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The Magic of Technology Brought to Light at the 2007 O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

Sebastopol, CA, April 15, 2007 – Innovative breakthroughs in technology often appear to be magical. This was the theme of the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (ETech), held March 26-29, 2007 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. More than 1,100 people attended the event including CXOs, alpha geeks, researchers, enthusiasts, strategists, entrepreneurs, hackers, business developers, and venture capitalists. Thought leaders from a range of disciplines identified how advances in areas such as science, manufacturing, and web development are expanding the realm of what’s possible.

“Innovation to non-technologists is more often something that sneaks up on them than a dramatic shift in technology. It appears, as if by magic, transforming the tool you’re already using and revolutionizing what you can do with that tool with minimal change on your part,” stated Rael Dornfest, ETech program chair. “This year’s ETech focused on the quietly transformative, yet revolutionary technologies that subtly weave themselves into the fabric of your everyday life, and change the way you see or interact with the world.”

Speakers and sessions at this year’s ETech included:

-Scott Berkun, author and consultant: “The Myths of Innovation”
-John Curlander, Vexcel Corporation: “The Making of Virtual Earth”
-Cory Doctorow, USC and Peter Biddle, Microsoft: “The Magic Kingdom: Maximal Autonomy or Remote Control Creche?”
-Forest Higgs, Brosis Innovations: “Building a 21st Century Industrial Base Via Open Source Technology”
-Andy Kessler, bestselling author: “Silicon is Invading Medicine”
-Ralph Koster, Areae, Inc.: “The Core of Fun”
-Don MacAskill, SmugMug: Scalability: “Set Amazon’s Servers on Fire, Not Yours”
-Jane McGonigal, Institue for the Future: “Creating Alternate Realities”
-Quinn Norton, journalist and photographer: “Body Hacking”
-Seth Raphael, MIT Media Lab: “Sufficiently Advanced Magic”
-Joshua Schachter, Yahoo!: “Lessons Learned in Scaling and Building Social Systems”
-Matt Webb, Schulze and Webb: “From Pixels to Plastic”

To view a selection of speaker presentations from ETech 2007, visit:

Other events held during the week included the O’Reilly Radar Executive Briefing, a day-long series of on-stage conversations and debate organized and hosted by Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Tim’s idea was to examine “the seeds of the future in places where people are having fun with technology,” and the potential impact they could have on society. Executive Briefing participants included Peter Bloom, General Atlantic LLC; Robert Cook, Metaweb Technologies; Jacob DeHart and Jeffrey Kalmikoff, (skinnyCorp); Dale Dougherty, Make Magazine; Seth Goldstein,; John Hagel, author and consultant; Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, designer of the Chumby; Jeff Jonas, IBM; Ed Kozel, Skyrider Networks; Alec Proudfoot, Google; Bill Tancer, Hitwise; and Brian Warshawsky, Potenco. For more information on the O’Reilly Radar Executive
Briefing at ETech, visit:

The next Executive Briefing will take place on July 24, 2007 in conjunction with the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Oregon.

ETech also offered an exhibit hall where more than twenty companies showcased their products and services. To view a list of this year’s ETech exhibitors, visit:

Evening events included an entertaining performance by Arthur Benjamin on Monday night entitled, “Secrets of Mental Math,” where he demonstrated his amazing ability to perform complex mathematical calculations almost instantly via his ingenious mental techniques.

Wednesday night featured Make Fest, a science fair-style event where hackers and crafters displayed their homemade creations which included a hand-built telescope that tracks stars via an open source program; a time-lapse, real-time camera set up to capture the event as it happened; a funky designer who sews light into garments via electronic filaments; and a one-of-a-kind flying saucer, tabletop oven made from a high powered light bulb.

ETech attendees also connected at other events such as the Exhibit Hall reception, Birds of a Feather sessions, as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s annual Pioneer Awards. This year’s awards went to Yochai Benkler, Cory Doctorow, and Bruce Schneier for their efforts to extend freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. The highlight of the event was a lively debate between Mark Cuban and EFF’s own Fred von Lohmann.

Announcements made at ETech included:

-BEA Systems announced three new social computing products for the enterprise: AquaLogic Ensemble, AquaLogic Pages and AquaLogic Pathways.

-Attensa introduced the first enterprise RSS reader to rank important articles based on user interest and attention: Attensa for
Outlook 2.5 Beta 2.

ETech 2007 was sponsored by Adobe, Amazon web services, BEA Systems, Inc., Walt Disney Internet Group, Zimki (Fotango), Microsoft Virtual Earth, Mozilla Corporation, Sun Microsystems Inc., Yahoo!, Zimbra, RSSbus, Attensa, Inc., and ThinkFree.

Next year ETech is scheduled to take place from March 3-6, 2008, and will be held again in San Diego, California.

Additional Resources:

For complete ETech conference details, visit:

Read the ETech conference blog for the latest event announcements and news:

Upcoming O’Reilly conferences:

-Web 2.0 Expo, co-produced by O’Reilly Media and CMP Technology, April 15-18, 2007 in San Francisco, CA
-MySQL Conference & Expo, April 23-26, 2007 in Santa Clara, CA
-RailsConf, May 17-20, 2007 in Portland, Oregon
-O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, May 29-30, 2007 in San Jose, CA
-O’Reilly TOC Conference, June 18-20, 2007 in San Jose, CA
-Ubuntu Live Conference, July 22-24, 2007 in Portland, OR
-O’Reilly Open Source Convention, July 23-27, 2007 in Portland, OR
-O’Reilly Energy Innovation Conference, August 22-24, 2007 in San Francisco, CA
-RailsConf Europe, co-presented by O’Reilly Media and Ruby Central, September 17-19, 2007 in Berlin, Germany
-Web 2.0 Summit, co-produced by O’Reilly Media and CMP Technology, October 17-19 in San Francisco, CA

O’Reilly conferences bring together forward-thinking business and technology leaders, shaping ideas and influencing industries around the globe. For over 25 years, O’Reilly has facilitated the adoption of new and important technologies by the enterprise, putting emerging technologies on the map.

About O’Reilly

O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism. For more information:

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