Tech Hero Lost at Sea
Last year, I became so interested in how Microsoft researchers worked with
scientists that I wrote not one, but two cover stories. One Microsoft researcher's
name came up again and again: Jim Gray, founder of Microsoft’s Bay Area
Research Center. My new friends from Visual Studio magazine, which we took over
in December, know Jim well, as he spoke at their popular VSLive! events.
Unfortunately, as I write, Jim is lost at sea, having left on Sunday to spread
his mother’s ashes off the coast of San Francisco. The good news is he
may just be found safe and sound.
Gray has a resume that makes all of us look a little dim. An expert in multiprocessing,
transaction processing, databases and data mining, Gray has used these skills
to help build commercial products such as ATMs and SQL Server 2005, and humanitarian
endeavors like trying to cure cancer and understand the heavens and the earth.
Pretty amazing work.
The San Francisco Chronicle has a terrific profile of Gray here.
Gray’s home page is here.
And my two stories are here: "Can
Microsoft Save the World?" and "The
Science of Software."
Vista’s No PS3, It’s Not Even a Wii!
Even a month past Christmas, some gamers are showing up to Wal-Mart at one in
the morning to get a Nintendo Wii. It took me a month of constant visits to
finally score my son Nick his Christmas present (sorry, dude!).
And the hunt for the PlayStation 3 was even tougher.
So, how did it go the night of the Vista consumer launch? Windows fans weren’t
exactly breaking out their tents and thermoses, as the lines for the OS were
than a Vin Diesel haircut. I guess most consumers are still trying to find
Bill Says TV Is So Last Year
Just days before his Vista launch, Bill Gates told a European audience that
is still in the dark ages, and five years from now we won’t even recognize
it. The real revolution will come from the Internet, making the Gates speech
sound more like an ad for Steve Jobs’ new iTV. In Gates’ world,
on-demand video from the Internet will make today’s DVRs look like they
came from the Flintstones.
In fact, this was a key topic that Gates addressed when handling softball
question after softball question from the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart
What do you love and hate about today’s world of television? Let me
know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsoft Tosses Firefox a Bone
I didn’t even know that Microsoft has a browser plug-in that takes reams
of 2-D photos and turns them into a 3-D image, but now Firefox
users can take advantage of this neat little trick. Stuff like this reminds
me of the old Amiga days (old guys like me will get the reference, you youngsters
Virtual Iron Pushes Prepacked Apps
Virtual Iron, a server virtualization concern, has a new concept: Virtual
Appliances. These aren’t the dedicated hardware appliances we are
all used to. Instead, these appliances are similar to the way some apps have
been built for the VMware player. The app is already virtualized and can simply
be installed and run alongside all your other virtualized apps.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.