During the first week of October, I attended the Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco, where I was invited to give a talk entitled “Collaborative Cloud-Based Virtual Reality for Scientific Research & Education”. In the talk, I outlined the virtual reality framework that we’ve been working to develop over the years, focusing on the cloud aspects of the project – particularly those which enable multiple users to simultaneously inhabit the same real-time virtual simulation environment. Using modern cloud architectures, it’s now possible to build real-time interactive simulations that harness the power of cloud supercomputing. And the cloud allows anybody to login to the simulation server remotely. Another highlight of the trip was an invitation to a small get-together at Larry Ellison’s private SF residence, where he offered his insight into a wide range of different areas, all informed by his perspective as the founder of one of the planet’s biggest tech companies. Amongst his most memorable statements was his claim that, were he to start over again, he’d consider starting a molecular science or biotech company. He also said that computational molecular biosciences is one of his hobbies. It’s an area he’s always been interested in, but wasn’t really a viable discipline back in the day. Things have definitely changed.