Amsterdam, 4:31am

Or maybe it’s my discovery of vieux jeniver (I hope I have that right — the old stuff, not the new stuff) at the Poster Reception at WWW9 last night. It’s probably a good thing that it took me longer than I planned to go stash my laptop back in my hotel room yesterday afternoon, or I might have used the extra drink tickets I collected and then I know I’d be in trouble!

More later; I’m hoping that getting this writing out of my system and onto Dave’s servers will let me go back to sleep.

Hmmm…just found a little buglet…I adjusted my timezone to “Central Europe (UTC+0100)”, since that’s where I am, and also changed my page to put a byline on the page with the time of last edit. Much to my surprise, UTC+0100 means exactly what it says — no adjustment is made for summer time. When I get home to California, I’ll reset my timezone preference — I wonder if being in the same timezone as the server will cause it to honor daylight time.

Larry Lessig’s keynote

Larry Lessig (Harvard Law School) gave this morning’s keynote speech. He was erudite and polished — possibly too erudite for some of the audience, I’m afraid. What I took as his message is this: government’s proper role in the evolution of the Internet is to ensure that the net itself remains neutral, that it doesn’t discriminate based on who’s using it or what application is being used, and that a balnance must be restored between intellectual property rights and the rights of the community (the users of the intellectual property). When I get home, I’m going to move his book much higher in my stack of books to read!

Afternoon plans

I’m going to miss most of the afternoon here at WWW9 in favor of discussing the possibility of holding a future Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference in Europe, quite possibly in Amsterdam. It’s not clear that the timing will work out for 2002 (2001 is already planned for Cambridge, Massachusetts), since there is a great deal of planning needed to pull off the conference. More later.

I had a pleasant walk through Vondelpark while waiting to go to my meeting; it would have been even nicer had the weather been warmer, but it was still a nice change from concrete. Then onto a crowded and late tram (it appeared that two or three scheduled trams didn’t run) to return to the hotel, pick up my briefcase, and tram to Centraal Station for lunch at the “First Class” restaurant (a former first class waiting room; part of the waiting room was converted to a Burger King, so don’t take the name too seriously!) to discuss CFP in Europe. Details when they become clear; I think we made progress, though.

WWW9 is over

I made it back from the CFP cabal meeting in time to use the Internet connection to fetch e-mail and then catch the closing ceremony — it looks as though the WWW10 committee has their act together. I’m hoping they will be able to get more papers on the effect of the Web on society and the world, not just the usual run of technical papers.

Then a last hit of e-mail (well, this is Amsterdam!) and back to the hotel with Andrew Donoho and Kelvin Lawrence (IBM colleagues from Austin), then to dinner. We all wanted to walk and enjoy the fresh air, so we strolled much of the way towards Centraal Square, then turned around and ended up at Myrabelle (an eet-en drinkcafe) at Vijelgracht 1. We had a very pleasant meal (I discovered that I like Amstel mittlebock (I may have the spelling of “mittlebock” wrong)), with good, friendly, reasonably fast service — this was a pleasant change from the last dinner I’d had with Andrew and Kelvin. Then we walked back to Leidsenplein and tried to go to an Australian ice cream place, but it was closed, so we ended up at Ben & Jerry’s. It felt just like home, though it was a little less crowded (and a few cents cheaper, too).

Tomorrow, I hope to visit Keukenhof if the weather permits. Unlike the web site, the real place does not require Flash to be installed!

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