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Live from #Gnomedex 10, Day 1

August 20, 2010

I’m hanging out at my third straight Gnomedex today, which Chris Pirillo says will be the last (he also confirmed it on the mic this morning). I’m posting pretty furiously (for me) from my Twitter account, but I thought I’d collect some of the highlights here and keep updating till tonight.

Quick reminder: You can watch the Gnomedex live stream for free.

Austin Heap is an effing hero

It’s tough to explain what Austin does without getting a little technical, but this Newsweek story should help and I’ll explain it by saying: He helps people rebelling against repressive regimes (see: Iran) stay safely anonymous on the internet. He also helped get Neda’s family out of Iran so they could speak out about their daughter’s death—it’s a movie on HBO:

Dead heat for annoying meme: Vuvuzelas or Twitter “star rating” system

RealNetworks decided it would be a good idea to give out Vuvuzelas (pictured). Possibly more annoying: an idea Chris Pirillo floated this morning (from someone else) to “star” one’s Tweets (on a scale of 1-10) as a way to rate what they’re talking about. For example:

Inception is the baddest-ass movie ever. @leodicaprio owned *10

Someone eventually yelled out “Star 9!” when Chris said something and then it started (almost) snowballing (oh crap, someone just said it again). Not yet a meme, perhaps, but a mini-meme. It’s a good idea for Twitter, but after 10 times in person, it’s lost steam :)

Microsoft might—wait for it…be cool again

They’ve got a Surface here (not sure if it has Catan on it) and Windows Phone 7, which, while it won’t replace my iPhone (or soon-to-be-owned iPhone 4) is a pretty respectable little device. I played with it for a bit. If I’d never handled an iPhone, I’d probably be all excited over it.

More updates to come, including an interview I did with my new employers, KIRO TV. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter or follow #gnomedex.

UPDATES (after 4:18-ish):

“Trust is maybe the No. 1 issue of our time. Maybe of all time.”

Todd Welch is a guy  who made a 1,000-day journey to study the idea of trust. He talked about a lot of things, but the quote above is what really stuck out to me. Transparency—revealing who you are online—is thriving now, where 10 or 15 years ago, the idea of being who you really are online was less common. Now, proof-of-identity is how people legitimize themselves to others (think personal branding). I’ll have more on this in a future post, after I got into a great conversation on Twitter with @MenWithPens and @jdp23.

One day, you might have an iPhone in your arm

Willow Brugh talked about “Transhumanism”—the literal meeting of humanity and technology in the form of cybernetic implants that help us overcome our inefficiencies or disabilities. Key point, though: If you can’t run three miles, don’t wish for robotic legs—try to run three miles.

It was very similar to Amber Case’s presentation from last year, which was great:

If you want to get RT’d, make a Star Trek: The Next Generation joke on the #gnomedex hashtag

This went nuts on Twitter:

Transhumanism is awesome, but what about security concerns? Geordi’s VISOR was hacked and used to blow up the Enterprise-D #gnomedex

Back with more tomorrow.

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