Why ETech is O’Reilly’s Most Important Conference

Why ETech is O’Reilly’s Most Important Conference:

Saul Griffiths’ keynote on Energy Literacy. There’s a lot of hand-wringing about global warming, but finding a solution begins with a solid understanding of the energy ecosystem of the planet. How much energy is coming in? How much do we use? Where does it come from? How big are the alternative sources that we can tap? I’ve seen a version of this presentation before, and it will blow your mind. The challenges we face in kicking the oil and coal habit are huge, and so are the opportunities in reinventing carbon-intensive energy industries. Alex Steffen of WorldChanging takes on the problem from the other end, in Building a Bright Green Future. It’s amazing to see how much creativity and intelligence is being applied to what may just turn out to be the greatest challenge of our age, the make-or-break moment when we decide whether we’ll progress as a species, or fail our graduation exam. I’m counting on you guys to be part of the solution, and I hope these talks give you a really good grounding on what needs to be done.

Check out the 2007 Etech videos for a sample what this conference is all about.

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Free Newsreader software

One of the best bargains anywhere is that Newsgator is now offering their desktop newsreader software for free.

Newsreader software is a great way to keep up-to-date with your favorite blogs or websites by being able to quickly scan headlines of what has changed and then read the articles that interest you. Newsgator also has information on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology to explain how it can be so useful for your information needs.

Hacking the Noosphere

John Udell has posted online his recent talk at CUSEC in Montreal.
http://jonudell.net/talks/cusec/cusec.html
It contains some thought provoking items on what the Internet is really needed for, new approaches for progressing the semantic web, and how we need to think in terms of both social hacking and enabling social hacking.

He includes some good examples of MIT research, his librarylookup bookmarklet maker, and how screencasting can provide unconscious learning.

Librivox is cited as an example of establishing a community of contributors that acts as a source for free audiobooks.

It is really exciting what can be done by providing tools, processes, and a medium for publishing that can allow contributors to develop value for themselves and others.

Are you ready for MacWorld 2008?

I think the following article on reactions to the Apple product cycle sums it all up pretty well.

http://www.misterbg.org/AppleProductCycle/

Nevertheless I am still intrigued about the possibility of a new sub-notebook or a larger screen multi-touch device.
The keynote video is also one of my yearly favorites to see the much vaunted reality distortion field at work.
Even if reality cannot match the hype, speculation, and expectations the announcements are often significant milestones in the evolution of products for digital lifestyles.

The keynotes are also entertaining at least if you are a gadget geek.