Comments: FC'05 programme - announced

So here's my gripe. Why, in this day and age, are there no links to these papers in this announcement? Okay, maybe not all of them are finished yet. But some surely are. I can Google the authors and probably find at least half available on the web in some form, but it's a lot of work!

Did you see the Slashdot today on the Creative Commons for science, http://science.slashdot.org/science/04/12/29/1528243.shtml? Publishing on paper is utterly passe, and Springer's online sight is locked up tight. It's annoying that I have to set up an unauthorized proxy at the uni so that I can access crypto proceedings. It's time for these conferences to stand up to Springer and demand the right to publish online proceedings. See the Foresight Institute (the nanotech people) for an example of how to run a conference with a real commitment to making the data accessible.

Posted by Cypherpunk at December 29, 2004 09:00 PM

LOL ... don't get me started! Yes, FC has struggled all its life after the first one as another crypto-academic conference. In part my http://iang.org/papers/fc7.html paper was about that: "it's not just about crypto, guys..." This year they seem to have some non-crypto thought in there, but most years the papers have been very very academic-crypto.

The issue with publication is that Springer-Verlag offers the proceedings "for free" in exchange for the copyright, or at least the copyright captured where it can use it. Having the proceedings published in Springer-Verlag is very important to the academics, who get promoted on the number of papers they get published. The fact that it isn't at all important and is in fact detracting to the commercial / internet cypherpunky open source / governmental sectors, doesn't really enter into the equation.

I and a bunch of mates ran a successful couple of conferences called EFCE which were strongly open-source / cypherpunky. They were demo-or-die conferences, but they had no papers and no proceedings at all. I think for the middle ground where people are interested in having something "published" then something like a net journal might fit the bill.

There was one, the Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce or somesuch, which was quite good and widely read. Huh I thought it wasn't going but it seems well alive... http://www.arraydev.com/commerce/JIBC/current.asp .. I must have lost my subscription. Also occasionally First Monday has something of interest.

Posted by Iang at December 30, 2004 05:22 AM

It shouldn't mean anything more for a conference to have its proceedings published by Springer than to have them published online. Getting into Crypto or Eurocrypt will still be prestigious, and similarly for the other conferences. The important thing is the peer review and the competition to get accepted. I can't see that the publishing medium really counts for anything. And if it did in the past, that time is quickly disappearing.

Here's another gripe, while I've got the soapbox handy. Panel discussions are fine for the handful of people who hear them, but all too often there is no record made. Today you might hope for a couple of blog entries at best. These discussions should be recorded and put online somewhere. Disk space and web addresses are so cheap that there is no excuse for panels not to be made available to the wider community. If these academic conferences are truly devoted to the dissemination of learning and the advancement of knowledge, measures such as these can no longer be ignored.

Take a look at this recent physics conference, http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/kitp25/. Every panel and talk is available in video, and the slides as well are up. This is a cheap way to preserve this invaluable information and make it available to a large audience. How can it not be worth a few dollars a year?

Posted by Cypherpunk at December 30, 2004 01:23 PM
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