- Botnets and the Global Infection Rate (PDF) — fascinating insights into botnets, control tools, and business models.
- Atlassian Uses OpenSocial for Internal Integration — they use it inside their firewall to build a better dashboard. OpenSocial defines two concepts–an API for defining and working with social data (profiles, attributes, relationships) and specification for gadgets. OpenSocial’s fundamental promise was interoperability–write an application once and host it in multiple social networks. Sound familiar? That’s what we wanted to do with our own products.
- Professional Conference Video with Semi-Professional Equipment — How to make a great video of yourself giving a presentation, without having a cameraman to track you on stage. (I tried to tell my wife that I had semi-professional equipment, by the way, and it took a quarter of an hour for her to stop laughing.)
- Thoughts to Speech — tested on a stroke victim in his 20s who was able to think but not move, electrodes and a small FM transmitter were implanted between speech and motor centres of his brain. Neurites grew into the electrodes, and the signals sent to them are broadcast by the transmitter to an external receiver. From there a desktop computer runs software to figure out which muscles were being moved, and then makes the corresponding sound. It requires training, but is an exciting breakthrough in brain-computer connection.
Eleven areas of focus for deeper investigation.
Conferences like Strata are planned a year in advance. The logistics and coordination required for an event of this magnitude takes a lot of planning, but it also takes a decent amount of prediction: Strata needs to skate to where the puck is going.
While Strata New York + Hadoop World 2013 is still a few months away, we’re already guessing at what next year’s Santa Clara event will hold. Recently, the team got together to identify some of the hot topics in big data, ubiquitous computing, and new interfaces. We selected eleven big topics for deeper investigation.
- Deep learning
- Time-series data
- The big data “app stack”
- Cultural barriers to change
- Design patterns
- Laggards and Luddites
- The convergence of two databases
- The other stacks
- Mobile data
- The analytic life-cycle
- Data anthropology
Here’s a bit more detail on each of them. Read more…
The essential principles of conference development.
I’ve chaired computer industry conferences for ten years now. First for IDEAlliance (XML Europe, XTech), and recently with O’Reilly Media (OSCON, Strata). Over the years I have tried to balance three factors as I select talks: proposal quality, important new work, and practical value of the knowledge to the attendees.
As the competition for speaking slots at both Strata and OSCON reach intense levels, I wanted to articulate these factors, and the principles I use when compiling conference programs.
How the program is made
My guiding principle in putting a program together is value to the attendees. They’re why we do this. By putting out quality content and speakers, we attract thinking, interested attendees. In turn, our sponsors get a much better quality of conversation and customer contact through their presence at the event.
Here’s the process in a nutshell: proposals are invited through a public call for participation, and then reviewers, drawn from the industry community of experts, will grade and comment on each proposal. I and my co-chairs use this feedback, along with editorial judgement, to compile the final schedule. For keynotes, and a small number of breakout sessions, we will augment the review process by inviting talks we think are important for the program.
If you want the tech community to have diversity, you need to be the change.
Stepping out of our comfort zones and into the spotlight at events (and encouraging others to do likewise) can help address the perception that the tech community is solely populated by young white guys.
Conferences get stuck in ruts because we treat them like conferences.
Keynotes and panel discussions may not be the best way to program conferences. What if organizers instead structured events more like a great curriculum?
We don't condone harassment or offensive behavior, at our conferences or anywhere. It's counter to our company values. More importantly, it's counter to our values as human beings.
The Donahue app aims to sync conference presenters and audiences.
A new app created by Tim Meaney, partner at Arc90, and Christopher Fahey, founding partner at Behavior Design, taps into and harnesses conference distraction. Here's how it works.
Why conferences need more diversity.
Conferences that want to be taken seriously by people who take other kinds of people seriously need more diversity among the speakers.
BotNets, Integration, Conference Videos, and Brain Interfaces
Camp, visualization, mistakes, and a wireless power meter hack:
- Toorcamp — two day hacker camp in a Titan-1 missile silo. The coolest venue evar? I think so.
- The Allosphere (TED) — JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the Allosphere, a planetarium-like sound-and-light visualization environment for scientific data. (via Lorrie Lejeune)
- The Mistake Bank — The Mistake Bank is a place to share stories of mistakes people have made in their lives and careers. Reminds me of the fail sessions at Foo Camp that Joshua Schachter leads.
- Tweet-a-Watt (Lady Ada) — add an XBee card to a Kill-a-Watt power meter to be able to read the current power load from afar.