[FoRK] [schoen@loyalty.org: Re: [linux-elitists] Shadow WinHEC?]

Eugen Leitl < eugen at leitl.org > on > Wed Mar 22 10:59:30 PST 2006

----- Forwarded message from Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> -----

From: Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:39:04 -0800
To: linux-elitists at zgp.org
Subject: Re: [linux-elitists] Shadow WinHEC?
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.11+cvs20060126

Don Marti writes:

> >From the "translating corporate speak" department:
> 
> Corporate speak: "We look forward to focusing on an
> exciting post-holiday launch of the new operating
> system."
> 
> English: "Those ASSHOLES!  Christmas is RUINED!"
> 
> http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2006/tc20060321_261766.htm
> 
> So, in the tradition of "unconferences" how about
> FreedomHEC, Seattle, Washington, USA, May 26-27, 2006?

I went to WinHEC last year and it was pretty depressing.

http://www.eff.org/cgi/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=16&search=winhec

Perhaps that was just because I deliberately tried to attend all the
DRM talks.

One of the cultural elements of WinHEC is that it is a symbolic display
of power and wealth -- by Microsoft and by its "partners".  In some
sense I imagine this is true of all trade shows; following Veblen or
perhaps Dawkins, it's a matter of "our company/industry sector/etc. is
so well-off that we can afford to come to this city and have an
expensive party to celebrate!".

In my experience some of the smaller companies there were a bit downcast
because WinHEC was effectively a matter of Microsoft bossing them
around: Microsoft was there to announce to them what they were all going
to do in the next year (if they wanted Windows compatibility and the
right to participate in the extremely commercially important and
somewhat corrupt "logoing" programs -- "Designed for Microsoft Windows
Foo"; "PlaysForSure"; "I did Microsoft's bidding for three years and
paid them tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees and all I got
was this lousy sticker").

Although Seattle has an impressive shadow conference tradition, I'm not
sure whether WinHEC is the kind of thing that you can shadow and get a
lot of people to turn out for.  There are certainly cool technologies
in the free software world that we could use better hardware support
for.  Is the prototypical shadow conference attendee a person who might
have gone to WinHEC or a person who wouldn't be caught dead there?

-- 
Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | This is a new focus for the security
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/   | community. The actual user of the PC
     http://vitanuova.loyalty.org/     | [...] is the enemy.
                                       |          -- David Aucsmith, IDF 1999
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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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