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Dear Reader,

I’m sitting here crammed into a seat in an oversold conference on the Future of Web Applications. The overall experience is a positive one. The sessions are interesting and the speakers are knowledgeable.

I’m sitting here in the session with the Kohi Vinh, the Director of Design for the NYT and overall, I’m impressed. I can’t help but notice that their editorial bias against conservatives extends even to their presenters. One slide he showed to demonstrate embedded MP3s in NYT pages had 3 articles, one showing Republican’s in a bad (and misleading) light, one showing Democrats in a positive light and one stating that scientist (and the unspoken assumption they are leading readers to is “all serious scientists”) feel that the evidence for man’s culpability in Global Warming is unequivocal. (Side Note: Even the UN’s new report won’t go so far as to say Man is responsible, they just state that they think he is but there’s little to no evidence to support the opinion. now THAT is an Inconvenient Truth.)

Anyhow, back on track. I’ll have to say that politics aside, I’m impressed with the efforts that the NYT is making to stay relevant. There has been no small amount of bits strewn about the blogosphere in the past few years about newspapers and how they are going to stay relevant in a blog-centric world. I don’t know that the NYT will be able to but they get points for trying.

The other speaker I saw this morning was from Microsoft. He kept beating the “standards” drum and showing how M$ is committed to standards. Ok, well then why do you make seemingly random decisions like returning all headers in lowercase? It’s great that15 years after the web was invented, M$ has decided that they will now play nice with other browsers but since less than 30% of the readers of this blog use IE, I just don’t care. I stopped using IE about the time that FF went into beta and have never looked back. I urge the 30% of you reading this in IE to consider doing the same.

Anyhow, for my official FOWA wrapup, check DevZone. This is an unofficial wrap-up.

Until next time,

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this page are mine and mine alone. Go get your own.

O’Reilly Wages War on Christians and Conservatives

Dear Reader,

Ok, I promised a wrap up of Web 2.0.3. This one is my personal one, I’ll post a technical one over at DevZone.

One of the “features” of this year’s Web 2.0 Summit (web2summit) was “Shorts”. I’m not sure who picked them but since John Battelle was the point man, we’ll blame him. The very first short played was one that was so infuriating to me that I actually got up and left the session.

There are times when I don’t act it but I never make any bones about the fact that I’m a Christian. So when I pay $3.2k to attend a conference and they play a video on the big screen mocking my Lord, Jesus Christ, it kind of upsets me. I asked the nice girl in charge of registrations if we could expect to see one where Mohamed gets his by a bus as well. (Buddha?) Of course we wouldn’t because it’s only funny if you are making fun of Christians…I guess.

Before I move on from this point, I just want to say something to John personally, on the off chance that he reads this. I’m a Christian and obviously that bothers you. But look at it this way.

If you are right and Christians are a joke then the worst that has happened is I’ve lived a good life, tried to have a stable set of moral values and tried to help people along the way.

But what if I’m right…

Now on with our story.

I eventually went back in and participated in the conference, however, on Wednesday John was at it again. He was so giddy at the results of the election that he again felt it necessary to waste my time and money (by the time my expense report is submitted the conference cost my employer over $5k, time is money here) to poke fun at me as a Conservative. Hey John this country is sill divided 50/50, ever think you might be pissing off 1/2 of the people in the room? At one point he actually stopped a speaker and asked them why they weren’t more visibly giddy about the results, encouraging them to cheer from the stage. Ok John, we get it, you are a Democrat. Seriously though it’s a bit overboard for a conference where I paid you to be there.

Side note here: I did not at all mind the discussion about how the change in power would affect the technical landscape. The general consensus was that Democrats are better for Net Neutrality and that consumers are boned by both parties when it comes to DRM. I agree with both conclusions.

So, my overall feelings about Web 2.0? (Now called Web 2.0 Summit) I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed for professional reasons that I will detail elsewhere. For the first time however, I feel that a conference host went out of his way to make me feel uncomfortable.

John, please, next time, tell us which (non-technical, purely personal) ideas you are going to lampoon and that way those of us who care can decide whether we want to pay money to be insulted or not.

Until next time,


STANDARD DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone. Go get your own.

Web 2.0.3

Dear Reader,

Once again, I am in San Francisco for 2.5 days of buzzword laden sessions. This is the 3rd Web 2.0 conference put on by O’Reilly. The first one I enjoyed only by podcast but I listened to every one I could get my hands on. The second one occurred while I was actually residing in the bay area. I was working for a boss whose wallet was bigger than his brain and he let me attend. This year, Zend has seen fit to have someone attend and “represent”. So here I am again, in a city steeped with memories for me, some bad but most good. My last trip here was with Wife 1.22, the lovely and talented Kathy and it was a wonderful time of sightseeing and romance.

The first Web 2.0 predicted the Social networking trend. I listened to the podcasts with interest but I was working at a hosting company and so couldn’t directly apply the concepts. However, by-in-large, the trends they were predicting were accurate.

Last year was all about Video on the web. This young upstart named was just breaking on the scene and IPTV was the buzzword. Ok, so the IPTV trend has yet to mature but overall, Web 2.0.2 was on target with Video on the web.

This year, I can already see that the buzz-word is Mobile. We’ll see what happens. Make sure you check “DevZone”: for daily updates. Until then let me leave you with these 2 thoughts.

To my wife and kids, if you get a chance to see the Titanic Exhibit, I highly recommend it. it’s stunning.

To everyone (Except Fred, I already told you this) You have to appreciate a conference that hands out Cosmopolitan Martinis in the registration line. If the line had been much longer, I would have had to have help getting to my room. Some people know how to throw a conference.

Until Next time,


My Thoughts on The Ajax Experience

Dear Reader,

As previously described, I’m now at The Ajax Experience. I have to say that I’m very impressed with the professionalism. From the handling of the speakers to the clockwork precision by which each event occurs, it is truly a well run conference.

It’s also a great conference content wise, not because I spoke at it. :) The talks I’ve attended have, for the most part, been very good. There were a couple I sneaked out of because they were not as interesting as I had originally thought. That’s going to happen and shouldn’t be considered a disparaging comment about the conference itself. Overall, the sessions I’ve been to that I’ve stayed in, I’ve really liked. The one I’m in right now, JSON, putting the X in Ajax is has been my favorite so far. (even though he didn’t go near the 90 minute time frame and we were threatened with a severe beating if we didn’t) It’s been a great talk and I’ve learned a lot.

I did meet a couple of cool people. I finally got to meet Dion Almaer of and Tatiana from O’Reilly. (I do hope I spelled your name right.)

The one and ONLY comment I have about The Ajax Experience that is not glowing is that there are no power strips to plug your laptop into. Even though the great company I work for saw fit to get me an extended battery for my T60, it’s still not enough to make it all day. Power strips would have been nice. To end in a compliment though, the WiFi has been great. I think a lot of people tried their best to kill it today downloading FireFox 2.0, but other than that minor glitch it’s been great.

If you get a chance to attend a “The Ajax Experience” conference in the future, make sure you take it. I recommend it for programmers and designers; anyone concerned with UI, either how it looks or how it works. I really appreciate Jay letting me come this time and I hope I get the opportunity to speak in the future.

Until next time,