Monthly ArchiveMarch 2005

Miscellaneous 29 Mar 2005 11:09 am

Stem Cells from Hair Follicles

Stem Cells From Hair Follicles Can Change into Neurons and supposedly they can differentiate into skin and muscle cells later.

That is fantastic. Since California has approved a giant investment of tax payers’ money for stem cell research, does this mean that we will end up spending it all getting our hair done?

Miscellaneous 20 Mar 2005 08:26 pm

SD West Blur

Well, the rest of the week last week went really quickly. I learned a lot of interesting things.

Agitar won a Jolt award.

Gerald Weinberg gave a great keynote on the challenges facing computing in historical perspective. it is amusing that the single most time consuming aspect of the original Fortran compiler was an instruction called ‘frequency’ that doesn’t even exist anymore. It was used to weight conditional branches for compiler optimization.

Alexander Stepanov gave a great talk (a quicktime of a previous delivery is available here) on the evolution of algorithms, and the meaning that has for mankind. Stepanov is a really interesting fellow with a unique viewpoint of history and its meaning to us today. He was also one of the key people in the C++ STL. There is an interesting interview. There is one great quote in it, that captures the style of his talk very well. When asked about the background of the STL, he explains, “(So, putting it simply, STL is the result of a bacterial infection.)”

Seems Stepanov ignited quite a bit of controversy with some of his comments in the interview. No surprise. The discussion is enlightening, though not perhaps very practical (read, religious debate).

I’ll add more later.

Science 20 Mar 2005 06:34 pm

Interview with Donald Knuth

NPR story on Donald Knuth linked on Lambda the Ultimate. Their favorite quote from it, and mine as well: “We are competing against ignorance”.

Knuth is a fascinating character and it is always nice to learn more about him.

Uncategorized 14 Mar 2005 11:27 am

SDWest Monday

SD West has started this morning. It is fun so far. I am attending the Enterprise AOP class.

It is very enlightening. You can use aspects for enforcing architectural constraints at compile-time. Also, the AJDT environment for Eclipse allows you to see the advise on your methods, and to debug into pointcuts. Also, it does the language support in the editor for aspects.

Programming Languages 14 Mar 2005 11:23 am

Aspect Programmer Website – Articles & Resources

This was linked in the talk on Enterprise AOP today. Handy Link.

Software 11 Mar 2005 01:16 am

Apple Sudden Motion Sensor

The PowerBook Sudden Motion Sensor tries to protect your hard drive from bounces and other bad sudden impacts.

It does this through a system service called ams that monitors an i2c circuit on the motherboard that can detect sudden change in motion.

The website has an app, that indeed taps into the ams and renders a powerbook in orientation. I am amused that I can rotate the computer and see its orientation change on screen. There are several other cool examples on the page as well.