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David Pogue

Host of NOVA ScienceNow & Yahoo Tech Columnist
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Biography

For 13 years, David Pogue was the weekly personal technology columnist for The New York Times. In the fall of 2013 he made the move to Yahoo, where he founded a new Web site for non-techies called Yahoo Tech. The position at Yahoo further catapults Pogue as one of the preeminent speakers on today’s latest consumer technology. He is also a monthly columnist for Scientific American and an Emmy Award-winning technology correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and the current host of NOVA ScienceNow, a post previously filled by Neil deGrasse Tyson, in which he offers an edgy take on science as he is immersed in hilarious and dangerous situations.

With over three million books in print, Pogue is one of the world's best-selling “how-to” authors. He has written or co-written seven books in the For Dummies series, including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music. In 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 120 titles.

Pogue graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985 with distinction in music, then spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. He has won two Emmys, a Loeb Award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music. He has been profiled on 48 Hours and 60 Minutes.

Merging his musical background with his scientific knowledge, David Pogue delivers unique presentations that generally end with him sitting at a piano performing a couple of his famous song parodies on the technology industry—“Don’t Cry For Me, Cupertino” and “I Got YouTube” being some of his more popular ditties.

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Topics

Disruptive Tech: The Unrecognizable New World of Tech and Culture

Wearable tech, the cloud, drones, the quantified self, the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, augmented reality: the tech of our world is changing faster and faster. But the fascinating part is the effect it’s having on the society and culture we once new. What will life be like when printed newspapers and printed books are niche relics? What are the ramifications of the massive services-for-privacy trade that young people, especially, seem willing to make?

In this funny, fast-paced snapshot of the new world, Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue will bring you up to date – and help you consider what we’ll gain, what we’ll lose, and what beliefs will shift into something we’ve never seen before.

Science, Schmience: Why America’s Failing Science—& How We Can Turn It Around

The STEM fields (science, tech, engineering, math) drive America’s economy; they fuel the country’s innovation, commerce, defense, and business.

But American test scores, graduation rates, and STEM dominance have been declining steadily for 20 years. And even though a quarter of incoming freshmen intend to major in a technical subject 75 percent of them switch majors by graduation. What’s going on? And how can we compete if we don’t fix the situation, fast?

In this fascinating, cutting-edge presentation, PBS “Nova” science host (and Yahoo Tech founder) David Pogue surveys all of the factors — financial, political, cultural, and educational — and looks at our chances for turning around America’s science future.

The Digital Generation Comes Of Age

For the last 20 years, computers and technology have been part of the everyday curriculum for a generation or two of digitally privileged kids — and, as they become the majority, it’s showtime.

As computer-literate children become America’s new leaders, visionaries, and designers, how will their digital upbringing affect society and culture? Tech columnist David Pogue takes a thoughtful, funny look at how the tidal wave will hit as the digital generation enters prime time: what we’ll gain, what we’ll lose, and what beliefs and approaches will shift into something we’ve never seen before.

Should Science Be Allowed to be Interesting? One Man's Insane Journey through a TV Career on PBS

David Pogue, non-scientist, was plucked out of obscurity to host four NOVA miniseries on PBS. The mission: to illustrate cutting-edge scientific developments as clearly and as entertainingly as possible. Fulfilling this task has involved hang gliding, landing on a nuclear carrier, handling 10-foot sharks underwater, firing an AK-47, slicing a brain in half, and pouring a $12 million gold bar–so far.

In this lavishly photographed, highly hilarious talk, Pogue will share the experience of a lifetime–and opine on the state of science, television, and humor in America.

Why Products Fail

In his 25 years reviewing tech products, David Pogue has seen his share of turkeys. Many were so obviously failures a kindergartener could have spotted them. Sometimes the problem is design. But more often, it’s procedural, having to do with misfires in communication, PR, marketing, or groupthink. In this entertaining talk, he’ll revisit some horrifying disasters from his journalism career—and, more importantly, pick apart how things went off the tracks.

David Pogue’s Tech Update 2014 (2015, 2016…)

The very simple premise here: If you want to know what of importance is going on in the world of technology, Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue is the perfect tour guide.

This talk is constantly updated to represent what’s going on in tech right now, whether it’s the gadgets themselves, amazing free Internet services, or social-media shockwaves. But it’s not just the technology — wearable computers, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things; it’s also the effect it’s having on the society and culture we once new.

The talk was originally designed for groups who hire David to return to their conferences each year, so they’d be sure to see fresh, funny material every time — but it turns out to be just a great standalone, highly entertaining crash course in what’s worth knowing about at the time of your event.

Dave’s Mobile Show-and-Tell

David Pogue reviews over 200 products a year. If anyone can identify the breakthroughs, he can.

In this lively presentation — half talk, half magic show — David will present and actually demonstrate the latest and most amazing mobile gadgets, and offer his mini-critiques of each. The assortment changes monthly, of course, but past presentations have included the cellphone that offers unlimited free calls via Wi-Fi; the memory card that beams photos instantly onto Flickr; the secret of getting Directory Assistance for free on your cellphone (rather than $2 per call from your carrier); the latest breakthroughs in speech recognition; and, of course, the coolest, latest apps.

Prepare to have your mind blown — and your credit card stressed.

The Power of Simplicity

Why are consumers so fed up with their computers? “Software rage” has become an epidemic, help lines are flooded, and people are flinging their machines out the window in frustration.

More often than not, the problem is the software design itself–the interface. The design of programs and Web sites grows in importance every day. Getting it right–packing a lot of features, the right way, into a small screen area–is extremely difficult, and the masters of the art are few and far between. But David Pogue, who analyzes software design each week in his Yahoo Tech column, has found some fascinating real-world examples that illustrate both clever solutions and horrifying failures. He’ll also look forward to interface design of the future–speech, animation, and other innovations–as we move into an era of both much bigger and much smaller screens.

The Quantified Self: When Patients Become Doctors

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, self-diagnose yourself and more. The self trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

Consumer access to medical information from the Web has always been a blessing and a curse. While patients are more empowered and informed than they have ever been, new medical apps and devices are creating a world of self-testing, self-diagnosing patients, opening the healthcare industry up to a host of potential problems. Can patients be trusted to use these new devices correctly? Technologies that record heart rate and oxygen saturation, quantified-self gadgets such as Fitbit, Up and Garmin; tracking apps like the new Apple Healthkit app, apps for practitioners such as Epocrates, Anatomy Lap and OsiriX; and urinalysis devices working in tandem with your smartphone, are disrupting healthcare. And what about the issue of privacy?

In this intriguing and entertaining presentation, David Pogue explores these questions, provides some answers and demonstrates some of these new gadgets and apps, offering a clear view on how these new technologies are changing—and will continue to change—the healthcare landscape. David Pogue discusses this new movement—its benefits and drawbacks—and explores the exciting new territory that quantifiable data brings to the table.

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