Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits TED (The Belated Video)

Last week, BoomTown traveled to Long Beach, Calif., to attend the TED conference, a longtime gathering of digerati and others who have come to love its eclectic and outward-looking program.

TED–which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design–on its 25th anniversary moved here from Monterey this year for the first time, in order to accommodate its growing audience.

First held in 1984, Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation bought TED in 2001 from its founder, Richard Saul Wurman. TED has since grown to include an international conference, TEDGlobal; media initiatives, including TED Talks and TED.com; and the TED Prize.

The four-day TED2009, titled “The Great Unveiling,” included Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates unleashing a small swarm of mosquitoes in the hall, a long list of varied speakers and a whole lot of schmoozing.

Here is my belated video of the event. It features my All Things Digital partner Walt Mossberg, scenes from inside and outside the event (including “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert onstage talking about genius), interviews with TED organizers Tom Rielly and Anderson, as well as my kids trying to steal entrepreneur Bill Gross’s futuristic car.

Here’s the video:

And here is another video, where some TED attendees tell me what presentation blew their heads off with knowledge.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work