Monday, September 29, 2008

showandtell in CL - lesson: concentrate on long term, basic and teach science and math to our CS students

today's show and tell in the computer lab has some great PhD talks - the first one by laurel riek was a great start (about affec tive responses in robots' interactions with humans) - I was reminded of gregory bateson's essay on dolphin communication (how most their dialogues must be about social relationships, rather than about the concrete world, because they don't have hands and so wont reason able things that can be manpulated nearly as much as we (or other monkeys) do - he also discussed our understanding of dogs/cats and their communication - it might do well to look at making robots that interact with us as pets initially, since this is a simpler world (althoguh, of course, most our interactions with pets are about social relationships, and very furstraing if one wants to interact about some concrete world action or state, whereas I suppose that is the main place one wants to work in practice with robots and androids).

I also recommend reading John Sladek's excellent novel, Roderick, or the education of a young machine.

See also these excellent comments on the role of Universities:
tement for many people on this list nevertheless I presume...


press release:


Maybe it was more "snow and tell" than "show" :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

free gameware idea

Melt - a world made of ice lollys - your mission is to save various people before global warming destroys their palaces/countries and drowns them in orange goo. if you use to much energy flying around etc etc, then you merely make matters worse, so you need to learn to be green:)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

better bikes through brainpower

safe bike where you dont need a seperate pump or battery

have a biometric lock which basically switches the hub on the back wheel one of 4 ways

1. locked
2. freewheel but drives a pump to reinflate the wheel
3. normal
4. normal+generator

actually, could also have
5. normal + electric motor for uphill running off generator running backwards from either capacity
or from tire pressure...

then you could just always have slightly flat tires too....
better biking through sustainable technology (longer intervals between new tirs, no batteries, and so on...)

Monday, September 22, 2008

phase array antennae and beating the Gupta-Kumar limit for capacity of multihop nets

There was a nice paper in the ITA conference from Umass, about how to build cooperative antennae systems in ad hoc nets - so my idea is to combine this
with each node carryin a phase array antennae system
and beating the Gupta-Kumar limit for capacity of multihop nets (capacity decreases with 1/aqrt(n) or something) - the idea is to have a hybrid of
each node running a phase array, but the distribution (spacing) of antennae being a different prim number of wavelengths on each node -then when the nodes all cooperate to send in phase to get beam forming, the side lobes will all be decoherent by guarantee.

i mentioned this idea to the authors of the paper - they are building a prototype so it ought to be easy to add this version in - if it works, you'd get capacity of a
n-node net in a fixed volume as linear in the number of nodes (i.e. whaever link capacity each node gets does not decrease as you add other nodes) - this would effectively give you an arbitrary capacity net

the nice thing with beam forming is you get to do range extension too....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


or possibly
soon....(at time of writing, in 40 minutes.
See also cited

Monday, September 08, 2008

leaning towards pisa

I'm spending the week at CNR in
Pisa, with Andrea Passarella and Marco Conti and talking time out to see Pierpaulo Ghiggino at Ericsson/Marconi, and Luigi Rizzo in the University -

[note CNR is a posh national lab for research and has a very good interdisciplinary communications group; university of pisa has a very good classic style cs gang, which is why i blog it here:)

I have to say that pisa is basically heaven for weather, food and architecture - I am staying downtown right near the Arno but CNR Is out on the NE edge - so I walk through the town to the old city wall, then follow a 2000 year old aquaduct (oh, ok, so its medici, not roman - only 400 years old:)
out to CNR - through a pleasant park. On the way back, I stop for a beer and watch kids playing and read my e-mail - then I go out for a pizza in lucca (La Bersagliera) - later today, we hope to get to La Pelleria, which is another awesome restaurent in Lucca. [alas we didn't - we had to make do with some amazing place in town instead...)

the route in cameraphonepix

i dunno, but I could get used to this:)

Friday, September 05, 2008

v. good advice on writing papers

latex paper polishing advice

especially useful on dealing with w h i t e s p a c e

lots of other good stuff there

Thursday, September 04, 2008

the internet is drowning....

since most of the internet is underwater (i.e. is people fetching web pages from the US to Europe) clearly it is drowning. Surely we can detect failures in the net are mainly caused by either steep divergences in the mains voltage and AC frequency, or else by leakages in the seabed floor.

are my bits lost in the sargasso sea or the marianas trench?