Of Thanksgiving Turkeys and Black Swans

A couple of months ago I finished reading The Black Swan (TBS) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I suspect I’ll read it again sometime. In a nutshell, TBS is about (un)predictability, uncertainty and knowledge. Karen and the kids bought me the second edition of TBS for Fathers’ Day. It’s the one with a lengthy postscript essay, Read more about Of Thanksgiving Turkeys and Black Swans[…]

The Landing Pilot is the Non-Handling Pilot

The Landing Pilot is the Non-Handling Pilot until the “decision altitude” call, when the Handling Non-Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Non-Handling Landing Pilot, unless the latter calls “go-around”, in which case the Handling Non-Landing Pilot, continues Handling and the Non-Handling Landing Pilot continues non-handling until the next call of “land” or “go-around”, as Read more about The Landing Pilot is the Non-Handling Pilot[…]

Programming Collective Intelligence

I’ve been reading a fantastic book written by Toby Segaran called Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications. I’m about two thirds of the way through, but it’s so good that I’m not going to wait until I finish reading it before blogging it. Essentially, it’s a recipe book for machine learning algorithms that Read more about Programming Collective Intelligence[…]

The Book Depository

Karen came across a fantastic online book store called The Book Depository. Its prices are highly competitive. But the best part is that they offer free shipping worldwide. We’ve already ordered five books from them: That’s Not My Puppy; That’s Not My Lion; Dear Zoo; The Art of the Start; and Programming Collective Intelligence. They Read more about The Book Depository[…]

Finding a human need

I’ve been reading over old ubicomp papers in preparation for a new project at NICTA. So it was that I found myself reading “Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing“, by Gregory Abowd and Elizabeth Mynatt (whom, incidentally, should surely be listed among those ubiquitous computing researchers who inspire me – particularly Abowd, Read more about Finding a human need[…]

Bowl: token-based media for children

Ben delicioused me a link to an interesting paper called “Bowl: token-based media for children“. It describes a media player that is controlled by placing various objects (tokens) into a bowl. The idea was to create a control interface that is easy for children to use and which establishes links between particular physical objects and Read more about Bowl: token-based media for children[…]


Last week I read a 2004 paper called MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters. It was written by a couple of Google researchers, and details a simple programming model and library for processing large datasets in parallel. MapReduce is used by Google under the hood for lots of different things, from indexing to machine Read more about MapReduce[…]

Book review: The Upside of Down

Albert Einstein once said In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. I suppose it is this observation that lies at the heart of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization, a book by Thomas Homer-Dixon. I was really looking forward to reading this book, having read an interview that New Read more about Book review: The Upside of Down[…]