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Google Hires Vint Cerf 307

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-that's-a-job-i-wish-i-had dept.
hsuwh writes "Google has hired Internet pioneer Vint Cerf away from MCI as its "Chief Internet Evangelist". "He is one of the most important people alive today," said [Google CEO Eric] Schmidt, who has been friends with Cerf for more than 20 years. "Vint has put his heart and soul into making the Internet happen. I know he is going to jump right in here and start shoveling out new ideas for Google.""
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Google Hires Vint Cerf

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  • Wikipedia link (Score:5, Informative)

    by dividedsky319 (907852) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:19PM (#13510714) Homepage
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:19PM (#13510715) Homepage Journal
    Or are they merely collecting people and figuring out what to do with them later? From the outside looking in, it sure seems like the latter.
    • by flatt (513465) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:22PM (#13510754) Homepage Journal
      PR, plain and simple. It will work.
    • I think they've taken Nokia's slogan and modified it a bit:

      Google - Collecting people

    • by garcia (6573) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:30PM (#13510838) Homepage
      Do they have a strategy behind this?

      Of course -- to make money for their investors.

      Or are they merely collecting people and figuring out what to do with them later? From the outside looking in, it sure seems like the latter.

      Google has always been fairly secretive about their dealings, even after they went public -- it's just that now they are releasing stuff a lot sooner than they were in the past.

      Yeah, I'm sure that they are "just collecting" people but I have a feeling that they are being put to good use. Dodgeball (one of the collected items) is likely going to be put to excellent use for business reviews and frequency of visits -- especially when they figure out a way to tie it to everything else.

      If you haven't seen their recent additions of Google Maps showing locations of you, and your friends' check-ins, I suggest that you do that.

      The possibilities are scary.
    • by pjkundert (597719) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:32PM (#13510864) Homepage
      Non-linear, pure "invention" doesn't occur on a fixed time table. You cannot plan for it. You can't assemble a team, give them a deadline and some money, and say "OK, go invent the next great thing for me.".

      All you can do is try to assemable the greatest group(s) of already provably inventive poeple you can find, put them in a positive, stimulating environment, and incent them to come up with something great.

      That is what Google is doing. That is exactly NOT what Microsoft, HP, et. al. are doing.

      And no, they don't expect you to understand this.

      • Granted, but you can't just pull together a bunch of really smart poeple and expect something to magically happen because they are all assembled undr one umbrella either.
      • by MikeURL (890801) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:11PM (#13511289) Journal
        I'm not sure how true this is because I'm thinking about prior inventions that changed the world and they seem to fall into one of two categories:

        1) Created by a small group (or just one person) with little to no funding and a killer idea. Think of guys like Tesla.

        2) Created by a very well funded group with a specified mission to do SOMEthing without necessarily telling them how to get there. Think of lockheed's skunkworks.

        You seem to have a category 3 where smart people are amagmated and expected to "shovel" out ideas and inventions that change the world almost purely due to proximity. I'm not saying you're wrong but would like an example or two where this has worked.
      • All you can do is try to assemable the greatest group(s) of already provably inventive poeple you can find, put them in a positive, stimulating environment, and incent them to come up with something great.

        That is what Google is doing. That is exactly NOT what Microsoft, HP, et. al. are doing.


        Actually not true, Microsof thas spent some time doing exactly the same thing - hiring really smart people and putting them in Microsoft R&D. I can't thnk of specifics, but it seemed like it was people from all fi
    • It does sound like they're hanging his head on the wall like a moose, doesn't it?

      This doesn't seem as sharkjumperrific as when newly-rich VA Linux hired anybody with some low-level celebrity from themes.org, but then Google's eventual slide can't possibly compare to LNUX's...

    • by qwijibo (101731) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:35PM (#13510888)
      Smart people with a track record of good ideas will generally produce more of them. Google just wants a chance to get the ideas before anyone else. There are such positions in many large companies because good ideas with profit potential will pay many times over for all the unprofitable ideas.
      • Google wants good ideas before they're made public (otherwise they'd just spend that money buying companies), but most of the popular good ideas orginated not from somebody who thought that today's technology was amazing, but somebody who saw today's software as okay but tedious. Bram Cohen recognized that peer to peer applications of the day were obtuse, untrustworthy and game-able, so he designed something clearly documented, with checks in place to balance leechers and liars.

        In a similar manner to how pe
    • Shhhhhhhhhhh!

      If people figure that out the stock price might go down. Then all the people they have collected will jump to the next pre-IPO company.

      Just be happy for Vint, he just made a big pile of money. And he deserves it to.
    • Wired News quoting the VP for Engineering [wired.com]:

      "The limit to our growth is our ability to get the best talent on the planet and get them working on the toughest computing problems around," said Rosing, a former executive vice president of engineering at Sun Microsystems.
    • sure (Score:4, Insightful)

      by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:01PM (#13511164)
      Sure they have. If smart people are hired by google, they can't be hired by anyone else, for one.
    • by Mannerism (188292) <(moc.erawtfostops) (ta) (todhsals-htiek)> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:02PM (#13511179)
      It's a marketing thing. Grey matter like Vint Cerf is always good for getting quotes in the press, getting keynotes, etc. At least they gave him an honest title: he's there to evangelize. If I had a few billion in market cap I'd buy Vint Cerf, too.
    • Google has become the search engine of choice for millions of people, and introduced a lot of great products like Gmail and Earth. These are excellent and have proven that Google is a dynamic company that has been successful in harnessing user-centric technologies, but they need to do more to stay on top. Already, search engine companies in the East are gathering their might.

      One idea would be for Google to architect transparent wireless portals, which is what a Slashdot article hinted at a while back. If t

    • by clambake (37702) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:33PM (#13511576) Homepage
      Or are they merely collecting people and figuring out what to do with them later? From the outside looking in, it sure seems like the latter.

      I had the chance to listen in on a google interview last week for some kind of QA position. It was very strange. The questions that were asked had nothing really to do with trying to get to the heart of whether or not the guy was a good programmer, or that he understood the basic QA concepts and how to test properly, etc... Instead it was a kind of game where the candidate was supposed to recall as many esoteric bits of pseudo-knowledge as possible. Like, name all of the character encoding standards in the world that you know, or which RFCs describe HTTP, and explain how the protocol works...

      Questions that are essentially meaningless as far as QA is concerned... in fact, meaningless as far as any position they could offer is concerned, unless they are planning to hire an Internet Historian. I think in that entire conversation, which went on for about an hour, only a single question that cold be considered something pertaining to "QA" or testing was asked, and that was oddly half-hearted (I believe it was something like, "In one minute, please name all the test cases you can think of for a web form that takes credit card info").

      I got the impression from the questions posed in that call that Google really don't have a clue how to hire. They seem to hire based on same technique as Japanese entrance exams.. i.e. pure knowledge bits are more important than conceptual understanding or problem solving...

      Now I am beginning to think that Google isn't actually as smart as people think... They are just remendously lucky...

    • Google seems to believe passionately that if you (a) hire really bright people; (b) give them a stimulating environment to work in; and (c) give them the right tools: then they will deliver valuable ideas and be able to implement them. So far, I think the balance of the evidence is that they are right.
    • I had a Noah's Ark/collecting-techies-for-the-great- flood joke all lined up, but then I realized that might be in bad taste.

      So maybe this is the new patent war. Pre-emtive hirings.

      Now if I can only convince them that I'm worth something...

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:56PM (#13511845)
      They could be copying the Microsoft strategy of buying out, err, hiring all the best and brightest, sticking them in labs to play with whatever they want, and then never doing anything with what they come up with. It prevents those people from going elsewhere and actually making good products.
    • by tonyr60 (32153) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @05:20PM (#13513160)
      If their strategy is to wind up Microsoft then this should help. I can imagine that Ballmer will not be happy, but the vendor responsible for supplying office furniture to Microsoft Corporate office may be.
  • snark (Score:5, Funny)

    by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:20PM (#13510724)
    Boy, that Internet thing just isn't catching on. I guess we need someone to really spread the word about it!

    Chief Internet Evangelist? Really?
    • Re:snark (Score:3, Funny)

      You bet! Cerf's up, dude...

      And I'm sure nobody's cracked that joke before...
    • Interestingly enough, Microsoft has had people known as "Evangelists" for certain technologies for a long time. I didn't realize other companies were using this job title.

      It describes the job very well, but it's strange nonetheless.
      • Re:snark (Score:3, Informative)

        by ReformedExCon (897248)
        Apple's had them also. Guy Kawasaki was one of their big evangelists a few years back.

        Their role is to get the word out about their project/product/concept and turn sceptics into true believers by flooding them with positive information about it. Is there anyone who doesn't know what the Internet is?
        • Re:snark (Score:2, Funny)

          by thuh Freak (725126)
          Is there anyone who doesn't know what the Internet is?

          I'm not entirely sure, but I heard a guy on t.v. say they got them working on computers now.

          maybe, in order to understand Internet we have to look at the word itself: Internet. Basically it's made up of two separate words: 'inte' and 'rnet'. What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and so is Internet.

      • It really shouldn't be surprising. To non-geeks, technology is something that is accepted on blind faith because someone with greater belief told them to. Seems a lot like a religion to me.
      • Re:snark (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pthisis (27352)
        Interestingly enough, Microsoft has had people known as "Evangelists" for certain technologies for a long time. I didn't realize other companies were using this job title.


        It's a very old usage, Bell Labs had evangelists and I don't think they were the first.
    • Re:snark (Score:3, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      "Chief Internet Evangelist? Really?"

      Especially the "Chief" part... this implies a whole team of internet evangelists.

      I guess Pat Robertson is diversifying his revenue sources...
  • by ChipMonk (711367) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:20PM (#13510726) Journal
    Vint has put his heart and soul into making the Internet happen.

    Are they sure they didn't hire Al Gore by mistake?
    • by Duncan3 (10537) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:32PM (#13510860) Homepage
      Even funnier since I've seen Vint himself correct the Al Gore thing in a talk saying that Gore does deserve credit for getting the early internet funding that it needed. Vint even presented him an award.

      But yea, the joke is funnier then the truth by far ;)
    • No, Al Gore is already at Apple [apple.com]. And as you know, both Apple and Google are cool, Not Evil (TM) companies, so they don't want to bump heads.
  • Knowing Vint, he will tell Google to work with Bill Gates/Steve Balmer. Or maybe, just maybe, Vint will see that no monopoly is forever.
  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by cloudkj (685320) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:21PM (#13510744)
    Schmidt also mentioned that one of the most eye-catching items on Cerf's resume was his ability to dodge flying chairs.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:21PM (#13510747) Journal
    "I know he is going to jump right in here and start shoveling out new ideas for Google."

    I can only think of one thing that people typically use the phrase "shovel out" with... and it begins with sh-.

    I sure hope, for Google's sake, that he shovels out something else.
  • by jshaped (899227) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:24PM (#13510783)
    I forget, do we love or hate google?

    (are they becoming an unstoppable giant?)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:43PM (#13510985)
      Simple rules for Slashdot Slashbots:

      We love Google. Always.

      We love Apple. Always.

      We love Linux past the point of sanity. There is nothing which couldn't be made better with Linux.

      We love the FCC when they're regulating spectrum, except when they're actually selling a usage license. We hate the FCC if they're doing anything outside of that, like sneezing.

      We hate Microsoft, always. If somebody in Redmond catches a cold,we gloat. If Microsoft releases a bug patch, it's an example of shoddy work (Whereas bug patches in open source are CLEARLY an example of high-quality work! No double standard there.).

      We moderately dislike the Democrats, but since they're the party of opposition to Sat^H^H^Hthe Republicans, we champion them like they were Gods incarnate (Unless Libertarianism comes up, of course).

      Novell is evil, except when they're doing stuff with Linux. Or against Microsoft.

      IBM is totally awesome. Except where POWER chips and Linux aren't concerned, there they suck.

      Anything but X86 is the best instruction set ever. Except for IA64, which was also made by Intel, so it sucks. X86-64, because it was made by AMD, rules however, and fixes all of the problems anybody has ever had with anything remotely close to X86.

      Intel is always expensive crap. Except where the Pentium M comes into play. There they're just expensive.

      AMD is always cheap and kickass. Except for the FX chips, which aren't cheap. And the Turion, which is just cheap.

      NVidia is evil for not releasing open source drivers for Linux. NVidia is saintly for releasing solid support for Linux.

      ATI is saintly for releasing open source drivers for Linux. ATI is evil for not releasing solid support for Linux.

      Any mention of BSD is a troll, unless the story explicitly mentions BSD, because mentioning another Open Source Operating System draws glory from the wonder that is Linux.

      And so forth and so on...
    • It all depends on the day.
    • We love them, because their strategy to become an unstopable giant has been to have a better product than everyone else.

      Not... FUDing their competitors to death.
    • by Cyrgo (784568)
      Wait 'til they hire Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and/or Linus Torvalds...
    • Google is our ally. Google has always been our ally.

      Microsoft is the enemy. We have always been at war with Microsoft, and Google is our ally.

  • Vint (Score:2, Interesting)

    by theheff (894014)
    "Vint Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Protocol, which will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, which will be radio/laser communications that are highly tolerant to signal degradation."

    This guy is amazing.

    • I'm not sure how that makes him amazing...
      It doesn't really sound that impressive at all I mean we've been communicating with interplanetary probes for decades.
      From a protocol standpoint how would it really be that different form what we do here on earth?
      Now if he designed the hardware, that would be impressive.
    • Re:Vint (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181)
      Interplanetary Protocol, which will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, which will be radio/laser communications that are highly tolerant to signal degradation

      This guy is amazing

      He may be, but not for naming it (why "IP"?), and the author clearly doesn't understand the difference between different network layers.

      "radio/laser communications that are highly tolerant to signal degradation" is data link layer and below. Cerf's work most likely is taking place at/above that or the tra

    • Call me stupid, but it seems pretty much useless IMO

      I mean, how many people is going to travel to the space? No, really....
    • "Vint Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Protocol, which will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, which will be radio/laser communications that are highly tolerant to signal degradation."

      This guy is amazing.


      He'll be even more amazing if he can do it in his 20% spare time given by Google ;-)
  • by hazee (728152) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:25PM (#13510794)
    Obviously Google isn't content to simply dominate the internet on this planet, they want to dominate the interplanetary internet [wikipedia.org] too.

    Context sensitive ads for Mars rovers anyone?
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:30PM (#13510841) Journal
    FTA: "[Cerf] also will continue as a visiting scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been focusing on a very Google-like project _ trying to figure out a way to connect the Internet to outer space."

    How is this project Google-like, other than seeming to be pretty cool?

    Cerf has been working on a network utility issue with NASA. I wasn't aware that Google is in the network utility game at all.

  • MCI is sueing over his non compete clause. Can't Google hire anyone without starting a lawsuit.

    No I'm kidding. Or maybe not?

  • by keshto (553762) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:38PM (#13510926)
    Look at the photo [washingtonpost.com] with the WaPo article (hint: look at the license plate).
    • It's called ego.

      I mean without him we'd all be cave dwelling heathens... There is a way to be proud of something without outwardly showing it ... oh what the hell is that called ...

      oh yeah...

      MODESTY

      Apparently that's all lost. Though I blame the trivial media hero worship bullshit more than I'd blame Cerf. Though I'm sure he displays restraint when getting awards for trivial computer science accomplishments...

      You think I'm a troll? Name the guy who invented the Y-modem transfer protocol. If you can do t
    • During one of his Interplanetary Internet presentations, he talked about two big principles:

      Everything over IP

      IP on everything

      and mentioned he had a dog sweater with "IP on everything" on it.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:40PM (#13510946)
    I saw an interesting Google sponsorship of PBS NOVA Tuesday. In their 15-second infomercial a word typed into the Google screen about some natural phenomena and switched to a video clip of that phenomena. (I dont think Google does that right now, but will any month.)

    Botht the Cerf and PBS thing shows Google is moving away from being just a startup and more of a community player.
  • Google TLD? (Score:4, Funny)

    by op12 (830015) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:40PM (#13510956) Homepage
    From the article: "Cerf will remain chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the oversight agency for Internet domain names."

    So how long before we get a .google TLD? or maybe .goo :)
  • From the post: I know he is going to jump right in here and start shoveling out new ideas for Google

    I usually associate new ideas and shoveling only with Microsoft.

    Ducks!

  • by guaigean (867316) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @01:48PM (#13511037)
    This is a much different strategy than the Microsoft sieze and conquer. MS takes over companies to get technologies, and then through culture the effectiveness of the subsidiary becomes null. Google, however, invests instead in obtaining highly innovative, creative, and motivated individuals, and they're doing it en mass. I know there is a lot of speculation about them working on an operating system or something similarly large, but whatever it is, it is big. There are too many bright minds there for it not to be.
  • by bernywork (57298) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `notelpatsb'> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:02PM (#13511178) Journal
    When I posted [slashdot.org] about Google buying a lot of dark fibre [slashdot.org] I never would have thought about these two things put together....

    You really have to wonder what they are up to.. Now either what I put in my previous post is correct and they are just trying to minimise their risk by distributing the BGP peers and reducing their risk, and trying to cut out Akamai who they were originally paying a reasonable amount of money to for various hosting things. Or they are about to come out with something over the next couple of years that will put us all in shock. I have no idea what is about to become of this..

    Does anyone have any ideas on what they would be doing with one of the pioneers of the internet and a truckload of fibre?
  • by north.coaster (136450) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:08PM (#13511259) Homepage

    Vint has released a statement on the Google Blog [blogspot.com].

  • by jeffimix (905584) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:12PM (#13511315)
    "I beat the internet, the end guy was hard"
  • I'll trade you a Vint Cerf for 2 DBA's and a Project Manager.
  • and be HEALED, brother! The power of CERN compels you!
  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @02:50PM (#13511787) Homepage
    Just like the Yankees, Google is throwing enormous piles of money at (nerd) superstars, hoping that all of that acquired talent will bring them to the top.

    Sure, that has (for the most part) worked rather well for the Yankees, but they are also highly criticized for their gluttonous payroll, and dare I say, anticompetetive behavior.

    How long will it take Google to earn that same scorn?

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