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March 13, 2008


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Microsoft founder Bill Gates told a riveted NVTC crowd of 1200 this morning at the Capital Hilton that the most dramatic software advances are yet to come, perhaps within 10 years. Thanking him, Chairman John Lee said Gates' vision—of everyone using electronic tablets or navigating recorded video conferences via speech recognition—sounds like the age of the Jetsons. Yet somehow even Bill Gates seems comfortingly old fashioned: Our camera caught him after the speech still using a regular car (okay, black Escalade), not a hovercraft; wearing 19th century spectacles and tie; and still at a loss for a magic hair gel. 


Bill predicted satellite, cable, PC, and TV would all converge and ads would no longer be broadcast but purely tailored to our personal interests. Instead of interacting with computers via keyboard and mouse, he said speech and touch will be the wave of the future—what he calls the "holy grail of natural user interfaces."  Even the office environment will change—computers won't be on the desks, but in the desks with intelligent surfaces that recognize hand gestures and objects. Already, he said, his daughter goes to a school without textbooks, and instead of his having to tell her he doesn't know an answer, they can jointly explore her questions in Wikipedia.  



Another triumph for NVTC president Bobbie Kilberg, right, with the help of outgoing chairman John Lee, second from right. In saluting John, Northrop Grumman Information Technology president Jim O'Neil, front, said his tenure was marked not only by amazing growth for the Council, but his constantly "looking like he fell off an ironing board."  New president Donna Morea, left, who takes over in July, announced that she's not as good a golfer as former NVTC Chairman and IMC founder Sudhakar Shenoy. But she has other strengths: She's looking forward to one of her regular trips to Italy and Greece this spring for her side business, importing fine olive oil from small producers. See www.Olio2Go.com.



Our friend Jim Dyke, right, just got a fourth grandchild:  India James (named after Jim's late father's sister), who was born in Culpepper February 23. Jim's lawyering at McGuire Woods doing legislative, business, and education (as befits a former Va. Secretary of Education). With him, United Bank Chief Credit Officer Dennis Coombe; United now has 33 Metro area branches. 



George Mason School of Management Dean Rich Klimosky, standing, and Associate Dean Alison O'Brien, with local Marsh president Dick Duncan.  Alison supervises 3700 undergrads in the biz school's programs; from the Florida Panhandle she came to GM in '99 and teaches industrial organization. Another passion:  her 85 lb champion Chesapeake Bay retriever, Chesbar, whom she spoils by feeding cashew nuts.



Though it wasn't yet 7AM, Washington Post Company CTO Yuvinder Kochar, Dell's new head of Public Business Jim Duffey, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro, and Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds look relatively awake and alert.   Yuvinder says he's excited about the prospect of Apple opening iPhone programming to outside software developers. He's also looking forward to jetting off to St. Maarten with his family soon.



Mergis Group's Bev Myers, Aronson & Company's Juan Jaysingh, Ordia Solutions CEO Joe Ordia, and Capital Search Group's Marc Zeid. Joe's company develops software for law enforcement and homeland security agencies that he says is remarkably similar to the kind you'd see Jack Bowers using on an episode of 24—except his actually works. 



Criterion Systems Scott Semple with Microsoft's Mike McDuffie and Jack Hersey.



DataOvertheWeb.com's Dave Schmucker, Arrowhead Global Solutions' Nora Taylor, and Cherry, Bekaert & Holland's Rob Price. Dave told us that on a lark he started the website www.sorrygottago.com which has sounds people can use to cut a phone call short. He said that the site, which has garnered over one million hits, has been featured on the TV cooking show Rachel Ray.


Unisys’ William Kirkwood, Venkatapathi Puvada, Karina Homme, and Matt Marshall, with Strelmark prez Hilary Fordwich.  Hilary says that last week marked her fourth season with ABC News Capital Golf Weekly hosting a segment called "Hilary’s On-Course."  William’s been busy lately with his five kids between the ages of 2-10 and volunteering as his sons’ troop’s Boy Scout Leader.  



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