Laugh Distortion Field

A couple of hours ago, I spotted Jeff Bezos here at Emerging Technology talking to J.C. Herz (currently sitting in the row in front of me at a session) and Kevin Kelly (one of Wired's early gurus among many other projects). I approached to say hello, as I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, and then the laughter began. The three of them, triggered by Jeff's remarkable, contagious bray, went into a kind of laugh escalation.I was standing nearby, looking for a quick chance to say hi, and started talking to Leander Kahney. He's working on a short piece about Web services, which are a big topic of conversation here at Emerging Technology, and whether applications will wind up increasingy relying on Web services. My take is that Web services fed by companies that don't offer two-way contracts -- contracts that promise continiuity, uptime, consistency, and persistence -- will make application developers nervous about relying on them. My site relies on lots of Web services, but I can't rely that any of them will exist in the future, that I won't be cut off from them, etc. The irony, of course, is that I'm standing next to's founder and CEO talking to Leander about the fact that isn't offering any commitment to Web services, it's a large experiment, but that that's within their rights. Meanwhile, the laugh jag continued. I never did get a chance to say hello, either.