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Demo Preview: Let's Get Liquid

I just touched down in windy Palm Springs for the 2008 Demo conference, which doesn't actually start up until tomorrow morning, but it's already clear that, here in the desert, the big buzzword for this year's startup showcase is "liquid."
I just touched down in windy Palm Springs for the 2008 Demo conference, which doesn't actually start up until tomorrow morning, but it's already clear that, here in the desert, the big buzzword for this year's startup showcase is "liquid."Several companies demo-ing at Demo this year have the watery descriptor in their names, including:

-- LiquidPlanner, a Web-based project-management software provider that "is transforming the way organizations manage complex projects."

-- LiquidTalk, content distribution platform for mobile workers that lets organizations distribute various forms of enterprise audio and video to devices including BlackBerrys, iPhones, and iPods.

-- Liquidus, which provides a video ad server that allows advertisers to produce and distribute classified ads for different types of programming including digital cable or Web-based video-on-demand plus standard TV broadcasting.

Not appearing at Demo, but also worthy of note, is Liquid Computing, makers of the "LiquidIQ" computing fabric that delivers "a converged computing, networking and broadband system to scalable computing users."

In contrast to those arid, throat-parching computer and Web technologies of the past, "liquid" connotes qualities of floating, of buoyancy, of infinite flexibility and inexhaustibility. Of coolness, in every sense of that term. (For a hint of some real liquid computing of the future, have a look at the work of Harvard chemistry professor Charles Lieber.)

Now you'll have to excuse me. All this liquidity is making me thirsty.