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Trade Shows and Security Stuff

Did you know we are broadcasting tomorrow at 8PM? It would be great if you could join us.

I spent yesterday at a IT vendor-run summit. Now, I used to be in the business of working and running these things, and I was fascinated by the current state of vendor giveaways.

(Old man noises) Back in the day when rocks were soft, you might get a stress ball, pens, notebooks, or bags adorned with a vendor's logo. Occasionally you would get a T-Shirt or something a bit fancier. Once in a blue moon you might get something really spiffy. I remember Digital Equipment Corporation's Ultrix giving out Lucite paperweights with VAX chips in them, and I used to work for a company (TGV) that would give out Tie Dye T-Shirts.

Often these were not the most useful things, but nice enough and functional.

Contrast this to yesterday...


More than one vendor was giving out branded sliding door Webcam covers (potentially cooler than a Post-It note). This particular one came with a dummy microphone jack (potentially cooler than a jack with the cable cut off). This is definitely something I can use.

On the other hand, what does this say about the state of computing today when we have to resort to hardware hacks to maintain privacy? The vendors don't provide physical controls like this and we don't trust our hardware and operating systems enough to prevent spying. It is a weird, weird, weird, weird IT world out there, and it keeps heading further into the "here be dragons" territory.

The crew in the Bomb Shelter News Room were nice enough to secure a Chromebook for the Bomb Shelter. This will allow me to offload Slack and Web browsing from the main radio console computer. Without the news room we wouldn't have a server, and we would have a lot less news to discuss on a weekly basis. They may not be in front of the microphone, but without them the whole station would grind to a halt. "Thanks" doesn't seem to be enough, but that is what I keep telling them.

Related to this, I have promoted the BSNR to "Diamond Level Contributor". This is a bit of a trade show joke. I worked a show in the 1990's (Interop) that rewarded companies that donated equipment and manpower to the show. The original tiers were Gold, Silver, and Bronze (obviously). Well, one company (Wellfleet + Synoptics = Bay Networks) went above and beyond everyone else for years. Finally, to recognize this they created a special category for them, which was Diamond. I don't know what you got with a Diamond level, my company (either Gold or Silver, I can't remember) got some discounts, booth location priority and advertising out of the deal. It just seemed right that for their continuing "above and beyond", the news room should be Diamond. Now, I have to figure out what that means. I can't offer them a half-a-million dollar trade show booth (Yes, they cost that sometimes!) at discount. Ponder... Ponder... Suggestions welcome!

I've been asked if I am taking donations to keep the station running. In general the answer is no, since we don't have any recurring costs at the moment. I may ask for donations towards software licenses in the near term (stay tuned), and music licenses in the far term (if I can find a licensing deal that isn't ridiculous). Details will follow if and when needed. No matter what, the station will remain open to all. This will not become Pay-to-play Radio!

Speaking of play, did I mention we have a broadcast tomorrow night at 8PM US/Eastern? I hope you will be able to join us.

Cheers,
Illya


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