As hurricanes continue to cause tremendous destruction and death and, as evidence piles up showing that increase in hurricane strength is a function of rising surface water temperature, global warming is becoming our worse nightmare. But until last week I used to think that SUVs and Americans passion for 68F air conditioned rooms were by far the greatest carbon criminals. They are not alone. The internet it turns out may soon be as bad. Working on the internet and having started companies like Ya.com I would take comfort thinking that we operated a clean industry. But this is hardly the case. Over the last month I became aware of two related activities that I thought were energy irrelevant are actually energy hogs. They are thinking and computing.
Last night during dinner I finally was able to tell Sergey and Larry about my idea for creating the type of IM that Google could launch that in my view could beat Instant Messenger. My concept for revolutionizing chat is based on something I said before, that text of the kind I am using right now to write this blog is obsolete. If you think about it, text is great only because you were trained for 12 years, or more in most cases, to use it. Otherwise text sucks. Have any doubt? Watch an 8 year old chatting and you will see. Younger children who have not developed the skills to type endlessly without making mistakes that others frown upon, use much less text when they chat. What they use is emoticons, skype, webcams or anything to get away from text slowness and boredom. Well my idea is a plan to include the best emoticons of all, your files as given to you by Google Desktop (if you don´t have this amazing tool download it right now!) and by Google when you chat. What makes a good chatter? To me somebody who chats very well is someone who can reply quickly and with somebody who sends you a lot of MEANING in little time. Now how can u increase the rate of MEANING going through a chat? With GOOGLE!
Last night I had dinner at the Clinton Global Initative with Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Sergey and Larry are by now as famous as Batman and Robin were when I was a child. I say this knowing that googling Sergey and Larry gave me 770,000 results but googling Batman and Robin, 2 million (so they are still not as famous at Batman and Robin). In any case, for being less than half as famous as Batmand and Robin they don´t look it. They are two smart, curious, fun guys to be with who care little about fame or glory. Sergey and Larry are curious about everything. A detail. As we were having dinner a water accidentally fell on the tablecloth. Surprisingly the tablecloth did not absorbe the water. Water stayed in neatly mercury looking shaped drops. Immediately and in the middle of the conversation Sergey began experimenting with throwing new things at the tablecloth, red wine for example, and much to his surprise he saw that it also would look like red mercury over a flat surface: in nicely shaped drops. So as we spoke Sergey started blowing into the drops to send them Larry´s way. Larry found that funny and blew them back. At that point Larry said that he wondered if we could find any liquid that would not stay in drops. I looked around and saw a candle, I poured liquid wax on the table and said, blow on this. And he did, and the wax did adhere to the tablecloth.