From outside, the five nondescript buildings that house research and development firm Applied Minds look like any other on this jacaranda-lined street in this city’s industrial zone. Co-founder Danny Hillis escorts me down a hallway that dead-ends into an old-fashioned red phone booth. The phone rings. He places receiver to ear. “The blue moon jumps over the purple sky,” he says, and hangs up. Suddenly, the booth becomes a door, swinging out to reveal a vast, open room filled with engineers, gadgets and big ideas.