Launch Party

for the win

Once again, my friend and former co-worker (I worked at his startup, OpenCola, during “The Bubble”) Cory Doctorow is holding the Canadian launch of his latest novel, For the Win.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb about the book:

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation.

The event takes place tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Merril Collection of the Lillian H. Smith building (a.k.a. “The Library”) at 239 College Street, just east of Spadina. Perhaps a post-launch visit to Caplansky’s is in order.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Your First Warning: Vancouver, September 11 – 18

by Joey deVilla on September 3, 2009

Photo of downtown vancouver at night, captioned: "September 11th - 18th / Vangroovy", with arrow pointing to Fairmont Waterfront hotel

I’m going to be in Vancouver from the afternoon of Friday, September 11th until the morning of Friday, September 18th. I’m there first and foremost to manage the “Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform” track of the TechDays conference, then to meet up with the local tech community, but also to enjoy the city I fondly refer to as “Vangroovy”.

Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Coffee and Code Vancouver: Saturday, September 12th

"Monkey" latte art

My coworker John Bristowe and I will be holding Coffee and Code on Saturday, September 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Pacific time, of course) at the Take 5 Cafe on Granville (429 Granville, near Hastings). We’ll be there to talk about TechDays, The Empire and the tech industry in general – but it won’t just be geeky stuff; we’ll provide scintillating conversation about accordions, the Calgary Flames, deep fried snack foods, “Am I metrosexual or not”, life, the universe and everything. I will have the accordion with me, so tunes are definitely on the menu!

You can register for Coffee and Code Vancouver on its event page.

TechDays Vancouver: Monday, September 14th – Tuesday, September 15th

TechDays 2009 Canada banner

TechDays is Microsoft Canada’s cross-Canada tour, where we highlight what you can do with currently-available Microsoft tools and tech that you probably aren’t doing yet. We take the content from the infinitely more expensive TechEd North America conference (admission fee USD$2000), update it, and have local techies present it near you at a price you can afford (CAD$299 if you caught the early bird rate, CAD$599 otherwise). You get great content at a great price, and we get to make contact with tech communities across the country. Think of it as “Geek Global, Spend Local”.

TechDays Vancouver will be happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is also the venue of…

Demo Ignite Camp: Monday, September 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

Demo Ignite Camp banner

Since we had the Vancouver Convention Centre booked for two days, it meant that we had these big rooms lying fallow on the first night. I wanted a pajama party for accordion players, but since that idea got nixed, I called on Boris Mann and suggested we hold a DemoCamp-style event. The end result: Demo Ignite Camp!

Thus far, we’ve got 5 out of 8 presentation slots filled:

  1. Joey deVilla’s Ignite Presentation: Do the Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work.
  2. Avi Bryant will demo Clamato, a Smalltalk dialect that operates within the JavaScript runtime.
  3. Dima Berastau will demo RestfulX, a RESTful framework for Flex and AIR applications.
  4. Carson Lam will demo TransitDB, his Vancouver transit information web app, which won the PHP FTW competition earlier this year.
  5. The folks from Ayogo will present their iPhone games built using the PhoneGap cross-mobile-platform framework.

I’m more than happy to drop my Ignite presentation to make room for a demo or Ignite by someone local. I’m already hosting, and Demo Ignite Camp is about the Vancouver tech scene, not me!

For more information, see the Demo Ignite Camp event page.

Launch Party Vancouver, Wednesday, September 16th

Launch Party Vancouver logo My fellow TechDays coordinators and I will be attending Launch Party Vancouver, which is:

…a lively mixer for the city’s brightest entrepreneurs, tech junkies, and bloggers, who are doing it, have done it or want to make their ideas happen here. The goal of the event is to connect BC’s growing community of Internet and new media leaders with investors and other trailblazers across Canada and abroad.

Founded by local entrepreneurs,  LPV is not your typical networking event. There are no presentations or panels to be found.  But what you will discover are the individuals responsible for making Vancouver one of the greatest start-up cities in Canada.  Every event features local, early stage new media companies strutting their stuff and sharing their ideas with the community.

It’s happening at Circa Resto Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; tickets are available via EventBrite.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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