Will fans start camping out at Barnes & Noble, waiting for the third installment of the digital trilogy that began with "The Road Ahead"...

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Will fans start camping out at Barnes & Noble, waiting for the third installment of the digital trilogy that began with “The Road Ahead” in 1995?

News resurfaced last week of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ plans to write a third book. Gates first mentioned the project at a San Diego conference March 9, and it was reported by Microsoft Watch reporter Mary Jo Foley that day.

Gates, during a question-and-answer session after his keynote, said he was hashing out the project with Peter Rinearson, co-author of “The Road Ahead.” Rinearson won a Pulitzer Prize as a Seattle Times reporter and later became a Microsoft vice president.

The book may revisit predictions made in “The Road Ahead.” It could also look at global issues created by information technology or the digital lifestyle, Gates said.

“We’re toying with that but probably over the next year, year and a half, we’ll do something,” Gates said.

Gates’ second book, “Business@the Speed of Thought,” came out in 1999.

Although Gates said he was talking with Rinearson about “what do we want to do next,” a final decision has not been made on who will collaborate on the project, Microsoft spokesman John Pinette said last week. The book may draw on essays Gates has written, such as last week’s white paper on the “New World of Work.”

No wonder he hasn’t started that blog — he’s been saving it all for a book.

Google a cobbler

At last week’s Google media day, billed as its “Factory Tour,” co-founder Sergey Brin wore a long-sleeved black T-shirt, faded blue jeans and black sneakers with soles that literally were falling off.

Brin sat on a stool in front of 100 reporters, and a few noticed the rubber sole of one of his shoes flapping around. Other execs who made presentations were casually dressed, some with scuffed shoes.

Google has an in-house doctor, barber and dry-cleaning service. Maybe the company should open a shoe store, too.

Wireless bankroll

Cingular Wireless last week disclosed the terms of CEO Stan Sigman’s 2005 compensation, detailing cash payments of at least $8.6 million.

It doesn’t stop there. As long as he doesn’t quit or retire before Dec. 31, 2007, he’s eligible to receive $5 million in a retention benefit.

Hardly astonishing compared with what AT&T Wireless CEO John Zeglis got when his company’s acquisition by Cingular was completed late last year. According to calculations at the time, Zeglis was to receive $20.1 million in stock and options and $7.4 million in potential severance.

All spammed out

Although people are receiving more spam, they may be minding it less. This year, 67 percent of users say spam has made being online unpleasant or annoying. Last year, that figure was higher, or about 77 percent, according to a report completed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Just wait until they start hitting the cellphone in a big way.

Download can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com. Paul Andrews, whose E-conomy column usually runs in this space, is on leave until September.