My brush with celebrity

David Caruso

Usually, I hear about celebrities and other famous types wandering the floor at CES, but never see them myself. Well, today while trolling the Nokia booth for potential slideshow pictures, I ran into David Caruso, star of CSI: Miami. He was nice enough to pose for my photo and to let me know that the CSI: Miami show (it's a guilty pleasure) is on hiatus until the writer's strike ends. So why was Caruso at CES? No, not checking up on his CSI: Las Vegas brethren. Rather, he's somehow involved in a new startup called Lexicon Digital Communications. What the company does, I am not sure because Caruso and the people with him are remaining mum at the moment. But, one of the people with Caruso was Nils Lahr, the co-founder and CTO of Lexicon and former co-founder of iBeam and a key architect in Microsoft's Windows Media group. Put the pieces together and it looks like the company will be some sort of IP TV distribution system. You can see a video the company did for CES on its Web site. It's pretty cool. I talked to Lahr briefly before he hurried off for another meeting and he's high on the Microsoft Silverlight platform, not so much for the video quality but for the underlying C# development language, which he says is "based in science". I guess he's not too fond of the ActionScript language favored by Adobe Flash developers. He thinks Silverlight will be the dominant video player on the Web in the next three years, partly because of its technical merits and partly because Microsoft can pay big name content providers to use it (See: NBC's upcoming Olympic coverage.) I'll be looking forward to hearing more for Caruso, Lahr and Lexicon in the future.

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