Saturday, July 21, 2007

On dining experience

I had to post this:

Dining in the Dark

It's an interesting article about a restaurant in L.A. that serves food in complete darkness. Apparently it's the latest thing in Europe, but just now arriving in the US. It must be really odd!

iPhone and the web

So now that the iPhone is out, I'm preparing to start seeing pages that were built for the iPhone, with a fancy logo in the bottom or on the side saying "iPhone optimized". Actually, Apple already has instructions for it: Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone. It has some interesting limitations like:
  • Mouse-over events
  • Hover styles
  • Tool tips
  • Flash

Flash is what really caught my attention, actually. Adobe is working really hard to push their Flex framework. Can this be an important challenge for people? Not that it can kill Adobe's framework, unless somebody comes with a new framework that works on the iPhone. That could make things interesting.

Anyway, just musing about technology, while I need to get back to working on a paper that has been on my table to work on for over a month now. Time to get to it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Strange curve fitting

This is a cool article on Cosmic Variance:

The Best Curve-Fitting Ever

It shows that interpretation is everything when looking at real data. And you have to add to it that when you are reading a news article you never know when you are looking at real data or not.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Second Life and the future of virtual worlds

Ok, I promise it's the last post of the evening. This is a report about Mitch Kapor's talk about the future of Second Life and how it's wonderful:

Second Life chairman's stump speech takes us down the rabbit hole

It it quite interesting. I did go around Second Life once or twice. With this very limited experience, I can't say I've enjoyed it too much. But from what I've been hearing about it, it seems intriguing to say the least. We'll see where it takes us, I guess. Mitch is a crazy visionary with more money than he probably can correctly spend around. But he should keep his ideas coming, as one day we might get something useful out of it! :-)

Very strange article - the power of pheromones

This is a very strange article from

Powerful urine is mind-altering

It talks about how strong pheromone smell can cause neurons to grow. It's just strange...

A month of half-finished posts

I guess I gave up on trying to write long and interesting posts. I have tried at least a half dozen of them, from search engines (reaction to this sort-of interesting article on ComputerWorld), to contextual ontologies, to photography (I've been trying Aperture and Lightroom - I do prefer Aperture simply because I'm much more interested in photo organization than adjustments), to responsibility. But I never finished any of them, so I decided to just write about what is going on with my life lately.

I've been busy - busy and planning on being busier in the next few months. I have something like 5 trips planned from now to early October. The most interesting of them is the one at the end of September: Yellowstone. I always wanted to go there, and now I'll finally make it there (I hope - air and hotels are already booked). It's exciting.

Work has been a little on the chaotic side. Maybe because I'm getting a little tired, maybe it's just because there are launch dates around and lots of projects coming down the pipeline. Many exciting things, many scary open problems. Coming from a research background I'm always attracted to the open problems - attracted and full of ideas about what to do and how to do things. But I know deep inside that it's all going to take a lot of time, a lot of energy, and maybe nothing will really come out of it. So I get psychologically scared away (yes, I didn't even count the number of projects I've started on my computer at home and didn't get much anywhere).

It's a little sad sometimes not to be able to follow-through with an idea. You start, get excited about it, spend time to setup the environment to work on it and then that's where you get. In the end what I see is that I isolate myself from things, and don't get anything accomplished to compensate this isolation.

Oh, well, that's how it works. Now it's time for me to concentrate on something else and, maybe, just maybe, reply to some emails that have been sitting in my inbox for over a month now...