California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger turned up at Oracle OpenWorld 2009 to woo the tech industry and apologise for his wife's mobile phone use.
Schwarzenegger passed a law banning drivers from using mobile phones while driving without a headset last year. The law, while sensible if not enough, is highly unpopular and Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger's wife, has been photographed repeatedly flouting the law.
"I know that some day in the future you will have a hands-free cellphone, even if my wife doesn't believe it yet," he joked.
"Can you believe that? She was caught three times in a row with holding that phone in her hand like the Stone Age."
"Of course I promised the people that I would take action and stop her. This is a no-win situation, I can tell you that right now, because if I don't take action the voters get upset and if I do take action and stop her then I get no action."
He carried on the risqué tone with a joke about how important technology had been in his career, saying that he would not have been as good a body builder without high-tech gym equipment and 'food supplements', a reference to his early steroid use.
However, the rest of the 20 minute speech was of a more serious note. Schwarzenegger is clearly no technology expert, and long sections of his speech praised the IT, telecoms, biotech and green technology but sounded rote.
However, he clearly understands why technology matters to California. He seemed particularly excited about smart grid technology, which would be crucial to cutting costs and generating new power systems.
Geolocation applications were also hot on his agenda; GPS systems let aircraft drop water on forest fires precisely where needed, even when the pilots are blinded by smoke. This is a big issue in a drought state where forest fires are an increasing problem.
While he is obviously enthusiastic about the industry he went out of his way to praise the union of Oracle and Sun. This was not surprising considering the event, but remember Schwarzenegger has to retire next year, a 2010 Senate run is rumoured and there's support to be raised.
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