Jason Pontin

A View from Jason Pontin

Blogging from D3

I am at D3, the Wall Street Journal’s technology conference, hosted by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. For the next two days I will blog from the Four Seasons Resort, north of San Diego. I’ve even brought along a…

  • May 23, 2005

I am at D3, the Wall Street Journal’s technology conference, hosted by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. For the next two days I will blog from the Four Seasons Resort, north of San Diego. I’ve even brought along a camera: I may go geek and post tagged images on Flickr. The conference looks like it will be very stimulating. Kara and Walt have created an intriguing program, and I hope to come away with lots of new ideas. Every one in technology is here, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (photo). Mossberg and Swisher are hoping D (now in its 3rd year) will be for the noughts what Agenda and PCForum were for the 90s.

Tonight, Steve Jobs gave a terrific after-dinner chat: he was his charismatic best. He demo-ed Apple’s new podcasting software and showed off Tiger, the most recent iteration of the Mac OSX operating system. Mossberg asked Jobs if he thought cells phones with MP3 players and other features would make the iPod irrelevant; Jobs answered, “I thoroughly understand the question, and I’ll have to refer you to our actions in the future.” The crowd was charmed by this gentle evasion–and also by Jobs’s transparent love for his job. Boy, does Jobs love Apple’s products! He flattered the Apple users in the crowd by saying that Chief Intelligence Officers and the big telecommunications carriers just didn’t get his products (of the latter, he explained, “We’re not very good at selling through orifices”), and he implied that buying a Mac or iPod was an act of subversion and self-expression. At the end of his speech I was so fired up I was thinking, “Tomorrow I must go out as soon as the shops open–take a limo to San Diego–and buy thousands of dollars of Apple hardware and software.” And then I remembered the Jobs reality distortion field.

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