Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Credit crunch

There's an interesting article in today's Guardian (here). It seems that the credit crunch has even hit the jewellery purchasing habits of rappers! Apparently - shock horror - some of it is fake!

The best quote (from "Birdman"):

Times are hard. Ain't nobody rockin it like that no more.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Friday, 22 May 2009


My brother and I used to love the series "V", that was shown in the early 80s. It was about "The visitors" - aliens - who came to Earth, allegedly in friendship. As time passes people work out that all is not what it seems. First, the aliens are in fact wearing a disguise - they are not beautiful Californians, but lizards in rubber human suits. Secondly, the visitors are actually here to feed on the humans. [I know - but it was better than it sounds!]

Imagine my excitement when I discover that ABC are planning a remake. There's a trailer here. Looking forward to this coming to the UK :-)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

DSU in the press

There's an interesting article in the MIT technology review on a new start-up working on dynamic software updating. (here) My colleagues Mike and Iulian are quoted.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Powerpoint comedy

I stumbled across this guy on youtube. He's a stand-up comedian who uses powerpoint as an essential component of his act :-)

Down the pub

I spent a nice afternoon/early evening down The Portland Arms with Mike yesterday. We watched Cambridge United flunk their second play-off in two years live from Wembley:-(

I like The Portland, in particular its shabby chic decor. Mike and I looked around at one point: there were about a dozen people in the pub. The pub has rather nice oak panelling - around a hundred years old. Most people were watching football, but a couple of guys were reading The Observer, and the chap next to us was reading a novel by Ernest Hemingway (IIRC "The Fifth Column and The First 49 Stories"). It's very Cambridge to get beer, live football, Hemingway, current affairs, and oak panelling all in your local pub!

After the game, we went for another Great British Experience: A rather good curry :-)

Friday, 15 May 2009


An interesting article by the reporter who started in motion the investigation into MP's expenses can be found here. [For those not in the UK: the #1 news item here is a "scandal" surrounding the payment of expenses to members of parliament.]

[Update: There are some nice pictures highlighting some of the expenses claims that various MPs have made. Boy, and I thought Microsoft was a good employer - clearly Westminster was the place to get real perks!]

Friday, 8 May 2009

Programming language history

There's a hilarious "brief, incomplete and mostly wrong history of programming languages" posted by James Iry on his blog. (The entries for C# and Haskell are particularly funny.)

[Thanks to Andrew for the pointer.]

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tony nominations for the Donmar!

Well done to James; the Donmar has been nominated for 7 Tony awards for their Broadway production of Mary Stuart!

The Donmar has also recently announced its 2009-2010 season (here in pdf). It's an amazing list - no wonder James is so busy, he's put together a fantastic programme. The fuss in the press has been about Rachel Weisz but I'm particularly excited by A Dolls House (Scully!) and also the world premiere of "Red" (about Mark Rothko and starring Alfred Molina).

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Susanna Cech Previtali Viva

I'm just back from lovely Zurich having examined Susanna Cech Previtali's PhD entitled "Dynamic updating of object-oriented software systems based on aspects". The key idea in the thesis is that an upgrade is a cross-cutting concern. Susanna has built a tool that takes two builds of an application and, if possible, produces an aspect that captures the change from the old version to the new version. The old version can then be dynamically updated by weaving in the aspect. Susanna has (impressively) built this system, using the PROSE dynamic aspect system. She has also undertaken a systematic empirical study using many builds of eight popular open-source Java applications.

Her thesis work is very impressive, so it wasn't a particularly hard decision for the thesis committee:-) She'll be working on a final version of the dissertation over the next few months, so I'll post a link when it's available.

Well done, Susanna!

Friday, 1 May 2009


I had my eyes tested last week. No change I'm happy to report. My optician now digitally photographs your retina as part of the test. They can even email it to you! I couldn't resist :-)

Left eye:

Right eye: