HTML5. It’s more than paving the cowpaths. It’s more than markup. There’s a lot of stuff in the spec about databases and communication protocols and blahdiblah backend juju. Some of that stuff is pretty radical. And it will change how you design websites. Why? Because for the last twenty years, web designers have been creating inside of a certain set of constraints. We’ve been limited in what’s possible by the technology that runs the web. We became so used to those limits, we stopped thinking about them. They became invisible. They Just Are. Of course the web works this certain way. Of course a user clicks and waits, the page loads, like this… but guess what? That’s not what the web will look like in the future. The constrains have changed. Come hear a non-nerd explanation of the new possibilities created by HTML5’s APIs. Don’t just wait around to see how other people implement these technologies. Learn about HTML APIs yourself, so you can design for and create the web of the future.
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April 2011: Friendster announces they would delete their entire database of user photos, posts, and profiles. This was met with an outcry from long-lost members who were not ready to let go of that part of their digital lives. Like Geocities before them, Friendster has a rather contemporary dilemma: what happens when you’re responsible for thousands of digital memories?
With so much of our lives experienced digitally, the stories we tell and the lives we construct online have become increasingly tied to our real life selves. Our ‘digital self’ has a memory; one made up of wall posts, status updates, photos, and blogs (or more precisely, data). What happens when these online artifacts are deleted or lost? How much worth do we assign to these digital memories, and what does it mean to lose them forever?
This not only affects us as individuals, but also has ramifications for understanding and preserving our current cultural and historical moment. Future generations will only have the digital memories we preserve to learn about us; what will archaeologists say when they find a world without Facebook? With such a disposable way of documenting our lives, have social networks set us up for cultural extinction?
Using Geocities and Friendster as case studies, this panel will explore the issues and possible solutions to the loss of digital memory on both a personal and cultural level.
Alexis Rossi, Web Collections Mgr, Internet Archive
Alexis is on her second tour of duty at Internet Archive, working on a program to archive the entire Internet and thinking about questions like "what does ‘the entire Internet’ mean?" and "do we really want it ALL?" Alexis currently manages Internet Archive collections work for every type of media (audio, video, web, texts), and runs the Wayback Machine project. Alexis previously managed the Open Library project from 2006-2008.
Alexis has been working with Internet content since 1996 when she discovered that being picky about words in books was good training for being picky about data on computers. She spent several years managing news content at ClariNet (the first online news aggregator), worked as the Editorial Director at Alexa Internet, and as Product Manager at Mixercast. Alexis has a Masters of Library and Information Science, concentrating on web technologies and interfaces, and enjoys making jewelry, dancing, costuming, and baking Cookie Smackdown-winning cookies.
Brian Fitzpatrick, Engineering Mgr, Google Data Liberation Front
Brian Fitzpatrick started Google’s Chicago engineering office in 2005, and currently leads Google’s Transparency Engineering team, which uses data to help protect free expression and free speech on the web. He also founded and leads Google’s Data Liberation Front, a team that systematically works to make it easy for users to move their data both to and from Google (e.g. via Google Takeout). He serves as both thought leader and internal advisor for Google’s open data efforts and has previously led the Google Code and The Google Affiliate Network teams.
Prior to joining Google, Brian was a senior software engineer on the version control team at CollabNet, working on Subversion, cvs2svn, and CVS. He has also worked at Apple Computer as a senior engineer in their professional services division, developing both client and web applications for Apple’s largest corporate customers. Brian has been an active open source contributor for over thirteen years. After years of writing small open source programs and bugfixes, he became a core Subversion developer in 2000, and then the lead developer of the cvs2svn utility. He was nominated as a member of the Apache Software Foundation in 2002 and spent two years as the ASF’s VP of Public Relations. He is also a member of the Open Web Foundation. Brian has written numerous articles and given many presentations on a wide variety of subjects from open data to version control to software development, including co-writing "Version Control with Subversion" (now in its second edition) as well as chapters for "Unix in a Nutshell" and "Linux in a Nutshell."
Brian has an A.B. in Classics from Loyola University Chicago with a major in Latin, a minor in Greek, and a concentration in Fine Arts and Ceramics. Despite growing up in New Orleans and working for Silicon Valley companies for most of his career, he decided years ago that Chicago was his home and stubbornly refuses to move to California.
Dana Herlihey, Production Coord, Community Mgr, Stitch Media Inc
A lover of all things digital, Dana Herlihey has been working in new media since she was 15 years old, co-pioneering what was Canada’s first online entertainment magazine ‘for teens by teens’. Following an adolescence filled with red carpet interviews, she attended McMaster University, earning a combined honors degree in Multimedia and Cultural Studies. She later spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland working as a Webmaster and digital communications assistant for the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
As Stitch Media’s Production Coordinator she has managed large interactive teams for projects such as Redress Remix and Showcase’s Drunk and On Drugs: Happy Funtime Hour. She has also led social media campaigns for Stitch Media, recently winning a 2011 Digi Award for Best in Digital Advertising (Drunk and Drugs: Happy Funtime Hour).
Duncan Smith, Programmer-Archivist, Archive Team
I’ve spoken previously about international toll-free telephone number routing and about the history of public works in Seattle. Now, I speak about how we preserve history when those to whom we entrust it show all signs of having abdicated that responsiblity.
What kind of future do you want to live in? What excites or concerns you about the future? Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson poses these questions as part of The Tomorrow Project, an initiative to investigate not only the future of computing but also the broader implications on our lives and the planet. Science and technology have progressed to the point where what we build is only constrained by the limits of our own imaginations. The future is not a fixed point in front of us that we are all hurtling helplessly towards. The future is built everyday by the actions of people. The Tomorrow Project engages in ongoing discussions with superstars, science fiction authors and scientists to get their visions for the world that’s coming and the world they’d like to build.
The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called “future casting” – using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Fake Plastic Love, Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories and the forthcoming This Is Planet Earth). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.
The relationship most adults have with science is one of observation: watching government agencies explore on behalf of us, but not actually exploring it ourselves. Science should be disruptively accessible – empowering people from a variety of different backgrounds to explore, participate in, and build new ways of interacting with and contributing to science. By having a fresh set of eyes from those who solve different types of problems, new concepts often emerge and go on to influence science in unexpected ways. A grassroots effort called Science Hack Day aims to bridge the gap between the science, technology and design industries. A Hack Day is a 48 hour all-night event that brings different people with good ideas together in the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building ‘cool stuff’. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.
Ariel Waldman, Spacehack.org
Ariel Waldman is the founder of Spacehack.org, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the creator of Science Hack Day SF, an event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend. She is also the coordinator for Science Hack Days around the world, an interaction designer, and a research affiliate with Institute For The Future.
Additionally, she sits on the advisory board for the SETI Institute‘s science radio show Big Picture Science, is a contributor to the book State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards, and is the founder of CupcakeCamp. In 2008, she was named one of the top 50 most influential individuals in Silicon Valley. Previously, she was a CoLab Program Coordinator at NASA, a Digital Anthropologist at VML (a WPP agency), and a sci-fi movie gadget columnist for Engadget.
Jeremy Keith, Web Developer, Clearleft Ltd
An Irish web developer living in Brighton, England making websites with Clearleft.
Matt Bellis, Research Assoc, Northern Illinois University
Matt is a particle physicist by training and is searching for signs of New Physics using data from the BaBar electron-positron collider experiment and the CoGeNT dark matter detection experiment. To these ends he is exploring new computing solutions to these challenges.
He is interested in both data visualization and sonification. He is also involved in efforts to engage the public in science and teach them as much physics as they can handle.
Matt received his PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later worked at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University. He is currently teaching and doing research at Northern Illinois University.
In the fall, Matt will begin his new job as a professor, teaching and continuing his physics research at Siena College in upstate-NY.
In the early days of CSS the web industry cut its teeth on blogs and small personal sites. Much of the methodology still considered best-practise today originated from the experiences of developers working alone, often on a single small style sheet, with few of the constraints that come from working with large distributed teams on large continually changing web projects.
The mechanics of CSS are relatively simple. But creating large maintainable systems with it is still an unsolved problem. For larger sites, CSS is a difficult and complex component of the codebase to manage and maintain. It’s difficult to document patterns, and it’s difficult for developers unfamiliar with the code to contribute safely.
How can we do better? What are the CSS best practises that are letting us down and that we must shake off? How can we take a more precise, structured, engineering-driven approach to writing CSS to keep it bug-free, performant, and most importantly, maintainable?
Frank Abagnale’s rare expertise began more than 40 years ago when he was known as one of the world’s most famous confidence men. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries. Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in the French, Swedish and U. S. prison systems. After five years he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government, without remuneration, by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies. Frank has now been associated with the FBI for over 35 years. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs.
Frank’s exploits were depicted in the movie Catch Me If You Can, based on Frank’s best-selling book. In this session, he’ll describe his life, both during the time covered in his well known story, as well as covering what he’s up to these days.
For over 20 years the web has provided continuous deluge of cultural production. Digital artifacts such as websites, images, and videos have much to communicate about our social and cultural evolution, and yet their messages or moments can be fleeting or quickly lost. Both the accessibility and longevity of digital content are subject to a wide range of risks, from technological obsolescence to outright deletion by their creator or host. So what is being done to preserve these cultural objects for the long term? Approaching web content from a cultural and artistic perspective, this panel will convene leading writers, archivists, thinkers and technologists to discuss to the questions, challenges, and imperatives involving preserving the creative culture of the web. We’ll cover topics like "what is the long-term significance of a website, and why would it be worth preserving?", "should web sites and artifacts be treated like works of art or architecture?", and "how do we go about archiving digital content to ensure its accessibility and longevity?". Example initiatives to be discussed will be the Archive Team’s various projects (such as the Geocities torrent), the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Internet Archeology, and the Rhizome ArtBase. This panel will be presented by Rhizome, an organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.
Presentation from SXSW 2011.
When the New York Times banned the word "Tweet" from it’s pages, it marked the first time a major publication had formally rejected a Internet-born branded verb. As new behaviors are created online, our culture struggles with ways to define them and often settles on flawed nomenclature. In this hour we will take a look at some of the most misleading words from the digital lexicon and try to pick a few to banish forever.
Is it morally correct for the US to pursue prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange? Is alleged leaker of military documents Bradley Manning a hero or a traitor? And what do Wikileaks and the Internet mean to the future of journalism? James Moore, the New York Times bestselling author of "Bush’s Brain," is joined by technologist Ben Werdmuller from the UK, the creator of one of the web’s early social networking platforms, and KRLD Dallas radio host Scott Braddock, to discuss "Wikileaks, the Web, and the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism." Moore will lead the panel by arguing that Assange and Manning are heroic figures and ought to be honored in a culture that requires information to sustain a democracy. Werdmuller will offer his insight on the Internet’s long term reach and impact with regard to information, systems, and public access to data that was previously unavailable, and Braddock will articulate the perspective that Assange and Manning have done harm to America and its allies and need to be treated as people who have acted outside of the law. Audience participation and questions will be encouraged.
In this session, representatives from major browser vendors including Chrome, Microsoft, Opera and the W3C will pull back the curtain revealing some of the challenges with implementation and interoperability. The goal is to have designers and developers get a glimpse into how CSS has struggled and finally gained its footing as the presentation layer in everything we do for the Web.
Elika Etemad, Invited Expert, W3C Invited Experts. Elika J. Etemad (fantasai) is a W3C Invited Expert on the CSS Working Group and a longtime contributor to the Mozilla Project. She edits CSS specifications, does layout engine QA, and occasionally codes for Gecko. Within the CSSWG she specializes in internationalization, testing, and generally getting things done.
Molly Holzschlag, Developer Rel, Opera Software. Having achieved a modicum of balance after her midlife crisis, Molly decided to finally get a job. She is now a Web Evangelist focusing on developer relations for the upstart Norwegian browser company, Opera Software. Earlier in life, Molly avoided a regular job including those silly start-up ventures and chose instead to write a lot of books and articles and stuff on Web standards, and talk a lot about them, too. She now avoids the former, while the latter is an ongoing inevitability. To learn more about Molly and her work, you can check out her blog at molly.com or interact with her on Twitter @mollydotcom. Better yet, come have a chat F2F at SXSW!
Sylvain Galineau, Program Manager, Microsoft. Sylvain spent many years working on web application servers and now helps design Internet Explorer. He represents Microsoft on the CSS Working Group and will buy everyone a round when IE6 goes away. Everyone.