ETech - a question of perspective
The seventh O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference opened on Monday evening in San Diego, California. The motto for this year's conference is "Question Perspective" and the conference, which runs until Thursday, aims to illuminate technical innovations and the new insights that arise from them. The programme includes speeches and presentations from productivity guru Timothy Ferriss, editor in chief of Wired magazine Chris Anderson and blogger Violet Blue.
The appearance of Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig is eagerly anticipated. He will publicly present his new Change Congress campaign for the first time at the conference, which will campaign to reform the US electoral system. Fans of the copyright activist recently attempted in vain to persuade him, using a Facebook petition, to run for the presidency.
Publishing company founder Tim O'Reilly used his traditional opening speech on Monday evening to talk about technical trends which he thinks have the potential to be of fundamental importance. He includes new input methods such as multi-touch interfaces or the Nintendo Wii's gesture based input system. "The Wii fundamentally changes our ideas of how we interact with a computer", according to O'Reilly. The founder of O'Reilly Media quoted Rainer Maria Rilke's poem The Man Watching" at the end of his speech, commenting "This is what hacking is about – wrestling with the angel, wrestling with a difficult problem."
For the first time this year, the ETech conference is taking place in parallel with the Graphing Social Patterns conference, also organised by O'Reilly Media. The first day is dedicated in part to the portability of social network connection data and business models for Facebook widgets. Myspace, Yahoo and Facebook are using the conference to announce new products and products currently under development. (Janko Röttgers) /