Back from Rio...
Just in time to be too late for any Rio notes, the Notebook is back on the net -- I could have done this earlier, but was too lazy and too sloppy to do it. (Let's see if anyone notices that it's back now.) Blogging from Rio was Bret's and Ross' business.
Rio impressions: Amazingly well-organized meeting (my deepest respect to the local organizers), amazingly beautiful landscape, amazingly bad architecture, the most ugly cathedral I've ever seen (ok, Taizé can compete), generally good conference atmosphere (despite humidity and heat). Oh, and don't try to spend local currency at GIG's duty-free -- they only accept US dollars, and you have no chance to change your Reals back to hard currency once you're through customs. (Despite the fact that Brazilian coins look like fake Euros nowadays...)
During ALAC's Sunday meeting, some of the structure discussions were relatively frustrating -- still, I'm optimistic that we'll come up with some pragmatic way of actually getting this entire structure to a point where it's used by people. If there's any conclusion which can be drawn from these specific discussions in Rio, then it's that nobody comes up with additional criteria for "at-large structures". There were some worries that ALAC may take over the NCUC (we're working on it ;-), or, more seriously, may compete with the NCUC for the same kinds of organizations. The answer to that one is that we don't want non-commercial organizations to speak on their own behalf (which is what should happen in the NCUC), but that we want them to speak up on behalf of individual Internet users. On ALAC's side, we're certainly hoping for synergies, and are not interested in competing each other into the ground.
On substantial topics, there was some progress on WHOIS, in particular at the GNSO Council meeting, and in the debate of that topic during the public forum. Too bad that Karl Auerbach still doesn't get it, and turned the board meeting on Thursday into an event which was even more dull this time than what it's usually like. I escaped elsewhere.