Torvalds Holds Forth at Comdex

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How do you upstage a CEO keynote that includes a live appearance by George Lucas (playing hookey from the script for the next Star Wars movie), an extended solo by guitar demigod Steve Vai, and the public debut of both the Playstation2 and a digital music player barely bigger than a stick of gum? Apparently it's not that hard — if you have an operating system named after you.

Sony chief Idei Nobuyuki pulled out every conceivable stop in his tightly scripted two-hour speech, starting with a five-minute intro from Stuart Little, the animated mouse who stars in Sony's forthcoming answer to "Toy Story." Idei also showed off a slew of new gadgets demonstrating Sony's new focus on "the power of hardware in a networked world," including the MS Walkman, a tiny portable device that plays digital music stored on Sony's 64-megabyte Memory Sticks (hence the MS), and a digital video version of the rewritable MiniDisc that lets you perform tricky cuts using the camera as an editing studio. MORE >>