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O'Reilly's Flagship ETech Conference Scopes Out Ideas at the Edge of Innovation: Emerging Technology Adopted as Tool for Success

March 23, 2009

Sebastopol, CA, March 23, 2009 - ETech 2009, O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference held March 9-12 in San Jose, urged web technologists and visionaries to grasp the opportunities in today's financial and political turmoil by focusing on work they care deeply about. Through four jam-packed days, conference-goers immersed themselves in revolutionary ideas and emergent technologies they can exploit to succeed.

The conference has been O'Reilly Media's flagship event since its inception in 2002, fulfilling the company's mission of "spreading the knowledge of innovators." More than 130 speakers explored the far edges of web innovation, robotics, data applications, urban planning, and more.

Founder and CEO Tim O'Reilly built on the conference theme of "Living, Reinvented: The Technology of Abundance and Constraints" by telling his audience to embrace the opportunities inherent in today's giant challenges and aim for the sky. "You guys are inventing the future, and what we want to do is help you spread the word, take on those giant challenges and eventually change the world," O'Reilly said in his keynote address."

O'Reilly also announced a new conference dedicated to helping to change our world. Gov 2.0 Summit, scheduled for Sept 9-10, 2009, in Washington, DC, and co-produced with TechWeb, will bring government leaders and innovators of Web 2.0 together to explore how technology can enable transparency, participation, collaboration, and efficiency at all levels of government.

In addition to O'Reilly, the keynote speakers included Mary Lou Jepsen, named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for her work in creating Pixel Qi and for her previous work blazing a trail with One Laptop per Child, who spoke about "Low-Cost, Low-Power Computing." Christa Hockensmith with EMRTC/New Mexico Tech talked about "Jackhammers, Polymers, and Diamonds: New Applications in Explosives," and Rebecca MacKinnon with Global Voices spoke on "Freedom and Control: Lessons from China for the World." Also keynoting were Joichi Ito with Creative Commons, Kati London with Area/Code, Chris Luebkeman with Arup, Jane McGonigal with Institute for the Future, Sameer Padania with WITNESS, Alex Steffen with Worldchanging, and Nathan Wolfe with Global Viral Forecasting Initiative.

As the keynote speakers illuminated the big picture, plenary sessions, breakouts, and tutorials explored the details of the newest technology and how to implement it to gain a competitive edge now and in the future. At the ETech Maker Shed, conference-goers could make their own shirts, among other projects. Throughout the week, attendees experimented with RFIDs and collaborated in the forecasting game Free Space. Other evening events included an ETechFest, Ignite, LateTech. and performances by Zoë Keating and Andrew Schneider.

Creative Commons and Microsoft chose ETech as the place to announce the release of the Ontology Add-in for Word, which enables authors to add scientific hyperlinks as semantic annotations to their documents and research papers.

Helping to bring together the leading thinkers working in the rapidly evolving high-tech sector were sponsors Sun Microsystems, Yahoo! Developer Network, IEEE Standards Association, Make Magazine and Orange.

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