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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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Heh.  I remember proposing our original 100 day duration target, saying something like "100 days is conservative given our expected gas diffusion rate.  Once we reliably get to 100 days, 150 or even 200 should be no problem."  That was before I grew to appreciate how hard long-duration stratospheric ballooning was, but it's nice to see the (naive) prophecy coming true.  Great work, Loon team.  :)
 
After a record-breaking 187 days aloft, we have recently landed the Project’s longest duration balloon in one of our Argentinian recovery zones.

That’s a long time! Enough time to hard-boil 33,660 eggs, or 134,640 if you like your yolk runny (doesn’t include eating time), or listen to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” just over 61,000 times. In the same time it took the Earth to complete half of its annual orbit of the sun, our record-breaker managed to circumnavigate the globe 9 times, enduring temperatures as low as -75c (-103 F) and wind speeds as high as 291 km/h, soaring to a maximum height of 21km and drifting over more than a dozen countries across 4 continents.

Having been in the air for just over 3 months we decided to put the balloon through its paces, making a series of altitude changes on its last circumnavigation to test our ability to fly north out of southern latitude bands. The test was successful and we managed to turn up to the Northern tip of Australia where we were able to access a much slower wind stream going in the opposite direction and sending our balloon lazily back over to South America. Finally, we brought it back into its original southern latitude band to swoop in and land in one of our Argentinian recovery zones for collection.

Recovery operations are now underway to bring the balloon back to the lab so the team can analyze this magnificent specimen and learn as much as possible about what makes such long durations possible, building these learnings into our future long-duration fleets before putting the record-breaker through our recycling process. We think that this balloon has definitely earned its retirement!
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OK, G+ community.   I need your help.

Complicated holiday cooking is coming up.   I'm looking for an android or iOS app that will help me keep track of multiple parallel timed processes, ideally using voice control as I will likely have hands full with cooking stuff.  Imagine I've got a bird roasting, eggs poaching, veggies steaming, and bread baking.  I want help to know when to check in on each of these.  Also, I want to be able to use this app to record how long things actually take so I know better in the future.  

Requirements:  I should be able to set multiple named timers, easily add increments of time to a specific timer if things aren't done, and stop timers early.   I should have the ability to do this through interactive voice command or through touch, or some combination thereof.   The app should remember how long things take.   If I start a "bake pizza 450" timer and initially set it for 10 minutes but it actually takes 8 minutes (I stop the timer early) or 15 minutes (I add five and let the time expire) it should record that result.  And when I start a new "steam broccoli" timer it should use the last n times I've done the steam broccoli process to suggest a default timer duration, and the variance on those times to suggest a good early time for me to check in before the steam broccoli timer expires.

Any suggestions?  And yes,  I could write this myself but I don't really want to spend the cycles to do it if there is something good already out there.
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Sand timer on android, if you're willing to keep a note elsewhere about which color is what thing. It's got nine.

Simple Timer claims to do it but I haven't used it.
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A nice article about the future of skateboarding as transportation, featuring my Google [x] colleague +Colin Sebern.  It's also a great discussion of the history of skateboarding in San Francisco.
Standing 6 feet, 6 inches tall, with a barrel chest and legs like tree trunks, Colin Sebern almost exceeds the size limit for his electric...
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I remember when we first set the 100 day lifespan goal internally. The justification was that the record for long duration high altitude ballooning was actually quite a bit longer - 744 days - set by one of the GHOST balloons launched in the late 60s. If I had understood how much of an outlier that was I might have proposed a different goal. But here we are and the balloons are routinely hitting the 100 day mark. Congratulations, Loon team. :)
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Some fun accomplishments from Loon. Long duration stratospheric ballooning is very difficult and these are impressive milestones. :)
 
Welcome all to the inaugural Golden Balloon Awards 2014!

We are taking this opportunity to look at some of the greatest feats achieved by our Loon balloons as we wind our way to the end of 2014 and finish landing our fleet for analysis and upgrade. From frosty temperatures to country hoppers, speed demons to masters of endurance, we take a look at some of the records from the project to date. Here we go…

#1 The Marathoner - Launched from New Zealand in July 2014, the Marathoner just kept going and going, reaching 134 days aloft before being brought down to land in Chile. Constantly monitoring such a long-lasting balloon throughout its lifetime has provided us with lots of valuable data that can help us replicate this success in the future.

#2 Global Traveller - While much of our fleet spends its time sweeping around the globe, we decided that one balloon should take its time discovering the Southern Hemisphere. So we packed its bags, gave it some sage travelling advice in the form of our automated control algorithms and sent it on its own little trip around the world - and what a trip it had! Launching from Brazil as part of our LTE test in June 2014, we maneuvered it over 23 separate countries across South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania before finally landing it with a full passport and a balloon full of memories.

#3 Sprint Star - The quickest a Loon balloon has travelled is 324 km/h while rushing to the South Pacific ocean over Antarctica - a similar speed to the world’s fastest animal, a fellow traveller of the skies, the Peregrine Falcon. Like any good sprinter though, this balloon needed to rest up, reducing its speed to a relatively sluggish 67 km/h while travelling over the south of Argentina, and it is this difference in speed that is really important to us. To provide coverage where and when it’s needed will require balloons to whiz over certain areas and linger for longer at others so that there is always a balloon overhead where needed. 

#4 The Frosty Survivor - It can get very, very cold up in the stratosphere. The coldest temperature one of our balloons had to endure was -83°C (-117°F) while travelling over the Chilean/Argentine border. The cold is a real challenge for our balloon manufacturing team. At such low temperatures the balloon envelope can become brittle and fragile. Selecting the right material and stress-testing it at extremely low temperatures in our labs has helped ensure that Loon balloons are durable enough to handle these temperatures for long periods of time.

#5 High-Flier - All Loon balloons fly roughly 20 kilometers above the earth’s surface, twice as high as commercial jets. This high-flier, however, reached our record altitude of 25.8 kilometers while travelling over the South Pacific ocean; nearly three times the height of Mount Everest. Altitude control is fundamental for maneuvering balloons, as different altitudes have different wind speeds and directions which our planning algorithms can predict and use to get our balloons to where they need to be. So, to our high-flier, we salute you for reaching higher than any Loon balloon has ever reached before! 
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David Brin is on to something here. I don't typically post political stuff online, but the evidence supports a systematic undermining of empirical observation and scientific process by political forces over the last twenty to thirty years. This doesn't benefit anyone in the long run. Take a stand for scientific values and evidence-based policy.
 
My Friday posting is about several cultural "wars" that are -- deliberately I hold -- shattering the essence of American society. Is the enemy ISIS? Militant terror or Eurasian hedgemons?  No, it is a relentless War on Science, including the science-savvy US military officer corps... extending all the way to an even more insatiably ferocious War By Christmas, that this year smashed the last resistance of Thanksgiving, the best and purest of our holidays.

It's no longer even concealed by hypocrisy, boys and girls.  The North Pole is melting and Santa has his sights on the Fourth of July.

Keep watching the skies.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-war-on-science-war-on-earth-and-by.html
The U.S. military leadership is in unified agreement that climate change is real, that it is human caused, and also that it poses a clear and present danger to the US and especially its armed forces. "The Pentagon's thinking ...
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Any relationship to sergey? 
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Yesterday Dana and I tried snowskating for the first time. This is my very first time stepping on to a snowskate, as captured on video by Dana.

Snowskating is skateboarding on snow, with a monoski on trucks instead of wheels. It has all of the challenges of snowboarding with all of the challenges of skateboarding. It is hard, but lots of fun.

I have a lot of video of Dana captured through Glass that I will be sharing shortly. 
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By way of my old friend +Arun Sannuti, a reminder of a lost era in computer science and engineering.  It wasn't all guys -- in fact many of the most important pioneers in computing were women, from Ada Lovelace to Grace Hopper.   You can find more about Margaret Hamilton on her wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hamilton_%28scientist%29 
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Awesome.  In many ways Orion is very retro -- a sort of Space Shuttle/Apollo hybrid that combines the best, most conservative features of both designs.  However, if you are going to ride a rocket to orbit and beyond, conservative design is not a bad thing. Congratulations, Orion team!
 
The Orion crew module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles southwest of San Diego at 11:29 a.m. EST. Flight controllers have reported that the spacecraft is in a stable configuration. The recovery team from NASA, the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin will perform initial recovery operations, including safing the crew module and towing it into the well deck of the USS Anchorage ahead of its return to U.S. Naval Base, San Diego and then on to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orion launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this morning at 7:05 a.m. EST.

The uncrewed flight tested many of the riskiest events Orion will see when it carries astronauts and provided critical data to improve the spacecraft’s design and reduce risks to its future crews. Orion orbited the Earth twice, reaching a peak altitude of 3,604 miles during its trip. Orion’s flight test is a critical step on NASA's Journey to Mars.

Image credit: NASA
#Orion #OrionLaunch #NASA_Orion #NASA #Space #JourneyToMars
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This is pretty cool.  Entirely passive "bionic boots" that rely on leverage and elastic to allow the owner to run up to 25 mph.  I think I want a pair.   bionicboot.com
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Looks a lot like Chell's equipment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd1m5_n9P9w

Sometimes video games just appear to get it right. ;)
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Turkey day preparations at the vacation rental in Lake Tahoe continue apace. I got up early and made two pies from scratch, an apple pie with a fancy woven crust and a sweet potato pie. Pie crust made with a combination of lard and butter for maximum flakiness and flavor.

Then my wonderful wife +Dana DeVaul and I went snowboarding for a couple of hours mid day. Conditions were surprisingly good with freshly made snow and a recently opened top of the mountain lift.
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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
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Male
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
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
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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
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