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September 5, 2007

¶ LiquidPiston in the news

The Hartford Courant, a small newspaper in Connecticut, is running an article about my labmate Alec and his dad. They've been working on designing an efficient internal combustion engine that theoretically is a few times more efficient than today's best. It's been fun to hear him talk about starting a company around their idea (www.liquidpiston.com), applying for patents, raising venture capital, hiring people, and everything else that comes with starting a business based on a crazy idea. Who knows, maybe ten years from now their engine design will be the design of choice in cars of the future? Photo taken from the Hartford Courant website.
December 29, 2006

¶ The evolution of PyBluez - Wii, vibrators
I found this immensely amusing. Some folks used PyBluez to interface a Nintendo Wiimote with a GNU/Linux system (forthewiin.org). Then, some other folks took it one step further and hooked up a Wiimote to control a Sony PS3 (gamebrink.com). Next thing I hear, pybluez is being used to turn the Wiimote into a vibrator (fleshbot.com). It's the little things like this that really make my day =PAlbum review Classical reviewsMovie reviews onlineMovies reviesReviews
December 13, 2006

¶ updates
Well, that month went by pretty quickly.

Life lately has largely been dominated by the DARPA Urban Challenge. The MIT Team is very large, and geographically dispersed. So, to put it mildly, there has been some miscommunication and political distress. I suppose that's what happens with a high-profile project that a lot of people want to get their hands on.

I've been having a difficult time finding a balance between working on my phd thesis and working on the Urban Challenge. So far, I've completely neglected my research. Doesn't really help me graduate, but at least I'm having fun =)Classical composers blogClassical composersThriller cinemaReviewsMovies
October 28, 2006

¶ airport security redux
About a year ago, I wrote about how you could bypass airport security by simply photoshopping a standard boarding pass. Turns out some guy took this one step further by creating a web tool to automatically generate valid-looking fake boarding passes. Ooh, and stirred up a whole boatload of trouble too =P The movie reviews The movie reviews Movie reviews thriller Divx movies online Divx movies
May 31, 2006

¶ behind enemy lines
I've infiltrated the CS department at the University of Washington, and am collecting information on their daily activities in preparation for an eventual armed assault led by MIT undergraduate minions.

Umm.. by which I mean I asked Seth if he knew a good way for me to find a legitimate excuse to hang out in Seattle for the summer, and he contacted Steve Seitz, who was kind enough to give me some desk space for a few months. I'll still be working on my MIT projects, but will be doing so while in Seattle. So I'm technically a visiting graduate student here for a few weeks each month. I tried to get a UW ID card, but they wouldn't give me one cause I'm not _really_ a student =/ The conversation went sort of like, "Can I have an ID card?" "What's your student number?" "I don't have one. I'm a visiting graduate student." "No. Go away." "Awwww...."

It's quite nice here. Having only two bases for comparison, I'd put it at halfway between Brown and MIT. Brown CS is quite small, with fewer than 40 phd students, and MIT CS is ridonkulously huge, with 400+ phd students. UW is sort of in the middle, with 150 students, so it's a relatively close-knit enivoronment, but still has a bit of wiggle-room. Well, at least that's my impression after being for two days.

So far I've watched Aseem Agarwala give a very cool thesis defense, and fell asleep at a talk given by a Columbia prof. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting the UW grad students, if not just to see how things are done here.
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