December 15th, 2002

Trevor baby stare


I just downloaded Mozilla 1.2.1 to play around with it; see if its features are any better than my perennial favorite, iCab. So questing around to see if any sites looked or worked any better, I wound up on Google Labs doing a Google Viewer search for my name. After a couple pages about me, I suddenly started seeing Curling pages. Apparently, Curling has such a thing as a Trevor stone, which is mined in a particular part of Wales (perhaps near Trefor, Wales?). Hehehe.

In other news, I turned the same paper in twice in five seconds yesterday for two different classes after giving almost the same presentation for the second time in three days. Our procrastinatory powers were pretty impressive - I completed coding and went to bed at 9am on Wednesday, got up at noon to go to lunch and class. Upon returning at 2, I had some data to talk about in the presentation, and we put the final slides together via AIM, putting the final html tags in place at 3:45 before I caught a ride to the 4pm class. On Friday I got up at 9 and finished the paper in time to have a quick lunch before heading to the Engineering Center with enough time to print two copies before giving the presentation agian.

I hope I have a chance to fully develop the system. A database which recognizes and classifies music would be beneficial in many areas. Beyond blocking illegitimate files on a swapping network, it can also be used to figure out what you actually got from a file swapping network. You could plug it in to your mp3 player to automatically assign genres, 'cause I know only about 5% of the mp3s I download have a sensible genre tag. (Who classifies Metallica as blues and Apocalyptica as folk? And how helpful is the genre "Other?") Further, suppose the last five songs you played were sad and slow. Your mp3 player could be less random in its song selection, playing other songs that sound similar so that you can properly deal with your mopey issues. Or you could indicate a couple songs you like (or your mp3 player could do it automatically...) and a database could recommend songs that sound similar which you otherwise might not have encountered. This is cooler than the "Other users also bought" feature of, say, Amazon, because it helps you find obscure stuff you might like, not just what popular pairs are. With good synthesis, it could also make holistic recommendations -- "Ah, I see you like punk and Celtic music... you might like Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly." This could all be integrated into a single client that uses your otherwise idle bandwidth and hard drive space to search an extensive file sharing network for more music you might like, allowing small bands to get exposure. Such a system could operate within the copyright desires of the music industry, since our system lets a small amount of information be extracted from a song and then compared to other songs, so if you like Metallica, you can find bands that sound similar, but aren't opposed to filesharing.
If I don't do that one, my just-out-of-college startup could be the spam filtering webmail system I've been thinking about. What's that? They're no longer throwing money at people with a Computer Science degree and a small idea with no business plan? :-(

In other music classification and recognition news, I spent a good portion of today weeding through my iTunes library. A bunch of songs were mistakenly on both of my machines, and there was a bunch of stuff I'd downloaded for my brother that I wasn't into. I reduced my playlist size from 17 days to about 14 and a half, but then discovered a folder full of mp3s that I hadn't stuck in the Cube's iTunes playlist, so I'm back up to 4420 songs spanning 15 days, 51 minutes, 20 seconds of music, making up 21.05 GB. And I'm grabbing more from Al that we used for data for our project. (BTW, it took 4+ computers running continuously for about 3 days to generate 1500 song models. If we're going to make a production system, optimization needs to kick into high gear.)
I love how I have this massive bandwidth, but never have time to download anything big until finals week.

Celebrating the completion of two classes (I knew I wasn't going to get any studying done with more than a day and a half remaining) I spent last night on a couple website updates (including getting formmail.php to work like I wanted to). I've spent most of today surfing the web, catching up on some interesting reading that had fallen by the wayside lately. I renewed my Salon Premium subscription, happily discovering that they now take my debit card. Yay, I can return to wasting time reading about politics. (Not that I think that's a waste of time per se, but I found I spent too much time this summer reading political punditry.) I also cleaned my room for about the first time since I moved over here. I can now go from my desk to my door without walking on my clothes; my closet shuts all the way; it's almost like a bachelor doesn't live here. Well, at least like a slob doesn't live here.
  • Current Music
    Sleepless Nights
Trevor baby stare

Dances with Regexes

The operation of a Mealy machine (a finite-state machines with outputs on the paths) could be demonstrated through dance. If nondeterministic outputs are allowed for each transition (i.e. there are multiple possible outputs for each path), one could holdl an interesting dance competition run something like a figure skating competition. Dance requirements (and actual dances) could be expressed as regular expressions, allowing a great amount of room for creative expression and intuitive judgment.

If I ever teach a computer science lecture course, I am SO doing all of my concept-introductory examples with human volunteers.
  • Current Music
    Orbital - Orbital
Trevor baby stare

Quick Poll

I'm not a paid user, so you'll have to make a comment.

Suppose you've got a first (or some other low ordinal number) date. Your date arrives and hands you a packet of rose seeds and says "May we this night plant the seeds of a beautiful budding romance."

Is this:
a) Cheesey
b) Amazingly romantic
c) The actions of a deranged lunatic

What if your date had said "May this bud of love be a brilliant flower when next we meet. This bud's for you." instead?
  • Current Music
    The Simpsons