Intervention Panel Video: Digital Versus Traditional Art

The following panel occurred at Intervention 2010 and was entitled “Digital Vs. Traditional: The Pros And Cons Of Each”

Description: Some artists love digital. Some artists love pen and ink. Digital art gives you more flexibility, but traditional gives you the ability to sell originals at conventions. Come and listen to a FRIENDLY discussion about the pros and cons of each.

Panelists: Chris Flick, Ben McCormick, Ryan Thompson, Danny Valentini


Intervention Panel Video: Duel In The Somme Launch Event

This video is of the Panel “A Duel in the Somme: Official Launch” which happened at Intervention 2010.

A Duel in the Somme is a 24-page standalone comic book co-written by Rob Balder (Erfworld, PartiallyClips) and Ben Bova (six-time Hugo winning SF author and editor), and illustrated by Bill Holbrook (Kevin & Kell, Safe Havens, On the Fastrack). The worldwide debut of the printed book happens here! Rob and Bill will be present to talk about the story behind the project, sign copies and answer questions.


Panel Video: We Are The Intervention

As part of our ongoing effort to place our panel content from the 2010 Intervention event online you can now view the following panel entitled “We Are The Intervention” which was hosted by Harknell and Onezumi, the Co-con chairs for the 2010 event.

Description: Why did Intervention happen? What motivated Harknell and Onezumi to create and get this con going? Come talk to the Co-Con Chairs of Intervention and find out directly from the founders the whats and whys of the con, and where it’s going in the future.
Panelists: Harknell, Onezumi


Con Solutions: Event Internet Connectivity

[note: A list of our actual tech set up comes at the end of this article]

One of our major challenges with the 2010 Intervention event was figuring out how to have affordable Internet connectivity for our staff, guests, panel rooms, Artist Alley participants, and attendees. Anyone who’s ever tried to rent internet connectivity directly from a hotel or convention center can tell you–it ain’t cheap. For three days of connectivity, with only up to 100 connections, it can be upwards of $1250–not a small sum, and it doesn’t even really cover the number of connections needed or is simple to use (each connection requires a username and password).

So we were left in a bit of a spot since our budget wasn’t unlimited.

Our first thought was to investigate using 3g/4g modems running off of cell phone networks. All of the major cell companies have them–but they almost all cost a decent amount per modem, and they almost all require a 2 year contract of service. So the costs over time were equal to or greater than the one time hotel cost.

We then happened to discover one quirk of the area our hotel was located in: It had 4g service based on the Clear network. This network is actually a joint project with Sprint–but isn’t directly based on cell phone technology. It’s actually has more in common with your standard wi-fi network you have in your laptop–but designed to work over a much greater range.

Well, we figured out that if you buy their “home” base station modems, then hook those up to a regular wi-fi router, you can cover the entire hotel with 3 set ups–and it was a fraction of the cost of either of the other solutions. You also own the hardware, so your future costs are much lower. Clear allows you to buy their hardware on a no-contract basis if you want, which really was the determiner for this solution.

Now, this isn’t to say we didn’t have some issues. It turns out Clear is still working on their system–so for 3 weeks in a row we tested out their modems at the hotel, and each week they needed to be placed differently and gave us different throughput and connectivity. The worst thing was the quality generally dropped a bit each week–and at the actual event we had to go to some extreme contortions to get the things to give us an acceptable signal for 2 of the set ups.

But ultimately they worked well enough to be successful. We were able to get a large number of people connected wirelessly to each router, and the routers we primarily used could even separate into multiple wireless networks (a public one and a private one).

Would I suggest this set up for other cons? Yes. But you REALLY need to do advance testing to make sure the modems will work at your location. First consult their map on their site to see if your area has service (and it’s expanding a lot recently). The good thing is they do have a 14 day trial period, so you can send the modem back for a refund if they don’t really work for your location even if it says it should. You should be aware though that the placement for the modem is touchy and you need to try it out all over the place to get the best signal.

So here’s what we used:
3 Clear Series M modems
2 Netgear n600 routers
1 linksys WRT54G router


New Payment Options: Google Checkout

As part of our ongoing investigation of payment methods we’ve signed up for a Google Checkout payment account and have added that as an option for item and registration purchases through our registration site. So now there are more options than simply using Paypal to make your item or registration purchases. Please note to pay with Google Checkout you must select it instead of the regular option for proceeding to payment when you are checking out.

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