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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Phone Meetings: Pain and Gain

In big international collaborations phone meetings are a daily occurrence: People work together on different continents, and travel is too expensive and takes way to much time to go to every meeting in person. Technology offers very nice solutions for this problem: Phone Meetings! A system that actually works over the internet that is commonly used in high energy physics is EVO. It also works for video (which can be painful if your connection is not fast enough), and, maybe even more useful, you can share your computer screen over the system. Right now I’m attending the CALICE Technical Board meeting, which is taking place at Fermilab, and I am at home on my couch. That makes the late hour (it is 11:30 pm now) in Germany a bit less painful.

But of course, as usual there are pitfalls: Sometimes the sound quality is abysmal, people introduce echos… Also, the stability can be an issue, as I am learning just now: The meeting room at Fermilab links into the EVO system over a regular phone bridge, and that gets disconnected for no apparent reason from time to time… So following the meeting is not as easy as it should be. Well, still beats having to fly 10 hours each way for a short meeting, where I am not a very active participant.

Oh well, phone meeting, usually not perfect, but in high energy physics we definitely can’t live without them!

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