Sunday, March 12, 2006

Getting Ready for Spring VON 2006 

Spring VON 2006 means for me basically getting from Vienna to San Jose, which takes some time. Not only telecommunication is moving back to the future, so is travelling. It is getting worse and worse. Ok, it is my fault to book a itinerary from Vienna to San Jose via London Heathrow and Chicago, which took me 26 hours on the road. Nothing special happend this time compared to my recent experiences, only two minor observations:

1. It was the first time for me to arrive in LHR on terminal 4 and had to take the bus to terminal 3. How can somebody lay out an International airport in such a way that the bus is driving 15 min on a completely insane route through an area looking like the backside of the London Docks before rennovation? One advantage is that you enter terminal 3 via a backdoor (no kidding) with a separate security check avoiding any queues e.g. like here on LHR terminal 2.

2. Talking about queuing. Chikago Terminal 5. Arriving in Chikago on time and completely sober - American Airlines is the first airline I ever had with no free drinks on an intercontinental flight - and having a 2 hour stop-over time ahead, I did not worry about my connection to San Jose - until I saw the queue at immigation. 30 in where already gone with taxi and walking, the immigation took another 60 min waiting in the queue. I suggest that consumer protection agency should have a look at this and request a regulator to be established for airport authorities and governments to order maximum waiting times in queues. E.g. like they guaranty in stores: if more then 5 CUSTOMERS queue up an additional cashier is opened. In Chikago from 20 available lines for visitors only 4 (sometimes 5) lines where open. Having only 30 min left to go by train to termial 3 and then though another security check, this will be tight. But I made it in 20 min, mainly because there was NO queue at the security check in terminal 3, seconds before they closed the gate. And then I sat 15 min exhausted in the plane before it pushed back - hurry up and wait.

Having now two days before the VON really starts, I have some time to recover and to prepare for my two panels, the first on Thursday 1:45pm: Standards Update moderated by Henry Sinnreich (Pulver) and it has a very interesting mix of partizipants: Markus Isomaki (Nokia), Cullen Jennings (Cisco and freshly appointed IETF Real-Time Applications and Infrastruture Area Director), Orit Levin (Micoosoft) and Phil Zimmerman (PGP). The second panel will be on Friday will be the Bloggers Speak-Out at 1:30pm, moderated by Andy Abramson, and also partizipating Christine Herron, Jeff Pulver and Ted Shelton.

In the meantime I will also trying to finalize my schedule, but I know from experience that this can only be tentative, because there is also the interesting exhibition, taking away some time from the presentations, and of course the usual networking, meeting old friends and making new ones.

The only thing I know for sure now is that I will start on Tuesday with the Communications Policy Summit, definitely not missing Lawrence Lessig's Keynote at 8:30am, although I may also want to peek in the parallel session on Communications for Communities Summit.

I also will not miss the Industry Perspectives on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, starting with Jeff as usual and ending with Tim O'Reilly and James Enck (as usual? ;-)

The rest of the week is ffs.

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