open the past, create the future

etech05:day 1:firefox

Brendan Ike
Sorry folks – vagued out.


Filed under: conference

etech05:day 1:flickr

stewart butterfield: don’t ask him about the takeover :)

He is giving overview of Flickr.

His talk is on using websertvices as a strategy for a startup – open up and let go.

The Flickr API has 62 methods – atomic pieces of functionality.

They have found that in providing the API they have garnered a lot of trust from folks that would otherwise be nervous about giving important content to someone else (ie. photos).

Credibility particularly with the alpha geek community who have proven very influential, utililty, openness also meant that had to be more disciplined and of course it triggered a huge wave of creativity and created a massive community.

Downside: scalability issues – they lost control over the pace that things happened, they had to deal with other people’s bugs (a big issue).
More subtle issues: privacy/copyright, more support costs, a bunch of business risks – forced to confront issues before they were necessarily ready.

eg., flickr postcards, flickrgraph, 43 things, flickr world map (,,

4-5% of traffic is API traffic.

webservices for start-ups good but scary.

Filed under: conference

etech05:day 1:keynotes

Rael Dornfest is opening the conference with an emphasis on the hands on imperative, the narrowing of the gap between customer and consumer. The consumer is taking action.

1. We’re 20 years into the PC era
2. Given enough eyeballs, all features are obvious
3. Advent of the LazyWeb
4. The gospel of Openness is spreading

So why remix rather than hack (the conference theme is remix).
Hacking is remixing, akin to thyming in rap, sampling in dance music, riffing in jazz and blues and ajamming in rock.

Remix your web
View source
Firefox and thunderbird
Desktop integration v2.0

Remixing your music
step 1. rip
the music industry’s customers were trying to say something
the music industry wasn’t listening
the customers weren’t listening all that well
Apple was listening

Remix your TV
Any night is Thursday night
Replay offers the 30 second skip
Tivo leaves things open enough
Networks invent the off-by-one minute error
Tivo adds another tuner

Remix your network
apple untethered the laptop
commodity hardware

Remix your movies
BT scares just about everyone (except its users)
VOD on demand acutally provides video on demand time shifing moveis

Remix your data
scraping begat xml which led to apis
hacks led to standards which in turn led to business opps

Remix your text
blogging made journalism more efficient

remix syndication
rss allowed my netscape to compete with yahoo
rss reinvented syndication
rss flows in my yahoo

everyone monetises rss

remix your bookshelf
prject gutenberg
google print

remix it
be liberal i what you accept, but critical in what you push out
hacks become frameworks become foundations
the raw material grows on trees

remix the browser (again)

remix brick and mortar
the cirle of packages
use amazon to search meatspace
in store pickup re-remixes the physical and virtual
if it ain’t online it is not visible

Etech is all about unreasonable expectations

Tim O’Reilly
What is on O’reilly’s radar:

Design Patterns – Christopher Alexander
Design for participation – a succesfful open source software project consists of small peices loosely joined.

Therefore: architect your software or service in such a way as to be used easily as a componet of a larger system: keep it modular document your interfacesa and use a licence that doesn’t hinder recombination.

USD : there is great benefit in sharing your dev efforts and pocesses with your users.

Syndicated e-commerce
on today’s web, you no longer need to build or own all the components of your application.
therefore glue together the small pices of others

The perpetual betA
When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are not longer software artifacts, they’re ongoing services.

therefore: don’t pacikage up new freatues into monolithic releaseds. rather fold them in on regular. basis. eg. flickr, google etc
pn: definition of beta seems to be emerging – if being constantly mod then in beta

Teh key to comp adv in networded apps is the extent to which users augment your datw with their own.

therefore: architect for tparticaption beyond design and dev: invite your users. users add value to shared data.

eg. amazon – they are getting more and more distinctive as they encourage users to add more and more information to the available commodity data. In contrast to say Barnes and Nobles which does not.
eg. flickr – the users are building the flickr database (commodity data – PN)

only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of explicitly adding value
therefore: make participation the defult, aggregating user data as a SIDE EFFECT of activity.

The long tail:
many of the limiting factors for distribution are absent on the internet. therefore the power of the computer to monetise niches formerly too small to be commercial. Eg. google adsense

software aboce the level of a singel device
the pc is not longer teh only access point for networked applications.

eg. isync allows you to have your data across all devices.

therefore do not design for a single device

social networking:
social networking are a by-product of social applications like email, IM, photosharing, even book buying
therefore: architect your app to capture and ashare the social fabric underlying your app.
eg. really simple chat

data is the next intel inside

(new conference: Where 2.0 june 29th San Fran)

packets and shipping containers
understand teh optimum packet size for our application domain and devise

o’reilly has re-packaged their books so that they are more web sized packages – eg. hackers series, Make etc

when content is digital it lends itself to being broken down and remixed.

therefore: build your businesss model so as to make your living from the smallest atomic unit.

eg. safari U

what else is on their radar?
ajax – asynch JS plus XML
eg. john odell – walking tour

hardware hacking – car pc hacks, networked objects, fabbing, make
Saul is going to talking about collaborative hardware hacking

ruby on rails

visualisation: showing vast amount of data flickr colour wheel, baby names

VOIP – skype, asterisk

People – the p in P2P is people

Filed under: conference

foo:2004:3d printing

I experience childlike glee whenever someone mentions 3D printing and copying. This is entirely fueled by the desire to fabricate at will and the very optimistic hope that it is the precusor to the words “beam me up”. So you can imagine my excitement when there are several foo sessions on the subject. Tim Anderson started this morning talking about his company Z Corp that builds 3D printers. Very cool.
However, arguably the most interesting idea was planted by Tim O’Reilly when he asked whether there was an open source community around the digital fabrication. I immediately imagined a world where the ability to fabricate a cup was dependent on your purchase of the fabrication template. In other words, things we take for granted as being in the public domain – ie. the basic notion of a cup becomes something that is licenced because the design is captured in a template.

Filed under: conference

ars electronica:2004:part 3:creative commons austria launch

Today Austria CC launches – – I have spent a few days hanging out with the organisers of the Austrian effort. They have done a great job and it has been really interesting to see how the existance of CC is identified as being a key part of the network infrastructure required to develop open and/or free culture domains in Austria. Often, when I speak with CC folks they are very focused on individual artists, however it seems the institutional link has been made here very early. They already have one university that has incorporated CC as part of the student contract. This means that all student work is licenced under CC.

The speakers panel

Interesting stats coming out the creative commons. It turns out that 95% of all licences types selected included attribution. In future, CC intend to make attribution a default feature of the licences.

Other new things coming out of CC include continuing development of the nutch based search engine and the development of a CC content wiki.

BBC just got a great plug for the creative archive project. This project is of enormous interest and gaining in profile across Europe.

Filed under: conference

Archiville shorts

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