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forget it, i'm not calling it a keynote ;-)

the morning session (which started out being a very, very thin crowd -- parties must have been good) started with a data visualization talk by ben fry.  honestly, i wish you could have been here for that.  the demonstrations were awesome.  the visualizations weren't pie charts, etc.  they weren't mashups.  think data meets industrial light and magic, pixar, or your favorite animation/special effect/interactive big-dog.  ben showed a cool visualisation of apache log files that looked like a flower blooming and you could create new 'stems' on it (best i can describe it).  he also showed a cool one demonstrating a correlation between baseball salaries and performance...with the ability to change the point in time in the season -- so you can see who is worth the money...as a baseball fan this was cool (note: yankees don't appear to be getting a good ROI).  he did some other ones with music and images that was just unreal...it was very cool and i hope there are videos online you can search for.

next up is robin hanson on a discussion on 'overcoming bias' which i'm not really jiving this early in the morning -- especially after ben's demonstrations.  maybe it's me, but i want geek stuff.  i think his information is probably interesting, but let's be real, i just woke up -- and half these guys are probably hung over from hanging out with the mozilla party all night.  or maybe i'm just not on the same intellectual plane -- which is a fair assumption.  i'll probably go back to his site later, but for a 15 minute slot it is perhaps too much 'heavy stuff' for such a short discussion.

next up is bill hilf from microsoft.  see here for announcements.  even in the setup there are jabs at the mother ship, etc.

now is rick falkvinge (of the pirate party) with copyright regime vs. civil liberties.  irony that microsoft is wedged between 'overcoming bias' and a discussion on copyrights? ;-)  rick showed that during their last election in sweden, the pirate party yielded 0.63% of the vote...which got their party in the top 10, the youth vote putting them at 4th position.  "poor lady justice has a problem."  rick talks about the threat of losing postal secret as a result of ensuring copyright infringement doesn't exist.  what is the platform?:

    • free file sharing and sampling
    • shorten copyright time
    • ban drm
    • abolish patents
    • strengthen privacy, due process
    • transparent government

i like listening about copyright.  i initially became intrigued at different thought process at a previous presentation at oscon actually by lawrence lessig who has some opinions on the matter.  rick is very passionate about this topic and very well spoken.  i'm enjoying this dialogue.  rick ends by saying that no politicians presentation would be complete without talking about campaign donations -- and notes that donations in sweden are not regulated ;-).

final discussion is entitled 'how to ignore marketing and become irrelevant in two days' with steve yegge.  you may know the name as he is from google and ported the rails framework to javascript.  steve's here talking about branding and does it matter.  i love these conversations as well.  he talks about new coke vs. coke classic, turboc vs. quickc, etc.  great conversation, steve was entertaining and engaging...invite him back for longer times.

overall a good/better mix of opening session content.

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