August 26, 2003
2004 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference Call for Participation: You Are Here--Mapping the Future of Computing
Sebastopol, CA--Are you a technologist, strategist, CTO or CIO,
programmer, hacker, entrepreneur, researcher, or standards worker
itching to put a particular computing innovation or issue on the map?
If so, we invite you to submit a proposal to lead tutorials and
conference sessions at the upcoming O'Reilly Emerging Technology
Conference. The third annual event happens at the Westin Horton Plaza
in sunny San Diego, CA for four days, February 9-12, 2004.
Program chair and O'Reilly editor Rael Dornfest notes that mobility
will be one of the primary technological directions for this year's
conference: what's happening with data, devices, and communication now
that they're freed from the desktop and broadcast models of the past
decade? The conference will also explore a number of juicy ideas, such
as post-browser interfaces for data and services; social software, from
Hiptop Nation to weblogs; the untethered world of ad hoc networking
made possible by wireless technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular,
and Rendezvous; Geolocation, sensors, and RFID. These themes will be
organized under six tracks:
As the laptop, palmtop, and hiptop tend more and more toward mobility,
the ways we interact with data and services are changing dramatically.
We're reconsidering the browser interface, embracing lighter-weight,
component-ized, flexible interfaces such as Sherlock, Watson,
Dashboard, micro-content viewers, and RSS. What happens when you turn
web pages back into their underlying applications and data?
After nearly a decade of exploring the Web's uses as a one-to-many
medium, there is a growing excitement about software designed to
support the many-to-many interactions of groups of people. Friendster,
Technorati, LinkedIn, and FOAF (friend-of-a-friend networks) are a
proving ground for describing and exploring social connections.
Location and mobility are being thrown into the mix, making possible
silly experiments like Flash Mobs and serious ones, like Howard Dean's
use of MeetUp for his presidential campaign.
Networks without wires have transformed the tethered user into a
high-speed mobile swarm that makes innovative use of Rendezvous, SMS,
ad hoc networking, and J2ME mobile development environments. Devices
from the likes of Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Symbian have found their
way onto desktops, in pockets, and built into cars loosely coupled via
Bluetooth into a personal area network. Wireless electricity is moving
from the ideas of Tesla to the realities of desktop trickle-charge.
With people and their array of personal gadgets increasingly on the
move, being able to locate oneself, others, and local data and services
is key. A bumper crop of navigational devices, geospacial annotation
tools, and visualization software are throwing new light on the
landscape. Yet hidden in this seeming utopia of location-based services
are yet-to-be addressed questions about privacy and security.
Hardware hacks expand the machine in new and powerful ways. Arrays of
sensors and RFID tags are finding and interacting with one another,
broadcasting everything from product freshness to chemical safety
levels to bridge tolls. Clouds of tiny devices running the open source
TinyOS are monitoring the conditions around, and growth of, redwood
groves. What are the future applications and implications of sub-micro
We place a spotlight on people, projects, and technologies that are
hovering just below the horizon of commercial viability, and are likely
to become very important to the future of internet computing. Equally
important is a careful study of what the new business models will look
like. Will there be a return to the traditional, or is there room to
Individuals and companies interested in making presentations, giving a
tutorial, or participating in panel discussions are invited to submit
proposals for session presentations and tutorials. Session
presentations are 45 minutes long, and tutorials are three hours long.
The deadline to submit proposals is September 24, 2003. For more
conference details and to submit a proposal, visit:
If you are interested in participating in or moderating panel
discussions, or otherwise contributing to the conference, please let us
know (and please include your area of expertise). If you have an idea
for a panel discussion or a particularly provocative group of panelists
that you'd love to see square off, feel free to send your suggestions
"Participation" is a key word at O'Reilly conferences, and the O'Reilly
Emerging Technology Conference has a reputation as an exceptional
meeting place for people passionately interested in how technology
shapes the world in which we live--not only computing, but
communication, lifestyle, business, and education. Conference
participants, particularly speakers, can be profound catalysts for
change, influencing new applications, network, and online culture. Come
be a part of the conversation.
Comments about the 2003 Emerging Technology Conference:
"The annual conference has become one of the key events geeks attend to
tune in to the vibrations of trends on the industry's edges, where
legions of software developers...are knitting new bits of Net
--Scott Rosenberg, Salon, April 29, 2003
"But for hundreds of do-it-yourself technology developers drawn to the
O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference here during the past week,
prospects have never seemed brighter...this is no fringe-fest, judging
from who attends. Software architects from BEA Systems, IBM and
Microsoft, as well as computer pioneers such as Alan Kay, who helped
coin the term 'personal computer,' and Lotus founder Mitch Kapor came
to prove they still have what it takes to be a geek..."
Reuters, April 28, 2003
"The O'Reilly conferences are the gold standard for drawing together a
critical mass of thought leadersPerhaps the biggest clue was the
presence of star alumna, not as keynotes, but as notetakers. Adam
Bosworth sat in Wednesday's Birds of a Feather session on Chandler and
offered his (and BEA's) XML Query work to the open source effort."
--Steve Gillmor, CRN, April 26, 2003
"Call it a Davos for geeks...the conference is an umbrella symposium
for all the brand-new, up-and-coming technologies that may or may not
make a dent on the future. It is one of the primary gatherings of all
the geeks and nerds busy inventing tomorrow, and those seeking to make
a buck off their ideas. Never mind if you're nowhere near Northern
California: It is probably the most blogged event on the planet."
--Leander Kahney, Wired, April 23, 2003
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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