Special Guest: Brad Templeton

Brad Templeton is the Special Guest of Alternative Party 2008 and will be appearing on the stage on Saturday to host a special session focusing on light and dark sides of computing and related things.

Templeton founded one of the first "dotcoms", the ClariNet Communications Corp., which started publishing electronic newspapers on the Internet - the first company ever to be formed for providing services on the Internet. Before this, he had been an active programmer and is known for several software packages published by ClariNet and other companies. His works include several programming tools for Commodore 64 and other machines.

Activities and activism

A special focus of Templeton's time has been USENET and its newsgroups. The classic newsgroup specialising in humour, rec.humor.funny, was founded by Brad and he still maintains the newsgroup's website, sometimes cited as the oldest blog in existence.

He is currently CEO of Caller App Inc., a new startup aimed at reinventing the phone call, merging the visions of Telephony, E-mail and Presence.

Templeton was the first employee of Personal Software/Visicorp, which was the first major microcomputer applications software company. He is also the author of a dozen packaged microcomputer software products, including VisiPlot for the IBM-PC, the compressor in Stuffit -- the world's most widely used Macintosh application, various games, popular tools and utilities for Commodore computers, special Pascal and Basic programming environments (ALICE) designed for education, an add-in spreadsheet compiler (3-2-1 Blastoff) for Lotus 1-2-3 (picked by PC World as one of the top software products of 1987) and various network related software tools.

Templeton also published in 1993 a CD-ROM containing the largest anthology of current fiction made to date. ClariNet's experiment in electronic books gathered all the material nominated for Science Fiction's top awards in one place, in time for award voters to use it as a resource.

He is chairman of the board of directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a longtime writer on cyberspace issues. The EFF, founded in 1990 is devoted to civil rights online, in particular free speech and encryption rights. He is an angel investor and advisor to internet startups.

New technology and court battles

He is also on the board of the Foresight Institute for Nanotech, the premier advocacy group and think-tank for issues relating to Molecular Nanotechnology, founded by K. Eric Drexler. He also is on the board of BitTorrent, Inc., the corporation founded to commercialize the world's most popular P2P large-file publishing software.

Via ClariNet, He was a plaintiff in the case to get the USA's Communications Decency Act successfully overturned in the supreme court. He also serves on the board of the directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading civil rights advocacy group for cyberspace.

He also does fine-art panoramic landscape photography. For this, and other projects, he is a popular artist at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada.

He was born in 1960, grew up near Toronto and now lives in Silicon Valley in California. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo. Full information can be found at his web site.

Brad Templeton's presentation at Alternative Party 2008 will take place on Saturday 25th October.