Linus Torvalds


Linus is the father of the Linux operating system. Linux began its life in his bedroom in Finland. And thanks to the work of thousands of open source developers around the world, it become one of the more reliable operating systems in existence. And even Microsoft has been forced to acknowledge that Linux presents a powerful challenge to the dominance of Windows in server applications. I talked to Linus about how life in America differs from Finland, how he's harnessed to power of the open source movement to make Linux such a reliable OS, and he also shared a few choice thoughts on the competition from Microsoft.

Jennifer Vendemia


Doctor Vendemia is a psychologist at the University of South Carolina. She's at work developing a better, more reliable, kind of lie detector test. Doctor Vendemia is concentrating on the cognitive process of deception. So what exactly goes on inside the brain when we lie? Turns out, quite a bit. It's much easier to tell the truth. Lying requires a certain amount of construction. And in studies, the brains of people who lie show all sorts of activity in the few hundred milliseconds between the end of the question and the beginning of the lie. This kind of monitoring could make it very easy to detect lies. But it also represents a serious invasion of privacy. And Doctor Vendemia was quite eloquent in expressing the belief that her work presents a number of serious ethical issues that law enforcement is going to have to deal with before it ever begins using technology like this. Law enforcement will have time. This technology is about 10 years from seeing the light of day.

Gael Greene


Ms. Greene has reviewed restaurants for New York magazine for 32 years. Just recently, she decided to step back from the weekly grind of reviewing the city's best restaurants. She's the pioneer of what we could call the "New Journalism" approach to restaurant reviews. It's so accepted a practice now that it seems hard to believe there was a time when it was a new thing.

We spent about a half hour talking about her career in food writing... her lack of interest in special disguises to keep from being noticed... and whether or not she'll have to wait in line like everyone else now that she's no longer reviewing. It was an extremely enjoyable conversation.