public defenders

An article at Left2Right reminded me of the movie Slam which I saw recently. Compared to the defenders discussed in the article, that one seemed competent and honest, if a bit hopeless and mean. Essentially he told the protagonist to plea bargain or else, which is a tactic, not an argument. But the article is right — don’t blame the PDs, but blame the underfunded system that drives people away and encourages grifters.

yawn

In case the old jive filter still amuses you, someone has written Gizoogle. According to its version of my homepage:

This was one of tha first projects I worked on at Berkeley spittin’ that real shit. We present a way of sippin’ a priority queue fo` optical data, where pimpin’ is not feasible.

Actually, I don’t find this sort of thing that funny after about 30 seconds.

too many problems

… and not enough solutions:

  • Matching source and channel models for large sensor networks : I want to characterize when a fully-distributed set of gains can “match” a linear/matrix observation model with a linear/matrix communication channel model. I think it’s a broad class, especially as the number of gains (which is the number of sensors) increases.
  • Dense sensor network scaling laws: under some better constraints, it should be possible to show that the total capacity does not scale with the network size for dense networks.
  • Causal jamming relays: a new take on relays as potential jammers. You can’t trust anyone.
  • Fast distributed consensus: not quite sure where this is going, but it has to do with creating a speedy algorithm for calculating the average of a function on a graph.

There are, of course, other problems, but unless I write these down I’ll be liable to forget them when the next shiny object comes along.

maybe we can get along

I recently installed Ubuntu on the computer I use at work, and am so much happier than I was running Windows. Ubuntu is a more user-friendly version of Debian, which is a godsend for laptops, since the installation process does all the hardware detection for you. I had tried Debian and getting X to work was a real pain. I then switched to Fedora Core 3 and decided it made me feel like I was in a straitjacket. Ubuntu is “just right” for me I think. Also, the releases have amusing names, like “Warty Warthog” and “Hoary Hedgehog.”

While browsing for extra LaTeX plugins, I came across the following:

arabtex (3.11-5) [universe] — Arabic/Hebrew macros for TeX/LaTeX

Arabic and Hebrew, eh? Maybe we can all get along.

LaTeX templates for conference posters

I hacked together a LaTeX template for conference posters for the Wireless Foundations Center. After searching around on the web I couldn’t find a package that was (a) easy to use, (b) allowed for arbitrary layout, and (c) supported many different poster sizes. So I hacked together 2-3 other style file ideas from other people and made this template and associated style file. I’ll try and add features over the summer, but that’s a really low priority right now.

I’m using the package to make a poster for tomorrow’s day conference at Stanford and it’s going pretty smoothly, so I think it’s reasonably usable.