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Jha shows personal side when talking tech
By Anna Marie Kukec | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 6/11/2010 12:01 AM

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Motorola Inc. co-CEO Sanjay Jha has been at the Schaumburg office since August 2008, but it wasn't until this week that he made his first speech before the business community.

And he showed a more personal side.

"I have a 7-year-old kid who would Google anything and the only question he would ask is if he could use my credit card," Jha said. "So I change it frequently."

Jha addressed about 850 business leaders at the Executive Club of Chicago's luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. Instead of glad-handing, he handed out new Bluetooth wireless headsets with MotoSpeak, which reads text messages in real time out loud, even while you drive. It was part of a Motorola promotion during June to encourage safe driving.

Speakers ordinarily don't give gifts to the audience, so he had this group's complete attention.

Jha said so many people are wireless now that you no longer notice where you have coverage.

"Now, you only remember where you don't have access," Jha said.

He also tweaked an American Express tag line by talking about how vital mobile devices have become.

"'Don't leave home without it' doesn't apply to credit cards anymore. It's your mobile device," he said.

Wireless technology has advanced so much that it would be wrong to stop now, especially with all the possibilities coming up.

"It would be like going to Morton's (Steakhouse) and ordering the veggie platter," Jha said. "You just wouldn't have the full experience."

Then with all the talk of mobility, how it will change industries and provide more information at your fingertips, the club presented a gift to Jha after his speech: a traditional book about golf.

That's to remind him of when people used to read books.

Surfing: AT&T Wireless, which has its Midwest headquarters in Hoffman Estates, is boosting its coverage at the Chicago Blues Festival this weekend in Grant Park with three COWs, or Cell on Wheels mobile cell sites, and it had installed Wi-Fi nodes. Gee, some reporters could have used all that Wednesday inside the Hyatt Regency when they couldn't get a signal to post news during a technology conference and Jha's speech.

• Illinois Technology Association Chairman Terry Howerton posted on Facebook that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday visited students at the Chicago Academy of Advanced Technology.

• Reservations for most Illinois Department of Natural Resources camp sites, cabins, group camp sites and picnic shelters for this season can be made online beginning July 7 at using Visa or Mastercard. Camping and shelter reservations will no longer be taken through the mail or over the phone.

• Chicago-based, which provides health insurance quotes, offers a daily health insurance blog for consumers known as the Coverage Corner.

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