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Entries from July 2004
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Phew! (16 Jul 2004 at 08:18)
All right, this stressful week is nearing an end. I just gave my LICS talk, which went really well. It seemed to me that there were significantly more non-sleeping listeners than for most of the other talks I attended.

More importantly, I finished up my POPL submission, which advisor Bob calls "charming" and Karl "a thing of beauty." I'm glad to hear that, because this was painful to churn out. You can read the submission if you like that sort of thing.

The paper is about a sort of computational time travel interpreted spatially. This sounds pretty sci-fi if you don't really know the material! For the non-technical audience, here is a tale from the paper that describes the gist of what this language does:

A magician who purports to be from the future is making bold claims. Asking for a volunteer, he offers the following prize to anyone who comes on stage:

"Im going to hand you a box that has you inside it!"

"Either that, or I'll give you the address of a place with a magical time travelling portal."

Being questionably brave, you volunteer and walk onto the stage. The magician hands you your prize--a large cardboard box. Noting your skepticism, he adds, "You can open it anywhere, and you'll be inside."

You decide to take the box home. Its much too light to have anything in it, let alone yourself! You open the box and look inside, wondering what sort of gag he has planned. But suddenly you find that the box has disappeared, and you're standing on stage waiting for him to tell you what you've won, again.

"The address of the time-travelling portal is," he begins, rattling off your home address.

You are startled that he could have known your address, but when you later arrive home, you see an open cardboard box waiting. Is this supposed to be the portal? Knowing it to be harmless, but insisting upon proving the magician to be a fraud, you step into it.

A hot flash of embarassment passes over you as you realize that you are now standing in a cardboard box, in your house, as promised.
Category:  talks (7 comments)   [ comment ]
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Turku (14 Jul 2004 at 07:51)
I am in Turku! I have been writing some entries off-line, which I'll post when I get back to Pittsburgh or get my wireless working.
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Nordic Track (12 Jul 2004 at 08:44)
Today I'm off to Turku, Finland for LICS 2004. I go via Frankfurt and Helsinki.

This is my first trip overseas, and annoyingly I'm feeling pretty sick. I also haven't finished my POPL paper yet, which is due on the same day I give my LICS talk. Grr.
(3 comments)   [ comment ]
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GIF nearly Free! (06 Jul 2004 at 10:01)
Attention all shoppers.

Unisys's last international patent on LZW compression expires tomorrow. That means that we're finally free to use GIFs without fear of being sued, and more importantly to safely include gif-encoding routines in free software. (The Escape server side will soon be making GIF screenshots.)

I wonder what the guys at burn all GIFs are going to do now?
(9 comments)   [ comment ]
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UPD: Picture Pages Picture Pages (03 Jul 2004 at 13:38)
I added pictures from our trip last weekend to Rye NY to see my cousin Todd get married. The pictures are not too bad considering that I was in like, the last row, and there are even some pictures in there of things that aren't weddings.
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Plea for outlines (01 Jul 2004 at 11:18)
Does anyone know a way to generate clean eps, ps, or pdf outlines (no dependencies on fonts) from latex? It seems that this should be easy, but it's not. Is there any program that just "un-fontifies" a ps or pdf file?

Alternately, does anyone know how I can load a latex or pdflatex generated ps or pdf into Illustrator without it becoming garbled?
(4 comments)   [ comment ]
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