Somehow, despite all of the technical-news sources I’m plugged into, I ended up reading about one of the day’s most interesting developments in the Boston Globe. Apparently Google and Microsoft have combined to fund the Reliable Adaptive Distributed systems Laboratory, staffed by folks from UC Berkeley. It’s interesting that Google and Microsoft are cooperating on anything, but to me the list of people involved from Berkeley is more interesting. David Patterson should need no introduction — co-inventor of RISC and RAID, co-author of the best books ever on computer architecture, Berkeley CS and ACM SIGARCH chair, winner of more awards for both research and teaching than I can list here. I seriously cannot think of anyone in computing who has earned greater credibility or respect, and by the way he’s a heck of a nice guy too. I recognize most of the other faculty from the Tahoe retreats that I was privileged to attend a few years back, and they’re all pretty high-calibre as well. This is a group worth watching.