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1000 Questions asks eight earth-shattering technology questions of today's most compelling personalities.

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Lisa Richard
Edited by Brian Dunning

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Lisa Richard, InformationWeek CoverEvery high-tech executive longs to be a singer when she grows up. Toshiba's Vice President of Strategic Planning had it all, even making the cover of InformationWeek in June of 2000. But Lisa Richard wanted more. So she dumped the desk and set forth as a solo singer, beginning with clubs in LA and moving on to the musical theater, where she has appeared to critical success in Inside Out (Robby Award), The 1940's Radio Hour (Robby nomination), Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Anything Goes, Evita, and Damn Yankees, to name a few; and is currently on national tour with the Broadway production of Mamma Mia.

If you have good taste, you can check out her solo albums Born to Entertain and Virgin Tracks. And, if you buy any Toshiba stuff, she probably doesn't care anymore.

In a technical yet musical way, Lisa now answers our 1000 Questions:

0001. In all of history, what is your favorite invention?

Toilet paper. Simple, but essential. Imagine what life was like before someone thought of this stuff.

0010. What do you hope will be invented next?

Cars that drive themselves. Put magnetic computerized strips in the roads so that you could punch in the address where you want to go on your car's navigation system, and then lay back and nap or whatever. Think of all the time we would be adding to our lives that we currently waste behind the wheel! Plus, it would do something about those people who always seem to drift mindlessly into my lane.

0011. What do you hope will never be invented?

Nano-chips that are implanted in your head, so you can have a computer/phone with you all the time. I just don't need that kind of pressure.

0100. What popular invention do you consider the most ridiculous?

Robotic vacuum cleaners.

0101. When have you suffered at the hands of technology?

You know, you realize how ridiculously dependent you are on your computer when you get a virus that totally wipes it out. Ouch.

0110. When has some technology suffered at your hands?

For all my technical skill with computers, I still can't record one channel on a VCR while watching another. I have beaten the hell out of every VCR I've ever owned, and I've never achieved this Nirvana. I truly believe the feature is a complete myth, but we're all too embarassed at being unable to do it that no one has ever challenged the manufacturers on its existence. Now there's Tivo, so the myth will fade forever.

0111. If your personal computer suddenly came to life, what would it say to you?

Pay me big bucks or I'll tell everyone what you've been doing.

1000. If you found yourself sitting at a Unix terminal as Earth's last hope while, outside, aliens were wiping out humanity, what would you type?

We've had a good run.

Lisa Richard

Visit Lisa Richard's web page.

1000 More Questions:

Kari Byron

Robert X. Cringely
Tech industry observer

Margaret Easley

Susan Egan
Broadway, Film, and TV star

Robert Goerman
Paranormal investigator

Grant Imahara

Anne Kerry Ford
Singer and actress

Robert Llewellyn
Actor, Writer

Holly McPeak
Pro beach volleyball player

Ted Nugent
Rock legend

Neal Pollack

James Randi
Pseudoscientific demystifier

Lisa Richard
Tech exec turned singer

Michael Shermer
Publisher, Skeptic Magazine