The cruise part of the vacation is over and now it is time to go explore Umbria. The region is situated in the middle of Italy, between Tuscany and Lazio. It is a hilly region and as we discovered while driving through it, it is quite picturesque.
Two evenings ago we had some excitement around our dinner table. Our assistant waiter, Gustavo, told us that he would have to leave at 9:30 because he was going to propose to his girlfriend that evening in the Crown Grill.
This is the sixth time that I have crossed the Atlantic. I crossed once on a small charter ship, once on the QE2, and the rest on cruise ships including the Norway. This used to be the Isle de France, one of the liners that were until the 1960s the only comfortable way to cross the divide between Europe and North America.
The use of Twitter and Facebook has morphed from the original social goal. The change has deep and broad consequences.
Initially Twitter was the town square where gossip and personal information of a significant hedonistic nature was shared. This was certainly enough to provide a motive to sell advertising, the ultimate goal of the company. But things got out of hand, as the law of unintended consequences would have it. First came the corporate involvement. Fascinated by the opportunity to spread the corporate message in new ways, the marketing department of companies, some of which do not even sell consumers goods, established Twitter accounts in order to promote both themselves and their products.
This year the Phil Kaufman award committee has gone back to more traditional origins for its awardees: UC Berkeley. Dr. Chenming Hu will receive the award at this year's DAC conference in Austin Texas. The Phil Kaufman Award honors individuals who have had demonstrable impact on the field of EDA through technology innovations, education/mentoring, business or industry leaderships. The proximity of Silicon Valley and UC Berkeley is not a geographical accident, but an example of the synergy between business development and research.
The Sarasota Opera this year produced a Verdi opera that is seldom performed called "Un Giorno di Regno" that is translated into English as "King for a Day". Dr. Francesco Izzo researched this work and developed the definitive rendition of the opera. This is what the Sarasota Opera produced. In addition Dr. Izzo also discovered two additional pieces that Verdi wrote for the opera that were never inserted in the score. These two pieces were performed for the first time during a special concert on March 24 to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi. Both the opera and the concert received enthusiastic critical reviews and attendance. The event was notable enough to raise interest world-wide. Four distinguished members of the Club dei 27 from Parma visited Sarasota and attended both the Opera and the concert.
This past Saturday I saw the Sarasota Opera production of Mice and Men. This is the third modern American opera performed by the company in as many years. It follows The Crucible and Vanessa performed respectively in 2011 and last year. The applause that followed the performance and continued for around five minutes is a testimonial to the skill of the performers and the quality of the composition. The company has a true artistic success in its hands with this production. Yet it may not be a financial success at the end of its run. Susan Danis, the previous executive director of the Sarasota Opera used to remark that only war is more costly to produce than opera.
A little over two and a half years ago, or 0.4 light years in EDA time, Synopsys purchased Virage Logic. With the acquisition it obtained the ARC Risc processor family. Observers concluded that Synopsys was going to become a serious ARM competitor. Therefore, people concluded, ARM will not want to continue to be a Synopsys customer leaving open the possibility for a Synopsys competitor to obtain a valuable corporate customer.
Cadence tried, and so did other companies. During one of my discussions with Chi Foon I asked about the danger. His answer was very reassuring: a tempest in a tea pot that was being managed. And he has been proven correct.
There are times when one looks at something day after day without ever actually seeing. We are accustomed to receive stimuli that we accept as normal and we really never think of what we see. At least this is my experience. It turns out that retirement may be hazardous to me because it gives me time to think about subjects I have never had time to think about in the past.
Death is a personal and solitary thing. I thought about it yesterday while attending the funeral of a fellow golfer. Nobody can do it for you, and no one does it with you. Funerals are pretty common here, especially during the winter months. Not because of the inclement weather, of course. But in winter our population grows considerably thanks to the snowbirds.