At this year's South by Southwest festival, tech security is stepping from the shadows, and attendees are learning how to cope without a physical smartphone.
Let's look at the five things we learned as SXSW wraps up its second day.
WIKILEAKS FOUNDER TALKS SECURITY
Tech safety and security has emerged as one of the big themes at SXSW, and two high-profile figures are making cameos at the Austin festival.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took the stage via Skype for a conversation on topics such as online privacy and the potential impact of releasing classified data to the public.
Despite technical snags, Assange pressed forward, saying his life is "a bit like prison" since his website WikiLeaks started releasing classified information including secret U.S. government documents.
"The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there, and will be in a few years," he says.
Assange also said security reporters have become "refugees," pointing out figures including Glenn Greenwald, who exposed U.S. surveillance practices in an investigative series for The Guardian, citing documents shared by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
"I see this as quite a positive phenomenon that where people would have been completely crushed and not able to work anymore, they are able to use these basic tenets of classic liberalism like freedom of movement ... to keep working," says Assange.
The security talk ramps up again Monday, when Snowden participates in a chat via video conference from Russia. The chat prompted Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., to urge SXSW organizers to cancel the event.
"Rewarding Mr. Snowden's behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited," said Pompeo in a letter to organizers.
AEREO WANTS TO HELP YOU CUT CABLE CORD
The controversial TV service Aereo traveled to SXSW to help kick off its arrival in Austin, one of the 10 cities where it's available.
What is Aereo? It's a microantenna that lets users pick up over-the-air channels in their area. Channels are accessible online, so you can tune to a favorite station from a computer, smartphone or tablet.
During an interview with USA TODAY, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia declined to share how many subscribers the service hosts, but said he is pleased with the response. "We are very happy with the growth that we've seen thus far."
Television broadcasters have cried foul, and are taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court. In January, the high court agreed to hear their case for stopping the streaming TV service. Justices could start weighing the case as early as April.
YOUR SMARTPHONE GOES VIRTUAL
When your smartphone runs out of juice, the first impulse is to hustle to the nearest spot to recharge, whether that be an outlet in your home or car.
The service PPLConnect lets you have access to your smartphone, without ever needing to pull it from your pocket. The service lets you use your mobile number to makes calls or texts from any Web-connected browser. As an added bonus, the company says browser calls don't count against available minutes from your wireless carrier.
The Android-only service features an app where users add their phone number and Google+ information. After linking a smartphone to its virtual counterpart on PPLConnect, users can start making calls from Web browsers.
The service is under a beta testing period, but available now on Google Play..
CARS, TECH CONTINUE TO INTERSECT
Along with security and wearable gadgets, tech in your car is expected to become one of the hot topics in the industry this year. The two cross paths again with the new partnership between Beats Music and Chevrolet.
The U.S. automaker will integrate the streaming music service launched last month into its AppShop, available in a handful of 2015 models later this year.
Beats Music for Chevrolet will include personalized recommendations and provide access to user-created playlists. The app requires a Beats Music account.
"It's all about giving our customers options to be connected in their vehicle," says Chevorlet Marketing Director Cristi Landy.
FAVREAU SWAPS SUPERHERO COSTUME FOR CHEF'S HAT
Although the Interactive portion of SXSW dominates this weekend, some elements of the Film and Music sections of the festival have infiltrated.
Actor/screenwriter Jon Favreau is taking a break from blockbusters such as Iron Man and The Avengers to whip up Chef, a film he's premiering at SXSW.
The film stars Favreau as Chef Carl Casper, who clashes with an Los Angeles restaurant owner played by Dustin Hoffman. Favreau says the rise of online programming through sites such as Netflix have fueled a rise in smaller projects likeChef.
"Little ones like this you can make for you and for an audience that will connect with it more personally," he says.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @bam923.