MOTD::Archive::Fall 2006 (30 December 2006)

Summer 2006 MOTD

Week Ending 30 December 2006

GDT::Last MOTD Posting for 2006
2006 was a busy year with respect to blogging and babbling (i.e. creating BABs--Basic Arithmetic Bits).

   blog                 #posts  total
   * blogs in oldest-to-newest order
   ==================================
   Internet Observer..... 94     470 
   Unix & Linux Logger... 57     381 
   Security Watchdog..... 82     368 
   Computing Bits........ 60     221 
   Biotech Trekker....... 62     218 
   Stocks Stuffer........ 52     191 
   Nanotech Smallblog.... 28     146 
   FLOSSER............... 44      99 
   Grid Utilitarian...... 49     103 
   BABs..................584     731 
   BARS..................183     199 
   Math Babbler..........  3       3 

RoadHacker::Chicago, Milwaukee, Joliet
RoadHacker went to Joliet to see his parents. Prior to going to Chicago, we drove into Wisconsin and spent a rainy night in Milwaukee. {RoadHacker:: Chicago, Milwaukee, Joliet}

[30 December 2006 (last MOTD posting for 2006; 54° at 1:32pm) top]


Week Ending 23 December 2006

Computing::Pittsburgh a Good Place To Be
Take Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh U. along with Google, Intel and Microsoft, and you have yourself one heck of a computing lineup. Almost two months ago, the city of Pittsburgh was a topic of reporting in the Business Section of the Arizona Republic. {GDT::Computing::Bit:: Pittsburgh Attracting Computer Companies}

GDT::I've Started YAB (Yet Another Blog)
I looked up the word babbler at m-w.com and found the following two definitions.

	"to talk enthusiastically or excessively"  [intransitive verb]
	"to reveal by talk that is too free"       [transitive verb]

Using the m-w.com definitions, the motto for the Math Babbler is "blogging freely about mathematics." Babbling is a form of blogging. A babbler who posts his/her babblings to the Internet is a blogger. The Math Babbler is part of a collection of math resources which, as of the end of 2006, consists of external hyperlinks to Internet-based math resources, math lecture notes on basic arithmetic (everyday math), and BABs (Basic Arithmetic Bits). {GDT::Blog:: Math Babbler}

GDT::MOTD Nearing Yet Another Rollover
Next week will be the last posting to the 2006 MOTD and the Fall 2006 MOTD will be archived. The first MOTD posting for 2007 will occur on 6 January 2007 with the creation of the Spring 2007 MOTD (version 29). There are three MOTDs per year (spring, summer, fall).

[20 December 2006 (no posting turned into early posting; 54° at 4:02pm) top]


Week Ending 16 December 2006

EDU::Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Computing
When it comes to educational issues, I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Arizona's governor has a P-20 Council that is recommending high-school students do three years of math instead of two. I sent a "Letter to the Editor" of the Arizona Republic stating that more math was good, but students also need to learn a lot more about computing. The Republic inserted a word into my sentence and changed the meaning of one of my points. {GDT::Speaks:: Learning More Math and Computing}

EDU::Testing Dates Are Important
I was cleaning up my HOME directory and came across the following "Letter to the Editor" that actually got printed in the Arizona Republic.

   I drove by Tempe High-School the other day and saw on
   their sign that the next set of AIMS tests were scheduled 
   for Tuesday, October 31st, Wednesday, November 1st, and 
   Thursday November 2nd.  How convienent--if test scores
   are low, they can excuse it away by saying they shouldn't
   have tested students on the day after halloween.

According to the Republic, my letter prompted no responses.

SCC::Some Claim Artie Artichoke Needs To Look Tougher
The logic escapes me: How does a reconfigured Artie Artichoke turn around SCC's enrollment decline? SCC brought in a marketing person that then proceeded to implement a SCC "re-branding." Part of this re-branding was to "update" Artie with a more "modern" look. SCC now has a new motto, new colors and new look for Artie -- WOW! SCC's marketing efforts must have been deemed a success because the "new" marketing person has quit SCC thanks to being "promoted" to do District-level marketing.

Remembering that "Community" is our middle name, SCC is letting the community at large vote for what the new Artie Artichoke will look like. Here is stuff SCC issued to the local press.

   "Let's get to the heart of the matter: 'Artie the Artichoke' 
    needs to toughen up his image.

    It has been 20 years since the Scottsdale Community College 
    mascot's last makeover, so the pressure is on to revamp the 
    beloved green veggie."

I am clueless as to what pressure SCC is talking about. {ScottsdaleCC.edu:: Vote For Artie}

[16 December 2006 (no posting next week due to travel; 48° at 6:33am) top]


MOTD Turns Nine Years Young

The first MOTD archive was created nine years ago on 13 December 1997. The archive date is used as the birthdate for the MOTD because I don't know the exact date of the first MOTD posting. To date, the MOTD has spawned nine additional blogs and that works out to a blog per year. The hyperlink contained in the the first MOTD posting still works... BusinessWeek.com:: Forget the Huddled Masses: Send Nerds. The BusinessWeek.com article was sub-titled: "A critical shortage of programmers has prompted a worldwide labor hunt." Since that time, there was a dot-com boom, a dot-com correction, and CSC at SCC was killed.

The MOTD has many memorable postings, but one of my all-time favorites is from the Fall 1997 MOTD... Email to SCC from ????.

[13 December 2006 (happy birthday to the MOTD; 47° at 9:05am) top]


Week Ending 09 December 2006

Computing::Neumann; O'Reilly; Programming Languages
One of the downsides of the WWW is that there is just so much good stuff to read. It is difficult ignore interviews with people such as Peter Neumann and Tim O'Reilly. The third hyperlink listed below, which compares programming languages to women, is humorous but sexist.

Note: Peter Neumann and Tim O'Reilly are both members of the GDT::DreamTeam.

Math::Done BABbling This Fall
I have stopped creating BABs for the Fall 2006 semester. The new BAB session is Winter Break December 2006. 227 BABs (a record) were created during the fall session leaving the total BAB count at 685. The fall session ended with 21 BAB collections. {GDT::BAB:: Basic Arithmetic Bits}

GDT::MOTD Turning Nine Years Young Next Week
The create date of the MOTD is 13 December 1997; therefore, on Wednesday of next week, the MOTD website will be nine years young. I am optimistic the website will hit the decade mark during December of 2007.

[10 December 2006 (late posting due to roadtripping; 51° at 5:58am) top]


Week Ending 02 December 2006

Computing::Tech Review Interviews Bjarne Stroustrup
TechReview.com posted an interview with Bjarne Stroustrup to their website on 28 November 2006. Stroustrup, the creator of C++, is currently a CS professor at Texas A&M University.

When asked how we can "fix" just good enough software, Bjarne said that in reality we can't because "people reward developers who deliver software that is cheap, buggy, and first."

Stroustrup claims the mains reason for C++'s success is "simply that it meets its limited design aims: it can express a huge range of ideas directly and efficiently."

TechReview.com:: The Problem with Programming

Computing::More IT Workers Needed
I keep reading about there being shortages in the IT industry, but nobody contacts me about learning about computing at SCC. I guess zero marketing results in zero students.

   "The IT work force is not skilled enough and almost never can 
    be skilled enough," said Robert Cresanti, undersecretary of 
    commerce for technology, in an exclusive interview with eWEEK 
    editors. "There are not enough engineers with the appropriate 
    skill sets."

A Computing::Bit posting on 18 November 2006 was titled "Gates Says We Have a Serious IT Shortage."

eWeek.com:: U. S. Technology Czar Says More IT Workers Needed

Computing::Have CS Enrollments Hit Bottom?
The Yale Daily News reported that Yale's CS enrollments have "stablized." The following blurb was copied from YaleDailyNews.com.

   "The Computing Research Association reported that the percentage 
    of incoming freshmen among all American degree-granting institutions 
    who said they intended to major in computer science dropped by 70 
    percent between 2000 and 2005, based on data collected by the Higher 
    Education Research Institute at the University of California, 
    Los Angeles. Nationwide, the number of computer science majors 
    in 2005 was half of what it was in 2000."

Yale's Director of Undergraduate Studies was quoted saying "the number of computer science majors at Yale reflects a national trend, which suggests that the popularity of the field of study is dependent on the strength of the software and online industries."

[tidbit] The computing lab at Yale University is called the "Zoo."

CS enrollments within the Maricopa County Community College District continue to be almost zero with only three of the ten colleges offering any CS courses (CSC).

[02 December 2006 (semester ends in two weeks; 43° at 6:08am) top]


Week Ending 25 November 2006

Computing::PayPal Working With Maricopa Community Colleges???
The Arizona Republic reported that PayPay had its Scottsdale office up and running. The report also said PayPal was working with ASU and "the Maricopa Community Colleges" to ensure they have a steady stream of workers. I believe the ASU connection, but I cannot find out who they are working with when it comes to the Maricopa Community Colleges. The person who heads up Web Development at SCC didn't know and the Projects Manager at the District's Center for Workforce Development didn't know. Despite the fact that PayPal's Scottsdale location is only a few miles north of SCC, I remain a computer instructor who does zero computer instruction.

Computing::Tim O'Reilly Is a 21st Century Leader
Business 2.0 magazine had an article where they seeked advice from 25 people whom they consider to be 21st century leaders. DreamTeam member Tim O'Reilly was on of the 25. { GDT::Computing::Bit:: Cool To See Tim "Web 2.0" O'Reilly Make a Business 2.0 List }

Speaks::Most University Presidents Earn Their Pay
Arizona university presidents makes "good" money, but for whatever reason the Arizona Republic has to make "news" out of this. In addition, they connect president salaries with tuition rates and that is simply a wrong thing to do. I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" and turned the letter into Thurman Speaks About Crow Earning His Salary.

[25 November 2006 (getting chilly as December approaches; 52° at 6:15am) top]


Week Ending 18 November 2006

GDT::What a Start To a New Week
[Monday... prior to 7:00am] Opsware was awarded a patent to help with their goal of automating IT; Solexa announced it was merging with Illumina to create a company having "genome-scale technology for genotyping, gene expression and sequencing, the three cornerstones of modern genetic analysis;" and, Sun Microsystems announced they were open sourcing Java.

Computing::Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Computing
I posted the following in the AzCentral.com Biotech blog as a comment to a posting titled "Math and science blues."

   Computing has to be added to the science and math list. 
   Six years ago I was advocating we change "reading, writing, 
   arithmetic" to "reading, writing, arithmetic, computing."

   Lots of exciting stuff is happening in the computing world 
   these days, yet there seems to be little excitement about 
   the world of computing.

I am confident that there are many more Googles and Yahoo!s and Opswares to come.

[Extra] Kudos to Susan Decker, CFO of Yahoo!, for being added to Intel's board of directors.

Computing::Gates Tells Moscow We Have an IT Shortage
Bill Gates is again speaking about how U.S. universities are not producing enough computing graduates.

   "There is a shortage of IT skills on a worldwide basis. 
    Anybody who can get those skills here now will have a 
    lot of opportunity."

Note: The aforementioned quote from Bill Gates was given in Moscow.

I believe Gates is right, but for whatever reasons this information is not getting out to young people.

CS at SCC remains dead and there is zero discussion about bringing it back to life.

[18 November 2006 (Thanksgiving is next week; 54° at 6:55am) top]


Week Ending 11 November 2006

Computing::Odd But True
Space shuttle Discovery was moved to the launch pad on 9 November 2006 to "await a launch that could be as early as Dec. 7 -- an effort to avoid potential New Year's Eve computer glitches." NASA as a 12 day mission planned, but they are not confident that a computer system cannot handle a new year transition. Yes, this is 2006. NASA is confident they will be able to safely get the space shuttle home if for some reason it has to stay in space until early 2007,

Math::BABling Away
Week #13 starts on Monday with 173 BABs created so far this semester. The entire BAB collection totals 631 BABs. I made some minor modifications to the BAB homepage. { GDT::BABs:: Basic Arithmetic Bits}

EDU::Michigan Bans Affirmative Action
Michigan residents voted to amend their state's Constitution to "ban public colleges and other state agencies from operating affirmative-action programs that grant preferences based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or gender." I don't dispute that diversity is a good thing, but it can be taken to extremes and that has happened at the Maricopa Community Colleges. Kudos to Michigan voters.

[11 November 2006 (Veterans Day; 77° at 12:16pm) top]


Week Ending 04 November 2006

Computing::Microsoft and Novell Becoming Partners
It appears as though Novell is going to partner with Microsoft. The partnership calls for Microsoft to sell SUSE Linux and, potentially, work with Novell to help make SUSE Linux work well with Windows. Wall Street thought this was great news for Novell, more bad news for Red Hat, no news for Microsoft, and good news for Open Source in general (VA Software).

   NOVL...   up 15.67%... $ 6.79  [Novell]
   MSFT... down  0.14%... $28.77  [Microsoft]
   RHAT... down  2.01%... $16.10  [Red Hat]
   LNUX...   up  5.24%... $ 4.22  [VA Software] 
   SUNW...   up  0.38%... $ 5.33  [Sun Microsystems]
   SCOX...   up  2.54%... $ 2.46  [SCO Group]

Computing::EDU::CS at Indiana University
The front-page headline on the Valley and State section of the Arizona Republic was titled "Indiana U. to accept MCC credits." In this case, the MCC stands for Maricopa Community Colleges, not just Mesa CC. The "unique partnership" will enable MCC students to earn 4-year degrees.

According to the IU Computer Science Department's homepage, "as of July 2005, the Computer Science Department has joined the School of Informatics."

I enjoyed the following text from IU's CSCI A110 non-majors course description: "The course goes to work dispelling the illusion that students are 'doing computers' when they are at a keyboard or in front of a computer display."

CS.Indiana.edu:: IU Computer Science Department Courses

Computing::EDU::CS Major Programs Undergoing Major Changes
Universities are creating more flexible Computer Science pathways. This is true at all three of Arizona's universities, but I don't any of them are doing what is happening at the Georgia Institute of Technology. GIT is replacing "core curriculum with courses that follow 'threads' and 'roles.' Students choose two of eight threads of instruction and tailor their schedules around those concepts. Threads include computational modeling, intelligence, and so on. Many of the courses that compose a student's threads might be taught by faculty outside the computer science department. For the role part of the curriculum, students choose either programmer, entrepreneur, innovator, or communicator, which guides selection of other courses."

InsiderHigherEd.com:: New 'Threads' for Computer Science

[04 November 2006 (week #12 ready to begin; 57° at 6:40am) top]


Week Ending 28 October 2006

SCC::Armed Robbery At SCC
An armed robbery took place at the SCC Performance Arts Center on Friday, 27 October 2006. I had noticed upon returning to school semester that there was a lot more graffiti on campus. Ironically, I spent a great deal of time during my summer break documenting the graffiti problem in Tempe with an emphasis on graffiti in my neighborhood. Near the end of my efforts, a local church was torched. Graffiti pops up at SCC and now there is an armed robbery on campus.

EDU::Watch Out Maricopa Community Colleges
The Maricopa Community Colleges are being looked at for mis-use of public funds. I admit to being guilty of this, but on a nano-scale. Bottom-line: Excessive tuition rate increases, bond awards, and declining enrollments just don't add up. In addition, fewer students, but more Deans defies logic. Politicians should go way back and investigate why a nationwide search was not executed when the MCCCD needed a new chancellor.

RoadHacker::Arizona Central College, Friendly Corners, Eloy
I visited Arizona Central College to hear a mathematician speak about hollywood math. After the talk, I drove further south and turned the day into a 159 mile roadtrip. {RoadHacker:: Central Arizona College, Friendly Corners, Eloy}

[28 October 2006 (Maricopa Community Colleges being investigated; 73° at 9:45am) top]


Week Ending 21 October 2006

Computing::I Still Think IT is a Great Career Choice
I believe the following has been true ever since we entered the 21st century.

   "According to a Computer Weekly poll (15 August), even those in 
    IT seem to advise their own kids to avoid IT as a career."

I don't know why people think a computing career is "boring."

From a "girls" perspective, the general perspective is that "girls do not want to pursue computer science studies because they believe computers are for boys and nerds, and they have no interest in sitting in front of a computer all day." If this general perspective is true, then something needs to be done about this.

ComputerWeekly.com:: So who wants to have a career in IT? I do...

Computing::COBOL Lives
The dead of the COBOL continues to be predicted despite the fact this is 2006. It appears as though COBOL is going to be around for a few more years (I don't know how to define "few"). According a ComputerWorld survey, 27% of IT departments are "expecting a shortage of COBOL programmers in the next five years."

ComputerWorld.com:: Cobol Coders: Going, Going, Gone?

RoadHacker::Lyman Lake State Park
After attending the Fall 2006 ATF meeting in Thatcher, RoadHacker drove the Coronado Trail (US Hwy-191) north to do some yurt camping at Lyman Lake State Park. {RoadHacker:: Lyman Lake State Park in Arizona}

[21 October 2006 (RoadHacker visited Eloy for 1st time; 60° at 5:57am) top]


Week Ending 14 October 2006

Computing::Gurus Give a Student Advice on Programming
A Slashdot posting contained a hyperlink to an extensive question and answer session with great programmers such as Stroustrup, Gosling, Torvalds, etc. I liked Stroustrup's response to the "favorite programming book" question: K&R. Peter Norvig (research director at Google) when asked about tools was quoted saying he "disliked all three major OS - Windows, Mac, Linux. I like Python and Lisp. Emacs." I wonder if Norvig is a BSD or Plan 9 user?

Sztywyny Blog:: Stiff asks, great programmers answer

[Extra] A person doesn't become a "Director of Research" at Google without being a technical guru. Great homepage... Norvig.com

Computing::Raymond Noorda Added To the GDT::DeadTeam
Raymond Noorda was considered one of the fathers of "network computing." For 12 years he was CEO of Novell. Noorda died at the age of 82. {GDT:: DeadTeam}

EDU::"People of Color" Debate Within the MCCCD
Somebody posted something to the MCCCD intranet in which they used the phrase "people of color." A white person objected, but it turns out that within the MCCCD "people of color" includes white people. In that case, the MCCCD should be able to let a white man become a college president; however, I wouldn't wager any money on this happening. Bottom-line: Diversity must include the white man.

[14 October 2006 (RoadHacker visited Lyman Lake for 1st time; 75° at 1:51pm) top]


Week Ending 07 October 2006

Computing::Update on CSC Enrollments
The fall 2006 ATF meeting is taking place on Friday, 13 October 2006. I might use the meeting to bring up the topic of CS enrollments at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

GDT::Computing::Bits:: Fall 2006 CSC Enrollments At Maricopa Community Colleges

Nanotechnology::SCC Doing Nano
SCC will be hosting the 2007 meeting of the Arizona Nanotechnology Cluster. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, 23 March 2007. This is an opportunity for the Maricopa Community Colleges to connect with the growing nanoindustry in Arizona.

TempeHiker::Late September Visit To Downtown Phoenix
TempeHiker is looking forward to using light-rail to get to downtown Phoenix.

TempeHiker::Early October Visit to Tumbleweed Park
TempeHiker visited Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. He didn't find any tumbleweeds, but he did take a few pictures and discovered the nearby Arizona Railroad Museum. {TempeHiker::Chandler:: Tumbleweed Park and Arizona Railroad Museum}

[07 October 2006 (yikes... it's already October; 66° at 6:44am) top]


Week Ending 30 September 2006

Computing::Kudos To ASU's High-Performance Institute
On 29 September 2006, I submitted the following "Letter to the Editor" of the Arizona Republic.

   Texas has been a leader in high-performance computing
   and that continues to be true.  I read where the University 
   of Texas has received a $59 million grant to build a supercomputer 
   that will run at 400 trillion calculations per second.

   Why do we care?

   Arizona State University will be collaborating with the University
   of Texas along with Cornell University and Sun Microsystems on
   building this supercomputer.  

   Kudos to ASU for this accomplishment.  

HPC.Fulton.ASU.edu:: The $59 Million TACCNSF Grant

Science::Science and Engineering are Growth Area
The United States of American is seriously lacking in 21st century political leadership. For a long time I have told students we need to start electing politicians that are computer literate. These days we need to start electing politicians that are high-tech literate, where high-tech implies they have basic understanding of biotech and nanotech. It only makes sense for scientists and engineers to join forces to help this country get better politicians.

SEforA.org:: Science and Engineers for America

GDT::Milestone--5,000 Webpages
On 28 September 2006, FreeFind.com reported that the GDT had 5,012 webpages indexed. This was the first time the GDT website passed 5,000 webpages. I started this website during August of 1997. Since that time I have created approximately 555 webpages per year or 1.5 webpages per day. Note: These numbers are for the GDT website only and they do not include my other web properties like AzFoo.net, AzLitter.org and FoodHacker.info. GDT is split into 1,859 directories that collectively contain 16,066 dot-html files.

RoadHacker::One-Day Roadtrip To Bagdad
RoadHacker did a one-day, 362 mile, roadtrip to Bagdad that included stops in Wickenburg, Prescott and Yarnell. It included some scenic driving on US Hwy-93, AZ Hwy-97, US Hwy-96 and AZ Hwy-89. {RoadHacker::Arizona:: Wickenburg, Bagdad, Prescott and Yarnell}

[30 September 2006 (GDT's search engine indexes 5,000 webpages; 73° at 6:17am) top]


Week Ending 23 September 2006

Computing::CS is a Popular Major
A math faculty member at SCC shared a hyperlink to an MSN Encarta article titled "Top 10 Most Popular College Majors." Computer Science was ranked number nine. The author of the article briefly explained why each major was popular and with respect to CS they wrote: "The knowledge you gain from a Computer Science major is absolutely applicable to the real world, and to real jobs within it."

CS might be the ninth most popular major, but you wouldn't know based upon CS with the Maricopa Community Colleges. Mesa CC and Glendale CC have a few students in CS and Chandler/Gilbert has a small amount, but SCC and the remaining six schools have zero.

Computing::Steve Bellovin Added To the GDT::DreamTeam
I had a couple of recent USENET moments and those moments lead to Steven Bellovin. These days Bellovin is a CS professor at Columbia University; he is also network security guru. Prior to Columbia, Bellovin was a computer scientist at AT&T Bell Labs. As a graduate student, Bellovin co-created USENET and in 1995 he was awarded a "Usenix Lifetime Achievement Award." Bellovin considers himself a "informal sort of guy" and on 22 September 2006 he was added to the GDT::DreamTeam.

Computing::Major In SOA?
I will be writing a bit more about the fact that some Universities are starting to offer a major in Service Oriented Architectures. This is a hot field these days as evidenced by BEA Systems (a leader in SOA) stock making a new 52-week high. SOA is a form of middle-ware. For example, BEA Systems provides enterprise application and service infrastructure software to companies world-wide. SOA is a major component of our next era of computing. I updated my CSC curriculum for the Maricopa Community Colleges to include a 1-credit SOA primer.

[23 September 2006 (this sememster is sailing along; 72° at 5:48am) top]


Week Ending 16 September 2006

Computing::ASU Doing Informatics
On 3 September 2006, the Arizona Republic's business section had a long article about ASU's new School of Computing and Informatics. In a nutshell, ASU is starting to learn, do, and teach 21st century Informatics. {GDT::Computing::Bit:: ASU Opening the School of Computing and Informatics}

Computing::Supercomputers Getting More and More and More Super
The BBC posted a supercomputing article on 7 September 2006 that started as follows.

   "Computer giant IBM will build the world's most powerful 
    supercomputer at a US government laboratory."
    
   "The machine, codenamed Roadrunner, could be four times 
    more potent than the current fastest machine, BlueGene/L, 
    also built by IBM."

The BBC posting included the following.

   "The new machine will be able to achieve 'petaflop speeds,' 
    said IBM. One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion 
    calculations per second."

   "Running at peak speed, it will be able to crunch through 
    1.6 thousand trillion calculations per second."

It takes lots of space to house a supercomputer.

   "When Roadrunner is finished in 2008 it will cover 
    12,000 square feet (1,100 square metres) of floor 
    space at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico."

Supercomputers are getting more and more and more super.

TempeHiker::The 2006 Healing Field
For the third year in a row a Healing Field® was constructed at the Tempe Town Lake. And for the third year in a row TempeHiker paid the Healing Field a visit. {TempeHiker:: Healing Field 2006 in Tempe, Arizona [opens new window]}

[16 September 2006 (they say the monsoon is over; 73° at 5:29am) top]


Week Ending 09 September 2006

Computing::Game Theory and Poker Playing Robots
Computers can be solid poker players without knowing much about poker. This might be useful given how popular poker is these days. I'm not sure how you'd read the body language of a poker robot. It'd be fun to go into a casino and have somebody say... "Welcome sir, do you want to play?" and respond with "No, I don't, but my robot does."

   "Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist has demonstrated 
    that you don't necessarily need to know much about poker to create 
    a computer program that can play a winning hand of Texas Hold'Em. 
    A knowledge of game theory, not the specialized expertise of a human 
    poker player, is at the heart of the poker robot called GS1 developed 
    by Tuomas Sandholm, director of Carnegie Mellon's Agent-Mediated 
    Electronic Marketplaces Lab, and graduate student Andrew Gilpin."

ScienceDaily.com:: Carnegie Mellon Computer Poker Program Sets Its Own Texas Hold'em Strategy

EDU::Drop Slip Already Found This Semester
The Fall 2006 semester is underway at SCC and in the middle of week three I found my first drop slip on the ground. The drop slip was discovered while walking from the boys room to my office in the CM building complex. I picked the slip up and had access to a name along with a social security number.

I continue to be amazed that some MCCCD students have their social security numbers for their student identifiers. This should be illegal. Somebody in a leadership role at the MCCCD should read the following "extra."

[Extra] This was news on 2 August 2006... "Cal Poly has joined a growing list of colleges and universities that no longer use Social Security numbers as default identifiers for students. Colleges in California and across the nation are working to remove Social Security numbers from as much of the daily business of the institution as possible. Although the numbers will still be stored and used for reporting for such reasons as financial aid and health care, a new number will be used for routine purposes such as class lists."

Math::California BARS
From time to time I create a BAB collection. A BAB collection is a grouping of commonly themed BABs. After a long weekend in the LA area, I came home and created a collection of Basic Arithmetic Road Signs (BARS) found in California. It turns out Ventura Blvd. is goldmine for parking signs that contain math. {GDT::BAB::BARS:: Signs From California}

[09 September 2006 (sabbatical v0.1 has been completed; 79° at 6:05am) top]


Week Ending 02 September 2006

Computing::CSE at ASU Likes Microsoft
On 31 August 2006, I learned that CSE182 at Arizona State University would satisfy the CS requirement needed for most degrees. The course title: "Applied Problem Solving with C# .Net" More teaching students how to compute using proprietary systems. This is good news for Microsoft. All students requiring a CS course should take a course the uses exclusively Free Software and Open Source.

CSE.ASU.edu:: CSE 182: Applied Problem Solving with C# .Net

Computing::SKIL Act To Increase H-1B Visa Quota
Politicians realize the need for high-tech workers is high and only going to get higher; but instead of looking at our schools, they want to bring in more foreign nationals to do the high-tech work. Not a good condition for the United States to be in.

   "Rep. Shadegg Introduces SKIL bill in House
    With immigration legislation stalled in Congress, 
    Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) has introduced a House 
    companion (H.R. 5744) to Senator Cornyn's Securing 
    Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership (SKIL) Act, 
    which would increase the H-1B visa quota to 115,000 
    and establish several visa exemptions categories."

Shadegg says the SKIL Act is the answer if America wants to spawn more companies like Google and Yahoo!

IEEEUSA.org:: The H-1B and L-1 Visas and America's High-Tech Workforce

Computing::Stuff To Read
The following were going to become Computing::Bits, but now they aren't.

[02 September 2006 (off to LA for three nights; 88° at 5:35am) top]


Week Ending 26 August 2006

EDU::Princeton Rated Number One University
U.S. News and World Report ranked Priceton University as the top American University. Princeton being in the news provided me an opportunity to fooishly re-connect Princeton, Bell Labs, Google and Grace Hopper with GDT, but I haven't found the time to do so. GDT::Computing::Bit:: Google, Pike, Biotech, Tilghman, Princeton, Kernighan, Bell Labs was written on 5 October 2005 and it will be updated to include Grace Hopper when time permits.

Computing::Greatest Software Ever Written?
InformationWeek posted an article about the greatest software ever written. Upon seeing the article's title I immediately put Unix at number one. It turned out so did the InformationWeek columnist. Note: his absolute number one choice was BSD 4.3.

   "Witness the definitive, irrefutable, immutable ranking 
    of the most brilliant software programs ever hacked."
    -- Charles Babcock

A couple of applications such as Mosaic and Excel made the top ten, but I'm still awed by the Unix 'sh' command.

InformationWeek.com:: What's The Greatest Software Ever Written?

Math::BAB Addition
I might be addicted to BABs because it seems I can't stop BABbling. 13 BABs were created during the first week of the Fall 2006 semester. To date, there are 471 BABs. The problem with BABs is that most everyday news contains everyday math and BABs are about bringing learning basic arithmetic using current events. {GDT:: BABs Created During Fall 2006 Semester}

[26 August 2006 (fall 2006 off to a stormy start; 82° at 6:02am) top]


The Fall 2006 MOTD has Been Started

The MOTD (Message Of The Day) was started during the Fall 1997 semester. This posting begins the 28th Version of the MOTD. There are three MOTDs per year (spring, summer and fall). The Summer 2006 MOTD has been added to the MOTD archive.

In a nutshell, the MOTD is a blog (weblog) that is updated on a weekly basis. When the MOTD was created, the term "blog" was not commonly used. The MOTD was named after the /etc/motd file used on Unix systems.

Most MOTD postings are computer related; however, there are also postings about RoadHacker and TempeHiker outings and other non-computer related stuff. The MOTD is the parent to other GDT::Blogs such as the Internet Observer, Unix and Linux Logger, Security Watchdog, Computing Bits, Stocks Stuffer, Biotech Trekker, Nanotech Smallblog, FLOSS E-Rambler, and the Grid Utilitarian. {GDT::Blogs (weblogs)}

[20 August 2006 (another session means another MOTD; 94° at 11:08am) top]


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:46 MST

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