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 Profiles: Of dreams and imagination

Jaron LanierJARON Lanier, as "guru" of a growing technology, pioneered the frontiers of Virtual Reality, a 3D world rendered by a computer and experienced with EyePhone goggles and sensor-equipped DataGloves.

The computer scientist with the shoulder-length red dreadlocks - affectionately dubbed by some a "Rastafarian Teddybear" - founded the world's first VR company, VPL Research Inc, which produced most of the world's VR equipment for many years. VPL is now defunct. These days, Lanier devotes much of his time to music as well as pondering the future.

He has appeared on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, on TV shows like Nightline and The Charlie Rose Show. The 35-year old "self-educated" dropout-turned-scientist is currently a visiting scholar at the Department of Computer Science, Columbia University, and at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

While his preoccupation is Virtual Reality, his first love is music. Lanier has appeared on stage at Chicago, Toronto and Linz, Austria; and has performed with Vernon Reid, Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman, Terry Riley, Barbara Higbie and Stanley Jordan.

Posted by anita on Saturday, December 07 @ 17:17:24 MYT (12 reads)
(Read More... | 1584 words more | comments? | Profiles | Score: 0)

 Profiles: Negroponte: Why Bits Matter

NegroponteWhen Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory founder and digital economy advocate Nicholas Negroponte makes a prediction about the future you can't help but sit up and listen. But his vision - however close to the truth it may appear - can be frightening. At a talk in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, his candid responses seemed threatening even.

Taking questions from the floor, Negroponte tells a Xerox employee to "exercise his options soonest". A newspaper owner asking about the future of his industry, is told, wryly: "The unfortunate thing about newspapers is the word paper." Middle management is belittled as relics of the past; in fact middle anything, says Negroponte will vanish without a trace. Asked how governments should respond to the coming digital economy, Negroponte says their only logical response is to step aside.

Nicholas Negroponte's audacity stems from the fact he has more often been right than wrong.

Posted by julian on Saturday, December 07 @ 11:22:44 MYT (22 reads)
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