THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE
E vEry rolE x is madE for grE atnE s s. thE day-datE ii, l aunchEd in
2008, EnhancEs thE lEgacy of thE original day-datE, which was thE first watch to display thE datE, as wEll as thE day in its EntirEty. now in a l argEr, morE commanding 41 mm sizE, thE day-datE ii is a natural Evolution of a classic.
t he day - d ate ii
Open the door to luxury. The Audi A8 L 3.0 TFSI, starting from US$ 83,850. The luxury continues throughout the Audi A8 L range, including W12, 4.2 FSI and 3.0 TFSI. With a host of interior features all aimed at enhancing your levels of comfort, supported by technology and innovation at your fingertips, whether you are driving or being driven. MMI touch with hand-writing recognition | satellite navigation | 5 different massage functions Audi music interface | ambient lighting | optional Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system For more information visit www.audi-me.com/A8 or your local dealer.
Muscat Fashion Week 21 - 23 FEBRUARY
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Emirates Grand Hotel is an elegant four-star property located on Sheikh Zayed Road in the heart of Dubai, with a panoramic view of Dubai and Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. Just 100 metres from Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) and the metro station, itâ€™s within easy walking distance from the Dubai International Convention Centre and the World Trade Center. Being 15 minutes away from Dubai International Airport, the property is at the centre of Dubaiâ€™s business district.
$150 starting rate. Terms and conditions apply. Please contact our reservation of ce Tel: 04-3230000 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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P.O. Box 116957, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 323 0000 | Fax: +971 4 323 0003 | email@example.com | www.emiratesgrandhotel.com
Taj. Forever seduct ive, forever t r usted, forever encha nt ing. Welcome to a roma nt ic hideaway li ke no ot her on ea r t h. Nest led on one of t he la rgest lagoons in t he Ma ldives a nd surrounded by turquoise blue water, t he Taj Exot icaâ€™s 64 v i l las a re mea nt for t hose at home in t he water, in love w it h t he beach, or simply in love w it h one a not her. In addit ion to but ler ser v ice a nd bespoke dining, a rra ngements ca n be made for a ny act iv it y or ser v ice you w ish, f rom a sunset cr uise to a private scuba dive to holist ic spa t reat ments. Tel: 00.960.664.2200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Call 800.035.702.467 in the UAE, 1.866.969.1825 in the U.S. and Canada, 1.800.111.825 in India, and 00.800.4588.1825 from all other countries or contact your travel consultant | w w w.tajhotels.com
RADO D-STAR GENT AUTOMATIC
VINTAGE 1945 XXL Pink gold case, sapphire case back, Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement. hour, minute and small second.
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ah, technology. I remember the days when TV remote controls were on leads and most evenings were spent silently looking out the window. These days of course, there are plenty of options available – most of which are about as worthwhile as watching paint dry. There are some exceptions of course, which we dutifully outline here. Things kick off with a look at John Z. DeLorean, a charismatic car executive who dreamed of changing the auto industry forever with his iconic DeLorean. He failed, rather spectacularly, but his story, courtesy of his biographer, is compelling.
Palo Alto is the spiritual home of technology and we get the grand tour of the city, courtesy of one of the best-loved local columnists. From the Googleplex to the HP Garage where it all started, we show you America’s most wired city. Look out for Sam Falconer’s great illustrations. We also head to Las Vegas to check out the biggest technology show in the world: CES. Our man in Vegas, Paddy Smith – in various states of disrepair - wonders just what the point of the whole thing is. Technology may have made it easier to sit around doing nothing, but some are embracing the opportunity to use it for physical gain. Tim Ferriss, a one-man publishing empire, hacking, cheating and tweaking his body in every way imaginable, is one such example. Enjoy the issue.
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190 YEARS AGO
A MAN INSPIRED BY HORSE RACING CHANGED WATCHMAKING FOREVER .
In 1821, at a horse race in Paris, Nicolas Rieussec successfully tested his revolutionary invention that allowed time to be recorded to an accuracy of a fifth of a second. The chronograph was born. A tribute to a visionary man, the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Automatic is centred on the essence of his invention, the rotating disc technique. Monopusher chronograph, self-winding manufacture movement, second time zone, 30 min. and 60 sec. rotating disc counters.Crafted in the Montblanc Manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland. We’re celebrating this anniversary with “The Beauty of a Second” short-film contest, presented by Wim Wenders. Enter now at montblanc-onesecond.com. Every second counts.
Montblanc Boutiques DUBAI Burjuman | Deira City Centre | Dubai Mall | Emirates Towers | Festival Centre | Grand Hyatt | Ibn Battuta | Jumeirah Beach Hotel Mall of the Emirates | Mirdif City Centre | Wafi | ABU DHABI Abu Dhabi Mall | Marina Mall | AL-AIN Al-Ain Mall
WE INVESTIGATE HOW SEOUL IS TRYING TO COPE WITH A GENERATION OF GAMING ADDICTS (P32)... THE WORLD’S BEST TECHNOLOGY
MUSEUMS GET THE TWITTER PITCH TREATMENT (P36)... THE CHINESE CAPITAL, BEIJING, IS ON THE RISE. HG2 GIVE US ITS GUIDE TO THE CITY
(P40)... DURAN DURAN LEGEND SIMON LE BON TELLS US WHO HE IS LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW (P44)... WE CHECK OUT HONG KONG’S COOLEST SHOP, IN THE CITY’S HOTTEST NEIGHBOURHOOD (P56)... JOHN
DELOREAN CREATED ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC CARS EVER BUILT, BUT IT ALL ENDED IN TEARS. WE EXAMINE THE DEATH OF A DREAM (P62)... WE GET A GUIDED TOUR OF THE BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICA’S TECHNOLOGY BOOM (P70)... LAS VEGAS DOES TECHNOLOGY LIKE NO ONE ELSE, ONCE A YEAR AT LEAST. WE GO ALONG FOR THE RIDE (P80)... NINTENDO CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD PLAYS VIDEO GAMES AND IT’S NOT FINISHED YET (P90)... WE SHOWCASE SOME STUNNING, HISTORIC PICTURES OF THE SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMME (P108)... 27
GARY SINGH: A resident of San Jose, California, he has written a weekly column for the Metro Silicon Valley for the past six years, providing a sideways look at the world’s foremost technology hub.
SAM FALCONER: A freelance illustrator based in the UK, he has worked with a range of clients from Nokia and Wired to Reader’s Digest and the Independent Magazine.
PADDY SMITH: The editor of stuff.tv, he is based in London and has been to CES Las Vegas more times than he can remember. He was previously the editor of Stuff Middle East.
HILLEL LEVIN: An investigative reporter based in Chicago, he is the author of Grand Delusions: The Cosmic Career of John Z. DeLorean. His most recent book is In With the Devil, which is published by St. Martin’s Press.
BRIAN ASHCRAFT: The Senior Contributing Editor for Japanese games website, Kotaku, Ashcraft is also a Contributing Editor at Wired magazine, where he writes about everything from Japanese politics to robotics.
From UAE: 800 Cartier (800-2278437) Outside UAE: +971 4 236 8345
INTRO P. 32 • SEOUL’S ONLINE ADDICTS
P. 39 • NYC’S COOLEST HOTEL
P. 40 • BEIJING MAPPED
P.56 • HONG KONG RETAIL
E TORY OF TH A BRIEF HIS O H W EN OM MEN AND W LEGENDS EB W ED T EA R C
OUR MAN IN
SEOUL SOUTH KOREA’S ONLINE GAMING CULTURE IS CREATING A GENERATION OF ADDICTS
t is 5pm on Friday evening in Shinchon, one of Seoul’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Xenon PC Bang, a giant Internet gaming parlour located in the basement of a high-rise building, is full with more than 200 young Koreans, sitting in rows, logged onto computers with widescreen displays. Some are surfing the net, but most, almost all of them in fact, are playing online role-playing games. Delivery boys from nearby restaurants saunter in carrying anything from pizza and fried chicken to steaming bowls of noodles. This scene is replicated throughout the country. According to the government, about 2 million South Koreans – nearly one in 10 online users – are addicted to the Internet. The country boasts the fastest broadband speeds in the world and more than 90 per cent of homes have high-speed Internet connections. Yet given the small apartment sizes (Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities in the world) and a conservative culture in which young people shy away from bringing friends home, Korean youth, especially young Korean males, often come to hang out at these PC Bangs, which are open 24 hours. “In Korea, even if you want to play a game of basketball or baseball with
Frances Cha is the Seoul City Editor of CNNGo. 32
friends, it is such a hassle to try to book a venue since there are so few of them and they also tend to be expensive,” says Choi, the PC Bang manager. “I think that’s why so many young people prefer online gaming - it’s so accessible and social at the same time.” Online gaming is the most popular form of social interaction among Korean students. And in the same way a good football player would be popular in the US, in Korea the top online gamers are revered by their peers. Some go on to become national celebrities, commanding salaries – and endorsements - worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. “If you don’t play online games with people in your high school, it means you don’t really fit in well,” says Lee Hong Suk, 25, an engineering student at Yonsei University, one of the top colleges in the country. Even though he spends most of his waking hours studying, Lee says he still plays online games at least three times a week with his friends after school, usually until around 10 or 11 pm. Lee is not unusual – in fact he spends less time online then many of his peers. For parents and educators, the increased growth of online gaming among students has become the source of serious
concern. A spate of recent cases underline just how serious the addiction has become for many. Two years ago a man was sentenced to two years in prison after he and his wife allowed their three-month-old daughter to starve to death while they raised a virtual child, for up to half a day at a time, at a local PC Bang. Another man collapsed and died after a five-day gaming session. Others have had heart attacks after spending more than a week sitting in the same chair, ordering food online, and only getting up to use the bathroom. Partly as a response to these cases, the government passed a bill last year, dubbed the ‘shutdown law’, which prohibits anyone 16 or younger from accessing game websites. The backlash has been immediate. Most simply ridicule the ban as ineffective, as students can just sign in to the websites with their parents’ social security numbers while some gamers have even filed lawsuits opposing the policy. “Everyone is making online gaming seem like such a huge problem, but it’s just another very normal form of fun for students,” says Lee. “It’s a lot better than going home and being alone in my dorm room.”
GRAPH INFORMATION ELEGANCE
ILLUSTRATION: CATARINA ATUNES
DESIGN MUSEUMS Every month, we profile a number of venues in a different city, country or continent. The catch? The companies must be on Twitter and must tell us in their own words what makes them so special. This month, we feature the worldâ€™s best design museums. If you want to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag
MUSEUM OF ROBOTS
During WWII it was Britainâ€™s best kept
We are the Museum of Robots,
secret. Now a heritage site and vibrant
making retro-futuristic housewares for
a better tomorrow.
THE TECH MUSEUM
Based in San Jose, CA. Our mission is to engage people of all ages and backgrounds
Based in Ontario, Canada, the Personal
in science and technology experiences that
Computer Museum preserves old technology
educate and inform.
and educates the public about it.
SCITECH MUSEUM Discover some of the most important scientific and technological objects in Canada. Visit us in Ottawa. www.twitter.com/SciTechMuseum
It’s time to connect. Qasim Ibrahim Ahmed Seddiqi, Director, joined the company in 1995 to manage and oversee the communication between Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons’ retail stores and the direct clients. He also plays a major role in choosing the products based on his clients’ preferences. seddiqi.com
DADDYâ€™S GIRL IS NECK AND NECK WITH GOLDEN BOY Bring the faMily dOWn tO Meydan thiS duBai WOrld Cup Carnival. With supervised play areas and fun activities to keep the kids occupied, you can enjoy some playtime of your own while watching all the action of the world class horseracing at Meydan. Our Silks Buffet restaurant is sure to keep everyone happy on the food front and the little ones (4-12 years old) pay less than 50% of the adult price, so round up the family and join us at the races.
to book your tickets visit meydan.ae or call +971 4 327 2110 from 8am to 8pm Sundays to thursdays for more information.
proud to partner with:
PHILIP K DICK — DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
ith technology advancing at a terrific pace, and the world brought to the brink of Armageddon by two world wars and the twin menaces of fascism and Soviet communism, the 20th century saw some of our finest writers travel to the farthest reaches of their imaginations to examine the human predicament. Arguably the greatest of them all was Philip K Dick. Dick’s 1963 novel The Man In The High Castle confirmed his status as one of the new wave of Sci-Fi writers that in the 1960s took the genre into the realms of serious literary fiction, but it is his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? that really stands out as a classic. The author immediately draws the reader into the world of bounty hunter Rick Deckard and his mission to kill several outlaw androids roaming a post-apocalyptic planet earth with a fast-moving plot and a shrewd use of humour. Deckard’s world is one in which his wife escapes her humanity with the mood-altering Penfield Mood Organ, but it is also one in which a hired killer worries about his neighbour discovering that his prized pet sheep is electric. Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner, based on Dick’s book, couldn’t do his masterpiece justice. Doubleday, 1968
SOHO HOUSE NEW YORK
INTERNET SPEED: T1, free PILLOWS: Four IPOD DOCK: Yes CLUB SANDWICH DELIVERY TIME:
25 minutes COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS: Water TOILETRY BRAND: Cowshed DAILY NEWSPAPER: New York Times,
New York Post EXTRAS: Large magazine selection TV CHANNELS: 750 VIEW: 2 /5 RATE: From $346 WWW.SOHOHOUSENY.COM
New York is the coolest city in the world, Soho House New York is, perhaps, the coolest hotel in New York, and the Playhouse suite, although smaller than the 950sqft Playground, is the coolest hotel room at Soho House. Located in an old warehouse in the Meatpacking District, it is closest to London’s Shoreditch House in style, appealing to young creatives. Its six floors boast a couple of bars, a restaurant, a drawing room, a 44-seater cinema, a spa, three private hire spaces and 24 rooms. The décor in the Playhouse suite, with its exposed wooden beams, painted brickwork and mismatched furniture, could be described as shabby chic, but the pristine white shower, sinks and WC, widescreen TV and impressive range of magazines mean it covers aesthetic, practical and, of course, luxury requirements. 39
As this ancient capital enters the second decade of the new millennium, Beijing is leading the charge of modernisation. Since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, the country has been racing not only to catch up with the West, but to learn what it can, and to do it better.
B KUMMINGHU KUMMINGHU WANQUANHE WANQUANHE BRIDGEBRIDGE
SUZHOU SUZHOU BRIDGEBRIDGE HAIDIAN HAIDIAN
SIJIQING SIJIQING XIANG XIANG
BEIZHAN B BRIDGE YUYUANTANXIANG YUYUANTANXIANG
PUHUI PUHUI BRIDGEBRIDGE
HOTELS 1. Hotel G
2. The Opposite House
3. Aman at the Summer Palace
4. The China Club
RESTAURANTS 5. Bei
6. Maison Boulud
7. Middle 8th
8. La Pizza
LAIGUANGYINGXIANG LAIGUANGYINGXIANG LAIGUANGYINGXIANG WALIXIANG WALIXIANG WALIXIANG WUYUAN WUYUAN WUYUAN BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE
BEISHATAN BEISHATAN ATAN GEBRIDGEBRIDGE ANHUI ANHUI ANHUI BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE JIANXING JIANXING JIANXING BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE
WANGHE WANGHE WANGHE BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE SIYUANSIYUANSIYUAN BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE
G NG G N I GUOZIJIAN GUOZIJIAN GUOZIJIAN
DONGZHIMEN DONGZHIMEN DONGZHIMEN BRIDGEBRIDGEBRIDGE
BEIZHAN N EBRIDGE
SIJIQING SIJIQING SIJIQING BRIDGE BRIDGEBRIDGE PINGFANGXIANG PINGFANGXIANG PINGFANGXIANG
DONGCHENG DONGCHENG DONGCHENG CHAOYANG CHAOYANG CHAOYANG
ZHONGSHAN ZHONGSHAN ZHONGSHAN HENG XICHENG XICHENG PARK PARK PARK
BARS / CLUBS 9. Q Bar GALLERIES 13. Arario Gallery
10. All-Star Sports Bar 14. F2 Gallery
15. Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art
12. Apothecary 16. Pékin Fine Arts
HOTELS 1 HOTEL G
Boudoir-style hotel filled with crystal chandeliers, stencilled walls, glamour photos from bygone Hollywood and mirrors everywhere. Set off one of the city’s busiest nightlife strips, it’s way OTT.
2 THE OPPOSITE HOUSE
The Swire Group’s first foray into the world of boutique hotels has suitably opulent levels of design, as the emerald green glass exterior reflects the ‘urban forest’ design ethos.
AMAN AT THE SUMMER PALACE Decadence that reflects the design of the Summer Palace, the nine courtyards are surrounded by rooms with authentic features from Chinese latticework to Imperial cuisine.
4 THE CHINA CLUB
MIDDLE 8TH Old school Yunnan cooking that is as rich as it is diverse, drawing from peasant roots. The bill won’t break the bank, but the deep-fried bamboo worms might turn the stomachs of the queasy.
This exclusive hotel is housed in a 400-year-old palace. The eight rooms, over eight courtyards, are stocked with Ming vases and the Sichuan restaurant was Deng Xiaoping’s favourite.
RESTAURANTS 5 BEI
Innovative Northern Chinese cuisine from celebrity chef David Laris that brings a New York influence to Beijing. Set in the chic Opposite House, the food is almost as starry as the décor.
6 MAISON BOULUD
American chef Daniel Boulud’s Beijing outpost set in the former US Embassy, is worthy of the hype it has received. French dishes are made with fresh local and Pacific Rim ingredients.
SALT Well-priced and welldesigned restaurant in the Embassy district for ex-pat tai-tai (ladies who lunch) and businessmen who appreciate the creative fusion cuisine.
BARS/CLUBS 9 Q BAR
Perennially hip rooftop bar beloved for its stellar cocktails and starry night sky (once the smog has settled). A modish souklike interior and geometric mini-pavilions are home to the weekend party.
10 ALL-STAR SPORTS BAR
Modern and sleek sports bar lined with 65 TV screens broadcasting all the games to die-hard sports fans. Add a cuttingedge sound system, and it’s the closest thing to being at the game.
A contemporary quadrangle bar in the Park Hyatt Hotel plays host to visiting celebrities who enjoy the speciality martinis under the carved Song Dynastystyle wooden pavilion.
Slick cocktail outfit from chef Max Levy, whose mixes are made with homebrewed elixirs and concocted by Japanesestyle cocktail artists in a very sophisticated, candle-lit interior.
GALLERIES 13 ARARIO GALLERY
Set in a former liquor factory, Arario occupies five buildings and is solely dedicated to contemporary art and bringing Asian artists to a wider audience.
14 F2 GALLERY
Representing a wide range of artists from recent graduates to global superstars, F2 has set up shop in a beautiful courtyard in the Caochangdi art district.
15 ULLENS CENTRE FOR
CONTEMPORARY ART UCCA not only puts on internationally acclaimed exhibits but supports both emerging and established Chinese contemporary artists in a Bauhaus-style factory space.
16 PÉKIN FINE ARTS
In a space designed by political activist/ artist Ai Wei Wei, this modern exhibition space covers innovative contemporary artists drawn from across the entire continent.
Aaron Basha Boutique • 685 Madison Avenue • New York • 212.935.1960 • w w w.aaronbasha.com Athens
Harrods London • Ali Bin Ali Qatar • Levant Dubai
SKYPOD DURAN DURAN LEGEND SIMON LE BON SHARES HIS FAVOURITE TRACKS
DENNIS ALCAPONE – RUN RUN If you love reggae (and even if you don’t) you will love this slice of dubbed-up magic. One of the most prolific reggae producers ever, he is also a cracking DJ.
LANA DEL RAY – VIDEO GAMES The girl of the moment, despite her recent blip on Saturday Night Live. She has it all, the attitude, the looks and the voice. Set for big things.
DAVID BOWIE – ANDY WARHOL
FOSTER THE PEOPLE – PUMPED UP KICKS Catchy as hell, this is the sound of 2011. The LA band’s lo-fi vocals, killer riff and Instagram-style video just won’t go away.
Bowie at the peak of his powers back in 1971. His effortless vocals suck you in, and the chorus is wonderfully catchy. Typical of Bowie, it also has some sharp insights into the celebrity culture of the day.
THE TERRA NOVA CONSORT – LEI PASTOUREU Out there but oh so catchy, this is one of the best tracks you will never have heard of. Open your mind and enjoy!
FOO FIGHTERS – THE PRETENDER THE DAMNED – FAN CLUB Rough and ready punk from one of the best English punk bands. The lyrics attest to what many lead singers must feel!
From one of the great American bands of the past few decades, this is a classic. Dave Grohl is a true master at work.
AMERICA – A HORSE WITH NO NAME The band’s first (and most successful) release, this 1972 track still sounds brilliant. Its riff is timeless, and floats around you while you listen. Pop music at its best.
ILLUSTRATION: NISHIKAWA MAIKO
PATTI SMITH – GLORIA One of the most underrated female songwriters of her generation. This is from her classic 1975 album, Gloria. A true original. ELBOW – FUGITIVE MOTEL Beautiful stuff from Elbow. The strings slide across Guy Garvey’s vocals wonderfully. The video is completely ethereal, and this is the perfect summer soundtrack.
James Denton by Peter Lindbergh
Defence of the luddites FT COLUMNIST HAR RY AYR ES IS AWAR E HE MAY B E CONSIDER ED BEH IND T HE TIMES BY SOME – NOT THAT HE MINDS.
y attitude towards new technologies might best be described as wary. All the hype surrounding the death of Steve Jobs – undoubtedly a brilliant and creative individual – left me somewhat bemused: normally quite sober people mourned the man who had ‘changed the world’, but from my perspective the world, at least in its most important aspects, seemed to be going on much as before, for better and worse. I have never owned an iPod, iPhone or iPad, preferring to listen to music on CDs or, where possible, my old collection of LPs whose burnished sound has never been bettered, use a modest old mobile with no apps, and a small notebook computer with keys, which I like, not a touch screen, which is altogether too touchy-feely for my liking. Or better still, a small notebook. I am obviously in a minority. Some might call me a neo-Luddite. Most people embrace every new technology with manic enthusiasm, believing this or that gleaming new gadget will transform their lives immeasurably for the better. They never suspect that this shiny thing may be a kind of Trojan Horse; that it may have hidden agendas which
could be seriously damaging, at least to the wallet. Or more simply that its main purpose could be described as distraction, in a world which is already, as TS Eliot put it, “distracted from distraction by distraction”. It’s not that I’m against technology per se. Actually the Luddites were not against technology either. Their quarrel was with the owners of the machines, intent on undermining workers’ wages and rights, not the machines themselves. Of course, like everybody else, I welcome advances in non-invasive and pain-free surgery and dentistry. But in areas as diverse as communication, art, music and transport I can see downsides to new technologies, and great, lasting virtues in tried and tested old technologies. Nowadays the great criterion for technologies seems to be smartness. Everyone wants a smart phone, a
They never suspect their new toy may be a trojan horse 47
A BRIEF HISTORY OF INTERNET TITANS Steph an
m Meg Whit
The founder of www.theglobe.com, the epitome of the dot com bubble, which collapsed in 1998 after being valued at $840 million. Arrogant and verbose, Paternot’s media mogul days are long behind him: he is now working as a struggling actor and sometime producer.
The driving force behind eBay for 10 years, Whitman was the most powerful female involved in the digital
economy. Less adept at politics, she lost the 2011 California governorship election despite spending $144 million of her own money. Not that she will miss it; her total worth is $1.3 billion.
A venture capitalist at the powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Doerr has invested in everyone from Facebook to Compaq. Worth about $1 billion, his judgement has been impeccable - Doerr is one of
smart computer, a smart car. But I am not sure I want technology which is too smart, or too much smarter than me. The other day I tried to buy a new phoneset for our landline. I wanted something relatively simple. But the simplest device I could find came with an instruction booklet 74 pages long, including baffling sections on Games (why would I want to play games with a telephone?) and Security. I just want a home phone, I wanted to shout, I am not trying to install a telecommunications system for a medium-sized company or government department. 48
Lee nersr e B Tim
the men that has quietly shaped the digital economy.
The most important Internet titan you have never heard of, for without this man, you can forget about email, search, Facebook and all the other online tasks we take for granted. This British-born computer scientist invented the World Wide Web way back in 1991. Now a ‘Sir’, his 2003 knighthood was very deserved.
My criteria are different. I want technologies which enhance my ability to lead a fully human life, to be fully myself – and of course from there to communicate and be with others. Some of my favourite, distinctly unsmart technologies are the following: the piano (not the digital keyboard), the bicycle, the fountain pen, the newspaper (on newsprint, not disembodied bites), the poem. My upright piano, made by Welmar in Brixton, south London, down the road from the house where I lived for 10 years, is undoubtedly far less smart than any modern
zos Jeff Be Steve Ca se
The founder and CEO of AOL, Case is primarily known for the disastrous purchase of Time Warner (for $164 billion) which, instead of creating a new media landscape, nearly destroyed both companies. Now retired from the media coalface, he spends most of his time on charity work.
A Wall Street sage, Whitney’s reports on the tech stocks to buy (or not) helped make or break a variety
of Internet companies. Her stance on Citigroup was also pretty insightful. Typifies a new breed of Wall Street sages who can make or break the futures of tech companies.
The man who killed newspapers? Newmark founded Craigslist in 1995 and the online classified site quickly killed off that revenue stream for newspapers. Its retro-minimalist design and free ad model has seen it
keyboard. It cannot be transformed into a harpsichord or an organ, or enhanced with percussion effects, at the flick of a switch. But, as far as I’m concerned, it has something far more treasurable: the ability to respond to my touch like no one else’s, in an embodied rather than disembodied way. My bicycle (a sturdy Trek hybrid, which has withstood London’s traffic-calming bumps and malevolent taxis for nearly a decade) is a more utilitarian piece of kit, but I still like it for the independence it gives me, combined with the minimum
grow and grow. Now in more than 50 countries and expanding fast.
The founder and president of Amazon, Bezos is in charge of what might become the largest digital company in the world. He changed the world of books forever, and after now moving into publishing – Bezos, and Amazon – seem unstoppable. The biggest threat to the Apple/Google/ Facebook triumvirate.
of bureaucratic complications. I can park it wherever I like, free of charge, don’t have to worry about insurance, and give myself a work-out without having to go the the gym. In my campaign to preserve newspapers in paper form, I suspect I am fighting a losing battle. But I think the gloomy editors planning for the imminent demise of newsprint are making a mistake: on the web, readers will only read what they are already drawn to, and the unexpected juxtapositions and trouvailles which make newspaper-reading like a treasure hunt will be lost forever. 49
MY TRAVELLED LIFE
THE FUTURE, SAGE, 10,000,000
workers, the whole thing is ludicrous. I am
very aware of the limitations of the human
I would not want to alienate any eras by
Everyone always asks me the same question:
race, but I suspect that they are not dim
focusing on just one or two, but if you
what will the future look like? Well I am sick
enough to build themselves out of a job.
insist, I did enjoy the Mesolithic era – very
of hearing it quite frankly. Do you want to
The last thing the planet needs is more able
calm, no real pressure to get ahead. It was
hear about the hover cars? The robot maids?
bodies. No, the robot fad will pass.
pre-agriculture back then, so no one really
The pills that have replaced food? Well none
did anything, bar look for grubs and try and
of that will happen. The future is not simply a
avoid disease. By the age of thirty, you were
collection of kitsch cobbled together by your
ON THE FUTURE
considered to old to work. It was a pretty good
limited imagination. It is more vast then you
If the average person could see into the
deal all round. I enjoyed the late 1960s too.
can possibly imagine. Not that it matter as
future, they would be rather distressed. The
Good music. Saw the Stones live. Great band.
you won’t be around for most of it.
inevitable aging process, combined with the broken dreams, failed ambitions and hair loss, would reduce most mere mortals to tears.
Thankfully I am not mortal, so none of those
I was not a big fan of the Paleolithic Age.
Everyone in the present is obsessed by
things will befall me. Although interviews like
It was all a bit grim: bands of wild animals,
robots. Robot cars, robot cleaners, robot
this sometimes make me wish I was mortal.
ragged groups of the unwashed, extremely bad weather and not much in the way of entertainment. The 1980s were equally grim. Particularly around the greater Norwich area, where I spent quite a lot of time.
ON MATTER It’s hard to describe exactly what I am made of – it’s probably easier to tell you what I am not. I am not the past, or the present. I am not made of matter as you understand it and, to be honest, I am not sure if I understand just what I am. A collection of combined preconceptions maybe? Too random? Tough. 51
STREET PEEP • ER SY D N E Y
FASHION SPOTTER PHIL OH CHECKS OUT SYDNEY’S STYLISTAS
JENNY KEE FASHION DESIGNER ELEANOR PENDLETON BEAUTY WRITER
Her own designs
OLIVIA THORNTON MODEL PETER SIMON PHILLIPS STYLIST
KATE WODERHOUSE SOCIALITE
Gucci dress Gucci shoes
RUBY ROSE TV PRESENTER
STEVIE DANCE STYLIST
Lahssan Trench Rodarte for Opening
Isabel Marant jacket
Miu Miu bag
PLACE CANTONEIRO HOUSE •
TO M B UA , A N G O LA
YEAR BUILT: UNKNOWN
PHOTO: ERIC LAFFORGUE
A RC H I T E C T U R E M APPED
STORE U R BA N C ARTO G RA P H Y
odernity and financial prowess, big brands and concrete jungles: this is the popular image of Hong Kong, which is why it is so refreshing to find, sandwiched between the chic watering holes and mainstream shops, Sheung Wan, a place where hipsters and creatives types can afford to live and collaborate. Sheung Wan is an area known for its family-run printing shops and antique outlets. With traces of colonial architecture still intact, a scattering of temples and stone stairways, it is verging on quaint. In recent years, its charm, prime location and low rents have attracted designers and artists from around the world. The area now boasts design houses, galleries and boutiques alongside carpenters, coffin-makers and printers. In the midst of this eclectic hub, at the top of Tung Street, stands Konzepp, a boutique ‘lifestyle’ shop selling curiosities from all corners of the globe. Its bold, yellow, sculpted facade, inspired by the art of origami, has become something of a local landmark. Inside, the space is peaceful, light and idiosyncratic. Bright yellow wooden beams crisscross at irregular angles over shelves and mirrors that stretch the length of the walls, while unobtrusive music provides a chilled ambience. At the shop’s centre is a large, white, kiteshaped desk. The man behind the shop’s striking design was creative producer Geoff Tsui, who opened Konzepp with his father, Willie Chan, in March last year. “I wanted TEXT: NINA PLAPP/IMAGE: CHRIS LUSHER
Konzepp to speak to people, sculpturally to wrap its hands around you, or hug you on your way in,” he said. A typical shopping experience in Hong Kong involves being rushed in and out of a store by an overbearing sales assistant. But, with a “free wifi” sign on the door, large jars of Mariage Frères teas and a kettle for customers’ use on the counter, it is immediately obvious they do things differently at Konzepp. The concept is creativity from the inside out; a place where designers work, eat and mingle at a central desk, surrounded and inspired by the items on the shelves; a designer busy at work describes it as “a YMCA for freelance designers”. Jack Lam, the manager, chips in: “You can sit here all day, drink tea and not buy anything – there is no minimum charge.” The shelves are stocked with handpicked items from around the world: ceramic teacups from England, Japanese ash trays shaped like moose heads, Taiwanese stainless steel necklaces and sponge-soled shoes from Korea – the stock is quirky, and constantly changing. The prices are ‘friendly’ and range from HK$1.99 to HK$4,000. Geoff says: “It started with a few brands I knew that were not in Hong Kong. I look for the story behind the design – the heart of design process – and things that speak to a particular audience rather than mass objects that no one needs anymore.” Konzepp, 50 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; www.konzepp.com; +852 2803 0339
1 ed W
The world’s best teams compete in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. www.sevens.co.nz
SRI LANKAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
W ed Th u Fr i
Colombo celebrates the country’s 64th independence day with huge outdoor parades across the capital.
Watches galore at this celebration of all things horological . www.baselworld.com
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FEST This nine-day event is crammed with gigs from the world of jazz. www.dubaijazzfest.com
21 LONDON FASHION WEEK Catch the latest fashions in one of the world’s most stylish cities. www.londonfashionweek.co.uk
MAIN P. 70 • PALO ALTO UNCOVERED
P. 80 • LAS VEGAS UNWIRED
P. 90 • NINTENDO’S GREAT ESCAPE
SOV PHOTOS OF NTURES SPACE ADVE
BY HILLEL LEVIN 63
or corporate titans, the ultimate bling is not some piece of jewellery or a yacht. It’s the memorable icon that can define a life’s achievement. For Steve Jobs it was the once-bitten apple; for Ray Kroc, the golden arches; and for Walt Disney, the princess castle. Although John Z. DeLorean did not have nearly the success of those three paradigm shifters, he did have an icon – his namesake car. It was far from a household product, but thanks to the publicity that saturated its debut in 1975 and a starring role in the Back to the Future movies a decade later, the DeLorean – with its sleek stainless steel body and those gull wing doors – remains one of the most recognisable cars ever to come off an assembly line. In the sixties, as a senior executive at General Motors, DeLorean also helped craft such classics as the GTO, Grand Prix and Bonneville, but none of those gems bore any resemblance to a DeLorean, and nothing ever will. The car’s signature style was his master stroke and, paradoxically, his downfall, hurtling him from the heights of jet set celebrity into corporate bankruptcy, a notorious cocaine bust, two criminal trials and a host of civil suits that hounded him until his death in 2005. But there is more to his story than chicanery and hubris. It’s also a cautionary tale about a founder CEO who focused so intently on his company’s gleaming image that he became blind to the substance behind it. Ironically, as an engineer, John DeLorean first made a name for himself within the greasy bowels of the automobile. His patents for transm ission and suspension s ystems were noticed by GM executives, who plucked him from the dying Packard Motor Car Company to make him the director of advanced engineering
DELOREAN LOOKING AT A MODEL OF HIS CAR AT HIS HQ, 1974
for Pontiac. There his work on highperformance engines helped kick out a new line of muscle cars that transformed the division’s reputation from stodgy to sexy. In quick succession, he would vault to chief engineer and then become Pontiac’s general manager, where he got his head out from under the hood to learn the much more esoteric world of marketing. DeLorean proved as adept with advertising as he was with a drafting board. He would be among America’s first corporate executives to marry his products to the rock music blasting out of the Top 40 radio stations. When Ronnie and the Daytonas approached Pontiac for permission to write an ode to their favourite roadster, DeLorean not only agreed, he asked one of his ad men to pen the lyrics. My Little GTO, went on to sell a million records and make its object of affection one of Detroit’s hottest cars. When DeLorean ran Chevrolet, he worked similar – although more mainstream – magic by branding GM’s biggest division with a scenic TV campaign and the catchy ditty See the USA in a Chevrolet. In time, DeLorean saw that a car’s sales could be affected more by its glitz
than its guts. Accordingly, he devoted more time to California, supposedly to watch commercials getting filmed or to spend time with dealers to understand the needs of the nation’s biggest car market. But in truth, he found Hollywood was much more fun than gritty Detroit and he was more likely to be 65
spotted with celebrities in a nightclub than he was with car dealers on a lot. In the process, he did some work on his own image as well, shedding some
With DeLorean, it wasn’t just the Barbie wife or the occasional Nehru jacket that made him so unique, but also his professed support for college cam-
DELOREAN POSING IN FRONT OF A MURAL OF HIS CREATION, 1975
fat, adding some muscle and dramatically altering his face with cosmetic surgery. His embrace of the youth culture would be complete when the 44 year old left his first wife to marry a 19-year-old flower child by the name of Kelly Harmon. Back in Detroit, “JZD” seemed too good to be true for the motoring journalists who had covered legions of GM’s drab, buttoned-down executives. 66
pus protests and civil rights – views that sounded Marxist compared with those of his staunchly Republican coworkers. After he was anointed to run Chevy, it seemed only a matter of time before he took the reins of the whole company. Then, in 1972, after only three years on the job, he was abruptly booted ‘upstairs’ to corporate headquarters. Just seven months later he left General Motors altogether. From
the start, through interviews with Detroit’s crestfallen press and later, in his autobiography, On A Clear Day You
Can See General Motors , DeLorean was permitted to spin his hasty exit as a noble refusal to play the corporate game and a rejection of short-sighted policies that put the quick buck of stock
market returns over the long-term goals of product quality. No repor ters looked behind DeLorean’s pronouncements to see if there were less flattering reasons for his departure – in particular, his secret ownership stake in a video system that he forced on Chevy dealers. Similar scruples would taint four other ventures that he pursued after he left GM. He entered into each touting his connections and business acumen, but each unravelled into lawsuits that questioned his competence and honesty. His adversaries in these cases were not corporations, but under-funded little guys, who claimed that DeLorean had steamrolled them. Somehow, their complaints were never picked up by the national press. A much more marketable story was DeLorean the White Knight, tilting his lance against Detroit’s evil Big Three. When word leaked out that he was ready to start his own car company, the auto writers’ dream scenario had materialised. Now, the visionary who had so unceremoniously leaped from GM’s executive suite could dust himself off and show his former bosses how it should be done. In keeping with the outsized expectations, DeLorean
claimed that he would not just be satisfied with financial success. He would also be the first to produce an “ethical car,” which he described as being durable, fuel efficient and safe. But before his vision could take flight, he needed the resources to reach the runway. Charisma, combined with a hyper-inflated resume, came to the rescue. He plucked some of the brightest engineers and executives from America’s car companies and roped in a polyglot pack of investors ranging from car dealers to venture capital funds, and celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr. and late-night talk show host Johnny Carson. His greatest coup would be landing $100 million from the British government to build his assembly plant in what was then strifetorn Belfast, Northern Ireland. Even though the deal was controversial, the Labour-led cabinet never dug beneath DeLorean’s glowing press clippings to see his dismal post-GM track record. None of the recruiting or fundraising would have been possible without DeLorean’s silver beauty. Although its surface features were dazzling, the skeleton beneath was the most revolutionary part of the design. DeLorean had acquired the rights to a reinforced resin process known as ERM. It could make fiberglass-like parts that were stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight (a concept similar to the one now being employed by the Boeing Dreamliner). DeLorean conceived of the stainless steel shell because ERM surfaces couldn’t be painted. But ERM had another drawback as well – it could not fabricate parts large enough for the assembly line. Although his engineers pleaded for more time, DeLorean was more anxious to meet the deadlines that would get funds flowing from the British government. He opted for short-sighted short68
cut and turned to Colin Chapman, who was most known for his Formula 1 racing team. His company, Lotus Cars, also produced sports coupes, but with conventional fibreglass. The stainless steel would become superfluous with their process, but DeLorean insisted that his distinctive body and gull-wing doors remain. He let Chapman’s team have its way with most of the other design decisions. When DeLorean’s chief engineer complained, he was shocked
So much for the ‘ethical car’ – but with DeLorean, the issue of ethics went beyond the shortcomings of his product. It would later be revealed that his pact with Chapman was not just driven by expediency. The two also used a sham vendor with no more than a Swiss mailbox to purloin $14 million in British funds. Indeed, making money – not making cars – seemed to most occupy DeLorean’s attention from the moment he secured funding from the British government. Despite promises to the contrary, he squandered resources to prepare a public stock offering for the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) that would have given his stake a paper value in excess of $100 million. DeLorean did not plan to use any of his own wealth to invest. His income was devoted instead to a lifestyle be-
to find his company’s progenitor disinterested. “John,” he later told a reporter, “just didn’t have time for the details.” As a result, the DeLorean rolled off the assembly line with a front-end suspension too spindly for its weight and an alternator that burned out the battery when too many accessories were turned on at the same time. Worse yet, the underpowered Renault engine laboured beneath two auto bodies – one fibreglass and the other stainless steel – making for a veritable tortoise in hare’s clothing. It had none of the performance that would justify the “sports car” label and certainly none of the fuel-efficiency DeLorean had promised. As for durability, the car soon proved a product warranty nightmare, with serious defects reported for 50 per cent of all vehicles that reached dealer showrooms in 1981. While some of the flaws were due to the hodgepodge design, others stemmed from a poorly trained workforce in Belfast, most of whom had never driven or held a wrench before they got their jobs.
fitting a mogul. No small part of that expense was his third wife, Cristina Ferrare, an fashion model who enjoyed holding court in their Fifth Avenue apartment or on their estate in New Jersey. When they traveled, it was only by private jet with overnight stays in luxurious hotel suites. To keep everything afloat, DeLorean needed a hot stock and the illusion of a company operating on all cylinders. At one business forum in the fall of 1981, he touted the “spectacular” reception that his car received from consumers and dealers. He then boasted that the company was raising production targets to 30,000 for the following year. In fact, it was selling closer to a rate of 6,000. Still, with the sort of wishful thinking he once bitterly criticised at GM, he added another shift to his production line – driven to put the best face forward for his stock’s underwriters and to earn royalties from the Brits that were based on cars produced (not sold) and the highest possible employment levels at the plant.
DELOREAN ON THE BELFAST PRODUCTION LINE IN 1981
DeLorean sales would continue to fall rather than rise in 1982, especially as toxic word of mouth spread about poor product qualit y and performance. Even Johnny Carson, the car’s most public owner and investor, got famously stuck when his battery failed on the way to the drugstore. Unsold vehicles started to back up like plague rats: first on the dealer lots, then on the docks and finally around the production plant itself, until even the most unsophisticated worker realised that the DeLorean bubble had burst. It would take several more months before the company fell into receivership. Along the way, DeLorean promised saviour after saviour while the British took possession of his factory, and he tried to raise funds by selling his inventory to a pair of slick liquidation specialists. The ill-advised deal, which he barely read before he signed, put him into an inextricable financial chokehold. He believed that
the only way out would come through the dodgy neighbour of his Southern California avocado ranch. In return for stock in a virtually worthless shell company, he was willing to give Detroit’s White Knight a $10 million share of cocaine smuggled in from Colombia. On the afternoon of October 19, 1982, when De Lorean arrived at a LA hotel room to pick up his money, the goods were trotted out for display.
He grabbed a kilo, held it aloft and proclaimed, “This is as good as gold.” He then led his assembled co-conspirators in a toast before they identified themselves as government agents and placed him under arrest.
The coke bust would bring DeLorean far more notoriety than anything he ever did in the auto industry. He was no longer just the guest for late-night talk show hosts. He now became their punch line. With his “good as gold” speech on videotape, it looked like the feds had him dead to rights. DeLorean proved otherwise, thanks to an excellent lawyer and a sting operation that looked a little too much like entrapment to the jury. It appeared that Detroit’s US Attorney had a much better case against him. His charges included several counts of fraud and racketeering for the $14 million he had stolen from the British government with Chapman, who had died of a heart attack shortly after DeLorean’s drug bust. But once again, DeLorean escaped with an acquittal. In the UK, he was convicted, in absentia, on pretty much the same charges, along with Chapman’s partners in Lotus Cars. Although the US government could not imprison DeLorean, it did trash his name. Creditors picked apart his assets. No one would peck to greater effect than one of DeLorean’s former lawyers. He had sued to collect unpaid legal fees and won judgments in excess of $5 million, forcing DeLorean to sell his New Jersey estate and raid his two children’s trust funds. In the end, DeLorean would not even own the rights to his life story. DMC executives look back on the history of the company, amazed at how close it came to success. With a little more attention to detail, DeLorean could have joined the pantheon of path-breaking entrepreneurs. Instead, despite a number of projects, he died aged 80, in 2005, forever known for his mistakes rather than his ultimate creation. Hillel Levin is the author of John DeLorean, The Maverick Mogul 69
ILLUSTRATIONS: SAM FALCONER
a leisurely stroll around the heart of silicon valley by gary singh
APPLE COMPANY STORE
ust over 40 years ago, the journalist Don C. Hoef ler first used the term, ‘Silicon Valley,’ to describe a vague geographical region about 40-50 miles south of San Francisco. At that time, semiconductor technology was a newly baked idea, not yet geared for planetary domination. The southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, that is, Santa Clara County, then a bastion of agriculture, was about to morph into an centre of technological innovation. With a culture of experimentation, both in the garages and the research facilities, Silicon Valley grew from a strong hacker mentality, before that term attained its more sinister conno72
tations, back when hacking just meant tinkering with stuff. As a result, the Silicon Valley of today is home to the main control centres of Apple, Intel, Google, eBay and Facebook – companies that have changed the entire world. Venture capitalists, CEOs and game-changers frequent the restaurants and hideouts of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View – where it all goes down. However, trying to physically ‘see’ Silicon Valley always proves to be a conundrum. Although one can designate the city of Palo Alto as the theoretical heart of it all, Silicon Valley is much more a state of mind than a geographical location. Countless numbers regularly show up here in search of tangible
landmarks and corporeal destinations, only to find what’s essentially a swath of suburban sprawl interconnected by massive concrete freeways. Generally speaking, the San Francisco Bay lies to the north, while the gorgeous foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains lie to the immediate southwest. There is no metropolis anywhere to be found, no city-like characteristics, no ‘there’ there. Hence, visitors get confused. What’s more, by its nature Silicon Valley is a constantly changing place. Business models always evolve and transform. Originally, room-sized mainframe computers were the norm. Then desk top mach i nes b e ca me ubiquitous, and now, with tablets and
ThE heWLETT-PAcKArD GARAGE
smartphones dominating the landscape, we are moving toward a postdesktop world. After that, it will be something else, perhaps a new form of ‘transmedia’. Each new technology gobbles up the previous one. Firms emerge and disappear like the wind. This is how the Valley works. With that background in mind, there are definitive Silicon Valley nodal points to experience, touchstones from which to let it all sink in. Anchoring oneself in Palo Alto, the journey includes nondescript garages and restaurants, hi-tech museums, corporate command centres, stores, and one of the most famous universities in the world. Naturally, one can begin where it all began – the Hewlett-Packard Garage. Located at 367 Addison Ave in Palo Alto, in a residential neighborhood named Professorville, one finds a two-storey house built around 1905. A plaque outside on the sidewalk designates the house as “the birthplace of Silicon Val74
ley”. To the left of the house, one gazes over the gate, down the narrow driveway and voilà: a garage. It’s not much to look at, but its history is colossal. A powerful symbol of everything that became Silicon Valley, the HP Garage is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. This tiny 3.7 x 5.5-metre garage – they say it holds one car or two geniuses – remains closed to the public, but anyone is allowed to take photos from the path. Everything we know about Silicon Valley can be traced back to this garage, where William Hewlett and David Packard began working in 1938 and founded HP one year later. As the story goes, Packard’s professor at nearby Stanford University had urged his students to start their own companies locally rather than back east, so Packard decided to go for it. Their first invention was the 200A audio oscillator, which launched the company. The field of electrical engineering barely even existed at
The TINY hp gArAge, whEre The us Tech iNdusTry sTArTed, Is A NATIoNAL icOn that time. Within another year, the company had outgrow n the property and moved elsewhere in Palo Alto, where it proceeded to launch the electronics revolution of the 20th centur y. HP bought the proper t y in 2000 and restored the garage in 2006, but it remains unavailable for public tours. After all, the privacy of the neighbours takes priority. A 10-minute drive away, one finds the largest collection of hardware, software and computer ephemera anywhere in the world, in the Computer History Museum at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd in Mountain View. In another
ThE COMPuTer hIsTorY museum
shining example of how Silicon Valley exemplifies the impermanence of everything, the museum is located in the former Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) HQ. In the mid-1990s, SGI was the king of advanced high-end computer graphics systems, with quite a few major motion pictures using SGI machines for special effects. But after inexpensive PCs, Macs and Linux boxes began to develop similar capabilities, SGI eventually tumbled off the radar and went broke. The Computer History Museum, after a ramshackle debut near Boston, eventually moved to Silicon Valley in 1999 and then took over the old SGI compound in 2002. Located right around the corner from Google’s worldwide headquarters, the museum is a must-see. Exactly one year ago, the facility went through a massive $20-million renovation, unveiling a special permanent exhibit, Revolu-
tion: The First 2,000 Years of Computing. One see thousands of artifacts, movies, documents, machines and displays across 19 galleries and five mini-theatres. 76
David Laws, the museum’s curator, explained how the facility provides a necessary archival base for worldchanging inventions that took place inside unremarkable buildings here in suburbia. It was the people in the buildings who should be remembered. “Anyone can drive up to a nondescript building at 844 Charleston Road in Palo Alto, where the first integrated circuit was invented [in 1959],” he said.
The museum Is A musT-seE, wiTh A wONdeRful exhIbIT oN cOmPuTInG “And then they can drive over to the Computer History Museum and see it. Anyone can drive by Steve Jobs’ old house in the Los Altos Hills, where he and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computer [in 1977], and then go and see
that very same computer on display at the History Museum.” Around the corner from the Compute r H i s tor y Mu s eu m s it s t he worldwide corporate headquarters of Google, also known as the Googleplex. Unfortunately, you cannot simply enter the campus and walk around. Public tours can be arranged ahead of time and accompanied by an official employee. In other words, you have to know someone. You can’t just roll up in a bus and talk your way through the gate. However, on a daily basis, tourists and locals show up to take pictures in front of the main entrance. A s w it h t he Computer Histor y Museum, Google’s buildings occupy property formerly owned by SGI. And with 3 million square feet of offices across 20 buildings and countless cafeterias, the work atmosphere at Google is legendary. There are recreation centres, gyms, a few swimming pools, dry cleaning services and a place to get haircuts, but definitely the most celebrated feature at Google is the food. In side t he ca mpus, all G oogle employees can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year, for free, which supposedly contributes to the nouveauwhimsical work ethic. The eateries are gourmet joints, offering over 200 recipes a day. It’s not the standard cafeteria slop – far from it. Each place has its own chef. Celebrity chef Charlie Ayers, originally Google employee #53, launched the whole idea. Today, one of the cafes still bears his name, although he’s since moved on to operate the Calafia Café and Market near Stanford University. Stanford itself needs no introduction. Any tech-inspired traveler can simply walk around the picturesque campus, if anything, just to let it all sink in. It’s an easy walk or free bus ride from downtown Palo Alto to experience the academic edifices, dozens of
species of trees, views of the foothills and hundreds of bicyclists breezing back and forth. Stanford professors and/or alumni either contributed to technological advances or helped launch major companies that led to the electronics and computer revolutions of the entire 20th century. The roll call includes HP, Google, Yahoo, SGI, Sun and many more. Other famous companies, like Apple and Intel, provide their own vanity outlets with which to shamelessly promote themselves. The original Apple Company Store, at its corporate headquarters in nearby Cupertino, is not like normal Apple retail outlets. It is the only place on earth that sells Apple logo shirts and paraphernalia. Likewise, over at the Intel compound in nearby Santa Clara, one can visit the Intel Museum. Free of charge, the facility showcases ever ything related to the history of Intel and how its products have changed the world.
In contrast, the more underground aspect of Silicon Valley is the buildit-yourself spirit that still percolates beneath the surface here. Of course, venture capitalists and their billions are waiting just around the corner, as are throngs of job recruiters, but one still finds creative communities of people who relish in the traditional hacker mentality. Hacker Dojo in Mountain View is part co-working space, part events venue, and part social living room. Just a 10-minute drive from Googleplex and the Computer History Museum, the building is sandwiched between three concrete freeways, an example of the suburban landscape of Silicon Valley. For those wishing to glimpse the quintessentially garage aesthetic of the tech universe, it delivers. You’ll see creatives, geeks and maybe even future CEOs. One can become a full-time member at $100 a month or just plop down $10 for a one-day visit. Hundreds use
the space daily, to collaborate on new ideas, learn how to program, attend lectures, network, fix machines, test homemade products, take sew ing classes and a wide variety of other exploits. Unique in Silicon Valley, the centre caters to anyone who wants to make stuff and exchange a variety of crackpot ideas. In general, co-working spaces are an increasing trend in Silicon Valley these days. Young startups that don’t want or need to rent their own office frequently opt for a co-working situation. Hacker Dojo is just such a place. Several startups continue to use the space for their own needs – precisely what it’s there for. To complete the hacker experience, any visit to Silicon Valley cannot exclude a visit to Weird Stuff Warehouse in the city of Sunnyvale, just a few exits down the freeway from Mountain View. Located at the far northern end of Sunnyvale, across the street from 77
the Yahoo! campus, Weird Stuff is a vast, venerable temple of discarded computer surplus, an electronics junkyard on shelves, a glorious paean to all tech-hobbyist cultures, a mystical vortex that could only have crystallised here in Silicon Valley. Although it’s hard to fathom now, with smartphones and tablets dominating, even 15 years ago, many enthusiasts in Silicon Valley pieced their computers together from scratch. Swapping out parts was common. Weird Stuff was always the best place to go and today, it remains a beautiful bastion of computer bricolage. As mentioned earlier, Silicon Valley is more a state of mind than a geographical place, but with Palo Alto as the heart, one can easily bop around and watch executives, Venture capitalists or CEOs enjoying drinks. 78
Although secret hideouts and clandestine meeting spots exist everywhere between the cracks, there are a few common haunts where one can imagine a potential deal going down. In any event, should no hi-tech hotshots readily emerge during your visit, other regulars will entertain you with stories of how the world changed at the very table you’re sitting at. Some of the stories may even be true. Buck’s Restaurant, in the multimillionaire mountain communit y of Woodside, for instance, can lay claim to more Venture capitalist goings-on than any other public place in the world. Woodside is the stomping ground of Silicon Valley’s upper echelon, with most houses reaching into the eight figures. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison lives here, as does Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and primo
venture capitalist John Doerr, who hosted Barack Obama last year. If you depart Stanford University going the back way out, where it fades into the foothills, Buck’s is a 10-minute drive and one exit up scenic highway 280. Restaurant ow ner Jamis MacNiven spent years amassing paraphernalia, collectibles, photos, toys, statues and other folk-art ephemera, all of which envelop the inside of the humble restaurant. He even wrote a book, Breakfast at Bucks: Tales from
the Pancake Guy, revealing lurid yarns that read like the backroom histor y of Silicon Valley. Just one example: it was at Buck’s that venture capitalists and engineers dreamed up the Netscape browser in 1994, while MacNiven served them pancakes. In the introduction, MacNiven dedicates the entire book to the Sultan of Brunei,
ThE FOur SeASoNs SILiCOn VALLEy
from whose extravagant behaviour he draws inspiration. In Palo Alto proper, one can step into any upscale restaurant and spot venture capitalists, CEOs or their boards of directors, but three hotel restaurants in particular stand out above the rest. Quattro, in the Four Seasons Silicon Valley, regularly caters to high rollers and their attorneys. The hotel is a definitive venue for extremely private, hush-hush tech sector acquisitions, which go down in the boardrooms or executive suites. People watching in Quattro or its bar area is quite a treat. Madera is located in the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, right behind the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center on Sand Hill Road, the legendary thoroughfare home to many VC firms. It is the first fine dining establishment to open on
that stretch of road, as the road leaves Stanford and descends to the scenic highway 280 and the foothills. In downtown Palo Alto, local executives from hi-tech industries often pop
Vc wizARDs, TEch Gurus ANd hIGhPOweRed bUSINesS LeAdeRs dIne TheRe in to Il Fornaio, an Italian restaurant inside the Garden Court Hotel. Business travelers regularly stay at the hotel, which even offers a ‘Geek Chic Experience,’ including a 45-minute blimp ride over Silicon Valley.
Should you prefer to navigate by yourself, David Laws of the Computer History Museum created his own app guide to the entire valley, from Stanford all the way south to San Jose. Silicon Valley Roots & Shoots illuminates 125 hi-tech heritage sites throughout the area, replete with hundreds of photos. “One thing a lot of people don’t appreciate is that Silicon Valley didn’t happen over night,” Laws explained. “It took a whole series of creating the infrastructure, training people to be engineers, people learning to be entrepreneurs. “A series of technological innovations that would build and mushroom. And the secret of Silicon Valley is, somehow, the ability to find ways to invent the next round, to keep the Valley going.” Gary Singh is a regular columnist for the Metro Silicon Valley 79
INSIDE THE WORLD'S BIGGEST TECH SHOW BY PADDY SMITH
o you like it dirty?” I nod. “A little.” I note the red brassiere winking out from beneath a black bodice. It matches the hot red miniskirt that covers the small stretch of leg left beyond the knee-high boots and black fishnet stockings. She smiles from somewhere beneath her jet black bob, straightens up to cut off the view and sashays back towards the bar, her tray held aloft. Thus the waitress signals the completion of my first order in Las Vegas: a dirty vodka Martini. As the bartender gets to work with a bottle of Grey Goose, some dry vermouth, a splash of olive oil (that’s the “dirty” bit) and a trio of olives on
VEGAS MAKES AND BREAKS DREAMS BY THE BUCKETLOAD
a stick, I consider where we are: Las Vegas. Sin City. In the fictional sci-fi future in which we get to learn about things by having a series of images flash before our eyes, Vegas will have Sinatra, the fat version of Elvis, shady mafia types, one of the most recognisable welcome signs in the world and a montage of mathematically-printed green baize swimming in a sea of neon lights. Las Vegas in microcosm can be found at The Venetian (ironically, more than you’ll find Renaissance Venice in microcosm, the hotel designer’s heavy-handed intent). From the dark, class-and-glass bar where I await my drink, it is 30 seconds walk to the casino floor, where the aging velour tracksuit brigade fritter away their private pensions, quarter by quarter, on the slots. On the far side of the ocean of flashing lights and octogenarians are the tables – roulette, blackjack, craps. Beyond, there are more (endlessly themed) bars, a crop of high-class nightclubs and dozens of restaurants serving belt-loosening portions of high-calorie food. Of course, not everyone is here for this hedonistic buffet. Some of us are here to work. My assignation is to cover a trade fair – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES to its friends). Here in the beating heart of the American Dream’s basest display – where fortunes are won, love bought and sold and debauchery excused in the few places it is not encouraged – the future-gazing pulse of today’s technology industry can also be found. CES is the show for people who don’t believe you can wrap your town in neon and live happily ever after. It’s for people who won’t be happy until all the neon in Vegas has been replaced with active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes.
Here’s the deal: you turn up with an idea for a gadget, get someone to invest in a prototype and turn up next year to sell it. Buyers, exporters, marketeers, engineers and analysts mill about the halls looking for things to buy, export, market, engineer and analyse. And then there are the rest of us, the tourists on this journey from garden shed hobbyist to technological entrepreneur. The watchers. There are nearly 6,000 members of the press here. Like those attracted to the flash-
drinks of my colleagues – a motley assortment of journalists, delegates and show organisers from the Consumer Electronics Association (each with a minimum of two mobile phones). The show begins tomorrow and the organisers take several phone calls a minute, coolly delegating as they steer one of the world’s largest trade shows (population: 150,000) towards its immovable deadline between sips from frosted glasses that are beginning to bead with condensation. The
satisfy their clichéd appetites.) What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Or so we’re led to believe by the culture that celebrates this false paradise. Don’t get me wrong – Vegas has hotels that outswank almost everywhere on earth, it has limousines so long you can do lengths in the hot tub, and it can legitimately claim to host the rich and famous daily (example: Celine Dion – one of the most successful pop singers of all time – plays nightly at Caesar’s Palace). It’s
CLEANERS GET THE SONY STAND READY FOR THE FIRST DAY OF CES
ing lights of South Las Vegas Boulevard, we too are magpies drawn to the shiniest distractions, the ones that temporarily make real life seem drab and grey. Perhaps it’s this emotional bond – the idea of temporary diversion as the slayer of modern boredom – that makes Sin City’s garish display a fitting frame for the world’s biggest gadget bash. The cloudy martini appears on the table in front of me, along with the 84
VEGAS IS THE HOME OF THE TEMPORARY DIVERSION, FITTING FOR A TECH SHOW journalists are in the bar to show face and get a primer, but mainly because the drinks are going on someone else’s tab. (The bottomless expense account went out with the Remington typewriter; modern hacks use cunning to
so American about it all, though. Even the monorail brags about the city’s scenery and accomplishments as you glide otherwise silently to your next destination; it only forgets to wish you good luck winning back the fare when you get there. Eventually, the driverless, snailpaced monorail pod arrives at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, home to CES for the week. After passing the Wynn and looking down on the golf
course where rich Americans do business, we come to the place where business is done for the rest of us: people who make stuff, people who sell stuff and people who talk about stuff. Once a year, the Las Vegas Convention Centre, a good portion of hotel bookings and almost every bar and restaurant in town are frequented by that curious species known as The Geek. The Geek is the man who makes gadgets work. He’s the guy who understands what happens inside your computer when you try to connect to the internet. If you’re nice, he might even tell you why it won’t. But unless you’re on nodding terms with internet protocol gateways and dynamic host configurations, you won’t understand. Mentally, you may picture The Geek as a bespectacled, socially misplaced introvert who thinks languages are called Visual Basic and Objective-C. The Geek of your mind’s eye probably grew up with a permanent wedgie. In fact, The Geek is young, fashionable, coordinated, fit, confident and quite good at drinking. He knows how a computer works. He might even be a woman, although the fairer sex are still drastically underrepresented in the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and there is a slight surfeit of beards… for stroking, presumably). But The Geek – today – looks very much like the rest of the human race. It’s utterly disarming when they start talking about complex logarithms, an effect not dissimilar to seeing a cat bark (which you can probably do, thanks to The Geek, on YouTube). The Las Vegas Convention Centre, home to this gaggle for the next four days, is no sight for sore eyes. Even those reporting no ocular pain at all have been known to gasp at the sheer ugliness of the squat blocks of pink aluminium, bedecked with adver86
tisements (Samsung, Toshiba, LG, Sony, etc.) that are strewn around its monstrous façade-like bunting for the street party at the end of the universe. But you can’t fail to have sore eyes in Las Vegas – it could’ve been designed to hurt your eyeballs. Especially, it is designed to stop you realising that America’s most beautiful natural wonders are on its doorstep. Frequently, it feels as though someone is trying to stop you from venturing outside. The endless expanses of the many resort hotels lining The Strip are full of signs pointing to everything but the exit. The Las Vegas Convention Center shies away from the dazzle of The Strip’s excesses, retreating behind the monolithic hotels and faked global
CES REPRESENTS THE AMERICAN DREAM, AMBITION RULES HERE sightseeing oppor tunities like an awkward fat girl at a party. An awkward fat girl with spots. At a swimwear models’ convention. Push through the crowd of middlemanagement smokers at the doors of the convention center and there’s a different scene. The size of the center – and the variety of acts that show up this week – mean you are likely to step into any number of parallel universes, like some sort of gadget-based Narnia. In one universe, there are rows of what convention-going folk call ‘shell schemes’. These resemble the worst sort of office partitioning: high white walls, carpet tiled floor and no ceiling; they’re the cheap seats, occupied by delegates who arrive with two suitcases, one containing a cheap
suit, the other holding branded banners that will be unfurled and tied to collapsible stands until they are repacked at the end of the show. They’re the equivalent – in tech terms – of the roadhouse-style bars that proudly boast how long they’ve been lowering property prices on The Strip. Around the corner, in another universe, there are duplex apartment blocks with gardens of deepest shagpile, porches staffed by beautiful girls (in outfits skimpy enough to be exciting but with just enough cloth on which to print a couple of logos) and kitchens with coffee machines the size of a Mustang’s engine block. There’s plump, comfortable furniture on which you can recline while someone runs off to find refreshments. I’m invited to the roof deck at five for an “impromptu” party where Bucks Fizz will be served in tall flutes. I decline. The shell schemers, needless to say, aspire to make enough sales to move into the duplexes. The duplexes, meanwhile, are eager to punch through to the big time. The same companies that have festooned the outside of the LVCC with advertising have taken over portions of the convention centre so big you can get lost in them. They have cinemas, meeting rooms and hundreds of efficient staff running around in matching outfits. The lu x u r y ca r pet reaches fa r enough that you can’t see from one end to the other. It will also generate enough static electricity over the next few days to power several of Vegas’s neon signs. The CES handshake often comes with a painful jolt. CES represents the gainful half of the American dream. There’s a nuclear work ethic, the school-taught ability to successfully pitch tea to the Chinese and two weeks of holiday a year. It all
conspires to make this the spiritual home of ambition. In the States, almost everyone is told they can be whatever they want. Despite the untruth, many buy the line. And they take it very seriously. Here in the fastest growing industry on the planet, ambition seethes. And it’s ugly. The other basic tenet of Americanism is freedom. And this is where the gears grind on our current scene. A short drive from the shell schemes and shagpile can be found the basest expression of the American right to freedom. Vegas is where you come to let them entertain you – shows, fights, gigs… and that’s just the stuff you can tell your wife about when you get home. “All-female mud wrestling” boasts a cinematic display board, just a tiny slice of this glut of “pleasure”. The Tattoo Club is advertised on the roof
of a passing cab. A bus chokes past, its sides plastered with an image of a bikini-clad female bodybuilder clutching a machine gun. She invites the visitor to join her in shooting the weapon. Two more taxis sluice by advertising her competitors. There are the endless bars, the anything-goes parties in privately rented suites, the all-night casinos and the hard-fought battle for your gourmet dollar among legions of allyou-can-eat buffets, perhaps the ultimate symbol of this fallacious lifestyle. The blink-and-you’ll-missit sell is pitched so hard that many people forget to open their eyes in the first place. If they did, they’d see the morbid obesity that waddles in human form down the sidewalk, straight into Denny’s to get a generous portion of ac-
celerated heart attack. They’d see the burnt out men, drinking their gambling debts off their minds. For all this excess there is a price to pay – a message you won’t hear from the Las Vegas tourist board. Witness the bums on the Flamingo Road overpass for proof. Is it possible that we’re walking just as blindly into technology’s dazzling lights as those drawn moth-like to Las Vegas’s brightly-lit promise of a better life? Sitting at breakfast waiting for a colleague, I try to bring myself back from the previous night’s excesses. A couple of hours sleep, strong American painkillers, weak American coffee and a mercifully hearty breakfast and it’s back to the ugly house for another day trawling the world’s technological breakthroughs and wondering what’ll be the next big thing.
Judging by the crowds here, the next big thing is in nearly as much demand as a quick fix of vice. But while on The Strip the tourists meander aimlessly, sipping from daquiris decanted from cardboard cartons to paper cups, here there is a certain purpose. What that purpose is remains unclear – I have been to Las Vegas a number of times (mostly to visit CES) and no one has been able to supply a finite destination for all this relentless ambition. Progress in technology is a blind pursuit precisely because no one knows where it is going or how it can be used in the future. The deals that happen at CES are no less a gamble than the chips placed on the roulette tables in the casinos. In both cases, there’s a lot to gain for the fortunate. In both, too, there is a lot to lose. Remember the TV cartoon series
The Jetsons? It told us about a future
filled with time- and effort-saving tech – gadgets, essentially. These were supposed to make us happier. In the future, we’d have robot butlers to do our chores. The daily commute would be traffic-free and quite fun thanks to the advent of affordable personal jet packs. And so on. That future is now (almost – The Jetsons was set in a fictional 2062). We crave new and shiny things. Our TVs are better than they used to be, but contain less programming and more advertising than ever before. We can make phone calls from almost anywhere on Earth, yet the idea of being unreachable – even on holiday – is drifting towards the history books. For every leap the technology industry catapults forward, there is a springing recoil, an elastic ricochet that makes us crave nostalgic things. Easy lives become sedentary and unhealthy.
Staggeringly large circles of acquaintances are glimpsed through browser windows aimed at social networks, but we forge fewer deep friendships than ever. We’re not growing up. We’re growing outwards. Humanity’s growth spurt has been replaced by an unsightly middle-aged spread. My colleague is wearing a retro Marvel Comics t-shirt as we leave The Mirage Hotel to go to the airport. The porter whistles at a cab and studies the faded print. “Man,” he says, “you just took me back to my childhood.” His smile, unlike that of almost every other member of Las Vegas’s army of service personnel, is genuine. He pauses after we climb into the back seat, lost in his reverie of simpler, happier times. It takes a couple of seconds for him to wake up into this other reality. Perhaps he is reminded by the endlessly repeated promotional video of the hotel’s resident ventriloquist on the wall. Perhaps it is the eruption of a flame from the new volcano ‘attraction’. Or perhaps it is the dull throb of neon and traffic that reminds this porter there may be more to life beyond his patch of hotel forecourt. “Have a nice day,” he says formally. The door closes and as we lurch around the sweeping driveway he picks up a small electronic device and starts to jab at the screen with a plastic stylus. Another pair of visitors are logged leaving Las Vegas. The roulette wheels keep on spinn i n g , t he world ’s te c h i ndu s t r y keeps inventing; we’ll be back next year, along with the money-hunting hordes, to get a glimpse of what our future might be. Whether we’ll ever learn anything remains to be seen. Paddy Smith is the editor of stuff.tv and a multiple CES Las Vegas visitor 89
ILLUSTRATION: NICOLA FELACO
w o hndo
e t n i n
k o o h s ld
r o w e h t
by brian ashcraft
JAPAN’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH GAMES HAS GONE ON FOR DECADES
yoto. Pass a small canal, walk down a sleepy st reet and next to a fruit s t a n d , t h e r e’s a three-story stone building. You wouldn’t know it, but the most successful video game company on earth started right there. There’s a plaque out front, but it mentions nothing about video games. Instead, it reads ‘Play ing Cards’. Decades later, that same company is still in business, but it’s best known for a different leisure activity: video games. That company is Nintendo. With iconic characters such as Mario and Donkey Kong, Nintendo is the Walt Disney of the video game world. Even those who don’t follow video games instantly recognize its games and characters. Like Kleenex for tissues and Coke for cola, Nintendo is shorthand for video games. In the 100 plus years since it’s been established, Nintendo’s ride has been
nothing short of wild: from its mysterious beginnings to the swinging sixties, from the dawn of a new industry to its successes and failures, Nintendo has seen both the ups and the downs. And it’s taken some big chances. For such a well-known company, so much of Nintendo, like Japan itself, remains a mystery. The meaning of Nintendo’s name in Japanese is often translated as ‘leave luck to heaven’. However, even former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who turned the outfit from a small playing card company to a video game giant, said he didn’t know what Nintendo really meant. According to video game journalists Florent Gorges, the ‘ten’ in Nintendo does not refer to the Japanese character for heaven (tengoku), but rather the long-nosed mythological creator Tengu, who appeared on Japanese playing cards and was synonymous with illegal gambling. Yakuza expert and Tokyo Vice author Jake Adelstein, however, pointed out
that the ‘Nin’ is a Japanese character with organised crime connotations: ‘Nin’ could be from ‘ninkyo’ or ‘chivalry’, an important concept in the world of organised crime. That isn’t to say that gangsters started Nintendo – they didn’t. However, in 19th century Kyoto, just as the country was opening itself to the outside world, gambling dens flourished. Nintendo made, and still (it’s one of the few companies that still does) makes, traditional Japanese playing cards, and Nintendo became one of the first companies to make Westernstyle playing cards in Japan. One set, the ‘Daitoryo’ (President) deck, featured the French Emperor Napoleon instead of actual presidents. Today, modern-day versions of Nintendo’s traditional playing cards are sold in toy stores and convenience stores across Japan. Kyoto was one of the few Japanese cities untouched by Allied bombing during World War II, out of respect
for the country’s national heritage and the abundance of shrines and temples that still stand today. In 1949, then-president of Nintendo, Sekiryo Yamauchi was too ill to carry on and enlisted his grandson Hiroshi, then a college student, to take over. Now 84, Hiroshi Yamauchi isn’t only one of the richest men in Japan, but the world. It was Yamauchi, who took Nintendo from a small card maker to a global game company. Of course, there were false starts and failures, such as a Nintendo taxi service and even a love hotel. The taxi company was eventually sold off, and the love hotel remains a mystery. The now family-friendly Nintendo does not list the lascivious establishment on its official company history. It’s not even known if the hotel still exists. With so much emphasis in Japan placed on respecting elders, the notion that a college kid was to helm Nintendo didn’t go over smoothly initially. Workers went on strike and refused to take the young Yamauchi seriously. The new president, however, clamped down, firing the strikers. He also began expanding the company and innovating, including the introduction of playing cards to Japan in 1959. The cards featured Disney characters, as Nintendo had not yet created iconic characters of its own. Even though Yamauchi was a tough boss, Nintendo employees had endless freedom to create. A young toy engineer, Gunpei Yokoi, dreamt up a slew of novelty playthings in the 1960s and 1970s, such as a ‘Love Tester’ machine that discerned whether the two people gripping its metallic handles were compatible. But it was Gunpei Yokoi’s handheld gaming devices that would make the biggest impact – and cement Nintendo’s gaming status. On the way home one night, Yokoi noticed a pas-
senger playing with a portable calculator. Inspired, Yokoi created Game & Watch, a handheld game machine capable of playing only one game. More Game & Watch titles followed; they were simple, but addictive. During the 1970s, Pong , the classic Atari game, spawned its share of imitators. Nintendo, which was beginning to move into newfangled electronic games, had a Pong clone of its own to peddle to Japanese consumers. Just as Nintendo was showing its creativity with Game & Watch, a young Nintendo employee was asked to create a new game. His name was Shigeru Miyamoto, and he would go on to become the most important game creator who ever lived.
The arcades were not enough for Nintendo, it wanted to control the living room During the late 1970s, Taito’s Space Invaders was a smash arcade hit. The game was so popular that coffee shops began moving out their pinball machines and clearing space for glasstop arcade cabinets running the game. One could not walk down the street in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka without hearing the iconic Space Invaders music coming out of early Japanese arcades, dubbed ‘Invader houses’. Nintendo wasn’t alone in hoping to cash in. One of its space shooters, Radar Scope, flopped, and the company hoped that Miyamoto, a young game designer, could fix the game. Instead, Miyamoto created an entirely new game that wasn’t set in space. It featured a large ape named Donkey Kong, who kidnapped a young woman. The
game’s hero, Jumpman, would later be renamed and become gaming’s most iconic character ever: Mario. Released in 1981, Donkey Kong was the most innovative arcade game of its time – even if Universal Studios said it ripped off King Kong. Besides featuring fiendishly difficult game play, it packed innovation after innovation: it was the first video game to attempt to tell a story, it was the first video game to include movie-style cut-scenes, it was the first video game in which players had to rescue a damsel in distress, and it was one of the first video games to featured varied game stages. The game gave Nintendo the breakthrough US hit it so wanted and captured the imagination of arcade gamers everywhere. Nintendo was the king of the arcades, but it had its sights on someplace else: the living room. During the late 1970s, Nintendo released a ser ies of Pong clones. The game systems were simple and slightly crude and featured pre-program med games. US-based Atari had powered ahead with a series of home consoles that allowed gamers to switch game cartridges. The American home game market was heating up, and by 1983, it crashed, sending countless game makers out of business. Atari nearly lost its shirt on the video game adaptation of E.T., a game that was such a huge failure that urban legend has it that Atari buried twenty truckloads of game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill, covering it with cement. Meanwhile in Japan, Nintendo was rolling out its own home game system, called the Family Computer or Famicom, for short. The console featured home versions of popular Nintendo arcade games, such as Donkey Kong, but the initial roll-out was rocky due to a bad internal chipset that caused the con93
PONG, THE GRANDADDY OF THE ARCADE INDUSTRY
sole to crash repeatedly. Once the growing pains were sorted, Famicom became a Japanese mainstay, and it was rebranded and redesigned for the Western market as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. Before the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Western home console gaming market was dead. PC gaming continued to thrive, especially in Europe, but with the video game crash of 1983 and Atari bleeding money, home console gaming, it seemed, was finished. The NES changed that. It was the must-have Christmas present in 1985, and came pre-packed with one of the greatest video games ever made: Super Mario Bros. Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, who was fast becoming Nintendo’s in-house game wizard, Super Mario Bros. was the biggest selling game of all time, and it introduced a whole generation of players to now-iconic Nintendo char94
acters. Originally, the game was very difficult: it was initially supposed to be a shooting game, but Nintendo dropped the shooting, focusing on the jump-and-run element. For many kids in the 1980s, the colourful world, v iv id characters, and memorable music were unlike anything they had ever seen. Miyamoto was on a roll, and after Super Mario Bros., and along with cocreator Takashi Tezuka, he unveiled something radically different: The Legend of Zelda . It was an adventure game with puzzle elements, inspired by Miyamoto’s childhood, when he’d
The company changed everything with one game: Super Mario Bros.
explored the forests, hills, and caves near his home in Kyoto. In the game, there were dungeons, secret passageways, potions, swords and shields. Players took the role of Link, a young boy out to save Zelda, a princess Miyamoto named after the wife of American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. In popular culture, the name Zelda now carries a close association with the game; actor Robin Williams even named his daughter Zelda after this Nintendo game. The First Legend of Zelda spawned a series of highly acclaimed sequels and spin-offs. Each new Zelda , such as last year’s The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword , are hugely anticipated titles and more often than not show just how brilliant Nintendo’s game design can be. The little card company was now an international entertainment giant, licensing its characters out to breakfast cereals, pajamas, and cartoons. Kids
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didn’t know what Nintendo meant or even where it was from; they just knew it churned out wonderful game after wonderful game. Rivals took notice. In 1985, Sega, originally a jukebox distributor founded by Americans during World War II, launched a home console of its own, the Sega Master System. The goal was to compete directly w ith Nintendo. The console was more powerful than the Nintendo’s NES, and it even got LCD
3D glasses – a technological marvel for the late 1980s. However, the Master System could never quite compete with Nintendo where it counted most: the games. The Sega-Nintendo rivalry heated up during the 1990s, with Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog going head to head with Mario. The rivalry was fierce and played out in the pages of game magazines, with Sega ads infamously claiming that its Master System follow-up, the Sega Genesis,
does “What Nintendon’t”. Sega fought the good fight, which intensified when Sony finally threw its hat in the game console ring, and finally exited the game hardware business in 2001 with the Sega Dreamcast. It wasn’t only home game consoles that Nintendo dominated, but portable ones. In 1989, Nintendo released the Game Boy. The black and green graphics were crude and hardly eye popping. Rival Atari had a handheld of its own, the 16-bit Atari Lynx, which, on paper, should have destroyed the Game Boy. Sporting the first portable gaming system with a colour LCD display, the Lynx was far more powerful than the Game Boy, but as Nintendo had previously proved, that doesn’t matter. The
The Lynx was more powerful but the Game Boy had the best games Lynx was big and bulky and devoured batteries. The Game Boy could be stuffed into someone’s (largish) pocket, had a better battery life thanks to its low-powered graphics, cost half what the Lynx did, and most importantly, the Game Boy came bundled with a free copy of Tetris. In 1989, Tetris was
THE POKEMON STORE IN CENTRAL TOKYO
the Angry Birds of its day. People could not stop playing it. Even those who had never owned a video game machine before were buying the Game Boy just so they could play Tetris. When Sega tried to take on the Game Boy with a new, colour-display portable of its own, the Game Gear, it included a free copy of puzzle game Columns. While fun, Columns was not Tetris, and players were not fooled. Nintendo released a slew of Game Boy games featuring its iconic char-
acters, and non-Nintendo game studios released a vast library of titles for the handheld. In 1996, Nintendo published two new Game Boy games that would go on to become one of the most successful franchises ever, but a rite of passage for kids. In 1996, Nintendo released Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version . Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, Pokémon had kids catch monsters and have them fight. While there was battling, the kid-friendly game wasn’t overly violent – none of the monsters die or bleed. The game was an unexpected smash hit and ushered in a Pokémon multi-media franchise
The Mario movie was so bad both lead actors disowned it that exists to this day, with a popular weekly anime in Japan and high grossing feature films released every summer, while Japanese kids are out of school. Since 1996, kids in Japan and beyond have been enthralled by not only the cute monsters, but also the engaging game play. Not everything Nintendo touched turned to gold. There was the 1993 Hollywood live-action Super Mario Bros., a movie so bad that lead actors Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper disowned it. But that cinematic stinker could be pawned off on Hollywood’s persistent inabilit y to ‘get’ v ideo games. The Virtual Boy could not. Released in 1995, the Virtual Boy promised ‘true 3D’ through an enormous headset. Rushed to market when its creator, Gunpei Yokoi, still viewed the product as a work in progress, the Virtual Boy was a flop. Gamers complained that it made them ill, a com98
plaint that initially dogged the Nintendo 3DS, and the whole contraption was not only uncomfortable to use but utterly ridiculous. Nintendo discontinued the Virtual Boy within a year of its release. Its creator, Gunpei Yokoi, who had been instrumental in making Nintendo a gaming powerhouse, left Nintendo shortly thereafter, going to make handheld gaming devices for a Nintendo rival. Competition in the video game world is so fierce that an urban legend says Hiroshi Yamauchi hired yakuza to take out Yokoi. This is untrue, and Yokoi died in a car accident in 1997. While Nintendo was never really ‘cool’, the Kyoto-based game maker was losing its edge by the late 1990s. Nintendo and Sony planned to work on a joint Super Nintendo console that used CD-ROM games instead of game cartridges. The deal fell through, and Sony released a CD-ROM powered console of its own, dubbed the PlayStation. The machine was a hit, and Sony dominated the video game world. The PlayStation’s successor, the PlayStation 2, which was released in 2000, would become the biggestselling video game console of all time. The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 blew pretty much everything else out of the water. The machine featured high-powered graphics and stunning games. In comparison, Nintendo and its games looked like kids’ play. After, Microsoft rolled out the Xbox in 2001, Nintendo was relegated to third place with its GameCube console, which looked more like a toy than an entertainment system. The Nintendo Era was over. Or was it? In what had to be the greatest comeback gaming has ever seen, Nintendo took a huge chance with a new handheld device. Short for the ‘Developer’s System’, the Ninten-
do DS featured dual screens. The DS didn’t pack much of a visual punch, but its innovative touch-based gameplay was a breath of fresh air when many gamers felt as though video games had become too complicated and too insular. With the DS, Nintendo didn’t only aim to please hardcore games; it also wanted to appeal to non-gamers, just as the Game Boy did. And the DS did exactly that. The machine looked more like a PDA, and it came with a touch-pen. Pet simulator Nintendogs and brain training game Brain Age attempted to redefine what exactly a video game was. The games surpassed all expectations, selling millions. While competitors were content to release sports games or military shooters, Nintendo was doing something totally different. The Kyotobased game maker was riding high, and further revisions such as the DS Lite and DSi, were hits. It became the fastest-selling handheld ever, and to date, Nintendo has shipped nearly 149 million units worldwide. But Nintendo was not nearly finished yet. The GameCube, while it saw some fantastic games, was a failure. Nintendo noticed that Sony and Microsoft were gearing up for a high-powered console showdown in living rooms across the world and decided to opt out. Released in 2006, the Wii, with its slick Apple-like minimalistic packaging that echoed Nintendo’s new corporate headquarters, was no living room entertainment hub. It wasn’t high def. It couldn’t even play DVD movies, let alone Blu-ray. The graphics were not crystal clear. It could do one thing, and one thing well: video games. As with previous Nintendo products, the key to the Wii’s succession was innovation. The console featured motion controls unlike anyone had ever
NINTENDO’S GREATEST SUCCESS, THE GAME BOY
seen on a video game machine. The world was transfixed with Wii Sports, swinging its arms around and batting virtual tennis balls through the living room. Gamers were getting up off the sofa and moving about. The Wii, just like the DS, appealed to casual gamers, and Nintendo released titles aimed at people who probably never owned a Mario game before. Some titles, such as exercise game Wii Fit , were hits. Others, like music game Wii Music , were not. The console’s success was surprising: the games didn’t look that great, but people didn’t care. As with the Game Boy, Nintendo showed that high-powered consoles didn’t necessarily capture people’s imaginations: memorable characters and new experiences did. But, within the past few years, the stream of new Wii games has been running dry. Un li ke t he PS3 a nd Xbox 360, which are close in tech specs, game studios must make different versions of their games for the Wii – or simply make Wii-exclusive titles. Nintendo, which only makes games for
its hardware, has no problem making exclusive games. The company actually designs games specifically for its hardware, enticing players to buy its home consoles and portable game systems just to play the latest Zelda
Nintendo is one of the most innovative games firms in the world epic or Mario adventures. What’s more, Nintendo has turned its attention to its new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS allows players to see 3D graphics without 3D glasses, a feature that initially caused motion sickness complaints from players, echoing the problems the Virtual Boy had. Nintendo also issued a warning about the 3D feature for kids under the age of six, pointing out that it was optional and that games could be played with the 3D turned off. While the 3DS’s launch was rocky and stagnant, the last six months have been
great for 3DS owners and Nintendo. Sales are skyrocketing and new games, such as Super Mario 3D Land, an updated 3D take on Mario’s first Game Boy game Super Mario Land , show Nintendo still has it. But that’s just it. Nintendo never really lost it. Even before the Nintendo made v ideo games, it was t r y ing things out and taking chances. Some things, such as the love hotel or the Virtual Boy, didn’t work. Other things, such as the plastic playing cards or the Wii, did. Nintendo is viewed as a conservative, traditional Japanese company, but that stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Nintendo is an innovator. Nintendo takes chances. Later this year, Nintendo will launch its newest home console, the Wii U, which features HD graphics and a new touch panel controller. It’s a gamble, but Nintendo would not have it any other way. Brian Ashcraft is a contributing editor to the leading Japanese site Kotagu. 99
in h t y d n od a b t r a te e ch bet , k a c ha to to ay w rw o h ou y
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ILLUSTRATION: JOSIP KELAVA
few months ago, Timothy Fer riss, a selfhe lp aut hor, t h r e w himself a party in San Francisco, where he lives. Officially, it was not a celebration for his most recent book, The 4-Hour Body, which came out in December 2010 and is already in its eleventh printing. In the book, Ferriss tells his readers, “Hack yourself ”, and presents them with hundreds of “scientific rules for redesigning the human body”: bathing in ice to lose weight, eating organic almond butter on celery sticks to treat insomnia. Nor was the party meant to mark the enduring success of his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich , which is still on the New York Times’ business best-seller list after four years. That book counsels readers to limit their newspaper reading to the headlines visible from vending machines and to outsource the management of their calendars and finances to a personal assistant in Bangalore. Every generation gets the self-help guru that it deserves. In 1937, at the height of the Depression, Napoleon Hill w rote Think and Grow Rich , which claimed to distil the principles that had made Andrew Carnegie so wealthy. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale, which was published in 1952, advised readers that techniques such as “a mind emptying at least twice a day” would lead to success. By the seventies, Werner Erhard promised material wealth through spiritual enlightenment. The eighties and nineties saw management-consultancy maxims married with New Age thinking, with books such as Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In the past decade or so, there has been a 102
rise in books such as Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson, which promise to help readers maximise their professional potential in an era of unpredictable workplaces. Ferriss’s books appeal to those for whom cheese, per se, has ceased to have any allure. “This book is not about finding your ‘dream job’, ” Ferriss writes in The 4-Hour Workweek. “I will take it as a given that, for most people, somewhere between six and seven billion of them, the perfect job is the one that takes the least time.” But Ferriss doesn’t recommend idleness. Rather, he prescribes a kind of hyperkinetic entrepreneurialism of the body and soul, with every man his own life coach, angel investor, webmaster, personal trainer, and pharmaceutical test subject. One’s body can become one’s own laboratory: with “a few tweaks,” Ferriss suggests, its performance can be maximally enhanced – just as in the movie Limitless, but without the nasty withdrawal symptoms. His books seem to have a particular resonance for Wired-reading, granola bar-eating men—those whose desire to improve their abdominal definition may not be so great that they will subscribe to Men’s Health but who find in Ferriss the promise of heightened braininess complemented by an enviable degree of brawniness. Ferriss likes to declare that this is the age of the self-experimenter, and his mantra is “minimal effective dose.” His goal is to determine how much can be achieved with how little, and his method is to interview experts – Ray Cronise, a former NASA scientist; Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Soviet Special Forces instructor – and convey their findings in prose that ranges from alarmingly high-tech to reassuringly conversational. Ferriss’s more technical passages sound like an
he has turned his own body into a new testing ground
he sees himself as a philosopher rather than a huckster “It would make us both quite unhappy. Consult a doctor before doing anything in this book.” Critics have compared him to PT Barnum, and he certainly has a skill for self-salesmanship. Ferriss, naturally, sees himself as more than a mere huckster. “It’s extremely easy to mix my words so that it sounds more like a message from P T Barnum than from a Thoreau or a Seneca, with whom I identify much more,” he told me not long ago. He particularly admires Seneca for his mastery of strategic thinking and for his advocacy of a practice of detachment from worldly things. Ferris estimates that, over the years, he has given away more than four hundred copies of Letters from a Stoic,
FERRIS FIELDING QUESTIONS AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH
Onion satire of a TED talk. In a passage about losing body fat, he writes, “If you are under 25%, still aim for DEXA, BodPod, or ultrasound. If you cannot find these, opt for calipers with a qualified professional (use the same person for all follow-up visits) and request the 3-point or 7-point Jackson-Pollock algorithm.” Ferriss’s self-experimentation has not been without its risks: in 2009, he landed in the emergency room with
a joint infection after getting a series of human-growth-factor injections at a sports-medicine facility in Arizona. And once, in Cape Town, after mega-dosing on resveratrol, which may extend life in laboratory mice, he discovered that the tablets also contained a laxative. Such stunts might lead readers to conclude that Ferriss is something of a quack, but he is careful to issue disclaimers. “Please don’t be stupid and kill yourself,” he writes.
which he calls “the ideal operating system for anyone who wants to operate in high-stress environments.” That’s a considerable figure, though it hardly rivals the thousands of copies of The 4-Hour Body that Ferriss signed for a pre-order promotion on barnesandnoble.com, in the hope of enhancing his ranking on the bestseller lists. Ferriss’s first book, The 4-Hour Workweek , was turned down by 26 publishers before being accepted by Crown, and he recounts this statistic with pride. But it’s easy to understand the caution of those 26. Ferriss’s aesthetic is a pointed rejection of the cul103
ture of constant BlackBerrying, corporate jockeying, and office all-nighters that is celebrated in most business-advice books, and in films such as The Social Network . The 4-Hour Workweek was inspired by a personal epiphany. In 2004, Ferriss, feeling burned out as the CEO of a sports-nutrition company, where he worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, discovered that he preferred to spend his time learning the tango in Buenos Aires or archery in Kyoto. He also found that, by automating his business operations to the largest extent possible, he was able to pull this off. (To a point, at least. Kane Ng, a Hollywood executive who is Ferriss’s friend, told me, expansively, “Tim is a total fraud. ‘Four-hour workweek’? He is constantly busting ass.” Of course, it was Seneca who said that hyperbole “asserts the incredible in order to arrive at the credible.”)
SENECA: STOIC AND FERRISS INSPIRATION
a muse is a vehicle to make money that does not take up any time Ferriss advises would-be members of the New Rich to check e-mail no more than twice a day, and to set automated responses advising correspondents of the recipient’s unavailability. The book counsels readers to take “mini-retirements” now – a month in Costa Rica, three months in Berlin – rather than saving up the prospect of leisure for the final decades of life. And it recommends funding all this by discovering a “muse,” which Ferriss defines, as Seneca did not, as “an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time”. Finding one’s muse, like catching one’s rabbit before cooking it, is more easily said than done, but Ferriss’s advocacy of liberation from the workplace has had a wide appeal, especially among younger people to whom the workplace may be unattainable in the first place, given the unemployment rate. Similarly, his latest book,
The 4-Hour Body, speaks to the peculiar obsessions and insecurities of the young American male. Ferriss tells readers how they might lose 20 pounds in 30 days without exercise – eggs, spinach, and lentils are crucial – and how to triple their testosterone levels. The book, which is 548 pages long, contains a lot of colourfully odd advice – he recommends increasing abdominal definition with an exercise he calls “cat vomiting” – but it also reassures readers that they need not go so far as to
have Israeli stem-cell factor injected into the cervical spine, as Ferriss did in the name of inquiry. Nor need they necessarily incorporate into their regimen Ferriss’s method for determining the effectiveness of controlled binge eating: weighing his feces to find out what kind of crap he was full of. The first time I met Ferriss was in New York, at Fred’s, a restaurant in the Barneys department store on the Upper East Side. In a time-efficiency technique adapted from The 4-Hour
Workweek , he had “clustered” two consecutive meetings, arranging to meet me immediately after spending time with a couple of movie producers. In a clustering miscalculation, however, Ferriss had neglected to seat himself with a view of the restaurant’s doorway, so that I entered and was seated without him noticing, and spotted him before he saw me. He was unmistakable: bobbing on his seat in a T-shirt and jeans in a roomful of men wearing dark suits and women with Japanese-straightened hair, he looked like a backpacker hoping to fulfil a couch-surfing rendezvous. Ferriss, who is 33 years old, is almost impossibly affable, with a square jaw, twinkling blue eyes, and a tanned, wellshaped skull that beams through his close-cropped fair hair. Ferriss grew up in the Hamptons, though not, he was quick to point out, amid the kind of folk who shop at Barneys. “I did not grow up playing tennis with Steven Spielberg and drinking wine with Jerry Seinfeld – I grew up serving coffee to those people,” he told me. His father was a real-estate agent, and his mother was a physical therapist who worked with geriatric patients. “I was a townie,” he went on. “I was the kid with the rat tail dreaming of tearing the hood ornaments off fancy cars.”
Ferriss went to local schools until he was in his freshman year at East Hampton High, when a friend who attended St. Paul’s, the élite boarding school in New Hampshire, told Ferriss that he should apply. He did so, and was accepted, arriving for his sophomore year. Ferriss had been wrestling since childhood, and he became an eager member of the St. Paul’s team. John Buxton, the school’s former wrestling coach, who is now the headmaster of Culver Academies, in Indiana, recalls, “Tim worked really hard – he always wanted to improve and was willing to give his best effort. Then you began to see the more entrepreneurial side. He would start to do more with less. He would come to me and say, ‘I have discovered this technique: instead of putting 250 pounds on the bar and doing the entire bench press, I am going to put 300 on the bar and move it just a few inches.” St. Paul’s required students to study a foreign language, and Ferriss chose Japanese; he spent his junior year living with a host family in Tokyo and attending a Japanese school. It was a formative experience. “I realised how arbitrary a lot of my rules were,” he said. “In Japan, you bathe before you get into the bathtub, and there is a seniority in the order in which you go into the same bath. All these conventions that I realised were fairly arbitrary led me to question a lot of assumptions that I had in all areas.” For college, he went to Princeton, where he enrolled first to study neuroscience before switching to a major in East Asian studies. While at Princeton, Ferriss tried to market audiotapes of college admissions advice for high-school students, but the idea bombed. Before graduating, he took some time off to try another business venture – building a chain of high-end gyms in Taiwan – and that failed, too. 106
After college, Ferriss moved to Silicon Valley, where he worked in sales for a data-storage startup, and discovered that he could best his colleagues by making most of his phone calls immediately before and after regular business hours, at which time he was least likely to be deflected by a secretary. He joined an association of startup entrepreneurs and volunteered to be its event producer, wrangling speakers
take the risks and you will get the payoffs. it is that simple with whom he had a particular fascination, including Jack Canfield, the coeditor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Ferriss offered Canfield introductions to the world of Silicon Valley, and Canfield agreed to speak without a fee. “Tim has no problem asking for things,” Canfield told me. “I teach that in my work. He would send me e-mails every once in a while telling me what he was doing, and he would ask for advice.” Canfield became a mentor to Ferriss, and found him a literary agent, though the exchange has, over the years, grown to become more mutually advantageous. “I learned stuff from his last book,” Canfield said. “The 15-minute-orgasm chapter – my wife and I tried the technique and had great success with that.” Canfield is not the only best-selling writer Ferriss has befriended: Nassim Taleb, the author of The Black Swan , says that he, too, has adopted elements
of The 4-Hour Body, such as swinging kettlebells and strategically bingeing on protein. “The second time we met, we had lunch, and we ate every single egg in the restaurant,” Taleb says. In 2000, Ferriss founded the sportsnutrition company – his last “real” job. The company sold a supplement called BrainQuicken, which was targeted at students and promised to improve retention and recall. The product took off when it was rebranded for athletes, under the name BodyQuick, and as sales increased Ferriss found himself becoming stressed and overworked. Ferriss recalls that his girlfriend at the time, tiring of his long days, gave him a photo frame containing the motto “Business Hours End at 5pm.” “She said, ‘Put this on your desk – I think you need this as a reminder for your own personal health,’” he told me. He sold the business a couple of years ago, when its function as a muse – generating cash without consuming time – had been rendered unnecessary by the cash-generating properties of his books. “The business was like an antivirus software on the computer – it slows you down,” he said. “It was always occupying five or ten per cent of my brain.” These days, Ferriss lives by a different inspirational quotation, from the chef Bobby Flay: “Take the risks and you’ll get the payoffs. Learn from your mistakes until you succeed. It’s that simple.” It sits, framed, on his desk in his apartment, in San Francisco, next to a bookcase filled with copies of The 4-Hour Workweek in several of the 34 other languages into which it has been translated. The apartment has an interior garden filled with tropical plants and a kitchen stocked with green and white teas, which he drinks in the belief that they may help ward off cancer.
Various pieces of punitive-looking exercise equipment were arrayed on the living-room floor, making it look like the staging area for an infomercial. On the bookshelf were manga comic books in several languages; Ferriss uses them to hone his vernacular skills. In addition to Japanese and Mandarin, he speaks Spanish and some German. Kettlebells lined the entry hall, as did Ferriss’s footwear collection: sneakers, Vibrams, and a pair of over-the-knee black suède women’s boots, not in his size. A large suit of kendo armour stood in a corner. Shortly before the end of the academic year, Ferriss visited Princeton to address a class in entrepreneurialism taught by Ed Zschau, a professor in the department of electrical engineering. When Ferriss was a college student, he took the same class, and for the past nine years he has returned to share his experience. I ran into Ferriss outside the building, where he was squatting on a ledge, putting into practice the
4-Hour Workweek precept of working from anywhere by animatedly talking into the camera of his laptop, recording a video for his blog. There are hazards to this on-the-go approach: as he finished up the video, Ferriss accidentally knocked the notepad that contained his lecture’s outline down a storm grate. Ferriss professes to be untroubled that his own freedom to live “outside of the inbox” is bought by transferring drudgery to the inboxes of individuals in the developing world. “There are people I have outsourced to in India who now outsource portions of their work to the Philippines,” he told me. “It’s the efficient use of capital, and if you want the rewards of a free market, if you want to enjoy the rewards of the capitalist system, these are the rules by which you play.”
FERRIS WITH THE BOOK HE HOPES WILL BRING HIM A NEW AUDIENCE
In a further exploration of the rewards of a free market, Ferriss has teamed up with Amazon to publish his next book,
The 4-Hour Chef, which will appear in the next few months, a move that adds considerable muscle to the company’s burgeoning effort to position itself as not just a seller but also a publisher of books. “One of my greatest joys in life is trying things that haven’t been done before,” he said. Ferriss has extended his portfolio of interests to investing: he has begun providing marketing advice to startups in exchange for equity, and has acquired stakes in Facebook and Twitter. After the Princeton talk, Ferriss headed back to Manhattan. He had a meeting with a hedge-fund manager who wanted to hire him as a high-end personal trainer and life coach. He relished the opportunity to apply his
four-hour tools to make his mastery of the universe even more masterly. “It is about how can I train him to be three times what he is currently in terms of performance,” he said. “He is at the very top of that world, and wants to remain at the very top of that world.” The notes he’d prepared for the meeting had also been in the book he’d dropped down the storm grate, but Ferriss was untroubled. Much of the material was backed up somewhere else, and in any case there was no point in obsessing over what could not be retrieved, especially when there was so much more to be gained. “Thank you, Seneca,” he said. Rebecca Mead writers for the New Yorker. This article appeared in full in the September 5th, 2011, issue of the New Yorker 107
SPACE D INSIDE THE SOVIET SPACE RACE
Negative pressure suit used to stabilise blood flow during weightlessness. It increases the load on the muscles and skeleton, which partially compensates for lack of gravity 110
Painting featuring members of the Interkosmos space exploration programme, by R Bobovich, 1982. Reception area, 2nd Department, Star City
Medical control panel, dynamic trainer TsF-7
Decorative mosaic featuring Yuri Gagarin, Star City 115
Cosmonaut AN Shkaplerov, training session 116
Space suit used in Vykhod simulator
Direction-Space! by Maria Gruzdeva is published by dewi lewis publishing and is available at: www.dewilewispublishing.com
BRIEFING P. 122 • HARARE & LUSAKA EXPLORED
P. 124 • GREEN NEWS
P. 130 • ROUTE MAP
N SOUTHRESR STA TS START
LIGH NEW A380 F AND TO YO K O TO T E MELBOURN
EMIRATES EMI RATES NEWS NEWS
FLEET GU I DE
ATES EMIR S DAILY CHE L A U N H T S TO H O FLIG INH CITY CHI M TNAM ON E IN VI E 4, 2012 JUN
As Emirates adds two new African routes, we pick out the places to visit.
1 SOWETO MARKET
Soweto Market is Lusaka’s biggest and most interesting market. Here, you can navigate your way through a huge array of stalls that sell everything from food and herbal medicines to clothes and shoes. Don’t be afraid to haggle! 5
2 THE ANGLICAN CHURCH
Opened in 1962, this elegant concrete building with tall stained glass windows is also commonly referred to as the Church of the Holy Cross. It’s a good way to spend an hour or two.
3 THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
One of the most attractive public buildings in the city, this cultural history museum tells the story of Zambia in sections including ethnography, history and contemporary art. With no national art gallery, this provides visitors with a rare opportunity to sample Zambian art.
What better way to spend a hot Zambian day than cooling off in this popular water theme park? The park’s attractions include swimming pools, water volleyball courts and Botanical World, which has desert, tropical and indigenous plants, picnic spots, BBQ areas and green lawns for fun and games.
5 LILAYI LODGE
One of the most appealing aspects of visiting sub-Saharan Africa is the abundance of unique wildlife. With this in mind, it is well worth heading to this wildlife ranch to see animals as close to the wild as they can be in the city.
Go forth, to London
On the horizon
IT’S A BIG YEAR FOR LONDON. ALREADY ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST exciting and influential capital cities, this year it hosts the Olympic Games. Emirates has decided to increase the number of daily A380 flights from three to four. The fourth A380 flight will launch on March 25, making a grand total of five daily flights to the English capital – twice as many as any other carrier.
MELBOURNE AND TOKYO HAVE BEEN announced as new destinations in 2012 for the A380. The Australian city will see the nonstop flight go live on October 1, while the daily service to the Japanese capital starts on July 1.
ILLUSTRATIONS: EDWARD MCGOWAN
4 ADVENTURE CITY
FLEET GUI DE
EMIRATES NEWS EMIRATES NEWS
On-board online PASSENGERS FLYING ON EMIRATES’ FLAGSHIP A380 FLEET WILL BE able to surf the internet, email and tweet from the comfort of their seats as Emirates launches its Wi-Fi internet connection service, OnAir. The new service allows customers on select Emirates A380s to connect to the inflight internet using Wi-Fi. “Being connected inflight is increasingly important, especially on our longer flights. Adding internet access is going to be a vital part of any inflight experience, just as it is in everyday life on the ground,” says Patrick Brannelly, Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital and Events. The OnAir system will be installed both now and in the future across the entire Emirates A380 fleet, with all the new Emirates A380s delivered from mid-2012 offering a full range of Wi-Fi, mobile phone and mobile data services.
1 HARARE GARDENS
The city’s largest park, is a haven from the city bustle. It is a favourite spot for wedding photos. Look for the island-like stand of rainforest, with its miniature Victoria Falls and Zambezi Gorge. 4
2 NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ZIMBABWE
Founded in 1935, the National Archives of Zimbabwe is the place to go to learn about the history of Rhodesia and modern Zimbabwe. It features fascinating colonial artefacts and photos and accounts of early explorers and settlers.
3 HEROES’ ACRE
On a hill overlooking Harare is the obelisk of Heroes’ Acre. This dominating monument serves as a memorial to those who died during the war of independence.
4 THE LION AND CHEETAH PARK
With wildlife aplenty, the park is a must visit. Choose to drive around the lion enclosure or take a guided tour of the main section, which houses numerous cheetahs, hyenas, ostrich and even a 300-year-old tortoise.
5 MBARE MARKET
One of the city’s most colourful and frenetic sights is the Mbare Market in the suburbs of Harare. This is the nation’s largest and noisiest market, situated on the southern outskirts, about 10 minutes from the city centre. You will find all sorts of stuff for sale including baskets, masks, soapstone carvings, spears and beads. 123
EMI RATES NEWS
RTION OF THE PROPO GLOBAL E MAN-MAD ONS FROM SI IS EM GHG IIONAL AT RN INTE ON TI IA AV C, 2007 SOURCE IPC
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER, Boeing, has implemented a new list of ‘ten green initiatives’ in order to relieve some of the environmental pressures of delivering their 777 jets. The Seattle-based company estimates that these incremental changes will save up to 1.1 million litres of jet fuel and cut 2.5million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions every year, when it comes to delivering their 777 aircraft. The ten initiatives include everything from more environmentally conscious aircraft testing runs, to dealing with hazardous waste whilst clearing out engine filters, to encouraging tighter recycling policies across their facilities. A positive indicator of the company’s green outlook is that their own employees generated all ten of the initiatives. As well as the improvements made in the Boeing offices, there have also been other changes at the 777 facilities including using fuel carts to collect jet fuel that spills during testing. The excess fuel is then used again. The company also has bought electric vehicles to transport people and items around the manufacturing line. Emirates currently has 90 777-300 ER aircraft on order from Boeing.
BEIJING TO IMPOSE STRICTER AIR QUALITY LIMITS The Chinese government is looking to tighten air pollution standards in order to tackle urban smog problems in Beijing. The new standards will monitor the amount of tiny floating particles – (‘particulate matter’ known as PM 2.5) – that doctors warn can settle in the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Last month, the capital city’s government started disclosing the measurements of PM 2.5 (named because they are 2.5 micrometres in diameter). This shows definate signs of improvement after the government previously stated it would not be publicising the results until 2016. With this first positive step, the East Asia climate and energy campaign manager for Greenpeace, Li Yan, said that it was just a start in protecting the public and cleaning up the skies over Beijing. The day-to-day air pollution levels in Beijing varies quite a lot, depending on winds.
NO PARTICLE TOO SMALL
RACE FOR THE SUN
The scientists behind
Known as Chi_b (3P),
Chile’s Atacama Desert,
THE AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS OF THE
A female shark in Dubai’s
the scientists believe
the driest in the world,
EMIRATES FLEET (GLOBAL AVERAGE:
Burj Al Arab aquarium
Large Hadron Collider
that it will help them
hosts the Atacama
has given birth to several
(LHC) have made the
understand forces that solar challenge. Solar
live offspring without ever
discovery of a new
hold matter together.
having come across a male
particle, which they
shark. This is the fourth year believe will help them
the first to be found
desert in order to
in a row that Zebedee the
at the LHC since it
promote interest in
LITRES OF FUEL SAVED DUE TO EMIRATES’
zebra shark has fertilized her how the universe
began operating fully
PARTICIPATION IN THE FLEX TRACKS
The particle is
powered cars race across the South American
EMI RATES NEWS
BEFORE YOU R JOU R N EY CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRAVELLING IF YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL CONCERNS ABOUT MAKING A LONG JOURNEY, OR IF YOU SUFFER FROM A RESPIRATORY OR
IN THE AIR
CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITION. PLAN FOR THE DESTINATION – WILL
TO HELP YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR destination feeling relaxed and refreshed, Emirates has developed this collection of helpful travel tips. Regardless of whether you need to
rejuvenate for your holiday or be effective at achieving your goals on a business trip, these simple tips will help you to enjoy your journey and time on board with Emirates today.
SPECIAL MEDICATIONS? GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST BEFORE THE FLIGHT. EAT LIGHTLY AND SENSIBLY.
AT TH E AI R PORT
SMART TRAVELLER DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
YOU NEED ANY VACCINATIONS OR
ALLOW YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME FOR CHECK-IN.
AVOID CARRYING HEAVY BAGS THROUGH THE AIRPORT AND ONTO THE FLIGHT AS THIS CAN PLACE THE BODY UNDER CONSIDERABLE STRESS. ONCE THROUGH TO DEPARTURES TRY AND RELAX AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
REHYDRATE WITH WATER OR JUICES FREQUENTLY.
CARRY ONLY THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS THAT
DRINK TEA AND COFFEE IN MODERATION.
YOU WILL NEED DURING YOUR FLIGHT.
MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE
DU R ING THE FLIGHT CHEWING AND SWALLOWING WILL HELP EQUALISE YOUR EAR PRESSURE
DURING ASCENT AND DESCENT. BABIES AND YOUNG PASSENGERS MAY SUFFER MORE ACUTELY WITH POPPING EARS, THEREFORE CONSIDER PROVIDING A DUMMY.
LOOSEN CLOTHING, REMOVE JACKET AND
EXERCISE YOUR LOWER LEGS AND CALF
GET AS COMFORTABLE AS
AVOID ANYTHING PRESSING AGAINST YOUR BODY.
MUSCLES. THIS ENCOURAGES BLOOD FLOW.
POSSIBLE WHEN RESTING AND TURN FREQUENTLY.
USE SKIN MOISTURISER
AVOID SLEEPING FOR LONG PERIODS IN THE SAME POSITION.
W H EN YOU ARR IV E TRY SOME LIGHT EXERCISE OR READ IF YOU CAN’T SLEEP AFTER ARRIVAL.
CABIN AIR IS DRIER THAN NORMAL THEREFORE
APPLY A GOOD QUALITY MOISTURISER TO
SWAP YOUR CONTACT LENSES FOR GLASSES.
ENSURE YOUR SKIN DOESN’T DRY OUT.
EMI RATES NEWS
CABIN L BE CREW WIL LP HE HAPPY TO D E IF YOU NE
CUSTOMS & VISAS
E C N A T S I S S A PLETING COM THE FORMS
TO US CUSTOMS & IMMIGRATION FORMS WHETHER YOU’RE TRAVELLING TO, OR THROUGH, THE UNITED States today, this simple guide to completing the US customs and immigration forms will help to ensure that your journey
is as hassle free as possible. The Cabin Crew will offer you two forms when you are nearing your destination. We provide guidelines below, so you can correctly complete the forms.
CUSTOMS DECLAR ATION FORM
IMMIGR ATION FORM
All passengers arriving into the US need to complete a CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM. If you are travelling as a family this should be completed by one member only. The form must be completed in English, in capital letters, and must be signed where indicated.
The IMMIGRATION FORM I-94 (Arrival / Departure Record) should be completed if you are a non-US citizen in possession of a valid US visa and your final destination is the US or if you are in transit to a country outside the US. A separate form must be completed for each person, including children travelling on their parents’ passport. The form includes a Departure Record which must be kept safe and given to your airline when you leave the US. If you hold a US or Canadian passport, US Alien Resident Visa (Green Card), US Immigrant Visa or a valid ESTA (right), you are not required to complete an immigration form.
FLEET GUI DE
ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR
WILL EXPIRE ALONG WITH
TRAVEL AUTHORISATION (ESTA)
IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL
APPLY ONLINE AT WWW.CBP.GOV/ESTA
TRAVELLER WISHING TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE
VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME,
FOR THE VISA WAIVER *:
YOU MUST APPLY FOR
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BRUNEI,
(ESTA) UP TO 72 HOURS PRIOR
CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,
TO YOUR DEPARTURE.
ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, ICELAND,
IRELAND, ITALY, JAPAN, LATVIA,
INFANTS REQUIRE AN
LUXEMBURG, MALTA, MONACO,
THE NETHERLANDS, NEW
THE ONLINE ESTA SYSTEM
ZEALAND, NORWAY, PORTUGAL,
WILL INFORM YOU WHETHER
SAN MARINO, SINGAPORE,
YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN
SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOUTH
AUTHORISED, NOT AUTHORISED
KOREA, SPAIN, SWEDEN,
OR IF AUTHORISATION
SWITZERLAND AND THE
A SUCCESSFUL ESTA
APPLICATION IS VALID
** ONLY BRITISH CITIZENS QUALIFY UNDER THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME.
FOR TWO YEARS, HOWEVER
80 mm wide x 224 mm high
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
THIS MAY BE REVOKED OR
THE NUMBER OF 777-300ER AIRCRAFT EMIRATES HAVE ON ORDER FROM BOEING
THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS THAT TRAVELLED ON EMIRATES IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2010/2011
31.4 MILLION 129
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ROUTE MA P
ROUTE MA P
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ROUTE MA P
ROUTE MA P
WHERE ARE YOU GOING? TELL US OR UPLOAD A PIC AT
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FLEET FLEETGUI GU DE I DE
ET INS E L F THE NTA
CO OF LEET ADE UP F R S OU ES. M PLANE LAN R E P S 0 G E 7 N 1 N ASSE GO PLA 162 P R A 8C AND
Boeing 777-300ER Number of Aircraft: 66 Capacity: 354-442 Range: 14,594km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 64.8m
Boeing 777-300 Number of Aircraft: 12 Capacity: 364 Range: 11,029km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 60.9m
Boeing 777-200LR Number of Aircraft: 10 Capacity: 266 Range: 17,446km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m
Boeing 777-200 Number of Aircraft: 9 Capacity: 274-346 Range: 9,649km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 60.9m
Boeing 777F Number of Aircraft: 4 Range: 9,260km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m 134
FOR MORE INFORMATION: WWW.EMIRATES.COM/OURFLEET
FLEET GUI DE
Airbus A380-800 Number of Aircraft: 21 Capacity: 489-517 Range: 15,000km Length: 72.7m Wingspan: 79.8m
Airbus A340-500 Number of Aircraft: 10 Capacity: 258 Range: 16,050km Length: 67.9m Wingspan: 63.4m
Airbus A340-300 Number of Aircraft: 8 Capacity: 267 Range: 13,350km Length: 63.6m Wingspan: 60.3m
Airbus A330-200 Number of Aircraft: 26 Capacity: 237-278 Range: 12,200km Length: 58.8m Wingspan: 60.3m
Boeing 747-400F/747-400ERF Number of Aircraft: 2/2 Range: 8,232km/9,204km Length: 70.6m Wingspan: 64.4m
AI RCRAFT N UMBERS AS OF 2 9 / 0 2 / 2 0 1 2
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