About Alberto Cairo's conference it would be not needed t ay anything because he has uploaded on his web a PDF with it that you can download. The problem is that it is in Spanish, so here you are a little translation of the most important details.
Cairo talked abut the importance of interaction on the online graphics. He gave three kinds of online interaction: instruction, manipulation and exploration. Each one of them less common. On the first one we just give an 'instruction' to the graphic and it does it. On the second one, we can change the graphic manipulating it with multiple variables. On the third, the is a complex world we can explore, as videogames.
Lineal graphics are not bad. Each kind of information has it way of explanation.
We have to let the reader analyze the information. Give them a tool that they can use to manipulate the data and explore through the variables. Don't give the data analyzed. Let them do it, and each one would have their different conclussions.
About design, he defended that buttons should look like buttons, to make the interface easy to handle. But we must know that readers spend more time on atractive interfaces. Deciding what it's atractive depends on the target we have.
Personally, it was a very useful cnference for me. I'm starting with online graphics and Alberto discovered me the world of XML. I've already bought two books, I'll tell you later if I finally learn to use it, but this is my New Malofiej proposal...
Sólo por añadir una valoración personal deb decir que era de gran utilidad sobre todo para aquellos que no controlamos aún el medio online. A mí personalmente me ha dado a conocer las bondades antes deconocidas del XML y ya me he comprado dos libros a ver si me pongo con ello.