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UK Lab Responsible for VNC To Close 166

NexUK writes "Guardian Online has an article about the imminent closure of the UK based AT&T lab , the place that brought us VNC, the popular desktop remote control system. The article talks about a nice "Toys" budget where the employees could buy gadgets without prior authorization." AT&T Strikes again, I'm surprised they haven't bought PARC and closed it down too.
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UK Lab Responsible for VNC To Close

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  • by elucidus ( 245536 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @03:57PM (#3389443) Homepage Journal
    TightVNC [] adds variable JPG compression and is optimized for slow connections.
  • by shaldannon ( 752 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @03:59PM (#3389455) Homepage
    I think that's my biggest question. Luckily I've got a couple UNIX tarballs around, but that's just archival. Is development going to continue?
    • Hopefully it will find a new home on Sourceforge.

      • Hopefully it will find a new home on Sourceforge.

        Sure, because we all know SourceForge will continue running and providing free services to OSS projects after VA Linux^H^H^H^H^HSoftware runs out of money in a year or two.
    • I'm hoping that the TridiaVNC folk are not the people who take it over.. They rubbed me the wrong way when I viewed their site.

      Of course, this /is/ the advantage of open-source software. Unlike in the case of Blender, SOMEBODY can go on and develop new stuff with VNC, no prob.
    • VNC development will continue, and here's how and why:

      1) AT&T Labs has not released a significant version of VNC for a little while now, yet VNC development continues on many fronts. These efforts will therefore not cease just because the AT&T Lab goes away. Examples of non-AT&T projects involving VNC:

      ChromiVNC [] (MacOS 7.5/9.x server) - maintained by myself, Jonathan Morton.

      VNCThing [] (MacOS Carbon viewer) - maintained by Dair Grant.

      OSXVNC [] (MacOS X server)

      TightVNC [] (ultra-efficient Win32 and UNIX servers and viewers) - maintained by Constantin Kaplinsky.

      TridiaVNC [] (semi-commercial Win32 and UNIX servers and viewers) - maintained by Tridia Corporation.

      A large number of independent viewers, as well as a few servers, for minority and hand-held platforms are also available.

      Each of the above is independent of the AT&T Labs, although most use at least some of the AT&T code.

      2) Most people who use VNC seriously, use the independent versions because they are noticeably further advanced than the AT&T versions. In fact, generally progress on the AT&T versions has been limited to occasional bugfixes for some years.

      3) Support for most versions of VNC (but not normally TridiaVNC, for which commercial support from Tridia is available) is primarily conducted on a central mailing list, currently operated from an AT&T server. The posting rate from AT&T representatives or developers is very low. As a group, VNC developers are currently discussing where to move the support list to ensure it's continued operation.

      This is all made possible by the GPL.

    • Is development going to continue?

      From the link:

      April 23rd 2002: Although AT&T Laboratories in Cambridge will close shortly, VNC will continue to be freely available and supported at this web address

      And the original VNC team has something cooking ...

      Maybe they plan to set up a company, sell support or commercial licences?

  • Irony? (Score:5, Funny)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @03:59PM (#3389457) Journal
    When management shuts them down, will they do it in person or will they just pull up a remote terminal and shut them off that way?
  • Are there any groups out there who are going to take up the vnc project and expand it any? Or is it basically a dead project that will remain as is due the fact it's been out for a while?
  • So it should be relatively easy to get the source and start a new project, right?
  • They could have been spun off to Lucent [].

    Where's the next PARC [], Bell Labs [], IBM []?

    I know all of these still exist in name at least, but they sure seem to be mere shadows of what they used to be...

    And, no, I don't think it's MSFT []


    • Well, IBM is still producing record numbers of patents every year and doing lots of good research. I've been to a few OOPSLAs, and it seems like the research output from IBM's Watson Labs on object-oriented stuff is nearly equal to the rest of the world's academic facilities combined.
    • Lucent no longer is Bell Labs. Avaya was spun off from Lucent and contains that portion. The AT&T Research Lab in England is the old Olivetti Research Lab.
      • Funny, but Bell Labs thinks it still belongs to Lucent . . . Bell Labs' [] own site has a rather prominent Lucent logo on it, and the Avaya Labs [] site states that "It's a brand new research lab, but it can boast of a rich, 75-year-old heritage from Bell Labs". It's a spin off . . .
    • There will always be a place for independent or academic research institutions that aren't subjected to the vicissitudes of corporate politics and moneygrubbing (insofar as it was intellectual property anxieties that killed a sale of the lab to Intel, I think it's fair to say that moneygrubbing and the corporate fuck-you instinct was at work here). The Santa Fe Institutes, MIT * Labs, Berkeley Labs, and the like couldn't be replaced by corporate entities. While it makes sense, then, that there's cooperation between those entities and the private sector, I think it needs to be emphasized how important it is that the ethic of sharing of scientific knowledge and open research be maintained.
  • Nothing terribly revolutionary has come out of the UK Research group recently... at least nothing publicly announced. The bulk of useful VNC development in recent years has been done by 3rd parties working with the open VNC sources.

    While it's possible they could have come up with another killer product given their obvious talents, the dissolution of the group probably isn't that tragic for our industry.

    Other's have already listed URLs pointing to 3rd party VNC products (both freeware and otherwise) so I won't repeat them here but it's definitely worth your while to seek some of them out and support their work.
    • A lot of this sort of stuff you don't really know what was useful until 5,10 or more years later. Unix was originated around 1970, but it's usefulness didn't become widely aparent until 1978 or so. Engelbart's mouse was invented in 1963/1964, but wasn't patented until 1970, and didn't become widespread until after the PARC stuff in the late 1970s.
    • Re:Tragic? Maybe. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:27PM (#3389677)
      > Nothing terribly revolutionary has come out of the UK Research group recently...

      Things that have come out of AT&T Labs Cambridge recently:

      The Active Bat system, which can locate in 3D better than any other deployed system. They are using Bat transmitters as mice in the air, on 50 inch plasma screens. Now that's a cool interface.

      A broadband phone, rolled out across the entire staff, which lets then see train timetables, share a doodling screen during phone calls, have active directories so that they can call the nearest phone to someone (c.f. Bat above)

      At least visit their website [] before you start trolling. You might even learn something.

    • Remote control software is a really, really old idea. There are at least a dozen commercial products for Windows that do the same thing and many of them are well over 10 years old. VNC is a nice program, and since it's GPL it will live on, but it was never revolutionary at anything. In fact, it's hard to see why AT&T spent any effort on it.
      • VNC wasn't supposed to be remote control software in the beginning. It was supposed to be the foundation of a thin-client computing environment.

        • VNC wasn't supposed to be remote control software in the beginning. It was supposed to be the foundation of a thin-client computing environment.

          I swear, some of the best innovations are not carefully planned in advance, but spring forth from where you least expect them.

      • Whether it was more remote control software or a remote frame buffer or whatever isn't the interesting part.

        What is interesting is that VNC could export a windows NT display to a palm pilot, or Amiga to Nokia 9000 or whatever.

        I actually used the NT display on a palm pilot setup quite a bit
  • This stinks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Psiren ( 6145 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:07PM (#3389495)
    I used to drive past this place every day on my way to work. I often used to wonder what a magical place it must have been to work in. I always hoped I'd get the chance to work there myself someday. Bang goes that idea. Strangely enough I can see the new Microsoft Research Centre from my flat. I guess that would be a cool place to work too, if it weren't for the owners. Cambridge has long been known for its hotbed of innovation. I'm sad to see us lose a bit of that.
  • Holy shit. . . . (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Com2Kid ( 142006 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:07PM (#3389496) Homepage Journal
    I am still out of breath, my word, this is. . . . horrible. What the hell is AT&T thinking? Just the other day I was thinking to myself how nice it is that there is such a company still around that is willing to support pure research and development, but now. . . . holy shit.

    VNC will live on, but what new ideas might have come this lab? What technology, what science, will now never be invented, or at the very least horribly delayed? This is awful, how could any company get pissy over intellectual property rights when there is so much more at stake? For crying out loud, shutting down not only one of the premier research labs in the world, but a (I think?) profitable one at that!
    • Re:Holy shit. . . . (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sagneta ( 539541 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:19PM (#3389607)

      What they think is that they are going out of business in the not-to-distant future.

      The Gartner group claims that within 5 years AT&T will be purchased by another corporation and will cease to exist as a serpate corporate entity. The time frame might be optimistic, 5 years seems a bit soon, but the conclustion is indisputable. AT&T just began a 5-1 stock reverse split. First time in its history and the first for a DOW component. That's something that soon-to-be-delisted dot-coms do. Not DOW components.

      How the mightly hast fallen.

      I'm not sure if those outside the United States realize that MA-Bell is on her deathbed. In fact, amoungst the possible purchasers of the AT&T franchise are any number of the baby-bells such as Verizon or PacBell.

      Thus the closing of the lab is just a
      sign of AT&T's time. Telco in general is cratering within the United States. The internet is crushing the old to make way for the new.

      I have to tell you that, honestly, AT&T had it coming for some time. I am sorry that many good people are getting squashed but the corporation as a while has done much to harm customers and prevent the movement towards the Internet in recent years.

      In any event, so goes AT&T and so goes the lab.

      Sorry guys.
      • "The internet is crushing the old to make way for the new."

        What is the new? AOL/Time Warner? Well, talk about jumping from the pan into the fire.


      • Re:Holy shit. . . . (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Nexx ( 75873 )

        The Gartner group claims that within 5 years AT&T will be purchased by another corporation and will cease to exist as a serpate corporate entity. The time frame might be optimistic, 5 years seems a bit soon, but the conclustion is indisputable. AT&T just began a 5-1 stock reverse split. First time in its history and the first for a DOW component. That's something that soon-to-be-delisted dot-coms do. Not DOW components

        Exactly. AT&T said that they're doing the reverse 5-1 split to buoy their share price to above $10, so that institutional investors will be more interested in their stocks. However, most companies would've created a plan for buoying their share price to above $10/share instead of hatching this hare-brained idea.

        It's sad to see a company like AT&T go, because of its history with the research labs, but you're right, they're hurting for money, and that's the real reason behind the closing of these labs (Bell Labs is now owned, in most part, by Lucent).

      • Re:Holy shit. . . . (Score:3, Informative)

        by Combuchan ( 123208 )
        AT&T just began a 5-1 stock reverse split. First time in its history and the first for a DOW component. That's something that soon-to-be-delisted dot-coms do. Not DOW components.

        You forget that stock value is just one barometer of measuring a company's strength. AT&T's stock is among the most widely held in America, with 3.545 BILLION shares outstanding as of 01 April 2002.

        According to this [], AT&T employs 117,800 people, has massive properties (dialup, broadband, long distance ...) No dotgone ever had this magnitude. Plus the Gartner Group is wrong in their assessment of AT&T's future; they've been going under some restructuring in the past couple years and restructuring a company of AT&T's girth doesn't happen overnight.

        Lastly, you get delisted from the NASDAQ or NYSE if your stock hovers below $1.00 for a while. AT&T currently trades at $13.75.
        • Well... after the reverse split, it'd only be 709 MILLION shares outstanding. Is # of shares outstanding actually considered a useful measurement? I would assume that the interesting number would be $ value of outstanding shares.

          He's not saying that AT&T is soon to be delisted. He's saying that the 5-1 reverse split is uncommon among corps of it's size and stature. You misread the grandparent completely. Or you trolled me really well.
      • Telco in general is cratering within the United States. The internet is crushing the old to make way for the new.

        An example of this in my hometown (not necessarily being crushed by the Internet) but surely a sign of things to come, is that the local Cable company has begun offering digital voip for some time now, at significant cost savings, utilizing your existing phone wiring and simply replacing the box that hangs on the side of your house.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Do these guys have ANY CREDIBILITY left at all after the dot com implosion? I don't think so.
    • The truth is that Intel wanted to buy the lab and was on the brink of closing a deal. Although nobody in AT&T will talk openly about it, the word on the street is that negotiations foundered because the lawyers on both sides couldn't agree about intellectual property issues

      Slashdot readers should love this paragraph.
  • What? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    >> AT&T Strikes again, I'm surprised they haven't bought PARC and closed it down too.

    Or at least buy Microsoft Research Labs and close it down.
  • Another example of corporate idiocy! What these guys could have accomplished left to their own devices will now never be known. VNC is great, I use it for hours a day, and I don't know what I would do without it! AT&T should get their head out of their a$$ and fund this lab _more_, not ditch it altogether.
    • But how much did you PAY AT&T for VNC? They don't run this lab for your benefit alone ... they run it to make money. If in their cost-benefit analysis the lab is a liability to the corporation, then they have not only the right, but the fiduciary responsibility to shut it down. Just because a lab comes out with neat stuff doesn't mean there is a good reason for the owner to keep it open.

      If you are so convinced that it is worth pouring money into, it shouldn't be that hard to find a group of investors willing to give you the cash to buy and run the place as you see fit. That's the way commerce works! The fact that no one is interested in buying the place indicates, to me at least, that it might not be such a valuable property as many comments seem to think it is....

      • As much as I use VNC, I would be happy to pay ($50?) to use it and to encourage further development.

        As far as investors giving me money, I don't think that will happen. You see, I ran this research lab that wasn't quite pulling it's weight, and well, you know the rest.....

    • We have X11, and XFree86 is a free implementation. X is more advanced than VNC, anyway...
  • The problem (Score:1, Redundant)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 )
    I bet that a lot of these labs aren't "profitable." The average user, now, has little use for such devices. Most of my friends kind of wow over the x-window system, and that I can use my own computer remotely, or ssh for that matter.

    So what happens? Well, 20 years from now, everyone will have keyboards over rf to their tv's with their computer interfaces on them. Today it's useful to me, so I have to rig it myself. None of them will want it for 20 years, because they don't have a "reason."
    • the thing though is that these labs had the financial firepower to do research tightly focused at the commercial market. now the only people doing research are the people in universities who dont have the budget to do the nifty whiz bang gadgets..they do pure research only. which means a lot of university developed research will not be developed into whiz bang gadgets and hence improve the market place or the company stocks. it just means the public wont be able to buy really kewl new technology and companies wont make huge profits selling this technology. the effects are usually felt in 3-5 years or so when AT&T will find itself without any new products to develop since the research base has gone.
      its a tragic loss. i hope someone can keep up the VNC GPLed tree at least.
  • No surprises here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Take a look at what Telco stocks have been doing over the last year or so. They're looking under couch cushions in the employee lounge for spare change!
  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:10PM (#3389520) Homepage
    Anyone know what'll happen to omniORB, the good C++ CORBA ORB produced outta bell labs?!
    • This is from the omniORB mailing list:

      AT&T Laboratories Cambridge will close on 24 April. Some time before
      that, the majority of the web site, including
      the omniORB bits, will move to a new home at the LCE, part of
      Cambridge University. Links to omniORB's web pages will continue to
      work. The FTP site and the mailing lists will move too.
  • I bet the ATT lab FTP servers are going to be slammed for quite some time as source is being leeched by every sysadmin in the world.

    I myself use VNC extensively for my network. Combined with SSH2 it makes a decent little VPN (plus it works in a browser window!)

    OT, has anyone here gotten VNC to run in the Windows CE / PocketPC OS? I like the idea of controlling servers from my wireless PDA at home.

  • Thanks to the folks who decided to use the GPL for VNC.

    They deserve a lot of credit for ensuring that their software would continue to be freely available to the world.

  • ... the fact that it's illegal to use VNC with WindowsXP now? :)

    source: WindowsXP License Agreement
  • by lw54 ( 73409 ) <<lance> <at> <>> on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:15PM (#3389557)
    In Hopper's lab there was a rule that anyone could buy anything on his own authority so long as it cost less than £1,000. If you wanted something more expensive, you had to get another signature, but that was usually a breeze.

    It was known colloquially as the 'toys budget' and it was, no doubt, sometimes used for frivolous purchases. But in the main it was not. And it meant that the lab's researchers always had the latest gizmos - and the freedom to take them apart and see how they worked.

    My first thoughts were how on earth could management implement and afford a policy like this. But in the end, I thought true innovation requires liberal policies such as these.

    The dotCOM era was full of excess, perhaps too much so, but this is proof that there are still companies out there striving to be the best.

    • Well when a Purchase Order costs ~$250 total to cut I can see why they would do this. Where I work most people have a Visa card that they can put small purchases, up to $5,000 on. This way the admin cost is greatly reduced and the employee can be more productive by getting what he needs when he needs it, not after 3 managers and a vp sign off plus it goes through finance.
    • Wow, $1500 per thing? And no annual cap?

      My guess about management's tolerance would be that it was seen as an expense budget and not a capital budget, although who knows what the accounting rules are in AT&T or the UK.

      If you just said $150k expense budget for toys and nobody asks for shit like $5k desks, new chairs, carpeting/paint maybe it would work out.
  • Lame header (Score:4, Troll)

    by wakaramon ( 301145 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:16PM (#3389574)
    "UK Lab Responsible for VNC To Close" is lame.
    A better header would be "AT&T Kills Lab that Created VNC".

    The "UK Lab" is responsible for VNC, not for its closure. AT&T is responsible for closing the lab.
    • Re:Lame header (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pfhreakaz0id ( 82141 )
      Indeed. That head is horribly passive. Want real headlines? Read a reputable newsource ... where real editors with real journalism backgrounds write the headlines. Headline writing is part art, part science and it definitely requires some dedication.
    • Your comment is bloody pedantic. "AT&T Kills Lab that Created VNC" is hardly the Queens English either!
    • I am responsible for closing VNC every time I am done with my remote console session.
  • What a shame... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MonkeyBot ( 545313 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:19PM (#3389596)
    AT&T research facilities are wonderful, magical places that shouldn't be allowed to shut down or see their demise. These things should be heavily subsidized by the government. Bell Labs (now Lucent) is going down the shitter, and AT&T is closing the research labs that they still own. AT&T's research facilities (Bell in particular) are the people that brought us things like Unix, the laser, and the transister, not to mention countless other things. It's a real shame that they are closing down these facilities--like the article says, research facilities are delicate organisms, and they can't be reassembled after you've broken them up.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We do not just owe them the VNS stuff, but also things like omnyORB, one of the free CORBA implementations available. And moreover, have you ever looked at such fine projects as PEN or CLAN over at their site? Less of practical use for the meek of us, but really interesting and insightful. A shame they will get shut down...
  • I've never used VNC, but was planning to use it in a current project-- thought I'd download it and start experimenting with it next week sometime. When I saw this, I went to the site and downloaded all the files I'd need. When I first got there, the downloads were quick, but just in the time it took me to download 4-8 files, the response time slowed quite a bit.
  • Toys Budgets Anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:27PM (#3389680) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone else have a toy budget - surely the /. crew do?

    We have a CD budget at work - idea being that we all listen to CDs all the time and if anyone takes on in it gets assimilated into the office collection so we ended up buying replacements all the time.

    By having a 'CD a week' thing anyone can order up a new CD on the Amazon account whenever they like. Beats being able to take money out of petty cash for milk!

    Costs what - 50 x £20 a year and keeps us happier than a bunch of pigs in poop!
  • by MarkedMan ( 523274 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:48PM (#3389754)
    One reason that companies are reluctant to provide ongoing public services is that when they discontinue them, instead of getting kudos for all they contributed, they get negative reaction for pulling support.
  • by Squeezer ( 132342 ) <awilliam.mdah@state@ms@us> on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:54PM (#3389802) Homepage
    The Linux and Windows Source and binaries plus docs

  • I don't think there'a ny need for AT&T to buy out and close down PARC - Xerox seems to be doing a good enough job of that. They've been trying to sell it to venture capitalists for a while, with a notable lack of success. I don't think that PARC will last another 12 months, which is very sad.

    Xerox also has (had?) a research lab in Cambridge, colloquially known as EuroPARC. I visited there a few times and saw some quite neat stuff.
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:04PM (#3389896) Homepage Journal
    ATT only bought them and changed the source to reflect ownership. they *created* nothing.. barely even a bug fix since the buyout..

    Thats why groupls like tightVNC ( gpl ) or TridiaVNC ( commercial ) came about.. and will continue it far into the future..

    Its not going anywhere.. do some homework people.

    Still sad, though anyone could see it coming...
  • thanks for letting them create and Release VNC as a GPL'd item.

    it was a great ride... and thanks for the freebies.
  • If anyone stops and looks around to see where innovation is happening they will surely see the Open Source community cranking! I bet if you look real close you'll see all the top names spying on the Open Source comm. and trying to "out patent" them:)

  • An AOL type network (Great GUI, lots of content and downloads).
    AT&T bought it just before it was released and killed it a
    few months later. I was a beta tester; I had such high
    hopes for Interchange.
  • I was curious what the lab was working on and found a variety of multimedia materials on their anonymous FTP site here: []

    What I've seen so far is interesting though not earth-shattering. Take a look.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I, being the paranoid vnc junkie that I am, just cruised over to the ATT - VNC website, to get copies for each OS, and found the downloads are gone beyond the forms.

    Hopefully someone out there has them all for download at their website. Anyone know any sites?

    Being GPL, I imagine that there are several. I need to feel assured that the source is untouched as well.

    Thanks be to any who finds this info.

    And screw "The Man" for making another horribly morbid decision.
    • Bazaar (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PigleT ( 28894 )
      Find your favourite distribution's source archive, and grab 'em from there. (Debian would be my first port of call, seeing as I *know* they've packaged VNC before now.)

      I'm thinking, in this day & age of open-source, it's slightly weird that projects can be "removed" from public distribution - cf ?Blender?, the Net::DNS CPAN module, and/or that nice movie editor thing - when so many distributions have used the sources in the past, it can very rapidly become quite hard to find something once it *is* removed; reason being, freshmeat refers people only to the project's listed homepage, it doesn't copy stuff locally.

      Seems to me that within the "bazaar" that is open-source development, there's quite a lot of "one package, one home site" going on.
  • I wonder if every lab has that kind of budget to buy odds and ends just to take apart and see how they work? I think there should be more labs like this in more places around the world.
  • Anyone wanting to offer lucrative contracts to AT&T people after the closedown can find more information at :-)
  • Blimey! This lab is just out the back of my house and I walk past it every day en route to the engineering department. In fact the director, Andy Hopper [] taught a few lectures last year on distributed computing during which he spoke extensively about the Active Badge system they have there. The setup is pretty sweet: they have a bunch of IR tranceivers in every room in the lab, and also in the LCE [] in the engineering department. Each of the lab rats wears a small badge with an IR transmitter in it which emits a pulse containing a badge ID every so often. The receivers catch these and relay the information to a central server. This server runs a daemon which provides information on where everyone is to any program that requests it. More info on active badges here [] and its successor, the active bat system here []. Location of staff members using the system here []

    Incidentally hopper is a pretty interesting character too. Having worked on the Cambridge ring which was for a while superior to ethernet, he then became involved with the Acorn computers that every Brit of my generation knew and loved at school. He established the then olivetti lab in the mid 80's and is involved with 2 of the three big startups in Cambridge, ARM and Virata. Oh, he also flies planes, is worth a packet and lectures in scruffy jeans.

  • The VNC development community is healthy, despite nearly no activity from the authors at the Cambridge Labs for some time.

    I'm working on RFB 4.x which is attempting to fix the authentication and security issues, whilst adding clipboard, drag and drop, multiple desktops, file transfers, encryption, channels, etc

    TightVNC is the preferred VNC now - don't think that with one lab closure the world is coming to and end.

    There's even a commercial version of VNC out there, TridiaVNC as well as literally tens of clients and servers for all sorts of platforms.

    VNC is far from dead.
  • Maan...I was going to observe the boycott this week too, but now this stupid post by Chris is going to force me to talk.

    Why is everybody like "AT&T killed the lab!" oh no! Look, AT&T bought the lab, and when they didn't have enough money to keep it running, they closed it. It's produced some wonderful stuff, but this is the way capitalism works. And Chris, *come* *on*. "uhh, I'm surprised AT&T hasn't bought out PARC and closed it down..." What kind of a comment is that? AT&T has had a good history of funding R&D, and now they're in some financial trouble. Cut them a break.

    And the post towards the bottom of the page that says AT&T is tanking and the Internet age is getting rid of the Telco, that's ridiculous. AT&T is a big Internet player. Yeah they're a long distance company, but they also provide a lot of Internet connectivity. AT&T is in some financial trouble, but they're by no means out of it. They've taken some hits from the dot com crash and the 9/11 slump, but they'll be back.

    This whole idea on Slashdot that AT&T was a big bad evil company and still is, is hilarious. They brought you Unix for crying out loud!

  • I was looking ahead to the Broadband Phone [] too! They even had a wireless version running. Sigh.
  • The future of VNC (Score:2, Informative)

    Sad but true, the AT&T lab in Cambridge is closing.

    Now for the good news - VNC lives on!

    First, the current version of VNC will continue to be available at the original web address, which will soon be re-hosted at Cambridge University where AT&T continues to sponsor research.

    Second, the creators of VNC are planning a venture to independently support and develop VNC as an ongoing open source project. You haven't heard much from us recently because we've been busy with other projects such as the Broadband Phone [], but now that we have the opportunity :) we're back on the case.

    Watch the VNC website, the mailing list, or slashdot for an announcement "real soon"

    The VNC Team

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith