One of the reasons Google and VMware have been so successful over the past decade, says Eric Brewer, is that both companies managed to snatch some of the world’s brightest engineers from the big-name research labs that petered out in the late 1990s.
Over the previous 30 years, labs run by tech giants such as AT&T, Xerox, and DEC had led the computing revolution, but at the turn of the millennium, much of their lifeblood was pumped into a pair of companies that were only just getting off the ground.
“At the time of the bubble burst in 2001, when everyone was downsizing, including DEC, the main two high-tech companies that were hiring were Google and VMware,” says Brewer, the University of California at Berkeley computer science professor who’s now part of an effort to redesign the technology that underpins the Google empire. “Because of the crazy lopsidedness of that supply and demand, both companies hired many truly great people and both have done well in part because of that.”
Google and VMWare may seem like very different companies. One does web search. The other does virtual servers. But they’re more alike than you might think. Google’s search engine was successful in large part because the company built data-center technologies that could support such a massive application, and VMware is a company that reinvented the data center for the rest of the business world. In each case, they couldn’t have done so without the top engineers on the planet.
Whales prove humans are not the only species capable of disgust at cruelty when they work to defend a baby whale of another species against predators.
Human haters abound in the animal rights movement. I can understand their sentiment. It’s very difficult to hear about all of the abuse inflicted upon other species of animals. But in reality some of the most heartbreaking stories I have witnessed have been animal on animal.
Perhaps it is more heartbreaking to hear of yet another case of human insensitivity and violence against animals because we expect more out of ourselves. A lion cannot feel any compassion for the zebra or it would have a hard time killing and surviving (although we know they feel compassion and love for their young and pride). As humans, our existence does not depend on killing anymore, so we have the luxury of developing a highly sensitive capacity for compassion toward any and everything.
Solving the mysteries of the universe is usually about finding the best answer to a question. But what if we are not even asking the right questions?
A pioneer in quantum computation, University of Oxford physicist and best-selling author David Deutsch has spent most of his career working towards a new way of asking questions about the universe. Deutsch's vision for this "theory of everything" ties together ideas in cosmology, computation, philosophy and evolution to describe the nature of reality.
It has been suggested that his long-awaited theory could account for several fundamental mysteries, such as why time flows in only one direction – a property that is not required by most physical laws. Now Deutsch has posted a taste of the form his theory might take, opening the door to what may become a new branch of physics.
Union City-based Vicarious will receive $15 million in financing from various investors, including groups led by Facebook, PayPal and Napster founders.
Founders of Facebook, PayPal and Napster are betting big bucks on a Union City technology startup’s research in artificial intelligence.
Vicarious, which creates “software that thinks and learns like a human,” announced yesterday that the research team had received $15 million in financing from various investment groups. Among them are Good Ventures, a firm started by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and Founders Fund, a group managed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Sean Parker, a co-founder of Napster and Facebook’s first president.
“The technology that Vicarious is developing has the potential to improve all lives and revolutionize every industry,” Moskovitz said in a statement released yesterday.
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