In San Francisco on that anniversary, attending the Seybold conference. So far an OSCOM hackathon, a bomb threat, and some pure-California visual poetry.

Seybold this year is in the new “West” facility of the Moscone centre, which is a lovely space, but smaller than the main North/South wings Seybold used to occupy in its glory days, this week hosting Oracle World, a truly Big Deal whose red/white/black decoration give the whole neighborhood a vaguely National-Socialist look.

Traffic and morning light heading into San Francisco

On the way in from SFO, that light, that concrete, that traffic, a picture that could only be taken one place in the world.

OSCOM Sprint · In the speakers’ room an OSCOM Atom API Hackathon/Sprint. A bunch of open-source hacks clustered around the table arguing about WebDAV and REST and SOAP and so on and so on. I find myself with an assignment: to write an Atom authoring client for Emacs; should be fun.

By the way, it seems lots of people think that Pie/Atom/Echo/Whatever should just be Atom, so for now I’m just going to say Atom, PEAW kind of sucks.

Mystery Drinks for Seybold speakers

I grow thirsty and visit the drinks table, which contains three canisters of unlabeled fluids whose colours are entirely ambiguous. I can report that the brownish one is somewhat but not entirely unlike tea; later I find that it is apple cider.

Bomb Threat! · In the early afternoon, we hear that the Oracle conference has been disrupted by a bomb threat, which is a little spooky because of That Anniversary, but doesn’t stop people cracking jokes about whether we should be pointing fingers at Microsoft, IBM, or Peoplesoft. A couple hours later, they chased us out too. There’s some pretty severe cluelessness at work here; either they take the threat seriously or they don’t, and if they do, they shouldn’t wait over two hours before evacuating us?

Here’s a picture of the scene outside the convention centre.

Crowd outside the Moscone Centre after bomb threat

We were going off to the hotel to hang out in the bar, but Gregor Rothfuss wanted to mobile-blog this. Which brings it home to me: next time there’s a 9/11, there’s a good chance that some moblogger is going to scoop all the media big-time.

In the speakers’ room at Seybold, there were plenty of Cat5 drops but a shortage of DHCP leases. When they announced the bomb threat, Lauren saw people unplugging and leaving, brightened up and said “Oh good, I can grab my email” and plugged in. Is that great or what, and I ask: why would a geek ever marry a non-geek?

In the evening, we strolled around a bit, and I must say that San Francisco can dazzle you from time to time.

Afternoon light on buildings by Union Square

The Sessions · The sessions (I thought) went well, and here’s a surprise: approximately two-thirds of the attendees, here at the world headquarters of publishing technology, were hearing about blogging and RSS for the first time. I obviously think that blogs and simple syndication are going to change the world; I hadn’t realized how early in the process we are.

Attendees at Seybold Blogging/rSS session

Steel Band · Later that evening in the hotel room, the sound of a West Indian steel band provided atmosphere while I downloaded these pictures. They were doing traditional islands stuff, but then there was a surprising segue into The Girl from Ipanema, and then to Bach’s Ave Maria.

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September 11, 2003
· Technology (87 fragments)
· · Publishing (157 more)
· The World (126 fragments)
· · Places
· · · San Francisco (17 more)

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