Where the hell are the sockets?

It's an amazing building, the Palais des Nations in Geneva, but it is somewhat ironic that with the entire future of the Internet being discussed that the conference rooms are so lacking in technology.

The biggest problem is with a technology a hundred years old – electricity. The shortage of sockets would be funny if it wasn't so irritating. I spotted the Swedish government's Internet representative crouched on the floor outside plugging in her laptop underneath a series of banner for Poland's revolution.

Likewise, even if you find a socket and plug in, you'll be asked within 20 minutes by another laptop user with panic in his eyes if he can use your plug for a bit because he's down to 15 percent. A peculiar system has built where if your laptop is suffering more than someone else's you have priority. Anything over 70 percent battery power is just pure decadence.

As for listening to what is being said, as you would expect from the UN, it is pretty seamless and the translators are excellent. You stick a beige plastic cap on your ear and there it is.

Except, except – how on earth are you supposed to record it? I currently have a small mic wrapped around my ear and squeezed into the cap, then plugged into my laptop mic socket being recorded on some audio software. And believe me this was the best method I have found in use so far.

The ITU does run streaming feeds from its website but at the moment, even though the building does at least have wireless Net access, you'll be hard pushed to get enough bandwidth to run them.

Ho hum.

On a tangent, I was wondering why ICANN wasn't listed on the official participants, especially when its entire future is being discussed here.

I've spotted three ICANN Board members so far, but that's not exactly ICANN staff. But then suddenly when I started writing this I looked around and saw ICANN head Paul Twomey sat not 10 feet away from me.

Except now I looked over – and he's gone! Where's he gone? Have I started hallucinating? It was Paul Twomey, I swear it.