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Richard DeVaul
Works at Google
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lives in Menlo Park, CA 94025
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Richard DeVaul

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This should be pretty interesting.  Check it out.
 
"On You: A Story of Wearable Computing" is opening at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA this week
(http://www.computerhistory.org/visit/)

Clint Zeagler and I are setting it up today.  The exhibit shows why devices like Glass, Fitbit, LG Tone Pro, and Vuzix M100 were not possible until recently due to challenges in power, networking, mobile input, and display.  We have approximately 50 head-mounted displays as part of the exhibit.

Here is a preview:
https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/wearable-computing/gQuZsQUI?hl=en-GB
Spend a day at the Computer History Museum. Find out why computer history is 2000 years old. Learn about computer history´s game-changers in our multimedia exhibitions. Play a game of Pong or Spacewar! Listen to computer pioneers tell their story from their own perspective.
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sigh
 
Google’s attempts to fight the surveillance gag order angered the government, with the Justice Department stating that the company’s “resistance to providing the records” had “frustrated the government’s ability to efficiently conduct a lawful criminal investigation.”
The Obama administration fought a three-month legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of Jacob Appelbaum, a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks.
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This is a great capsule summary of the Loon project's ballooning evolution.  I was heavily involved in our design process up through Ibis, and consulted quite a bit on the Merlin, though my colleague   Kevin Roach gets the major props for being our primary envelope designer.  Fun fact -- when we test launched Grackle I, we didn't use any helium as a "booster" so as to get the purest assessment of a solar-only flight.  The only problem was that the winds were too high at launch, which kept the balloon too cool for proper takeoff.  The result was that Grackle rolled along the countryside with our operations team (and myself as camera man) in hot pursuit.  The image in the gallery showing the pursuit of Grackle I was actually from the video I shot, sprinting after our badass operations team.  Grackle I was taken down by a knife wielding Marine, Paul Acosta, who was launch commander on that operation.  Another fun fact -- when we were doing our initial launches with sounding balloons, we didn't refer to them as Pterodactyl, it was the Icarcus design.  It was only later that we called sounding balloon flights by the Pterodactyl designator to distinguish them from other flights. 
 
Today, Project Loon turns two! It’s been quite a journey—16 million kilometers to be precise—since we first connected sheep farmer Charles Nimmo to the Internet during our 2013 pilot test.

Our earliest tests started back in 2011, using a weather balloon and basic, off-the-shelf radio parts. These tests showed that balloon-powered Internet might just work, but the team knew that weather balloons wouldn't be a long term solution since they aren’t built to last in the stratosphere. So, our balloon enthusiasts got down to work and asked: if we wanted to bring balloon powered Internet to the whole world, what type of balloon would we need to build?

We started by building much, much bigger balloons able to hold equipment capable of beaming connectivity 20 km down to the earth below—starting with our modestly larger early Albatross design, all the way up to our 141-foot-long Hawk and beyond. To ensure there’s always a balloon overhead to provide connection, we needed to build a system that can manufacture these balloons at scale, leading to our latest balloon design, the Nighthawk, the likes of which has never been seen before.

Take a peek into our archives to see how our balloons have developed over time to deal with these challenges, from our very first ‘prehistoric’ balloons all the way to our latest flock design.
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A great talk by my boss +Astro Teller at Google I/O explaining the Google [x] philosophy.  Check out the video.
Venture inside Google[x] for an in-depth conversation with Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, who will discuss one of the hardest parts of the innovation process -- the part where you come into contact with the real world, and learn what’s wrong with what you’ve done so far. He’ll explain why failure is so important to the innovation process at Google[x], and how we relentlessly seek out contact with the harsh realities of weather, physics, huma...
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Junk science is everywhere -- but nowhere more so than fad nutrition science.  This is a sobering tale of a sting operation based on the kind of dubious science that is all too common: p-value hacking through small sample size and a classic fishing expedition of significance testing.  
“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on tel...
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Hat tip to +Eric Liu for pointing out the story.
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Wow.  Once again confirming that our idealized representations of digital machines do not correspond to physical reality... some times in really interesting and dangerous ways.  Given the complexity and density of modern semiconductor devices it's quite likely that there are many variations of this "non-ideal machine" exploit waiting to be found... and it is possible that in some cases they may even be deliberately introduced vulnerabilities.  
 
"“Rowhammer” is a problem with some recent DRAM devices in which repeatedly accessing a row of memory can cause bit flips in adjacent rows. We tested a selection of laptops and found that a subset of them exhibited the problem. We built two working privilege escalation exploits that use this effect. One exploit uses rowhammer-induced bit flips to gain kernel privileges on x86-64 Linux when run as an unprivileged userland process. When run on a machine vulnerable to the rowhammer problem, the process was able to induce bit flips in page table entries (PTEs). It was able to use this to gain write access to its own page table, and hence gain read-write access to all of physical memory."
Posted by Mark Seaborn, sandbox builder and breaker, with contributions by Thomas Dullien, reverse engineer [This guest post continues Project Zero’s practice of promoting excellence in security research on the Project Zero b...
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Hmm... Sounds like most ECC isn't enough. Yikes.
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As someone with a gun safe in the garage, I am probably not the intended audience. But even if you don't think you agree with this guy, watch this video and (1) laugh your ass off, and (2) think about the argument.
 
"There's one argument and one argument alone for having a gun, and this is the argument..."

Warning: contains strong language.
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Heh. That was funny. And more respectful of both sides than many in his place on stage might have been.
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Yep.  News flash!  Global warming continues to be real. Because Science, y'all.  Denial doesn't change reality.
 
The oceans absorb the energy of four atomic bombs every second.

#ClimateChange
Dana Nuccitelli: The study shrunk the surface warming slowdown and drew out the anti-science conspiracy theorists
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Yes, we are making progress.  Very proud to have started this project.
 
Solar-powered Loon balloons provide Internet fast enough to stream YouTube videos #io15 
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This is an example of what a hand-held laser can do. My colleague Ranger Halston was blinded by a laser at last year's Burning Man event. Your hand-held may not be able to pop balloons but it can likely destroy someone's vision. Be safe and leave the laser at home.
#nolasersonplaya
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wow that's nuts
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Proud to be a sponsor of Borderlands Books, in the SF Mission district on Valencia.  Borderlands recently announced they were going to close, but the community stepped up and they are staying in business as the unique community resource of independent SF bookstore/cafe that they are.  
Kim Abreu 542. Arienne Adamcikova 655. Jonathan William Adams 132. John Joseph Adams 515. Cassie Alexander 545. Jonathan Alloy 143. Erik Alm 273. Zac Appleton 235. Nabil Arnaoot 647. Matthew Arning 409. Ben Arrington 334. Kris Ashley 267. Joel Aufrect 644. Fredrika Baer 330. Sean Baeza 216 ...
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Very well said by a true pioneer in the field.
 
Who would pay US$3995 ($8,986 today) to own a early prototype of a consumer device that could only be used for 30 minutes?  I don't know, but someone did this week, March 1984, 31 years ago.    Seems ludicrous, except that  the device was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the first commercially available cellular phone.  That day, some unknown consumer started living in the future, as today there are billions of users.

The wearable computing devices we see today are making similar history.  Some are already wildly successful - even if they are going unremarked.  The LG Tone Pro-style around-the-neck bluetooth stereo headphones are on several best seller lists on Amazon, and I rarely walk around in public without seeing a pair.  Other, more experimental devices like Google Glass have shown that the public "gets it," even if the price tag is more like that of the $9000 DynaTAC than the Diamond Rio (the first commercially successful wearable MP3 player, sold at $291 in today's money).   With numerous technological pieces finally falling into place to make wearables feasible for business and consumers (not the least of which, widespread deployment of low power Bluetooth and low latency cellular networks), I expect to see a wave of products, some of which will really change our lives in the next decade.

As many of you know, this journey has been very personal for me and various teams of enthusiasts.   This year is the 25th since I started trying to make a wearable computer that I could use in my everyday life - for note taking, augmented memory, music, navigation, messaging, health/fitness, augmented reality, social collectives, and basically everything people do on a laptop or smart phone these days.  During that time, two thoughts have really inspired me:

1) "Time makes more converts than reason."  Thomas Paine

and

2) The best way to invent the future is to live in it (with nods to Alan Kay, Abraham Lincoln, and my colleague Gregory Abowd)

Here's to hoping that soon more people will be inventing the future with us by wearing it.
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Work
Occupation
Engineer, Scientist, Innovation Professional.
Employment
  • Google
    Rapid Evaluation Team Leader, Chief Technical Architect of Project Loon, present
    Special projects development, Google [x]
  • Apple
    Senior Prototype Scientist, 2010 - 2011
  • AWare Technologies
    CTO, 2004 - 2010
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Previously
Mountain View, CA 94041 - Somerville, MA - College Station, TX - Ames, IA - Morgantown, WV - Houston, TX - Baltamore, MD
Links
Story
Tagline
mad science! romance! poorly chosen taglines!
Introduction
Hi.  I'm the Rich DeVaul who does innovation leadership at Google [x].  I've also worked for Apple, co-founded a tech startup called AWare and did wearables stuff as part of my Ph.D. work at MIT in the late '90s and early '00s.  I'm a Black Rock Ranger, a serious amateur cellist, and some-time fire performer. I ride skateboards a lot, surf and snowboard, and climb rocks and ice when the opportunities present themselves. 

If you are looking for someone of the same name that does psychiatry and medicine you are probably looking for my dad.
Bragging rights
Leader of the Google [x] Rapid Evaluation Team,, Founder and chief technical architect, Google [x] Project Loon, Black Rock City Ranger and Sandman lead
Collections Richard is following
Education
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Media Arts and Sciences Ph.D., 1999 - 2004
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Media Arts & Sciences M.S., 1997 - 1999
  • Texas A&M University
    Architecture B.E.D., 1989 - 1994
Basic Information
Gender
Male