(Raw notes, updated throughout the day, will be adding content reverse-chronological)
“High Order Bit” (Demos)
Apollo demos. Showing the same ebay demo we’ve seen before. It’s very nice. Demos a salesforce.com client (amazing), and Buzzword. Their media player demo isn’t as nice. They would have had far more people at the session this morning if these demos had come first. Everything is SWF, though (session in A.M. stayed away from SWF). They are trying hard to compete with WPF; the demos are pretty nice. They completely copied our demos from last year. Looks a bit more crude than the demos at MIX06 last year, but it’s cross-platform (he’s running on mac).
Now we’re voting on cool companies. Tim already stacked the deck in favor of Spock yesterday. Cool feature; but a feature is not a company.
John Battelle Panel: “Built to Last or Built to Sell”
Standard discussion about tradeoffs in taking VC money, selling to please the founders, selling to take care of the people, or taking the gamble on maybe being the one in the VC portfolio that really blows up.
Mena just said she wouldn’t want to be acquired by some unnamed company 🙂 Mena explains that she won’t sell for lower than YouTube, since her Mom expects her to make more. Mena says it’s a mistake for startups to get too interested in partnering with big companies.
Keynote (Jeff Bezos & Tim O’Reilly)
Opening. They’re showing the “The Machine is Using Us” video clip from the Kansas State professor bigscreen. Nice touch.
Brady: 3.1 billion people from 59 countries here.
Tim: “after the bubble burst, we at O’Reilly sat down and thought ‘how can we re-ignite this party?'” 🙂 Mentions cars.
Several thousand people in here, and Wifi seems to be working great.
Jeff Bezos: You can tell he’s originally from MSFT by his presentation/speaking style. S3 is processing up to 920million requests a day. He’s throwing around lots of geek buzzwords, “platform, loosely-coupled, blah, blah, pointer, queue, consumer, producer, worker process, capability, spawn, clone, instantiate, throughput”. Wow, I could have explained the EC2/S3 value prop 10x better than he just did. The “real world” example he gave is “I’m building a spaceship, and needed to serve video of it”. There are tons of partners who could have told a better story.
Tim interviewing Jeff on stage. Tim: “Why make a generic platform? Everyone else exposes their service (like commerce, catalog, book selling)” Jeff: we start at the foundation, and we’re good at it.
Tim: “Google has paypal running around like an anthill poked by a stick. Are you trying to poke paypal too? (regarding amazon payments)” Jeff: laughs.
Tim: “Are you making any money? Google and MSFT are making datacenters. And if everyone jumps on your service, could you handle it?” Jeff: we’d love that. We want to be demand-constrained instead of capacity-constrained.
(Tim is excellent interviewer, very astute)
Tim: “What disruptions are you scared of (or eager for)?” long back/forth about – are you a retail company trying to escape to higher-margin business? Jeff: we like hard jobs, we have 10million sq. feet of fulfillment centers, we are good at low margin stuff (paraphrasing).
(Jeff is sharp, too. Reminds me of Tim O’Reilly/BillG at MIX06 last year)
Jeff: moving physical goods isn’t going to go away, unless Ray Kurzweil is right 🙂 He’s talking about how Amazon fulfillment works, as a service – pay per drink in cubic foot. Storage/Picking services.
Tim: “talk about involvement in 37signals”. Jeff: “I like their founders and their philosophy”
Tim: “talk about ebook reader” Jeff: “I’m willing to use as much of our time together as you like talking about things I won’t talk about”
Tim: “What’s up with persecuting alexaholic?” Jeff: “Copyright. They are still redirecting the domain. They are stealing the graphs without permission”.
Tim: “Well, you should figure out how to work out your issues” (Jeff should have answered the e-book question more politely)
Session: “The Story Behind Facebook’s APIs: From REST to FQL” Dave Morin
Good session. Ari and Dave explaining the new FQL design, as well as how they implemented. Now doing demo of mosoto.
Session: “Placelessness and the Advance of Micropublishing” Alex Faaborg and “Web 2.0 Security”
Missed most of Alex’s talk, since I was watching the security session. Alex talked about the Firefox plans for micropublishing support, a lot of the stuff he’s talked about on his blog before. The Web 2.0 security talk was great. AJAX and dynamic client code massively raises the bar for security. He showed a bunch of exploits that were well-presented and easy to understand.
Having issues with space; many of the rooms were far too full.
Session: “Apollo and Flex”
Good session, despite the network connectivity problems.
Mike Chambers, Adobe. He’s using a mac! But the network is not working. His top bullet point in “functionality” slide is “Offline/Occasionally” connected. That doesn’t mean flakily/sadistically connected. This has got to be incredibly stressful for presenters; all his demos are having trouble. If this wireless keeps sucking, I’m going to just go to parties at night and skip the conference during the day.
Showing designer use to build simple RSS aggregator; loading Y! AJAX widgets and using in designer. Pretty cool. (revision on mac count. 2 macs in front 4 right rows; maybe 1/10 in this room are macs)
Lots of handwaving about, “this is not for web apps, it is for desktop apps”. Spends a lot of time justifying decision to use WebKit instead of Gecko or Opera. Seems like a (very) bad decision, but at least they treat rendering engine as a first-class part of runtime. 5-9MB runtime (including rendering engine).
Is not talking about SWF at all. Pitching this as x-platform networking, file APIs, etc. stack. This could put them in direct competition with Mozilla, for app scenarios like AllPeers. Did they chose to go with the Mozilla compete spin to avoid getting people worried about SWF (which could be branded as “proprietary”)?
Talking about app deployment scenarios. Then did obligatory Hello World; one version SWF, the other HTML. It all works on my machine, using the disc included in the attendee bag.
Session: “The New Hybrid Designer“.
Panel format; Richard McManus, Kelly Goto, etc. I counted about 90 laptops open in the section I’m at. Not a single Macintosh, not one. Guess I need to look harder. About 1 of 5 have Vista. (Funny, to show difference between “old” designers and “new” designers, they show a slide with the PC vs. Mac guys from the Apple ads J)
Installing Apollo/Flex. Interesting tidbit about Toshiba M7 with Vista: if you are in power saver mode, the DVD drive doesn’t work. Switching to balanced turns it back on, and switching to power saver again turns it back off. Still haven’t seen a Mac; not even with the people doing the A/V.
25 minutes in, they need to bring in more chairs, as people wake up and stagger in. Perhaps the mac users were sleeping in (nope). Show of hands, developers outnumber one another 2:1.
Chris Messina raising important point; Apollo and Silverlight work against the “View Source” button (applause…).
Registration and procurement of attendee loot bag took 1 minute, total. No kidding.
8:00 A.M. ran into James Hamilton. His session will be really important – “Commodity Data Center Design” (with Shipping Containers)
Laptop power is on 3rd floor in the “power room”. Everyone has laptops open in sessions nevertheless. I have three batteries in my bag, suckers!