Thursday, September 3, 2009

IgniteATL - a "mini TED" of the southeast.

Take two parts TED, one part Pecha Kucha, add a dash of irreverence, set the blender to fast and what you get is Ignite, a show-and-tell for intelligent adults. Tonight was the first, but certainly not the last, incarnation of Ignite Atlanta (IgniteATL).

Eighteen luminaries, visionaries, and all-around nerdy goofballs each had a turn on the stage at GTRI's conference center. Alone with a wireless microphone, the wall-sized screen behind relentlessly advancing at the rate of one slide every fifteen seconds.

Topics included competitive CPU overclocking, transcendent architecture, maglev transportation, intersection of life sciences with the world of business, DIY spacefaring, suborbital skydiving, locomotion in granular media, drawbacks of hydrogen as a power source, beer brewing, high dynamic range imaging, and many others.

The presenters managed to educate, enlighten, and entertain for over two hours an audience of about 470, most wirelessly networked on laptops, iphones, blackberries, androids, and all manner of other geek-toys. Twitter, eventhive, and backnoise were abuzz with real-time commentary on each presentation ranging from delighted to snarky.

Highlights:

"Problems are a sign of life" -- David Eckoff on mistakes people make.

"The more you complain, the more you will have to complain about" -- Corvida on common sense and why it isn't more common.

"Stupid fast!" -- Chris Morrell on sustainable overclocking of CPUs.

"Maglev is transportation of the future, and always will be" -- Emily Morris

"WTF! I guess we'll have to do it our damn selves!" -- Michael Mealling on space exploration.

"Not to be used as sex toys" -- Scott Burkett on pineapples.

"Just a real pain in the ass" -- Stephen Fleming on hydrogen.

"Drink good beer with good people" -- Jonathan Baker on monday night brewing.

"Don't rely on software to align your shots" -- Paul Stamatiou on high dynamic range photography.

"Don't be a sheep" -- Tessa Horehled

"Tweeting NO! Posting YES!" -- Andrew Hyde on the posting economy.

"Open source or die" -- Joshua Davis on military open-source software.

"Cash is king. Equity is king squared." -- Paul Freet on parallel enterpreneurism.

"Technology is our gravity" -- Keith McGreggor on the singularity.

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