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Techies say they can trace their own interests in technology and science to inspiration fired by the original "Star Trek" series.
"At least 95 percent of tech geeks grew up on 'Star Trek,' " said 36-year-old Mike Abell of Kingston Technology. Abell said he was too young to see the original series before it was canceled, but watched reruns over and over and then followed subsequent series.
As they stood in line, MacKay, Abell and 45-year-old Mark Sullivan, who also works for Kingston, all said they idolized Mr. Scott, the Starship Enterprise engineer played by James Doohan.
"Roddenberry had real vision," Abell said, in anticipating technical advances.
- The big topic of conversation at CES is how to make tech simpler to use, so that, for example, the truck driver in Caroline County who finally gets the Humax TiVo DVR recorder he's been wanting doesn't then get frustrated and return it to the store.
- Bill Gates is one of the world's richest men, but the Microsoft icon is also one of the most hated men in the world among tech types like the ones at CES. Industry people here said they considered his keynote speech condescending, like Daddy taking a 2-year-old on his knee and telling the child what's what. When a Yahoo demo failed during CES, the host cracked, "Here's the obligatory demo glitch - you know who's software this system runs on." It was Microsoft, of course.
- The coming thing on the Web is customer reviews. Yahoo is bragging that 6 billion reviews of songs were posted by users last year. User reviews will soon appear with search results in the same way ads do now. So when the soccer mom in North Stafford sits down at her PC to look for a digital camera to take pictures of junior in action, she'll see what someone who has bought the camera in Spotsylvania County--or London--has to say about the device.