Lost in Las Vegas - Day 3

So I’m sure all of you (or the 3 that know about me posting on the blog and the 1 that actually reads it) are on the edge of your seat about my status in the rock band competition that concluded last night. Well, our band got 3rd place. The rules changed about 4 times throughout the day and eventually it came down to “pick whatever song you want”, and although we put up a stellar Pearl Jam – Alive performance another band happened to pick a song that had more points on it, played on medium to maintain their streak, and kicked our asses. BUT, we were the only band to play on hard/expert, so I think technically we were the best band there.

Back to the conference. The morning keynote was the official announcement that IE 8 was released. A lot of the features they showed off were more or less copies from Vista, Firefox, or more notably Chrome, but they started with a funny video which I hope to find for our presentation. After that they had the lady who redesigned the prescription bottles for Target pharmacies get up and walk through her design process. It was a pretty inspiring story, albeit irrelevant to programmers, but the main point was to be a good designer is to empathize with the end user.

Morning sessions that I attended included Wireframes That Work, which illustrated design tools and patterns used by Cynergy and specifically the new ones that come with MS Blend. After that was A Lap Around .NET Services, which honestly didn’t really add much – it was more about using the cloud in combination with other services provided by Google, Yahoo, etc. In the afternoon I attended Standards for Social Feed Aggrigation, which was actually really interesting – it was basically a panel discussion between high ups at Google, MySpace, Plaxo (never heard of them before, but basically another social site), Facebook, and a Open ID advocate that allowed questions. More or less just consisted of listening to each rep attack questions regarding the “Open Stack” – a standard they’re trying to introduce that would allow them and other social networks to share feeds/friends/etc across sites. I finished the day by attending the HCI Seminar put on by the Wiimote guy. He reviewed his famous 3 videos posted online that included finger tracking, interactive whiteboard, and head motion tracking using the wiimote, and then demonstrated other projects that are furthering human-computer interaction.

So now we’re on the last day, which wraps up around 3 PM. Thu and I are going to catch a Cirque du Soleil show later tonight and probably stop by Gameworks (which is a huge arcade). I need to shoot some zombies to relieve my Rock Band frustrations.