This was trip of mixed emotions. The Google Atmosphere 2011 was great and seeing the ghost of Sun Microsystems was less than great :-) Just as an FYI, Sand Hill Road is a very famous road in the history of Silicon Valley.
As Google states on their website: "This annual event unites 350 of the world’s leading CIOs to explore how successful businesses are using the cloud to develop innovative solutions to today’s business challenges. As with previous events, the focus will include thought leadership from noteworthy speakers and lively debates with business leaders, well-known authors and industry experts"
Above is me standing in front of Bldg. 40 at Google and the logo for Google Atmosphere.
As Forbes Magazine stated at the time (January 2nd, 2011):
Facebook appears to be on the verge of moving its headquarters to Sun Quentin.
Not San Quentin, the notorious Marin County prison-by-the-bay that is home to California’s Death Row, but “Sun Quentin,” the sprawling former Sun Microsystems campus on San Francisco Bay in Menlo Park, California, at 1601 Willow Road near the western end of the Dumbarton Bridge. TechCrunch reported on Saturday that Facebook is close to a deal to move to the former Sun site from its current 150,000 square foot home on California Avenue in Palo Alto, close to the Stanford University campus. Note that reports Facebook was considering a move to the 2.5 million square foot Sun site first cropped up in late November.
For long-time Facebook staffers, this might not be such happy news. Remember that less than two years ago, Facebook moved its home base from downtown Palo Alto, close to restaurants, shops and Caltrain, to the current location on the edge of the residential neighborhood known as College Terrace. The new site is in walking distance to almost nothing, a nice spot if you happen to be commuting from the East Bay, but otherwise a fairly isolated location in terms of services and transportation options.
But the site has plenty of space. And nice views.
That's right 24.71% of ALL Internet traffic is Netflix!
Above is a true living legend - Dr. Vint Cerf. Vint now works for Google. I have had the privilege of speaking with Vint on a number of occasions. It is better to be lucky than good and I have been lucky enough to get invited to events where Vint was at. Vint is VP & Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. I asked Vint the very first question of the entire conference. The question was a security question regarding true user authentication on the Internet today and what needs to be done to enable this. Vint said it was a tough question and gave a very thoughtful and detailed answer. He apologized to the audience for "geeking out" during his answer, but I appreciated it.
He, Bob Kahn and a few others claim the joint title of "father of the Internet". What is absolutely true is if you reduce the "father of the Internet" status down to just TCP/IP then the two individuals who claim that title are Cerf and Kahn. I was fortunate to meet both and have both sign the original TCP/IP white paper (twice). I have one and Neil Groundwater has the other original. As Bob Kahn told me at the time, "this better not be on eBay tonight!" I told him, "no, I will hold off until tomorrow." I then had to say, "I am kidding - this will never be sold." Both men are brilliant.
Below is from Cloud Beat's Jolie O'Dell who covered the conference. Below is where Vint address my question and this comes from the Cloud Beat article titled:
Cerf also talked about a topic quite close to Google’s heart: the ability to traverse the Internet anonymously, if one so chooses. Google’s own suite of social tools, Google+, recently came under heavy fire for allowing its users to sign up only with their “given names,” linking their online activities with their real-world identities.
However, this decision has been reversed, due in no small part to the backlash from hackers inside Google’s own campus — including Cerf.
“We should preserve our ability to be anonymous or pseudonymous,” he said today, “but we also need strong authentication tools.” While certificates, Cerf said, are “not working too well,” users still and will always need secure ways to prove who they really are.
“We have serious work to do as a community to implement new technologies and… improve security on the Net.”
One of the main points Cerf made about security wasn’t about the need for better programmatic ways of thwarting attacks; rather, he said, consumers themselves need to get smarter about where their information goes when they click and browse around the web.
“I am comfortable that we have some good technologies for basic cryptography,” he said. “What worries me are all the other avenues that people can get information without having to break code.”
He said a recent episode of >spear phishing attacks on Gmail users “is a case in point… People clicked on those messages because they look credible.”
Cerf continued, “I’m much more worried about these open avenues for attack [including social and email attacks and malware from browsers], the social engineering, the tricking… we’re going to have to teach our children and each other much more about… the risk factors of doing certain things on the Net.”
Every time I have seen Vint he is in a 3 piece suite which is his style. One of the interesting stories he told was that he has temperature and humidity sensors in his house grabbing readings every 5 minutes to properly balance out his ducts. Now THAT is a true geek :-)
The first time I met Vint was at Yorktown High School in VA when he was giving a talk on interplanetary IP. I walked into the auditorium a little ahead of Dr. Harry Foxwell who I was with at the time. Both Harry and I worked at Sun. I am walking toward the front when Vint says, "hey, come here and help me with this." I come running down. I do all the things Vint asked me to do - move some stuff, sweep up some things and help him get ready. I then ask, "Dr. Cerf, would you please sign this book." Vint then says, "who are you?" I reply, " I am Dave Edstrom from Sun Microsystems and I am here to listen to your talk." He then laughs, "I thought you were the janitor. Thanks for helping me out." It was great talk then and he is a great guy - even if he does think that I am this janitor stalker that follows him around the country asking him questions :-)
Above is a photo of the morning keynote: "Chance Favors the Connected Mind" - Steven Johnson - Author, ‘Where Good Ideas Come From. It was a very interesting keynote. Google gave us lots of SWAG and one of them was Steven Johnson's book in paperback. As luck would have it, I bought his hardback version was reading it on the way out. I now have two copies :-)
The basic premise of his talk is that there are very few "Eureka" moments in innovation. It is a combination of hard work and taking input from a variety of individuals and sources, thus the title of his talk "Chance Favors the Connected Mind". The fuzzy DNA like looking chart you see above was a picture I took from his slide where Steven spoke about a book he wrote called The Ghost Map. What you are looking at is the number of deaths from the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London. In the book, Johnson discusses how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease by using data via graphics. The data that was represented by deaths at street addresses showed graphically and led him to believe that cholera was not airborne, but in the water.
I go to use the restroom and above the urinal is a Design Patterns quiz on Java code. Only at Google would you see this :-)
Short video of the first morning.
Above was a very interesting talk by Dr. Astro Teller. As Wikipedia states:
Astro Teller was born Eric Z. Teller in Cambridge, England. He is the grandson of both Gérard Debreu and Edward Teller. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic computation (symbolic and heuristic computation), also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Hertz fellowship. After working as a teacher at Stanford University, Teller became a business executive.The talk was titled "Building the Impossible". The basic premise is that history is rich with very smart people who claimed that something was impossible only to be proven dead wrong.
Talk about a great gene pool - BOTH of your grandfathers are famous Nobel Prize winners?
He was asked the obvious question, "how did you get the name Astro?" I am thinking Jetsons, but I was wrong. The story he told was that when he was filling out his registration form for Stanford, there was a blank left over in the "nick name" box. He thought, "well, it is never a good idea to leave anything blank on the form, so he put in "Astro". The individual who type in the info at Stanford accidently switched his real name and nick names into the computer. At that point, it became too hard to go back to Eric and he stayed with Astro.
A live Google self driving car video I took. Google shut down a block in Menlo Park and rented out the Fox Theater for the second private party we had.
I met tons of interesting folks that were both attendees, speakers and Googlers. My standard line is to look at someone's badge and ask, "so, what do you do?" It usually takes off from there :-)
My main goal was to have a detailed understanding of Google App Engine and if Google is interested in working with MTConnect partners. After speaking with lots of Googlers, it became very clear to me what the business and technical play is here.
Google App Engine is one of Google's Top Five Properties as they refer to it. Most everything Google builds is on Google App Engine or GAE as they sometimes refer to it as. There are very important technical distinctions between Amazon's Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and GAE. EC2 and S3 are an IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service and GAE is PaaS or Platform as a Service.
Google is trying to remove the complexity of the entire Virtual Machine Image (VMI) paradigm by providing a platform where the developer worries neither about computing or storage speed or latency issues. This is a big difference that might play well for the MTConnect developers. The basic idea is that Google will provide lightning fast computing and storage scaling and the developer does not worry about those level details as they must with EC2 and S3. For MTInsight, the project I am on at AMT for BI, Amazon was and is the best solution for that.
There are limitations for GAE that might hinder the MTConnect developers. These are around the languages and frameworks supported. Most manufacturing software developers do not view Linux and Java as their first choices in OSes and programming languages.
A big issue I see with GAE and MTConnect is that Google does not have any PS or consulting services. I told their Executives that this was a big mistake in my opinion because if you rely entirely on Partners, you can never give the customer the "single throat to choke" which many customers demand. Google does offer developer support though.
I am going to explore having one of the many Google Partners for GAE I met present either in person or remotely at an MTCTAG meeting so they understand the capabilities of GAE.
After speaking with numerous Google employees, I understand where they are going and why. The net/net is a pure partner play and therefore Google is not interested in having direct relationships with an organization like the MTConnect Institute. It is nothing against MTConnect, it is simply in line with their business framework as pure partner play.
All the Google Atmosphere 2011 videos are here
After the Google Conference, I drove by the original Sun buildings on Garcia Avenue. 2550 Garcia Avenue was Sun's Headquarters address for many, many years. The Building 6 sign is where we had tons of System Engineers field events where all the Sun execs, engineering managers, marketing folks and you name it would come by to speak to the field employees.
Speaking of Sun alumni, I ran into Peter van der Linden at Google Atmosphere 2011. Peter is a computer legend, great author and we both started at Sun Microsystems at the same time. It is always great to speak with the old Sun folks.
You can not come to Silicon Valley and not have lunch at In-n-Out Burger, then go over to KrispyKreme (goto the ones on Rengstorf as that is a shopping center that has both about 100 yards apart :-) and then stop by fry's electronics after that :-)