Yes, I have made it out of the Mojave Desert for a few days — far away from the big bad winds that threaten to blow my house down, the dust storms that clog up my sinuses, and the suicidal rabbits that jump in front of my car. (I’m serious; it’s the most disturbing thing about that place. That…and all the meth labs.)
But, I digress.
I will attempt to cover this conference as best I can, but it’s not going to be that easy. The session rooms lack Internet wireless, work tables and electrical power strips for one’s laptops and electronic gadgets. I can barely Tweet because my wireless phone gets almost no signal. It’s mind boggling. I’ve stood in the middle of the Mojave Desert — surrounded by nothing by sagebrush and snakes and God knows what else — and gotten better signals than I have here.
They had the same problems four years ago at ISDC in Orlando. At the time, I was told the luxury hotel there was charging too much for Internet service. So, I would cover a talk and then walk over to another part of the hotel to file a story. It’s just surreal to listen to folks talk about sending people to Mars and we can’t get wireless in the session rooms.
It’s a major annoyance to me, but it’s a bigger loss for NSS and broader space community. Organizers go through years of preparations to hold this conference, then the coverage of it is diminished by a lack of basic services one would expect in 2013. Not just by me and other media folks, but by anyone who wants to use social media to let others follow what’s going on here. These media outlets are a great magnifier for any conference.
This is something that needs to be corrected for future conferences.