Stephen Wolfram has a track record of scientific breakthroughs and some controversy. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Caltech in 1979 when he was 20 and has focused most of his career on probing complex systems. In 1988 he launched Mathematica, powerful computational software that has become the gold standard in its field. In 2002, Wolfram produced a 1,280-page tome, A New Kind of Science, based on a decade of exploration in cellular automata and complex systems. The book stirred up a lot of debate in scientific circles. Legendary physicist Freeman Dyson described the tome as &… Read more
Last night I attended the Crunchies award ceremony, where Facebook took top honors as the best overall start-up (See the full list of Crunchies award winners). The awards are based on a popularity contest via votes cast through the Crunchies Web site and with input from the Crunchies Committee, consisting of co-hosts GigaOm, Silicon Alley Insider, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and advisors.
The most surprising winner for the evening was in the Microsoft's Live Mesh, which won in the category best technology innovation/achievement. The competition included Facebook Connect (the runner-up), Google Friend Connect, Google Chrome, Swype and Yahoo BOSS.
Given … Read more
On January 24, 1984, the Macintosh came into the world, starting the second major revolution in the personal computer industry. Steve Jobs and team took some lessons from Xerox PARC and created the first user-friendly, mass market computer.
By today's standards, it wasn't that user-friendly (some will remember disk-swapping with the original Mac, which had 128KB of RAM and a 400KB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive), but compared with Microsoft's DOS operating system, it was a major technical innovation.
The 128K Mac version of the graphical user interface, with icons, fonts, folders, audio and a mouse, started … Read more
It's been about 20 years since Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on the back of the Internet. For more than a billion people on the planet, the Web today is an alternate, digital universe that is gradually overtaking the analog, physical world as a source of information and connections.
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted a survey that rendered two obvious conclusions: the Internet has overtaken newspapers as a source of national and international news, and television, led by CNN, continues to serve as the main source.
Speculation about the choice for the new Yahoo CEO search continues in the wake of the layoffs Yahoo announced last week. And Kara Swisher continues her search for Jerry Yang's replacement, gathering picks from the raft of ex-Yahoo employees in her blog post today.
Some respondents said that a media mogul, such as Disney's Bob Iger or News Corp.'s Peter Chernin, is the right medicine for Yahoo. Former COO Dan Rosensweig comes up in the context of someone who could hit the ground running and has a product focus, as well as former Yahoo execs Jeff Weiner … Read more
With 2008 coming to an end, the data miners at Google, which performs more than 60 percent of searches worldwide, have compiled their Zeitgeist lists of the most popular search terms.
These latest lists include these categories: U.S., top of mind, politics, trendsetters, showbiz, sports, and around the world.
In the category of fastest-rising global searches (comparing 2007 with 2008 searches), Sarah Palin comes in at No. 1 and President elect Barack Obama at No. 6, trailing "beijing 2008," "facebook login," Tuenti" (the equivalent of Facebook in Spain), and "Heath Ledger."
In … Read more
As the tragic events unfolded in Mumbai, India, the Internet backchannel came to the foreground with messages, photos, and videos from the masses using Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and so-called citizen reporting sites such as Global Voices, as well as CNN and NDTV.
The terrorist attacks have left more than 100 dead and several hundred wounded in Mumbai, the country's financial center.
As you would expect, the flow of information has been chaotic and potentially unreliable, which presents some problems, especially for those with family or friends at risk. A few posts on Techmeme question the quality of Twitter messages, … Read more
Steven Levy writes about Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie in the latest issue of Wired. The nearly 7,000-word profile doesn't offer many new revelations about the software-plus-services or cloud-computing efforts that Ozzie is leading at Microsoft, but it provides a vivid portrait of Ozzie's path from the University of Illinois in 1973 to taking over Bill Gates' software czar responsibilities in 2005.
Following is an excerpt from Levy's profile characterizing the Gates-Ozzie relationship:
Ozzie left IBM and founded a startup called Groove Networks, which made collaborative software. Released in 2001, the Groove app was terrific … Read more
Barack Obama will be the most shadowed president in history, and it won't be just the Secret Service and press corps surrounding him.
Citizens and paparazzi armed with camera phones and a variety of other multimedia devices will chronicle every movement he makes in public and post it online.
Obama's visit on Friday afternoon to Manny's Cafeteria and Deli in Chicago was treated as a major event. Some footage was recorded by the Associated Press (see below), and in the background you can see employees, as well as a horde of press members, pointing their cameras at … Read more
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On this week's EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I discuss Yahoo's new CEO vacancy and the newly launched BlackBerry Storm. We also talk about the grim economic outlook for the holiday shopping season, which will be great for bargain hunters online and offline.