Viewing entries tagged


Mix07 - A busy day 2: Radio 2.0 & PURE party

Day two of the conference was one with many small highlights. The action was in the many breakout sessions, impossible to summarize in one post.

Mix07 has also prove to be a good way to get into contact with people within Microsoft and discuss how we can work together to make all of this new technology work for our customers. That is what we did most of the afternoon, thanks Geert.

The official part of the day ended with a plenary sessions where we got some more impressive demo's of Silverlight (or Sliverstring as we've come to call it after a few drinks) and it's off-line counterpart (which has a abbreviated name I can't remember). Online video and all kinds of interactive layers on top of video is for sure the number one subject here, but an interesting number two is for sure radio. We saw the demo of the interactive player from the BBC and I can tell you ... radio is going to move into the 2.0 era BIG TIME over the coming months.

Next there was a panel discussion about interactive marketing with Winston Binch (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), Carol Kruse (Coca Cola), Andrew Rashbass (The Economist) and Gayle Troberman (Microsoft). The guy from The Economist was great, he had a critical view on everything which gave the whole discussion a lot of dynamism. However, there was nothing much to learn really, good entertainment though.
Video: View from the PURE terrace during Mix07
"PURE" - the nightclub was the location for the big evening party. Imagine 1500 nerds (Microsoft T-shirt, too short pants) and 500 geeks (fiddling around with their smartphone) in the hippest place in town. It's a strange sight for sure. But the view over the strip from the terrace was impressive (see movie), great food and drinks and 'charming' waitresses. At 10pm the club opened to the general public, which meant we were no longer treated as VIP's but as weirdos not having to pay for their drinks as opposed to idiot's spending $350 usd to be able to sit down with a bottle of something. So we moved back to 'our' Venetian hotel for some gambling ... lost $100 in 20 minutes, no more gambling for me :(


1 Comment

Mix07 - Rounding up day 1

The afternoon sessions were a mixture of demo's, presentations and discussions. The most remarkable event (which I missed as Jo and I were writing a press release about "ONE Agency launching a stunning new Radio player for VRT" near the swimming pool) was Dave Winer fundamentally disagreeing with David Hachez after he misunderstood his remark. David thinks (and I agree) thinks there should be an easy way to switch between podcasts while listening (some kind of hyperlinks) but Dave though he wanted to listen to two podcasts at the same time. A clash between generations ... is Dave Winer a digital immigrant after all? (isn't everybody who is over 21 of age).

In the evening the Belgian crowd went out for "MEAT", huge steaks at Morton's Steakhouse. I ate the best steak ever in my life (see picture)! It was a lot of fun once again, with loads of pictures being taken. There are a number of group pictures but I did not bring my camera so to the guys who made pictures >> send them, post them, comment them, Flickr them, whatever.

And the phone ... it's getting better by the minute. All the pictures here were taken with the Blackjack. I finally decided to do the sync-ing through "The Missing Sync" and that seems to work quite OK. Although some items (particularly the ones for which I aborted the sync) have switched to "Idle" mode which means I can't use that item anymore. And the pictures synced well until a few minutes ago :( But the phone itself ... it's a beauty. If you have a Windows Mobile 5 phone you should check out the Live Search client. It actually works (e.g. Find a strip club near the hotel (theoretical example) > show satelite pic and map > get directions including traffic info.

1 Comment


Mix07 - Opening Keynote: Silverlight

The day started with Ray Ozzy (Chef Software Archichtect) and his friends launching Silverlight, Microsoft's alternative for flash.

If you want know all about Silverlight, there's loads of info online.

What remember is that it's cross browser/cross platform from day one. Proof is that I installed the plugin for Firefox on my Mac during the speech and it works seamlessly. Although I must say the install process is a bit too complicated (download, extract, install, restart browser).
Second is the attention they give to video. Extremely high quality streaming (up to HD), watching video sync-ed with friends over the web and chatting about it, uploading user generated movies (out of the box), etc. Looks like a strong competitor for Flash media server.

Go download the plugin (beta):
Check out some demo's (although they do not seem to work, maybe due to low bandwidth in the room here): (works, but not really spectacular) (THIS ONE YOU WANT TO SEE) (doesn't work) (doesn't work)



Mix07 - Blog dinner with Dave Winer

One would think that letting 15 people have dinner at one table in one of the biggest hotels in the world would be easy. Not in the US though, these guys here are so "organized" that they can't get anything done. So, the blog dinner was split over three tables and I did not sit at Dave's table.

But, no worries, my table was full of interresting bloggers. We had a cosy table of 6 with two guys from Switserland/Germany, two Americans and a Britt. We chatted about this and that, two notable subjects:


Microsoft is announcing loads of possibilities to hook in to the Windows Live platform through API's (we heard in the morning). As long as you have no more then 1 million users on average per month, you can use the API's for free. One million is plenty for a small country like Belgium, so we need to have a closer look at that. The discussion at the table was about why Pandore (Tom Conrad - CTO @ Pandora was at the table)does not offer API's. The answer is simple: money. It's very difficult to monetize API's, if you're not Microsoft with HUGE traffic and deep pockets.

Startups 2.0
Tom had an interresting angle about the difference between startups in 2000 and startups today. Back then we had guys in smart suits with fancy business plans in a business they had no feel for. Today it's enthusiastic people who solve a problem they experience themselves, then find out other people may be interrested in that solution and then bring it to market.
That's probably one of the prime reasons why the current 2.0 investment "hause" is not a bubble.

Other issues ... I'm trying to get the Samsung Blackjack to sync somehow with the addresses on my Mac. I'm down to installing Outlook on Vista now ... . There are a number of tools (The missing sync and Pocket Mac)that offer kind of an ActiveSync for Mac. But I'd like to test them it before buying any of them.


1 Comment

Mix07 - Pre conference day

(Chris Hoet in action)
Pre-conference here in Las Vegas, an easy day with some introductory sessions in the morning and I chose sports for the afternoon. So we learned some baseball basics and had fun carting.

First Highlight of the day:

We all (well, I guess the EMEA crowd) got a cell phone (Samsung Blackjack, a Blackberry lookalike) with the Agenda for the coming days. Cool! So I spent every minute in between sport activities configuring the phone. It's windows mobile and I'm getting the hang of it already. Chris pointed me towards Windows Live search, we installed it and indeed it has amazing possibilities. Withing a minute I had an map + satellite picture on my screen of the hotel and it's surroundings.
I also installed the Gmail client but it doesn't seem to connect with Gmail.

Second (and even bigger) highlight is a surprise Blog dinner with Dave Winer. I wonder what this is going to be like. On one hand I'm thrilled to meet this celebrity of modern time media in real life. But on the other hand I wonder what I will get out of it that may mean something to my customers and the things I'm working on daily.
Anyway, you can expect a report here (need to get a shower now).

1 Comment

1 Comment

Mix07 - First stop in London (Covent Garden)

Our trip started early today (got up at 4 am) and in the mean time we arrived in London with the group. As we have more then half a day for the transit for our US bound flight, we decided to go into the city. So now we are here on a terrace in Covent Garden with 11 geeks abusing the Diamond Films Wifi for Skype, Joost, mail checking and of course Windows Live Messenger :)

The atmosphere is great, all 'competitors' chatting about and having fun, evaluating gadgets, etc.

Remarkable piece of advertising here in Covent Garden: The museum of old technologies (or something like that), which are a number of boxes showing replica's of 'ancient technologie' which is about to be replaced by the Nokia N95 (desktop computers, cars without GPS, CD-shops, etc.). The boxes send an ad via bluetooth (but nobody succeeded in receiving it, which is a pity) and there's flyers in the shape of old floppy's. Cool idea.

Technorati Tags: ,

1 Comment

1 Comment

Going to MIX07 and Switching to Vista on my MacBook

Tomorrow I'm heading for Las Vegas for Mix07, together with my colleague Jo. We were invited by Microsoft in Belgium (but we pay part ourselves) and of course we're very excited. I just tried to make sense of the programme but I lost my login somewhere along the way,so the sophisticated conference planner is not an option. Still, here's a list of keynotes and speeches I'l looking forward to:

Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation
Robert Bach, President, Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft Corporation
Scott Guthrie, General Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Michael Arrington, TechCrunch (YES, I'm a fan of Mike!)

Breakout sessions (way too many):

"ZAP!, WHAM!, KAPOW!": Windows Presentation Foundation and the Next Generation of Online Comic Book Reading
Speaker(s): Nathan Dunlap - IdentityMine, Robby Ingebretsen - IdentityMine

Booyah! Designing and Developing Line-of-Business Applications That SIZZLE
Speaker(s): Nathan Dunlap - IdentityMine, Darren Laybourn - Microsoft, Josh Wagoner - IdentityMine

Broaden Your Market with Windows Live
Speaker(s): Paul Elliott - Microsoft, Keiji Kanazawa - Microsoft, Kitty Leung - Microsoft, Dave Nicholson - Zopa

Building a Real, Money-Making Business Application Using Microsoft Virtual Earth
Speaker(s): Matt Goyer - Redfin, John Pope - TripHub, Aric Weiker - Microsoft

Building Rich, Interactive E-commerce Applications Using ASP.NET and Silverlight
Speaker(s): Ori Gershony - Microsoft, Mark Townsend - Microsoft

Creating a Domain Communication Experience on Windows Live
Speaker(s): Arnold Blinn - Microsoft, Brian Goldstein - Microsoft, Duane J. Schau - Indiana University, Alan Walsh - Indiana University

Experience: A Star to Sail Your Ship By
Speaker(s): Jesse James Garrett - Adaptive Path

Fumbling towards AGENCY 2.0
Speaker(s): Clement Mok

Interactive Advertising on the Windows Media Center Platform
Speaker(s): Dan Poling - Microsoft, Matthew Rechs - Schematic

Making Money with RSS
Speaker(s): Walter VonKoch - Microsoft

Next Design 3.0, Making Sense of Design Now
Speaker(s): GK VanPatter - NextDesign Leadership Institute, Elizabeth Pastor - NextDesign Leadership Institute

The Art, Science, and Business of Killer Content Experiences
Speaker(s): Roger Black - Danilo Black, Kevin Gjerstad - Microsoft, Robert Larson - New York Times, Wayne Reuvers - LiveTech

The Emotion of Customer Experience
Speaker(s): Lou Carbone - Experience Engineering

Using Windows Live Services in Your Own Web Applications
Speaker(s): Brian Arbogast - Microsoft, Eddie Dombrower -, Mike Presz -

Windows Live Messenger: Show Me the Money
Speaker(s): Glenn Allison - Microsoft, Todd Biggs - Microsoft, Morrie Eisenberg - imtLabs, Imran Qureshi - imtLabs

I feel like preparing for a geek orgy. And yes it's all Microsoft, but I'm really interrested to hear from insiders in Microsoft what these guys are thinking of for the future.

But will I dear to enter Microsoft territory with a MacBook? Of course, but as a positive gesture to my hosts I'm switching to Windows Vista (on my MacBook via VMWare) for a week. As I'm doing a lot of my stuff online (see post about office tools), and as you can simply drag-and-drop files from one window to another, I don't see much trouble switching. And who knows, I may just switch forever ;)

Proof of my switch is in the image above, notice also the designer laptop-stand I made for my home office. The stylish white box contains all connections, adapters, cables, etc. Keeps my desk clean and my laptop ergonomically placed in front of me.

Last promise (need to go prepare my suitcase): I'll blog frequently about my MIX07 so you can all enjoy with me.

1 Comment