Most of the people in my group are furiously trying to finish a paper for SOSP, and I'm off on my own thinking about web security.
It's not that I don't think this is an important problem -- I truly believe that the security model in today's browsers is a patchwork of brokenness, and could perhaps benefit from being rethought from the ground up. However every time I try to do that I end up meandering off into nothingness, or reading a blog. And it doesn't help that it seems like the problems are getting solved as I meander -- the Gazelle browser, from Microsoft, seems like a step in the right direction.
Also, I'm taking two classes this semester, Natural Language Processing and UI Design, which seem to be taking up increasing amounts of time. And of course there's my other job. It's so much easier to hack on Native Client than try to come up with a viable research project. By the way, we're having a security contest. If you're interested in security, or just interested in that sort of mechanism for validating your self-worth, go try to find some bugs!
I'm thinking of switching. To multicore, which the rest of PDOS seems to be working on, or something scalable-webapp related. I'm not sure how this research thing is supposed to work -- are you supposed to keep beating your head against a wall until something happens, or is it sometimes appropriate to give up and move on? How do you tell? Thoughts are appreciated.