I made a last-minute change in my plans tonight, and decided to spend tonight and tomorrow night at a hotel near Google, instead of driving from Palo Alto (where I was today) up to San Francisco, then back down tomorrow morning, and back up to SF tomorrow night and to the San Jose airport on Saturday morning. I'm sad not to be spending the two nights I have left here in California with my dear friend Elizabeth, but I'm incredibly relieved not to be doing an extra 150 miles of California rush hour highway driving. :)
I spent today not at Yahoo! Research, where I'd expected to be, but instead at a mobile/social mashup event sponsored by Nokia and held in Palo Alto. One panel at the event was particularly outstanding--it included Andrew Fiore from UC Berkeley, Scott Golder from HP Labs, Marc Davis from Yahoo! Research, and Eric Paulos from Intel Research. Those are all people for whom I have enormous professional respect, and it was a delight to hear them all together talking about the value of science and research in this space. The panel was put together by the wonderful Joe McCarthy, who was responsible for inviting both me and Elizabeth Churchill to the event. Not only was content great, the food was wonderful, and--as an added bonus--I was one of the many lucky people whose names were drawn to receive a free Nokia N95 phone!! w00t! It's quite lovely, and it will be interesting to compare it to the Blackjack I have now in terms of functionality and UI.
Tonight I"m staying in a reasonably priced and pleasant hotel room (with a full kitchen and free internet access), and I'm only about 15 minutes away from Google's headquarters, so I can work on my presentation tonight, and have a relaxed morning tomorrow. Yay! Wish me luck...I don't feel sufficiently prepared to give the talk--I'm thinking it would have been wise to pick a topic that I've presented on before, but it's a little late now to do that. I'll just have to hope for the best. :)