the economies of scale of a Worldcon, and how to make this topic relevant to Nanog

Jay Ashworth jra at
Sun Sep 23 22:48:36 UTC 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jo Rhett" <jrhett at>

> On Sep 21, 2012, at 10:00 AM, Jay Ashworth wrote:
> > And this is pretty much precisely why I'm hammering the nail;
> > there's
> > *lots* of stuff that could -- and properly should -- be technology
> > assisted at the world's largest gathering of science fiction
> > enthusiasts.
> No point in building fast access to nothing (related to the con) ;-)

True 'nuff.

> I'm not saying that's right, but it is what is. And don't forget that
> right now hard SF is a pretty mean minority. The vast majority of
> sci-fi fans are into steampunk and other alt history these days. (and
> don't get me started about that) iPhones are not generally strapped to
> their victorian outfits.


> > Assuming you can get close enough -- which won't be geographically
> > practical for ... oh, wait; you're envisioning 3G, not WLAN. Yeah,
> > I suppose that might work... until you consider that I will, personally,
> > be bringing both laptops, my tablet, and my phone, all of which want
> All of which can use LTE either natively or with a dongle.

As I noted in another reply, there are both "having a dongle" and "having
an account" problem with that which are generally not easy to solve for
the duration of a Worldcon (only).

> > to talk to the outside world. I would bet that I'm not all *that*
> > unusual in that, at a Worldcon, based on some attendee conversations
> > I've had at Anticipation and the much less well attended NASfic 10,
> > ReConstruction.
> You aren't unusual, but you aren't the average by a long shot.

> > A lot of this, too, depends on what the concom negotiated with the
> > property about wifi access already.
> And this is where you're going to hit some very hard walls.

I don't know yet.

> One of which I forgot to mention. Many of the hotels (I believe all
> Hilton properties at this time) have sold the facilities space for
> their wifi network to another company. They CAN'T negotiate it with
> you, because they don't own it any more. And most of these wifi
> networks have stealth killers enabled, so that they spoof any other
> wifi zone they see and send back reject messages to the clients. So
> you can't run them side by side.

Do FCC regs actually permit that, license-free-band be damned?

> Try having a conversation with the hotel rep in charge of selling
> convention space about these kind of technical bits about wifi
> networks sometime. If you don't mind tearing your hair out at the
> time. Or tearing it out later, after you've been assured that the
> hotel will "make it all work" and then find that none of this
> equipment is within their control. (they don't care, you're already
> there and can't go anywhere else)

Well, yeah, but I don't think the contract is actually *signed* yet, 
and that I know which questions to ask, and what valid answers are,
is precisely why I'm sticking my nose into it in the first place.
> Sorry I'm being so negative on this topic. Got more than a few burnt
> fingers on this one :)

Understood.  Thanks for throwing yourself manfully on the grenade.

> > Can I get 12000 sessions on a single LTE tower?
> Yes. Can you get 12000 sessions through any single POE gateway? ;-)


-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                  Baylink                       jra at
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates         2000 Land Rover DII
St Petersburg FL USA               #natog                      +1 727 647 1274

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