Today I was giving a speech at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. The RSA is a really big conference and also seems to me like a very well organized one – e.g. they have all those computers at the registration hall where you put your name and then it immediately says to which check-in counter you should proceed and then when you get there they already have a badge waiting for you. Pretty cool stuff.
So my speech turned out to be scheduled in a very small room, say with seats for 100-200 people only (I haven't counted exactly). But then it turned out that there are more people interested in seeing the speech, so, as it usually happens on conferences, people started seating on the floor and also standing at the back of the room. I would say there was about 30% overflow, but still they could fit ok in the room. And then came this guy from the conference and said that all people who don’t have a seat should leave the room! It turned out that this is a fire regulation.
Interestingly it was perfectly ok for the additional people to stay in the room, provided they arranged for additional chairs for themselves. In other words it was fine for people to sit and block the main aisle, provided they sit on chairs, but they couldn’t stay and sit on the same aisle without having a chair (maybe a "certificated" chair also), as that would be against the fire regulations!
Yes, I know there are more examples of stupid pseudo-security rules (think airports), but, come on, this is on of the most well known security conference...
That situation annoyed me so much (because, of course, it turned out to be impossible to arrange for the additional chairs, so all those people had to leave) that I decided to submit this story to my blog using the totally unsecured public WiFi in my hotel. It was really unwise for me to do that, as Google’s Blogger uses HTTPS only for authentication (i.e. the login screen) but then it switches back to the good old plain text HTTP, making it possible for some evil guy sitting in the lobby to hijack my session. Is it that I miss something here or Google simple forgot that it is 2008 and not the 90’s anymore? Anyway, I'm just taking this risk bravely, hoping that the potential attacker, seeing my determination here, would refrain themselves from compromising this blog.
I know, I know, instead of complaining about Google, I should just move my blog to some other place. One day that’s gonna happen for sure :)