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Google Java Robotics Technology

James Gosling Leaves Google 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-stopping-by dept.
scottbomb writes "Well, that didn't take long: 'After only a few months at Google, Java founder James Gosling has left the search engine giant to go to a small startup company specializing in ocean-based robotics.' In a brief blog post about his new company, Gosling says, 'They have a growing fleet of autonomous vehicles that roves the ocean collecting data from a variety of onboard sensors and uploading it to the cloud. The robots have a pile of satellite uplink/GSM/WiMax communication gear and redundant GPS units. They have a bunch of deployments. For example, one is a set of robots patrolling the ocean around the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico monitoring water chemistry. These craft harvest energy from the waves for propulsion and can stay at sea for a very long time. The longest that one craft has been out is 2.5(ish) years. They can cross oceans.... Slowly. They only move at 1-2 knots, which is a great speed for data collection.'"
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James Gosling Leaves Google

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  • Oracle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:23PM (#37260084) Journal

    Makes you wonder if the whole Oracle patent shitstorm around Java is making Google reconsider its reliance on that technology. If so, would be interesting to see what they bring forth instead.

  • hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:24PM (#37260094) Homepage
    Definitely sounds a lot more interesting than working at Google.
  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:37PM (#37260194) Homepage Journal
    ...that the REAL reason Gosling left was because the google execs were like "Ok Jimmy, here's your office, lets tuck you in... all nice and comfy? Good... now just rest here until we need you." I think the coolness of having the inventor of Java trolling 'round the office was greater than any expectation that he'd actually invent something for Google.
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:13PM (#37260430)
    I doubt it. If you read Gosling interviews from the past few years, one of the ideas he likes to talk about a lot over and over is embedding millions of sensors into the world - in roads, walls, etc. Tiny little bugs that measure something, which can be combined into a completely novel picture of the world.

    That's not really what Google does, they're an advertising company whose primary inputs are words and human behaviours.

    The first is closer to hands on lab work, while the second is pure data munging, and my impression is Gosling's not that interested in the latter.

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @10:53PM (#37261060)

    Honestly, JVM hell is caused more by Sun's shitty documentation on how to properly specify JVM versions in a manifest or applet CLSID. Sun historically did a crap job of explaining how to specify things like, "Use the newest version of Java installed on this machine, as long as it's 1.6 (or 1.5, or 1.4) or newer", and instead gave examples that induced people to create needless dependencies on old versions of Java for no real reason besides lack of proper documentation. The fact that Oracle now owns Java makes things worse, because Oracle software was historically the worst of all about creating stupid dependencies on old versions of Java for no real reason (or because for political reasons, they wanted you to use the "thick" OCI drivers that tied you down to a specific runtime environment instead of the "thin" type 4 drivers that would "just work" on anything with a JVM).

    The truth is, as long as an Oracle native-code database driver isn't involved and the developer doesn't go out of his or her way to needlessly specify some specific, arbitrary version of Java, 99.999% of anything you write in Java will work on any JVM that's as least as new as the one you compiled it under. I have 9 year old jarfiles built with pre-alpha 1.4 JDKs that still work fine under 1.6.0.${whatever}.

    True story: at work, we had a notorious internal application whose development team bent over backwards to make users with newer JDKs and JREs installed miserable. Basically, it used the CLSID that told the JPI, "ignore the user's Java control panel settings, and always use the latest version of Java installed on this machine". Then, a few HTML lines later, used Javascript to commit suicide if that version of Java happened to be newer than 1.6.0.18. Sigh.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @11:11PM (#37261164) Journal

    I was in Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) a few months ago and sitting right behind me was a salesman from Liquid Robotics* giving his pitch to a potential client.

    I'll admit, I listened in. The technology he was describing sounded amazing.
    Alternative solutions are crazy expensive or have limited range/loitering/real-time capabilities,
    while this thing can stay out more or less indefinitely if you pay for a big enough battery pack.

    I recall something that a quick google search doesn't turn up in any articles:
    The salesman mentioned that Liquid Robotics keeps their costs down by contracting fishing boats to drop off and pick up the Wave Gliders. Because, while you could wait for it to come home at 1.5 knots/hr, it's a lot faster (and not very expensive) to have it swim to/from a spot that someone was going to be at anyways.

    By the time I had to leave, I was ready to buy one and I don't even need it.
    I seriously feel that their technology is going to be the future of unattended oceanographic research
    and if I had a million dollars to invest, I would.

    *I never actually caught the name of the company, but from the /. summary, I immediately recognized the technology being described.

  • Re:Oracle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dudpixel (1429789) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @11:40PM (#37261338)

    Are you surprised?

    Google is pretty poor at supporting anything longer than a week past the initial launch date.

    The whole Google business model appears to go like this:
    1. Invent cool tech
    2. Make it into an awesome product. Functional, and working, but not finished.
    3. Dump it on the public (as a "beta") with a half-hearted launch effort.
    4. Start on next project.

    For GMail - it worked, partially because a functional product is really all most of us want.

    Search is one of the few projects they continually work on - because its what makes them money.

    For many of their projects, including Google+, they fail because Google fails at marketing and seeing a project through. Have a look at how Apple launch a product, compared to Google. Apple are often still telling us how wonderful they are even years later, while Google seems to forget about its own achievements after a week.

    I like Google - I use many of their services, and have and Android phone + tablet and develop Android apps...but its just plain disappointing to see how little effort is put into their products post-launch. I'm specifically talking about marketing effort, as I'm sure they are working hard behind the scenes.

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