The 21st annual South by Southwest Interactive Conference, which starts Friday in Austin, is on track to be the most popular edition yet of the technology oriented festival. More than 30,000 people are expected to descend upon Austin for five days of panels, parties and trade demonstrations. Attendance has nearly tripled since 2009.
For a conference known for attracting prominent names — the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave a rare onstage interview in 2008 — this year offers arguably the conference’s biggest coup: On Saturday, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, will be interviewed by satellite from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he is living in exile. Yet for as much