Final day of IEEE Visualization 2007

You know that it’s a great conference when time flies like this. Today (Thursday, November 1) is the fifth and final day, but I would really have liked more. The morning is mostly occupied with end-of-conference formalities, such as the official announcement of next year’s conference in Columbus, Ohio, now dubbed “VisWeek” and the best paper awards. As mentioned previously, VisTrails won best paper. Another one of my favourites (also from one of my favourite groups, hi there VRVis in Vienna!

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Days 3 and 4 of IEEE Visualization

On Day 3 (Tuesday) the actual Visualization conference kicked off with awards and a keynote by Rick Stevens of the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago. Prof. Jarke van Wijk won the Visualization Technical Achievement award and gave the coolest acceptance speech I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. Spending quite some time on the origins of his (to our Anglophile colleagues) extraordinary name and succeeding in making all of the almost 800 attendees laugh several times, he managed to bring all of this back to the flow visualization research for which he earned this award, and then put it all in context by explaining what his daughter thought of his world-famous inventions: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”.

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Second day of IEEE Visualization 2007

What an imaginative title! Today (actually yesterday, but I’m acting as if I wrote this up yesterday, when yesterday was still today, okay?) I had the typical IEEE Vis problem of Too Many Very Cool Things All at the Same Time™. I chose to start with the Illustrative Visualization tutorial. One of the highlights of this was Stefan Bruckner’s presentation of his Style Transfer Functions. Stefan is a brilliant presenter, and this deceptively simple idea makes it possible to render, in real-time, illustrative volume renderings with all kinds of cool lighting possibilities.

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First day of IEEE Visualization 2007

Hi there gang! I’m spending the week in the Hyatt Regency Sacramento (that’s in California, US and A!) at the IEEE Visualization 2007 conference. I’ll try and write more posts if anything with significant bloggability comes up. Until Monday, there are mostly tutorials and the InfoVis conference and on Tuesday Vis itself starts. The difference between InfoVis and (Sci)Vis is a hotly contested topic about which I’m not even going to try to comment here.

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Running mxit in mpowerplayer on Linux (Ubuntu 7.04)

I’m peppering this with enough keywords so that other idiots will be able to find this easily. MXit is a mobile-phone based chat system that’s very popular in South Africa (Rugby World Cup champions 2007, thank you very much; want to wine about Cueto’s “try”, then first click here). It is possible to run the MXit Java midlet on a J2ME emulator (am I saying this right?) such as mpowerplayer or microemulator.

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Parallel Python

Somehow I missed this when searching for something like it the previous time, but Parallel Python (now found via Bruce Eckel’s blog) is exactly what I’ve been looking for. A simple process pool that can run on multiple cores or on a cluster of machines! DeVIDE has recently acquired the ability to run in black-box (gui-less) mode, so that networks can also be executed via some other coordination framework, such as Nimrod (see our paper on this, mail me if you want the fulltext).

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Even more GMail (also for domains) storage for free!

This official GMail blog post announces that the GMail storage counter will be increased even faster… let’s have a look at my gmail.com account: You are currently using 1541 MB (52%) of your 2911 MB. What I find even more exciting, is that Google is going to give the free GMail for Domains accounts, which until now were limited to 2GB, the same space counter as normal gmail.com accounts. As some of you might know, I’ve been rerouting all my work mail (mostly tudelft.

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My PalmOS-based GTD setup

HI THERE GANG! If you don’t like long-winded introductions, skip to the bit starting with “THE NITTY GRITTY”. Getting Things Done (GTD, see here for the book, here and here for introductory information, and here for a cool workflow diagram) by David Allen is a master-piece. Having read it, most of it kind of fits. It’s almost as if, if one had had the time to sit down and think for long enough, one would have come up with the same brilliant tips.

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ati2evxx is evil. bad_pool_caller evil.

This is really one of those notes to self one leaves all around the show and is later so surprised about when Google finds it in a few years time, thus saving one’s hide. Again. It’s like Back to the Future, only different. So today I was plagued by BAD_POOL_CALLER BSODs at every single restart on my XP SP2 HP NC8430 laptop (acronyms rule o.k.). I fired up my windbg, pointed its symbol file path at “SRV* c:\dbgsymbols* http://msdl.

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Bush knew that Saddam had no WMDs

With this I’m doing my bit to spread this news in my part of the blogosphere (*cough* I’m not supposed to use that word, EVAR). It turns out that Bush knew all along that Saddam had absolutely no WMDs, but that the decision had already been made to invade Iraq, and that the intelligence was simply twisted to fit this policy. Read all the nasty details in this Salon article. Here’s a choice excerpt:

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