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Re/cap: Five Things You Missed at Day One of the Code Conference

A quick rundown of the highlights from yesterday's appearances by Satya Nadella, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sergey Brin.

Asa Mathat

And, we’re off! The first Code Conference kicked off last night in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., with three A-list speakers: New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

We posted the latest news as it happened onstage, and you can find that right here, but in case you missed anything — here are a few highlights from Day One.

  1. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the software giant is looking for the right type of “next big things” that will let it be great and not just “muddling along.” One of those things might be a new version of Skype that automatically translates words spoken in one language into another.
  2. But even as it tries to change, some things are staying the same. Nadella said Microsoft would not sell its Bing search division, although “we are very happy to partner with Yahoo.” Answering a question about spinning off its Xbox gaming division, he said he had “no intent to do anything different on Xbox than we’re doing today.”
  3. Making a surprise guest speaking appearance, Gwyneth Paltrow said celebrities online “get a lot of crap” because people need a screen on which to project their frustrations. “It’s human to feel like a victim and fight back,” she said. “But at a certain point you realize that it’s not about you.”
  4. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that recent revelations of National Security Agency surveillance were “a huge disappointment,” but he also believes that the vast majority of data, including Gmail and private messages, “stay private.” Brin emphasized the importance of public perception: “We won’t survive if people don’t trust us.”
  5. “Google unveiled its own steering wheel-free self-driving car, which is currently limited to a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. Brin likened the experience to riding solo in a chairlift. “You’re just sitting there, in the front,” Brin explained. “For me, it was very relaxing.” Google gave Re/code an advance look and test ride.

In addition to the liveblogs of Nadella’s and Brin’s appearances, you can retrace the full experience of being at Code from our many Twitter-ready attendees using the #codecon hashtag.

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