Anybody who can afford a box of business cards can afford a Web site. Any company with an 800 number can move its services to the Web for peanuts by comparison. The extreme case of corporate promotion is to strip away all other aspects of your business and sell goods or services via the Net alone, as amazon.com has done with books.
If I say I've got two versions of Word - that old one from 1982 that's perfect, with zero defects; or the new one that's got all this cool new stuff, but there might be a few bugs in it - people always want the new one. But I wouldn't want them to operate a plane I was on with software that happened to be the latest greatest release!
There is a one-in-300 chance that Earth will be struck on March 16, 2880, by an asteroid large enough to destroy civilization and possibly cause the extinction of the human race. But, on the bright side, Prince could re-release his hit song with the new refrain 'We're gonna party like its twenty-eight seventy-nine.'
Politicians don't like to face unpleasant realities. In truth, nobody does, but as individuals, we have no choice; if we neglect to plan ahead, we are held accountable. Fail to meet your responsibilities at work, and you get fired. Ignore your car's gas gauge, and you get stranded.
The whole hardware industry has experienced the phenomenon in which every time computers get cheaper, they appeal to a new set of users; every time they get more powerful, old customers upgrade.
Regardless of how it's done, transaction costs will continue to plummet as computers get more powerful. Low transaction costs are a wonderful thing if you're in the transaction business. They're wonderful for consumers too, making it cheaper and easier to buy things and creating new things to buy.
Why pay a fee for Internet content when a million free sites are just a click away? There's no incentive until people are too addicted to the Net to turn off their computers, yet are bored with what's available.
I've been on a team that won the world championship of barbecue. But barbecue's interesting, because it's one of these cult foods like chili, or bouillabaisse. Various parts of the world will have a cult food that people get enormously attached to - there's tremendous traditions; there's secrecy.
Our reactor actually burns nuclear waste as fuel. So not only is it safe and powerful, it solves an important issue: It actually reduces nuclear waste instead of creating. It's the reactor of your dreams.
Another random thing I do is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. And you may be familiar with the movie 'Contact,' which sort of popularized that. It turns out there are real people who go out and search for extraterrestrials in a very scientific way.
We're more familiar with what economists call an English auction - prices start low and rise as people bid. However, there is also the Dutch auction, where prices start high and go lower until somebody bites. Movies are sold to the audience via a very slow Dutch auction, where each phase between price drops can last weeks or months.
Elections, for their part, are typically popularity contests rather than measures of candidates' relative competency or effectiveness. Imagine if scientific truth were determined according to which scientist was most popular. To be successful, scientists would have to be charismatic and attractive - and human knowledge would suffer terribly.
In politics, religion and other areas of culture, people disagree on the worth of competing ideas. There is no equivalent to the scientific method that can determine in a robust way which ideas match the real world, and which ones can be ruled out. So conflicting ideologies persist indefinitely.
We collectively have a special place in our heart for the manned space flight program - Apollo nostalgia is one element, but that is only part of it. American culture worships explorers - look at the fame of Lewis and Clark, for example. The American people want to think of themselves as supporting exploration.
One of the things that I love to do is travel around the world and look at archaeological sites. Because archaeology gives us an opportunity to study past civilizations, and see where they succeeded and where they failed. Use science to, you know, work backwards and say, 'Well, really, what were they thinking?'
My company invents all kinds of new technology in lots of different areas. And we do that for a couple of reasons. We invent for fun - invention is a lot of fun to do - and we also invent for profit. The two are related because the profit actually takes long enough that if it isn't fun, you wouldn't have the time to do it.