Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

The "Billionaires' Dinner" at TED: Readjusted for the 2009 Econalyspe

Many years ago in the midst of the Web 1.0 boom, when working as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, BoomTown redubbed an annual dinner that book agent John Brockman threw at the TED conference.

It was jokingly called the “Millionaires’ Dinner,” but I renamed it the “Billionaires’ Dinner.”

That was due to the frothy fortunes that had been made at the time by the Internet pioneers, from Amazon to AOL to eBay. Get it?!?

Well, despite the economic meltdown, there were still a lot of billionaires in attendance at Brockman’s most recent dinner last Thursday in Long Beach. But he recounted to me that the proceedings were a lot more focused on the serious times we are in, as was the whole digerati-packed conference held last week.

Indeed, Brockman now calls the event the “Edge Dinner,” after his lively Edge Web site, where he presides over a variety of eclectic online debates and discussions (in January, for example, the topic was: “DOES THE EMPIRICAL NATURE OF SCIENCE CONTRADICT THE REVELATORY NATURE OF FAITH?”).

Since I managed to miss the fete entirely (embarrassing confession: I fell dead asleep at 7 p.m. and did not wake until the next morning) and could not chronicle it, Brockman allowed me to post some photos from the event taken by him and by former Microsoft research guru and current intellectual property mogul Nathan Myhrvold.

Here are some, and you can see the rest here (click on the images to make them larger):

Google co-founder Larry Page and Applied Minds’ Danny Hillis

Former AOL kingpin and Revolution Health’s Steve Case and Jean Case, Case Foundation

Twitter CEO Evan Williams and Neoteny’s Joi Ito

Nathan Myhrvold, Google’s Marissa Mayer and Nathan Wolfe of Stanford University

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates and DEKA’s Dean Kamen

New Media Nabobs Tim O’Reilly and Arianna Huffington


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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post