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: Hm, we're still up. Well, that can't last long.

: New mail: Joe Mahoney on the Arafat/Demon Dog connection, and Kris on the misuse of his joke.

Kris, it was quite definitely "Coo-Coo Lou sucks... you in!" But I'm glad you got sucked into this conversation. Oh, it never stops.

: Out, out, brief server!

And so it begins: Thanks, I'm here all week (until Friday). I just realized that leonardr@segfault won't work to contact me, so please use leonardr@linux.ucla.edu (nice of them to let me keep my account, huh?)

Photo roundup:

  1. Red vs. Blue vs. White
  2. Tonight's Episode: Dial M For Merger
  3. I took this same picture when I was in Houston! (it's not funny; I just thought it interesting that I took the same picture).
  4. "My opponent has been known to use ad hominem arguments!"

QOTD, and IOTD: "It's actually pretty fun to be really tall in the Far East, because you feel a little like Godzilla." -- Robert Bennefield, our 7'-ish director of Ops.

There's software that will determine whether two pieces of code are similar, for purposes of detecting plagiarism in class assignments. But let's say you had software that could detect 'similarity' between two pieces of software. You could also run it on two different parts of the same program to automatically find places where you could benefit from factorization. Shazam! It's like a reduce-to-the-halting-problem proof, only it gives you something good instead of something bad!

Of course, 'similar' for purposes of detecting plagiarism is a much easier concept than 'similar' for purposes of detecting factorability, so you probably can't use existing software similarity software for this purpose. But software to do that would be a very useful tool, especially if you're like me and find it boring to inspect code for factorability.

Conrad's Revenge, or, My Dinner With Andre: So, Jason Robbins and I planned to have dinner with Andre Stechert, a friend of Jason's from UCLA. We went to the BART station to go into Frisco, but the BART station was closed due to an anthrax scare. So we had to arrange other means and we had a lowbrow but fun-conversation-filled dinner at Lyons. BART is open again now, and I recommend Andre Stechert for your next dinner party. He has interesting ideas for and insights into new hardware.

Update: Sumana says that everyone who has dinner with Andre Stechert probably writes about it as "My Dinner With Andre". "No one wants to have breakfast or lunch or any other meal with him," she hypothesises.

That's as may be, but during my dinner with Andre, Jason said that my factorization-detection software has already been written. It's called CloneDR, and it looks pretty good.

Also, Andre pointed out that Tolkien likes to end chapters of Lord of the Rings with "And that was the last time they ever saw x."


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