OOW2K6: The buzzstorm gathers
Connecting with your peersOracle have introduced an interesting innovation this year: Connect. This is just a gussied up forum site but with a social spin. The point is to find other OOW attendees with similar interests. So there are forums with threads and posts, as you would expect, but there are also channels for communicating privately with other attendees and arranging meetings. There's a function to "Request Introduction" - which seems like Jane Austen gone high tech - and another one to "Request Meeting", which is obviously a bit forward if you haven't been introduced. The obvious intention is to arrange business networking opportunities, power breakfasts and other high concept stuff. In practice I think it will mainly just groups of developers and DBAs arranging to discuss IDEs and ASSM over beers.
The forums are groups set up by individuals. Most of the current ones represent some aspect of the Oracle community. There are ones for various user groups and Laurent Schneider has set up a couple that intersect with my interests: Oracle bloggers and OTN Forums regulars. I have set up one myself, the Jetlagged Junta, although to be honest I've really not got any idea what I'm going to do with it. At the moment the only group that is seeing much action is the OOW Newbies group, which is helping neophytes plan their conference. Once Open World starts I think Connect could be a useful way for us to hook up with people who we only know by email address or forum handle. And with forty-one thousand attendees we are going to need all the aids we can get.
So I urge attendees to sign up for a Connect group. If there isn't one to suit your interests create one. Note that you have to tick a box on the registration form to enable your access. If you didn't do this when you registered you will need to re-click through your registration form (I think the relevant checkbox is at the bottom of the third page).
I have almost finished my paper on PL/SQL and automated unit testing. But I am finding it quite hard to get it all down in a way that is going to make sense to anybody. I keep switching between explaining the philosophy of automated unit testing and explaining utplsql. Still I'll get it done somehow. At least I have the actual presentation under control: that has the potential to be far more embarrassing because it's so much more public and I'm doing a demo this time. I was toying with trying to use VMWare
for that but having seen a VMWare demo go ka-blooie at the recent DE SIG I think I'll stick with an actual environment. At least I know what I already have works and there's enough on my plate with the day job.
What this does mean is that I have to sort out my carry-on luggage. As I'm doing a demo as part of my presentation I will be bringing my laptop to the US. In previous years I haven't bothered. I hope I can take my laptop on board with me instead of having to check it in to the tender mercies of the baggage handlers. Are we allowed liquids yet?
I notice that the agreement between Europe and US Homeland Security about the sort of information that it will divulge about airline passengers has run out. Apparently they didn't tell the US about passengers who have ordered kosher or halal meals, because that reveals their religion and so infringes their privacy. But they did pass over the names of people who have ordered vegetarian meals. Ignoring the fact that many people will order the veggie option because of their religion (Brahmins, Jains, Buddhists) just what did the US authorities do with this information? Were they concerned that a cadre of militant vegetarians might stuff themselves with bean burgers over the Atlantic with a view to launching a poisonous gas attack in a confined area? Or is it simply that anybody who doesn't eat beefburgers and fried chicken is inherently unAmerican and therefore worthy of suspicion?
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