pstricks and Type 3 fonts

A warning to those who use the LaTeX package pstricks to make figures for papers : the macro “\psdots” will use a Type 3 font in the image that may cause your pre-press PDF validity checker to get annoyed at you. To avoid this you have to use “\pscircle,” which for me means a lot of cutting and pasting.

UPDATE : See my earlier experience for more pstricks + type 3 fonts issues. This time, however, the dashed lines were completely fine, so that makes me think that the IEEE PDF engine was even more confused than this one.

more IEEE election ridiculousness

The paper ballot that I was given for the IEEE general elections is misprinted! The two candidates for IEEE-USA President Elect are switched with the two candidates for Member-at-Large. The biographies/statements are printed correctly in the book, but the ballot is all wrong. What kind of an operation are these guys running anyway?

As a further note on the Information Theory Society ballot, one thing that was missing was a statement from any of the candidates — I basically had to make a decision on which 6 to vote for based on what I thought of their research, how they have comported themselves in talks, and (in a very few cases) personal interactions. None of these things really have much to do with how well they would do at running and organization, and there are certain policy issues which I think need to be addressed. It kind of makes the whole election thing into a referendum on research quality. I hope that changes in the future.

UPDATE : IEEE sent me a new ballot in the mail — that was pretty fast! Color me impressed…

silly coffeeshop names

If you’ll forgive the Seinfeldism, what’s the deal with “amusingly named” coffeeshops?

  • Daily Grind
  • Sufficient Grounds
  • Perks of the Job
  • Common Grounds
  • Drinky the Crow’s Kaw-fee Hut (ok, not really)

Is it that people are more willing to take the terrible puns before they’ve had their coffee?

Information Theory Society Ballots

I recently received my IEEE Information Theory Society Board of Governor ballot. It says there that

On the ballot card, names are listed in randomized order, no preference is intended.

Leaving the grammatical issues aside, what does this mean? This is the information theory crowd, so they should have told us how they were doing the randomizing! I mean, we’re supposed to get excited by that stuff, right? A more freewheeling (and incorrect) take on it is that they sent a different randomized ballot order to every one of the “over 6000″ members of the society. Since there are 15 nominees for the board, there are a total of 15! = 1,307,674,368,000 different orderings, which would make the ballots-alphabet highly undersampled. Given that Alon Orlitsky is one of the candidates, perhaps that would be more appropriate…