Etech: Alpha geeks and design patterns

Summary:Rael Dornfest and Tim O'Reilly opened the Emerging Technology Conference with a discussion about what "alpha geeks" can run with and get their hands on, and small things loosely joined (credit to David Weinberger). Dornfest, O'Reilly Media CTO, talked about hacking as remixing, which he said is akin to rap and sampling dance music.

Rael Dornfest and Tim O'Reilly opened the Emerging Technology Conference with a discussion about what "alpha geeks" can run with and get their hands on, and small things loosely joined (credit to David Weinberger). Dornfest, O'Reilly Media CTO, talked about hacking as remixing, which he said is akin to rap and sampling dance music. "It's a feat of combinatorics, requiring decent sources, inspiration, skill, trial and error, determination and a goodly helping of magic." Examples of remixing in action: viewing the source code in a browser to see how the magic is done, JavaScript, desktop search, TiVo, Wi-Fi and RSS. What they have in common is that they have allow users to have more say in matters. The gap between the customer as alpha geek and customer as prosumer is narrowing, Dornfest said, driven by a society that is increasingly more adept with technology, and technology that is more pervasive and open. For example, if you need to know something, you can query the Web or find someone on the Net who has the answers.

Topics: Open Source

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