Some highlights from the first day of the Etech conference in San Diego:
- I got stuck in an elevator with Doc Searls, Steve Gillmor, and 7 other people after breakfast.
- The Applied Minds presentation was awesome. Danny Hillis started by showing some videos of robots and moved on to a video of a live projection map table and a Myst-like deforming map surface. The projection map table was basically a large touch screen table which allowed people to manipulate a globe-like map by touch, zooming in and out and overlaying different satellite and topographical data sets. There’s a video (local mirror) and press blurb available from Northrop Grumman. Apparently this table uses ArcGlobe and runs about $300,000 (ouch). The deforming map surface was a table which deformed to match the elevation of the topographical map being projected onto it. I cannot express how cool this looks. I want one.
- Sam Ruby’s “Just Use HTTP” talk did a good job of explaining some of the complexities in making RESTful web services. Slides are up.
- Werner Vogels’ talk on Interplanetary Scale services was good. He touched on a few things I’ve been thinking about for awhile now relating to epidemics and scalability.
- Later, I walked around a bit downtown:
- And went to the vendor reception: