Reader's Corner for October 2011

October 29, 2011

On July 13, 2010, a cargo container arrived in Genoa, Italy. It had torrents of radiation coming out of it. No one knew what was inside, and no one knew what to do next.

Really good read. Plus this stands out:

"It was hardly the first fishy shipment to pass through Gioia Tauro. Famously, just six weeks after 9/11, workers there heard noises coming from inside a container being transshipped to Nova Scotia via Rotterdam. Inside, police found an Egyptian-born Canadian carrying a Canadian passport, a satellite phone, a cell phone, a laptop, cameras, maps, and security passes to airports in Canada, Thailand, and Egypt. The container’s interior was outfitted with a bed, a water supply, a heater, and a toilet. Nicknamed Container Bob, the man posted bail in Italian court and was never seen again."

October 28, 2011

This rings true.

[Bob] [Alice]

October 27, 2011

Dr. Umar Saif, Associate Professor of Computer Science, has won a Rs 25 million grant from National ICT R&D Fund, for building an improved version of MapReduce – Google’s massively parallel cloud computing framework. This is the single largest research grant for the CS Department .

"Dr. [Alice] wins a Rs 25 million grant"

October 25, 2011

John McCarthy (born September 4, 1927; died October 24th, 2011 [1][2][3], in Boston, Massachusetts), was an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist who received the Turing Award in 1971 for his major contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was responsible for the c...

How come a lot of the big shots in CS are dying this month?

October 23, 2011

27 million amps
3.7 billion degrees kelvin
350 terawatts
2.7 megajoules
95 nanoseconds
100% awesomeness

In “The Origins of AIDS,” Dr. Jacques Pépin starts from 1900 to work out the most likely path the virus took during the years it left almost no tracks.

Interesting theory.

Below is my final set of photography work as a student. These last few months as a college student have been so bitter-sweet, I can’t make up my mind if I’m excited or sad about graduation. I guess both.


Updated 12:02 p.m. ET Many Mac users — yours truly occasionally included — tend to chuckle when they hear about the security problems frequently encountered by those who favor Windows-based operating systems.

"The key here is that you can't protect a computer from stupid users, regardless of the operating system."


October 20, 2011

Take This Lollipop is an Interactive Live Action Facebook Connect experience.

Awesome stuff.

October 15, 2011

Dr. Faqir M. Bhatti, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics has been appointed as the Scientific Director of Center for Advanced Studies in Mathematics (CASM) at LUMS.

[Bob] [Alice] and other math majors..

October 13, 2011

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when any of these weren’t conventional wisdom, but there was such a time. Unix is composed of more obvious-in-retrospect engineering design choices than anything else I’ve seen or am likely to see in my lifetime.

October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs was a brilliant thinker, an inspiration, and a leader, but back in 1974 he was an 18-year-old dropout soldering resistors onto Atari's arcade games to save up for a spiritual journey to India.

"Steve Jobs was called many things during his tragically short life -- innovator, entrepreneur, leader, father -- but back when he showed up at the Los Gatos doorstep of arcade game leader Atari in May of 1974, he was an unwashed, bearded college dropout more interested in scoring some acid than changing the world."

Link to Piled Higher and Deeper

This rings true.

October 7, 2011

he seems to be ahead of even [Alice]

In computer science, the Akra–Bazzi method, or Akra–Bazzi theorem, is used to analyze the asymptotic behavior of the mathematical recurrences that appear in the analysis of divide and conquer algorithms where the sub-problems have substantially different sizes. It is a generalization of the well-kno...

This is so much better than the master theorem. Interesting that it's only 15 years old and doesn't appear in standard textbooks so it isn't taught as much (the guys who wrote the standard Algorithms textbook popularized the master theorem in the first place)
[Mallory] [Bob] [Eve] [Alice]

October 4, 2011

Teachers tend to focus on the middle of the pack. Or, more typically of late, on the least proficient students.

Interesting viewpoint on education.