I'm taking a short break from the job search and learning new tech to... learn new tech. I'm attending the O'Reilly "Emerging Technology" conference. Not a programmer's con, but a truly technology conference.
Some observations about the con:
The topics include energy, resources, pollution, robots, wireless communication, and urban development. Very interesting ideas.
Most attendees have computing devices. Many are laptops, others are phones. Of the laptops, the majority are Macs. Of the phones, most are iPhones. I have my Nokia N800, a Canon digital camera, my cell phone, a Palmpilot, and a notebook -- the paper kind.
E-tech is full of creative people. I took advantage of the free breakfast to sit and chat with folks. I met up with a table full of people and we talked about the economy, Iceland, Greenland, and satellites.
The first keynote was about sustainable cities. Will we ever abandon cities? The answer is no, but we may abandon parts of cities or dismantle pieces of the. Japan will see a decline in population; they will need smaller cities. We will most likely change transportation systems; public transit is more efficient.
The second keynote shifted to a different area: the Creative Commons license. In the past, connecting computers was hard; open standards made it easy. Now, the friction is the legal arrangement you need. The Creative Commons project wants to reduce that friction.
This conference is a good break from the "new tech" that I am learning.