I just returned from an IT security conference in Holland. I flew out there on Wednesday afternoon and came back last night – one of the great things about being a pilot is that you can skip the security lines at the airport and Stibbair doesn’t impose any restrictions on hand luggage or liquids. There’s no stress about missing the plane. It goes when you’re ready.
I flew into Rotterdam in a Cirrus SR-22 and got a taxi from there so my door to door journey time was about the same as the check in and security wait at Heathrow.
From a language perspective, the conference itself was a fascinating mix of highly technical IT security jargon and abstract government- and EU-speak. Among dozens of workshop sessions, there was no one talking about ‘how to write for consumers and small business,’ which is my gig. Maybe I’ll do it next year.
One notable thing sticks in my mind. The Dutch telecoms regulator managed to cut Dutch language spam by 85%. How? By tracking down spammers and slapping them with fines. They have a legal framework which allows them to do this and the resources to tackle the problem.
Spam constitutes two-thirds of all email traffic on the net. We all pay for it in one way or another, through higher ISP costs or slower connections or buying spam filters. It seems to me that it is better to follow the Dutch model and shoot the archer not the arrows.