June 2004

My paper was rejected from Globecomm with a 2/5 rating (weak reject). And it was rejected for reasons that are entirely related to my poor exposition of the ideas. Nothing like a good heaping plate of blame and guilt to dull the sharp edge of summer.

Here’s a good quote I heard at the conference yesterday:

Tom Cover: Is there a theorem that says the capacity is the directed information?
Speaker: Actually, you proved that in 1989.

Classic. I need to remember that one for the chapter in my thesis on “previous results.”

The LA Times has this story (free, reg. required) about the Bush administration’s new rules governing Health and Human Services (HHS) employees’ attendance at World Health Organization (WHO) meetings. Under the present system the WHO invites experts to serve on panels. However, Tommy Thompson’s spokesperson claims:

No one knows better than HHS who the experts are and who can provide the most up-to-date and expert advice. The World Health Organization does not know the best people to talk to, but HHS knows.

The new system requires all requests for government experts to be vetted by the political appointees in HHS.

I’m in Chicago for the 2004 International Symposium on Information Theory. I fully expect my brain to explode in the next few days from overload. Given the current progress I’ve made on my research, I have a suspicion that the next week will be rather depressing.

Jeff is going through some self-flagellation over at his blog over the 2004 Mystery Hunt, and I have to agree with him — our hunt sucked a lot. On the other hand, since I was responsible for a decent chunk of the suckage, I feel the need to find the silver lining in his dark cloud.

Kenji passed on a juicy little tidbit today that I had totally missed. Apparently the founders of MoveOn, a lefty political action committee (PAC for the lingo-savvy), were the founders of Berkeley Entertainment Systems, creators of After Dark, with it’s famous flying toaster screen saver. I was always fond of Satori, myself. Pre-After Dark we had Moire-cdev. Ah, back in the day, when you needed ResEdit to change the icon appareance on the desktop.

If you want a fancy schmancy flying toaster, you can get it for OSX.

The festering possum corpse that was under the new house has been removed. This begs several questions — why did the landlords insist that it was a rat when in fact it was a much larger creature with a much longer ETD (estimated time of decomposition), why didn’t they just go ahead and remove it earlier if they could, and why does this make me even more stressed out than I was before?

Who needs the search feature for document readers when you have strings and grep?

From The Onion:

Scorpio: (Oct. 24—Nov. 21)
You claim that you never asked for this crap, but there’s your signature, plain as day, on all the crap-request forms.

Maybe I’m secretly a Scorpio…

I am neither, and therefore I bear little corporeal resemblance to Buck Mulligan. Since today is Bloomsday I bought myself a copy of Ulysses, my old one having perished. This one is an old hardback from Moe’s, delightfully musty. I read part of the first chapter on the steps of the library before the crowds of orientating students and parents forced me to flee to the relative calm of Cory Hall.

Don’t bother reading on unless you care for my self-excoriating drivel.

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