This is where the magic happens, people:
Today Devon and I spent hours rearranging the back office to make more room to store t-shirts and stuff. This involved throwing away a lot of obsolete gear. I had like 5 CRT monitors in here! I guess I thought "I might need them some day."
There was a time when there were, I think, eight PCs in here to run both webcasts, the online store, the kiosks, and various other things. Now we've got just the one Mac Mini, one PC in too-large a case acting as a router (which could probably be replaced with a solid-state appliance if I took the time to learn how to replicate my PF rules on such a thing) and a Cisco for the T1. Those eight computers took up pretty much an entire 7' metro-rack shelf, and now it's all in one pile on the edge of the desk.
The three big racks at the bottom of the pictures are battery backup. They are the noisiest part of this whole operation.
I don't see to have any photos of the old mess, but you can see a little bit of what it used to look like back in 2004 here.
Meanwhile, I've been getting mail all week from people freaking out about this proposal that the Entertainment Commission is hearing on Tuesday, where SFPD is hoping to make it a legal requirement that all nightclubs scan your driver's license, record video constantly, and make records of all of this available to the PD upon request. And scan every patron at every event with a metal detector, and a host of other idiocy. You can read it here.
Pretty crazy, right? Seems like the sort of thing that I'd be more than a little outraged over, and yet I haven't been screaming about it.
Well, that's because there's pretty much zero chance of this passing.
What happened was this: last year, in an attempt to appear like he was actually doing something and not just being an absentee landlord who was busy campaigning for his next job, Mayor Newsom asked SFPD to come up with a list of "best practices" for nightclubs to follow. They got together with noted anti-nightlife shitbag David Chiu (who is running for Mayor, incidentally) and turned this request for a list of "best practices" into a recommendation for legal requirements. The wheels turn slowly, so it's only just now coming up for its first hearing.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has this to say:
EFF to San Francisco Entertainment Commission: Don't Turn SF into a Police State
Events with strong cultural, ideological, and political components are frequently held at venues that would be affected by these rules. Scanning the IDs of all attendees at an anti-war rally, a gay night club, or a fundraiser for a civil liberties organization would have a deeply chilling effect on speech. Participants might hesitate to attend such events if their attendance were noted, stored, and made available on request to government authorities. This would transform the politically and culturally tolerant environment for which San Francisco is famous into a police state.
We are deeply disappointed in the San Francisco Entertainment Commission for considering such troubling, authoritarian, and poorly thought-out rules. The Commission should reject this attack on our most basic civil liberties. San Francisco cannot hope to remain a hub of cultural and political activity if we are stripped of our civil liberties the moment we walk through the door of a venue.
The Bay Guardian says:
Proposed SFPD crackdown on clubs gets a hearing
But critics of the legislation call it a gross overreaction to a handful of incidents that have happened around nightclubs and they say the SFPD has shown unreasonable bias against one of the city's biggest industries. Sup. Scott Wiener recently asked city staff to prepare a study of the economic impact of nightlife in order to defend clubs against crackdowns like this.
The proposal would also require clubs to have one security guard for every 50 patrons, which club owners say would be an economic hardship for an industry operating on thin margins of profitability.
Anyway, once the City Attorney weighs in on this it's dead, on the basis not only of blatant unconstitutionality, but also, how much money it will cost the city to defend against the inevitable lawsuits (and yes, you can be assured that one of those lawsuits would have been from me.)
But, now that the various political weasels have hitched their wagons to this star, they are reluctant to just walk away from it. So, it's still on the calendar, and when the ink dries with most of this proposal crossed out so that all that remains is "your sidewalk has to be well-lit", they will get to declare victory and crow about how their proposal passed, and they've done so much to personally and single-handedly improve safety by dealing with that "nightclub problem."
Sadly, the "1 guard per 50 customers" thing is one of the parts that might actually pass, and that is just a ridiculous level of over-staffing. But hey, I'm sure David Chiu knows better than I do what staffing is reasonable for my business. He's the expert.
So, to summarize:
- There's very likely nothing to worry about, and
- Fuck these people.