NEW NET Issues List for 26 Aug 2008

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 26 August 2008, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

  1. Can P4P Solve Bandwidth Bloat? http://gigaom.com/2008/08/21/can-p4p-solve-bandwidth-bloat/
  2. Firefox to get massive JavaScript performance boost http://tinyurl.com/6saut7 (Ars technica)
  3. The Invisible Social Revolution http://www.techcrunchit.com/2008/08/22/the-invisible-social-revolution/
  4. Trulia Upgrades Make Real Estate Personal http://mashable.com/2008/08/24/trulia-news-feed/
  5. Fog Creek Copilot: Remote Assistance https://www.copilot.com/
  6. Firefox 3 add-on: Read It Later https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7661
  7. Brightcove CEO Discusses The Future And Failures Of Online Video http://tinyurl.com/0 (TechCrunch)
  8. IE 8 to include private browsing feature http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10025111-83.html
  9. Fwix, the local news and social aggregator http://tinyurl.com/5vhwj6 (Ars technica)

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Judge lifts fare card hack gag order, punts on 1st Amendment http://tinyurl.com/6855bj (Ars technica)
  2. Two new ways to location-enable your web apps http://tinyurl.com/5o7ptk (Google)
  3. Stream ciphers cower before Adi Shamir's cube attack http://tinyurl.com/65fmty (Ars technica)
  4. Psychological profiling on the Web http://news.yahoo.com/s/cnet/20080821/tc_cnet/8301100931002274383

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. A review of the Nokia E71 http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/08/22.html
  2. Final Issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine http://www.pocketpcmag.com/cms/finalissue
  3. Mexicans to use cell phones to pay stores and taxis http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080825/tc_nm/cb_mexico_telephones_dc
  4. LG KC910 is the 8-megapixel successor of Viewty http://tinyurl.com/6lp7jx (PhoneArena)
  5. Apple's Ambitious iPhone 3G Plans http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2008/tc20080821_199140.htm
  6. Who Says You Can't VoIP on Aircell http://andyabramson.blogs.com/voipwatch/2008/08/who-says-you-ca.html
  7. VoIP Blocking Explained http://skypejournal.com/2008/08/voip-blocking-explained.html
  8. Ready to Ditch GrandCentral? Take a Look at PhoneFusion One http://tinyurl.com/5uyhyg (WebWorkerDaily)
  9. Web-based QuickBooks Online iPhone interface http://www.macworld.com/article/135198/2008/08/quickenonline_iphone.html
  10. VoIP Goes Mobile http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2008/tc20080825_613129.htm

Open Source

  1. USB flash drives and Linux http://practical-tech.com/infrastructure/a-modest-linux-usb-suggestion/
  2. Help your favorite "public interest" free software project win $10,000 http://www.linux.com/feature/145634
  3. K9Copy helps make DVD backups easy http://www.linux.com/feature/144541
  4. South American FOSS show is a big deal http://www.linux.com/feature/146170
  5. Frag 'em in your own backyard with Sauerbraten http://www.linux.com/feature/145339


  1. Google making SSL changes, other sites quiet http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10023958-83.html
  2. Google's food perks on the chopping block? http://valleywag.com/5040986/googles-food-perks-on-the-chopping-block
  3. Google finally ready to take Jaiku seriously? http://venturebeat.com/2008/08/24/google-finally-ready-to-take-jaiku-seriously/

General Technology

  1. AT&T ConnecTech: we can out-geek-squad the Geek Squad http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10022183-93.html
  2. Nvidia conference is all about the other processor http://tinyurl.com/678ycc (Internet News) http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10025742-64.html
  3. Microsoft releases Desktops, new virtual desktop manager http://tinyurl.com/6bfll4 (DownloadSquad) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx
  4. Amazon Kindle for college kids? http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/23/amazon-confirms-student-version-of-kindle/
  5. New efforts to store wind power http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/08/26/ap5359763.html
  6. NVIDIA disses Larrabee, cops to underestimating ATI http://tinyurl.com/6kadtw (Ars technica)

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. Microsoft Photosynth: Your Pictures in 3D http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft_launches_photosynth.php
  2. Photosynth Leaves Mac Users in the Dust http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/08/photosynth-leav.html
  3. Intel and Yahoo team to offer internet television http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Yahoo-Internet-television,6221.html
  4. New PlayStation and PSP unveiled http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7574933.stm
  5. Adobe mobile app meets Photoshop Elements, Express updates http://tinyurl.com/6oc6hd (Download.com)

Economy and Technology

  1. What Obama’s Text Message Campaign Reveals http://gigaom.com/2008/08/24/what-obamas-text-message-campaign-reveals/
  2. Microsoft pays Novell $100 million more for Linux support http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080820/tc_nm/microsoft_novell_dc
  3. Amazon Buys Shelfari and its Innovative UI http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/amazon_buys_shelfari.php
  4. Turn nabs $15 million for search-like ad tech http://news.yahoo.com/s/cnet/20080821/tc_cnet/8301102331002210793

Civilian Aerospace

  1. Space junkies ask 'who owns the moon?' http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10024047-76.html
  2. Eight Months of Grueling Training in Russia's Star City http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-09/ff_starcity
  3. Earthbound http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11965352
  4. Sky's the limit if satellite maker wins contracts http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=7&issue=20080825
  5. Russian Rocket: All Fueled Up, But No Place to Fly http://www.space.com/news/080822-dnepr-thailand-woes.html
  6. New Thin Skin to Protect Tiny Spacecraft http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/080819-acs-micro-spacecraft.html

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 7 http://www.ddj.com/hpc-high-performance-computing/210102115
  2. GPUs Help Spread Parallel Computing http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/HONSHI/20080729/155654/
  3. Gigabyte's monstrous 6 TFlops Core i7 prototype motherboard http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39056/135/



NEW NET Issues List for 19 Aug 2008

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 19 August 2008, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

Discussion topic for this week's meeting -- making (or buying at a low cost) cool physical 'stuff' that we can take to BarCampMilwaukee in October 2008, either to lead a session on or just to demo and play with. Ideas to discuss at NEW NET:

Idea # 1: Trebuchet

Idea # 2: Electronic event badge (one possibility is something like the one at the recent DefCon)

Idea # 3: Remote control helicopter or UAV

Idea # 4: William Gurstelle toys from "Whoosh, Boom, Splat" or one of his other books

Ideas # 5 to 296: Submitted by recipients of this email and other potential partipants of BarCampMilwaukee, plus random strangers at Tom's Drive In on Tuesday night...

The ‘net

  1. Wordcamp 2008 (long, but worthwhile, read) http://blogs.zdnet.com/weblife/?p=143
  2. The battle for local: The players http://www.lostremote.com/2008/08/17/the-battle-for-local-the-players/
  3. Prof tweets about course, ends up moving whole class online http://tinyurl.com/5qouqn (Ars technica)
  4. Storms in the clouds leave users up creek without a paddle http://tinyurl.com/5fgwx2 (Ars technica)
  5. If you thought web was cool, wait until it goes space age http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/17/internet.google
  6. What Will Happen When the Presses Go Silent? http://tinyurl.com/5oznpn (Recovering Journalist)
  7. Yahoo! launches Buzz http://mashable.com/2008/08/19/yahoo-buzz-public/

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Before the Georgia Gunfire, Cyberattacks http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/technology/13cyber.html?ref=europe
  2. Misunderstanding cyberwar http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/08/16/misunderstanding-cyberwar/
  3. An Army of Ones and Zeroes http://www.slate.com/id/2197514/pagenum/all/
  4. Perhaps Pandora Must Be Our Sacrificial Lamb http://www.jkontherun.com/2008/08/pandora-readyin.html
  5. Judge keeps MIT fare-hackers under cone of silence http://tinyurl.com/628csu (Ars technica) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10017438-83.html

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. T-Mobile to offer first Android smartphone http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080815/tc_nm/tmobile_android_dc
  2. A first look at the Google Android SDK http://venturebeat.com/2008/08/18/a-first-look-at-the-google-android-sdk/
  3. Infineon chip causing problems on iPhone http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080814/wr_nm/apple_infineon_dc
  4. Blackberry Fund: Deals Are Coming Soon http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20080813/tc_zd/230847
  5. Coming Soon to an iPhone Near You: VoIP http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20080811/bs_nf/61273

Open Source

  1. Legal milestone for open source http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7561943.stm
  2. Spend your vacation getting started with OpenStreetMap http://www.linux.com/feature/145136
  3. QGIS earns a spot on GIS software map http://www.linux.com/feature/144178


  1. Google Android And The Internet Of Things http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/16/android-and-the-internet-of-things/
  2. Google YouTube Not Getting Into Live Streaming, After All http://tinyurl.com/58vou4 (Silicon Alley Insider)
  3. Google Privacy Worse Than ISP Snooping, AT&T Charges http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/google-privacy.html
  4. Google.org makes its geothermal play with investments in Altarock, Potter Drilling http://tinyurl.com/6lkxlz (VentureBeat)
  5. Google Plans Big Presence at Summer Political Conventions http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/google-plans-bi.html

General Technology

  1. Digital Designers Rediscover Their Hands http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/technology/17ping.html
  2. Hot Wire Your Car http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Hot_Wire_Your_Car
  3. Dell revamps Latitude line with new E laptop series http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10014386-1.html
  4. Shapeways lets Internet users manufacture goods http://tinyurl.com/6ad9lr (AFP)
  5. 10 Futuristic User Interfaces http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/17/10-futuristic-user-interfaces/
  6. Intel unveils new chip design to challenge AMD http://tinyurl.com/5zqagb (AP)

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. Shutterfly Share Sites: photos, social networking http://www.appscout.com/2008/08/shutterfly_share_sites_adds_ph_1.php
  2. Want to learn astrobiology? Pick up the console http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080814/tc_nm/videogames_spore_life_tech_dc
  3. Stix takes a stab at motion-controlled PC games http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080813/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_game_remote
  4. Parents Fear Video Games More than Porn, Alcohol http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20080812/bs_nf/61301
  5. Game sharers face legal crackdown http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7568642.stm
  6. Lifelike animation: new era for computer games http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4557935.ece

Economy and Technology

  1. Apple Worth More Than Google http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080813/boom-apple-worth-more-than-google/
  2. GraphOn claims Google infringed patents http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/patents_graphon_sues_google_fo.php
  3. YouTube co-founder looks for his next success http://www.startribune.com/business/27025694.html
  4. Intel Launches $100K Innovation Awards http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2328357,00.asp

Civilian Aerospace

  1. Saving America’s space program http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1188/1
  2. Russian invasion imperils space station http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/orl-nasa1308aug13,0,7648120.story
  3. Space Plane Prototype Suffers Anomaly in Launch Test http://tinyurl.com/5puum6 (Space.com)

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. The Rising Star of Multi-Processing http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/26936564.html
  2. NVIDIA's GeForce GPUs Used for More Than Graphics http://tinyurl.com/56lf7x (HPCwire)
  3. CUDA U Is Now in Session http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/CUDA_U_Is_Now_in_Session.html
  4. GPU Trumps CPU http://www.advancedimagingpro.com/print/Advanced-Imaging-Magazine/GPU-Trumps-CPU/1$5355
  5. Purdue University Opens HPC Lab http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Purdue_University_Opens_HPC_Lab.html
  6. Can Nvidia Play with the Big Boys? http://gigaom.com/2008/08/13/can-nvidia-play-with-the-big-boys/
  7. 270 watts for the performance crown: AMD’s Radeon HD 4870 X2 http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/38840/135/
  8. Manifold Is Using NVIDIA CUDA To Transform GIS Technology http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=72512
  9. Sony Unveils Cell-Based Image Processing Appliance http://tinyurl.com/5t9fee (HPCwire)
  10. NVIDIA Is First to Ship OPENGL 3.0 http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA_Is_First_to_Ship_OPENGL_30.html



Building & Optimizing Websites track for BarCampMilwaukee

This is part 3 of an 8-part series about session tracks I'd like to see at BarCampMilwaukee, 03 - 05 October 2008. See also Part 1, Fab Lab track and Part 2, Mobile Web track.

Building & Optimizing Websites

This blog post details thoughts relative to a Building & Optimizing Websites track we should make happen for BarCampMilwaukee in October 2008, per my original post on the topic of proposed tracks for this tech unconference.

Building websites is, by itself, the subject of multi-day conferences, hundreds of books and some people's entire career. So one barcamp can't hope to cover all the topics people are passionate about related to websites. But we certainly can address many issues which are important to developers, designers and users of websites from Milwaukee and other parts of the Midwest. If we cover a wide range of topics, discussions in those sessions will doubtless lead to other topics relevant to websites. As a result of these discussions both on-topic and off-topic, barcamp participants will get to know at least a few people who are passionate about the same website issues in which they themselves have a lot of knowledge they can share or a strong thirst for knowledge.

Likewise, conferences and workshops around the globe are focused strictly on optimizing websites, not only for top ranking on Google searches but also for usability and effectiveness in converting visitors into purchasers, or at least into people who heed the website's 'call to action', assuming it has one. Participants are unlikely to come to BarCampMilwaukee with a site ranked at #953 for a given keyword or keyword phrase and leave the barcamp ranked at #1. However, if they attend the right sessions and meet some knowledgeable people who want to share what they know about SEO (search engine optimization), the participant may depart from barcamp with revised target keywords that move their site up to #126 immediately and a solid plan for the following three weeks that moves their site up to #15. And a couple months later they may be at # 1 on a Google search for their target keywords after regular application of what they learned at BarCampMilwaukee, assuming that we have this track for Building & Optimizing Websites.

So what are some of the sessions we could have in this category? I'm the wrong person to be making up this session list since I'm not a website developer, designer or optimizer. We hope there are lots of those types of people who decide to participate in the event -- and I'm sure they'll come up with better titles and ideas for sessions than the ones listed below. But maybe the list below will get people thinking about what 'website' sessions they'd like to lead or otherwise participate in. If you know someone who'd be ideal to lead one of these sessions, please take the time to explain BarCampMilwaukee to them and recruit them to lead a session or two.
  1. Registering a Domain Name
  2. Inexpensive Website Building and Hosting Options
  3. Free Hosted Blog Services
  4. Wikispaces and Other Hosted Wikis
  5. MediaWiki Sites
  6. Wikipedia, Knols and Squidoo
  7. Website Usability: The Basics
  8. Website Usability Workshop: How to Improve Your Website
  9. Website Usability for the Americans with Disabilities Act
  10. Website Design for Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  11. Open CMS (Content Management System): WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
  12. Drupal: Overview for Beginners
  13. Drupal: Installing
  14. Drupal: Using Modules
  15. Drupal: Using and Modifying Themes
  16. Drupal: Workshop to Build a Basic Website
  17. Drupal: Workshop to Build a Complex Website
  18. Drupal: Writing Modules
  19. HTML Basics
  20. PHP Basics
  21. MySQL Basics
  22. Flash, Silverlight and Javascript
  23. Dreamweaver and Other Website Developer Software
  24. Photos and Graphics for Websites
  25. Optimizing the Download Speed of Your Website
  26. SEO Basics
  27. SEO for SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses)
  28. Adwords SEO: 10 Top Tips
  29. Paid SEO
  30. SEO: Building Links
  31. SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing)
  32. How to Choose a Good SEO Vendor for Your Website
  33. E-Commerce for Entrepreneurs and SMBs
  34. Website Analytics: Measuring the Performance of Your Site
  35. Website Security: Preventing Problems with Spam, Script Kiddies and Downtime
  36. Setting Up and Running an Apache Web Server
  37. Hosting a Domain Name Server
The above list is what I came up with during the drive from Appleton to Madison on my way down to BARcampChicago last weekend. If we have ten or twenty of those or other equally interesting session topics about building and optimizing websites, BarCampMilwaukee will be a great benefit for those people passionate about this aspect of technology. Those participants will learn and share good info, and they'll develop some great new relationships that will continue for years after the 2008 event concludes.

If you're passionate about building or optimizing websites, how about putting BarCampMilwaukee on your calendar -- 3 - 5 October 2008. You can register as a participant at http://barcampmilwaukee.com/node/418. The event is free, so you can't use cost as an excuse to not be there. Regardless of whether you can come, spread the word about the event to your friends and to acquaintances whom you know are truly passionate about building websites, making them useful and fun to use, making them show up at the top of the Google listings, or making them effective in achieving the website's raison d'etre.

Hat's off to website developers, designers and optimizers! See you at BarCampMilwaukee...



BarCampChicago and Physical 'Stuff' at BarCampMilwaukee

BARCampChicago is still in progress as I type this; my experience there and a couple post-camp thoughts point toward the need for cool physical 'stuff' at BarCampMilwaukee in October 2008.

Speaking of BarCampMilwaukee3, the sign-up page is now available!! Register early to make sure you get a place at the best fun, free, interesting tech event in the Midwest. At least the best one I know of so far...

BARCampChicago is scheduled to run until at least 5 PM tonight, and the agenda page for today indicates an AfterParty event for those still standing after 30+ hours of tech fun. Although my Madison traveling companions and I were only able to catch 9 hours of barcamp yesterday, we still met some highly interesting tech enthusiasts, had some great conversations, and participated in worthwhile sessions.

The two 'sessions' I enjoyed the most were BarCompany and TechVenue. The BarCompany was much more than a typical session. It was/is a group effort to build "a company from start to launch by the time BarCamp is over. We'll be polling the crowd, debating decisions among the group, and building something with the purpose of giving back to the Chicago tech community." I sat in on the first hour of BarCompany work and checked back periodically to see how things were progressing, but the lure of other sessions was too strong for me to stay with the BarCompany group all day. If I'd been an integral part of the team that self-assembled to build the company it would have been fun to work on that for the 30 hour session. But I was only going to be at barcamp on Saturday, so I decided to catch a bunch of different sessions since I couldn't see BarCompany through to the end. Here are two links to the project: http://twitter.com/barcompany and http://twitpic.com/tag/barcompany.

The TechVenue session was interesting because they have been working on calendar/event information for tech events for ten years according to the founder, David Flint, who led the session. He gave a good overview of the website/service and answered lots of questions. In spite of how long the site has been around and in spite of the useful info the site has about tech events, there are lots of people passionate about technology who haven't heard of the site or used it to find or list events. At the "Building Tech Communities" session later in the day, someone asked about finding out about tech events, so I mentioned TechVenue. That person had never heard of it but said they'd check it out. At the NEWLUG meeting I was at last week in De Pere, Wisconsin, someone asked, "how come there aren't any good sites that list all the tech events around here?" 4braham is working on building a website that will include, among other information, a tech event calendar. Andy M and I are engaged in a quest to build a community website which includes a tech event calendar. Clearly there is not a universally recognized "tech events" website.

Not sure why TechVenue isn't a more well recognized source of event info for geeks I know. Part of the issue may be that the site's structure is designed more for the event sponsors than for the event participants. Event sponsors are TechVenue's true customers and target market. One result of this focus is that although TechVenue comes up first or near the top for Google searches on general phrases like "tech events calendar", the site isn't even on the first page for a Google on "green bay tech events." Organizations putting on events are much more likely to search for the general term when they want to list their event, but a geek searching for events to go to will probably search first for the local keyword phrase.

Switching gears to a different aspect of barcamps, this morning I happened to watch the video from BARCampChicago 2007. This caused me to remember past barcamp videos I've seen and barcamps in which I've participated, and it caused me to realize how much better a barcamp is made by the presence of cool physical tech 'stuff'. The Seattle MindCamp videos were especially engaging in that respect. At the first BarCampMilwaukee, Jon and Pehr brought their awesome remote-controlled go-karts. Last year's BarCampMilwaukee had Zac's robot, and we made fun LED throwies. At MinneBar one year, William Gurstelle had some impressive crowd-pleasing "Whoosh Boom Splat" toys with him.

Sort of reinforcing my thoughts was an article I read today in the NY Times called, "Digital Designers Rediscover Their Hands." The article talks about how creatively playing with physical objects helps refresh and strengthen the creativity of people who usually only push bits around with a keyboard. Maybe we can get some of the BarCampMilwaukee 'digital designers' to lead a few sessions focused on physical objects. Or maybe we can get Gever Tulley to lead a session for us at barcamp! Hmmm... another ExpertSession, Jonathan!

As a result of these musings about the value of physical objects at a tech unconference, I suggested to Luke that we build a trebuchet to bring to BarCampMilwaukee. Two important questions about this trebuchet:
  1. Will it be small enough to fit in the car or on top of the car?
  2. Will pumpkins be ready for flinging by October 3?


BarCampChicago -- Here We Come!

Participation in BarCampChicago 2008 was not on my to-do list as of noon today -- but following an email discussion with Chris B who is leading a session at BarCampChicago and an IM exchange with Jonathan Y whom I met at BarCampMadison a couple weeks ago, I found myself entangled in a Saturday road trip from Appleton to Chicago via Madison!

It started out with a BarCampChicago reminder email from Jason Rex today. Seeing that prompted me to go to the BarCampChicago website to check out who was going and what sessions were mentioned online.

A session description posted on the site had verbiage I was compelled to comment on. It said "This is my first chance to participate in your BARcamp..." To encourage what I consider the true spirit of barcamp, I shot off an email to the author of that verbiage, making the point that there are no visitors, only participants, and that the barcamp belongs to all the participants, whether they come for one session or do 36 straight hours of intensive tech goodness. I copied several people on the ongoing conversation, and ended up with a commitment by the session leader to also participate in BarCampMilwaukee.

After the above email flurry I was in the barcamp 'frame of mind.' When I checked my Gmail a few minutes later, I noticed one of the recent BarCampMadison core organizers on Gchat. I asked him if he was heading down to BarCampChicago this weekend. He said no, but sounded interested. I told him I'd noticed one of the other BarCampMadison core organizers signed up on the BarCampChicago participant list. With only 20 or 30 verbal volleys on Gchat, we ended up agreeing that I'd pick up the two MadCity geeks at Extra Bold Portfolio School at 7 AM on Saturday, we'd road trip down to Chicago for the day, then sneak out of barcamp around 6 or 7 PM to go back up to Madison/Appleton. Seven or eight hours of barcamp isn't nearly as satisfying as two days, but it's a lot better than no barcamp!

Now I've gotta look at the sessions again, check out who's signed up to participate, and make up a list of things to do at the event.
  1. Connect with Drupal people (Kyle E and others?)
  2. Participate in the 5 PM session "Creative AND Clueless"
  3. Meet at least ten new interesting geeks with whom I'll connect in the future
  4. Promote BarCampMilwaukee, especially with session leaders, encouraging them to put the event on their calendars and consider doing a session at BCMke
  5. Find time to talk with Jason Rexilius, Jason G, Victoria W, Sean J
  6. Five other things I'll think of on the trip down to Chicago...
Next: pack my laptop, blank CDs, flash drives, Sharpie markers, map of the barcamp location, and miscellaneous other tech supplies for a quick, early departure in the gray dawn. Then early to bed, with visions of Drupal, GPUs, and convergence devices dancing in my head.

See you at BarCampChicago!



Mobile Web track for BarCampMilwaukee

This is part 2 of an 8-part series about session tracks I'd like to see at BarCampMilwaukee, 03 - 05 October 2008. See also Part 1, Fab Lab track.

Mobile Web: Now and the Future

This blog post details thoughts relative to a Mobile Web track we should make happen for BarCampMilwaukee in October 2008, per my original post on the topic of proposed tracks for this tech unconference.

The mobile web (by which I mean accessing and using the internet via cell-phones, ultralight notebooks and other easily-carried-around 'computing' devices from places other than your home or a fixed-location office) is playing an increasingly important part in today's connected world. Although most people are not yet to the 'always-on' state of the Matrix or the Metaverse, that world is getting closer than one might imagine. I recently got a new cell phone -- a Samsung i760 through Verizon -- and am slowly learning how to most effectively use it for stuff other than phone calls. What I really wanted was a Gphone, but alas, my old Verizon phone died a few weeks ago, and my Gphone is not yet a reality. The iPhone raised the mobile web bar. It's my sincere hope that Android will raise that bar another couple notches. This barcamp track will explore where the bar is now and where we'd like to see it go.

There are certainly enough potential session topics to justify a separate Mobile Web track at the barcamp. I'm not a mobile web guru, but here's a beginning list for Mobile Web sessions I'd like to see. And I mean that literally. I'd like to participate in each of the tracks listed below. Which will be hard to do if I'm also in each of the Fab Lab tracks mentioned in the previous post ;-)
  1. iPhone: The Good and the Not-so-Good
  2. Android: What it is and what it can be
  3. Optimizing WinMobile 6.1
  4. Using the Internet on AT&T, Verizon and Other Cell Services
  5. Safe Computing at Wifi Free Hotspots
  6. Best Mobile Browsers and Mobile Websites
  7. iPhone App Store and Best iPhone Apps
  8. Eee PC, OLPC and Other Netbooks/MIDs
  9. Best WebApps and Cloud Computing Services
  10. Interview with a Skype Ninja: Wifi VoIP Tips and Tricks
  11. GPS and Skyhook: Applications and Implementations
  12. Location Based Services: Hot Ones for 2008 and 2009
  13. Dopplr, Fire Eagle, Loopt and Whrrl
  14. Mapping Services for Mobile Devices
  15. Touch iPod: An Effective Tool?
  16. Power Options for Mobile Devices
  17. iPhone Jailbreak: What You Need to Know
  18. Safe Mobile Computing With a Flash Drive
  19. How to Never Lose Your Cell Phone, Flash Drive or Laptop
  20. Digital Transactions With Your Cell Phone
  21. Cell Phone to Flickr in 4 Clicks
  22. Seesmic and VideoBlogging with a Cell Phone
  23. Using Your Cell Phone to Find the Best Nearby Restaurant
  24. Top 10 Converged Devices
  25. Email, Calendars, Maps and Photos on Your Cell Phone
Many of the barcampers at the October event will be true digital natives and internet nomads with 'mobile web' ideas and experience I'll never be able to match. The best sessions in a Mobile Web track will no doubt be ones not even mentioned on the above list.

If you are highly interested in the mobile web, how about taking the lead and recruiting some BarCampMilwaukee participants to lead sessions for this track?

We should get AT&T and Verizon engineers to come lead tracks on technology behind their services. Robyn can do a video blog session with her phone. A Google rep should lead an update session about Android, showing some cool apps on an Android concept phone. Samsung, Apple, HTC, RIM, Palm and Motorola could lead a session on tricks with their mobile devices. Reps from Dopplr and Fire Eagle could demo their stuff, answer questions and help those interested build new apps or mashups. Endless possibilities.

How cool would it be if BarCampMilwaukee spawned a new startup for iPhone apps or for providing SMB mobile web services...



NEW NET Issues List for 12 Aug 2008

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 12 August 2008, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's gathering is at the Stone Cellar Brewpub. It is located at 1004 S. Olde Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. They have food and beverages with a United Kingdom heritage and free wireless.

Top five items from this week's NEW NET issues list are:
  1. Security geeks converge on Las Vegas http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/security-geeks.html The top item is actually six or eight items which focus on internet and computer security. Between the Black Hat conference and DefCon, there are a lot of alpha geeks focusing on security and privacy problems which do or can affect individuals, companies and countries.
  2. Why laptops will kick desktops PCs to the curb http://tinyurl.com/6kktah Three important points to remember about the laptop vs. desktop battle:
    1. To a certain extent, the laptop vs. desktop issue is a USA phenomenon, or at least something primarily of concern in the developed Western countries. In many other countries, and increasingly in the developed Western countries, the cell phone or other types of mobile converged devices are becoming the primary way to use the internet.
    2. As web apps increase market share and become more polished, the importance of the desktop and its installed software applications will decrease.
    3. Volume drives price and standardization in the computer hardware world, so laptop proliferation will continue to drive prices down and will lead to more standardization of components used to build laptops, further reducing two advantages of desktop PCs.
  3. NVIDIA encourages new generation of visual computing startups http://tinyurl.com/6l5g5h For a subset of graphic-intensive computing, current graphics processing units (GPUs) are bringing supercomputing power to the desktop and to small businesses and startups in businesses such as film post-processing and medical imaging. This new type of affordable supercomputer will result in cool and valuable innovations because an individual or minimally-funded group of brilliant people are now able to solve problems with computing horsepower previously reserved for scientists and technologists who worked for large corporations or government agencies. Less-than-wealthy mavericks and malcontents can now push bits around at speeds they previously could only dream of!
  4. Silverlight: On fighting the web itself http://blog.unto.net/open/on-fighting-the-web-itself/ Several technologies are struggling to become a defacto standard for the next major improvement of the everyday internet. Silverlight is one of those technologies. HTML is the basic building block of the web, which is what most people think of when someone says 'internet.' Because HTML was simple and an agreed-upon standard, it enabled the web to become a powerful and ubiquitous force used daily by many people and organizations around the world. Silverlight and/or its competitors now have "...the potential of changing how the web itself works."
  5. The last choice for the week's top five tech items is a tie between two items. Well, it's not really a tie, but I don't know which of the two is more likely to lead to its logical conclusion: Jajah launches instant Chinese/English Voice Translation http://tinyurl.com/6fw368 Others have tried to provide easy translation from one language to another, but Jajah has a new twist on it. If Jajah proves successful during the Olympics and expands to other languages, it could generate a huge following among global travelers from the USA, international airport workers, hospital staff, emergency workers and other people who need an instant translation service. The second item has huge implications because of the company involved: Google offers free music search in China http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10008142-93.html If Google becomes a primary tool to obtain free music, that will have huge repercussions for Apple, Amazon, Walmart and the world-wide music industry.

The ‘net

  1. Hughes Announces Fastest Consumer Satellite Internet Access Plan http://tinyurl.com/6qwh5g (CNN)
  2. Silverlight: On Fighting the Web Itself http://blog.unto.net/open/on-fighting-the-web-itself/
  3. Silverlight: Olympics Online, With a Hook http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/sports/olympics/10stream.html?ref=technology
  4. Flash, HTML, Ajax: Which will win the Web app war? http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10011048-92.html
  5. When TokBox talks browser-based video chat, Bain Capital and Sequoia listen http://tinyurl.com/6qxn2d (VentureBeat)
  6. Jajah Launches Instant Chinese/English Voice Translation http://tinyurl.com/6fw368 (TechCrunch)
  7. True meaning of Twitter http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/06/technology/true_meaning_of_twitter_lashinsky.fortune/
  8. Ryanair travelers may lose bookings http://tinyurl.com/587p4l (Independent)
  9. American ISP flashes phantom bandwidth cap http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/08/frontier_bandwidth_cap_that_isnt/

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Security Geeks Converge on Vegas http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/security-geeks.html
  2. Wireless Awareness: Don't Be A Sheep http://tinyurl.com/5ql486 (WashingtonPost)
  3. Net address bug worse than feared http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7546557.stm
  4. Apple may nuke apps on your iPhone remotely http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=9587
  5. How to Prevent a Coffee Shop Wi-Fi Attack http://www.internetnews.com/commentary/article.php/3763426
  6. Defcon: Return To Sender http://tinyurl.com/5z6vdt (Forbes)
  7. Georgia accuses Russia of coordinated cyberattack http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10014150-83.html
  8. Goodbye, Passwords. You Aren’t a Good Defense http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/technology/10digi.html

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. The Top Five Reasons Not to Upgrade to the New iPhone 3G http://tinyurl.com/66n4jc (ThomasHawk)
  2. Most iPhone Apps Are Failing To Leverage The Network Effect http://tinyurl.com/6pb9d6 (TechCrunch)
  3. Jobs on iPhone apps: $30 million in 30 days http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10013232-37.html
  4. Smartphone Parade: One Size Doesn't Fit All http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/smartphone_parade.php

Open Source

  1. Mozilla Announces Snowl Messaging Project http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20080807/tc_zd/230627
  2. IBM To Linux Desktop Developers: 'Stop Copying Windows' http://tinyurl.com/5reuag (InformationWeek)
  3. Record your desktop with Linux tools http://www.linux.com/feature/141593
  4. Michelle Murrain lives the open source lifestyle http://www.linux.com/feature/143264
  5. ssh-xfer: Quickly grabbing files over an existing SSH connection http://www.linux.com/feature/143892
  6. Tiny, 6-chip ‘open’ computer runs Linux http://www.deviceguru.com/2008/08/06/tiny-6-chip-open-computer-runs-linux/


  1. Google offers free music search in China http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10008142-93.html
  2. Surfing Google may be harmful to your security http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/09/google_gadget_threats/
  3. Meet Google's Golden Girl: Marissa Mayer http://tinyurl.com/5fbwm5 (FoxBusiness)

General Technology

  1. Windows broken at Black Hat http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=2387
  2. Intel's Nehalem chips to get 'Core i7' branding http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10012740-64.html
  3. A2B electric bike is a smooth, green ride http://blogs.usatoday.com/technologylive/2008/08/a2b-electric-bi.html
  4. Why laptops will kick desktop PCs to the curb http://tinyurl.com/6kktah (Ars technica)
  5. Microsoft To Sell Money Plus Online Only http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10011676-56.html
  6. AMD to Nvidia: Two chips are better than one http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10013992-64.html

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. How To Watch The Beijing Olympics LIVE On The Web http://tinyurl.com/66z66s (AlleyInsider)
  2. Steve Jobs and Calvin in a cartoon http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/38765/102/
  3. Libraries step into the age of iPod http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080807/wr_nm/column_pluggedin_dc
  4. Let video games read your mind with headset http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2008-08-04-epoc-headset_N.htm

Economy and Technology

  1. The Idea Factory http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2008/08/10/the_idea_factory/
  2. Open source technology is hungry for new college grads http://www.linux.com/feature/143415
  3. Google Regretting Billion Dollar AOL Investment http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20080808/tc_zd/230713
  4. What will tomorrow’s newspaper look like? http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20080811/NEWS/548650470/1077/

Civilian Aerospace

  1. SpaceX blames rocket failure on bad timing http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26061972/
  2. The Stealth Rocketeers http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/08/08/1256356.aspx
  3. Spaceport America promoter touts industry, growth possibilities http://www.alamogordonews.com/news/ci_10119964
  4. Rocket-building student interns see their "Future" lifting off http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_10080870

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. Nvidia encourages new generation of visual computing startups http://tinyurl.com/6l5g5h (VentureBeat)
  2. Larrabee, CUDA and the quest for the free lunch http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/38750/113/
  3. AMD ditches Close-To-Metal, focuses on DX11 and OpenCL http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/38764/140/
  4. The Secret Lives of Supercomputers, Part 2 http://www.technewsworld.com/story/must-read/64082.html?welcome=1218323950
  5. Open Source and the Poor Man's Supercomputer http://ostatic.com/170836-blog/open-source-and-the-poor-mans-supercomputer
  6. NFS Enters a Parallel Universe http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/ipstorage/features/article.php/3763911
  7. NCAR plus CUDA equal faster weather simulation, community benefits http://tinyurl.com/6o3l3d (InsideHPC)
  8. Georgia Tech Receives Grant to Study Visual Analytics http://tinyurl.com/56tsjf (InsideHPC)
  9. AMD Plans Upgrades for Stream SDK http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AMD_Plans_Upgrades_for_Stream_SDK.html



Fab Lab track for BarCampMilwaukee

This is part 1 of an 8-part series about session tracks I'd like to see at BarCampMilwaukee, 03 - 05 October 2008:

Fab Lab: Innovation and Imagination

This blog post details thoughts relative to a Fab Lab track that we should make happen for BarCampMilwaukee, per my original post on the topic of proposed tracks for this tech unconference.

The Fab Lab to which this track title refers was brought to life by Dr. Neil Gershenfeld of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The original idea was a social experiment to use low-cost tools such as laser cutters, 3D printers and 3D scanners and open source software to see what people's imaginations would create when they were allowed to use these tools.

It would be great to see a session track at BarCampMilwaukee which explores all aspects of Fab Labs. Here is a certainly-not-exhaustive list of possible Fab Lab sessions:
  1. History and status of MIT Fab Labs (led by an MIT rep!)
  2. Fox Valley Technical College / MIT Fab Lab (led by an FVTC rep)
  3. Worldwide and Midwest Fab Lab networks
  4. EIGERlab Overview (led by an EIGERlab rep)
  5. Other Fab Labs (c0-led by reps from other 'fab labs')
  6. Rapid Prototyping (led or co-led by rep from MSOE Rapid Prototyping Center)
  7. Milwaukee Discovery World
  8. Blender and other open source 3D software tools (led be Blender guru or someone from Blender.org)
  9. Google SketchUp for use with Fab Lab (led by Google SketchUp team member)
  10. Solidworks and other proprietary 3D software (co-led by CATI rep and Solidworks rep)
  11. 3D printers (co-led by 3D printer manufacturer rep and a skilled user of 3D printers)
  12. 3D scanners (co-led by 3D scanner manufacturer rep and a skilled user of 3D scanners)
  13. RepRap: Open Source 3D printer (build a RepRap at BarCampMilwaukee!)
  14. TechShop: a Fab Lab Companion (led by a TechShop.ws rep)
  15. Milwaukee Fab Lab (extended workshop/session to discuss establishment of Fab Lab in the Milwaukee area)
  16. Advanced Manufacturing Fab Lab/TechShop Co-Working Center (discuss business models that could enable an EIGERlab like facility combining a Fab Lab, a TechShop, and a co-working facility focused on advanced manufacturing as well as complementary high tech start-ups and entrepreneurs)
  17. Hands on Fab Lab (workshop making things with Fab Lab tools, co-led by Fab Lab personnel and Make magazine reps)
  18. Maker Faire (led by Make Magazine rep, with some participants who will be at the 18 - 19 Oct 2008 Austin Maker Faire)
  19. Enabling Entrepreneurs with Fab Labs (led by Venture Center)
  20. Steps for launching a Fab Lab in your area
People interested in the concept of Fab Labs will be able to generate a list of 20 or 40 more cool sessions to add to the above list. Connecting with people potentially interested in this topic could result in enough participants to justify a separate track for Fab Labs at BarcampMilwaukee and might even catalyze a follow-up FabLabCampMilwaukee or FabLabCampMidwest.

Next steps to make this track a reality:
  1. Find three people willing to participate and lead Fab Lab sessions at BarCampMilwaukee
  2. Develop a list of contacts for the above tracks and email them to encourage leading sessions.
  3. Connect with Milwaukee area geeks and companies potentially interested in participating in the Fab Lab sessions.


Silverlight & A New Web Experience

Read an excellent thought piece today, "On Fighting the Web Itself" by DeWitt Clinton, which suggested Microsoft and Silverlight have "...the potential of changing how the web itself works."

There were two relevant 'companion' articles on the topic:
My interpretation of Clinton's post is that he feels it's time for a major change in the user experience on the internet. The US and many other parts of the world made a major step forward from dial-up speeds to 'broadband', enabling video, web apps and other uses of the web sometimes referred to as Web 2.0. But Clinton and others feel a war is currently in progress, or at least a battle for the best technology to enable a step change in telecollaboration and usability of internet tools.

The tension between choices and standards is an interesting and critical one. Choices spur competition and innovation. Until the Firefox web browser was released and had one or two significant revisions, Microsoft allowed Internet Explorer to languish for several years. They appeared to see no need to spend significant dollars on improving the capabilities of Internet Explorer. The release of Firefox and its innovations prompted the IE team to get back in the saddle and bring a new user experience to the IE community.

At the same time, however, choices result in challenges. Instead of developing primarily for the 90+% market of Internet Explorer, website designers now have to worry about several versions of IE, a couple versions of Firefox, with some Safari, Opera and other browser issues sometimes thrown into the mix. The previous IE monoculture had, for a couple years, resulted in a less-complicated world for those website designers. The 90+% penetration of the Windows OS similarly enabled rapid growth of personal computer applications and standardization of computer hardware. Will the marketshare growth of the Mac OS X and Linux be a 'good' thing in terms of innovation and choices or a 'bad' thing in terms of more hassle for pc developers and slower general pc growth. In nature, monocultures general result in ecosystem problems; the technology world likely has some instructive corollaries...

Similarly, Flash, Silverlight, Ajax and all the other internet alternatives or enhancements to standard web browsers will mean more capabilities for internet users but a more complicated world for those building internet tools and content.

Especially of interest to me is how the mobile computing world will impact or be affected by developments in rich internet applications. My preference is that mobile computing drives the RIA world and that those RIA developers deliver tools and applications that make my Samsung i760, the iPhone and Android phones effective and fun information and entertainment tools.

Have you downloaded Silverlight yet? Which tools do you prefer for rich internet applications or for maximum effectiveness and enjoyment on the internet?



Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

So today was a low-tech day, spent with my 87 year old father, picking blueberries, going to the library, pharmacy and grocery store, hanging around the house and enjoying homemade peach-blueberry cobbler.

The reason for this post is that I got an excellent chicken tortilla soup slow cooker recipe from another tech blog about six months ago. I'm reciprocating by publishing a delicious recipe I tried out for the first time today from the Better Homes and Gardens "Dessert Cook Book" published in 1960. I bought some sweet Michigan peaches from the Dutch Farm Market about 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan. After we picked fresh blueberries, there was no option -- we just had to make something with peaches and blueberries. Wanted something quick to prepare, and 'cobbler' popped into my mind. I thought about doing an online search for some cobbler recipes, but instead decided to use one of my father's old cookbooks. Here's the "Peach-a-berry Cobbler" recipe:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups sugared sliced fresh peaches
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sifted enriched flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix first three ingredients; add fruit. Cook and stir 'til mixture thickens. Add butter and lemon juice. Pour into 8 1/4 x 1 3/4 inch round ovenware cake dish.

Cobbler crust: Sift together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and butter all at once; beat smooth. Pour over fruit. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle over batter. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until done. Serve warm with cream.

My adjustments to the above: Didn't have lemon juice; just left that out. We used Elliot blueberries, which are tart baking berries rather than the super sweet dessert blueberries. So I figured the blueberries would substitute for the lemon juice, at least in terms of tartness. I didn't "sugar" the peaches, whatever that means. Probably means to sprinkle sugar over the peach slices to sort of coat them. Didn't figure we needed the extra calories. Didn't have a circular cake dish of the size specified, so I just used an 8 inch square x 2 inch deep aluminum non-stick pan. Added about an 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, just because I thought it would taste better with that. Ended up baking the cobbler for 40 - 45 minutes, judging by it's appearance. We didn't have cream (calories!!), but it didn't need it.

A good use of freshly picked Michigan fruit...




BarCampMilwaukee Tracks: 2008

In addition to the fun of serendipity and just seeing what sessions other people decide to lead, here are eight topic tracks I'd like to see at BarCampMilwaukee, 3 - 5 October 2008.
  1. Fab Lab: Innovation and Imagination
  2. Mobile Web: Now and the Future
  3. Building and Optimizing Websites
  4. Civilian and Sport Aerospace and Aviation
  5. Networking and Social Media Marketing
  6. Sustainable Alternative Energy
  7. Video Games, GPUs and Entertainment
  8. Telecollaboration and Web Apps
Over the next couple weeks I'll do a blog post on each of the above tracks, including titles or descriptions of sessions that someone should lead in each track.

Making the above tracks a reality is possible, but achieving that will be sort of like making BarCampMilwaukee itself happen. One person, because of everything else they are already doing in their life, can't by themselves make all these tracks happen. What I need to do is find a core team of people who would like to help make this happen and are willing to take the lead on one or two of the tracks.

What does it take to have two days of sessions in one of the above tracks?

First, one has to develop a list of potential session titles or sub-topics. Next, do online research for the general track title, for related keywords and for all the track sub-topics you can think of. Especially valuable are blog searches related to those keywords and blog searches focused on Wisconsin and the Midwest. Another technique to use is searching with the keywords in Google News. Keep track of new relevant keywords you see that weren't on your initial list and also search for those keywords.

Search vectors which have become more important in the past couple years are networking and event websites. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Upcoming, MeetUp.com, Eventful and other networking and event sites to identify people interested in the track you're working on.

While doing the online research for a track, keep a list of people who appear to be passionate about the topic of the track. When searching and reading online articles and posts, do secondary research to find contact information for those people you identify as great potential session leaders.

Another angle of attack is to identify organizations or companies highly involved in the track topic. For example, the "Fab Lab" track listed above will lead you to Fox Valley Technical College, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), EIGERlab, SolidWorks, CATI (SolidWorks distributor), Blender, Google (SketchUp), Z Corporation, and many others. After identifying target organizations which may be interested in participating in BarCampMilwaukee, contact those companies and connect on a personal level with at least one person in the organization. Then talk with them about officially sending an organization representative to lead a session related to the track you're working on. If the organization declines to have official representation, ask them to tell their employees, especially the people known to be enthusiastic geeks, about the barcamp. Give the company your name as a barcamp contact point and provide your email and phone number.

Once you have a list of potential barcamp participants for the track you are working on, contact all those people. Develop a template for emails you'll send to the potential participants to maximize your effectiveness and keep the amount of time to a reasonable (sort of!) minimum. Explain what barcamp is and encourage them to lead or co-lead a session for the track in which you are interested. Personalize each email with something specific to each person -- you don't want to be perceived as a spammer or make the person feel they are getting an email from someone who doesn't know anything about them. Finally, ask the potential session leader to register for event on the BarCampMilwaukee website and request that they add their session title to the session page on the barcamp website.

Soooo.... if you are passionate about one or more of the above eight tracks and want to help me make those tracks a reality for BarCampMilwaukee, drop me an email at bwaldron gmail [dott] com.

Let's make this year's BarCampMilwaukee the best one yet!