This rant has been a long time coming, and those of you that know me
have probably heard it all before, but considering I'm at yet another
conference that appears to be having the same problem I feel it's time
to revisit old wounds.
Nearly all conferences these days have a stipulation that your paper
will only get published if you actually attend the conference itself.
The past few conferences I've been to have made this well known in the
documentation, but have obviously failed to see it through. Looking at
the printed publications list for my session today I see around 15
papers printed. Of those, 7 are actually on the agenda today for
people that have said they will turn up. Of those, 5 of us actually
turned up and presented, and that was one of the better turnouts !
This mornings session had 3 out of 9. For someone who has flown from
the other side of the world to attend the conference with hopes of
actually hearing some interesting presentations this really st's me
I propose that conferences should hold off printing official
publications until after the conference is complete - and then mail
them out to the people who actually attended, only including those
papers which were presented or papers where the presenter couldn't at
the last minute make it. We need to remove this idea that you
basically just "pay" the registration fee to get your paper printed as
it really ruins the reputation of the conference. Who is going to
bother turning up to a conference if you know that only 1/4 of the
papers will get presented and every session will just end up finishing
Perhaps I'm bitter because others who are geographically "down-the-
road" have just paid money to get published where I've travelled a
bloody long way following the requirements of the conference
documentation. Infact, thats probably it. Doesn't stop me getting
annoyed about it though :-)
No Internet at the conference !!
OMG, I can't believe it. The organisers of the conference haven't
organised any Internet access for the attendees. This means that only
access to the net I have is if I run back up to our room. The only
access is through the hotels 'conference wireless', which costs US
a day !! This is seriously going to be a pain in the butt and probably
the result of many a trips running back-and-forward between the
conference and my room to send/receive messages.
Transferring through LAX
Thought I would backtrack a little and post about our transfer through
I'll admit, I wasn't looking forward to it. Before flying out I had
been reading lots of LifeHacker  posts about how horrible TSA are
of late and the kind of delays you can hit. Turns out, it wasn't that
bad ! In fact, it probably was easier than when we went through
Heathrow last year.
We were all-but-last off the plane and hit the back end of the queue
to pass immigration. For those planning the trip I would recommend you
bring either a book or an iPod as the line can be long. We waited
around 30 minutes. Two fingerprints, a digital photo and the removal
of all my rights later we collected our bags and joined the end of the
Custom's line - which was as simple as just handing them for
declaration form and moving straight through
Transferring our bags then onto our US Airways domestic flight was a
breeze, and no bags meant that we could use the self-service check-in
option which after walking from one end of LAX to the other to change
terminals went without a hitch. Of course, with all the prior reading
I should have noticed the dreaded "SSSS" written on our boarding
passes. This is the flag to the TSA security crew at the scanners that
you need to be "investigated". This meant that Sarah and I got dragged
off to a little side area and had all our bags dug through, explosive
tested and a pat down for weapons, etc. Who knows what triggered the
flag - probably just the fact that we were non-U.S. flying domestic.
Really, it wasn't that bad and only slowed us down by about 10
minutes. Faster than getting selected for bomb testing at Newcastle
So, all in all - can't complain.
 LifeHacker - http://www.lifehacker.com