Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Sad Day

Stanisław Lem died yesterday.

As a colleague put it, we shouldn't lament those having had a "fulfilled life". It's the world I'm sad for. It just got a whole lot sillier.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Amongst Brits

I'm in Lancaster, UK, right now (well, for some two weeks already, and one more is yet to come), teaching virtual machines to undergraduates at Lancaster University.

It's a nice place, this campus. The computer science department resides in a building at the south end - and they have some nice views out to the English countryside.

This is where I live. In fact, I go to my on-campus accommodation, which is at the opposite end of campus, only for sleeping and having a shower in the morning. It's indeed a nice building to work in!

This is the view; unfortunately, not from my office. I envy those who have an office at the opposite side of the building.

One of these days, we've had quite a lot of snow. I've been told snow is rare around Lancaster; but still, it was funny to watch everybody gazing at the snow in awe.

The view was still nice, in spite of the snow.

Even More AOP Myths

Remember Ramnivas Laddad's excellent article on AOP Myths and Realities? Well, the next movement in the symphony has just started...

In his blog, Graham Hamilton from Sun has published a rather provocative article called AOP: Madness and Sanity. While agreeing that AOP is acceptable in principle, his opinion is strongly set against the fact fiction that AOP can introduce arbitrary side effects.

A number of very interesting comments has been posted in Hamilton's blog, and Ramnivas Laddad and Adrian Colyer have each written detailed responses to his posting.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lego MindStorms Goes Open Source

While my application for the MindStorms early access programme was, alas, not accepted (over 9,000 applied, 100 were selected...), there is still good news about Lego's next big interesting thing.

Apparently, the operating system of the NXT bricks will be available under an open-source license. Moreover, the technical specification will be completely available. The effect of this is that developers won't have to dig for details in order to develop programming language support for the NXT, or new sensors for the robots.

I really appreciate this openness. Go, Lego!