Tag Archives : Research


Lunchtime Coffee 158

  • My friend (and hopefully my next representative) Darcy Burner is leading a group of congressional challengers in publishing A Responsible Plan To End The War In Iraq. I haven’t read the plan itself in detail, but I sure like what I’m hearing about it.
  • Speaking of politics, Obama’s speech today “A More Perfect Union” was fantastic.
  • Bioshock is getting a sequel. ’nuff said.
  • There’s a new version of FolderShare out and I’ve got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I’ve been a regular user of FolderShare for a while so it’s nice to see it get a face lift. On the other hand, it’s been over two years since Microsoft bought FolderShare and we’re only just now getting a new version, which is literally nothing more that a face lift – this version introduces no new functionality at all.
  • I was hoping to geek out vicariously via someone else’s hacking around with Singularity. Luckily, Matthew Podwysocki provides just such an opportunity.
  • Looks like “Prism” is the new CAB. Glenn Block has two extensive posts covering a project overview and their first drop. I think it’s interesting that the Prism team is focused on building a reference implementation, and letting the framework eventually fall out. Reading thru the description, it sounds awesome. However, based on the massive increase of inbox throughput I’m experiencing since I accepted the new job, I can’t imagine I’ll have time to play with it. Maybe Matthew will start playing with Prism too! (via Sam Gentile – btw, thanks for the kind words on the new job Sam!)
  • Speaking of Sam, he points to a series by Bob Beauchemin entitled LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework: Panacea or evil incarnate? With a title like that, who can resist reading the whole series? Err, I can because LINQ 2 SQL & EF performance just fell off my radar entirely. However I gotta agree with Sam’s point that he “can’t think of anyone more qualified than Bob” to tackle these questions.
  • Tomas Restrepo blogs his dev environment PS script as well as a PS fortune script. Personally, I use Chris Tavares’ vsvars wrapper for PS, though I’ll gladly take an “official” PS based dev environment.
  • I wonder if Ted Neward will get jumped for admiring Mort the way Nick Malik did. Given that Ted called himself Mort while Nick compared Mort to agile developers, I’m guess Ted will have to go back to his Vietnam analogy if he wants to create controversy.
  • Speaking of Ted, I agree with his point that conferences are about people. As a python pre-newbie (I figure I’ll reach full newbie status by the time I actually start my new job), I spent most of my PyCon time connecting with people rather than trying to learn technical stuff. Also, I love Ted’s WHISCEY acronym.
  • Speaking of PyCon, my soon-to-be new teammate Srivatsn Narayanan blogs his thoughts on PyCon. I’ll try and get to my PyCon thoughts soon.

Morning Coffee 155 – Dueling Conference Edition

  • If you don’t want to watch the video of yesterday’s MIX keynote but still want a sense of what happened, check out Tim Sneath’s keynote liveblog. (via Sam Gentile)
  • Other announcements from Mix day one keynote that I missed (all via Tim Sneath)
  • Quick side note – Installing Silverlight 2 in order to check out the DeepZoom Hard Rock demo was smooth, fast and easy. It’s hard to believe there’s a whole CLR in there.
  • Now on to public stuff I saw @ TechFest:
    • One of the problems with touch screens is that your fingers obscure what you’re trying to touch. Lucid Touch solves this by having you touch the back of the device, while rendering a virtual shadow of your hand – a technique they call “pseudo transparency”. You really need to watch the video to “get” this. It’s not currently feasible – the prototype uses a webcam on a foot long boom to track hand and finger position. However, they expect a future version will have some type of imaging sensors embedded in the body of the device.
    • The Berkeley Emulation Engine version 3 (aka BEE3) (video) is a high powered hardware simulator. Apparently several orders of magnitudes faster than conventional simulation. Frankly, most of this demo was over my head and I’m not really a HW guy. But it sounds really fast.
    • BLEWS or “what the blogosphere tells you about news”. Given my interest in political blogging, it’s not a surprise I was interested in this project. This tool categorizes news stories according to their reception in the political blogosphere. It provides a visualization showing not only how many links from a given ideological sphere there are, but how strong the emotions are running. Kinda like Memorandum on major steroids.
    • Music Steering (video) is an “interactive music-playlist generation through music-content analysis, music recommendation, and music filtering”. Sort of like LastFM + Pandora on your Zune.
    • In-Depth Image Editing (team site) showed some cool photo editing software that reminding me of Microsoft Max.
    • MashupOS (paper) is a set of abstractions to improve the browser security model, allowing for isolation between blocks of code from different sources while still allowing safe forms of communication.
    • MySong (paper, video) “automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody, allowing a user with no musical training to rapidly create accompanied music”. Karaoke singers rejoice! Actually, it’s pretty cool. You can adjust sliders to adjust characteristics of the generated music like “Jazz factor” and “Happy factor”. Actually, I just want a happy factor slider in all my software.
    • I saw some cool projects from the Socio-Digital Systems group and MS Research. My wife is a sociologist and always says there’s no way she could ever get a job in the big house. Maybe after she checks out this team, she’ll stop thinking that.
    • The Worldwide Telescope booth was so crowded that I couldn’t get anywhere near it. From what I could see from standing in the back, it looked fantastic. It’s not live yet, but you can check out the video from the TED conference to get a sense of it.