Weekend tech reading: A profile of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

By on March 11, 2012, 3:40 PM

Taking the long view (a profile of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) Inside a remote mountain in Texas, a gargantuan clock is being pieced together, capable of telling the time for the next 10,000 years. Once the clock is finished, people willing to make the difficult trek will be able to visit the vast chamber housing it, along with displays marking various anniversaries of its operation. On a website set up to track the progress of this "10,000-year clock", Jeff Bezos, who has invested $42m of his own money in the project, describes this impressive feat of engineering as "an icon for long-term thinking". The Economist

For tablet computer visionary Roger Fidler, a lot of what-ifs Roger Fidler, in jeans and a black turtleneck, is watching Steve Jobs, in jeans and a black turtleneck, introduce the iPad. Fidler is sitting in his stark white office -- the late Apple co-founder adored white’s simplicity -- and Jobs is strolling on stage in a 2010 video playing on Fidler’s MacBook. "There’s laptops and smartphones now," Jobs says. "But a question has arisen lately: Is there room for a third category of device in the world, something that’s between a laptop and a smartphone?" Fidler smiles through a scruffy gray Jobsian beard. He has known the answer for a long time. The Washington Post

The history page: Before Pong came along Since its establishment in 1947, Brookhaven National Laboratory on New York’s Long Island has spawned seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries — and one multibillion-dollar entertainment industry. Tennis for Two escaped the notice of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, but the world’s first video game -- invented by physicist William Higinbotham in 1958 -- has had a greater impact on the wider world than many of the lab’s Nobel-crowned efforts. The Daily

In-depth with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Windows has changed a lot since Windows 95 ushered in the modern era of the desktop operating system almost two decades ago -- the underlying technology that makes Windows what it is has completely changed since those early days to keep pace with new technologies and usage models. Despite all of those changes, though, the fundamental look and feel of Windows 7 remains remarkably similar to its hoary old predecessor. AnandTech

Artificially intelligent vs. artificially human: creating better NPCs Usually, when we think of creating artificially intelligent characters in games, we think of making these characters smarter and better at responding to various situations. But at a Game Developers Conference presentation this week, two industry veterans suggested that we should take lessons learned from the study of human psychology to make characters more believably human... Ars Technica

Mika Mobile (ZombieVille and Battleheart developer) quits Android From a purely economic perspective, I can no longer legitimize spending time on Android apps, and the new features of the market do nothing to change this.  While this news may be disappointing, I hope people can accept that we've done everything we can reasonably do to bring our apps to as many potential players as possible, despite the obstacles. Mika Mobile

Leaked: Police plan to raid The Pirate Bay More than half a decade after Swedish police officers first raided The Pirate Bay, there is talk that a second police raid against the world’s most famous torrent site is in the planning. The Pirate Bay team has learned that local authorities have acquired warrants to take action against the site, and expect that both servers and the new .se domain name may be targeted soon. TorrentFreak

Microsoft says decaffeinated Bing tastes as good as Google In 2010, Google gave its search engine a jolt, moving the web’s de facto gateway onto a new software platform dubbed "Caffeine." Designed by Google itself, Caffeine was a way for the company to more rapidly add new links to its massive index of websites, including news stories and blog posts and chatter from web forums. Wired

New video shows Mass Effect 3 day-one DLC already on disc Yesterday I talked about the problems with day-one DLC and the importance of building brand trust. After listening to long-time fans of BioWare and their games – especially the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series – the inescapable sentiment is clear: fans, and particularly super-fans of these games, feel betrayed. Forbes

Farewell, pocket calculator? Diplomatic incident? Or diplomatic crisis? If something suddenly exploded inside the shirt pocket of a senior Soviet diplomat during the early 1970s, what was likely to have caused it? This particular diplomat thought that he’d had a heart attack, but his entourage suspected foul play by Western agents in the thick of the Cold War. The NY Times

Level 3 protests Verizon, AT&T "lock-up" data connection deals The great subscriber access war between Level 3 and Comcast has receded into the background, but Level 3 has plenty of other business before the Federal Communications Commission. Here's an issue that got our attention... Ars Technica




User Comments: 4

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fimbles fimbles said:

42 million on a clock.........

More money than sense springs to mind.

Raswan Raswan said:

fimbles said:

42 million on a clock.........

More money than sense springs to mind.

But everyone loves it, because now they have their replacement for Steve Jobs as "the" visionary of the web. How many times did they mention that comparison in the story? Five? As nearly as I can tell, the only requirement to be named a visionary is loads of money and the willingness to hop onto the bandwagon just a little bit earlier than the other guys, so it seems like you're leading the pack. Everything I've read about Bezos tells me he's secretive, a little bit paranoid, and a lot of bit weird.

psycros psycros said:

raswan said:

But everyone loves it, because now they have their replacement for Steve Jobs as "the" visionary of the web. How many times did they mention that comparison in the story? Five? As nearly as I can tell, the only requirement to be named a visionary is loads of money and the willingness to hop onto the bandwagon just a little bit earlier than the other guys, so it seems like you're leading the pack. Everything I've read about Bezos tells me he's secretive, a little bit paranoid, and a lot of bit weird.

Agreed. Those who make tech (or politics, entertainment or whatever) their religion will always be looking for their next high priest in the cult of personality. What truly staggers me is that anyone uses Facebook. Its about the least friendly site on the web and its main goal is invading your privacy and selling you out to the highest bidder. I guess at day's end most people are just narcissistic ****** who can't be saved from themselves. Anyone who puts their personal details online deserves what they get. I won't even get into all of the better uses there are for 42 million.

Butch said:

Love them or hate them, Jobs and Bezos do have a lot in common and they have been instrumental in the way we live and work. Very few achieve this level of success and you simply do not get to that level by being stupid. So if Bezos thinks a clock in a mountain is a good idea, then so be it....I guess..

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