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Microsoft's Mundie Sees a Future In Spatial Computing

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the i-can-only-see-the-future-with-my-magic-8-ball dept.

Microsoft 89

An anonymous reader writes "Speaking at the MIT Emerging Technology Conference, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie explained that he sees the industry evolving into 'spatial computing,' and he envisions a 3-D virtual world populated by virtual presences, using a combination of client and cloud services. 'In a few months, the compay plans to test a new virtual reception assistant in some of its campus buildings. The assistant, which takes the form of an avatar, helps schedule shuttle reservations to get people to various locations across the 10-million-square-foot Redmond, Wash., campus. The system includes array microphones and natural language processing by which the avatar listens to the subjects and then interacts with them in real time. The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing. Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider.'"

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Blablabla (-1, Troll)

McGiraf (196030) | about 6 years ago | (#25174033)

Bla bla blabla bla blablabla. Blablabla blabla.

Re:Blablabla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175499)

mundie? The halloween-document idiot? he still around? didn't he get sarbane-oxlied, or finance-leverage crushed by now?

"I see you're trying to locate Bill Gates...." (4, Funny)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 6 years ago | (#25174043)

I wondered when Clippy would resurface... Looks like he'll have a new job soon.

Re:"I see you're trying to locate Bill Gates...." (3, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#25174089)

It's Microsoft, surely you knew you wouldn't be able to escape Clippy's wrath for long.

Re:"I see you're trying to locate Bill Gates...." (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 years ago | (#25177879)

Do any of the avatars throw virtual chairs? Just in case, make sure the holodeck safeties are on.

Re:"I see you're trying to locate Bill Gates...." (1)

Ebirah (528097) | about 6 years ago | (#25174377)

I wondered when Clippy would resurface...

Not so much Clippy (though I'm sure he'll be making an appearance) as an unholy hybrid of Microsoft Bob and the Vista Aero interface.

In fact, the future of the Internet will consist of repackaged versions of all of Microsoft's most failsome products from the past.

Mundie? (2, Funny)

hax0r_this (1073148) | about 6 years ago | (#25174439)

Whats a Mundie? And where can I get one?

I'd been wanting something that could see into the future.

Re:Mundie? (3, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | about 6 years ago | (#25175761)

I don't like Mundies.

Re:Mundie? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25176021)

Tell me why?

Re:Mundie? (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 years ago | (#25177787)

He wishes it was Sundie.

Clippy 3D (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | about 6 years ago | (#25176533)

"Your reservation for 'Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all' is not possible. Would you like some help with that?"

"The shuttle destination 'stupidf@$kingclippyclone' has no spare capacity left, were would you like to go today?"

I see lots of possibilities here...

Re:"I see you're trying to locate Bill Gates...." (1)

shnull (1359843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25255805)

probably a very nice interface that requires a supercomputer to log onto it ...

My dick is turning into spatial computing (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174047)

but you don't see it on the front page of slashdot.

Re:My dick is turning into spatial computing (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 6 years ago | (#25175207)

Yes you do. It's represented in all its life-sized glory by all the periods at the ends of sentences.

Really... (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#25174051)

Well. Isn't that spatial.

MS VIrtual Earth 6.2 launched this week (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | about 6 years ago | (#25176629)

Well. Isn't that spatial.

Nope, it's VerySpatial [veryspatial.com] ! ;-)

Joking aside, Microsoft is *very serious* about the geospatial involvement. Here's a list of their recent geospatial products and services [slashgeo.org] . But more to the point, this week, Microsoft launched Virtual Earth 6.2. Make no mistake, it's a huge improvement and offers elements Google Earth and virtual globes competitors (such as the open source NASA World Wind) don't yet.

Just take a look at the new 3D clouds in Virtual Earth which are real-time weather based [youtube.com] , this is impressive.

Learn more here [msdn.com] , and my summary [slashgeo.org] :
"Microsoft just released Virtual Earth 6.2 and Virtual Earth Web Services 1.0. The quantity of new features is huge and are worth taking a look at, here's the highlights but follow the link for the details: " # Maps for Mobile Devices. # Birdâ(TM)s Eye Views and Birdâ(TM)s Eye Hybrid. # Aerial Imagery. # 3D Imagery. # Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding. # International Geocoding. # Localized Directions. # Localized Maps. # Extended International Parsing Capabilities. # Expanded Number of Rooftop Views. # Near-Matching Capabilities. # Imagery Metadata. # New Virtual Earth Web Services. # One-Click Directions. # Shapes and Shape Layers. # Pushpin Clustering. # Landmark-Based Routing. # Driving Directions with Traffic-Based Routing. # Walking Directions. # Multipoint Routing. # Traffic Reports. # GeoRSS Feeds. " I expect geoblog reactions in the coming days and will share them with our users. See also related stories below, Microsoft has been very busy lately with their geoservices."

I like pussy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174073)

shaved pussy. Damn, it's lickable.

How's the speech recognition? (3, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 6 years ago | (#25174079)

And would we be silly to assume that they've made some improvements to their speech recognition software since it was demoed in vista [youtube.com] ?

db

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 6 years ago | (#25174435)

The main problem is with background noise and crappy mics. Vista supports array mics (which are now getting more and more common on laptops), which are supposed to dramatically increase the accuracy of speech recognition. I have never got to test one, though.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 years ago | (#25174761)

The reality of speech recognition, is it requires training of the system to suit the speech patterns of each individual user over a broad range of pysiological states as well as training of the user to alter the speech to suit what the system is capable of interpreting. People have trouble understanding and interpreting each others responces, how ever when handled in a polite personable fashion clarification is easily sought and provided in order to prevent confusion.

Computers are not people and people do not react to them as such, so variable input with the same intent which produces variable unpredictable results by computers, really pisses people of, perhaps it is not fair that they react so badly to failed technology but it is a reality. Want less frustration, a healthier and happier work place, make visitors who are likely customers feel more valued, then hire fucking people to deal with people and leave computers to deal with data, otherwise all you create is a whole bunch of very angry dissatisfied people.

Cloud computing has much more to do with creating a technological interface where people can access all the data they need at any time and which people can communicate with each other at any time (note also define limits to that communication). Computer nerd introverts who have become sufficiently wealthy to develop a real disconnect from the majority of their customers, should really forget about trying to create supposedly profitable system that are intended to eliminate human interaction for a world of extroverts.

From a customer perspective, do you know one gauranteed totally accurate to tell how a company values you as a customer, they either have a specially hired skilled person interact with you, they farm out your interaction to the cheapest off shore site or at the very bottom you get the automated, we only want to pretend to want to communicate with you, system.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

syntek (1265716) | about 6 years ago | (#25175755)

A little off topic but...

The funny thing about those three tiers are this. If you hired a handful of highly skilled individuals who were personally responsible for customers. You would have happier customers and cheaper labor cost and the customer would feel much more special. Let me explain

I call a company and instead of getting an automated system, or 100 different people every time I call, I get one guy who I am familiar with and who is familiar with the services or products I have purchased from the company. This one person knows everything about my account and the products and fixes the problem himself instead of passing it off to a higher tier support, who may then pass it off to an even higher tier support. So you pay this person a reasonable salary (depending on area 50k to 100k) instead of paying those 100 people 20k - 30k and then the techs above them 30k - 45k. You could effectively cut your cost by thousands and keep customers much much happier instead of overall the customer feeling frustrated and ripped off as the majority of the time every one of those unskilled 100 customer services agents will have no idea what the other 99 even talked to you about, told you and did to fix the problem. Also it would cut down on customer service agents lying to you to get you off the phone or telling your some bs story so they don't have to deal with it as the Skilled worker is now responsible for fixing the problem.

A great ISP that does this is speakeasy. You have one tech you call for all your problems who handles is from start to finish. If that person is not available you are sent to the next available CSA who does the same and calls you back upon finding a solution to the problem. Speakeasy (when I dealt with them) would even call you if they discovered a problem with your service (such as packet loss, port sniffing, etc) before you even had a chance to call the CSA and would guide you through fixing the problem on your end if the problem required this.

Unfortunately most companies do not realize the benefits of this and simply hire thousands of cheap unskilled workers who's sole job is to click a button on their screen and hope it fixes the problem. The non-fanatical support system also has a very high turn over rate, and the company usually has a high number of complaints, unsatisfied customers, and customers who leave to try a different company with the same results.

I think the majority of consumers would not mind paying slightly more for a service is the support was great.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 years ago | (#25177867)

I think the majority of consumers would not mind paying slightly more for a service is the support was great.

That would be nice, but from the evidence I've seen they usually go for what's cheapest.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 years ago | (#25191263)

Do you know the really interesting thing about all this, it is far easier and simpler for bean counters to calculate the savings per customer by providing cheap crap service than it is for business professionals to prove the losses that will result by providing cheap crap service.

Only experienced knowledgeable business executives will recognise valuable insights from experienced staff, nepotistic idiots will of course grab the easy answers in vain attempts to prove their non-existant value, think grandkids, basically two generations of pretty but stupid ;D.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | about 6 years ago | (#25176911)

You don't need array mics for good speech recognition: binaural people are a walking example that you don't.

No, the problem is with crappy speech recognition software. Array mics are just a workaround until the software improves enough so that they aren't necessary anymore.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 6 years ago | (#25181227)

You realize people's ears are essentially an array mic, right? Sure, we can understand speech just fine with one ear, but two makes it a hell of a lot easier to zero-in on someone in noisy environments.

That's the whole purpose of array mics: let the PC zero in on you for better quality.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25181933)

You realize people's ears are essentially an array mic, right?

People's ears are merely two microphones; it would be misleading to call that a "microphone array".

Sure, we can understand speech just fine with one ear, but two makes it a hell of a lot easier to zero-in on someone in noisy environments.

It's not as simple as that. And even monaural recognition by humans is a lot better than monaural speech recognition systems.

Re:How's the speech recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25178301)

Lets just say it's a lot better than anything Linux comes with or rather without and also comes preloaded with Vista.

It actually works though and is comparable to Dragon Naturally Speaking, but there really is no major use for it unless you are handicap. Most are quicker with the mouse and if your keyboard skills are good than it is even more slow using speech.

You really should try it, it's not all bad as the fear mongers around here make it out to be.

Welcome to the Egress (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | about 6 years ago | (#25174097)

So would one enter this virtual 3-D world through the previously mentioned Internet Filtering Lobby?

Re:Welcome to the Egress (1)

OldeClegg (32696) | about 6 years ago | (#25182909)

Right. And then, later, you Enter to Exit!

OMFG! It's... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174111)

... the Blue Avatar of Death!!!

Voice Interaction is Overrated. (5, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | about 6 years ago | (#25174163)

he envisions a 3-D virtual world populated by virtual presences, using a combination of client and cloud services

So, he's predicting basically the same thing as every post-1985 Cyberpunk author. That's not really a story.

I would have liked to read more about the visual recognition software that the summary mentioned, but the article was (predictably) short on details.

Now, about the voice interaction part of that software... I don't really understand why someone would want to slow themselves down to the speed of speech (unless they're blind). It takes a minute for someone to hear information that they can read in a matter of seconds. I think this is mostly flash.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (2, Insightful)

willyhill (965620) | about 6 years ago | (#25174201)

Visual recognition is actually quite far along now. Just ask Big Brother, seriously.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (1)

offrdbandit (1331649) | about 6 years ago | (#25174215)

I totally agree about the voice recognition. Voice communication is terribly inefficient. It is also a very difficult thing to do naturally with a machine. For most people, it is very uncomfortable to "talk" to a machine - it's almost universally disdained.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#25174359)

Computer: End Program.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175751)

Computer: End Program.

Amusing, but the problem with the voice interaction you see on StarTrek is that they give the computer the ability to make a wide range of intuitive decisions and fill in the blanks.

Star Trek's computer would be the ideal, it takes commands in plain English(or any other language of choice), you can practically converse with it. Hell it even understands that half mumble half slur most of us pull upon first waking up. "Smorfle, fukintimizit? needcofe" (Thats an incoherent slur followed by "fucking time is it? need coffee" for the curious)

The problem is computers aren't that good. What it should be saying a lot but you rarely see is "insufficient parameters" or "data incomplete" and most often "enunciate properly you mealy mouthed bastard".

Imagine the differnce in programing a computer to recognize commands from a native of New York City and someone with a nice thick British accent? Or worse, Scottish? How about a native Japanese speaker who has English as a second language and must interact with the system in English?

Star Trek computers can practically think for them selves with the broad commands the crew gets away with feeding it, ours just are not that cool. And though we all speak the same language we most certainly do not all sound alike.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25174449)

i don't know, speech recognition software seems to be in pretty high demand. i know a lot of companies prefer to use it for customer support rather than key inputs or live support staff. and a lot of people like using speech-activated speed dial on their cellphones.

also, it might be easier to have a talking AI rather than set up a bunch of computer terminals for interactive assistance. sure, it's easier to just type on a keyboard and read text from a screen if you're dealing with computer applications, but if you're trying to design an interactive system to provider visitors with info about your campus or building then a talking AI would be more natural/convenient.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (4, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | about 6 years ago | (#25174467)

I think this is mostly flash.

No I'm pretty sure it will be Silverlight.

No, it isn't! (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25175847)

I don't really understand why someone would want to slow themselves down to the speed of speech (unless they're blind).

You might be surprised. I once got a personal demonstration by TV Ramen of his Emacspeak and was blown away. The speech output went out so fast I could not follow it.

Blind folks don't need to be handicapped on computers if idiot "web designers" would cooperate a bit more.

Sadly, TV Ramen was working for Adobe at the time, I do not know what he is doing now.

Re:Voice Interaction is Overrated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25179311)

Apart from Gibson, Stephenson & Crew envisioned a 3d cyberspace long before this mundie person had even a crack at software it has been tried to implemented in VRML form and didn't stick. Yes, we didn't have enough bandwidth and processing power then but what made it fail was 2d paradigm is enough for most people and 3d interfaces that has been tried before is actually 2d interfaces because of the monitors we use.

So what we need is a hardware paradigm shift, before a software one. And I seriously doubt MS can do such thing. Because it's risky, expensive and not feasible right now when nearly every computer literate person is oriented in 2dspace.

Great, Vista cubed (2, Funny)

deanston (1252868) | about 6 years ago | (#25174289)

Will it help them find Waldo?

Mundie boldly goes (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | about 6 years ago | (#25174363)

...where thousands of sci-fi books have gone before!

It looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174399)

Microsoft 3D Bob -- the running joke of the future.

Nah (1)

caywen (942955) | about 6 years ago | (#25174415)

Nah, I think the future is a big ol' gob of Win32.

Speaking of array microphones (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 6 years ago | (#25174417)

Does anyone know of a good cheap one for a desktop PC, preferably pure digital (using something such as the AKU2002 [akustica.com] )? It seems like array mics should be cheap and easy to make, but almost nobody does it.

Clothing? (0)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 6 years ago | (#25174445)

Something just doesn't settle right with a computer that tries to determine your purpose (essentially "who you are") based on selection of clothing. The progression of this technology seems to have some potentially chilly effects. At the same time there is real value in the research of AI. I just hope we know what to do with it when we get "there".

Re:Clothing? (1)

syntek (1265716) | about 6 years ago | (#25175767)

The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing.

I knew Microsoft stereotyped consumers!

let's swap predictions (2, Insightful)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#25174509)

I don't see much future for Microsoft.

Re:let's swap predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25176093)

Outlook not so good [codeodor.com]

Even the 8-ball has BSOD'd!

Windows, the new generation (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 6 years ago | (#25174545)

Space: the final frontier. This are the voyages of the Windows Special for Enterprises, to explore strange new virtual world, to seek new second lifes and adquisitions, to boldly go where no blue screen has gone before.

Talk about out of the loop... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 6 years ago | (#25174605)

Hey Microsoft, I've got news for you. We've had computers in space since at least the Apollo program.

Sheesh, these guys think they're so smart...

I see.... Chairs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174773)

Flying chairs.

Re:I see.... Chairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175623)

That's just the screen saver.

Well, it is the future (3, Insightful)

melted (227442) | about 6 years ago | (#25174825)

But not in the next 50 years. I would love if my computer could serve as an omniscient "super secretary". If I could, for example, just say to it "I want to go to Chicago on Friday, book airline tickets, coach, no connections, in the evening, lowest cost. Return flight next Friday around the same time. Also reserve taxi to and from the airport, and a room the same hotel as last time I went there." Or let it find you a new job, given your experience and a list of available positions. Or ask for a concise summary on relative merits of top 7.1 home theater sound systems under $1K. Etc, etc. The list is endless.

This is not to say that Mundie has a "vision" - my impression of him is that he will tell you anything to justify Microsoft paying him $1M a year in combined compensation. However, you can't deny the appeal of a truly natural user interface.

No Job for You (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 6 years ago | (#25175317)

Or let it find you a new job, given your experience and a list of available positions.

If you had an artificial secretary that could do the things you mentioned, then there would be no job for you because AI would have been solved.

Re:No Job for You (1)

harry666t (1062422) | about 6 years ago | (#25175789)

AI won't be solved until computers are creative.

The only time a computer created something "all by itself" is when a human told it to do so, told it how it should look like, and even then the computer used "the million monkeys" approach (think genetic programming). That's not creativity.

Such artificial secretary probably won't need "real" AI, just sophisticated algorithms for speech recognition, parsing human language, searching the interwebs, and so on (the last 1/3 of this is already done - Google). All the tasks mentioned by GP are just searching. But all of that would be just sophisticated algorithms, coded and *invented* by a human.

There's no need for any creativity in searching for a flight to Chicago. There isn't even creativity in trying to write a better program (a million monkeys would eventually write a better one). But actually thinking about how to make a better program, and using the conclusions to *design* the improvements, is creative, and is something that a computer has never been able to do, and (IMO) probably won't be able even in 100 years.

Re:No Job for You (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25175867)

AI won't be solved until computers are creative.

INTERESTING. NOW LETS TALK ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR MOTHER.

Good god. The lameness filter kills what should have been a great joke. Sigh.

Re:No Job for You (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 6 years ago | (#25176463)

First we need to know what is creativity. How can we make things "out of nothing". Maybe it's possible due to one thing which we try to eliminate from computers all the time: random noise. If we look at brain, it's really noisy. It's actually as noisy as it can be and still function. So actually human creativity is "many monkey" approach with filters (broken ideas are typically filtered even before we consciously think about them).

Re:No Job for You (1)

harry666t (1062422) | about 6 years ago | (#25176699)

Actually, I've been toying with genetic programming a while ago, and also been building a hardware RNG from an old FM radio (using the sound card as an ADC) to supply fine randomness used for the "natural selection". The goal was to make the interpreter "rewrite" itself in its own language, and then maybe see what else can it do. The Global Consciousness Project inspired me (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/) to start that experiment, but sadly all it ended up with is a half-broken implementation of my own programming language, based on Java objects (instead of text), and a half-broken old radio that neither supplied randomness nor music (:

As I've comprehended a little more of Lisp recently (I suggest learning it to every programmer, it's simply... enlightening), I think I'm going to make a second try at this project.

Actually, no (1)

melted (227442) | about 6 years ago | (#25180555)

The "secretary" example is doable with technologies we have today. It does not, strictly speaking, require "strong AI". It would be ridiculously hard to build and ridiculously expensive though, if built using today's technologies.

Worthless Buzz Words (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | about 6 years ago | (#25174883)

I wish they'd just call it virtual reality.

Profiling is ok if it's automated? (4, Funny)

Orne (144925) | about 6 years ago | (#25174887)

The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing. Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider.

Because nothing says "Good Idea" like differentiating between people based on their appearance.

Re:Profiling is ok if it's automated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175083)

Because nothing says "Good Idea" like differentiating between people based on their appearance.

Well in this case I think it is a good idea. Mundie also said that the system can detect an over-weight, sweaty, bald man -- probably angry, possibly with laser beams shooting out of his eyes -- approaching. In this case, the system sends out a CEO Alert. All chairs are hidden and anyone using Google for search immediately points their browser to live.com, whilst trying to look innocent.

I can see this conversation happening:

"I'm sorry, Mr Ballmer is too cool to see you right now. He's on an inter-galactic cruise with that pussy Eric Schmidt."
"Where is he?"
"Oh, he's in his office."
"This dude's on an inter-galactic cruise, in his office?! Listen: don't try to out-weird me specious computer, I get weirder things than you free with my Google search results!"

Re:Profiling is ok if it's automated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175845)

The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing. Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider.

Because nothing says "Good Idea" like differentiating between people based on their appearance.

Broad decisions like that yes, something like assuming your a studient at a specifc university because your currently on campus and wearing a university sweater is a fairly safe assumption to go on.

Likewise recognizing a police uniform and notifying someone real to come and deal with the officer would also be sound programming.

On that line of thought, if none of your staff are stuck in monkey suits then assuming that someone in one is an outside visitor also is a sound decision.

If your in a courthouse theres nothing wrong with assuming that the dude in black robes is a judge.

Theres a big differnce between "your black that makes you a criminal" and "Your three piece suit makes it unlikely your a code monkey"

Get it straight, profiling on arbitrarily values is bad, profiling based on actual logical thought processes has the potential to be an effective decision making process for a computer.

Things like Racial profiling fail miserably because they are based on stereotyping and prejudice instead of facts.

If you know enough relevant facts it becomes possible to categorize people into some groups based on appearance. For example take a school with an information terminal at the main entrance.

If I know this is a grade school its quite likely that any child using the system is a student, and adults will either be parents or teachers. An adult with a child will likely be a parent with their child.

If I know this school has a uniform then anyone wearing that uniform is likely a student here. Face recognition for faculty members would further let me know that anyone not in my database who's also not wearing a uniform is a visitor and should be directed to the main office.

Or say a system at the entrance to a hard hat zone of some kind, simple presence or absence of a hard hat would let me assume many things. No hard hat? Well you only need directions to one place, go get your fucking hardhat moron. Do you have a hard hat but are wearing a suit and tie? Clearly you are a visitor to the site. Directions to the foremans office coming up.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25174951)

For the past 15 years, Microsoft has been making grand predictions about the future of computer and has taken on numerous projects in furtherance of those visions.

However, history has shown that Microsoft is really only good at one thing -- denying third parties access to components of their operating system that would allow for fair competition.

Fortunately, as Microsoft predicted, the web has provided an alternative platform that leveled the playing field. Which I guess means that Microsoft is good at a second thing -- predicting their own downfall.

Terminologragy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175019)

So. Is "spatial computing" the new buzzword replacing the old "virtual reality", or is there anything deeper about "spatial computing" that I'm missing?

Let's introduce "classes" to this new 3d world too (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#25175161)

I choose.. the warlock!

"entering combat"

"bill gates is afflicted by fear"

"bill gates gains blessing of BSA lobbyists"

"bill gates suffers 940 damage from your deathcoil (shadow)"

"bill gates is afficted by fear"

"bill gates suffers 9,450 damage from your soul fire (fire)"

"you have slain mitch bainwol!"

Virtual, spatial new (?) - but 3D would be fun (1)

tuomoks (246421) | about 6 years ago | (#25175193)

Maybe Mundie found old stories from "Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab (ORL), which was then owned by Olivetti and Oracle Corporation. In 1999 AT&T acquired the lab" - they had interesting environment where everything followed you - music, phones, whatever, and you had your own avatar to show and connect. Some good came out of it as the free VNC, of course until AT&T closed the whole thing, they don't need research?

Now, "virtual" presence is kind of weird, how to define it? Let me explain - in 80's I had a "virtual presence" in several large customers systems I was kind of supporting. So, I was present in those systems, banks, manufacturing, government, academia, etc in real time, all the time(!) - through our monitoring and support system using any office computer, my own home computers (well, home computing is not new now?), our PBX connecting either the national telephone network or the satellite network to my pagers, the "world wide" X.25 network so I could access any of those system even from other side of the globe.

Tells you something of the academia - five years later just for fun connecting to my "avatar" in their system and it still was there !! with all the access rights to all their systems! I had to call them and tell the new operators, sorry admins, how to disable it.

So - it is cool and 3D will be even better but not anything new except the bandwidth needed, the problem is how you manage the avatars once they go roaming around?

Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (3, Interesting)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 6 years ago | (#25175359)

Microsoft and Intel are led by aging baby boomers who have run out of good ideas simply because they are too old and set in their ways. They still think in 20th century mode. They have no clue as to how to solve the parallel programming crisis [blogspot.com] and they speak about the future as if a solution were a fait accompli. Whoever is the first to come out with the correct solution will rocket right past them and they won't know what happened until it's too late. Personally, I am tired of Windows and x86-based processors. But then again, Linux is just as old as Windows. Doesn't matter. Soon they will all go the way of the Dodo.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25175893)

But then again, Linux is just as old as Windows. Doesn't matter. Soon they will all go the way of the Dodo.

Actually, MS Windows is a bit older than Linux, but much younger than Unix. See my latest journal entry for a long explanation of why Linux, the BSDs, etc. are NOT going away any time soon.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | about 6 years ago | (#25177395)

Microsoft and Intel are led by aging baby boomers who have run out of good ideas simply because they are too old and set in their ways. They still think in 20th century mode. They have no clue as to how to solve the parallel programming crisis and they speak about the future as if a solution were a fait accompli. Whoever is the first to come out with the correct solution will rocket right past them and they won't know what happened until it's too late. Personally, I am tired of Windows and x86-based processors. But then again, Linux is just as old as Windows. Doesn't matter. Soon they will all go the way of the Dodo.
Reply to This

I love how you come here to spam about the world doesn't "get" parallel programming all the time to push your articles.

But you're missing that we do use parallel programming extensively nowadays. Do you know what CUDA is? Do you know of Apple's OpenCL project?

Do you know that even the new Flash Player 10 includes language specifically designed to run "embarassingly parallely" on everything from stock CPU to stock GPU-s. You can use this language (called "Pixel Bender") to process and generate anything from graphics to audio, or other math tasks.

With your "all is nodes" programming model, I'm afraid you're the one stuck in the 20-th century.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 6 years ago | (#25177851)

But you're missing that we do use parallel programming extensively nowadays. Do you know what CUDA is? Do you know of Apple's OpenCL project?

So CUDA and OpenCL are the solution to the parallel programming crisis? Quick, go tell that to Microsoft and Intel because they're wasting tens of millions of parallel programming research dollars at Berkeley, Stanford, the University of Illinois at UC and many other research labs around the world. I'm sure they'll be thrilled and reward you accordingly.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | about 6 years ago | (#25178339)

So CUDA and OpenCL are the solution to the parallel programming crisis? Quick, go tell that to Microsoft and Intel because they're wasting tens of millions of parallel programming research dollars at Berkeley, Stanford, the University of Illinois at UC and many other research labs around the world. I'm sure they'll be thrilled and reward you accordingly.

First of all, that "crisis" is in your head.

And yes, they are spending money on research dollars, because, unlike you, they realize there's no silver bullet for solving the parallel programming problems of today or tommorow. OpenCL, CUDA and Pixel Bender handle perfectly "emabarassingly parallel" problems, which applies well to graphics rendering, audio processing, filtering and other math problems.

Another class of problems is about to be handled with research into transactional memory than companies like Microsoft and Sun are working on.

You see, Microsoft and Intel work on real world solution, not on theoretical solutions, while you can write a fancy blog with a fancy silver bullet theory and zero practical application, and shout to everyone for being idiots.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 6 years ago | (#25178477)

First of all, that "crisis" is in your head.

Well, it must also be in the head of computer science professor, Kunle Olukotun [stanford.edu] , who said recently, "If I were the computer industry, I would be panicked, because it's not obvious what the solution is going to look like and whether we will get there in time for these new machines" (source: CNN Money [cnn.com] ). Glad to know you already have the answer. The fact remains that the vast majority of programmers have trouble programming parallel computers. And no, most parallel applications are not programmed for GPUs with CUDA and the like. Besides, programming for GPUs is not a common skill, nor is it easy. Ask Tim Sweeny [wikipedia.org] , he'll tell you. The parallel programming approach chosen by the multicore industry for general purpose parallel apps is multithreading and, as everybody in the business knows (except you, apparently), multithreading is a pain in the ass.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25178601)

Well, it must also be in the head of computer science professor, Kunle Olukotun, who said recently, "If I were the computer industry, I would be panicked, because it's not obvious what the solution is going to look like and whether we will get there in time for these new machines" (source: CNN Money). Glad to know you already have the answer.

You keep trying to turn my words into a carricature of what I'm telling you, who are you deceiving with this posture: yourself?

I'd not argue with you but ask you to put your time and money where your very big mouth is:

1) stop with the slashdot posts, what do you expect, a parallel computing revolution to sparkle from a slashdot post?

2) follow your own advice: if you think having "the answer" will make Microsoft/Intel be "thrilled and reward you accordingly" go there and make your point, and become a millionaire.

You will learn few things from this challenge:

1) talking is easy, doing is harder

2) theories are easy, practice is harder

You nodes idea is neither new, neighter revolutionary, neither it's a silver bullet. But if I'm wrong, highly emotional rhetoric on Slashdot is the least effective way to convince me or anyone, that you have any clue what you're talking about: make your point in front of the companies who are, in your mind, running around panicked because of the parallel crisis going on right now.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 6 years ago | (#25178751)

You keep trying to turn my words into a carricature of what I'm telling you

Not true. I quote you verbatim. You say there is no parallel programming crisis and I prove that you don't know what you're talking about.

stop with the slashdot posts

LOL. What are you, Mussolini? You can't stop me, man. I am a free man in a free country.

follow your own advice: if you think having "the answer" will make Microsoft/Intel be "thrilled and reward you accordingly" go there and make your point, and become a millionaire.

Nope. They won't listen to me because that would jeopardize their own jobs. They do visit my blog everyday though. Besides, they're are married to the ideas of the last century. Adopting my ideas would mean that they have failed. So it won't happen. But you are always welcome to go talk to them about CUDA and GPUs. They like that stuff.

highly emotional rhetoric on Slashdot is the least effective way to convince me or anyone

You seem to be the emotional one, amigo. I'm cool as a cucumber. And you are wrong. I don't need to convince you or anyone in particular. There are a few people who read Slashdot who are not know-it-alls like you and who are actually interested in what I have to say. I am not selling anything to anybody. I just want to see progress in the field. I use Slashdot because their reader demographic is younger than the industry at large. I have given up on the aging baby boomers with their antiquated and obsolete perspective on computing. This is what got us into this mess in the first place.

PS. You sound like an old frustrated computer nerd. If you don't like what I write, don't read it. After all, nobody's twisting your arm, right?

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25183571)

Actually, there is a silver bullet: it's called "purely functional programming".

The guy you're talking to is still a nutcase, though.

Re:Both MS and Intel Will Miss the Next Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25177651)

People have been predicting the end of the x86 architecture since its very beginning. But no one cared for RISC and neither will they for anything that won't directly run x86 code, like x86-64 do.

Oh Noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25175493)

I saw Microsoft and Mundie together, and my first thought was "Sic transit gloria mundi", but then I thought that no, its not all lost, I run Linux. The glory still sits on my computer.

No wonder why their OS is so slow!!!!!!!! (1)

holywarrior21c (933929) | about 6 years ago | (#25175555)

They didn't have to execute every code by speaking orders in virtual world. no wonder it is so s02032139391993 f0020 200f 0200d0 330

Rainbows End (1)

shd666 (451529) | about 6 years ago | (#25175677)

This article brings Vernor Vinge's

Rainbows End [wikipedia.org]

to my mind. It's a science fiction book set out in the near future where people use personal gear to operate in a virtual reality that is globally connected. The spatial web seems to have many similarities to it. A good read, I recommend!

Clothing & people recognition criteria (4, Funny)

Snart Barfunz (526615) | about 6 years ago | (#25175775)

Pants up butt-crack - Bill Gates
Carrying stack of chairs - Ballmer's PA
Bristling with fragmented chair splinters - Ballmer's PA
Sporting a wedgie - has worn a Zune in public
Shoes on wrong feet - Windows Vista Guru
Wearing a food-stained straight-jacket - Mojave experiment subject
Wearing a suit - Prey. Launch the sales droids!

Mac killed artificial intelligence (2, Insightful)

Unsung Bovine Herd (1323691) | about 6 years ago | (#25176025)

Spatial computing? What we need is aural computing, computing by voice commands. I blame Apple for popularizing the graphical user interface. Massive amounts of time and resources have been devoted by programmers and software designers to perfect the GUI, first windows now full-blown virtual presences (avatars or is it MS Bob 2010?). If the Unix command prompt triumphed (maybe even in its anemic DOS mutation), we will now have true artificial intelligence. Remember Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke [wikipedia.org] 's Space Odyessey [wikipedia.org] ? The vision of that sci-fi movie was for people to order computers around, not to massage them like teledildonic lovers. It wouldn't have been that much of a technological leap for "$ls Directory_Foo" to evolve to "Hal, please list the contents of Directory Foo".

you're giving too much credit (2, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | about 6 years ago | (#25176877)

I think blaming Apple is giving them too much credit. There were half a dozen companies offering machines with graphical user interfaces around the time the Mac came out. Apple wasn't the first and they weren't the most successful one either.

What I really blame Apple for is not doing a better job on the software architecture. The original Mac's toolbox copied much of Xerox's user interface apperance, but almost nothing of the elegant architecture. Even the NeXT machine that came out a few years later was a poor imitation of Xerox's Smalltalk environment.

Tell me why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25176035)

I don't like Mundies.
Tell me why
I don't like Mund-i-ies.

A silicon chip inside his head
Was switched to overload
Nobody's gonna care about this news
Coz his head wi-ill assplode.
And Ballmer doesn't understand it
He always said he was as good as Gates
And he can see no reasons
Coz there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be show-ow-ow-ow-own?

Tell me why
I don't like Mundies.
Tell me why
I don't like Mund-i-ies.
Tell me why
I don't like Mundies.
I wanna lo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ock the whole box down!

stating the obvious (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | about 6 years ago | (#25176883)

Wow, virtual worlds, locating people, natural language processing! What obvious, old idea do you want to copy today, Microsoft?

Hey Keanu ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 years ago | (#25178411)

... got any spare red pills?

I'm sure bin Laden wants to know this (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 6 years ago | (#25180909)

"Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider."

So take your coat off if you want to penetrate the campus more easily...

Princess is in another castle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25189929)

So would Mario be sent straight to the blocked toilets?
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