If you hang out on the rooftops of parking lots at the Intel Santa Clara campus like I do, you might have noticed something amiss. There is now an odd little satellite dish on one garage that wasn’t there a bit ago, and is not on Google maps either.
Sitting on the rooftops of Intel parking garages is a time-honored tradition among SemiAccurate writers, and this last time we indulged in our hobby we got a surprise. There is a large satellite dish sitting on one rooftop that wasn’t there last time we were hanging out in that particular location. It looked like this.
The view to the west from the red dot
Surprise, there was a large satellite dish right in the middle of our favorite perch, the most southern garage at Intel. It was almost as if someone cleverly placed it so you couldn’t see it from any of the surrounding roads or even the top floor of the hotel across the street. It isn’t a dinky thing either, you can see from the size of the lamp-post in the foreground above that it is massive, many meters across. The most interesting part is the receiver.
The view looking north
This dish isn’t a flimsy hobbyist toy, it is a custom installation that likely costs well into the eight digit range. The dish is cleverly obscured and not referenced anywhere either. It is pointing in the right direction for video feeds, and is fairly new in this location, if you look at the campus on Google maps, the dish isn’t there. The first picture was taken from about the red dot, the green dot marks the second, and the blue shows where the dish should be. The building in the background of the top picture has the S|A logo on it, and the Robert Noyce Building (RNB) is under the .com in the other watermark.
Maps are no good for this kind of work
So why did someone spend over $10 million on a dish to decorate the top of a parking garage? Does someone at Intel want to watch satellite TV channels, all of them simultaneously, at their desk? Possibly to get advanced semiconductor technology from the alien mothership directly? Maybe this? Discuss.S|A
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