Friday, October 27, 2006


regarding this
intel research cambridge lablet closure
about it closing:

1. the lab was doing OK, but for the last year Intel had a hiring
freeze so it was about ~5 people down on the official numbers it needed

2. Intel have 30,000 employees in middle management to many (5 years
back they had 100,000 employees, they grew w by 30,000 - when Otellini
arrived he asked to see the books and was really p**d off to see this
and the fact that their profit had not gone up at the same time as AMD
was making inroads into their market share so he said to lose 10%
right away -

3. rather than lose 10% of each of 4 Intel labs, it was easier to lose
the most "expensive" lab (Intel pays the same everywhere and the $ is
crap against the pound, so my guess is that Cambridge actually is most
expensive, but also its perceived as pricey as whenever the lab
directors have an open day here about 25 people fly over business class
and that must put a dent in their travel budgets:)

4. about a year back, I (for some definition of I:-)
predicted this was pretty likely and sent an
email to all the lab people saying where I thought they might get a
job - as far as i know I was close to 90% right on the first offers
people have - to my knowledge, every person in the lab has at least 1
good local Cambridge job option - several of them have several very
good options, so we will be thumbing our noses at Intel (note that the
researchers job "titles" are middle management, because Intel doesn't
have a proper job title for senior researcher - unlike Microsoft,
Cisco, etc etc, which probably is why the bean counters hav't
perceived the damage this is gonna do to Intel's public
image and to their chances of hiring researchers in any of thesho
other labs for the next few years....

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I think one of the principle reasons there were so many people in the last 10 years
trying to do new network architectures is that there is a seriously broken cult of personality in
US research, and folks like Clark, Cheriton, Shenker, Cerf, etc don't do enough to dispell it
(actually Clark is probably the worst victim without being so guilty, but he could do more to undermine it) -

The fact is, like any Big Breakthroughs, the Internet was the product of a lot of peoples' efforts and most of the
papers people point at (e.g. Cerf&Kahn, or Clark's SIGCOMM 88 paper) were post hoc rationalisations at best
of stuff everyone working on stuff knew at the time but didn't have time to write a polished rant about.

The reason this is a problem is that it distracts people from the work that needs doing in exploring design space
and makes them write these "high level" land grabs, without much n the way of foundations. This is another reason I
think the FIND programme is misguided (and doomed:)

As I'll said in my CoNEXT talk, not only is architecture hard to do, most so-called architects didn't actually do
what they claimed anyway (thats the difference with people in the real world like folks that do processor
architecture&buildings, and network architects - there's tangible evidence the Power PC and the
Millau Viaduct are cool, as well as usable:)

oh, and there's also processors that fail & buildings that fall down:)
thats how we really learn what works, and what doesn't!

btw, one of the coolest websites for architecture (as in Le courbousier) is foster associates - see
real architecture and weep!

Monday, October 02, 2006

A True History of the Internet

So normally when i go swimming, whenver I dive down, one of the nice features of water is how quiet it is. Especially compared to the racket you get in many pools given all the hard walls etc

anyhow, imagine my surprise when I heard mutting and mumbling - perhaps the pool is haunted by the ghosts of drowned people? its an old old pool....

meanwhile, I recently heard of someone in a late 70s punk band being hurt in a terrible Internet hunting accident - can anyone confirm the truth of this awful story - it was the famous one legged pogo dancer alberto gizmondo from the thrash-salsa band, Two Brazilian Soldiers...

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home