Sony Ericsson T68i

I purchased the Sony Ericsson T68i for myself for Christmas (because after rebate it’s only $25 bucks!). I’ve been playing with it for the past couple days here in Mammoth while on vacation and so far I’m pretty impressed. I’d *really* love to get a BlueTooth enabled PDA (like the Toshiba e740 Pocket PC or the Palm Tungsten T Handheld or the Compaq iPAQ H3975 Color Pocket PC) so that I can do stuff like this or this.

The official Bluetooth site has a list of products using Bluetooth, although it’s kind of annoying to find that there are no URLs available for any product. I found a couple other Bluetooth specific sites/blogs including, Ericsson, The Bluetooth weblog but none of these sites has a listing of Bluetooth products. I want something like gizmodo for but Bluetooth (ie: tell me what fun Bluetooth products I can buy once I have the above mentioned phone!).

If you’re looking to write some Bluetooth code yourself, the following sites might be helpful:

JSR-000082 JavaTM APIs for Bluetooth

Microsoft Windows CE .NET Bluetooth


Got in bed at 10:30pm last night and read Prey from start to finish… it was one of those books you just can’t put down until you’re done. Michael Crichton had to do research on genetics, nanotechnology, distributed intelligence and a host of other subjects to get this book out the door… I can’t wait for the movie, according to the official site:

“The film version of Prey is now in development at Twentieth Century Fox. No details yet.”

And how many fictional novels have a bibliography? Some of the more interesting books:

Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI by Rodney Brooks, head AI guy at MIT

Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems

Natural Enemies: The Population Biology of Predators, Parasites and Diseases

Multi-Agent Systems: An Introduction to Distributed Artificial Intelligence

Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity

Swarm Intelligence

Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology

Reasoning about Rational Agents

Reading this book made me want to start working with distributed intelligence and AI… Where would one start if you wanted to work in this industry? Go back to school? Write some software that emulates distributed intelligence? Cry for mommy?

more books…

Currently in Mammoth hanging at my parents house where we’re in the midst of a[nother] snowstorm. This one could dump as much as 2 feet!

So far I’ve finished 3 books on this trip: Bots: The Origin of New Species by Andrew Leonard, The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig, and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. All great books, I’ve got a ton of dog eared pages for each book that I’d like to blog… but using the computer is off limits on vacation, right?

Software Development Tools

I’m guessing that in every trade or craft, the ‘craftsmen’ delight in sharing (or not sharing!) their favorite tools, the objects that make their day. For cooks, maybe it’s a special pot or pan; for writers, maybe it’s a special pen. For software developers, well.. we just have software. Scott mentions a list of tools he used in a recent demonstration at Microsoft, most of which were new (and very interesting) to me. I’m pasting below so that I don’t have to check out his page every time I want to remember where something was:

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

more from “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid“:

information-revealers — devices like a record or CD player which can pull information out of an information-bearer

information-bearer — a device that holds information…

Those words aren’t very exciting until you start thinking about stuff like this:

“Take the case of the genetic information commonly said to reside in the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). A molecule of DNS — a genotype — is converted into a physical organism — a phenotype — by a very complex process, involving the manufacture of proteins, the replication of the DNA, the replication of cells, the gradual differentiation of cell types, and so on. Incidentally, this unrolling of phenotype from genotype — epigenesis — is the most tangled of tangled recursions… Epigenesis is guided by a set of enormously complex cycles of chemical reactions and feedback loops. By the time the full organism has been constructed, there is not even the remotest simliarity between its physical characteristecs and its genotype. … And yet, it is standard practice to attribute the physical structure of the organism to the structure of its DNA, and to that alone. The first evidence for this point of view came from experiments conducted by Oswald Avery in 1946, and overwhelming corroborative evidence has since been amassed. Avery’s experiments showed that, of all the biological molecules, only DNA transmits hereditary properties. One can modify other molecules in an organism, such as proteins, but such modifications will not be transmitted to later generations. However, when DNA is modified, all successive generations inherit the modified DNA. Such experiments show that the only way of changing the instructions for building a new organism is to change the DNA — and this, in turn, implies that those instructions must be coded somehow in the structure of DNA.” [pg 158]

Still with Douglas? Continuing on with the next paragraph: “Therefor one seems forced into accepting the idea that the DNA’s structure contains the information of the phenotype’s structure, which is to say, the two are isomorphic. However, the isomorphism is an exotic one, by which I mean that it is highly nontrivial to divide the phenotype and the genotype into “parts” which can be mapped onto each other. Prosaic isomorphisms by contrast, would be ones into which the parts of one structure are easily mappable onto the parts of the other. An example is the isomorphism between a record and a pice of music, where one knows that to any sound in the piece there exists an exact “image” in the patterns etched into the grooves, and one could pinpoint it arbitrarily accurately, if the need arose… The isomorphism between DNA structure and phenotype structure is anything but prosaic, and the mechanism which carries it out physically is awesomely complicated. For instance, if you wanted to find some piece of your DNA which accounts for the shape of your nose or the shape of your fingerprint, you would have a very hard time. It would be a little like trying to pin down the note in a piece of music which is the carrier of the emotional meaning of the piece. Of course there is no such note, because the emotional meaning is carried on a very high level, by large “chunks” of the piece, not by single notes. Incidentally, such “chunks” are not necessarily sets of contiguous notes; there may be disconnected sections which, taken together, carry some emotional meaning.” [pg 160]

Page 168 has a fascinating collage of various scripts including Mongolian and Buginese. It boggles my mind that the words I’m writing right now using the English alphabet mean absolutely nothing to people in other parts of the world.

All for tonight…