Levy: Take the Millions Now

Auctomatic is a parable of the Net's start-up culture. You can still make a fortune before you're barely old enough to shave.

Life After Chess

Former champ Garry Kasparov still sees the world in terms of pawns and kings—and thinks you should, too.

And Now … The Eyephone

Good news for those who think we don't stare enough at screens—soon there will be a way to keep up with e-mail, news feeds and TiVoed movies every waking minute. At the Consumer Electronics Show this week an Israeli company named Lumus will introduce a high-resolution system that beams an image directly to the eye, via glasses barely heavier than normal spectacles. Though Lumus's prototype frames are a bit dorky, the lenses themselves are only 2 millimeters thick, and the see-through image is brighter and less disorienting than previous efforts. Lumus CEO Zvi Lapidot envisions a day when you'll order these "informative glasses" as a routine addition to your usual prescription. Though Lumus is enthusiastic about watching movies with the glasses, more intriguing are the prospects of "Terminator"-style readouts that layer Web-based information onto one's field of vision. Lapidot calls this "augmented reality," and it could include news headlines, GPS navigational directions and...

The Peachfuzz Billionaires

The myth of the peachfuzz billionaire has emerged. This new Horatio Alger typically launches his first start-up in middle school, and somewhere between the campus computer-science lab and a move to Palo Alto hacks up a Web site where users provide fun or useful content. The operation grows, "Sorcerer's Apprentice" style, and soon the fashion preferences and dating habits of this cohort are followed voraciously in tech mags and blogs as if they were '60s teen idols.The poster boy for this movement is Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old CEO of Facebook, which he created in a Harvard dorm when he was 19. Zuckerberg raised eyebrows last spring when he told an audience of would-be moguls to hire young people with technical skills. "Young people are just smarter," he said. Although Zuckerberg later apologized for the remarks, the speech seemed to fit the Valley's growing cult of youth based on "don't fund anyone over 30."The reality is not that extreme. "There's a perception that when you're...

A Hungry Crowd Smells iPhone, and Pounces

Technology writers are seldom subject to frenzied, Beatlemania-esque paroxysms of public attention. June 29, 2007, was the exception. I was in the wrong place—Apple's Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan—with the right device. The iPhone.Because I was one of four journalists who'd been given a pre-release iPhone for review, Fox News asked me to do an on-location interview. But as soon as I saw the swarming crowds of rabid fan boys and girls, it was clear that even a glimpse of the thing would set off a near riot. When the interview began, the crowd smelled iPhone, and ominously closed in. Suddenly a young man swooped behind us and made a grab—not for the iPhone, it turned out, but for the interviewer's microphone. He bolted with it, but was tackled by one of the Fox technicians, and the mike was recovered. (The interloper's point, it turned out, was to protest Fox News, not to swipe my prize; the whole sorry event wound up on YouTube.) Shaken but undaunted, we restarted. It got even...