Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 18:06:08 -0700
Subject: Re: Weather predicting toasters

"Ruffin Bailey" wrote, quoting James Gosling:

>The perfect goal of "write once, run anywhere,
>anything runs on anything" is just goofy. You're
>never going to run some piece of weather modeling
>software on a toaster [laughs]. And you wouldn't
>want to.

Yes I would.

With a hundred million or so toasters in the US alone, that's a formidable array of Java computational elements sitting idle at least 99.9% of the time. Worldwide, the distributed computational power in toasterized countries would be staggering (and still idle at least 99.9% of the time).

Added to high availability, consider the fairly low security risks if one of those toasters is compromised. What's a compromised toaster gonna do, lie to you about the weather forecast? Burn four-letter words into your toast? Worst case, you'll have to reset it to manual mode or to its builtin ROM defaults. Every computer security failure should be so difficult to recover from.

Let's see:
- High availability, at least 99.9% idle in normal operation.
- Low security risk, even if compromised or crashed.
- Implicitly connected to a weather-forecasting service (how else would it
get weather-forecast data?).

Sounds like the perfect choice for doing a piece of distributed weather modeling.

One person's "just goofy" is another person's distributed computational resource pool.

-- GG