Inside Microsoft's Kinect, and... Microbe?

 
 

A couple of good stories on the radar today. Wired magazine has an in-depth feature on Microsoft's Kinect wireless-controllerless video game... uh... controller. The one where you jump around in front of the TV instead of sitting still and moving only your thumbs.

The story is worth a read, as is most any story in which the reporters get access to the actual people doing the work over in Redmond, rather than their group vice presidents and whatnot who get to take credit before jostling closer to the corner office. In this case, Alex Kipman, the Brazil-born project manager whose team developed Kinect (and naming it Project Natal after Kipman's hometown).

And speaking of the corner office, the New York Times' Bits blog reports on a recent meeting between Steve Ballmer and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. The hint: Microsoft's going to try and buy Adobe, the maker of the Flash web animation software (with which Microsoft's own Silverlight is a competitor of sorts) as well as the Creative Suite graphic design product line (PhotoShop, Illustrator, Acrobat and so on). The goal: to compete with Apple in the mobile market. (Let's see: Windows Phone 7 is coming out, and has an uphill battle against iPhone's five-year head start. Apple famously won't let Flash on the iPhone, so... enemy of my enemy is my new BFF. What? Oh, there's also something about Google, as in "Google means never having to worry about another antitrust probe.")

The fiery posters over at Slashdot.org (no love lost between them and either company) have already taken to calling the prospective merged company Microbe. Cute. But it'll be anything but "micro" if it comes to pass. Nor will the price tag, which has been rumored to be in the neighborhood of $20 billion.

I wonder if this has anything to do with Ballmer's "legacy" issue.

 

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
 
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
 
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
 
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.