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Speaking to the Northern Virginia Technology Council this week, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made the distinctly predictable prediction that during the next ten years there will be even greater technological advances than during the previous decade. Amongst the advances that Gates suggests are likely to be of most importance were speech recognition, handwriting recognition and touch screen surfaces. I have checked and this is a current news story and not something that fell out of my in-tray five years ago folks, honest.

It gets better, and the predictions retreat further back in the time-warp, as Gates moved on to interactive television telling the enthralled audience that "TV will be based on the Internet; it will be an utterly different thing."

So why am I bothering to recount the tale here? Mainly because the speech came hot on the heels of his testimony to Congress in which he advocated greater maths and science investment along with a relaxing of immigration rules to encourage more people to come to the US, qualify and then work there. Gates argued that current policy forces such students to return home after the educational investment was complete, more often than not.

Am I missing something or is the message come to the US, get educated in matters science, and stay to invent the past?

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