Vincent Cheung

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Perhaps the nerdiest thing I've ever done


So, it all started with Sarah. I blame her. She convinced me to get the VincentCheung.ca domain. I would have gotten VincentCheung.com, if it wasn't for my mortal enemy, Vincent Cheung the religious minister, who has that domain and beats me on Google searches. As a result of having a ".ca" domain, I became a member of the CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority). I got an e-mail about an upcoming meeting here in Toronto where the members could vote on proposed changes to stuff related to the CIRA. The incentives being that it was at the Fairmont Royal York (fancy hotel), free food, free drinks, and a free 128 MB USB memory key. Hey, I'm all about the free stuff.

I convinced Sarah to come as she also owns a ".ca" domain. She was quite hesitant at first, but I managed to convince her based on an "open mind" argument, but it was really the Royal York and memory key that sealed the deal.

So we get there just past 5:30 pm, which was when they started the actual meeting part. There were shit loads of people waiting in line to register, obviously because of the memory key. The trick being that you don't get it until after the vote. So we waited in line, unable to see the beginning of it, meanwhile the talks have already begun, whatever, we didn't know what the changes were proposed and we didn't really care. The line was moving really slowly and for some reason we were still last in line. Then, some volunteer randomly comes up to Sarah and asks to confirm that she's on the list. She finds her domain name and he tells her that she can go to this other line. 5 min. of walking later (past the obscenely long line), we're like 2 people from the front of a second line! No idea how to managed to pull that off!!!! Makes absolutely no sense what so ever. The sensible thing to do would have been to just let the next people in the regular long line go to the short line. Whatever, we didn't have to wait, so we were happy.

We also managed to skip the line to get name tags. It was kinda scary at first, small table with massive number of name tags. Just stacks and stacks. But like instantly both of us were like, WHOA, my name's right here at the top of the stack!!!! AMAZING!!! They couldn't find hers (the piles were only slightly sorted) so they just wrote one out.

I'm really amused at the highly sophisticated mechanism for adjusting the length of the name tag. Yet, it's just string!!! Incredible!!! The inventor of that deserves some sort of knot tying nobel prize or something!!! Best thing that ever happened to name tags since names!!!!

The main room was full apparently, so we had to go into the overflow area. We later found out that there were 400+ people at this meeting!!! They really pulled in the crowd b/c of the free memory key :). The overflow area was just a room with a big screen showing a live feed from the main room. The demographics were not exactly what I thought it was going to be. More business type people than obvious nerds. Mostly like 30's - 40's. And actually some feminine looking females! Similar guy-to-girl ratio as in ECE, which is basically one girl for every 10 guys. I was disappointed at the lack of porn stars representing their sites. There were however, more people with purple and green hair than I had anticipated.

I thought the meeting part was just gonna be boring and suck, but actually it was kinda interesting...at least for the first 2 hours. The people going up to ask questions, make comments, and requesting addendums were quite entertaining and brought up good issues, at least for the first 2 hours. Like one part in the by-law said that there would be equality for "both genders" on the board, but he wanted it to read "all genders", a change which should be made to be politically correct. The ass in front of us was cracking up at the explaination that there are not everyone identifies themselves as one or the other. The way they counted the votes was kinda retarded and the motion was defeated, but later, an equivalent change was made in another motion.

We voted by raising these yellow stiff pieces of paper into the air. Ironic how this was a meeting about the ".ca" domain names on the Internet, yet there was NO INTERNET VOTING!!! HILARIOUS!!! THE IRONY!!! THE IRONY!!!! Kinda dumb actually b/c the only people that would go to the meeting were those in Toronto, but what about the people in Alert, NWT??!!??!?! This is hardly fair for them!!!!

Anyways, they needed 2/3 "for" vote for the motion to pass, with "abstains" essentially counting as "against", which is pretty dumb. They should've counted all the "for" and all the "against", with the "abstains" as neutral.

There were lots of arguments about wording and changes in the by-law about powers of the board, etc. I see why people would be concerned, but the board members and others have also interally argued the points for the past year or two. It was at this point that things got stupid and just tedious. People just kept asking questions and being retarded. I think these people just don't have any friends and desperately wanted to talk to people. That and they advertised their domain name everytime they went up. The same like 5 people went up to the podium like 10 times each. They definitely needed to enforce limits on the number of podium appearances.

There were however, some entertaining characters at the front table where the "important" people were. I don't know their names, but we made up our own. There was the "seedy guy who doesn't look like he could be trusted", the lawyer, the asian lawyer, the "ex-board director" (who was actually in my room and just in the audience), and the "angry guy". The angry guy was hilarious. He was like the main guy too. When the lawyer was talking and clarifying things, he would stand right behind with his mouth half open and looking as if he was gonna kill someone. Sarah took a video of him on the screen with her phone, but unfortunately it didn't turn out...

The by-law eventually passed. Then there was the "Letter Patent". What the hell is a letter patent????!?!??!!?!? Whatever it is, it was argued about for a long time. One particular thing about the CIRA potentially going into other Internet things. I totally see why people had problems with that and I did too until some of the board directors cleared things up. Sigh. That eventually passed as well, though only about 230 people remained as the meeting went for 3.5 hours instead of ONE hour.

The meeting finally adjourned at 9 pm. We jetted out of there pretty quick and grabbed our memory key. They took our voting cards in exchange for the memory key, otherwise it would have appeared in the picture at the top of the post.

When we got to the subway, a train was just about to leave and Sarah ran on, but her massive bag got stuck in the door!!! Thinking that she was also going up the University-Spadina line, I shoved her bag in, pushed open the doors, and jumped on. As we were pulling away, I was like shit, I'm on the wrong line.... I switched over at the King stop.

Worst of all, I think I crunched my balls a bit while sitting in those chairs for 3.5 hours. Stomach didn't feel so well after that and I'm still not feeling all that comfortable down there...

Was it worth it? Probably not. The experience was kinda interesting with the whole addendum and voting procedure, but it was WAY too long and you can't store anything on a 128 MB memory key...

1 Comment:

EarlW said...

Do you know what the default lock code is? I threw the paper away months ago...

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