Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Woz Plus Spock Equals a Geek Swarm

In what can only be described as a strange collision of two distinct yet oddly similar universes of the geek canon, Steve Wozniak — Apple co-founder, friend of Steve Jobs, and chief scientist of chip memory concern Fusion-io — will have a conversation at Thursday’s DEMO conference with Leonard Nimoy, the actor famous for playing Spock in the “Star Trek” TV and film series.

Fusion just announced the pairing on its corporate blog. The company says the two will “share their thoughts on technology’s past, present and future.”

It’s probably no surprise that Wozniak was a fan of the original 1960s vintage TV show in his early adulthood. In a speech he delivered at a conference earlier this year he said that during his days working at Hewlett-Packard designing calculators, he’d come home from work “watch ‘Star Trek,’ eat a TV dinner, and do electronics projects.” So Woz will probably be thrilled to hang out with Nimoy, who’s always been a favorite among the “Star Trek” fan community.

It’s a little hard to guess precisely what all this will have to do with Fusion-io’s flash memory technology, which essentially speeds up conventional servers by adding an extra layer of memory to keep data close by the processor so it doesn’t stand around waiting for the hard drive to catch up. Nimoy is, however, an old hand at talking about how consumer technology that was science fiction on the TV show — mobile phones are essentially “Star Trek” communicators, for example — is now a reality. (See the video below for an example of that.) I’m sure it will be fun to see regardless.

One thing that will happen: A geek swarm on Foursquare. Woz is active on Foursquare, so expect lots of his followers to check in all at once and maybe trigger a swarm.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik