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ICON's future

 
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ICON's future
 PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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Just an fyi: The top tier management at ICON is considering the idea of moving it to NYC. I'm not sure if this has filtered down to the coordinators for the various tracks (like gaming) but one of the top people is pushing the idea, arguing that it would be easier to get guests if it was in NYC and it would attract more visitors. I can see his point for the former; I suspect the latter would be a trade-off that might only net a slight increase.

So far 2008 is still scheduled for Stony Brook and I don't really see that changing since they would need a signed contract by now in order to change by April 2008. How hard David is pushing, I don't know, and I also don't know how the rest of the organizers are viewing the idea.

Personally, I don't see how they can do it successfully. The costs to rent space in NYC to do everything ICON offers would probably be triple what they're currently paying (at least) and they'd have to increase admission and vendor costs accordingly, which would deter some participants. Add in increased travel and hotel costs for some attendees and that might diminish any overall gains.

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 PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:42 am Reply with quote  
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  coinich
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I would tend to agree with you. I don't think the gains would outweigh the losses in this case. There are a lot of people who travel and would need to spend the night in hotel, and the cost in NYC would definately deter me if I didn't already have you guys on the Island.

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ICON's future
 PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:16 am Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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The one benefit that might come from ICON management considering a move is that it might help their relationship with Stony Brook. I've heard repeatedly over the last few years that the university considers ICON annoying even though they're paid a hefty fee for allowing it to be held there and the ICON people do a good job of cleaning up after themselves. If Stony Brook thinks they might lose ICON (or, more importantly from their perspective, the revenue), they might lighten up a little.

We'll see either way.

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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  mtrue
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Take it from a Stony Brook alum; the only thing the university cares about is money, with its source being completely irrelevant.

Back in the late 1970's, the university actually allowed a porn movie to be filmed on the campus and inside of the gym locker rooms. Once word got out to the public, the "mortified" administration selected a couple of officials to take the fall. Not such a big surprise! Laughing

I think they're happy enough with whatever income ICON brings in. The campus is a ghost town on weekends anyway (over 60% of students commute) and they can probably care less about whatever problems it causes for the few students who remain.


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ICON's future
 PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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All most schools care about is money. Sad but true.

I agree with you about the campus being dead most weekends. I've been out there for events and seen it for myself, but that doesn't stop somebody from grumbling.

And -- a porn movie!?! Surprised scratch Laughing I'd love see the brainiac who thought that decision wouldn't -- at the minimum -- raise some eyebrows.

So, do you have any idea what movie it was? Inquiring minds are curious...

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:56 am Reply with quote  
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  mtrue
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We found out the hard way that the school isn't anywhere near as "benevolent" as it seems where money is involved when I worked for a software startup company out there. We were just a bunch of grad students who won a business contest for free office space, and the university tried to claim ownership of our software through its "Research Foundation". Suffice it to say we got to see the "darker side" of the administration and some of the shadier people who worked there! Twisted Evil

The porn movie in question was actually a very famous one; it was the one and only "Debbie Does Dallas", believe it or not! Stony Brook likes to post flags on campus about the innovations that were born at the university such as certain cancer treatments or the virtual colonoscopy. I don't know why they don't proudly boast about being home to the porn video that supposedly revolutionized the industry by introducing cheesy plot lines, as some critics suggest! Laughing

One of my graduate lab partners for fun downloaded the video on his laptop after I told him the story and showed it to our group. The campus looked a bit different, but the library was in clear view and people who had used the gym locker rooms said they were unchanged, so it definitely seems to be more than a rumor.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:10 am Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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re your software experience: Well that sucks! Actually my first response was too harsh for the language guidelines on this forum ( salut to the admiral. Wink ).

Debbie Does Dallas was shot at SUNY Stony Brook! Laughing ROTFLOL Oh man, I never would have guessed. I've seen rip-offs of Debbie but never the actual film. Guess I better start searching eBay...

[still laughing]

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  mtrue
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Through connections we had with higher ups, our startup finally obtained all of the rights to the software, but in retrospect I wish we hadn't; I had a falling out a bit over a year ago with the one guy in that company with more power than me, and that's why I don't work there anymore! tongue

I got bored at work today (only 3 days left!) and I found the IMDB listing for the film, and SBU is listed as a filming location:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077415/locations

I remember a time where my college buddies and I were killing time in between classes at the Smith Haven Mall and we were browsing FYE when we walked by the adult DVD section. We got to talking about the movie (from hearing the story/rumors) and for some reason I accepted the dare of actually purchasing it if we could find it since my friends were convinced I wouldn't have the guts to do it (even though they clearly didn't themselves!) under the condition that they covered the whole cost of the DVD.

We didn't find it in FYE, but we went to the other DVD store by the food court and got all excited as soon as we found it. When I made it up to the counter the guy who was working the register immediately switched out with a female employee, which was pretty humiliating on its own. To make matters worse, once we all got home later in the day we realized that it wasn't the original but instead was "Debbie Does Dallas: The Revenge", making the whole operation practically worthless... talk about a double whammy on that one! Laughing


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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mtrue wrote:
Through connections we had with higher ups, our startup finally obtained all of the rights to the software,


That's good.

mtrue wrote:
but in retrospect I wish we hadn't; I had a falling out a bit over a year ago with the one guy in that company with more power than me, and that's why I don't work there anymore! tongue


well, or not. Wink

mtrue wrote:
When I made it up to the counter the guy who was working the register immediately switched out with a female employee, which was pretty humiliating on its own.


That sort of thing doesn't bother me. I guess it's years of practice of being the only woman shopping in a comic book store that acts like a mix of a club house for the He-Man Women-Haters Club and a grimy porn store. It's amazing how many comic book shops like that are still out there. One such LI store closed recently -- no surprise since they never had even the most mainstream item I was looking for in stock. Another LI store is literally painted black on the inside and no, it doesn't look cool.

Thankfully I've mainly been able to patronize great stores like Grasshopper Comics in Williston Park and Beachead Comics in Allentown, PA. Some stores are so bad that even women comic book artists and writers are uncomfortable visiting the stores. The late Kim Yale [writer for Suicide Squad, Manhunters and Grimjack: Youngblood] was a black belt and she felt unsafe going to the comic book store where she and John [Ostrander] lived in NJ.

When it comes to purchasing erotic material, I kind of like confusing or embarrassing the sales clerk. I don't let them bother me. You should have seen the look on the face of one lady in Borders when I bought 2 romance novels and a Playboy magazine (it really did have several good articles) at the same time. From the look on her face I think her head hurt from trying to figure out why I'd buy both.

Then again the same thing happened in the video store when I rented Sniper 2 and Bowling for Columbine at the same time. Yes, I'm weird. Smile

mtrue wrote:
To make matters worse, once we all got home later in the day we realized that it wasn't the original but instead was "Debbie Does Dallas: The Revenge", making the whole operation practically worthless... talk about a double whammy on that one! Laughing


Ouch. Yeah, I just ran an eBay search and I knew they made a bunch of sequels to DDD but I didn't think the original would be going for so much. When I find it cheap enough for my curiousity, I'll get a copy and then sell it again after I watch it. Unfortunately, renting adult movies isn't easy any more.

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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:21 am Reply with quote  
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  mtrue
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The epliogue to that startup is that I'm friends with one of the people still working there and from what he tells me since I left a year ago they're about a year behind what we realistically thought we'd get done, so I guess I'll let them have their code. It's kind of crazy in that some days when I look back, even I'm amazed at what a winding career path I've had already at the age of 23! Laughing

Even reminiscing about the old college stories makes me miss that place despite how messed up everything was out there and even though it's only been a year or so. I think that the inept administration and the problems it leads to are the most entertaining things about Stony Brook. I know I'd be personally disappointed if they stopped holding the ICON because as of now it's the only real excuse I have to visit my Alma Mater at least once a year and feel like I'm going "home". I guess I finally made it full circle by somehow managing to get back to the original topic of discussion! Wink


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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mtrue wrote:
The epliogue to that startup is that I'm friends with one of the people still working there and from what he tells me since I left a year ago they're about a year behind what we realistically thought we'd get done, so I guess I'll let them have their code. It's kind of crazy in that some days when I look back, even I'm amazed at what a winding career path I've had already at the age of 23! Laughing


Wait a few more years -- it'll start to twist like a corkscrew. Wink My career has definitely taken the scenic route and yet every step fits in perfectly (if albeit oddly sometimes) with what I'm doing. My best advice is to enjoy the ride. Few career tracks today are a straight path.

mtrue wrote:
Even reminiscing about the old college stories makes me miss that place despite how messed up everything was out there and even though it's only been a year or so. I think that the inept administration and the problems it leads to are the most entertaining things about Stony Brook.


That's true for a lot of colleges, which is both sad and amusing.

mtrue wrote:
I know I'd be personally disappointed if they stopped holding the ICON because as of now it's the only real excuse I have to visit my Alma Mater at least once a year and feel like I'm going "home". I guess I finally made it full circle by somehow managing to get back to the original topic of discussion! Wink


Like I said before, I don't think it's going to move because even if David succeeds, once they look at rental prices in NYC, there will be a rude awakening. But forewarned is forearmed just in case.

I haven't visited my college in ages and I just mentioned to Ed that I'm overdue for a visit. I just have to find that pesky box of spare time I stashed some place... Smile

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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:01 am Reply with quote  
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  e-Bob
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mtrue wrote:
The epliogue to that startup is that I'm friends with one of the people still working there and from what he tells me since I left a year ago they're about a year behind what we realistically thought we'd get done, so I guess I'll let them have their code. It's kind of crazy in that some days when I look back, even I'm amazed at what a winding career path I've had already at the age of 23! Laughing


I've been involved in a few startups and it's always the same. There's lots of high level strategy that needs to be discussed, and each decision has downstream implications that seriously affect the quality and success of your product. Each decision ineviatbly involves tradeoffs and sometimes it just doesn't work out. A good startup will change some base assumptions and revisit those high level decisions to make the product better, which pushes out the "alpha" version. But that takes good funding and patient angel investors. The level of personal enthusiasm and team drive that you have to keep up for the duration will also be exhausting and flare ups are inevitable. Everyone on the team needs to be a hero to the project for it to succeed.

As you can imagine, you can't keep doing that forever. You do need to get a product out to a customer for beta testing if you ever hope to be profitable. There are inevitable roundabouts there also, with lots of work and frustration when the customer framkly tells you what works and what doesn't, what's usable and what isn't, and how you can't work fast enough to turn around fixes for problems and bugs and new features.

Don't get me wrong, those were some of the best, most self-satisfying projects I've ever worked on. But they were also the least lucrative financially. We made great products, but for one reason or another (market conditions, poor beta customers, funding drying up, stock market collapse, etc.) they never made it as big as our initial dreams. But that's part of the allure, just like Lotto.

So, if you weren't happy there, and you weren't getting the financial compensation that you expected/wanted/needed, then it was a good decision to leave and move on. Maybe they will make it big, but that could be 5 years down the road, or more. Maybe much more, or maybe never, and you could be off on another career adventure in the meantime.

Good luck,
Bob

PS - sorry about the lengthy rant.

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 PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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So not only was Debbie Does Dallas filmed at SUNY Stony Brook but the 30th anniversary edition advertises that! SUNY officials must have been thrilled. tongue

The back of the DVD lists a brief history of the film including such details as star Bambi Woods only appeared in three adult films and that DDD received "a much ignored lifetime injunction preventing any New York movie houses from showing the film." It also says:

"The film was produced by the Buckley Brothers, who convinced the school administrators at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook to allow them full use of the campus. The school officials were unaware of the adult nature of the film, and even made cameo appearances in the movie."

And yes, of course, I was nosy enough to get a copy. I've got the curiosity of a cat. cat

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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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OK, I take back my praise of ICON this year because evidently they are out of their minds.

At 8 p.m. Saturday night (a slot, no doubt picked, to minimize attendance) they're running a panel called "ICON's Moving - a Q&A." Sad

I can't believe they REALLY think this is going to work. Their space rental is going to be at least triple and any new attendees gained are going to be offset by the ones they lose. I'm sure they're telling themselves they'll have an easier time getting guests, but get real -- it's not that hard now if you know what you're doing. But this is the convention based near the comic book capital of the world but rarely has decent comic book guests (this year is an exception). ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! shakng2

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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  Morgan
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OK, I take back all the rude things I said. While ICON is moving, it is NOT moving to NYC as my ICON staff source indicated. Bad, source, bad! Wink

More on this in a second...

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