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March 2003 Archives

March 2, 2003

League RoX0r draft

Transcript below...

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Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in US custody

The September 11 planner is now in US custody.

March 3, 2003

North Korea intercepts US spy plane over international waters

US calls action serious provocation

March 6, 2003

Forum: Google

Eric Schmidt of Google gave a very interesting talk at PARC. The first half of his talk was about information movements and the second half was anecdotes/information about Google. Schmidt started off with a comparison to electricity: it started off as a big boom, then it became a utility. Similarly, it started off with thousands of companies, and then became very few. Schmidt argues that all big bubbles have followed the model of thousands then few: railroads, auto, dot com. To me at least, this seemed hand-wavy: the auto industry, for example, has a huge parts and support industry around it, and railroad/electricity are inhibited by infrastructure - a company doesn't have to own Internet backbone to produce a product or service.

The funniest anecdote he gave was about the "bias" of Google News. He was giving a talk and someone in the audience asked him what Google's slant was when it displayed articles. Schmidt tried to explain that a computer selected the articles, and thus there was no slant, but the audience member insisted that every news source has a slant. As Schmidt tells the story, he went to the researchers/engineers that were responsible for Google News and asked them if it were possible that Google News had a slant. As it turns out, the researcher that created the program is Indian and put in two biases: (1) International news is favored, and (2) cricket. I had actually noticed (2), because it seemed improbable to me that there would be a cricket sports link everyday on the front page.

Another funny anecdote he had was when he was making a point that cost drives everything. When Google was still at Stanford, they needed to build server casings. What did they use: legos or duplos? Duplos, because they are cheaper.

More stuff below and in the extended comments.

Abstract:
Eric Schmidt, Google Talk
- "Scarcity to Abundance Drives Everthing Tech"

Continue reading "Forum: Google" »

March 7, 2003

Forum: UCB Digital Library Project

PARC Forum
THE UCB DIGITAL LIBRARY PROJECT: RE-INVENTING SCHOLARLY INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND USE

ROBERT WILENSKY
Professor and Principal Investigator, The Digital Library Project, UC Berkeley

ABSTRACT:

Our practice of disseminating, accessing and using information, especially scholarly information, is still significantly impeded by the legacy of pre-electronic media. While overcoming these impediments will require many elements, there are opportunities for technological innovation to support new and better practices. For example, journals exist in their traditional forms at least partly because of the value of the peer review process, which thus far has not yielded to decentralized, distributed and timely mechanisms of the Web. Similarly, information access is still largely a text-based affair, with other data types relegated to second class citizenship.

The UC Berkeley Digital Library project is developing technologies aimed at addressing these impediments, and hence allowing the development of new, more efficient mechanisms of information dissemiation and use. In particular, we are developing new models of documents, in the form of the Multivalent browser, which we hope will convince you to throw away your current, limited web browser, for collaborative quality filtering", which provides the value of peer
review without deference to prior established authorities, such as journals, and for "collection management services", which bring to individual information users services previously available to libraries. Taken together, such mechanisms may provide the benefits of modern communications without sacraficing traditional academic values.

In addition, we have been developing techniques for image retrieval based on image content. Recent progress on learning the semantics of image databases using text and pictures suggests that new forms of image-lated web services may be possible, including automatic image captioning and automatic illustration, among others.

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March 9, 2003

Kirkwood

We have this perpetual problem that every time we want to drive up to Kirkwood in the morning and save ourselves a Friday night stay, we end up sleeping in until noon. This time was no exception. We ended driving up Saturday night and snowboarding on Sunday, with meta on a demo Salomon board. I made some okay jumps through the terrain park and had good runs down Cornice all day.

BRE: The End

I'm finally finished with BRE. I got annihilated by Datastream, Gameland, and Gargoyle's. This board that we picked turned out to be completely lame, with the three best boards ganging up on the mid-tier boards. The matchup wasn't even close, and the conduct was hardly respectable.

March 11, 2003

Interesting Echelon article

The Guardian Unlimited has just posted an article on the capture of one of the 9-11 participants. The article asserts that "Echelon played a key role in the capture."
- Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | How mobile phones and an 18m bribe trapped 9/11 mastermind

Googlewhack: French Military Victories

Someone forwarded me this funny googlewhack: "French Military Victories"

In the event that this no longer works, here's albino white sheep source.

Quote of the Day

"I don't think running into battle naked with a sword automatically implies effectiveness"
- Alyssa, Dana Street

March 12, 2003

Elizabeth Smart found

- likely kidnappers in custody
- found in Salt Lake City

Etc...

Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic assassinated
- responsible for handing over war criminals
- possibly related to efforts to combat crime

US still seeking one more vote for UN resolution vote
- resolution will still be vetoed by France, Germany, and Russia

March 17, 2003

Iraq Update: The 48-hour ultimatum

Bush to give Saddam 48-hour ultimatum to leave Iraq

March 19, 2003

Iraq Update: the attack begins

6:50PM PST, reports that Iraq attack has begun

US "coalition" airplanes begin striking Iraqi artillery sites
- targets struck were in range of troops moving into position
- military convoy headed towards Iraq
- small amounts of Iraqi troops already surrendering
- streets of Baghdad deserted

Congrats Josh

Former ASDer and Asteroids softball team member Josh Tyler got his 15 minutes of /. fame today. Here's the Nature article that his work appears in. Congrats!

March 20, 2003

Etc...

Operation Iraqi Freedom updates
- Marines cross border into Iraq
- first clashes reported
- Iraqi oil fields on fire
- Turkey opens airspace for US
- More intense air campaign over Baghdad
- uncertainty as to validity of Saddam's appearance on TV
- missiles fired into Kuwait, 2 intercepted by Patriot missiles

Data recorder found for Columbia
- Sean O'Keefe admits that NASA may never know what happened

Etc...

Iraq updates
- first confirmed US/British deaths: CH-46 Sea Knight crash kill 12
- British secure Faw Peninsula
- US Intelligence sticking to its guns that Hussein was in bombed bunker
- "Shock and awe" strategy clearly a ruse
- US keeps hinting that attack is coming

NCAA tournament starts with little fanfare

"Calibrated War"

Washington Post journalist Tomas E. Ricks has posted a news analysis entitled Calibrated War Makes Comeback. It's an analysis of the changes in DoD wartime strategy, which the author credits to the role of Rumsfeld.

March 22, 2003

Iraq updates

- US soldier may be responsible for grenade attack on own troops
- Patriot missile may have shot down Royal Air Force plane
- Northern campaign stalled due to failed negotiations for base rights in Turkey
- Calvalry half-way to Baghdad

March 23, 2003

News: Iraq

- Al-Jazeera shows video of capture/killed US soldiers, some shot in head
- Intense fighting around An Nasiriyah
- CNN reports explosion outside US Cent Comm in Qatar, news of this disappears
- Second appearance of Hussein on TV, cites battles in Basra an Umm Qasr

March 24, 2003

Etc...

Iraq updates
- US know believes Hussein alive because of second TV appearance
- Some believe that Iraq is creating impression of more dissent than there is

Indiana abducted girl found
- found along highway in Northern California
- Lindsey Ryan, 14
- Amber alert system used up and down California
- white Dodge Dakota repainted black

Etc...

Battle for Baghdad begins
- attacking Republican Guard protecting southern advance in Iraq

Oscars were last night, who cares?
- Chicago wins
- Polanski wins

March 25, 2003

Etc...

Senates votes to slash Bush tax cuts by half
- previously only making room for war costs

Iraq updates
- Uprising in Basra may finally be occurring

March 28, 2003

Caples Lake

Arrived at Caples Lake. Joke of the night:

Knock knock

Who's there?

Interrupting Bryan

Interrupti--

<sigh>uuuuuuuuh<sigh>

March 29, 2003

Caples Lake/Kirkwood

Snowboarded the black diamonds at Kirkwood. meta made some excellent enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Jeff taught me how to wax and scrape my board.

Etc...

A-day in Iraq
- "Shock and awe" supposed to happen today
- rapid series of explosions on TV
- supposedly hitting presidential palaces
- US Marines forces to take down US flag, not occupiers
- France announces it will veto any resolution allowing US/Britain to administer post-war reconstruction
- Port of Umm Qasr (Iraq's only outlet to Persian Gulf) under coalition control
- More than 1,000 sorties on Iraq
- 3 American casualties thus far
- Major riots in Cairo

Sonicblue filing for bankruptcy

March 30, 2003

Tahoe Injury Count: 2

Injury #2: Rome's broken ankle going down a Cornice-lift run. He said that even with the injury, it was still the best day of snowboarding he ever had (we did do some fun runs). I also started hitting my jumps in the terrain park better.