Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for September, 2003

Telegraph | News | Doctor Who ready to come out of the Tardis for Saturday TV series

Posted by shannonclark on September 26, 2003

Telegraph | News | Doctor Who ready to come out of the Tardis for Saturday TV series

Yeah.

YEAH!!!!

I am and have been for multiple decades, a HUGE Dr. Who fan, far more so than any other Science fiction television show (even recent shows such as Babylon 5 which I got into in reruns, my interest pales in comparison to my Dr. Who interest.

So this looks like some of the best news I have heard in a very, very long time. I can see Dr. Who as a very successful, modernized television show, for one, the format and structure lends itself to a nearly infinite variety of stories, an entire universe (and time) to play in, and a very deeply developed universe to build on.

The more recent novels, which I have not been keeping up with as much as I would like, hint at some directions for the series to go in, more complex companions who can more than hold their own, complicated plots and ongoing story arcs.

And in any case, it is a series that I will be following closely and one that I hope to enjoy when it is broadcast, and who knows, perhaps try seeing if I’m up to the task of writing for it? (I can dream can’t I?)

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Moving

Posted by shannonclark on September 26, 2003

or why I don’t get jokes at the moment

I am moving my office and scattering things to the five winds.

Later today, and some tomorrow, my files, computers, and “stuff” will be moved to my house to set up a home office for me there (and test out my new DSL service which should be on but which I have not yet even tried).

My development team will be moving to an office in the south loop, as will a lot of our furniture which will be stored in a warehouse there (if you are reading this and knoiw anyone in Chicago who would like to buy some really great furniture for a office have them contact me ASAP). We are also moving our development servers, production web server and the developers computers and stuff into that office.

Our business files and items are going to yet another location.

And on top of that all we have sold a lot of our excess furniture to another company which is also moving this weekend.

And already our copier was picked up by one moving company (that same other firm took over our copier payments) and just before that our phone system which we sold them was taken apart and disassembled to be put back together at their new offices (and in the process crashing our office server which is one more thing for me to deal with next week).

Later this weekend and next week various other smaller items of furniture will be picked up by the buyers and/or owners of the respective pieces.

So, the net of all this is that I am crazed at the moment and hard to reach but will get back to everyone as soon as the dust settles, my computer(s) are back up and running, my webserver is serving, and the dust has settled.

Until then, please no jokes as I don’t get them at the moment…

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Posted by shannonclark on September 19, 2003

Probabilities in the Game of Monopoly

some people have too much time.

Very cool use of computer simulation and programming to answer a question we have all had at some time – where to put that next hotel….

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Catching up

Posted by shannonclark on September 18, 2003

with life, the universise, and everything and everyone

Okay. I know it has been over a week since I posted, possibly the longest stretch I have gone without at least a small post since I started this Blog. But I have been busy if not productively then at least mentally recharging, regrouping, and thinking. So, in short order a few sets of announcements, updates, and other items.

As a few of you know this past weekend I was in CA for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. A long weekend of family events and catching up, lots of fun but also fairly draining between the long travel times, the time shifts, the stress imposed by the events, and the stress I imposed on myself because I was out in CA instead of back in Chicago working.

Thursday I flew to LA and visited my Aunt. She had long promised to take me shopping as she thought I needed an update in the wardrobe department. We didn’t have much time because she had many different tasks and errands to run, between getting ready for the weekend and the sale of a house she had had on the market since April (which closed the next day). So we went to one store where we managed to find me two pairs of jeans that fit and two really great shirts (still haven’t gotten the jeans which were being tailored to correct the length of the legs and mailed back to my home). The shirts are really great, one short sleeve and one very cool red shirt. All-in-all a very successful couple of hours shopping.

We then delivered a plant as a present to her realtor and I shopped at the local Vons to get ingrediants for our dinner which I was cooking as small way of thanking her for her hospitatlity and the clothes. I made us a salmon salad nicoise with fresh salmon which I broiled with fresh baby dill and a sauce of olive oil, herbs, lemon, and honey. The salad was organic mixed greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and baby red potatoes. I also prepared a rice wine vineager cucumber, jicama, and vidalia onion salad (with a few hot peppers washed and crushed to add flavor). All in all a very tasty meal which also impressed my aunt and my cousin with my cooking skills.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were taken up with a wide range of family events – dinner Friday in Santa Barbara at a great restaurant, Saturday daytime spent visiting and exploring the markets, Saturday evening 70 of my grandmother’s closest friends and us attended a charity event at an estate in Monticito (which was both a lot of fun and quite amazing), and then brunch Sunday morning. I ended up helping the caterer for the brunch, I made the fruit salad (chopped fruits for 50 people) and helped prep the smoked salmon plate, the caterer said she wished I lived in Santa Barbara. In any case it was a lot of fun. I then started on what felt like a 12 hour journey home (down the hill to wait for a bus, 2 hour bus ride to LAX, check in, 2 hour wait at the gate, flight home, only to learn that the CTA had stopped running trains early on Sunday evenings so after a few miles of walking still had to take a taxi to arrive home just after midnight.

In all it was a fun weekend, but it was also stressful.

This week I have been catching up and starting the process of preparing my office to be moved.

After the end of this month JigZaw will be moving from our current offices to a number of new ones. I will be working from home in a home office and probably will make use of Regus for someone to answer my phones, recieve my mail and provide me a downtown office to work out of and/or meet with people (they have a plan that for

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openhousenewyork – what

Posted by shannonclark on September 10, 2003

openhousenewyork – what

Oct 11th and 12th sounds like a really good weekend to be in NYC, I may try to fly out there, see my sister and view the sites.

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Augustine’s Blog

Posted by shannonclark on September 9, 2003

Augustine’s Blog

This is my friend Natalie d’Arbeloff’s blog for her cartoon alter ego. Pretty cool stuff which I need to read through someday soon…

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Recall

Posted by shannonclark on September 4, 2003

Recall

too cool to even begin to describe adequately – go, check it out, relive the web.

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humancompetitive

Posted by shannonclark on September 4, 2003

humancompetitive

Very cool stuff indeed. I need to read most about the underlying algorithms where genetic programming was used to generate “human competitive” results, but this is pretty neat stuff. A lot of my own thinking about AI tends towards self-modifying programs (in essense, more in a bit), though I do have some questions about “genetic” programing – primarily how you create a “fitness test” and allow for variablity.

(think about it in terms of how do you tell whether or not the software that is being generated is “good” or “bad” – and allow for variability in the techniques and algorithms used, but in some effective manner. It is not exactly a simple issue)

Most of my AI work involves writing applications that are data driven in an almost literal way – that is, they may literally rewrite their own code (in a limited fashion) based on what they are working with – this can be somewhat confusing stuff but it also allows for highly generalizable solutions with little that is hardcoded about them. It is not a huge stretch for me to then consider where there is some way (or ways) in which I could introduce variablity into the code/test process and morph into writing “genetic algorithms” for much of the work I do (mostly text pattern recognition and data extraction/mapping)

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