January 14, 2003
2003 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference: An Early Warning System for the Future of Technology
Sebastopol, CA--What interests "alpha geeks" these days--and why should
we care? "Hackers and other lead users are a great early warning system
if you want to think about the future of technology," contends Tim
O'Reilly, founder and president of O'Reilly & Associates. "They do
things today that everyone else will be doing in a couple of years."
Learning from hackers and showcasing what alpha geeks are playing with
now is the premise behind the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference,
convening in Santa Clara, CA from April 22-25, 2003.
Adds O'Reilly, "This conference will continue to explore the themes
from past conferences, including peer-to-peer, web services, the idea
of the 'internet operating system,' Rendezvous and other mechanisms for
ad hoc networking, and wireless. We'll also be looking at biological
models for computing, lessons from complexity theory, and lots of other
juicy ideas from the hacker noosphere. But the conference isn't just
for hackers. For investors and entrepreneurs, watching the alpha geeks
is a lot like watching the water flow in a rainstorm before deciding
where to dig your ditches. And for corporate CTOs and CIOs, it's a
great way to assess potentially disruptive technologies and evaluate
whether or not they belong in the workplace. For those concerned about
government technology policy, it's a way to meet others who are trying
to think through the long term implications of new technology."
Speakers such as Howard Rheingold, Alan Kay, Clay Shirky, Eric
Bonabeau, Tim O'Reilly, David S. Isenberg, Brewster Kahle, Dan Gillmor,
Steven Johnson, David Weinberger, Meg Hourihan, Wendy Seltzer, and Ben
Hammersley lead sessions and tutorials in the following tracks:
Rich Internet Applications: What happens when you turn web pages back
into their underlying applications? How much more is the "Rich Internet
Application" than simply taking the browser to the next level?
Social Software: The Social Software track explores work designed to
support two-way communications in groups, from retrofitting broadcast
mechanisms with conversational tools and publishing systems that treat
community involvement as central to the integration of multimedia
and/or mobility into the communal repertoire.
Untethered: This track cuts across several aspects of no-wire networks
and systems, including community networking, location-based services,
opportunistic equipment, wireless electricity, and the dangers of
leaving portals open, however secure, to the outside world.
Hardware: Hardware hacks expand the machine in new and powerful ways,
using cheap, off-the-shelf technology.
Other sessions investigate work in systems that use biological
materials as computational tools, consider the nexus of personal
digital rights management and legislated DRM, and study what the new
business models will look like.
Concludes Program Chair Rael Dornfest, "O'Reilly's customers, the
hackers and alpha geeks, are the ones who show us the shape of the
future. The Emerging Technology Conference is a way for us to frame
what they're showing us about new technologies into a coherent picture,
think about the implications, and share it with interested--and
interesting--parties. It's an amazingly high-energy event because
everyone is learning from the other attendees, from the speakers, and
from the exhibitors."
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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