national, televised) race. I've been bouncing around between 220lbs and 240lbs ever since.

So why is this bad? It's not because of my diet. We ate moderately well in Hawaii but way too many sweets, and frankly right now just walking is exercise for me. So how do you lose almost a pound a day with an average 2,000 steps a day, no other exercise and a vacation diet?

Massive muscle atrophy, that's how. So this is weight that I'll be wanting to get back.
jorhett: (Default)
2016-06-01 12:50 am
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How to prevent Roku Wifi Direct from breaking 5ghz devices

A Roku 3 or streaming stick uses Wifi Direct to communicate with the remote control. This works well… unless you intended to use your wifi for some other purpose, that is. If your Roku is near your wifi access point or between your device and the access point, you’ll experience horrible wifi connectivity. A Roku in the apartment next to you could break your wifi connectivity. People have been forced to stop using them in condos due to neighbor complaints.

Well, I’ve found the problem and how to fix it.

Read the rest of this entry »

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2016/06/how-to-prevent-roku-wifi-direct-breaking-5ghz/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

jorhett: (me)
2016-05-25 12:39 am

Fail to disbelieve. Please.

I'm really not into the "privilege" wars (see footnote #1), however... reposted from Facebook, because LiveJournal is more appropriate for long-form content.

I am so completely sick of people replying to a well-written article by someone expressing themselves about how insults, attacks, and closeminded judgement of them have wounded them by jumping up and telling the world (1) they've never experienced it and (2) that it must not be real because of that.

That you have not experienced it does not mean that someone else has not. That you have not experienced it likely means that through gender, race, sex, class, money, or location it has either never been applied to you, or those very same privileges have allowed you to feel safe enough to discard or ignore the threat.
Read more... )
jorhett: (me)
2016-05-23 10:54 pm
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euphoric after an awesome night of Hockey

First stop was Bay Area Hockey Repair to get my blades sharpened. The guy working there was both bored and knew a lot about skate fitting. He was able to diagnose what was hurting my right foot, and punch out the boot in just the right place to relieve pressure there. My skates felt perfect tonight.

Then I had 90 minutes of Gretsky practice time. Given that we *never* have late Gretsky hours, I figured it would be packed. Thanks to the Sharks game on TV (I assume) only kids showed up, so we had about 25 people total on the ice and I was the old man by two decades.

First I had some really fast kids show me and push me through some tight 8-turns, pivot and shoot practice which I really suck at but they were really helpful and friendly. Then I ran into Dane, this really talented player from Canada who had given me help before. He approached me and asked if I wanted help! Hell, yeah.

So I got 60+ minutes of intensive training. He'd spend about 10 minutes on one thing then shift me to something else. He even picked on things I had given up on, like omg I can do a slapshot now.

Gah. I only stopped for one 2 minute break, so it was 90 minutes intensive on the ice. Much harder than a game. I was completely wrecked by the time it was over. Absolutely, totally, acid in my mouth, hands won't stop shaking wrecked.

But it was awesome. I feel completely euphoric. I had the friendliest, most helpful people around me all night. And I learned so much more than I ever expected to learn.
jorhett: (Default)
2016-04-16 09:26 am
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The changing nature of my business.

This year my income as a writer almost matched my consulting income. Although neither are appreciable sums, it represents a distinct shift in my non-dayjob efforts of which I am both proud, and deeply interested in developing further.

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2016/04/the-changing-nature-of-my-business/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.
jorhett: (Default)
2016-03-26 03:08 pm
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Learning Puppet 4 covering Puppet 4.4 is now available

Learning Puppet 4

Learning Puppet 4: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation

The final, professionally edited book is now available for online reading at Safari Books

Offline versions can be found at:

Read the rest of this entry »

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2016/03/learning-puppet-4-is-now-available/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

jorhett: (Default)
2015-12-16 10:05 am
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eBook Reader selection guide

Would you like to upgrade your ereader, or give an ebook reader to a friend? This post you’ll find suggestions and advice on ebook format, digital rights management, and improved night reading.

Book Format

If you aren’t sure about the recipient’s favorite way to read ebooks, give them an ereader that will read ePub books. This standard format is supported on every platform by dozens of e-reading applications. A book published in the ePub standard format will be available no matter what happens in the marketplace, or whether they shift to a different reading platform in the future. Furthermore, there are numerous easy ways to convert an ePub book to be read on Kindle readers.

A book based on the proprietary Kindle format can be converted to other formats, but the process isn’t easy and the results are less than ideal. However, if you know absolutely that the user has and prefers an Amazon Kindle, then you can gift them either format. They have already accepted the technology risk associated with the Kindle format.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

If a book is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) it may be difficult to read on other platforms. If possible, purchase a book without DRM protection.

If the publisher of the book insists on DRM protection, your choice of platform could become important. Apple and Amazon books with DRM cannot be read on any third-party device or application.

In contrast, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other stores sell book with the standardized Adobe ADEPT DRM technology that third-party ereaders can properly decode and display on any platform.

LED versus e-ink

For the choice of reading device, the only significant criteria I have found is the choice of LED screens versus e-ink screens. Some people have a difficult time reading LED screens for a long period. Other people (myself included) can comfortably read LED screens for any length of time. If you want to gift someone with a new or upgraded reading device, try to learn how they feel about reading on LED screens.

The following readers provide front-lit displays that don’t shine light directly into your eyes:

  • $99 on sale: The Nook Glowlight Plus is a dedicated e-reading device. This device can display any book in ePub format, ensuring upgrade protection and allowing purchase from many book vendors.
  • $99 on sale: Kindle Paperwhite can only display Kindle-format books.
  • $119: Kobo Glow HD is a dedicated reading device which uses Kobo’s reading software.
  • €119: inkBook Obsidian is a full featured Android e-ink device which can utilize any Android reading app, including Kindle and Nook apps.

There is a wide variety of devices with LED screens, so you can pick any one which meets your needs. I recommend that you acquire and use blue light filters at night to prevent the well-documented effects of reduced serotonin generation.


This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2015/12/ebook-reader-selection-guide/. You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.
jorhett: (Default)
2015-12-15 03:52 pm
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How to give eBooks as Gifts (updated for 2015)

As Christmas is close, Winter Solstice is closer, and Hanukkah is already upon us, some of you may be looking for ways to give books to people that don’t involve shopping malls or overnight shipping. Give an eBook! Every year it has gotten easier and easier to send eBooks as gifts. Here are my short and easy instructions, with links to detailed explanations for each vendor.
Read the rest of this entry » )


This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2015/12/how-to-give-ebooks-as-gifts/. You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.

jorhett: (Default)
2015-06-29 09:18 am
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BringGo Review: right idea, worst possible implementation

I’ve been driving an EV car all week. Fun! Now I don’t tend think much of stock car stereos. Often when I bought a new car, replacing the stock radio was something I did on the way home before the car even got to my house. But I was, frankly, blown away with how good the stereo in the Chevy Spark EV was. HD FM radio? Check. Tightly integrated Sirius radio? Check. Bluetooth audio streaming? Check. Best display for interacting with my iPod I’ve ever seen. How, like, I would keep this!

When Chevy told me that the navigation system in the car worked with an app on my phone, I was very excited. “Someone finally got the right idea!” No more horrible built in Navigation. No more multi-hundred dollar map updates. I was so happy, I had such high hopes. I immediately downloaded the BringGo application and…

Read the rest of this entry »

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2015/06/bringgo-review-right-idea-worst-possible-implementation/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

jorhett: (Default)
2015-04-24 11:11 am
Entry tags:

Learning Puppet 4 Early Release is now available

Learning Puppet 4

Learning Puppet 4: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation

This book teaches you how to use Puppet 4 for configuration management and automation. If you are an experienced DevOps engineer, this book covers in detail the changes and improvements in Puppet 4 and how to make best use of them.

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2015/04/learning-puppet-4-early-release-is-now-available/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.
jorhett: (me)
2015-03-16 12:46 am
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+1 and an assist!

No goals were scored against us while I was on the ice tonight. That would net me a +0, the thing which I was happy to have a few weeks back.

Tonight we ran the puck into the opposite zone. I passed cleanly to someone, who took a shot. Deflected by the goalie. The opposing left winger got to the puck first and railed it behind the net. Henry and their right winger collided trying to get the puck; it bounced a few feet away from them. I snagged it, glanced around and found our right winger standing clear in the slot. I passed cleanly to him, he shot on goal. It rebounded off the goalie's pads towards me. It could have been my first goal, but Henry got to the puck quicker and tossed it in the net before the goalie could get over to our side.

Would have been nice to get the goal, but it was first assist AFAIK and also my first +1 game so I'm happy with this.

We won the game 3:1 which ain't bad either ;)
jorhett: (me)
2015-02-24 10:38 pm
Entry tags:

My life is bound together by KT tape and Silicon pads

So the last two weeks have provided for the first time some positive news on the hockey front. First I did some careful investigation and tuning with the manager of our local Hockey Giant store, and we figured out where all my pain is coming from. On my left foot I have a nerve running over the top of the bony protrusion in my ankle. On my right foot, the nerve lies lower and is protected from pressure. We successfully cut away some of the tongue and used silicon pads to protect the nerve. For the first time I skated with no pain. (meant to write this part a week or so back)

So I did some testing and moving things around and got positive and negative results and was able to confirm that the silicon pad doesn't prevent the tongue from sliding down and doubling up there like we hoped, but the silicon pad falls inside the tongue and protects the nerve. As long as the pad stays in place, I can skate with little pain.

In fact, I've been able to stop tying my skates super tight once the pad is protecting the nerve, and let the skate move around a little more. This was guaranteed pain in the past, but it's fine as long as the pad stays in place. I'm skating better and more confidently now. It's been a huge relief to stop thinking about pain, and avoiding thereof, and just think about skating.

I still can't skate well without KT Tape to support me, although I did figure out that I can apply a long strip across the lower back nerves myself, and this provides enough support. So at least I'm self-sufficient now.

Finally, the Knights broke our losing streak Sunday by defeating the Piranhas, who beat us soundly back in November. Not only did we win, but it was my first game where I didn't go further negative on my +/-! Granted, a positive (being on the ice when a goal was scored) or scoring a goal myself would be even better, but it's my first game were I didn't go negative so I'm happy with it.

This is apparently a best season so far for the Knights, and we have secured a spot in the playoffs!
jorhett: (me)
2015-01-25 12:35 pm
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Know anyone with clue about hockey skate fit?

I'm having a ton of fun trying to learn hockey. But to be honest, in the 10 months I've been doing it I've spent 3 times as much time trying to find a way to get the boots stable and pain free underneath me. It's not a problem skating around for fun. For some reason once I start skating with hockey intensity I find myself in serious pain.

Either the boot is too loose and moves around beneath my feet, or I'm in pain from the little bony knob just above the heel on the outside of my left foot.

I've tried lacing patterns. I've tried pads inside the boots. Sharks ice pro shop has no clue. I switched boots with Hockey Giant. Last thing we did was reheat and punch out the boot to give me more room there. After spending two months out due to the shoulder surgery, I came back and spent roughly 10 hours practicing skating. I went to the beginner hockey class this Saturday morning and I couldn't even finish the class I was in too much pain.

I guess after the shoulder surgery I'm just really tired of being in pain all the time, and I'm seriously considering hanging up my gloves and going back to just being a fan.

If someone has any good ideas about where to go, or any specialist (I'm happy to pay) who might be able to work this out... I'd really love to be able to focus on skating and hockey, rather than pain management.

Until or unless I find some useful direction to proceed, I guess I'm going to bow out and go back to sports I could enjoy sans pain.
jorhett: (me)
2014-12-16 04:37 pm

Going to work at Chegg

After a lot of thinking and probably over-thinking, I've accepted an offer from Chegg. I'll start there Monday as a Senior DevOps engineer.

I believe this is going to be not only a good job, but a good lifestyle match for me. I'm really excited about this change.
jorhett: (me)
2014-12-07 12:12 pm

Who from Loncon3 has a photo of Nova and I at absolute zero?

This post is for those of you in the group who went to Greenwich after LonCon had finished. So I'm looking through my photographs and I have a half dozen of other people at absolute zero. I have the two of us in a group photo which someone else took, but I swear that Nova and I got a couple photo taken of us. I don't have it.

I'm pretty sure this means that someone else took the photo and I assumed I'd get it from you, but forgot to. So Dave, Andy, et al... do you have a photo of Nova and I standing together at absolute zero?
jorhett: (me)
2014-12-04 11:42 pm

Anyone want General Admission tickets to Skinny Puppy at the SF Warfield Dec 19th?

The show has moved from the Regency Ballroom to the Warfield. It's Skinny Puppy with Haujobb and Front Line Assembly opening. When they moved to the Warfield I purchased two seats up top because I'm old and lazy. So before I put them on Craigslist I figured I'd offer them to my friends.

Note that GA is sold out, so if want to be on the floor you've got to get them from me or someone else. $49/each.
jorhett: (me)
2014-10-28 05:16 pm
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...so my arm isn't broken, after all.

In Sunday's hockey game I managed to collide at high speed with our other defenseman while we were together blocking a forward sprinting towards our goal. We succeeded in blocking him, but ended up hitting the ice pretty hard, me on the shoulder which already has a bone spur poking into the rotator cuff.

I didn't notice being in pain that night, but when I woke up in the morning I couldn't move my arm two inches without almost screaming in pain. I got in to see my doctor ASAP worried I had broken the arm, but thankfully that wasn't the case. The impact has caused my shoulder to inflame tremendously, and it's pushing the rotator cuff muscles up against the bone spur really hard.

No hockey for me for at least a week, more likely two or three. In fact, no holding things with both hands, or even pointing my left arm. It hurts.

And now my doctor is saying that maybe we really should consider doing surgery to cut away some of the bone spur. We'll see how it looks after the inflammation dies down.