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Ballmer Bluster

I have a love/hate relationship with Keith Olbermann. When Republicans are in power, I can half-stand the smug partisan attacks. And when Dems rule, the fawning (plus the continuing smug partisan attacks on Republicans) sicken me. In fact, to maintain any sanity, I shift from right-wing ideologues to left-wing dogmatists every half-hour or so, whether it's the radio, TV or a friend on the phone.

So I was surprised to watch that doofus Olbermann make fun of our own Steve Ballmer, choosing Steve as one of the worst persons in the world. Did Steve put another rival out of business? Lay off more workers? Defile Puget Sound with a gas spill from his yacht (I don't actually think Ballmer has one)?

Nope. Ballmer has the unmitigated gall to predict that in a decade, PC displays will be as flexible as paper, and that search engines will in that same period be able to guess what we're really looking for based on our basic query.

Olbermann has never been known for his subtle analysis, and so he assumed Ballmer meant that PCs would be like HAL -- more human than not. In reality, Ballmer argued that search engines would be like expert systems, tracking our past queries to rather simplistically predict the future. If we don't get to this point by 2019, my children and I with be sadly disappointed.

Posted by Doug Barney on July 13, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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