Monday, January 16, 2006

Roundup and just busy

A big quiet here on the blog front lately due to a bit of an overload with work. On the plus side I've also found the time to get a little PhD stuff done. I'm about ready with a paper for ICAD on concurrent auditory icons and in the process I've had some good fun getting back to statistics and R (R is a really sweet open source stats package). A big thanks to Ben for the stats advice as it was really helpful. The PhD is still another fair bit away but its all coming together nicely.

A nice collection of images from Nasa and its space telescopes. A new study is report that the Iraq war will cost the US over $2 trillion dollars when the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers are taken into account. Whilst we in Ireland are not going to have any centers for public inquiry due to over zealous government interventions into any such organisation, one can envy the US based Center for Public Integrity. After the current trends in Virtual Economies isn't reassuring to see that even the IRS are considering taxing your network gaming or at least the earnings derived from virtual trading in online multiplayer games.

Chickens, chickens, chickens .... This bird flu thing is really brewing up a news storm so in case of it hitting the shores of the Emerald Isle you might want to think about creating your own little flu pre-pack. You can keep an eye on the Avian Flu's progress on Google Earth and read more from Nature's Declan Butler on this mapping and tracking process. Or if the Avian Flu isn't scary enough how about abrupt climate change scenarios ?

Using Tk GUI library and Lisp is now possible using Ltk (click here for a nice short intro). ITConversations has a nice podcast on "What is a Sustainable Business for Data?" which has a mixed bunch of biz and open source people discussing scenarios and uses for mapping data.

A Information campaign is a "Offensive and defensive information operations that convey true, unclassified information about military operations and the information environment to external audiences." according to Lieutenant Colonel Garry J. Beavers in the Nov-Dec 05 issue of Military Review (REF - Beavers, G.J, Defining The Information Campaign, pp 80-82, Nov-Dev 2005, Military Review Journal). Two more articles of interest from the same journal are "To Create a Stable Afghanistan: Provisional Reconstruction Teams, Good Governance, and a Splash of History" and "Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations", both are by serving British officers and provide a glimpse from the military mindset into the Afghani and Iraqi situations. It was that kind of weekend after watching Jarhead, which to be fair tried but failed to follow in the footsteps of Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now. My comment on it would be to rent it on DVD and skip it in the cinema.

In the various, more technical journal papers we have "Improved Port Knocking with Strong Authentication" by deGraaf et al which still shows that port knocking is still a far cry from a secure mechanism even with their current additions. There was also a nice paper on "Work Domain Analysis and Ecological Interface Design for Hydropower System Monitoring and Control" which talks about work on a new interface design for a hydroelectric power plant. Hhhhmmm back to Lisp for another while and hoping to get around to some play with those Nokia tablets now that Ubuntu is working on my computer but I still prefer my OS X thank you very much!


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