The End is Near
by Timothy Appnel
We're part way through the third day already and I've been moving through the conference so quickly that I can hardly barely keep up with the action let alone sit to write something coherent.
Standing in line to buy a copy of Cory Doctrow's Eastern Standard Tribe to get autographed, fellow O'Reilly weblogger Robert Kaye and I began chatting on the difficulty of capturing the action here. Robert said the incidental conversations and meetings that take place during these manic days are in many ways the most interesting and valuable part. We both wished that we could effectively capture that in a weblog entry of any reasonable length and without seeming like we were name dropping. There are some problems technology has not and may never solve.
Microsoft's Marc Smith began the day with an interesting and entertaining overview of community interaction so far and
several technologies and concepts that show promise as ways to enhance online communities.
Pertti Korhonen of Nokia Mobile Software presented the landscape of mobile devices and interactivity. What was profound, and I believe missed by most listening, is that the potential impact developers have through mobile applications and systems is exponentially larger then anything to date. Consider that Nokia alone, is expecting to ship 100 million programmable devices this year.
It was also exciting to that Nokia lists the Atom API in its future road map for mobile applications.
Moving onto the breakout sessions here are a few that I caught. (Many others that I couldn't attend.)
Danny O'Brien made a very entertaining presentation of his research of how uber alpha geeks get things done. The one word summary: shells. ("All $@?&*!% shells.")
Tom Igoe a professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts and long with some of his students, presented a number of very interesting
socially mobile applications that they designed. (See my SubEthaEdit notes for more.)
I sat in eBay's presentation of their revised Web Services interface. Good to see another Internet player follow Amazon and Google's lead. I'm personally looking forward to playing with those myself. (They're web services are even document literal SOAP and not RPC-style.)
Matt Webb presented his research and views on Glancing interfaces and their potential use in interactive environments. Later, Dan Brickley and Edd Dumbill lead an interesting discussions of FOAF including a round of lightning talks.
Next was the nightly take over of the hotel bar by attendees for more conversation. There many odd looks and double takes by the other hotel guests attending an event for Golf Pros. I suppose it was the sea of Powerbooks and iBooks over cocktails. I combination best left for professionals only.
So far today we've heard an interesting overview from Don Norman and our emotional responses to product design followed by Warburg Pincus's William Janeway spoke on technology investment trends and markets.
Afterwards I caught another presentation by Josh Schachter on one of his other
free-time project, GeoURL, and the interesting lessons learned and uses of his work. Andrew
Bunny Huang presented how the masses can hack their own hardware and encouraged us to have fun doing so.
Currently I'm listening Wei Meng Lee school us on personalized location based services. Later I have the tough decision between Edd Dumbill's Dashbord presentation and Tom Igoe's Networked Objects presentations. (The ETech paradox – which session to choose?)
It's been another great experience that I'm glad I got to participate in. (Now if only I didn't have to fold up my 6'5" frame into an airline seat for ~6 hours.) I'm already looking forward to the next time.
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