Friday at the Next Web a review of presentations

An article, posted more than 12 years ago filed in web, future, next, conference, review, talks & the.

My ticket was sponsored by The Bean Machine.

Friday was the last day of this next web. In this post I'll be discussing the talks of Bradley Horowitz, Jim Stolze, Eric Meijer and Michael J. Brown.

Bradley Horowitz

Bradley Horiwitz's background is in technology. He is currently employed at Google and responsible for its apps. Google's main philosophy is: think big, change the world as we know it. But as an advise to startups: if you ain't got nothing, you've nothing to loose (Bob Dylan). Attention is limited, so there, computers can be of help. One thing is to use all types of context parameters when you're recording data. A photo taken in the time that I was on holiday in Scotland, is probably made in Scotland (made up example by ed.). Bradley pleads for not neglecting the power of wetware, humans. Take advantage of what humans do, e.g. click through, interactions, tagging. Main point: try to solve the problems we have tomorrow, look forward, like those guys who were running around with camera's attached to them in the early nighties... they weren't crazy, but visionary.

Review: ok talk, but nothing really new, nor exciting.

Pecha Kucha

Jim Stolze gave his five reasons the internet can make us happier, based on his own thinking he did during the time he was off-line himself (half a year or so?):

  1. Don't take your blackberry in your bedroom
  2. Accept there is more info on the web you can possibly look at
  3. Rely on social filters more
  4. Know the difference between on and off line
  5. Charge 1 cent per e-mail

Then there was this younger guy explaining his view on the ubiquitous future: the origami card. Quite interesting and good limit on our thinking about the zillion of possibilities the ubicomp world may have to offer.

Eric Meyer

I wrote on the beanblog, that I was looking forward to this presentation. I thought he'd defend the standards process, since he was this CSS guru once, but I was definitely wrong. He was here really to applaud the JavaScript revolution. And he was right indeed. Javascript has added much functionality to the browsers, the browser makers could never dream of. It adds features without having to install a plugin. And the future looks bright if you consider even 3D games can be written now with the Just In Time compilers of JavaScript that are/will be shipped with the latest browsers.

The bottom line of his presentation was: Instead of dictating how the web should evolve, Javascript allows us to develop standards the bottom up approach. He did mention, between the lines, through his examples, that he does think machine readability is still important. So don't hide data in your JS, but simply add it to a regular HTML table, that allows for backward compatibility to browsers that don't support redrawing the data as a Canvas-chart.

Michael J. Brown

Michael J Brown talked about the impact of technology on our surroundings. He comes from an architect's point of view. I had hoped this presentation would have been more about the impact of internet on how architects shape the world. But it wasn't: more about virtual reality architecture, and how new devices could support richer interactions over the web. To me it seemed like a very distant future, and the emphasis on virtual reality solutions (in contrast to augmented reality solutions) did seem to me like an unlikely path (imho, virtual reality will never rule over augmented reality, as a computers resolution in its ability to capture the entire world is always lower than reality itself). Some questions that I wrote down, but was afraid of asking as they felt too much of topic:

In the end I was kind of disappointed with his future view. But maybe it was just the fact that it was the last talk of the conference, and the presentation was too much off when compared to the rest of the talks at the conf.

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