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The current events in the Middle East and North Africa have shone a spotlight on how activists and ordinary citizens are using social media and connection technologies both to organize for social change and as to broadcast information from the streets in near real time. Our panelists will address questions such as, "What have been the most innovative and interesting uses of 21st century technologies in the recent campaigns?", "What are the ways activists are effectively leveraging 21st century technologies for their benefit?", "How could they use these tools more effectively and what lessons can protesters in other regions of the world learn?" and "How do we think these tools can be leveraged in these societies to improve democracy and open government?"
Growing internet access and a hyper-evolved societal awareness built in to the humor of our age have led to an explosion of Neo-Swiftian cultural critique in every area imaginable: art, literature, film, gaming, social networking, food, politics, business and even parody itself.
The Daily Show now provides our Modest Proposal every evening, Cervantes acolytes all over the world ruthlessly skewer our holy cows from their blogs, forcing us to laugh at ourselves and the institutions we create and support. While parody and satire are inarguably essential to humankind’s dialectic with itself, the same tools that have raise our collective voice are being utilized by powerful forces to squelch us.
Facebook is dragging offending sites into court with a vengeance. Celebrities sue bloggers with a regularity one can set their watch to. Even Blizzard Entertainment–of World of Warcraft fame–forced the pulping of tens of thousands of copies before the release of a satirical book.
So what do the jesters do when the giant doesn’t have a sense of humor? A balance must be struck between the rights of individuals and institutions and the rights of others to mock them.
The purpose of this panel is to assess the present health of parody in New Media (however broadly defined), discuss its evolving role in our discourse, and to develop a prognosis for its future that will enable to prescribe the right strategy to protect those who hold the mirror to a world of naked emperors.
You are being watched, tracked, and analyzed right now. But what are they collecting and analyzing? Who’s selling it, who's buying it, and why? And who are “they” anyway?
The subject of personal data collection, analysis, and control has become increasingly covered in various media channels recently such as the Wall Street Journal series, “What They Know”, reporting that a new industry of tracking has arisen, and you better watch out.
Is this buzz fear mongering, or is it true that there’s a dark underbelly of the Internet where your information is traded by big corporations every day to the detriment of web citizens? Or, on the other hand, is there a benefit for keeping this information open?
This data is often used to improve user experiences, web sites, programs, etc. that some of us wouldn’t want to live without. As cloud technologies and database processing improve the ability to mine user data, analyzing and valuing that data will become an even more critical part of the Internet ecosystem.
But where do web citizens fit in this world? Shouldn’t they be free to own and control their data? If so, how can they derive value, and in that process of creating value can they also improve the data?
Can we achieve an information system beneficial to all participants? We will address these questions from two perspectives: individual and industry.
Join Flattr and our friends from Thingiverse, Readability and Demotix as we discuss rewarding creators and crowdfunding online. All of our teams are striving to enable users and participants to share their money and pay for content that's worth paying for online -- and in some cases IRL/offline too.
Time included Flipboard in its list of "The 50 Best Inventions of 2010” and Apple named Flipboard “iPad App of the Year.” Others have raised questions about the company’s relationships with publishers and ability to monetize the social magazine. Mike McCue, founder/CEO, will address the good, bad and beautiful.
by Aza Raskin
At the end of 2010, I left my post as Creative Lead for Firefox to found Massive Health on the assumption that a design renaissance could help change people's behavior to make them a bit more healthy. That's rather an assumption. Behavior change is hard. Health is hard. It is yet to be seen if I'm an idiot. With all this talk of gameification, serious games, and social connectivity, what cognitive psychology principals underly all of this hype? What isn't anecdotal? What works? Whether it is health, finance, email, or games, this talk delves into the literature of behavior change to give you a checklist to use in your designs.
by Ben Rattray
Online advocacy groups traditionally focus on demanding change from Congress, which is largely unresponsive to these efforts. Find out how citizen activists are changing the face of civic participation by using social media to mobilize people in their neighborhoods, schools and cities to successfully fight for local change every day.
Recent research shows that online giving is growing at a rate of 40% annually. Driving and shaping this activity are some innovative tech startup companies looking to change the very nature of online giving. Using game mechanics, mobile technology, and principals of community management and engagement, these startups are giving younger adults more relevant ways to connect with, volunteer for and donate to nonprofits and causes that matter to them.
Questions for this panel of industry representatives will include: What's the future for social giving startups? How are they tapping into existing online communities to encourage philanthropy? And what are the down sides to having so-called "middleware" sites and applications in the mix?
This presentation will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of visual and non-visual augmented reality. We’ll cover alternate types of augmented reality techniques and how they have been saving us time in the past few months. We’ll demonstrate how we’ve been merging available technologies with custom programming to create location-aware social networks with custom proximity notification. Finally, we’ll describe other uses for location sharing, such as automatically turning off house lights when leaving for work, wayfinding with piezoelectric buzzers, geonotes and other mashups that can be done using sms, gps, x-10 and irc as a control hub.
by Adam Honore, Jacob Sisk, Armando Gonzalez and John Kittrell
Trading on news is not new. Terminals have had news readers attached from the time trading went electronic. What is new is who, or what, is trading on news. Born from a hybrid of technological capability, electronification of the markets, algorithmic trading, and a little influence from the intelligence community, black box trading systems are now applying semantic analysis to trade on news items without a single human ever reading the story. While only 2% of trading firms were doing this two years ago, roughly one-third are exploring it today. This session looks at the data, drivers, and technology behind trading on unstructured content.
Hundreds of new typefaces are released every year by hundreds of vendors. Some of these fonts are good for nuts-and-bolts text, some for showing off. Some work well on the web, while most are just awful. A select few are destined to be classics. The sheer volume and variety of options can be overwhelming. So, understandably, most designers just stick to the same old safe standbys they’ve always used — the ones that came with their computer or they learned about in school. The panelists, all typographic experts, will show how they broke free of tired text, sharing their secrets for selecting type, including best practices and personal case studies.
by Al Franken
This panel examines the recent developments around net neutrality, one of the more misunderstood principles among the crowd of odd phrasings generated within contemporary telecommunications practice and policy. The panel will (1) present the concrete info about net neutrality – what it is and isn’t, and the circumstances that generated the concept to begin with; (2) summarize FCC Commissioner Genachowski’s position, and speculate on why the FCC took the route it did in the wake of the Comcast court decision in 2010 (which blew apart the Commission’s de facto assertion of authority over how industries could manage Internet networks); (3) assess the pros and cons of the FCC approach and also comment on the misinformation that has circulated. The panel will help you figure out whether and why you should care about this policy.
by Tim Wu
This session will address the Net Neutrality question over the very long term: identifying the issue's significance over the long term trends in the evolution of the Internet. The presentation will draw on early theories of the Internet and comparisons to similar moments in the telephone and radio industry in the 20th century. The basic question is whether Net Neutrality rules can "lock in" an open internet, or whether they are on the path to long-term monopolization and consolidation.
Faced with the costs of vertically scaling their relational database systems, developers are increasingly turning to Apache Cassandra as an alternative. Cassandra solves the scaling problem by partitioning data, expanding horizontally and promising replication consistency. Effectively utilizing Cassandra requires that developers take different approaches to the ways they model data used in their applications. This presentation will explain how Cassandra achieves scale and reliability, and give an example of porting a SQL schema to Cassandra.
Big Data solutions, such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Cassandra, are growing up and are in the process of moving out of a grassroots movement to widespread adoption. Unfortunately, the majority of the technical expertise still lies in the hands of the open source project contributors and most solutions are tackled from the bottom up, starting with the technical problems. The collateral that is presently available is largely from the social media giants that tout solutions built using 10,000 node clusters that process petabytes of data a day. The reality? The average person just cannot relate or intuitively draw parallels to their own business problems.
While Big Data solutions are worthwhile far before you reach petabyte scale data, just getting started can be a challenge in itself. New open source projects are being regularly released that tackle a variety of issues related to Big Data, some of which are just slightly different to existing technologies. Just how does one navigate the plethora of technologies to design workable solutions to business problems? What if you only have gigabytes or terabytes of "medium" data on a small cluster? This panel features Solution Architects from a variety of key companies in the Big Data space which will provide deep dive technical discussions on real solutions we've employed for our customers, across a variety of industries, starting with the business problems.
Is it morally correct for the US to pursue prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange? Is alleged leaker of military documents Bradley Manning a hero or a traitor? And what do Wikileaks and the Internet mean to the future of journalism? James Moore, the New York Times bestselling author of "Bush's Brain" is joined by technologist Ben Werdmuller from the UK, the creator of one of the web's early social networking platforms, and KRLD Dallas radio host Scott Braddock, to discuss "Wikileaks, the Web, and the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism." Moore will lead the panel by arguing that Assange and Manning are heroic figures and ought to be honored in a culture that requires information to sustain a democracy. Werdmuller will offer his insight on the Internet’s long term reach and impact with regard to information, systems, and public access to data that was previously unavailable, and Braddock will articulate the perspective that Assange and Manning have done harm to America and its allies and need to be treated as people who have acted outside of the law. Audience participation and questions will be encouraged.
by Rob Veres and Laura Chambers
At SXSW Interactive 2011, Rob Veres, general manager of RedLaser and senior director of Mobile, eBay Inc., and Laura Chambers, senior director of PayPal Mobile, are poised to speak on the topic of mobile commerce and virtual wallets. As one of the driving forces behind eBay's and PayPal’s mobile initiatives, Rob and Laura sit at a unique vantage point regarding the evolution of mobile. How can brands, entrepreneurs and developers make money from mobile commerce? Specifically, how will mobile devices evolve to become the “virtual wallets” of the future?
In grappling with these questions, eBay and PayPal have led the way in mobile shopping and payments. Not surprisingly, the company’s mobile sales and transactions have grown dramatically. In 2010, eBay's mobile sales more than double to nearly $2 billion from $600 million in 2009. PayPal's mobile transactions grew from $25 million in 2008 to $141 million in 2009.
eBay and PayPal have also led the way in creating innovative mobile commerce apps. The companies have incorporated technologies like augmented reality to virtually try on sunglasses and "bump" so that two iPhones can seamlessly transfer money. To date, eBay's and PayPal's mobile apps have been downloaded more than 36 million times worldwide. eBay and PayPal have also encouraged third-party developer innovation through its RedLaser and PayPal X platforms.
Wikileaks began as an audacious idea, a statement about the potential of the internet to speak truth to power and to open governments. Barely four years later, the whistleblower's website finds itself at the centre of an unprecedented global storm over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of confidential cables from US embassies around the world. To many WikiLeaks's founder Julian Assange is a hero who has shone the bright glare of public scrutiny into places governments would rather keep hidden; to others he is a vandal, taking a sledgehammer to the secrecy all states need to maintain to function. Is Wikileaks just one expression valve for the web, one that would be replaced by others if it was closed? Has it changed the public's understanding of and relationship to government in any real and lasting way, or is it a media preoccupation?
Discovering and listening to music today is a fragmented experience. Most consumers discover in one place, purchase in another, and listen somewhere else. While iTunes remains the dominant way people buy and organize their digital music collections, on-demand music services like Rdio, MOG and Spotify are creating new ways to discover, play, organize, and share music.
The wide-spread adoption of smartphones and connected devices, along with the growing ubiquity of wireless networks, has increased the promise of music-in-the-cloud, but are consumers ready to give up their iTunes and owning their music outright? While, early adopters and music enthusiasts are latching on, what will it take for the mainstream to shift their thinking? This session will explore how connected devices and cloud services will affect the way consumers find and buy music going forward.
11th–15th March 2011