ETech: the latest build

The ETech conference program is not so much set at any one point as it is always emerging. Not unlike building an application, from our initial call for participation in October to just a few days before the conference actually kicks off, it’s a continuous build cycle. We’re adding sessions and running integration tests, shuffling rooms and resolving conflicts, adding features and finding bugs, twiddling and tweaking.

And so, with the initial program online, registration open, and seats filling up fast, I thought I’d start writing up some regular release notes. I’ll be pointing out what’s new and notable, who has been added to the mix, and how they fit into this year’s story.

ETech kicks off this year as it did last with opening night salvos. I’ll be introducing the conference, talking about this year’s theme, and highlighting some of what you’ll be seeing as the week rolls on. Tim’s O’Reilly Radar, a mainstay of our conference, is an always-inspiring tour of the themes, memes, technologies, and people Tim is connecting in surprising new ways.

This year Tim and I will be joined by “mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin, professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. Arthur is known for his ability to perform calculations in his head before you can even remember which button on your calculator watch actually brings up the calculator.

In addition, some of the people and sessions we’ve just added to the program include: Jane McGonigal known for research and development in collaborative reality-based gaming, David Hornik and posse running “1/2 Baked”, a “participatory exercise in entrepreneurial improv theatre,” another edition of the Make Fest by our very own makers of Make magazine, and a plenary by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels on some of the amazing applications being run on Amazon’s EC2 and S3 platforms.

I’ll be blogging more about some of the many additions and alterations to the program we are making to keep the content emerging and interesting. In the meantime, I do encourage you to check out the amazing lineup thus far and get yourself registered. We had to close down registration last year, being completely full up; and it looks to be much the same situation this year.

Early registration ends this coming Monday, February 5th!