Siri: 'STOP trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work'
Plus who said: 'I want an organisation that can take risks' (Clue: Not Ballmer)
Quotw This was the week when ahem colourful chief exec Steve Ballmer announced his retirement from Microsoft. The 23-year veteran Microsoftie is to leave the Windows giant with bulging pockets and love in his heart. He told employees in a heartfelt missive:
I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.
While the billionaire has been a divisive figure, he's also been the source of some of tech's top quotes of all time, including this rather drastic underestimation* of the iPhone shortly after it was announced in 2007:
$500, fully subsidised, with a plan! That is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.
In Blighty, the BBC's new director-general Tony Hall rather surprisingly laid the blame for its disastrous Digital Media Initiative (DMI) at the feet of staff, who apparently didn't complain loudly enough about how horribly the media archiving project was going wrong. He said:
The thing that worried me most about DMI is the fact that people said we knew all about that, but no one said. That's a problem of culture where fingers are pointed and people don't feel they can own up and say something's wrong.
The project cost the Beeb around £181m before it finally gave up on it, but that sort of thing probably shouldn't result in anything so drastic as people losing their jobs or anything. Hall would much prefer a culture of sharing and togetherness and blamelessness:
I want an organisation that can take risks and do things that are difficult, and learn from our mistakes as opposed to 'You made a mistake, out you go'.
Meanwhile, Robert Colwell of US boffinry nerve-centre DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, speaking at the Hot Chips conference at Stanford University, has claimed that it'll be cash that eventually kills Moore's law - which states the number of transistors in chips doubles about every two years:
When Moore's law ends, it will be economics that stops it, not physics. Follow the money.
And the day when it does end is coming soon:
Let's at least face the fact that [Moore's law] is an exponential, and there cannot be an exponential that doesn't end. You can't have it.
 - that's only seven years away. I'm thinking seven nanometers. You could talk me into 2022 – you might even be able to talk me into five nanometers, I don't know, but you're not going to talk me into one nanometer, you're not going to be able to talk me into femtometers or whatever.
Apple has apparently built its voice-controlled personal assistant software Siri to be a little bit biased against rival Google products. When Siri is asked about Google's wearable tech project, Google Glass, it cracks some some slightly snarky gags:
I think that Glass is half empty, Sean.
Stop trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work.
Just so you know, I don't do anything when you blink at me, Wes.
And finally, billionaire inventor Elon Musk has said that he's come up with the very cool Iron Man 3D holographic design process:
We figured out how to design rocket parts just w hand movements through the air (seriously). Now need a high frame rate holograph generator.
But he won't be putting it to the use you were hoping for:
And, uhh no (zillionth person who asked), I am not going to make an IM suit, however design by hand-manipulated hologram is actually useful.
* Perhaps Ballmer had, way back in 2006, read The Reg.