Be part of the solution

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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:26 am

igor47 wrote:
i think tickets should be non-special -- just a printout and a barcode. this would make them easy to transfer between people who trust each other, and would make it impossible to buy from scalpers or other people you don't trust. right now, we don't have any clue just how many tickets scalpers are sitting on, but we do know that lots of people don't have tickets and the uncertainty is causing chaos for theme camps and art creators. anything we can do to remove an element of uncertainty would help.

changing the way tickets are sold is going to require using technology. this is the same technology gate already uses for EA passes. i think it could be done. that is all.


I agree with Igor - and others that have said the same.

I don't think some of you realize the technology that Borg already has at the event. There are wireless networks used by rangers and dmv, etc. These things have been happening for years.

Yes, make the ticket non-special. Yes, the golden tickets are cool - right on, once your barcode is authenticated to you, you'll receive your golden ticket! Yes!

Why I feel this would help THIS YEAR is that, if Borg made it known that tickets could not be exchanged except thru the STEP system, and not for a profit, you just WATCH all the idiots that speculated on turning a buck start turning them in for a refund before they lose their ass. And then we can buy them.

Now, we can't be sure how many tickets have or have not been scalped, but I think we would all feel better if we knew that EVERYTHING possible was being done to make sure that at least most of the tickets that are available become available soon thru STEP.

If they are right and the overwhelming demand is genuine, this won't help too much, but I have a feeling that a significant % ofthe demand is not real. And by significant, I think even 5% would be pretty significant.
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby lemur » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:34 am

Colonel Monk wrote:I don't think some of you realize the technology that Borg already has at the event. There are wireless networks used by rangers and dmv, etc. These things have been happening for years.



you mean the radio network that is so kick ass ive seen people having to hold their arm (with radio in hand) up as high as they can reach to use it (at some times, in some spots?)?

sure is fun waiting to see if it will or is working in those conditions!!


they do have tons of technology out there.. thats for darn sure! its amazing what they do have..

but i would hate to be the guys and gals responsible for making it work.. cuz from what ive seen, it works! but.. sometimes, also.. it doesnt.. (hell, they suggest you not use the microwave on the grid at certain times cuz the whole fricken thing could go kablooey.. again.. running that power grid, kick ass work.. but surely not something id want to be in charge of managing)

technology is great! it can solve some problems.. but some things are just better with the old hands, brains and eyeballs..
Last edited by lemur on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:35 am

lemur wrote:
Colonel Monk wrote:
UPS uses handheld scanners and they are banging on everything and blah blah - I really don't think it could be that bad.

5 years from now? Yeah, if they replace those scanners as often as their ranger radios (at failure :roll: ) then there might be an issue but no well built scanner is gonna die in just a few days of influx.



these are some old articles to be sure.. but the numbers today, with their latest gen DIAD equiv. is surely not much different:

they spent $150million to develop their rugged Delivery Information Acquisition Device in 1999.. now they got a fancy new one.. probably wasnt much cheaper considering it uses much dif technology than back then..

oh yeah, and their IT budget was 1 billion in 1999.. probably bigger now.. if only burning man had a 1 billion$ IT budget!

UPS, which has an annual IT budget of $1bn, is currently involved in a number of other major IT projects

http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/U ... ery-alerts


Project Costs and Benefits
UPS has estimated the total cost of the project at around $150 million. Senior executives point out that the resulting increase in market share — let alone retention of the company’s competitive edge — completely justifies the investment

http://www.mobileinfo.com/Case_Study/ups.htm



Surely you can't compare UPS's army of drivers to a few dozen BRC gate folks right?

OK, admittedly I'm ignorant about the actual costs and technology. But I'm an engineer, and I see stock people using these in the grocery store all the time.

Pistol Grip
Rubberized WIFI antenna
Trigger
Touchscreen Display on top

If they can afford to use them at Walmart, Kmart, and Safeway, then BRC can afford them.

UPS's dealio IS more pro for sure, it's hooked to a giant network of computers AND the internet, and the scanner updates delivery statuses in realtime, which means they are using someone's 3G network or something.... This is far simpler I assure you, even though I don't know squat, because I have faith that we can keep pace with a grocery store.
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:43 am

lemur wrote:
Colonel Monk wrote:I don't think some of you realize the technology that Borg already has at the event. There are wireless networks used by rangers and dmv, etc. These things have been happening for years.



you mean the radio network that is so kick ass ive seen people having to hold their arm (with radio in hand) up as high as they can reach to use it (at times, in some spots?)

sure is fun waiting to see if it will or is working in those conditions!!


they do have tons of technology out there.. thats for darn sure! its amazing what they do have..

but i would hate to be the guys and gals responsible for making it work.. cuz from what ive seen, it works! but.. sometimes, also.. it doesnt.. (hell, they suggest you not use the microwave on the grid at certain times cuz the whole fricken thing could go kablooey.. again.. running that power grid, kick ass work.. but surely not something id want to be in charge of managing)

technology is great! it can solve some problems.. but somethings are just better with the old hands, brains and eyeballs..



Hahaha, you're funny..... Again...... You're talking about the radios, and they are running 24/7 with multiple users in many cases, etc etc etc....being dropped in porta jons..... There are atmospheric conditions that can make things a bit more difficult at times. Overall though, they work amazingly well, there are 100s of volunteers being coordinated at any one time with those radios....

Now, as far as the scanners go - I see no reason they would need to be in constant contact with any kind of server. Let's assume that any transfer of tickets is going to need to be done say the day the gate opens. Or whatever, it could be updated all week. They might just need to bring a USB key with the changes from the Borg office in Gerlach to the Gate. Not impossible or even that difficult. There are many people here that know more about this than I do, in other threads I've been assured that it is not even difficult.
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby lemur » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:46 am

well no my intent wasnt to directly compare them..

but.. designing such a system isnt cheap/easy as it seems..


implementing it.. probably much easier "HERE, USE THIS FUCKIN THING TO SCAN THOSE FUCKIN TICKETS..AND DONT DROP IT"

it could be done! thats for sure.. but.. itd also need testing and contingency plans that would be able to handle failure.. you kno.. like 'what do you do if it all goes down .. we cant just halt gate entry for an hour as it gets fixed' type stuff

i dont claim there ISNT a technical solution to whatever problem this is.. its just.. the technical solution will cost money to develop.. cost volunteer/staff/infrastructure resources to develop.. and it would need to be implemented .. in a way that doesnt put them into a painted themselves into a corner situation where they might become reliant/screwed if the new system doesnt work so well..

(and yeah they use some kinda scanning with the early entry but every year ive done it .. it always seems to take a fuckin long time to get the job done.. whatever it is.. and ive not seen a handheld scanner.. in a persons hands.. they always take it away and do something with it... i would guess they are using the same tech as they use in the commissary.. which is a scanner hooked up to a laptop USB port....and that commissary system has its own drawbacks/faults/crappy situations which also need contingencies.. the contingencies slow down the line when your barcode wont/cant be scanned and its kinda annoying/crappy when that happens)
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby lemur » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:58 am

an example of a 'good idea!!' that turned out not to be so good when implemented were the Staff Laminates in 2011..

they were plastic and looked like drivers licenses.. they werent laminated pieces of cardboard with stickers on em..

the laminates had your meal barcode on the back.. this allowed you to EAT..

welll.. sadly.. all of the ink they used on these suckers reacted BADLY with some peoples body chemistry/sunscreen..

this meant that it was wearing away making some peoples ID laminates and food barcodes almost useless/unreadable..

so we ended up having to go to plain old "OK WHATS YOUR NAME, AND YOUR CAMP? and typing it manually into the computer at the commissary line.. "how do you spell that?!" it was a lot slower than just scanning the barcode..

the idea (all plastic laminates that were printed out and not assembled by hand with cardboard and stickers) that SEEMED great.. ended up being not-so-great (for some people) once implemented.. and ya know, i doubt this problem came up in their testing..


if i were to guess about what will happen in 2012? probably a different kind of laminate that doesnt have such wimpy INK.. maybe stickers that wont have the problem.. who knows.. whatever it is.. it probably got discussed in meetings "damn man, that kinda sucked.."

we dont want UNKNOWN problems to show up in any system.... we can hash out all of the KNOWN problems right here on ePlaya.. but some shit.. you cant even dream up!
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Re: Be part of the solution

Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:01 am

lemur wrote:well no my intent wasnt to directly compare them..

but.. designing such a system isnt cheap/easy as it seems..


implementing it.. probably much easier "HERE, USE THIS FUCKIN THING TO SCAN THOSE FUCKIN TICKETS..AND DONT DROP IT"

it could be done! thats for sure.. but.. itd also need testing and contingency plans that would be able to handle failure.. you kno.. like 'what do you do if it all goes down .. we cant just halt gate entry for an hour as it gets fixed' type stuff

i dont claim there ISNT a technical solution to whatever problem this is.. its just.. the technical solution will cost money to develop.. cost volunteer/staff/infrastructure resources to develop.. and it would need to be implemented .. in a way that doesnt put them into a painted themselves into a corner situation where they might become reliant/screwed if the new system doesnt work so well..

(and yeah they use some kinda scanning with the early entry but every year ive done it .. it always seems to take a fuckin long time to get the job done.. whatever it is.. and ive not seen a handheld scanner.. in a persons hands.. they always take it away and do something with it... i would guess they are using the same tech as they use in the commissary.. which is a scanner hooked up to a laptop USB port....and that commissary system has its own drawbacks/faults/crappy situations which also need contingencies.. the contingencies slow down the line when your barcode wont/cant be scanned and its kinda annoying/crappy when that happens)


Gotcha. Yeah, see, that's the problem - they wouldn't really have that much time to do a homebrew solution here. They'd need to go PRO on it, to make sure that it's flawless.

Ideally each of these devices would need to have the same database - whether it can update in realtime from a main computer at will call or not I dunno.

It is a pretty daunting problem. With a solution! (happy OP? ;^)

My feeling is that any ticket being profited from is a MAJOR problem. I think the reason we are all so silly about that possibility, is that the scalping issue seems to be one with a solution, where the scarcity problem doesn't. None of us want to believe that, we want to believe a buncha shitheads have our tickets, and we hope we can get them back.
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