Feeds

Leaving Las Vegas

The buffet of earthly delights

Build a business case: developing custom apps

CA World 2005 diary Motorcycle daredevilry marked the opening the CA World conference in New Orleans five years ago - in the shape of former chief exec Charles Wang jumping though a paper hoop emblazoned with an IBM logo. New CEO John Swainson was content to simply walk on stage to open last week's CA bean in Las Vegas.

Over the intervening years CA has not only ditched its Computer Associates moniker but has re-focused itself on bringing together fragmented IT infrastructures rather than talking up gee-whiz artificial intelligence technology. Consequently CA World 2005 delegates heard a lot about about aligning IT and business requirements (Enterprise IT Management, as CA calls it) and not much about Neugents and the like. It's also swapped politicians (such as Jimmy Carter) as speakers to close the show for comedians such as this year's guest turn Jerry Seinfeld.

CA World 2005 brought around 6,000 customers, partners, journalists and CA staff to Sin City last week. Even by Vegas standards it's a big show, as a local cabbie was happy to confirm, but smaller than CA World of yore, which was so big it had a measurable mortality rate. With 20,000+ people packed in New Orleans actuarial averages meant that two people were likely to pop their clogs during the week long conference.

Such morbid thoughts didn't stop delegates living it up in the Big Easy and for many (if not all) the party has stepped up a gear with the move into Sin City. Techies are generally not big gamblers - many could be spotted checking on their email or in earnest discussion after conference sessions in the Venetian as late as 8pm - but others hit the tables or the clubs.

The Road to Mandalay

Monday night, for example, saw conference delegates crowding up to enter Mandalay Bay's Foundation: House of Blues club which, true to the contradictions inherent in Vegas, was not located in a basement (it was actually 30 stories high) and played anything but the blues. The club had carpet for wallpaper, an open hearth, chandeliers and seats only the high rollers are allowed to use.

Whilst at Mandalay Bay, one of our party lost her purse. Remarkably it was handed in to the casino's lost and found department, something of a tribute to the honesty of US gamblers. But when she recovered the purse, all the UK pounds therein had been converted to US dollars at an unfavorable exchange rate. "Most people don't come back," casino staff explained. Delighted at being reunited with her purse, she didn't have the heart to complain about getting short changed.

Staff might get suspicious with large amounts of money but this would otherwise seem to be an idle mechanism to launder large amounts of dosh. But we digress.

Europeans are happy to attend a conference anywhere. Dublin may be just as much fun as Vegas, with the bonus of better beer, but Americans prefer to stay on their own soil. Last month's Virus Bulletin conference in Dublin was accompanied by the kind of practical jokes and shenanigans that would disgrace a stag party. By coincidence, but keeping with that theme, celebrity-mullet turned lap dance club owner Peter Stringfellow even dined in the same restaurant as journalists on one night. He was en route to Trinity College where he'd be asked to take part in a debate themed around the motion that "Man remains king in the bedroom".

Compulsive gambling? Please speak to a casino manager

Stringfellow would be right at home in America's capital of vice. Vegas - founded 100 years ago through a land auction organised by the Los Angeles and Salt Lake City Railroad - remains a city of contradictions best illustrated by advice from Caesars Palace guest information booklet:

If you think you have a problem with gambling please stop and get help. Contact the casino shift manager, a casino credit exec, the casino cage or you may call the National Council for Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522 4700. Trained counselors are standing by.

Doubtless casino staff attempt to give better advice than "consolidate all your debts with us" or "it's just a bad run, keep gaming" but you can't help wondering about the potential conflict of interest. Since the American Association of Addictionology and Compulsive Behavior meets in Vegas perhaps this is only to be expected.

After abandoning its attempts to rebrand itself as a family-centric holiday destination - a kind of DisneyLand with Gambling - Vegas has embraced its hedonistic roots. The spirit of Elvis lives on - if only through Big Elvis's afternoon shows at the Barbary Coast. But Vegas has gone beyond that or pale pastiche to reach a comfort zone half-way between Austin Powers and Ocean's Eleven.

The tat of Caesars' Celine Dion shop co-exists with the splendor of the fountain show outside the Bellagio. It's not rock and roll but I like it. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
Ex-Apple man Sam Sung - for it is he - sticks namebadge on eBay
Stump up via tat bazaar, do a good thing for ill kids
Check your Clungene, Irish women warned
Have a quick shufti, you may not be pregnant after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.