Robot Wisdom Rampage Roundup

Not much time for blogging lately (working til 2am last night!), but here’s a round up of some crunchy bits from Robot Wisdom of late:

Alan Moore distancing himself from Hollywood adaptations of his works (and DC), click here if you want to know who dies in the next Harry Potter, Javascript myth roundup, nifty favicon tool, piracy on the high seas in 2004, and finally, are the US directly responsible for car bombs in Iraq, in classic Brazil style?

Simon‘s also had some good stuff of late, especially point 1 of this post.

Ho hum, back to it, see you in July or something…

Debugging Python with Bobby Friction and Big URL

Teaching is over, exams are happening, and the office is quiet of students – except for the occasional past paper question from some enthusiastic reviser. As a consequence it’s time to catch up with coursework marking, and start cracking on with whipping systems into shape in preparation for the flood of exam marks which will hit my desk soonish… Avid readers will remember that this was fun in February, and lots of late nights are clearly on the cards. Once that’s over, it’s research-agogo for the summer, hopefully.

Musically, it’s XTC Radio, the mighty Groove Salad, and Cryosleep once again, but also – thanks to Bash’s keen ear – the delightfully named Bobby Friction and Nihal on Radio One. Gawd help me, they call it “urban”. The hell with that, what it is is rawkin’, Mother.

Squeezing a canteloupe out of your nose

The War on Rationality – brought to you by a stork in a messenger cap [null].

Solipsis: p2p virtual worlds in python

Yet another interesting-looking python project I don’t have time to get into: Solipsis – “a peer-to-peer system for a massively multi-participant virtual world“.

It seems to be pretty much “framework” status, however, so I wonder how much lifting would be required to do anything useful or impressive with it. “ Solipsis is a public virtual territory. The world is initially empty and only users will fill it by creating and running entities. No pre-existing cities, habitants nor scenario to respect…” Ah well, one to file away for possible future student project material, anyway…

Encryption with Python

Encryption with Python, including a nice little bit of flamage, and a link to the Cryptography FAQ.

Also interesting: Beautiful Soup, a Python HTML/XML parser which “won’t choke if you give it bad markup. It yields a parse tree that makes approximately as much sense as your original document. This is usually good enough to collect the data you need and then run away.” Nice.

One of the good ones

Quite a good weekend in Gimboville… Excellent company throughout, and rather productive: I spent most of Saturday working on Superstring Sister – have now got more of an idea on how to carry it forward, though of course it probably needs about five more sessions like this before it’s perfick. :) To offset that, I then spent most of Sunday on my MPhil: deconstructing & documenting a Parsec-based parser for a toy “while” language, then starting to work on a prototypical CSP parser. No great shakes, but it’s something, and that’s better than nothing.

Then I arrived at work this morning to find that my 9 o’clock appointment wanted to reschedule, so I now have an unexpected hour in which I can do Something Useful before my 10 o’clock research meeting. Score!

Wise words, mate

Via Bash, a slightly long and not-quite-safe-for-work, but really rather good French advert for AIDS awareness.

Cartoon oriented post number two

Should I be worried that I find the lioness wife in Father Of The Pride attractive?

Moomino ergo sum

My life in one sentence: I would like to be Snufkin, but deep down I know I’m Moomintroll, going on Moominpappa.

Hacking proximity cards

An important aspect of security is, of course, physical security. So note ye well these notes on hacking proximity cards [robot]. It’s worrying how simple all this stuff is… Once again we see that just because some technology is widespread or ubiquitous, that doesn’t mean it’s actually at all secure. Sure, a certain amount of effort is required to break these mechanisms, but someone will go to that effort. The trick is to design systems where the amount of effort is astronomical and uneconomical.

Activate The SPJ-inator!

Simon PJ‘s win32 cheat sheet and tips on how to write a good research paper, and give a good research talk.

I note with interest that the tips on giving a talk say “use handwritten OHP slides”, but the tips on writing a good research paper, themselves from a talk, are Powerpoint slides. ;-) I suppose the excuse is, that wasn’t a research talk – it was a research meta talk. Or a meta(research talk). Or something.

The definitive Oolong collection

The definitive Oolong collection – classic. Ooh, and thanks to Rich for the link!

(Oolong has appeared on Gimboland twice before.)

The Tory Programming Language

One for the low-level junkies (and yes, you are junkies): the Tory programming language [simon].

The following example loops endlessly, outputting the ascii values 0 to 255:

We will spend more on hospitals!
We will jail anyone not in jail already!
We will spend billions limiting immigration!
We will deport anyone we can deport!
We will abolish schools!


Python notes by Andrew Dalke

Python notes on statistics, parsing, and screen scraping. Ah, the hell with it: lots more good notes in the diary – something I should watch.