Live From London

In case you were waiting for cool-ass live blogging from the Symbian event here in London, I have to appologize because there's no connectivity to be found. My phone will connect to GSM for roaming, but no GPRS is to be had so no moblogging... There's no WiFi that I've seen, my hotel is in the middle of nowhere (out in the Docklands which is a funky, if somewhat remote part of London) and my hotel is now shafting me �8 for 30 minutes of computer use in their "business lounge". Sorry!

I'll give another TimerBlog, though I have a little more time than before. First London is fantastic and has changed quite a lot since the last time I was here 5 years ago. It's an enormous, dynamic, fantastic city... I hadn't forgotten, but I had just gotten used to Madrid, which is relatively provincial. I knew it before, but now I can really see the comparisions. The shops, the architecture, the culture all around me is a breath of fresh air (though the air is chilly and damp as per normal ;-)). I really regret not taking an extra day to do some shopping or roam around a bit. Another amazing thing is the amount of American influence here. Buses with AOL Broadband and Microsoft X-Box advertisements, last night I watched both CBS and ABC Evening News on British cable, and other things. It's amazing. I think the American corporations forgot that the bridge to "Europe" needs to extend a little farther because I see NONE of that in Spain. (And language barrier can't account for all of it).

Speaking English is wonderful. Wonderful. God what a beautiful language.

They're building this FANTASTIC building here that I hadn't heard about before. It looks like a cross between a rocket-ship and an Easter Egg which has been nick named The Girken. It's INCREDIBLE. I've got to find some more info about it when I get home. I really wish my wife Ana was here to take in some of the sites. I'm going to see if we can squeeze in a getaway here before we head back West because there's just so many things that I'd like her to see.

Okay, about the Symbian show. It's fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Well, actually, the people are fantastic. I've never met a tech company with more open and relaxed people before in my life. Ever been to JavaOne or any other tech conference and talked to the employees? You know that classic Silicon Valley arrogence that you always run into? I remember going to Lotus conferences back when and just being astounded by the pure ego of the employees who were supposed to be there to help build the community. But there is NONE of that that I've seen so far at this conference. It's incredible, I'm completely blown away by the friendliness of the Symbian folk and all the participating companies I've met today. Just really great and totally willing to be given the third degree by me about any subject. Fantastic.

The conference is one big hall which is divided up into thirds. The right side is the Keynote area where we spent the morning listening to speeches. The CEOs and SonyEricssons were pretty good, but the guy from "3" needs to get in touch with his technology because I was amazed that he was saying stuff like "gee whiz! Isn't this grand? Look! Video on your phone. Gosh. Whodathunk?" and other intelligent comments about that. The representative of the next generation mobile service talking to a group of the most cutting edge mobile developers on the planet and he was showing us flash demos of what a camera phone would look like. Pitiful.

Actually, the presentations today were a bit like Death By Powerpoint. I wish there was more live demos or that the people giving the presentations had a bit more experience interacting with their audience and revving up their speech a bit more. There were one or two good presentations (I bopped between them a lot because I AM Ritalin Child One) but for the most part it was monotone speakers covering a lot of marketing material. I wanted a bit more meat. For next year Symbian needs to divide up the sessions into "Insanely technical" and "Overview" because I REALLY want to hear what these people have to say about the nitty gritty technical details.

The Floor, however, was AWESOME. It's small so you can walk around it and see everything in 30 minutes, but because it's not one of those monster conferences that I've seen before, everyone was completely open and willing to chat about what they were showing off. I really like picking people's brains, and meeting different people from Symbian and other cool companies (like FastMobile - who knew who I was by NAME. Woof. Scary.). Really really great. I'm hoarse from chatting with everyone.

More tomorrow. 1:17 to go before I'm shut out and I'm not spending another �8.



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