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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

This Year’s SXSW Interactive Has Fewer Gadgets, More Discussion

From left, Elisa Lees Muñoz, Mary Anne Franks, Shireen Mitchell and Brianna Wu take part in a panel called "Is A Safer, Saner and Civil Internet Possible?" at SXSW on Saturday, March 12. (Screenshot from sxsw.com)

From left, Elisa Lees Muñoz, Mary Anne Franks, Shireen Mitchell and Brianna Wu take part in a panel called “Is A Safer, Saner and Civil Internet Possible?” at SXSW on Saturday, March 12. (Screenshot from sxsw.com)

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival, the technology-focused portion of the multi-day festival in Austin, Texas, is usually the place for hopeful entrepreneurs to take a shot at becoming the people behind the latest “it” app. It can be a sign of future fame, such as with Twitter in 2007, or just a passing fad, barely remembered, like the social GPS app Highlight in 2012.

This year, there is plenty of techie hype for the latest burst of virtual reality devices, but Silicon Valley is also taking on issues like gender diversity, online harassment and security and privacy. Noah Kulwin of Re/code is in Austin and shares the best of the festival with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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