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April 4, 2005

Culture of "Remix" Celebrated at the 2005 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

Sebastopol, CA--Hackers and other innovators have embraced the do-it-yourself renaissance, tweaking here and integrating there, creating new tools and inspiring a resurgence of hands-on experimentation. These new, unexpected combinations--and the opportunities they present--were the driving force behind the 2005 edition of ETech, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, held in San Diego, California, March 14-17. The conference attracted over 800 attendees, making it one of the best-attended ETechs to date, illustrating both the popularity of "remix" and the pervasiveness of technology in our lives.

As new applications, services, and devices simultaneously converge and morph in unconventional ways, the lens of ETech--articulated on stage and throughout the program by conference chair Rael Dornfest and O'Reilly founder and CEO Tim O'Reilly--is particularly helpful in bringing new trends to light and focusing the future of computing technology for a wider audience. As in past years, ETech gave developers, IT decision-makers, lead users, engineers, and tech aficionados maximum exposure to new ideas and technologies through roll-up-your-sleeves tutorials, on-point plenary presentations, focused sessions that included late-breaking issues, and a relevant exhibit hall. Just a few of the intriguing speakers and topics at the conference included:

  • Technology historian George Dyson mapped Von Neumann's universe
  • Writer, consultant, and NYU professor Clay Shirky parsed folksonomy, metadata, and the phone as platform
  • JC Herz, author and defense researcher/consultant, addressed emerging technology use in the military
  • Joel Spolsky, founder of Fog Creek Software, discussed the ramifications of building communities with software
  • Author Kathy Sierra outlined her methods for creating passionate users
  • James Surowiecki, a staff writer at the "New Yorker," posed the question: Is it possible to be too connected?
  • Danny Hillis, co-chairman and chief technology officer of Applied Minds, discussed how technology is remixed at Applied Minds
  • Natalie Jeremijenko of UCSD described her methods of social activism using feral robotic dogs
  • Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of "Wired Magazine," presented the economics of "The Long Tail"
  • ETech's inaugural Maker Fair illustrated the popularity and "mass amateurization" of gadgets and grassroots projects. This science fair-like evening event showcased projects from O'Reilly's new MAKE magazine, which launched in March.

    Several announcements were made at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference:

  • Tech Buzz Game, a collaboration between Yahoo! Research Labs and O'Reilly, made its debut at ETech
  • Amazon's Jeff Bezos announced A9's OpenSearch, a collection of technologies built on top of popular open standards to allow content providers to publish their search results in a format suitable for syndication
  • Google code was given a public introduction at ETech by Google's Chris diBona
  • SafariU, a new custom publishing service that offers computer technology educators and trainers a rich platform for creating both online and print materials, debuted at ETech.
  • The program for the second edition of the Web 2.0 Conference, co-hosted by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle, and co-produced with MediaLive International, was unveiled
  • ETech sponsors also illustrated the event's technical breadth and appeal: Nokia, Apple Developer Connection, AT&T, Microsoft Reasearch, Yahoo! and Yahoo! Research Labs, Ask Jeeves, mFoundry, Salesforce.com, and Sxip.

    From hacking a Mac mini into a 1950 Nash, predicting next-gen media, remixing DNA, sharing insights into the digitization of fabrication, exploring the swarming web, and much more, the 2005 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference publicly celebrated just a few of the many ideas, projects, and people destined to change the way we use technology every day.

    The 2005 O'Reilly conference calendar includes the Where 2.0 Conference, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, and Web 2.0 (co-hosted by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle, and co-produced with MediaLive International). O'Reilly conferences bring together forward-thinking business and technology leaders, shaping ideas and influencing industries around the globe. For over 25 years, O'Reilly has facilitated the adoption of new and important technologies by the enterprise, putting emerging technologies on the map.

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