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Ignite Sydney sparks up

Ignite Sydney kicked off its inaugural event last night, with the goal of ending the "death by PowerPoint" presentation style. Twelve presenters took to the stage to take on the unique Ignite format.
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1 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Twelve presenters took to the stage using the unique Ignite format: 20 slides at 15 seconds each, giving each presenter only five minutes per presentation; and each slide is automatically advanced for added hilarity.

The message was clear, each presenter would need to cut to the chase and trim the usual PowerPoint fluff that appears typically at the beginning of a talk.

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2 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The crowd gathers upon the roof of the Shelbourne Hotel waiting for the event to start. Unfortunately, the metal roof creates a sauna-like atmosphere that leaves all and sundry uncomfortable.

Patrons are heard to mutter that this is perhaps a tactic by the publican to increase alcohol sales.

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3 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Our host, Stephen Lead, lays down the ground rules and insists that the venue did indeed have air conditioning when he inspected it.

The crowd remain sceptical, and uncomfortable.

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4 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Kieran Ots was the winner for his talk on "A year of failed projects (and what I learned from them)".

Movie buffs will note that Ots' t-shirt is clearly not fail.

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5 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Going neck and neck with Ots in the voting for most of the night was Jason Yip. Yip's talk on programming processes used many hand-drawn slides to great effect.

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6 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Google's Pamela Fox spoke to the crowd on the pros and cons of using Flex vs. HTML5.

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7 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Closing the first half of the presentations was Richard Lane who informed the crowd that OWL stands for Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, a project by the European Space Agency. It's in Wikipedia, so it must be true.

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8 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

During the half-time interval, which must have been sponsored by Apple as the number of iPhones pulled out was amazing, an anonymous genius discovered that the roof could be opened and the greenhouse-like effect was dissipated.

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9 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Rob Perkins resumed the presentations after the break and spoke on how a child's sense of wonder can inform designers. Perkins would eventually end the voting at only a handful of votes behind Ots.

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10 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

One of the best slides of the night was presented by Perkins — which summed up how everything is new to children.

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11 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Geoff Bowers informed the crowd how to create communities around open source projects. Bowers then went on to win a t-shirt for telling one of the worst jokes of the night.

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12 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Meitar Moscovitz took on the task of explaining technology and gender awareness. The key point was that if you think that there are just two genders then you are mistaken. Moscovitz showed a web form with over 90 gender choices.

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13 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Prior to the final presentation on "7 things you can learn from hip-hop", a beatboxer took to the stage to entertain the crowd.

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14 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Mark Pollard eventually closed the night with his hip-hop talk. Naturally, one of the tips was to "keep it real".

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15 of 15 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

With the night over and winners decided, it was time to replenish liquids and be thankful that a balmy Sydney night had made one lose several kilos.

The next Ignite Sydney event is scheduled for May.

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