D: Event Brings an Abundance of Riches

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2005-05-24 Print this article Print

Reporter's Notebook: It's executive forum season, and Jim Louderback is trying to take in two simultaneous conferences. His account of Day One includes what Bill Gates said to the D: crowd.

Walt Mossberg provides very public technology advice to lieutenants and captains of industry through his columns in the Wall Street Journal. Mark Anderson provides more personal advice and insight to high-tech investors and CEOs through his highly regarded Strategic News Service. Both are keen observers of technology, with Mossberg stronger on its practical implementation today, and Anderson better at predicting technologys future five, 10 or 20 years down the road. Mossbergs also more of an American expert—while Anderson takes a much more global view. And each runs an extremely popular and exclusive executive conference, both drawing the worlds top CEOs, venture capitalists and high-tech investors. Id never been to either: Mossbergs 3-year-old D: conference is invitation-only, while various conflicts have kept me from Andersons Future in Review (FiRE). I vowed this year to try to attend both—by buttering up Mossberg for the former and blocking out a week in late May for the latter.
I was overjoyed when Mossbergs invite arrived—and then crestfallen. Both D: and FiRE were scheduled for the same week. But a closer look revealed a loophole. The two overlapped by a single day, and both take place in the San Diego area—albeit a half hour apart.
So I vowed to attend and cover both for eWEEK.com. Monday at D: was confirmed, as was Wednesday and Thursday morning at FiRE. But what about Tuesday? Should I listen to Barry Diller and Paul Ottelini at D:? The Future WiMax at FiRE? I still havent decided. But Monday, at D: was a full and interesting day, with some revelations and some retreads too. Heres a look at what was announced, and who said what. Bill Gates: Bill Gates started the day—well, in fact, one of the semi-legendary Microsoft humor videos started the day. This one featured Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder with Gates, in a video piece called "The World of Work." It was terrible—but the outtakes during the credits were hilarious. Gates came on and discussed security, Longhorn and Linux without any major revelations. In fact, the only mildly new thing he rolled out was a demonstration of satellite imagery built into MSN that will launch later this year. The angled photo-view was particularly compelling. Click here to read more about MSNs "Virtual Earth" mapping service. Gates was followed by Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin, who likened his experience at the radio startup to the early days of Infinity Radio—"the most exciting time of my career." His talk was mostly revelation-free, except when he discussed Sirius future. Later this year will see the introduction of a number of new Sirius radios. He enticed the audience with a description of the "cool products coming out that youll be able to pause and replay" audio content, as well as a portable similar to XMs MyFi. As announced at CES, Sirius plans on beaming video, along with audio, to cars sometime next year. Karmazin also discussed an upcoming real-time traffic service, which will interoperate with GPS-based navigation devices to layer traffic bottlenecks on top of maps and routes. Although he gave XM the technology lead today, Karmazin promised that "I dont think anyone will have an advantage [in technology] in two years." Next Page: Hawkins shows off Hierarchical Temporal Memory technology.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including ExtremeTech.com, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel