Older blog entries for salmoni (starting at number 425)

16 Nov 2004 (updated 7 Dec 2005 at 11:15 UTC) »
14 Nov 2004 (updated 14 Nov 2004 at 23:11 UTC) »

The sad thing is that 4cashnetwork only has 4 Google entries. Way to go Google! Even my fledgling interface company has more than that. I think Jacob Schlot_tke is the guy doing the spam here and his blog is at http:// jslots. blogspot.com/. I might write to him and ask him if his top tent shirts stuff at Advogato is actually worth spending time on, time that could be more fruitfully spent elsewhere. I would like to think that it is nothing more than a friendly attempt to test the trust metric, but his interests are Net ads. I really should ignore this stuff and let be.

Yawn, Tired. Spent a few hours today inputting data and considering metric validity and reliability. I have to understand an educational scales validity which I will approach from several angles. It's an interesting problem which is stretching my grey matter, and fun besides. However, it is taking a long time but it's worth it as it needs to be done right (if there is a correct way to do it).

Heh, I like academic puzzles...

13 Nov 2004 (updated 14 Nov 2004 at 01:55 UTC) »

robocoder - I don't think it's a dearth of competant and experienced IT people - more a plethora of incompetant and inexperienced ones that makes agencies have to look around for folks like yourself (ie, they want more than a cubicle monkey).

Busy with some reliability and validity tests - the scale I'm working on is presenting some interesting challenges and (as is usual with my work) perplexing people. I also posted a question to sci.stat.consult which seems to have a lot of friendly people advising.

Watched the Killing Fields tonight which I wanted to see ever since I read Haing Ngor's autobiography. It is quite strange to think of the things that he witnessed under the Khmer Rouge, and then see his eyes during the film.

elanthis - hilarious! But the author forgot the bit that goes:

We will offer you a position that promises wonderful conditions, superb security, lots of responsibility and a great time. But we will not pay you. And we will still not take you on despite our promises.

Okay, </ironic humour>.

Been searching around for some nice css designs. Mine's okay, but a bit naff...

NAFF: Apparently, naff is a polari word (Wikipedia link) it originally meant "Not Available For F***ing" (and hence not worth bothering with), but was popularised by TV shows such as Porridge - and then became an acceptable expletive.

...and I wanted something a little more tasteful while still "accessible" and of optimal utility. Hmm, very pompous.

Talking of pompous, the external examiner of my Ph.D. criticised my work (IIRC) as being composed of "pompous academic verbiage". I immediately retorted: "it's better that pompous non-academic verbiage" which seemed to end the issue. Funny really: I spend years trying to lose my natural fluid style to become more academic, and then get criticised for it during the biggest examination of my life. Sheesh, life, eh!

Busy learning Objective-C which seems quite funky using Kochan's book. The OO doesn't seem to be syntactically melded with the C, but maybe that's not such a bad thing: it helps to distinguish between the imperative and OO. XCode is quite nice too, and I've loaded PyObjC but haven't had chance to mess around with it yet.

Reading proofs on statistics, e.g., why omnibus anova should use the Type II sums of squares and not the Type III. Also trying to think about how to identify outliers. Responses welcomed.

I should be starting research F/T very soon, though only on a temporary contract (a substantive is taking longer than expected). That's cool because at least I'll be doing something I enjoy instead of just filing bits of paper away.

I started the NaNoWriMo thing, but just haven't got the time. Enrolled in jonas's course on Free software - very interesting discussions there and I think I'm following most of it.

Free gmail addresses with no obligation. Contact me salmoni - at - gmail.com. 15 to give away.

mathrick (among others): "TAINTACPUI - There Ain't No Such Thing As Cross-Platform UI."

Ans: Google.

Just an example.

22 Oct 2004 (updated 22 Oct 2004 at 15:24 UTC) »

nutella - have you thought of cuttlefish? They're supposed to be endearing little things. Definitely a point of conversation, though I'm not sure how well they keep in captivity. They're supposed to be intelligent and independent, much like cats but more voracious. Alternatively an octopus may be fun but hard work - I have heard that they have a similar intelligence to that of cats. I think both are hard to keep, but may be more rewarding for that. And cuttlefish are automatically funny. You've just gotta smile...

yeupou - memorability could depend upon the content of the passsphrase. For example "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" would be easier for most people to remember than "G6ja91w". Actually, a computer generated passphrase would probably not make much sense but could be more memorable for it: consider, "the swiss cheese ate the cuttlefish" conjours such a bizarre image that it would be hard to forget (I have horrible images of a poor, innocent cuttlefish being pounced on by a large rotund cheese riddled with holes - daft but memorable!).

AlanHorkan - I'd recommend watching Alfie. A good film that Michael Caine was born to play the lead character in. Quite ground breaking at the time - his monologues to the camera were relatively new in a mainstream film. It's also quite a cautionary tale for men who like to "play around" a bit (not that I ever did!).

pcolijn - congratulations! All the best at Google. It's quite something just to be accepted for a position there. And think of the benefits. Maybe you'll be able to regale us with inside knowledge of whether Google is going to launch their own online office suite... :)

Grr. I'm not jealous... <grin>


That's it! All finished, bound, signed and submitted. My Ph.D. is finally over and it was with pleasure that I handed over 2 copies to the department (via the wonderful administrator there). Phew, all tired now, esp. as it's Friday. Yawn. Must go out tonight. Repeat. Must go out tonight... zzzzz...

20 Oct 2004 (updated 20 Oct 2004 at 20:13 UTC) »

Been busy with CSS designing my website for my company (which I won't link to now even for Googlejuice), and it took me about an evening to learn and set up - the time consuming bits were deciding where to put everything, and finding a nice zero-cost public domain photo that I could use (the main page has one of the Galleria degli Uffizi which I could spend days wandering around in - must organise a holiday there sometime).

I was surprised by how simple and easy it was - maybe it was the stuff I had read about it before, but it seemed complicated and opaque, but wih this I just flew through in no time at all - html coding was actually a fun thing to do and I felt very productive. And of course, I can change the css file and completely change the look of the site. Nice.

I need to code up some simple php stuff to make it more dynamic - I'm just reading some text files into a template page for easy administration (i.e., if I need to add a new page, I just write it as a text file (with html tags), and dump it into a particular directory.

Other than that, the work situation has got interesting today - more on that later when things are more certain.

And I shall be giving in my final thesis this week. It will all be over...

And for some reason, I have a hankering to write something in Tcl. I really don't know why... Perhaps a latent semantic analysis module? ;)

18 Oct 2004 (updated 18 Oct 2004 at 15:22 UTC) »

I noticed that The Gruaniad (sic) newspaper has this idea for their readers to write to Ohio residents to encourage them to vote for Kerry. This is not a good idea and will probably backfire. Certainly the responses they've received suggest that is exactly what is happening. I'm personally not in favour of George Bush, but what makes the newspaper think that the opinions of a few Brits will change anything?

I didn't like it when Ronald Reagan encouraged the UK electorate to vote for Margaret Thatcher in the 1980's, so I fully understand why a lot of folk there don't like this. Regardless of our own wishes, in a democracy, we can only hope that electors vote for whomsoever their conscience dictates - even if that p!sses us off. If it's Bush then so be it. If it's Kerry then so be it. If it's Nader, then I'll step back in amazement at the biggest swing in democratic history, but then so be it.

btw - Guardian is misspelled because they used to be famous for their typographical errors.

And I've entered a competition for no reason - the National Novel Writing Month where I have to write a 50,000 word novel in November. Just a month. That's over 10,000 words a week. Quantity over quality.



That aside, I have the novel planned already - it's called "Contrition", and it's about a disparate group of people who regret doing something (specific to themselves), and their acts of contrition end up making things a lot worse for another (completely innocent) person. It's an examination of how people deal with guilt, and how short-sighted some folks can be.

Still got some Gmail addresses to give away. Anyone?

I'm busy doing some usability work for Milui which is turning out to be fun. I quite enjoy doing this work - just a shame that nobody will pay me to do it for them... I mention it because it's an open source application.

Watched Hidalgo last night and was very surprised by how enjoyable it was. Viggo Mortenson didn't strike me as a convincing half-native American, but his acting was great and everything else was quite fun. The cinematography was amazing, well worth watching. I suppose it wasn't a life-changing film, just something that was good to sit down and immerse yourself in. I read on IMDB that lots of folks didn't like it, but I thought it was fun.

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