Update: A great article summarizing both the search for Jim and the ways in which Jim’s own research enabled the search over at Scientific American.
Update II Some great background on how Amazon’s Mechanical Turk helped coordinate 560,000 jobs in the search, at All Things Distributed
Just saw this over at Werner Vogels site.
Jim Gray wrote, among many other things, Rules of Thumb In Data Engineering, a paper that has been very influential in shaping my thinking about storage architectures (see Architecting the Internet Data Center).
As usual, the folks at Good Morning Silicon Valley said it better than I can:
Gray is a star in these parts — the first recipient of a doctorate degree from the University of California-Berkeley’s computer-science department back in 1969, and recipient of the Turing Award, computing’s Nobel, in 1998 for his body of work, which helped pave the way for automated-teller machines, computerized airline reservations and e-commerce. Recently Gray had been working to create a worldwide telescope — a distributed database of astronomy information. He also was helping to build a digital library that would include the world’s scientific literature and data.
The mind runs through all sorts of possibilities, but speculation is pointless. All we can do is extend our supportive thoughts to family, friends and co-workers and hope we have not lost this talented man.
Update: the Coast Guard has called off its search. Jim’s friends have not given up on the hunt. The latest here. Here’s a puzzle:
“It’s one of the most frustrating and unusual cases we’ve had,” said Coast Guard Capt. David Swatland, who has conducted numerous searches for missing craft in his 23-year career. Swatland said he couldn’t recall another time when a boat the size of Gray’s 40-foot C&C yacht had disappeared without a trace.
Swatland, who said visibility and ocean conditions had been good all week, added that C-130 aircraft are equipped with search technology sophisticated enough to “pick up a cooler floating in the water.”