jorhett: (conventions)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 07:09am on 12/08/2017 under

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 You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.

jorhett: (Default)
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.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
location: Helsinki, Finland
jorhett: (Default)
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.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
jorhett: (me)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 11:15am on 02/12/2016 under
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)

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 Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

jorhett: (me)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 12:39am on 25/05/2016 under
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... )
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
jorhett: (me)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 10:54pm on 23/05/2016 under
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.
Mood:: euphoric
jorhett: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 09:26am on 16/04/2016 under

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 Comments are welcome here or there as you please.
jorhett: (Default)
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 Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

jorhett: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jorhett at 10:05am on 16/12/2015 under ,

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 You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.


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