It Looks Like You Are Giving a Keynote

clippy.jpgIt was inevitable. The more we mock and disdain Clippy, the more he weasels his way back into our lives and conceivably even our hearts. I mentioned last month that Microsoft itself was bringing Clippy back as an educational-adventure game character. And, thanks to reader Saul Tannenbaum, here is a video of a keynote address given at ROFLcon by... the man who created Clippy!

His name is Kevan Atteberry, at left in the shot below, and as you'll see he has mixed feelings about his achievement. Pride at having created such a familiar bit of iconography (and having done so on his Mac); chagrin at how his brainchild is viewed.  

This is long, and casual viewers may want to skip to time 32:00 or so and hear Atteberry talk directly about those mixed feelings (plus some political jokes involving Clippy around time 34:00). But anyone who has worked on a design team or endured focus groups to guess at user/consumer reaction will find the whole presentation interesting. Atteberry was a consultant to Microsoft rather than an employee and describes the pressures and incentives from different blocs there.

Mainly it's touching to see how loyal he still is to Clippy.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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