… Read the rest
When you have a bunch of smart people with a broad enough charter, you will always get something good out of it. It’s one of the best investments you could possibly make—but only if you chose to value it in terms of successes.
1945: Arthur C. Clarke begins privately circulating copies of a paper that proposes using space satellites for global communications.
It was a bold suggestion for 1945, as the war was just winding down and most people were undoubtedly more concerned about the necessities of life than they were with beaming radio waves down from space.… Read the rest
Decades after its birth, the laser is still irresistibly cool.
How many other fifty-somethings can you say that about?
Even though lasers are as common as dirt now, appearing in everything from DVD players to supermarket scanners to computer mice, there’s still a certain appeal to a beam of coherent, monochromatic light.… Read the rest
SEATTLE — Rusty Oliver sets things on fire.
During our visit to his workspace, the aptly-named Hazardfactory, he demonstrated how two long propane-filled tubes can act as a kind of fiery audio EQ meter. He created a fierce ball of flame in the middle of a hoop-shaped sculpture he calls “The Singularity.” He showed off flame-throwing rayguns (sadly not currently in operation) and talked about how he was organizing a league to play one of his favorite sports, flaming tetherball.… Read the rest
SAN FRANCISCO — Trust us. We’re not going to screw up Skype.
That was the message Microsoft delivered Tuesday, hours after formally announcing that it was buying the internet telephony pioneer for a staggering $8.5 billion — staggering because it’s more than the Redmond giant has ever paid for anything, and because Skype doesn’t exactly print money.… Read the rest