Wednesday, May 27, 2009

helping tourists from america

cambridge is famous for science, but that might put off some tourists so I propose that we found some new institutions to attract american investment

we could start with
1. the Darwin Institute of Theology
2. the Isaac Newton Institute of Astrology
and perhaps
3. the Stephen Hawking Economics Laboratory

Thursday, May 21, 2009

twitter users clueless about computing

this survey of happy programmers on twitter just proves what I say about a) twitter users and b) perl....

perl amoongst swine?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

how useful is pervasive computing....MP expense data analysis

this guardian datastore MP expense visualisation site is a very nice example of how the net + data processing comes togetehr to allow rapid analysis and display of things that matter - this is a lot better than all the headline grabbing and really brings home a lot of interesting facets of the behaviour of our elected representatives...its also a nice example of a distributed collaboration!

Monday, May 18, 2009

matter transmogrifiers & trek tech

so how come in star trek when they beam across to an alien space ship
the enterprise crew don't arrive in the alien transporter
in alien bodies, eh?

answer me that, dearie

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

is a research lab useful?

a tech news report on MSR Cambridge open day on zdnet seems to feel that the sort of open ended research they do is not "useful" and is merely a status thing - the report is based on the things seen that day and could be contrasted with the glowing bbc report about google

The contrast is strong - the stuff the zdnet reporter says is useless and the stuff the bbc enthuse about are completely different - they are also selective
a) MSR cambridge has done shedloads of things (more than any other lab) that have made it into products and mainstream products at that (tools and techniques to fix concrrency problems, remove device driver problems, and game AI work, for example) -
b) the pipleline for work to get out of MSR into a products group is around 5 years...
c) the google work, in contrast is much more like Cisco's model (hire or buy some PhDs in whose work is nearly done...and
d) is mostly just development

The lack of context in either report is typical of modern slapdash journalism - IPv6 mobile work came from Lancaster - things like lo-power are on everyone's agenda from home users, EU and US lawmakers to data centers and mobile devices....the idea that apple would exist without the tech transfer from Xerox PARC into Apple research into product lines is laughable - the timeline there was more like 10-15 years - once tat group was done, of course Jobs shut it down but longer term, they will regret not having a constantly refreshed on tap pool of researchers

in the current economic climate, most pundits think it is even more crucial to have a research pipeline to come out of recession with shiny new stuff - hence Telefonica, T-Labs, MSR, etc etc, have ring-fenced the budget for their research labs - governments too have (Obama increased US research budgets, the UK have tried to at least keep EPSRC funding level...)

yes it has status and marketing value none the least amongst tech/geek followers - of course it doesn ,because it is a clueful strategy, not some empty-headed shell purely for windows-dressing (pun intended).

Having recently been part of a review team at Telefonica I&D, the Hamilton Institute, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Eurecom (in Sophia Antipolis) and MSR, I can honestly say that these guys are all fantastically useful, and people that can't see this are looking for the wrong thing (I'm not just talking about contributions to fundamental human knowledge, I am talking about contributions to health, entertainment and business (the bottom line)

Friday, May 08, 2009

class hierarchy and facebook

I've just got facebook on my Windows mobile 6 phone

next to my friends who have iPhones, I feel pretty sad

and next to the folks here who haev snazyy android phones, I feel somewhat sad

windows mobile = working class
android = middle class
iPhone = upper class

This is inline with th immortal Cleese, Barker, Corbett class sketch from pre-python years....

Monty-Haskell, anyone?

Friday, May 01, 2009

jolly good project to do with helicopter....

oh, ok it's quite cool - iphone
to run things :-
remotely, in the air

maybe a nintendo wii controller would have been better tho