According to American writer Dave Barry, "if you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.'"
Don't let the sweatshirts and flip-flops fool you: The tech world is all about image. And there's no better place to see this than the tech-company press conference -- in which execs show off new products with elaborate PowerPoint presentations.
We're not used to seeing President Obama in the Oval Office, and that's for a good reason: He's never spoken to us from there. Yet Tuesday night, he chose to address the nation from behind the desk on the stage that yells a few things before a word is even spoken -- importance of topic, urgency of task and, of course, commander in chief.
Now may not seem like the ideal time to launch a high-end product aimed at the business world, but that is just what Xerox decided to do when it unveiled its new ColorQube solid-ink multifunction printer series in May.
How's this for irony? Choosing the software that's supposed to make our work lives easier is becoming horribly complex. Market hegemon Microsoft recently unleashed its most impressive riffs yet on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the rest, packaged as Office 2007 and built for the new Vista operating system. Meanwhile, Internet search-giant Google has come to market with a reliable and low-cost suite of web-based tools: word processing, spreadsheets, calendar, e-mail, and more, all packaged as Google Apps.
Microsoft is unveiling a Web component for its desktop-based Office programs that lets computer users store, share and comment on documents, but the software maker did not go so far as to let people create new files from scratch online.