Monthly Archives May 2009

Two new-ish search engines

Recently, while reading about methods for manipulating RDF, I discovered the search engine PowerSet. More recently, Wolfram Research’s Wolfram Alpha launched. There’s been no shortage of new search engines in the past year or so – Cuil is one that was much publicized but ended up remarkably useless – but these two still impress me. PowerSet […]

Research idea: a snapshot

As part of an application form I had to fill out recently, I had to write a summary of my research ideas. Of course this changes all the time, since I’m still searching for a precise topic (and probably will be for a long time). But this is what a snapshot of those thoughts, taken […]

Realtime disease tracking

I just found out about BioCaster, a tool made by people at my institute. It tracks news in real time and lets you view the spread of diseases geographically. I’ve seen similar services before (related to swine flu, etc), but this one lets you break down the data by disease and even by symptoms. Asahi Shinbun […]

Exploring Scala

I’ve started experimenting with the programming language Scala. I’ve been wanting to get back into functional programming for some time, but I’ve found it impractical for the time being to dive right into something like ML, Haskell or Scheme. Scala has gained notoriety since Twitter announced that they’ve rewritten their engine in it. Some of […]

The textual paradigm

Following up on yesterday’s post on code reuse, I have a more specific reason to be skeptical of literate programming. Programming and software development is stuck in a textual paradigm – the idea that programming is something you do by writing text in a formal language. I think this idea constrains us somewhat in the […]