Tag Archives: speaker

You're Invited to the Gnomedex Conference

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Most tech conferences would charge you thousands of dollars for the privilege of being inspired. Gnomedex, however, does not! It delivers more bang for your buck, as it has been for the past ten years. This year, the 10th Gnomedex will be happening from August 19 – 21 in Seattle. Will you be joining us?

We don’t know what is going to happen with the Gnomedex brand going forward. We have a lot of ideas, though. I’ve been talking with potential partners, and am looking for potential partners who may want to help evolve the idea of Gnomedex in years to come… not just in Seattle, but possibly elsewhere, as well.

Gnomedex is a confluence of influence – a tapestry of Human Circuitry. We’re surrounded by technology, but it’s becoming increasingly pervasive. We’re surrounded by stories and discussions that usually get glossed over online. Gnomedex is an experience. That is what past attendees will tell you.

We attract hard-core Geeks who love technology and want to meet influencers. We attract influencers themselves. Heck, we even attract the people who don’t realize they’re influencers. We find them before they are influencers of anything – or anyone.

We Geek out over a few days’ time and enjoy ourselves. We relax and open our minds to new experiences, stories and connections.

One of our partners for the past several years has been Eventbrite. They handle registration for us, and have been a boatload of help during past events. This year, they are offering to help drive more traffic towards the conference, in honor of our tenth anniversary. They asked me a series of questions to help them get a better feel for what we do, and I decided to answer them in a video.

  • What IS Gnomedex? – It’s typically a “tech conference,” but really it’s so much more than that. It’s an opportunity for you to explore a side of yourself you may not otherwise have a chance to. You realize you identify with this Geek spirit. Imagine being around more than 300 other people, and being who you really are. You’ll talk about issues that are on the forefront of our industry. We push the envelope, and even predict trends. Back in 2001, we talked of blogs and RSS – long before anyone knew what they were. It boils down to the experiences people have and the energies they take with them back to wherever they came from.
  • How has Gnomedex evolved in the past ten years? – The ethos was still the same in the beginning: treat everyone like a VIP, connect with one another and offer a single-track event. It has evolved to better facilitate the communication online. We’re live streaming the entire conference. We have a much better venue than in past years. You get an awful lot of awesome things for the low cost of $300.00 that we are charging this year. For a 2 1/2 day conference packed full of opportunities, that’s not a lot of money folks.
  • What sets Gnomedex apart from other events? – People come to Gnomedex because they truly WANT to be there. They aren’t made to go. With a lot of industry events, people are sent by their bosses and managers. They feel that they “have” to have a presence there. With our conference, we just don’t get that crowd. Everyone attends because they truly want to experience what it is we’re doing.
  • How do you think the structure of the event serves your goals? That’s something organizers often struggle with. – I’ve seen organizers have seventeen different tracks with thousands of people pouring in. I’m not down with that. I’d rather make 300 people happy than 3000 miserable. In the past, we’ve had people equate what we do with very large conferences and brands, saying that we have done the same thing for a fraction of the cost. I value those connections. I AM about those connections, so that is what I value most. I keep it as small and manageable as I can. That’s centric to community, which is the core component of everything I do.
  • How did you choose and secure the venue? How will the space be set up? – I’m in the process of negotiating the venue for this year. We’ve used it for the past few years. I have no desire to change things, but we’re working out the cost this year. Bell Harbor is an amazing place, and very comfortable. It’s beautiful there, the location is fantastic and everyone leaves happy. They provide awesome food, snacks and drinks all day long. The seating is comfy. There is plenty of room at the tables. Each person has power strips right at their seat and kick-ass Wi-Fi to use.
  • What is your approach to using social media for the event – before, during and after? – I’ve been using various social media outlets for Gnomedex pretty much since the beginning. Our attendees own and create the event. All we do is set the stage. I encourage people to record things, tweet about things and blog about their experiences. It’s always worked out well. Before the event, our volunteers help spread the word as much as anyone. They are excited to be a part of organizing the event and they show it in their conversations online.

I’d love to do other types of events around the Gnomedex brand. It would be amazing to do one for kids and teens, with speakers and presentations geared specifically towards them. This may very well be the last Gnomedex as you know it now – it depends on the partners we get in the future, and the direction they want to take.

If you want a free event, attend a free event. If you want to be treated like cattle, don’t bother to attend Gnomedex. EVERYONE at Gnomedex is treated like a VIP, whether they are a volunteer, an attendee or a presenter.

We have some amazing speakers and experiences lined up already this year. I promise… you will have an amazing time if you join us this year.

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Creative Zii D5 Bluetooth Wireless Sound Speaker Review

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If I want to listen to audio on my iPhone, it’s not usually a great experience. It’s not practical to walk around with my hand cupped to my ear. Unless external speakers are Bluetooth-enabled, it’s a pain in the proverbial rear to hook them up and tether it. I have to thank the folks at Creative for sending along the ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth Wireless Multimedia Speaker System for me to review.

The ZiiSound D5 is a high-quality device that can dock your device, charge it and act as a wireless speaker system. The wireless transmitter will instantly turn your iPhone, iPod or iPad into a remote control. You’ll get superior Bluetooth stereo performance with their apt-X audio codec.

I found out about this at the recent Bluetooth Sig event. I didn’t even realize there was such a thing that would look nice and work well. I can connect any Bluetooth device capable of transmitting audio to this setup. It doesn’t “only” work with my Apple portable devices.

The speaker system is touch-enabled. I can control the volume in two different places… and it has seriously rich sound. I don’t sound quite so whiny when my voice comes out through these speakers. The bass sounds excellent, which is surprising with a set of speakers such as these.

This is the reason I like to get out of the house every once in awhile. I tend to find out about some very cool new pieces of technology when I venture out to attend functions and conferences. What new things have you discovered recently?

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What’s the Best iPod Speaker?

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The music sounds great, doesn’t it? You’d never guess I’m listening to my iPhone, using external speakers, would you? The sound is very rich and deep. I was using Pandora to choose what to listen to, by the way. Those speakers kick, don’t they? The LiveSpeakrs were designed for the iPod or iPhone, but they’ll work with any device that has an audio out jack.

You can use the LiveSpeakrs in either portrait or landscape mode. They easily spin around to work with your audio device, no matter what way you are holding it. There’s also a nice little stand on the back, so that you can set them on your desk and listen while surfind the web or doing your work.

You won’t regret grabbing a pair of these for yourself. The sound quality is just excellent, and they’re very portable. You can throw them in your carryon when you travel, or into your laptop bag when you’re on the go during the daytime. Never suffer from bad quality sound again! Of course, I’ll be using mine frequently! You’ll see them in upcoming videos when I am demonstrating anything that has sound to it on my iPhone.

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How to Get More Sound from Your iPod (without Power)

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There may come a time when you need to amplify your sound. Don’t turn up your speakers now, though. I’m just illustrating the difference between loud and soft for you. There will just be times when you need more. Anyone who has an iPod wants it to put out more sound. You may not always have cords laying around for your speakers though. Now what do you do? Why not try out the Griffin AirCurve.

AirCurve is a cleverly-designed acoustic amplifier that turns your iPhone into a no-power-drain alarm clock on your nightstand, or a mini sound system that never needs batteries or adapters.

AirCurve looks like a simple, elegantly minimal stand for your iPhone. But inside is a coiled waveguide “horn’ that collects the sound from the built-in speaker of your iPhone, amplifies it (by about 10 decibels), and projects it into the room. AirCurve’s waveguide has been mathematically engineered to deliver amazing amplification — you’ll swear there are full-sized speakers in there. And AirCurve’s see-through translucent polycarbonate body lets you appreciate the graceful curves inside that do all the work.

Will the AirCurve charge your iPod or iPhone? By itself, no. For this reason, we’ve added a pass-through slot so you can feed a dock cable through AirCurve. Connect that dock cable to your computer or power adapter and you can sync or charge while you listen.

My iPhone sits in the AirCurve nice and tight, so I don’t have to worry about it falling out/over. I opened up the music, and what a difference it made! I don’t know that you can tell over this video, but I could definitely tell the difference sitting in my office. It really does amplify the sound coming out! You don’t have to carry any extra cords or cables around to make it work, either!

For less than $20.00, you have nothing to lose. Pick one of these up today for yourself, and maybe one for a friend! An AirCurve will fit right into a stocking. Right now, you can save nearly half off! Get yourself an AirCurve for $12.37!!

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Home Theater Speakers and your PC

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One of the callers from the 888-PIRILLO line is having trouble connecting his home theater system to his PC. He can hear sounds coming from it, but when he plays games and such, he’s not getting surround sound.

If all the cables are connected properly, and your sound card can handle it… you may need a different type of cable. Make sure that the speakers, sound card and cables you have are all capable of supporting Surround Sound. I asked what kind of cable he’s using. He’s using a standard mini-jack… which will not give him 5.1 Surround Sound. I let him know he’s going to have to have at least five cables. 5.1is the most common surround setup: pairs of front and rear speakers, plus a front center “dialog” speaker. Look for Dolby Digital or DTS in games and DVDs.

Perfecting your sound is a three-step process. To start you need to correctly configure your soundcard. All the big players provide some sort of Control Panel or configuration software that lets you adjust the card’s settings to suit your speaker system. At the very least it should let you pick the number of speakers you’re using or choose headphones. In many cases there are wizards to make the process easier.

Next you’ll need to set your application software, be it a DVD player or the latest game. For games the usual options are for A3D, EAX, DirectSound or alternative. Some DVD players now offer virtual Dolby or a full Dolby software decoder built-in – this provides you with a Dolby certified decoding system that will then work with any speaker system.

The final step is to check your speakers. The optimal positioning is to have the satellites at ear height and equally spread out. Any central speaker should be placed either above or below the monitor, while the subwoofer can technically be placed anywhere, though towards the front of the room is best.


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Steve Gillmor is Coming out of Retirement

I’m so incredibly honored to have Steve joining us on the stage at Gnomedex this year. For a while there, it was looking as though he’d never leave his house again. Seriously, I started to get worried when he’d call and leave voicemails at three in the morning after mixing NoDoz with Attention.XML. I’m happy to report that he’s put down his NoDoz bottle and has seen the Gnomedex light once again – it’s that bright flashy thing that’s been drawing his “attention” for the past couple of years. Many of you might not remember me saying this, but Steve truly helped catalyze last year’s Gnomedex conference. Rumor has it that Dave and Steve will be having a contest over who has the fuzzier face. Ponzi is still recovering from last year’s rugburn. In all honesty, it’s great to have Steve on the dais. “On the dais, on the dais – oh oh oh, on the dais. C’mon and rock me on the dais!”