2006/12/12

MinneDemo - Definitely Worth It

MinneDemo (the Minneapolis quarterly democamp) was a worth the drive from Appleton to Minneapolis, where 180 tech-focused people gathered to network with each other and to see six tech demos by Minneapolis area people.

The event was held at Acadia Cafe in downtown Minneapolis, which turned out to be an excellent venue for the size of the crowd and the format for the evening. The Acadia Cafe has a room that holds 60 - 90 people, depending on the seating set-up, with a stage, projector and screen, and good sound system. The other Acadia room is the main dining area with several booths, some comfortable lounge chairs, and a bunch of tables. We cleared out most of the tables and chairs in the dining area to make more room for the large crowd. With the number of people that showed up (no fee for the evening), the two rooms were full, so future MinneDemos held at the Acadia may need to limit the attendance to 175 so they don't end up having too many people for the venue.

Twenty-four beer varieties, along with wine, coffee, tea, fruit smoothies and a few other beverages were available, as well as a nice selection of food. A huge selection of drinks, delicious food and all the tech talk you could want. It doesn't get much better!

Justin and I had a pretty good trip from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, with the drive being I-94 freeway driving almost door-to-door. Had our usual wide-ranging conversation all the way to Minneapolis, including talking about a number of interesting tech projects.

Upon arrival in the land of the Vikings, after picking up some good coffee (and strawberry gelato for me), we went to the InRadio offices for a meeting we had arranged with Dan Carroll, president and founder of InRadio. He was scheduled to be a presenter at MinneDemo, and Justin wanted to talk with him about imp, InRadio's rich-media attention tool. We spent an hour getting to know Dan a little and learning about imp, as well as a little more about InRadio and the Minneapolis tech community. (An interesting note is that the UTNE READER ["provocative writing from diverse perspectives"] offices are on the same floor as InRadio. Dan worked at Utne for a while, and Utne was one of the early investors for InRadio.)

Listening to the six demos, talking with the presenters and meeting lots of other interesting tech people throughout the evening made for an unquestionably fun and educational experience. Justin is pretty sure there are a couple connections he made that he'll be following up on with respect to Fireseed projects or other tech work he has going on. I met 10 people to whom I need to write follow-up emails in the next day or two. We got to know a few of the Minneapolis tech crowd, which will help build personal and business connections between the I-94 cities of Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, as well as with other areas of the Midwest, and maybe the world! With a little luck, a contingent of Minneapolis geeks will roadtrip over to the BarCampMadison being targeted for February 2007, and the Wisconsin tech crowd can reciprocate by organizing a group of ten or more to participate in the MinneBar planned for April 2007.

For more MinneDemo and MinneBar details, watch for posts on this blog, check out the Fireseed website and the main BarCamp website.

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Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 12 December 02006, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 6:50 pm weekly gathering upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. We're meeting at Tom's because people have expressed a desire to periodically meet at places other than Mister Churro. Tom's has free wireless, good food and a nice upstairs area where the manager said NEW NET can meet.

The ‘net

  1. Cult hit "Firefly" coming to an MMORPG near you http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061210-8391.html
  2. Wikipedia offers free web hosting - free as in free beer! http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/8027/53/
  3. 2006 Web Technology Trends http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/2006_web_technology_trends.php

Security & Privacy

  1. Hackers get around Windows Vista activation – sort of http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/7912/52/
  2. 2006: The year in security http://www.techworld.nl/idgns/1746/2006-the-year-in-security.html

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. Palm buys back rights to Palm OS http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061208-8386.html
  2. BlackBerry Orphans http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116553463083344032-9kSGKb7mlDbKnP_bODbne3JavT4_20070107.html
  3. Spam is back with a vengeance as filters lose effectiveness http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061207/tc_afp/afplifestyleusitcrimesecurity
  4. With cellphone video, little brother is always watching http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20061206/tc_usatoday/withcellphonevideolittlebrotherisalwayswatching
  5. Is Wi-Fi Headed to an Early Grave? http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20061208/tc_zd/195922
  6. A WiFi mesh network for your car http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061211-8396.html

Open Source

  1. Open Source at 90 MPH http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/dec2006/id20061208_509041.htm
  2. Linux Development Lab Lays Off Nine http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061206/tc_cmp/196601777
  3. Office 2007, OpenOffice.org Work Together http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20061205/tc_pcworld/128079
  4. Putting OpenSUSE 10.2 Through Its Paces http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2070453,00.asp

SkyNet

  1. Google Earth: Opening my eyes to a whole new world http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/opening-my-eyes-to-whole-new-world.html
  2. Uh Oh, Gmail Just Got Perfect http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/12/09/uh-oh-gmail-just-got-perfect/
  3. Google Offers PayPal Competitor At No Charge http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061208/tc_cmp/196602476
  4. Schools help Google test tools http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/business/16203370.htm

General Technology

  1. Wii Have A Problem (watch the video on this webpage!) http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/12/08/wii-have-a-problem/
  2. Russia wants to join NASA moon project http://english.people.com.cn/200612/08/eng20061208_330075.html
  3. As Microsoft looks ahead, will Vista be the end of an era? http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13129-2494732,00.html
  4. China to push its own EVD format http://www.techspot.com/news/23808-china-to-push-its-own-evd-format.html
  5. Lawsuit: Xbox 360 update "bricking" consoles http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061208-8381.html
  6. ATI loses ground in graphics after AMD purchase http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20061206/tc_macworld/ati20061206
  7. Consumer networked storage market to pick up http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061212-8405.html
  8. Allchin 2004 email: I'd buy a Mac if I didn't work for MS http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061209135113443
  9. Software glitch spoils inaugural launch from Va. Spaceport http://www.accessnorthga.com/news/ap_newfullstory.asp?ID=84410

Economy and Technology

  1. Major music labels test unrestricted MP3 files http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2006-12-07-music-mp3_x.htm
  2. DRM Spells Trouble For Apple, iTunes http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/topnews/wpn-60-20061207DRMSpellsTroubleforApplenbspiTunes.html
  3. Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2040 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061212.warctic1212/BNStory/Science/home
  4. Some venture capitalists switching sides http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/16220265.htm

*****

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