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CFP conference pre-report from San Francisco; Politech dinner

The Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference begins Tuesday in San 
Francisco. (The pre-conference tutorials are on Tuesday, with the 
conference itself starting Wednesday.)

Last year's conference hotel was awful, and the weather was worse. I wrote 
at the time:
>Unfortunately, the only bar in the hotel and all but one restaurant are
>closed for repairs so there's no useful congregation area to estimate

This year it's in San Francisco, and the weather is fine -- sunny and 
windy, and perhaps even warm enough for sunbathing by the pool (sheltered 
from the wind on three sides).

Some observations so far:
* The hotel does have a bar this year -- not that large but serviceable.
* Location is on Van Ness, in what the locals call one of the 
less-desirable neighborhoods of San Francisco. Seems fine to me. Also it 
probably makes the hotel a bit cheaper than downtown. It's about a 12-block 
walk from downtown or Chinatown (head downhill on Bush st.)
* Decide when you're checking in whether you want a room with a view of 
downtown (sorry, the hotel isn't high enough for a view of the bay) or the 
courtyard. The courtyard is quieter but not as interesting.
* The hotel is shaped like a T, with one of the two ninety-degree angles 
framing the courtyard. Of those two sides, only one has balconies. You may 
want to ask for one when you're checking in.
* All the conference events, including the typically off-site EFF Pioneer 
Awards (http://www.politechbot.com/p-03378.html) are in the hotel.
* About 450 people have registered (not all of those have paid), with a 
maximum expected attendence of 500. This is in line with previous years. 60 
of the registrants are journalists.
* There should be an 802.11 wireless network.

If you haven't RSVP'd for the Politech dinner on Tuesday evening, this is 
your last chance. See:


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