Alan Curtis Kay is an American computer scientist, known for his early pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design, and for coining the phrase, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” He is the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also on the advisory board of TTI/Vanguard. Until mid 2005, he was a Senior Fellow at HP Labs, a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, and an Adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kay has lectured extensively on the idea that the computer revolution is very new, and all of the good ideas have not been universally implemented. Lectures at OOPSLA 1997 conference and his ACM Turing award talk, entitled “The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet” were informed by his experiences with Sketchpad, Simula, Smalltalk, and the bloated code of commercial software. On August 31, 2006, Kay’s proposal to the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) was granted, thus funding Viewpoints Research Institute for several years. The proposal title was: Steps Toward the Reinvention of Programming: A compact and Practical Model of Personal Computing as a Self-exploratorium. A sense of what Kay is trying to do comes from this quote, from the abstract of a seminar on this given at Intel Research Labs, Berkeley: “The conglomeration of commercial and most open source software consumes in the neighborhood of several hundreds of millions of lines of code these days. We wonder: how small could be an understandable practical “Model T” design that covers this functionality? 1M lines of code? 200K LOC? 100K LOC? 20K LOC?”
Rob Malda, also known as CmdrTaco, is an American internet entrepreneur and former editor-in-chief of the website Slashdot. He is a graduate of Hope College and Holland Christian High School. In 1997 Rob Malda and Jeff Bates created Slashdot while undergraduates of Hope College. After running the site for two years “on a shoestring”, they sold the site to Andover.net, which was later acquired by VA Linux Systems. Malda ran the site out of the SourceForge, Inc. office in Dexter, Michigan. Rob Malda also wrote a monthly column for Computer Power User. In 2002, he was named in the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. On August 25, 2011, Rob Malda announced his resignation from Slashdot. On March 5, 2012, Malda was appointed as Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large of WaPo Labs, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company.
Jeff ‘Yak’ Minter is a British video game designer and programmer. He is the founder of software house Llamasoft and his recent works include Neon (2004), a non-game music visualization program that has been built into the Xbox 360 console, and the video games Space Giraffe (Xbox Live Arcade, 2007 and PC, 2008), and Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox Live Arcade, May 2009). Fans of Minter’s games have identified a number of distinctive elements common to his games. They are often arcade style shoot ’em ups. They often contain titular and/or in-game references demonstrating his fondness of ruminants (llamas, sheep, camels, etc.). Many of his programs also feature something of a psychedelic element, as in some of the earliest “light synthesizer” programs including his Trip-a-Tron.
John C. Dvorak is an American columnist and broadcaster in the areas of technology and computing. His writing extends back to the 1980s, when he was a mainstay of a variety of magazines. Dvorak is also the Vice-President of Mevio (formerly PodShow) and well known for his work for Tech TV. John Charles Dvorak was born in 1952 in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in history, with a minor in flugelhorn, and has homes in the San Francisco Bay area and Port Angeles, in Washington State. He is married to Mimi Smith-Dvorak. Dvorak is a noted collector of Bordeaux wines and has been a tasting judge at various international events. He started his career as a wine writer. Dvorak obtained a technician class amateur (ham) radio license, callsign KJ6LNG, in November 2010. Dvorak was on the start-up team for CNET Networks, appearing on the television show CNET Central. He also hosted a radio show called Real Computing on NPR, as well as a television show on TechTV (formerly ZDTV) called Silicon Spin. He now appears on Marketwatch TV and is a regular panelist on This Week in Tech, a podcast audio and now video program hosted by Leo Laporte and featuring other former TechTV personalities such as Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, and Robert Heron. As of December 2005, that “TWiTcast” regularly ranks among the top 5 at Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Dvorak also participated in the only Triangulation podcast, a similar co-hosted technology discussion program. In March 2006, Dvorak started a new show called CrankyGeeks in which he led a rotating panel of “cranky” tech gurus in discussions of technology news stories of the week. The last episode (No. 237) aired on September 22, 2010. Mevio hired Dvorak as Vice President & Managing Editor for a new Mevio TECH channel in 2007. He manages content from existing Mevio tech programming as well as hosts the show, “Tech5”, where Dvorak discusses the day’s tech news in approximately 5 minutes. Dvorak also co-hosts a podcast with Mevio co-founder Adam Curry called No Agenda. The show is a free flowing conversation about the week’s news, happenings in the lives of the hosts and their families, and restaurant reviews from the dinners John and Adam have together when they are in the same city (usually San Francisco). Adam usually has more outlandish opinions of the week’s news or world events while Dvorak plays the straight man in the dialogue.
Evan Williams is an American entrepreneur who has founded several Internet companies. Two of the internet’s top ten websites have been created by Evan Williams’ companies: Blogger, weblog-authoring software of Pyra Labs, and Twitter, where he was previously CEO. Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan co-founded Pyra Labs to make project management software. A note-taking feature spun off as Blogger, one of the first web applications for creating and managing weblogs. Williams invented the term “blogger” and was instrumental in the popularization of the term “blog”. Pyra survived the departure of Hourihan and other employees, and was eventually acquired by Google on February 13, 2003. In 2003, Williams was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. In 2004, he was named one of PC Magazine’s “People of the Year”, along with Hourihan and Paul Bausch for their work on Blogger.
Michel Ancel is a French video game designer for Ubisoft. He is best known for creating the Rayman franchise, for which he was the lead designer for the first two games, and the recent Rayman Origins. He is also known for the cult favourite Beyond Good & Evil and for the video game adaptation of Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He is currently working on a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil with a small team of developers, using development tools specially designed to make game development more accessible to a greater audience. Ancel’s first demo, Mechanic Warriors, was developed for software house Lankhor. Ancel then joined Ubisoft as a graphic artist after meeting the game author Nicolas Choukroun in Montpellier at the age of 17. He made the graphics of Nicolas’ games such as The Intruder, Pick’n Pile before doing his first game as both programmer and graphic artist Brain Blaster published by Ubi Soft in 1990. In 1992, he began to work on Rayman, his directorial debut. It was originally released in 1995 for the Atari Jaguar, and in 1996 for PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Ancel was also heavily involved in the development of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but had only an advisory role on Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Although he praised its development team, he claims he would have “made the game differently”.
Steve Maury Gibson is a computer enthusiast, software engineer and security researcher who studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Gibson lives in Laguna Hills, California. In 1985, Gibson founded Gibson Research Corporation, which is best known for its SpinRite software. An avid sci-fi fan, he has been known to be jokingly referred to as Steve Tiberius Gibson, an obvious poke at Star Trek’s most famous captain of the Enterprise, James T(iberius) Kirk. Gibson Research Corporation or GRC is a computer software development firm founded in 1985 by Gibson. The company is registered in Laguna Hills, California. GRC has created a number of niche utilities over the years, the foremost of which is SpinRite, a hard disk scanning and data recovery utility. Gibson co-hosts a weekly computer security-focused podcast with Leo Laporte called Security Now!. Gibson has appeared on Leo Laporte’s technology podcast, This Week in Tech. and also used to occasionally appear on The Lab with Leo Laporte on G4techTV Canada. Steve Gibson was a contributing editor to InfoWorld magazine. He reported on the world of hackers and crackers.