The 21st British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science

Well, BCTCS 2005 was fun. An entirely positive experience in fact, I would say. I met lots of interesting people, staff and students alike, heard lots of interesting and mind-bending papers, and ate some great food. I made it to breakfast every day, miraculously. Oh yes, and I gave a short talk on my current research, and wasn’t booed off the stage or anything, despite being thin on theoretical content.

Will will, of course, have some marvellous photos. Until then, here are some blurry snapshots of a few of the participants.

(Update 2005-04-28: Will has published.)

Jolie and Will Olaf and Neil Jolie and Will The haze Will and wine Dinner Faron speaking Audience JVT speaking BCTCS Presidents Thorsten

Gimbo goes walkabout for Easter

Gimboland may be quiet for the next two weeks. I’ll be spending most of this week at BCTCS 2005 in Nottingham (speaking at 2:50pm on Wednesday: wish me luck), then I’m off to China from Saturday to Saturday, persuading people to come do Comp Sci at Swansea ‘cos it’s great. I’ll probably have net access at BCTCS, though not much time; in China I doubt I’ll have enough of either.

Today was nice. We went to Rhossili for a while, confused 5 and 6pm (mistakenly thinking the clocks had gone forward without us noticing), then went and saw Constantine at the flicks. It was jolly good fun, and an absolute delight to see Tilda Swinton looking foxy as ever in another sexually ambiguous role, which was cool, having happened to watch Orlando the night before.

On Friday night, a group of us went to eat at a restaurant called 698, here in Mumbles. The food was good, but with annoyingly trendily small portions, and it was pretty expensive. We could have lived with that but the service was atrocious. I mean, I understand that there is a school of thought which says waiting staff should be low key and not bug you too much, but I think the idea is that they keep an eye on you and you ignore them. Unfortunately at 698, unless you wanted to shout “oy! garcon!” (which I didn’t), it was a case of desperately watching them, trying to catch their eye, while they ignored you with quite admirable resolution, even while walking close by. The no tip numpties.

“America’s Has-Been Economy” ?

Outsourcing goes to the next level: research & design – suddenly the west does not, in fact, lead the world, technologically?[robot]

Business Week reports that practically overnight large percentages of cell phones, notebook PCs, digital cameras, MP3 players, and personal digital assistants are produced by original-design manufacturers. Business Week quotes an executive of a Taiwanese ODM: “Customers used to participate in design two or three years back. But starting last year, many just take our product.”

… The design and engineering teams of Asian ODMs are expanding rapidly, while those of major US corporations are shrinking. Business Week reports that R&D budgets at such technology companies as Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Ericsson, and Nokia are being scaled back.

Bad news for the future, if you ask me.

Update 2005-03-20: though of course, consumer electronics isn’t the only metric of an economy’s health or a country’s ability to dominate, and I’m sure the US hi-tech weapons industry ain’t outsourcing so enthusiastically… ;-)

Schneier on Security

Looks like it’s time I started following Bruce Schneier’s weblog – w00t for the UK

I’ve been meaning to put this on the front page for a few weeks now… As pointed out by Krag Wad, if you’re in the UK (or Europe in general), then is a darn nifty map site a la google maps only different. In particular it’s got a very nifty zoomy-inny-outy interface, and does fun thinks like temporarily zooming out if you hold down an arrow key to scroll, which gives you a nice “whooooaaaah, I’m flyyyyyyyiiiiing” kinda experience. You usually overshoot your goal when doing this, however – they should stop and drop as soon as you release, if you ask me. Anyway, it rocks – check it out.

Christian women and sports

This just in: world still full of idiots.

Various Möbius garments

I wear the Möbius belt!!! [tr]

Reminds me of the time when I was undergrad (doing joint computing/pure maths), and our geometry lecturer turned up wearing this most outlanding waistcoat, light blue with enormous lapels which reached right across the collar, and tapered all the way down to the bottom of the waistcoat. It was, we all agreed, a rather odd style statement for an otherwise extremely tweedy lecturer.

However, all became clear near the end of the lecture, when he explained that this particular garment had been lovingly crafted to order by his wife, and consisted of two Möbius strips stiched together in such a way as to create a garment with only one surface and only one edge. Yes indeed, the man was wearing a (very seventies) Möbius waistcoat.

Bandy Anniversary 0.25

Two sets of photos from our “sort of first anniversary, well at least we’ve been married for a year” party, which took place last week: my snapshots and Will’s works of art. Faves:

Mr Simon Hopper Bash and Andy on sofa Bash and Andy on beanbag Will, excited Fudge T Cat Family on sofa Sleepy Andy

Amelia is born

More big news from the Gimblett family… Just under a fortnight ago, Amelia Elizabeth landed on planet Earth. Big Bro Col sent some photos through, and it’s high time I uploaded them. Thus, ladies and gentlemen, meet my niece. Now cue the cheerleaders, or to put it another way, congratulations Colin & Caitlin!

calc2latex, Mr B returns, and Colour Me DNR

calc2latex – OpenOffice macro for turning macros into LaTeX tables. Makes creating LaTeX tables a snap, apparently. Only one problem: you have to use OpenOffice. ;-)

In other news, Jorn is back.

In other other news, I have a strange urge to put a “Do Not Resuscitate” sign on my door.

Pretty good year

365 days ago today…

Only three more years to go until our first anniversary. ;-) If they’re anything like the last year, well, they’ll be great. Thanks again, Bash – you r0x0r d00d.