Larry Ellison

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In the summer of 2010, Larry Ellison was playing tourist at the Lincoln Memorial when CNET's Dan Terdiman snapped him mugging while an assistant took a photo.

Ellison retrospective: An original straight out of central casting

Oracle's founder, who stepped down Thursday as CEO, has carved out a unique -- and sometimes controversial -- persona as a titan of tech.

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<p>Technology's richest can't seem to stay away from wacky desires -- to live forever, to colonize other planets, to recreate the plot line of "Deep Impact," minus the apocalypse. Here's a quick tour of some of the most <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-10797_3-57608544-235/billion-dollar-babies-far-out-pet-projects-of-the-tech-elite/">far-out pet projects of the tech billionaires club</a>.</p>



<p> Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk isn't content with being a real-life inspiration for "Iron Man's" Tony Stark. No, he'd like to expand from superhero to secret agent, specifically James Bond. So he purchased a <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57608010-93/elon-musk-is-the-anonymous-buyer-of-the-james-bond-lotus-submarine/" >Lotus Esprit submarine from the 1979 film</a>, "The Spy Who Loved Me," for $1 million at auction. He hopes to infuse it with some Tesla magic and a dash of millionaire mad genius. 

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"It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button, and have it transform into a submarine underwater. I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform," Musk said. "What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

Tech billionaires chase their wildest dreams (pictures)

Given the wealth concentrated in Silicon Valley, it's no surprise that tech CEOs and founders put their money toward the seemingly impossible, on land, on sea, and in space.

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Salesforce.com, Oracle merge clouds in nine-year deal

In a nine-year deal, the Salesforce.com and Oracle clouds -- including applications, platform, and infrastructure -- will be integrated.

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Microsoft, Oracle join forces to stomp on cloud rivals

"Frenemies" Microsoft and Oracle just cemented a new partnership. Here's what is really new and worth knowing about the alliance.

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Bill Gates is now the world's richest person.

Bill Gates crowned world's richest person, once again

The Microsoft co-founder unseats telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim for the first time in four years.

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There's a reason Bob's smiling.

Apple's senior execs dominate top 5 best-paid

The top lieutenants at the iPad maker last year pulled in as much as $85 million in total compensation.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Well-liked: Zuckerberg tops employee-driven CEO rankings

Facebook's chieftain jumps to 99 percent approval from a middling 85 percent in Glassdoor's survey standings. Last year's winner, Apple's Tim Cook, takes a tumble.

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Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller

Spin control: Apple goes on offense against Android

On the eve of Samsung's big Galaxy S4 launch, Apple's marketing head decides that it's time to talk trash. Expect more of the same for 2013.

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Bill Gates is the world's second richest person but its most charitable, according to Forbes.

Bill Gates still world's second richest person

Microsoft's co-founder was once again topped by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helu, according to Forbes' list of the world's billionaires.

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Oracle's Larry Ellison onstage at Oracle Open World in San Francisco in 2009.

Ellison buys Hawaiian airline to go with his Hawaiian island

Oracle chief executive acquires local carrier Island Air for an undisclosed amount.

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Steve Jobs, unveiling the iPad in 2010.

Steve Jobs tried to help Mark Hurd regain his job, says report

Apple's co-founder reportedly urged a reconciliation between the beleaguered former CEO and Hewlett-Packard's board.

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Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is the world's richest tech mogul.

Gates, Ellison, other tech moguls got richer last year

A look at Bloomberg's Billionaires Index shows a bump in wealth last year for a number of the usual suspects among technology leaders.

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