What Are You Doing, Arthur?

wired - 29 November 2000

This is the Text of the article concerned, which appears as in a normal typeface. Our Analysis is presented in Bold:-

 

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FIRST AND FOREMOST, IF THERE IS SOME DOUBT AS TO THE VERACITY OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED THEN IT SHOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED. WIRED IS EXTREMELY CARELESS TO PUBLISH ARTICLES BY THE QUESTIONABLE MICHELLE DELIO WHEN WIRED ITSELF IS ALREADY EXPRESSING WRITTEN CONCERNS.

HAL 9000 could easily operate a complex spaceship, show affection, scheme and murder, read lips and play chess.

About the only things that HAL couldn’t handle were lies and confusion. Arthur C. Clarke’s miraculous machine saw things in stark black and white; when shades of gray entered the picture the machine went mad.

And now, with the strange and sudden announcement of a production-line version of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s most captivating character, whatever is left of HAL may be starting to hear those gibbering voices again.

A British tabloid, The Guardian, wrote this week that Clarke is backing Joseph de Saram, a controversial computer entrepreneur, in his plans to produce a version of HAL for the masses. The machine will be dubbed the Clarke Omniputer and is due to be released in January 2001.

JOSEPH DE SARAM IS NOT A ‘CONTROVERSIAL COMPUTER ENTREPRENEUR’ BECAUSE UP TO THAT POINT THERE WAS NOTHING IN ANY NEWS ARTICLE ANY WHERE THAT DEFINED THAT JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS CONTROVERSIAL. FURTHERMORE ARTHUR C CLARKE WAS NOT BACKING JOSEPH DE SARAM IN RELATION TO THE MACHINE, BECAUSE THAT WAS MANUFACTURED BY A SEPARATE PARTY.

Rumors and speculation surround the project, and de Saram, Clarke’s principal partner in the venture, has massive legal and financial problems that reportedly caused him to flee the UK last week. That led some observers to believe that the 82-year-old Clarke may have been suckered into a bad deal.

JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS NOT THE PRINCIPAL PARTNER IN THE VENTURE, AND DID NOT HAVE ‘MASSIVE LEGAL AND FINANCIAL PROBLEMS’ JOSEPH DE SARAM DID NOT ‘FLEE THE UK LAST WEEK’ AND THE REPORTING WAS MERELY WRONG. THE LINE THAT ‘CLARKE MAY HAVE BEEN SUCKERED INTO A BAD DEAL’ IS FALSE. ARTHUR C CLARKE WAS AN INTELLIGENT MAN, JOSEPH DE SARAM IS AN INTELLIGENT MAN, BUT JOURNALISTS AND OBSERVERS WHO KNOW NOTHING ARE APPARENTLY EXPERTS ON THIS TOPIC.

De Saram has made spectacular promises concerning the machine’s capabilities. But any real details on the project have so far been impossible to pry out of Clarke’s representatives or spokespeople for the company that will be developing the machine.

JOSEPH DE SARAM DID NOT MAKE SPECTACULAR PROMISES CONCERNING THE MACHINE’S CAPABILITIES’ AND THAT STATEMENT WAS THE RESULT OF ANOTHER JOURNALIST WHO WAS UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE VARIOUS FACTS HE WAS INFORMED AND DIFFERENTIATE SARCASM AND FACTS. OF COURSE JUMPING ONTO THE ‘LET’S DEMONISE JOSEPH DE SARAM’ BANDWAGON WAS THE MOST INTERESTING PART.

Others believe the announcement is a carefully calculated Clarke publicity stunt intended to launch a media blitz featuring his 2001-themed work.

THAT IS MORE THE CORRECT ANNOUNCEMENT

 

According to press statements released by de Saram, Clarke Omniputers already has 60,000 advance orders for the machine, which will be manufactured in China. The company also expects to sell an additional 350,000 units after the product becomes available. The machine will be priced in the $2,000 range.

THE PRESS STATEMENT IS CORRECT AND THE DATA WAS PROVIDED TO JOSEPH DE SARAM BY CLARKE’S ACTUAL PARTNER IN THE PROJECT MANILAL ANTHONY ALLES.

But the anticipated launch of the Omniputer suffered a setback last week when a British court ordered de Saram, now the CEO of Clarke Omniputers, to shut down his other company, Rhodium, because of £1 million in debts.

THE LAUNCH DID SUFFER A SETBACK, BUT AS JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS NOT THE CONTROLLER OF CLARKE OMNIPUTERS THEN IT WAS UNNECESSARY.

De Saram reportedly responded by fleeing the UK last week and is now believed to be living in Sri Lanka, where Clarke also lives.

JOSEPH DE SARAM DID NOT ‘RESPONDED BY FLEEING THE UK LAST WEEK’ AND EVERYONE KNEW THE LOCATION OF JOSEPH DE SARAM BECAUSE IT WAS IN RELATION TO A WELL-PUBLICISED FLOTATION OF THE VERY SAME RHODIUM PLC.

Claiming in the British media that he has a net worth of £4 billion, de Saram has stated he can pay the debts, but instead chose to leave the UK because he was being harassed by the British secret service agency MI5 and the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

JOSEPH DE SARAM CONFIRMED THAT IF THE PROJECT WAS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE THEN THE PERSONAL ASSET BASE OF JOSEPH DE SARAM WOULD HAVE BEEN AROUND GBP 4 BILLION. HOWEVER, WHEN JOSEPH DE SARAM STATED HE COULD PAY THE DEBTS, IT WAS NOT A CONFIRMATION THAT THE DEBTS WERE ATTRIBUTABLE TO HIM OR THAT HE WAS LEGALLY LIABLE FOR THEM. IT WAS MERELY AN OFFER OF AN EX-GRATIA PAYMENT ON A ‘STRICT WITHOUT LIABILITY BASIS’.

He says the harassment was due to an encryption program he developed that would block the ability of intelligence agencies to collect data from e-mail.

THAT IS QUITE CORRECT – THE EARLY VERSION OF THE XENCRYPT TECHNOLOGY FACILITATED SECURE COMMUNICATION VIA 16-ROUND 448BIT BLOWFISH ALGORITHMS AS THE SYMMETRIC PART.

Both agencies have denied having any interest in de Saram, and some observers believe that his claims for the Omniputer are as far-fetched as his spy stories.

AGENCIES ALWAYS LIE AND THE UK GOVERNMENT REVEALED IN 2015 THAT MI5 HAD ACTUALLY HAD BEEN UNDERTAKING UNLAWFUL SURVEILLANCE FOR OVER 15 YEARS – THIS CLEARLY COVERS THE PERIOD THAT JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS STATING.

De Saram has said the Omniputer is so sophisticated that it “verges on artificial intelligence,” a claim some cynics say could apply equally well to potted plants or a TV set.

JOSEPH DE SARAM NEVER STATED THAT THE ‘OMNIPUTER VERGES ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE’ WHAT WAS STATED WAS A RESPONSE TO A ORIGINAL JOURNALIST IN THAT THE CONCEPT OF OPERATING SYSTEM FILES WHICH COULD VERIFY HASH SIGNATURES ITSELF AND AUTOMATICALLY REPLACE CORRUPTED FILES IS ACTUALLY THAT WHICH WAS STATED. FURTHERMORE, THE LIMITATION WAS THE WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM SO THE JOURNALIST ATTRIBUTING HIS OWN STUPIDITY TO JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS JUST LAUGHABLE.

De Saram, who seems to steer well clear of providing any hard information in his press releases –- such as noting what operating system will power the Omniputer — does make a point of offering up sensational tidbits.

JOSEPH DE SARAM DOES ‘NOT STEER WELL CLEAR OF PROVIDING ANY HARD INFORMATION IN HIS PRESS RELEASES’ IS FALSE, AS ANYONE WHO KNOWS JOSEPH DE SARAM KNOWS HE IS TECHNICALLY-MINDED AND DOES NOT CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK. ADDITIONALLY, JOSEPH DE SARAM DID NOT PRODUCE A PRESS RELEASE BUT WAS MERELY TRYING TO BE HELPFUL TO RESOLVE THE JOURNALISTS’ SMEAR CAMPAIGN.

Among them: He claims there are 15 patents on the motherboard alone, and the machine will be operated via a touch-screen display, entirely eliminating the need for a mouse.

JOSEPH DE SARAM WAS ADVISED BY CLARKE OMNIPUTERS THAT THERE WERE ’15 PATENTS ON THE MOTHERBOARD ALONE’ AND THE VIDEO SHOWS THAT THE CLARKE OMNIPUTER CLEARLY HAS A TOUCH-SCREEN DISPLAY.

 

 

“You have to navigate by touching the display, which means you’d need to lift your hands off the keyboard every time you want to do something,” said Samuel Grossman, a professor and computer researcher at Stanford University. “That doesn’t make sense. And how filthy is the display going to be in about a week? That poor son-of-a-HAL will be all covered with Frito grease.”

SAMUEL GROSSMAN, WHO THESE GROTESQUELY STUPID REMARKS HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO BY WIRED IS APPARENTLY A ‘PROFESSOR AND COMPUTER RESEARCHER AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY’. OBVIOUSLY MICROSOFT WINDOWS 8 WHICH WAS LAUNCED IN OCTOBER 2012 OPERATES VIA A TOUCH-SCREEN ALTHOUGH SIMPLY WATCHING THE VIDEO SHOWS THAT 2012 WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME A TOUCH-SCREEN DEVICE HAD BEEN PRODUCED FOR END-USERS. THERE WAS AN ON-SCREEN KEYBOARD ON THE OMNIPUTER OBVIOUSLY AND THEREFORE THE COMMENTS OF ‘YOU’D NEED TO LIFT YOUR HANDS OFF THE KEYBOARD EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING’ IS JUST LAUGHABLE. SAMUEL GROSSMAN’S FOLLOW UP LINE ‘THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. AND HOW FILTHY IS THE DISPLAY GOING TO BE IN ABOUT A WEEK? THAT POOR SON-OF-A-HAL WILL BE ALL COVERED WITH FRITO GREASE CONFIRMS HIS LACK OF CONCEPTUAL ABILITIES AND ALSO SUGGESTS A PERSONAL HYGIENE PROBLEMS OR PERHAPS HE SHOULD WEAR GLOVES.

There’s no official word on how the Omniputer will react to being slimed by snack remnants, but de Saram has said that, like HAL 9000, the Omniputer will seek to protect itself — although it’s not expected to attempt to murder its users.

JOSEPH DE SARAM SIMPLY DID NOT STATE THIS AND MICHELLE DELIO HAS JUST INTRODUCED A THEME FROM THE 2001 BOOK.

“If user errors start, and files get deleted, it will start to repair itself, just as cells repair themselves,” de Saram said to The Guardian.

JOSEPH DE SARAM DID REFER TO THE SELF-HEALING CONCEPT IF THE OMNIPUTER HAD A DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEM WHICH WAS ALSO BEING DESIGNED CONCURRENTLY, BUT THE SELF-HEALING AT THAT TIME WAS LIMITED BY THE WINDOWS 2000 OPERATING SYSTEM. EVEN NOW USING AN ELEVATED COMMAND PROMPT IN WINDOWS 10 AND TYPING ‘SFC /SCANNOW’ WILL HELP YOUR COMPUTER TO ‘HEAL ITSELF’ – TRY IT.

De Saram also said the Omniputer may be able to speak and lip-read in the future, but right now his company is focusing on building “consciousness” into the machine.

JOSEPH DE SARAM NEVER STATED THIS – IT WAS YET ANOTHER JOURNALIST WHO SIMPLY WANTED TO JOIN A BANDWAGON – SAFETY IN NUMBERS OBVIOUSLY.

Some believe the limited details being released on the machine’s inner workings should raise suspicions that the Omniputer is nothing but vaporware.

RIGHT, TRY WATCHING ARTHUR C CLARKE’S VIDEO OF THE MACHINE.

“It’s obvious that this product will never be released,” Grossman said. “It was supposed to be due out in a little over a month? And no word on what operating system powers it, what applications will run on it, or any of those basic sorts of things the average buyer might want to know? Sounds like, at best, a paperweight to me.”

YES IT WOULD SOUND LIKE A ‘PAPERWEIGHT’ TO SOMEONE WHO HAS DECIDED TO DISMISS THE PROJECT BECAUSE HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND ANY PART OF IT. WHAT DID EITHER MICHELLE DELIO OR SAMUEL GROSSMAN DO TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Clarke’s office issued a statement on Monday that said the Omniputer’s launch would be delayed until de Saram’s legal issues were resolved. Efforts to contact de Saram have proved fruitless.

THERE WERE NO EFFORTS TO CONTACT JOSEPH DE SARAM – IF VARIOUS JOURNALISTS HAD CONTACTED JOSEPH DE SARAM THEN IT WAS OBVIOUSLY POSSIBLE WITH VERY LITTLE EFFORT.

Confined to a wheelchair due to post-polio syndrome, Clarke has said that he eagerly awaits the dawn of a new millennium and the celebration of his best-known book, slated to be heralded in magazines and at a special celebration to be held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.

“I do find myself hoping that Sir Clarke is feeding the hoopla about this supposed Omni computer as just another part of the media blitz that will surround the year 2001, the movie, and his book,” said Jerry Vesco, who has hosted numerous screenings and discussion groups on Clarke’s work in London and New York.

JERRY VESCO IS CLOSER TO THE PUBLICITITY ANGLE, AND THE PROJECT WAS A MIXTURE OF BOTH.

“I’d prefer to think that he is vastly amused by all this nonsense, rather than consider the idea that Sir Clarke might actually believe in the veracity of what seems to me to be a man who has a rather difficult history but a very exciting marketing scheme.”

JOSEPH DE SARAM DID NOT HAVE A DIFFICULT HISTORY BUT HAPPENED TO BE BLAMED SPECTACULARLY SIMPLY BECAUSE HE WAS IN SRI LANKA FOR A PUBLIC FLOTATION AT THE TIME AND THEN VARIOUS PARTIES ATTEMPTED TO DESTROY IS LIFE’S WORK AND CHARACTER.

 

http://archive.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2000/11/40398?currentPage=all

 

Related Links

Yahoo Answers – Answers Yahoo Question is JSRDS Dead or Alive

Show More Info – Show Me More Info on Joe de Saram

The Register – The Curious Case of Arthur C Clarke, MI5 and the Runaway Millionaire

Computer Weekly – Credit Confusion Surrounds a Trade Reference

The Register – Software Tycoon ‘flees Tamil Tigers’

Forbes – Stranger than Science Fiction

ZDNet – Software Millionaire Dot-Gone with Rhodium Collapse

The Guardian – Founder Joe de Saram Absent as Rhodium Folds

The Daily Mail – MI5 Put Me out of Business

 

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